Something I think about a lot is how absolutely ready late-90s America was to become Terrorism Power Freedom Flag Land. There's a West Wing where one of the characters lambasts stand-ins for the 1999 Seattle WTO protesters. He calls them dilettante hippies and then says "free trade stops wars." This is the event it was referencing, these are the cops and institutional politics it was celebrating.
That episode was from 2000 or 2001. That's really what liberals were like back then, happy to watch the moves towards cops getting Imperial Stormtrooper powers to step on dissidents, happy to see climate activists jailed while losing interest in the people who gave us McVeigh. Then 9/11 happened and all the cops were just the WTO cops and everyone could be thrown down the same hole as someone who spiked trees or sabotaged construction equipment.
The proto-stage of post-9/11 American fascism was made to stomp out objections to our obscene post-Cold War victory lap across the planet. All Bush's retinue of ghouls really had was an excuse, and the will to actually start crossing lines outside of "special circumstances" and let hypernormalization do its thing.
Unstoppable shitposting engine.