My phone rang. I was told to turn on the TV. I stared in abject horror at the screen as a plane flew directly into the 2nd tower of The World Trade Center. I thought: How is this possible in America, let alone New York City, the most populous city in the U.S, the largest metropolitan area in the world?
All I knew is that people were dying.
After 9/11, every available person volunteered to assist NYC ranging from the health care field, firefighters, police force, and everyday people. The attitude in America was one of solidarity. No one fought about religion and politics. Diversity in race, financial status or sexual gender was not an issue. People stood together. Not apart.
What followed as a result was and still is, global mass hysteria.
"Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times." - Machiavelli
1941: Pearl Harbor
• Pearl Harbor Naval Base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighters in 2 crushing waves. 2,402 men were killed with 1,282 wounded.
• Pearl Harbor led the U.S. into World War II. The intention behind the attack on Pearl Harbor was for Japan to conquer Southeast Asia without interference.
• 1942: Japanese Americans and Japanese were brought to camps called "War Relocation Camps." There were 3 types: Civilian Assembly Centers [temporary], Relocation Centers [internment] and Detention Camps [people of interest to the government.]
• 1945: The United States bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan killing 80,000 people under President Truman’s Executive Order 9981. To date, this is the only use of nuclear weapons during war.
• 1988: Congress passed legislation and President Ronald Reagan signed, apologizing for the internment of Japanese on behalf of the U.S. government.
• During the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, UK, Pakistan, Israel, Taiwan, Indonesia and China all offered "unofficial" military and/or financial support [Operation Cyclone] to the people in the struggle. The USSR supported the government of Afghanistan against the Afghan people and Arab- Afghan volunteers. Soviet occupation had an opposite effect. It did not pacify the people, it gave them power in strength and number.
• Foreigners wished to be a part of this global movement including a young Saudi named Osama bin Laden.
• 1985: National Security Decision Directive 166: The CIA and ISI pressured Afghan militants to attack government strongholds. The CIA began programs for training militants in techniques such as car bombs, assassinations, and cross border raids into the USSR. Pakistan’s ISI and SSG, U.S. Special Forces and British Air, supported the training.
• 1989: The Geneva accords allowed for withdrawal and Soviet troops left Afghanistan. US President Carter stated: the Soviet incursion was "the most serious threat to peace since the Second World War."
Osama bin Laden
• [wealthy Saudi bin Laden family] believed in the need for fighting for injustices against Muslims by the U.S. and other non-Muslim states, to eliminate the state of Israel and to force the U. S. from the Middle East. What may have began as a resistance movement, turned into a strategy against the USSR and the U.S. to lure them into long wars in Muslim countries.
• Osama attracted large numbers of jihadists [people in the struggle] who would never surrender. bin Laden believed this would lead to economic collapse of a nation. bin Laden were a part of Operation Cyclone during the Soviet-Afghan War.
• [The Base] is a global military group initially formed as a resistance movement, that turned into global extremist groups with various disconnected movements. Al-Qaeda’s network was built from the bottom up, eventually with bin Laden as Commander and al-Zawahiri as Deputy until Osama’s death. The number of well trained militants inside and people supporting the group is unknown.
• The latter goal of "Al-Qaeda" was to weaken America by involving the nation in too many engagements, collapsing political stability, resulting in economic downfall.
• 2001: U.S. forces recover a videotape from a house in Jalalabad, Afghanistan with bin Laden speaking to al-Harbi [Saudi Nationalist] admitting to having foreknowledge of the attacks. Al Jazeera broadcast Bin Laden stating, "I stress that I have not carried out this act, which appears to have been carried out by individuals with their own motivation."
• 2001: 2nd Bin Laden video released stating: "Terrorism against America deserves to be praised because it was a response to injustice, aimed at forcing America to stop its support for Israel, which kills our people", yet bin Laden never admitted responsibility.
• 2004: Before U.S. Presidential elections, bin Laden said he had personally directed his followers to attack the World Trade Center.
• 2006: Al Jazeera shows bin Laden making preparations for the attacks.
• 6 WTC housed the U.S. Customs Service and Commodities Exchange. Beneath was the NYC mass transit subway system and Port Authority. The Two Towers were in the heart of NYC’s financial district.
• The North Tower was designed for housing telecommunications: all NYC television and radio broadcasters.
• The 7 structures of the WTC consisted of: The State of NY, financial firms of Wall Street, Morgan Stanley, Aon Corporation, Salomon Brothers, Cantor Fitzgerald, and the Port Authority.
• Underneath the WTC, one of the world’s largest gold depositories were stored, owned by commercial banks.
• The Port Authority leased the WTC to a private entity, Silverstein [$3.22 billion] that added the WTC to the city’s tax rolls and private funds for Port Authority projects.
September 11, 2001
• Two American Airlines 767 jets crashed into the Twin Towers of The World Trade Center in New York City. The South Tower burned for almost an hour, collapsing, followed by the North Tower.
• American Airlines Flight 77 flew into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.
• American Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. The supposed target: The Capitol or The White House.
• 1,344 people were trapped. 700 people were killed instantly.
• People made their way toward the roof but the doors were locked.
• 200 people fell or jumped to their deaths.
• 411 emergency workers died as they rescued people.
• All the deaths were civilians, except for 55 military personnel at the Pentagon.
• The medical examiner’s office collected 10,000 unidentified bone and tissue fragments that can’t be matched. 1,122 of the victims remained unidentified.
• The death toll was estimated over 6,000.
• President Bush’s approval rating soared to 90% before 2002 elections and the U.S government began the "Global War on Terror" targeting the government named culprit, "Al-Qaeda."
• Hate crimes against Muslims and Southeast Asians ensued: verbal abuse, attacks on mosques, religious buildings (including Hindu temples), assaults on people, and in some instances, murder. Anyone perceived to be "Middle Eastern" were victims.
• One month after the attacks, the U.S led a coalition of "international forces" to attempt to remove the Taliban for training of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
• Pakistani authorities provided the U.S. with access to military bases, arresting and handing the U.S. over 600 "suspected" Al-Qaeda members.
Guantanamo and Bagram
• The U.S. set up "Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp" to hold inmates they defined as "illegal enemy combatants" currently holding 172 prisoners in Cuba.
• 2600 men are still being held indefinitely in Afghanistan at Bagram Air Base.
• During the Bush Administration, Bagram prison held up to 650 prisoners. Since the Obama Administration, the number has doubled.
• The Dept. of Homeland Security was formed. Congress passed "The Patriot Act" that allows law enforcement to invade the privacy of its citizens.
The U.S. never formally indicted bin Laden for the 9/11 attacks.
Bin Laden was killed by American forces in Abbotabad, Pakistan.
In the end, tens of thousands people were killed.
To think critically, one must study history, politics, culture, tradition, and socio-economic structures of nations. There are no absolutes, the only truth apparent regarding 9/11, is that many nations had roles in all events preceding and post 9/11. None of these events were in the interests of the citizens of each nation.
We must attempt, in the very least, to discern the reasons behind each action. We must stop judging one other based upon the actions of our governments. We must think rationally in order to understand what has, is and will occur in our world.
"Terrorism has no face, no race, no religion, no culture nor nation."
– Susan Marie