Former President George W. Bush used the occasion of a 9/11 speech to take a thinly-veiled slam at the Jan. 6 insurrectionists and other U.S. political extremists.
“We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders but from violence that gathers within,” Bush said Saturday in Shanksville, Pennsylvania., at a ceremony to remember the hijacking and crash of United Flight 93, which was commandeered by Muslim terrorists.
“There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home,” Bush said.
“But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit and it is our continuing duty to confront them.”
Bush’s 10-minute speech — before an audience that included Vice President Kamala Harris and former Vice President Dick Cheney — compared what he called the unity of Americans after 9/11 with the disunity of the present day.
“In the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks, I was proud to lead an amazing, resilient, united people,” Bush said.
“When it comes to the unity of America, those days seem distant from our own.
“Malign forces at work in our common life that turn every disagreement into an argument and every argument into a clash of cultures. So much of our politics has become a naked appeal to anger, fear and resentment. That leaves us worried about our nation and our future together.”