The September 11th attacks claimed the lives of some 3,000 people and caused permanent psychological trauma for millions of Americans, but according to US President Joe Biden, the Capitol storming on 6 January was “the worst attack” on American democracy since the Civil War.
The families of those who fell victim to the 9/11 disaster have been decrying recent attempts to compare the terrorist attack to the Capitol siege or even suggest that the events of 6 January were “worse” event than the 2001 tragedy.
His sentiment is echoed by Debra Burlingame, whose brother was a pilot on the ill-fated American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon. Burlingame penned an essay for The Wall Street Journal in May, where she said it was “deeply offensive” to link the Capitol siege to the 9/11 attack with a purpose of creating a further divide in the country by stigmatising Republicans: “that is the real threat to democracy”, she wrote.
“There are a lot of young people who have no living memory of 9/11 … When you have all these comparisons and analogies, which are inflated and ridiculous, it minimizes what actually happened, and that’s what’s happening here. It’s a deliberate ploy”, Burlingame told Fox News.
How Is It Worse?
Former George W. Bush administration strategist Matthew Dowd recently said on MSNBC that the Capitol riot was “worse” than 9/11 because it has severely divided the country and has given “permission for people to pursue autocratic means”.