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United States

One Year After September 11 1974

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the everybody's-doing-it dept.
One year ago today, at 9:12 eastern, we posted World Trade Towers and Pentagon Attacked amidst the events of that day. Since Slashdot is really just a discussion site, I felt the most appropriate way to handle this anniversary is to simply do just that. I hadn't read those stories since the day it happened, and I really am at a loss for words. But I'm sure many of you won't be. And thanks to OSDN for turning banner ads off for the day.
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One Year After September 11

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  • Freedom after 9/11 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cantherius (63843) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:15AM (#4236355)
    As America Remembers 9/11/2001, we must remember that we live in a country based on freedom. Those freedoms are being threatened [lp.org] right now because of America's reaction to 9/11, and we have to be careful about that.

    So please, as you mourn, see your friends and family, or watch TV all day (which I hope you don't do), try to remember what it is that we're fighting for in the first place, ok?

    Without those freedoms in tact.. there's nothing left to fight for.

    I love you guys, tho, and I'm glad it wasn't any of you who were lost a year ago :-)
  • by shaunbaker (157313) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:19AM (#4236387) Homepage
    as i understand it slashdot will eventually wipe comments of a story out after x time, wonder if they could prevent it for the stories on 9-11-01
  • Got me thinking... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by headchimp (524692) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:20AM (#4236402) Homepage
    What about all the other tragic events from the past that was forgotten.

    Feel free to mark your calendar for the other months besides September.

    January 28, (1986) The Challenger Accident

    February 13, (2001) San Salvador, El Salvador 6.1 Earthquake

    March 24, (1989) Exxon Valdez
    March 28, (1979) 3 Mile Island

    April 18, (1906) The San Francisco Earthquake
    April 19, (1995) The Oklahoma City Bombing
    April 14, (1912) The Titanic

    May 6th (1937) The Hindenburg Disaster

    June 6th, (1944) D-Day

    July 25, (1956) The Andrea Doria sinking.

    August 6, (1945) Hiroshima Bombed
    August 16 - 28 (1992) Hurricane Andrew

    October 8, 9, and 10, (1871) The Great Chicago Fire
    October 17, (1989) Loma Prieta earthquake
    October 23-29, (1929) Stock Market Crash

    November 17-18, (1978) Jonestown
    November 22, (1963) Kennedy Assaination

    December (1984) Union Carbide Bhopal Disaster
    December 7, (1941) Pearl Harbour
    December 21, (1988) Pan Am Flight 103 Lockerbie bombing

  • by undeg chwech (589211) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:22AM (#4236426) Homepage
    Taco's just providing a space for people to comment should they wish to.

    A year ago, /. was a very useful resource for many people. The news websites were repeating the same thing over and over while /. provided a place for 1st hand accounts and opinions.
  • by anonymous cupboard (446159) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:23AM (#4236434)
    Since the first 3000 died, many more have died in other places such as Afghanistan. Some no doubt deserved it, but many others were innocent civillians caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    However I'm glad you raised the point about the freedoms that have been lost. The US has become a little more like the non-free countries it is fighting with the government exploiting the opportunity to help hide its own inadequacies.

  • by squaretorus (459130) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:26AM (#4236450) Homepage Journal
    It's the one-up-manship of the various channels that gets to me. I remember flicking to the BBC coverage just after the second plane hit and seeing the first of the 'backdrops' with the smoking towers and the 'Sept 11 2001: Attack on America' line and thinking "there we go - branding the story already - who will be first to use the towers as the number 11 I wonder??"

    I think it is the speedy turnaround of these 'visuals' that is disconcerting. I'd much rather just have the video feed, and a guy in a studio saying 'holey shit' than a million glossy flaping flags with the towers in the background.

    It really did feel a little too much like a Chris Morris stunt, a live edition of Brasseye.

    I think /. did a great job in just getting the news out there. None of the hype, the gloss, the panic to fly presenters to stand in front of the ruins. Just simple stories to keep everyone up to date.
  • My feelings exactly.

    I work for a Defense Contractor too, on the approach path to IAD runway 1R, where the plane that hit the Pentagon departed.

    My best source of news was /., only other source during the day was WTOP radio. Unfortunately, repeating stories from WTOP on /. added me to the list of FUD spreaders, especially after a US Congressman was on the radio saying that an airliner had been shot down by US fighters (wholly untrue). My bad and my apologies.

    I was glad to make a few contributions (noting that the Pentagon will not fit into a 100' hole, etc.) but was more glad to read the words of others from around the world.

    Many thanks to all.
  • by anonymous cupboard (446159) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:26AM (#4236460)
    Um also those people who were killed in Afghanistan, not because they voted for or supported the regime, but because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Lets us also mourn the freedoms lost to the average law abiding citizen around the world.

  • by wiredog (43288) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:27AM (#4236466) Journal
    Since they're not running any commercials.

    For that matter, they didn't run commercials for two or three days after the attacks.

  • by Yakman (22964) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:29AM (#4236483) Homepage Journal
    So, it's a year later and still we don't know where Osama bin Laden is, it seems we've forgotten about Afghanistan and now Bush is getting ready to pre-emptively attack Iraq. From what I've read about Saddam Hussein he doesn't just sit around in one place either, so what happens when they can't find him?

    What is it with all these stories coming out now about how Iraq could have nuclear weapons in like 30-40 seconds? Seriously though, a few months ago they were saying "2-3 years", now it's down to "6 months" or less. Are they making excuses to attack Iraq? Can't it be argued that the US is also a country with weapons of mass destruction and a warmongering leader?

    It is a shame that civilians died in the terrorist attacks, but what about the civilians the US has killed in Afghanistan, like that wedding - they excuse it by saying some collateral damage is to be expeced. Why do they say that the 'terrorist' attacks were "cowardly"? It'd take a fairly brave and strong willed person to willingly fly themselves into a building. If they were cowardly they'd just talk about how they were going to attack America but do nothing about it.

    What is it with removing all images of the WTC from movies etc in the last year?! It happened, we all know it happened. Removing the WTC from media I would think is an insult to the victims, it's as if they're saying that the buildings never existed.

    Enough typing for me, flame away :) And remember, opinions are like arseholes - we all are one. Err, have one ;)
  • A few points (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mr_Silver (213637) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:29AM (#4236485)
    Personally my heart goes out to those people who suffered losses and pain this time last year. I wish them all the very best.

    However, I do think it is worth as this point reflecting on the foreign policy of sucessive US governments, that is the governments that have helped create Saddam's milirary might, backed the Talibans rise to power, backed Israel and other Pro-American Arab reigems which suppress their own people and finally (especially for us Brits) helped fund the IRA - who have been systimatically blowing up and killing people in both the UK and Ireland for well over 20 years.

    George Bush stated that last year was when the world rose up to fight against terrorism. In fact, the world has been rising up and fighting terrorism for over 20 years and had it not been for September 11th, the US would still have not been involved.

    I'm not using these points as an excuse for what the Taliban did. Any group that carries out such a thing are despicable - but I believe that the US Goverment should stand back and reflect all the possible concequences of what their policy of meddling in (and funding of) hardline groups of individuals in other countries could bring about.

    I observed a minutes silence today, both for the innocent victims of September 11th and for the innocent victims of the future who will suffer when the US seeks to take revenge.

  • Remember (Score:2, Insightful)

    by His Nastiness (542696) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:30AM (#4236489) Homepage
    I just want to say that I know there are going to be stupid, childish, disrespectful comments here and everywhere else any of us decide to look today but I just want to remind every /. reader that it may infuriate, frustrate and maybe even hurt you to see these "Anonymous Coward"'s do this but remember that this is precisely what makes this country great. Better than to be in China where you can be sure that every post has been moderated by your government and that names are being taken down. The freedom to be an idiot and insensitive is just as integral to every other part of our freedoms. Dont' let it get you mad (as it did me at first) just be thankful that we can even have a /. to say all of this at. And corporate or not I appreciate OSDN's gesture today and personally think the coverage in other media is appropriate. WOuld they do this in other countries that aren't as free as ours? I not sure they would.
  • Re:US Response (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SweenyTod (47651) <`sweenytod' `at' `sweenytod.com'> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:32AM (#4236516) Homepage
    After the initial attack, I was quite afraid that the US would start carpet bombing everybody they didn't like. Their attack on Afganistan shows just how determined you guys are, to extract a measure of vengance, which honestly, I don't blame at all.

    One year on, I'm a bit less afraid, but not by a lot. I fear the US will drag the world into a big fucking war in the middle east we'll live to regret. The alternative I suppose is to not attack, and probably let some of these countries that sponser terrorism develop big arse weapons, which we'll regret too.

    I dunno - a tough call, but I can't believe going to war is the only answer. The trouble is I don't know what the right answer is.
  • by retards (320893) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:32AM (#4236520) Journal
    OK, so don't ever watch any specials about Hiroshima or the Bombing of Dresden either (which both had a LOT more casualties, almost all civilian). Oh, but these were Americans that were killed, so this is different...
  • by rmolehusband (192640) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:33AM (#4236522)
    We're one year on from the indefensible murder of several thousand civilians in New York. No right minded person can have anything but condemnation for that act of pure evil.

    We should remember however, that the pain and sense of loss from the destruction of an innocent life is the same all over the world and for those of all religions.

    The lasting legacy of the WTC attack should not be war nor more death and suffering.
  • by xtheunknown (174416) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:33AM (#4236523)
    The whole point of the matter is that no one deserves death, even those who take up arms against you.

    You may not want to mourn the deaths of those who make war, but you should mourn there decision to make war in the first place.

    It is the idea that people deserve death for there actions, no matter what those actions are, that has gotten us into this whole mess.

    Honor those who fell on 9/11/2001 by striving for peace and harmony. Don't wish death even on your enemies. Pity them for their mis-guided rage, but don't wish death on them.

    Whether you are christian, muslim, jew or otherwise, the common thread is that man does not determine who lives and dies, god does. Think about that.
  • by Aero (98829) <erwin71m@nosPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:33AM (#4236524)

    I think that the most troubling thing coming into the first anniversary of the attack is some of the stuff purportedly being done in the names of those who died, and (just as importantly) what isn't being done.

    All the legislation passed supposedly to further the cause of the "war on terror", with the amount of true freedom that was taken away with it (or has the potential to be taken away)...the sheer audacity of our leaders sometimes reminds me of kids loose in a candy store (my best friend compares it to Lord of the Flies)...

    How soon we all went back to our divisive bickering over our differences, be the difference ethnicity or religion or income level...

    The outcry over attempts to educate our younger generation about the Muslim world...while I agree that such teachings should not be mandated without equal consideration being given to all sides (so, for example, a required reading assignment of a history of Muslim culture should be accompanied by texts on Christian-Muslim, Jewish-Muslim, and Christian-Jewish relations through history), the mere idea that this is pushing some sort of agenda is a telling indicator that many of us still don't have a clue...

    I will be respectful, I will honor the dead, but I won't do anything stupidly symbolic.

    I work for a major telecom company based in Washington. As I'm about to submit this, at this time last year, we were about 15 minutes away from evacuating our headquarters and moving our critical 24/7 operations to our backup facility. My biggest regret was not calling the one I loved most and telling her that I was okay, even if it was just a voice mail message -- she didn't hear from me for hours. For all she knew, I was hopelessly trapped in traffic or spun out in a ditch somewhere in my attempt to flee the District and get to the backup site.

    I sincerely honor the dead. It's too much to ask, but I wish the rest of us would do the same.

  • by laserjet (170008) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:34AM (#4236534) Homepage
    I am not flaming you, but I hate the media people that say innocent people have died in Afghanistan so we are all bad people.

    The truth is, we are in a war, and people die in war.

    So we may kill some innocent people in the pursuit of our war. They killed thousands of our innocent people in a few seconds.

    What has our country lost in the last 50 years that we are so afraid of killing people? I don't like death either, but in a war many times innocent people get killed to win the war. That's how it is. If people don't like that, then don't attack other countries.
  • by YanceyAI (192279) <yanceyai@yahoo.com> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:36AM (#4236550)
    It's hard to imagine that only a year ago I felt free.

    I would gladly die to protect my freedom. If that means I might have a greater chance of being the victim of a terorist attack, so be it. Some forfeiture of safety has always been the price of freedom.

    I guess the terrorists won the most unimaginable battle of all.

  • ted hennessey (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gonar (78767) <sparkaliciousNO@SPAMverizon.net> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:36AM (#4236551) Homepage
    Edward (Ted) R. Hennessy Jr. 1966-2001

    belmont high class of 1984
    Harvard class of 88 (Cum Laude)
    Kellog School of Business 93 (MBA)(Computer Science award)
    Partner and Principal Consultant, Emergence Consulting, Lincoln Ma.
    Ted was a member of the Hasty Pudding and co-wrote "Whiskey
    Business", their show in 1989.
    He was the musical coordinator for the "Special-K Review" at Kellog during his
    time there.

    Wife Melanie (My Sister)
    Children Rachel, 6 and Matthew, almost 4
    Parents Edward and Geraldine (Big Ted and Gerry) Hennessy (Belmont)
    Sisters Sue and Kathy
    Nephews and Nieces Sharon, 10, Megan (my Daughter), 10, Jimmy, 8, Timmy, 4 and
    Patrick, 18 Mos.

    Ted was smart, funny, honest, friendly, bald and allergic to cats.

    Ted played Guitar (and bass and 12 string). he had a small home recording
    studio in his office where he would compose and record original music.

    At family get togethers, he would gather the kids and play "Wild Thing" while
    the kids sang along.

    His and My Sister's favorite movie to watch together was "The Princess Bride"

    He was a Geek. Just last week he setup DSL and 802.11b networking in his house.

    He travelled 3 days a week, and to compensate for being away so much he devoted
    all of his remaining time to his family.

    every friday was date night with my sister.
    every saturday was spent with the kids at a museum, aquarium, zoo or nature
    park.

    My Sister always dreamed of marrying Prince Charming and being a stay-at-home
    mommy.

    until one year ago today, all her dreams had come true.
  • by lamz (60321) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:36AM (#4236562) Homepage Journal

    One year ago today the United States of America, or as we call it here in Canada, "The States," was attacked. The U.S. response was reasoned, intelligent, and graceful. Hats off to you.

    The U.S. is often likened to a schoolyard bully, and nobody likes a bully. But what kind of bully only acts when provoked? What kind of bully sits on an offender just long enough to make them say "Uncle Sam," then picks them up, dusts them off, wipes their noses, and sends them on their way with an admonition to "play nice from now on."

    No shoolyard bully that I know acts that way. That sounds more like a teacher.

  • Re:Puleeze! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dthable (163749) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:37AM (#4236567) Journal
    Like our buddy George W. is really looking out for the civil liberties of Americans. About a year ago, I got laid off and remember watching the CNN coverage as the second plane hit the WTC. The first thought that popped into my head was not about the horror of the event or even those who dies but rather a disturbed feeling that this is the start of a long erosion of everyone's rights.

    Today, we have secret courts used to judge people, the FBI/CIA is allowed to perform surveillance on anyone and everyone and the key to the equation...no one is liable or reporting to freedom's biggest driver - us. Before we start bashing a political party, just understand that the old and true parties need to take the blame for the lack of freedom today.
  • by Coplan (13643) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:37AM (#4236570) Homepage Journal
    I'm not watching TV either...but that's not why.

    I feel the need to do my normal routine today. Yes, it's the day we observe 9-11, but it should also be the day that we start to get back to normal lives. We're well on our way...but the economy is still affected, and the world is still mourning.

    I'm not watching TV because I don't feel the need to relive such events. I don't want to see those images again. I would rather see stories about the future. I would rather see a story about what's going to be built in its place. And I would like to see a story about what the businesses are doing, where they moved to, and how they're making out. But I can't expect that from the coverage. For the five minutes I watched...I saw images of the towers falling again, I saw a story of the sorrow a woman felt. I don't want to see that stuff...I've seen it, and while I can't forget it, I don't want to relive it.

    I'm sure that many people agree.

  • by American AC in Paris (230456) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:37AM (#4236575) Homepage
    Turn off your television, turn off your radio. There is nothing new to see or hear.

    Offer your own remembrance. Pay your own respects. You have plenty of options:

    • Sit in silence.
    • Pray.
    • Visit a local park or scenic overlook. Think about what makes our nation great.
    • Call your family; tell them you love them.
    • Donate time to a local charity.
    • Have a conversation with friends or co-workers.
    • Write your thoughts down.
    Be a true patriot--use your own mind and your own soul to remember this day. Avoid simply soaking in saccharine, ratings-oriented, commercial-laced media programming; you will gain nothing from it.
  • by dada21 (163177) <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:38AM (#4236580) Homepage Journal
    Our government and the media it regulates and controls has tried to make it seem as if its "not our fault" that tragedies like this happen. If you're one of the few who DO find the U.S.A. partially culpable for it's Empirism and the negative results that affect all Empires, there are some questions that we must ask ourselves, continually, when we attempt to reach our branches out further into the world.

    I couldn't come up with the questions as succinctly and beautifully as Honorable Representative Dr. Ron Paul did when he gave his collegues in Congress a speech yesterday, 9/10/2002. The questions are here [lewrockwell.com].

    If you wish for true freedom, be the first the denounce tyranny. Join the liberarians.

  • A dad's view. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by raque (457836) <{moc.cam} {ta} {llawmij}> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:38AM (#4236584)
    Some of you may have noticed the satellite photos of the smoke and "other stuff" that streamed south from Ground Zero. I live in Brooklyn and was right under that cloud. There was a fine white-grey powder that fell for about 20 minutes. I'm a stay-at-home Dad. I How can I explain the feeling when my kids asked why it was snowing. They were upset that it wasn't real snow and I wouldn't let them outside to play as I swept up. I just told them that it was dirt that had blown down from Manhattan. My wife works a whole 3 blocks from Ground Zero but was home taking my school-age daughter to her first day a school. I'll go to my grave remembering the feeling that I was sweeping out a crematoria in front of my house.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:40AM (#4236604)

    Terrorists can only take my life. Only my government can take my freedom
  • by Coplan (13643) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:41AM (#4236609) Homepage Journal
    They would need an excuse. That's why they predict they'll only be able to do it for a month or so.

    On a normal day, in a normal year...if a newspaper said "we want X amount of money for a full page ad", a business would question the price. In fact, they probably still would. But this time the paper replies "Oh, we had to increase costs slightly for a while to cover the cost of the ad-free newspaper we published on 9/11/02". What's a company going to say to that? I'm sure some companies won't buy that. But many would probably simply eat the cost so long as there is a reason.

  • by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:42AM (#4236620)
    Yes there has been a backlash recently against some "freedoms".

    However, if one looks at the backlashes that occur during any war, this is actually a bit less restrictive than what happened during the Civil War, World War One, World War Two or the height of the Red Scare in the 1950s.

    Newspaper editors that speak out against war are not being detained or having citizenship stripped. Cities with large Arab populations or a population that speaks out in favor of the attackers have not been occupied by the United States Army and had martial law declared.

    Citizens of Arab heritage are not being forced to close mosques, change the names of foods that sound too ethnic or having foriegn language papers banned or closed.

    Tens of thousands are not being put into camps. Terrorists are not being put to death in swift military courts with the sanction of the Supreme Court.

    There has not been looting of Arab owned businesses or widespread harasment of Arabs.

    People that profess support or understanding for the attackers are not being called before special sessions of Congress or being black listed for thier views.

    All of these things happened in the past, after far less damage had been done to the United States than what happened last year.

    Lincoln had any Northern newspaper editors or firebrands that spoke out against the war thrown in prison or thrown out of the United States. The CSA occupied parts of Virgina and Tennessee to keep them from going to the Union while the Union kept Maryland in the Union. Baltimore was occupied and had martial law declared. Draft riots in New York lead to hundreds of dead.

    Germans in the United States were forced to give up thier language, culture and under went terrible profiling during World War One. Far worse than anything Arabs or Blacks in the United States have gone through in the last 30 years.

    Germans in the the Second World War were not descriminated against as much, but more than 12,000 went to camps while thousands of Japanese Americans also went to camps along with a few Italians.

    I understand the fear now, but taken into perspective, it is nothing like what happened in the past.
  • by Brian_Ellenberger (308720) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:43AM (#4236634)

    >for the future iraq victims >for everyone that has ever died through the >hands of injustice, opression, agression and >that old capitalist tool: imperialism.

    Darnit, why does everyone on Slashdot feel like they always have to pile on the political rhetoric thick and high no matter what the occasion. Can't we just take one day to drop the Right vs. Left crap and mourn for the dead?

    I'm ashamed at this site sometimes, especially looking back at many of the high scoring posts from 9/11 that basically said we got what we deserved. Those women and men, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, just trying to mind their own business and go to work did not deserve to die a fiery death that day. Nor do they deserve to have their rememberance used as a launching point for cheap political attacks.

    Brian Ellenberger
  • by HomeGroove (527053) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:44AM (#4236640)
    You know, I wonder where we'll be 90 years from now with Sept. 11. I look at your list and see Titanic. I took a kid to Chuck-E-Cheeses and there was a Titanic ticket game complete with a partially submerged ship in the center of it all. Often you'll see a submerged Titanic sticking up in the middle of some county fair. A giant slide. So kids can have fun on the ship that carried so many people to their deaths. Now I don't think anything like this will happen with 9/11. But you better believe we'll see a blockbuster movie. Count how many events above have been turned into multi [imdb.com]-million [imdb.com] dollar [imdb.com] pictures [imdb.com].
  • by techstar25 (556988) <techstar25 AT cfl DOT rr DOT com> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:44AM (#4236642) Homepage Journal
    After 9/11 last year I heard a lot of families all saying the same thing. They all wanted just one more day with their deceased family members so they can let them know how much they were loved. So, I came to a decision. I'm not going to be glued to the television to see any memorial services. In fact, I decided that today I will not turn on the television or radio at all. I will not be attending any local memorial services either. In what will become a family tradition, I am having my whole family over tonight, because I have the time now, the time that so many families would just love to have back. I am going to spend the day appreciating and thanking God for what I have, rather than lamenting over what "we" have lost. If you have kids, turn off the tv and spend some quality time with them (seeing planes flying into buildings isn't really helping them anyway).I think we all should take this day to get in touch with our loved ones and let them know how we feel right now, because, if nothing else, 9/11 taught us that we could lose everything we love in a single moment.

    I'm sure lots of people will do different things today as a reaction to what happened, but this is just my opinion. I'm not saying it's for everybody.
  • by Tyreth (523822) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:46AM (#4236663)
    As much as a terrible thing that 9/11 was, I can't help but be much more concerned for those 250 people that die each day because of Iraq sanctions, of the millions starving around the world because we rich people are too unwilling to solve it, because of the abusive and dominative policies we western nations place on other countries, and the many more greater evils that we are responsible for.

    The terrorist attacks on 9/11 seem to have been a response to many of these problems. They targeted pentagon - a symbol of military power, and the world trade center - a symbol of capitalism.

    Revenge seems unjustified to me unless those who were affected can look at themselves first and say "Is there anything that I am guilty of that would make it injust for me to seek revenge?" I think that unless the western nations look at their faults, which are much more grevious than what the terrorists have done, we are even more guilty than they.

    We need to look at ourselves and clean ourselves so that we are without excuse. Only then can we justly say "We did you no wrong, and this is how you repay us?"
    Right now many peoples and countries have the right to complain against western evils, and we are certainly far from being without fault.

    Mourn on this day, but don't look past the facts that the problem will not be solved by war - it will only be increased. Attacking Afghanistan has solved nothing, and attacking Iraq will solve nothing also.
    The solution is with ourselves - recognising and mourning all those evil qualities we all possess, and all those actions we are guilty of. Otherwise how can one murderer say to another "what you did was disgusting and you deserve to die" without saying the same thing to themself?
    It saddens me that 9/11 could have been used as a catalyst to produce lasting change in people's hearts. Instead, we are now on the road to war with Iraq which seems to be against the wishes of almost every nation, with worldwide warnings of disastrous consequences.

    The solution is at home.
  • by motardo (74082) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:50AM (#4236708)
    but I've had a rush of emotions daily ever since September 11th of last year, the images of the planes crashing into the towers, the billowing smoke of the pentagon, and the crater left in Pennsylvania have had a very lasting impression on me.

    One thing that I don't like which has come out of this is how President Bush is pushing his agenda on regime change in Iraq. He has not stepped forward with any kind of reassurance which will lead me to believe that a regime change should be possible. Is President Bush not worried about "blowback", which is what happened when we helped the mujahadeen in Afghanistan when they were fighting the Russian army. I can easily see some major "blowback" happening to the United States in the coming future if we are not careful and think ahead.

    Never Forget.
  • by snatchitup (466222) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:50AM (#4236709) Homepage Journal
    Life

    Don't forget this when you go out and cry, "My civil rights are diminished...."

    Life means, we have a right to be secure. It's the job of our govt. to enforce this right.

    Liberty is second to life but above all others. What kind of liberty does a dead-man enjoy?

    Happiness is third. I can't be that happy if I have to worry about terrorism killing a loved one and I'm not free (liberated).

    All the other Civil Rights pale in comparison Life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. They are merely derived from these three. They're hardly even honorable mentions compared to these three, but I'll mention some of them, (Privacy, Speech, Association, Expression, Religion).

    That's what I'm thinking about and I'm also reflecting on this question.

    What am I willing to die for?

    Not much as I'm a coward (though not anonymous).

    I think, however, I'm willing to die for my family. Hopefully, I'll never have the chance to prove this.

    With that said, I'm in awe at our armed servicemen. I find in inconceivable that they are willing to die for me. They deserve my greatest respect.
  • Bleh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kredal (566494) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:52AM (#4236726) Homepage Journal
    I was at work, wondering when my boss would get to the punchline.. "A plane crashed into the WTC.." "And??"

    All of this memorial stuff is getting very overdone though...

    Where were you on Jan 26, 2001? Do you remember any news that happened that day at all?

    On that date, an earthquake hit India, leaving 13,000 people dead.

    thirteen thousand. More than four times the amount killed in the World Trade Center. Think about that for a minute. How much coverage of it did you see on CNN? Maybe a day?

    We've been hearing about this same story (Even giving it a catchy title) for an entire year now. How about a sense of perspective, folks?
  • by PHAEDRU5 (213667) <instascreed@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:52AM (#4236727) Homepage
    It may have escaped your notice, but we're at war.

    In such circumstances, the Constitution gets suspended so it can't be used against us.

    As soon as we've established freedom in the Arab world, we'll go back to where we were.
  • by _14k4 (5085) <sullivan@t.gmail@com> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:52AM (#4236730)
    Exactly. But the media doesn't pick up on that. They pick up on the propaganda that the other nations we've attacked distribute. Propaganda about how we're so evil that we don't care about killing innocent people. This is coming from the same people that didn't have the balls to attack America properly, instead just flying planes into large buildings.

    I'm not mocking the fact that this happened. Don't get me wrong. I'm still getting lightheaded and faint whenever I think about / read about this.

    But the fact that there are people who can say "America deserved." or even worse "The people in the buildings deserved, corporate slaves". Just sickens me. Nobody deserves to die. Muslim, Christian, Wiccan, Jew, Marklar. Nobody.

    If the people around the world, and especially America at the front lines, would realize that people die in war things might be different. They have to realize that when we bomb cities in Afganistan we're hitting (or trying to) targets with military personell. We do not seek out the largest most populated buildings and blow them up. No matter how America has killed innocents in Afganistan, the fact remains that both sides have done it. If you want the lesser of two evils, America is just that. It's complet cowardice to do what happened this time last year to any country. Anybody.

    Keep in mind, I said "Deserved". America may have left the door wide open with the breeze flying through.. But that's different. Completly. America didn't deserve this. Afganistan didn't / doesn't deserve what we're doing to the cities and military and civilians there. But, that's what happens when you go to war. The Taliban don't care about the civilians in their own country, which is why they shack up in the mountains and in cities as well.

    Deserved last year's attacks? No.
  • Underestimated (Score:2, Insightful)

    by The Viking (109047) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:53AM (#4236737) Homepage
    The history of the United States is punctuated by times when its people were underestimated:

    1. The American Revolution - England underestimates the ability of a rag-tag militia made up mostly of civilians to free the peoples of the colonies.

    2. WWII - Japan delivers what they thought would be a cripling blow (the bombing of Pearl Harbor), underestimating America's ability to recover and fight back.

    3. Desert Storm - Iraq underestimates America's ability to mobilize a world force to take back Kuwait.

    4. September 11, 2001 - Terrorists turn four commercial airliners into weapons, killing thousands. America unites and fights back.

    I think America is underestimated because outsiders view freedom of religion, freedom of speech, tolerance of different opinions, and open debate as a sign of disunity. Americans agree to disagree, and are passionate about defending the freedoms that allow such diversity.
  • by cyranoVR (518628) <cyranoVR AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:53AM (#4236743) Homepage Journal
    Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.
    --Gandalf
  • Lame Coverage (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jav1231 (539129) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:54AM (#4236757)
    Did anyone see Jim McKay's "They don't want revenge, they wanna be loved" speech during Monday Night Football? Peter Jennings must have written this for him. I for one want revenge. It's the responsibility of the government to protect and distribute justice. They should pay with their lives and all who chanted in support of them should pay with them. They stand united, so should we. ABC TV would have us believe that we should "understand" them better to come to reason. They hate us, they attacked us, they should die. >
  • by Stween (322349) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:57AM (#4236786)
    I think in fairness the BBC did a very good job on september the 11th. So they have a consistent image, a certain on-screen look and layout they like to keep going most of the time, and there's nothing wrong with that. Its far from in-your-face, things are kept clear.

    They have the technology there to quickly come up with those screens and backdrops, its not like on a major event like that they'd forget everything and just repeat the few pieces of footage they had ad-finitum (although they did plenty of that too, because they didn't have much to go on to start with). So they put a banner up saying something like 'twin towers attack'. What else were they meant to do?

    Its a rarity that the BBC can be accused of hyping anything. If you want to be cynical about it, they don't hype much because they won't see the same financial gain from doing so as a commercial television operator.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:57AM (#4236787)
    As a Turkish citizen, the country which runs the peace force at Afghanistan now and the only true muslim (as I am not) ally doesn't play games with USA, I have saw those in 1 year, I was called those:

    a) Towelhead
    b) Go back to your cave, what you do on our (site,chat etc)
    c) Nuke the mideast
    d) You stink

    Also protecting my rights and trying to tell the truth, I got banned in favour of americans.

    any many more. As I don't consider myself muslim, and tell about my habits like beer drinking, bars etc... I really started to wonder what a "real" muslim would feel.

    Bin Laden's plot was exactly that. To make people discriminated, to start a civilization war...

    He... Susceeded...

    RIP to 3000 people who died in WTC. RIP to millions of them if this evil plan works good (!). Don't forget, the suckers who crashed planes into WTC&Pentagon were uneducated ones, they were brainwashed to ignore the most powerful insict even, life. Why act like them?

  • by north.coaster (136450) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:59AM (#4236806) Homepage

    Here's a quote from the transcript [cnn.com] of the Larry King show on CNN:

    KING: Do you agree, though, with the all-day coverage? Every network seems to be doing...

    CRONKITE: No, I think we're going to get very weary, as tragic as are the stories, as heartrending as are the stories, as tear- jerking as are the stories, I think we're going to get very tired of hearing them over and over again over a period of two or three days or more. I think it's going to be overdone.

    I agree with Walter...

    /Don

  • Re:No Offense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PhxBlue (562201) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:03AM (#4236835) Homepage Journal

    Dude, if you're sick of hearing it, turn off CNN.

    And just because you were in one of the towers doesn't mean you're the only one who has any right to grief. A lot of folks didn't make it out of the towers--or the Pentagon, for that matter. A lot of families will never be able to "move on."

    Reflect on the fact that you were lucky a year ago so that you could have your hissyfit today. Then STFU and let people grieve for the folks who weren't so lucky.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:04AM (#4236848)
    I would gladly die to protect my freedom.

    You ain't free if you're dead.

    Of course, I would proudly die to protect the freedoms of my loved ones.

  • Re:OSDN (Score:2, Insightful)

    by claude_juan (582361) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:05AM (#4236861)
    some people were bitching about how osdn is using this "sacrifice" as a way to become a commercial hero. quite frankly, i think it is a nice gesture. what do people expect? them to save the world?
  • At least... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PHAEDRU5 (213667) <instascreed@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:06AM (#4236870) Homepage
    He didn't become a pot smoking (but not inhaling), draft dodging rapist who organized pro-communist teach-ins from the safety of Oxford.
  • by laserjet (170008) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:07AM (#4236882) Homepage
    Nice troll. I'll bite.

    But the problem is that we aren't in a war.

    Uhh, yes we are. I suppose we were not in a war in Viet Nam then either, right?

    It wasn't the nation of Afganistan who attacked; it was the Al-Qaida.

    Each country must be responsible for those who live in that country. If a terrorist group from our soil destroys something in China, claiming to hate all people from china, you bet we (as a country) would be held responsible. Whether you are the terrorist or simply let them live in your house, you are both guilty.

    Additionally, very few people seem to realize that it was our own government who formed these militant Islamic terrorist group to fight the "godless commies" back in the Cold War

    No, we didn't teach these people to hate americans. We didn't teach them to hate jews. We didn't teach them that killing innocent people is good. They must be reposonsible for their own actions. Everyone knows right from wrong, they are choosing to ingore that.

    It was also our government who provoked these groups into action by exclusively sponsoring Israel in the Middle East

    I am not a big fan of backing Isreal much either, so I don't have a repsonse to that.
  • by briggsb (217215) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:08AM (#4236886)
    The Civil War and the World Wars both had definitive ends, where the freedoms taken away were eventually given back. If you can tell me when and if the War on Terrorism will ever end then maybe I'd feel more comfortable about giving up my freedoms.
  • by kevin lyda (4803) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:11AM (#4236921) Homepage
    i think what you mean to say is, "thank you for only shredding the constitution a little bit mr. bush sir."

    wouldn't it be fascinating to see a "freedom loving nation" react to something like 9/11 by introducing *more* freedoms? unfortunately i didn't see that in ireland or the uk after omagh, and i don't see it in america today.

    just for the record, if i'm ever killed by a terrorist don't take away the freedoms of the living in my name. i can think of no worse way to spit on my grave then to do such a thing. pass legislation furthering gay rights, equal pay for minorities or women, or repealing things like the special criminal court in ireland or the patriot act in america.

    now that's fighting for freedom.
  • Dr. Seuss WTC poem (Score:2, Insightful)

    by u8nogard (546370) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:16AM (#4236984) Homepage

    I do believe if he was still around today, this is what [google.com] he would say. The first time that I read it (one year ago), it brought a tear to the eye.
  • by stratjakt (596332) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:20AM (#4237009) Journal
    I always saw the bully analogy like this:

    The US is just the captain of the football team, the biggest, strongest, most popular guy in the schoolyard.

    I'm sure slashdotters can relate to how much they hated these people out of jealousy, not because they were cruel or picked on anyone. They'd never take the time to see the reason he was so well respected was because he was a nice guy.

    The U.S. gives more in foreign aid than the rest of the world combined. They still send cheques to France to rebuild post-WW2, for crying out loud. Is it enough? Is anything ever enough?

    It's a 'bad daddy' syndrome. Some countries just hate the US because they didn't buy them a car for their 16th birthday.. There's another response to your post, saying something moronic about 'forcing genetically modified food on Argentina'... Sheesh..

    They try to feed the hungry and get some bullshit back because they 'dont like the menu'.

    I guess people will always hate America and Americans. They can do so because the American way of life completely embraces their right to think, feel, say whatever they want.

    *sigh*

  • Re:A few points (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Silverhammer (13644) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:20AM (#4237013)

    Blockquoth the poster:

    ...but I believe that the US Goverment should stand back and reflect all the possible concequences of what their policy of meddling in (and funding of) hardline groups of individuals in other countries could bring about.

    If we don't "meddle," we're called isolationists. If we do "meddle," we're called imperialists. Fuck it, we just can't win.

  • by fonixmunkee (163874) <root@drunkencomputing.com> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:21AM (#4237032) Homepage
    coward, all today is about is the lives lost on 9/11. politics are not in the picture right now. that's it, so leave it at that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:25AM (#4237080)
    You are not at war.

    You are allowing your country to become a police state. You are allowing your leaders to commit warcrimes. You are allowing them for instance to keep hundreds of prisoners on guantanamo, without legal representation, without trial. Are they prisoners of war ? Why then, are the conventions regarding prisoners of war not being followed ? Are they criminals, or suspects ? Why then have they no legal counselling.

    What is happening right now, is that President Bush is using 9-11 to strengthen his own power.
    What is happening, is that the things that make your country great is disappearing.

    What is happening is, that you are letting the terrorists win. They killed thousands of Americans on 9-11, but worst of all: They made you afraid. They made you react violently.

    They terrorized you.
  • by KalenDarrie (320019) <jwatkins41.cox@net> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:26AM (#4237090)
    I wrote a comment to this, but to save space on this server I will only post a link to it. I don't agree with the above poster. But I will let the details of this be presented by my diary entry. Comments welcome here or there.

    Bully or Teacher [opendiary.com]
  • by Chibi Merrow (226057) <[ten.ytinifniyeknom] [ta] [worremrm]> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:31AM (#4237161) Homepage Journal
    Destroying the environment? Pshaw... How many two mile thick clouds of smog that occlude 10% of the sun's light hang over the US? Oh that's right, it's over southeast asia, not the US...
    The US may of been guilty of environmental disasters in the past, but US industries are amongst the cleanest in the world. You can't even kill yourself in your garage w/ a car that meets CURRENT emission standards (not the insane ones that some people would like to impose)
    And what EXACTLY is wrong w/ genetically modified food? In the case of Argentina, it was a patent issue (which is the subject of a whole other argument and a whole other rant) and not the fact that it was genetically modified food...
    Oops, wait, I'm at work... shouldn't be ranting on /.
  • by ceejayoz (567949) <cj@ceejayoz.com> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:35AM (#4237201) Homepage Journal
    THIS IS NOT A GODDAMNED WAR! ... Congress has not declared war.

    Same goes for the Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, etc. They're still wars, declared or not.
  • Re:A few points (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dr. Bent (533421) <ben@nOSpAM.int.com> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:39AM (#4237241) Homepage
    Any society that is not willing or able to go to war to protect it's citizens will eventually disappear from the earth. History has proven this time and again.

    To call this "revenge" is simply ignorant. All nations, including the big, bad United States, have inalienable right to self-defense. Yes, innocent people will die. Innocent people have already died. But if we don't take responsibility for our own safety, and do something about it now, many, many more innocent people will die. If Neville Chamberlain had accepted this responsibility, Hitler may very well have been stopped at the Polish border. If we had actually done something about Al Queda after the African embassy and U.S.S. Cole bombings, 9/11 might never have happened. If we don't do something about it now, we condem our own citizens to death.
  • by jmu1 (183541) <jmullman @ g a s ou.edu> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:39AM (#4237247) Journal
    Just like the war on drugs? This simple idea has imprisioned otherwise useful citizens of the US, killed and impovershed citizens of other nations. It's the most tax-intensive initiative on the books, yet has done nothing to curtail 'abuse' of 'illicit' materials. War does nothing but keep those in power...powerful.
  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:41AM (#4237273)
    It's not about death as revenge or justice as far as I'm concerned, it's about death because there's literaelly nothing else to do with these people. There's no way that human law can possibly carry out a "just" punishment against these people no matter what you do.

    We're talking about people who think it's OK to kill thousands of civillians and actively seek to do so. This isn't just "misguided," it's just plain wrong, but these people have all but been programmed to think this way.

    What would we do with them? Could we capture them and try to "de-program" them? Not very likely. When you're cheering the death of thousands of unwitting civillians, I'm tempted to say you're too far gone for rehabilitation.

    And what if it were possible? Would you enjoy living another 50-60 years knowing you did so utterly reprehensible and wrong? Normal people in the US prison system have to go through counseling when they take part in an execution, and that's just one person. How much counseling would you have to go through for 2000+?

    The only other "alternative" is to lock them up in a cell somewhere for the rest of their lives. And as far as I'm concerned, captial punishment is more humane than life in prison with no chance of parole. Nothing but you, the four walls around you, and your thoughts.

    These people are too far gone to even try to set straight. We'd be doing everybody a favor (including them) by killing them.
  • by Oculus Habent (562837) <oculus.habent @ g m a i l.com> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:41AM (#4237281) Journal
    I suppose we were not in a war in Viet Nam then either, right? Actually, we weren't. It was a police action. It should have been a war - it had all the negative aspects of war, without the public support other wars had. We didn't go to war with Afghanistan either - the country had no political sovreignty, no standing army. The Taliban never claimed to have a government. Whether you are the terrorist or simply let them live in your house, you are both guilty. The Afghan people didn't have much control over the Taliban. And it's important to note the Taliban and the Al-Qaeda are not the same thing. The Taliban were one time saviors of Afghanistan, and that gets lost in the seething hatred that many people can't see past. The people of Afghanistan didn't vote to keep the Al-Qaeda in the country. It would be as fair to punish children for allowing a grown-up to stand near them while they sleep. -- I would like to believe that a surge in racism wasn't one of the consequences of September 11, but I can't.
  • by ScuzzMonkey (208981) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:43AM (#4237304) Homepage
    In your haste to be obnoxious, I think you made your point at the expense of missing his.

    You can go off about how messy history is all you want and be completely right, of course, but at the same time ignore that this is in fact still a considerably different situation than in those other wars. People may not have know when they would end, but there was always the knowledge that they would end, that there would be some sort of victory or defeat or truce, negotiated between governments, to end the hostilities. Those conflicts required the support of nations and nations will eventually come to terms. There is, and can be, no such expectation here--when the combatants on one side are a handful of individuals in a small, renewing pool, there is no way to know that it will ever end--or if it has, that the fact will ever be acknowledged by the powers that be.

    He made a very good, and very real point, and that is that no one can ever answer his question. Not now, and not later. There aren't going to be armistice ceremonies, any papers signed. When you say "This fight is obviously not over yet", what is your expectation for how it will be obvious when it is over? I can't think of anything definitive. This is just a different situation, and he's right to be relatively more worried about the state of his civil liberties in such circumstances.
  • 9/11 (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:44AM (#4237308)
    Of course we should mourn the deaths on Sept. 11.

    On that date in 1973 the democratically elected government of Chile was overthrown by the CIA-sponsored military, resulting in the deaths (ironically) of about 3000 people and bringing the dictatory Pinochet to power.

    I guess you're a terrorist only if you're on the other team. :-(
  • by dpt (165990) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:45AM (#4237311) Journal
    Having sampled much of the "anniversary" rubbish currently being run instead of news in papers, on website and on television, I've noticed the most important *new* story has been missed.

    That is, the massive public backlash against this over-wrought, corporatized, media-hyped grieving period. Everyone I know, even people who usually suck at their various media feeds like a crack pipe, are one and all rejecting the media hype surrounding this "event", and doing their own thing to remember in a dignified fashion.

    I've never seen anything quite like it, such a broad rejection of mass-media values and corporate mandated "feelings time" - and of course there's not one mention of "people expressing disdain for media exploitation of grief" anywhere to be found on the "news" ...
  • Sadness (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pinball Wizard (161942) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:46AM (#4237315) Homepage Journal
    That so much hatred could be directed toward what is undoubtedly the worlds freest country. I'm sick of all the anti-American sentiment I've heard in the last year. We are either blamed for not doing enough(East Timor is a really good example) or for doing too much(supporting Israel, etc.) We're just like the rest of the world, only more successful. The rest of world's problems are not our fault.

    That in over 50 years since Israel was founded, their enemies still don't recognize them enough to even put them on their maps.

    That Palestinian children are so brainwashed into hating Israel, scores of them have strapped bombs on themselves in order to blow themselves up as well as many Israeli citizens as they can take out.

    That Iraq is able to scoff at international law, kicking out the U.N inspectors and rebuilding their weapons of mass destruction [yahoo.com] while the rest of the world(except the U.S.) turns a blind eye.

    The really sad thing is that when all is said and done, Palestine will end up with no more than they were already promised before the start of the infitada. The Taliban is gone, Al-Qaeda has been scattered to the wind, and Iraq will undoubtedly see a regime change. All that vehement hatred directed toward the U.S. and Israel, and what is it going to get them? Nothing, if not less than what they had before.

    That is truly sad.

  • Re:A few points (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xA40D (180522) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:46AM (#4237323) Homepage
    Fuck it, we just can't win.

    Yes you can win. You can admit that the fundamental rights that all American have are the same fundamendal rights ALL the people of the world can expect. And then try to help and support other contries - instead of bombing and invading.
  • LIKE HELL I CAN'T! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by somethingwicked (260651) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:48AM (#4237334)
    The whole point of the matter is that no one deserves death, even those who take up arms against you.

    It is so sad that you think this is true.

    There are VERY few people in this world that I wish death upon. They didn't accidentally have a stray bullet hit someone. .Someone that by choices TARGETS innocent civilians for mass murder *deserves* to die.

    If you wanted to debate WHO the actual killers were, fine. Maybe the mastermind is the only person left who should go down, some might say that anyone who EVER heard even a whisper of a possibility of the plot and did not act is subject to death as well.

    But to make a broad, generalizatation that NO ONE deserves death is just too much.

    I WILL WISH DEATH UPON THEM. I do NOT pity them beyond the sad choice that have made, and their crass indifference to the impact their childish rage has brought.

  • My take on this (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Triv (181010) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:48AM (#4237343) Journal
    Alright, this might annoy some people, but I'll go for it because I'm frankly sick of all this.

    I live in New York. Last week I got an email from an old acquaintence ("Old aquaintance" translates to "sends me chain letters and won't stop") asking everyone on the list to pray for the dead and those who have lost. She also suggested that everyone drive with their headlights on today (Twin beams of light! Get it?!?). I normally ignore her, but on this one I snapped. Like a good portion of people in New York (I assume), the attacks affected me for two weeks. It was horrible to see the city shut down for a week - it seemed impossible. But life went on. I didn't lose anyone. I didn't didn't lose my job.

    But people refused to let go - the media and politicians, specifically, as well as Americans who now use this as a way of explaining who we are as a nation. It's not denial on my part or anything - the actual attacks haven't affected me in any way, emotional or otherwise, in a little under a year.

    The things that have affected me are things like the US PATRIOT act, Bush's rampant power-grab. So I emailed my friend back and told her to give $50 to the ACLU or the EFF. You want to help, fine, but prayer does absolutely nothing, and driving with your lights on is stupid. It's...painless. You're not pinching your budget, you're not donating time. Do something substantial.

    I think our attitude (ok, mine) is summed up perfectly as this: We don't ever want to forget, but we don't want to be constantly reminded either.

    It's not online yet but there's a wonderful article voicing this opinion much better than I can in this month's Harper's. I suggest you pick up a copy.

    Triv
  • by YanceyAI (192279) <yanceyai@yahoo.com> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:50AM (#4237360)
    There's a difference between dying for your beliefs and killing for them.
  • by denzo (113290) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:55AM (#4237407)
    Case in point. When Sadam attacked Kuwait, Bin Laden went to the Saudi Royal family and said, "I have a plan". And his plan was not that bad and would have succeeded. What did the Saudi's do? Ask the West and America for help. Bin Laden at that point got very annoyed and decided to wage a war against the US.
    His plan was crazy, and the Saudis knew it. Bin Laden's interests are only to spread his extreme vision of Islam to as much of the Middle East as possible. With Saudi Arabia having to appease the Western world as their clients, Osama knew that his homeland was a lost cause and turned to weaker countries, with less literate citizens and no economic responsibilities to the West; namely Afghanistan.

    The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait was just a new opportunity for Bin Laden to get into Kuwait while its royal family was absent, so that he can come in as a hero and perhaps win the respect of all of its citizens and therefore have the Kuwaiti royal family indebted to him. The Saudis knew that this proposition was dangerous to their own position; Saudi Arabia itself may be a heavily Islamic government, but they respected the Kuwaitis for their cultural and economic growth. Also, there's no telling what kind of power Bin Laden would have once he won the minds of a country that had roughly 10% of the world's oil supply. He probably would have redefined the meaning of oil into tool for Islam and could have screwed with the West and Israel, and ruining Saudi's economy after the fallout of a new oil crisis.

    And the Saudis also knew the plan was insane on strategic grounds; a bunch of men in black hoods who trained on monkey bars going into Kuwait is just nutty. Sure, the gorrila tactics worked in Afghanistan against the Soviets, but only because of the terrain of the country, and only with the help of countries like the US with military equipment. Bin Laden got offended because Saudi Arabia would rather let the Americans handle this rather than let "Muslims" protect their pride.

  • Re:No Offense (Score:2, Insightful)

    by darkov2 (570389) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:55AM (#4237411)
    I can understand your sentiments, although I was a good 10,000 kms away from the towers. Tonight, here in Australia, the media frezy continues. Almost all the channels have live coverage from New York, you can't get away from it. It was a terrible thing, but I really don't want to dwell on all those poor people dying and the grief of their families and friends. Yesterday there was hours and hours of programs on it. They showed pictures of people jumping out of the towers and pictures of them after they hit the ground. It's all a bit grotesque and undignified.
  • by xtheunknown (174416) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:57AM (#4237429)
    The message of peace is lost on some people.

    Anyone who would call someone who chooses peace over war, communication over violence, love over hate a kook, clearly does not get the point.

    I do live in the US. I can't know what it is like to live in a country that does not have a strong police force. I never have.

    The events of 9/11/01 show that no matter how strong your police force, the agents of violence will suceed if they are determined.

    The events post-9/11/01 show that no matter how strong your military, you can not defeat violence with violence, hate with hate.

    I would like to point to a few examples of peace and communication defeating violence. First case, Mahatma Gandhi. He defeated a powerful empire without firing a shot.

    Second case, Steven Biko. He died trying to free the black majority of South Africa. He wasn't arrested for killing anyone, he was arrested for speaking out. He died in prison, beaten to death by his guards. In the end, peace prevailed and the government changed. I'll bet Steven Biko would do it all over again, even knowing that he would be killed.

    You either choose peace, or you don't. For those of us who do, it is absolute. If you want to hate me because I choose not to hate you, so be it. I would rather die, the victim of a terrorist act, than live as a killer, no matter how bad the person I killed was.

    I am very surprised that a message of peace would get so many negative responses. It saddens me.
  • by MrRee (120132) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:58AM (#4237432) Homepage
    Yeah, it was bad. I mourn that day when so many died by so few who felt that was the only way to make a statement or exact revenge or push some political agenda or whatever.

    A life, any life, is a precious thing that once taken, can never be returned. How can we protect our lives? How can we be safe? Freedom is inherently unsafe. Yet, between safety and freedom, I'll always choose freedom.

    My hats off to the couragous crew and passengers of the 4th airliner. If there were a civilian version of the Medal of Honor and if anyone truely deserved it, the people of that 4th airliner certainly do. Good job, thank-you and God bless.
  • Re:No Offense (Score:2, Insightful)

    by octover (22078) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @10:59AM (#4237443) Homepage
    I agree with you mostly. I understand the need for people to mourn those they lost. You bet if I lost someone I loved, today would be different. The fact is that I had NSA, and top secret government buildings all around me. One of the people I was with was afraid something would happen nearby, I knew that they were either the best targets to hit, or the worst cause anit-air wouldn't let it happen. Of course since they had already lost the element of suprise I knew I was safe. Which is exactly what most Americans were safe.

    9/11 has nothing on Pearl Harbor, the way I see it most of the country isn't going to be affected much by the war on terrorism. The show of pride in America seems to be a shallow gesture. Nobody is banding together, or making sacrafices for their country they weren't before, except of course the armed forces involved. Lots of people have pride in this country and being a citizen I am one of them, I just didn't rush out to show it. I would rather see Americans love their neighbors than flags everywhere.

  • by lamz (60321) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @11:01AM (#4237460) Homepage Journal

    I wrote a comment to this, but to save space on this server I will only post a link to it. I don't agree with the above poster. But I will let the details of this be presented by my diary entry. Comments welcome here or there.

    I believe that your efforts to "save space" on this server are really just a ploy to profit from this tragedy by drumming up hits for your own site, so I choose not to follow your link. I might look tomorrow.

  • by foobar104 (206452) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @11:04AM (#4237478) Journal
    I think you're confusing war with blasphemy.

    Blasphemy is the act of putting oneself in the role of God, Allah, the Almighty, whatever name you might have for a deity. Only the deity-- or so the collective opinion goes-- can decide who deserves to live or to die. Deciding that John Smith deserves to die, and then killing him, is blasphemy. That's the basic moral justification behind the legal prohibition on murder. Even if he deserved it, you can't just kill him.

    Soldiers and their bosses-- politicians-- don't decide who deserves to live or to die. When a soldier goes to war and kills a member of the opposing army, he's not making any sort of philosophical statement about that person's right to live. That's not what war is about.

    War is about exercising force to impose the will of one person, group, or nation on another person, group, or nation. During that exercise of force, people are going to get killed. That's a bad thing, no question about it, and it would be great if that didn't have to happen.

    But see, the thing is, we-- humanity-- have yet to figure out how to impose our will on others without using force and killing people. When (to pick the canonical example) a Nazi Germany puts Europe to the torch, it's necessary for the rest of the world to impose its collective will on that nation. "Cut it out," we say. "Make me," Germany says. So what are you left with? You exercise force and kill a lot of people, because it's better than the alternative.

    When two nations go to war, the only objective is to hurt the other guy so much that he loses his collective political will to go on fighting. Go back and read that sentence again. The objective of war is not to remove the enemy's ability to fight. It's to remove his will to fight. That's why the Cold War-- in which hardly a shot was fired-- was a success, and the Gulf War-- in which our army stomped Iraq's-- was less so. At the end of the Cold War, the capitalist/democratic part of the world had removed the communist/totalitarian part of the world's will to fight. We can turn our back on Russia-- in the military, not social or economic, sense-- with no fear of them. But after the Gulf War, we had removed Iraq's ability to wage war, by destroying his army and installation, but we didn't diminish his will to make war. That's a bad thing. It means the next chance he gets, he'll make war on us again. We can't turn our back on Iraq. (Christ, that's a bumper sticker just waiting to happen.)

    It's a common misunderstanding, so I certainly don't blame you for making it. But the ordinary rules of behavior for people simply don't apply when dealing with nations or factions at war. In war, the rules are different.
  • Re:OSDN (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @11:04AM (#4237484)
    halting commerce is not exactly a "good deed". the entire aim of the terrorism against this country was to halt commerce and bring down the economy (and therefore limit the amount of power the US government has). by not advertising on sept. 11, this sends the message that they won, even only if for a day.

    stopping progress to observe sept. 11 is ridiculous, almost as ridiculous as turning the entire WTC site into a memorial ground.
  • by FreeUser (11483) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @11:05AM (#4237496)
    OK, so don't ever watch any specials about Hiroshima or the Bombing of Dresden either (which both had a LOT more casualties, almost all civilian). Oh, but these were Americans that were killed, so this is different...

    Yes it is different, but not for the asinine racist or bigoted reasons you so disingenuously imply.

    First, the insinuation that it is somehow common for Americans to value American lives over other lives is false and disingenuous. Media coverage does not equal people's attitudes. When I lived in Germany, the national news emphesized which Germans had been killed in such and such an event, just as American media emphesizes which Americans are killed in such and such an event. Ditto for the time I spent in Japan, in the UK, in Hong Kong, and in France. The Media always emphesizes the number of 'locals' killed in dramatic events, irrespective of whether those 'locals' are Americans, French, Germans, Chinese, or Japanese.

    However, none of the Germans I knew were any less horrified at the loss of non-German lives than they were with the German lives lost (remember the Concord?). Ditto for the UK, France, etc., and ditto for the United States

    Secondly, you are equating battles which took place against already belligerent enemies engaged in all out, no-holds barred world war, versus unprovoked attacks (by any reasonable definition, all "blame the victim" nonsense aside) during peacetime, such as Pearl Harbor and most especially the events of 9/11. This doesn't make the destruction of Heroshima, Nagasaki (forgot about them, didn't you?), and Dresden any less tragic or terrible, but it does mean they were fudamentally different in their nature and their context than the events of 9/11.

    So, while the civilian deaths of Heroshima and Dresden were terrible, that was war, waged against countries which were engaged in active hostilities against us and who, by the way, started the fucking thing to begin with. The World Trade Center, in contrast, was not. Equating the two, and drawing asinine conclusions like "Americans are bigots who care only for themselves" is fallicious both logically and ethically, and frankly you should be ashamed.

    The vast majority of us (aside from some fringe elements, of which every country has its fair share I might add) are horrified whenever we see death, be it American or otherwise. Why do you think we give so much of our money to try and alleviate famine, pestilence, and the ravages of wars we aren't even involved in in so many distant lands. Because, irrespective of our media or our government's behavior, we as a people do care about human life and are saddened by human suffering, irrespective of whether the people affected are American or not.
  • Re:A few points (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PhilHibbs (4537) <snarks@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @11:16AM (#4237592) Homepage Journal
    Fuck it, we just can't win.
    Well spotted. That's the price of being the world's only superpower. We had our turn when we had the world's greatest empire, everyone blamed us for everything (not that they weren't sometimes right, of course).
  • by Fjord (99230) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @11:19AM (#4237624) Homepage Journal
    What kind of teacher extorts lunch money from all the kids in the school yard, while exerting small amounts of physical or psychological pressure on all the kids in the school yard, only to beat the crap out of a kid if they dare to try to throw a punch (and god help them if it lands one). What kind of teacher pays out money to another kid in the school yard who grabbed the personal belongings of another kid, and that kid also uses that money (directly or indirectly) to buy brass knuckles so that it can beat on said kid whenever it tries to get up to fight.

    What kind of teacher cuts off the ability of a kid to buy lunch to the point of sever mental weakness and then installs a mind control device that has the kid willingly giving up 40% of his property and income until the kid revolts against the device and gives the teacher a small flick. Then when another kid attacks the previously controlled kid because of his weakened state, what kind of teacher reacts to this situation by selling needed supplies and giving a credit card to the attacking kid while selling brass knuckles to the disoriented kid in an attempt to make the teacher like them.

    Really, this is a terrible analogy, but still no teacher I know acts this way. It sounds more like organized crime to me.
  • by CoreWalker (170935) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @11:28AM (#4237727)
    Yeah, I can't really watch the coverage either.
    I didn't know anyone in the two towers personally. I had been to New York a few times and had seen the towers (never went in, though). I have a cousin who used to live in New York, and one of her friends was within a few blocks when it happened. That's probably my closest personal connection to the tragedy, but there is something about the whole thing that is so sad and pointless that I can't help but feel that same queasyness in the pit of my stomach.
    It's the little things that seem to be the hardest to deal with, though: I can generally avoid most of the coverage, but I will never be able to look at a skyscaper without being able to clearly picture an airplane flying into it, and I will never see an airplane flying overhead and not fear for who might be flying it and what their intentions may be.

    For better or worse, I lost my innocence on September 11, 2001.
  • Re: A few points (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ickle_matt (122935) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @11:30AM (#4237744)

    You bastards have been systematically killing, imprisoning, and torturing the Irish for centuries.

    Yes we did, in the past. Then we grew up and worked out that you can't just go around bombing the crap out of people who disagree with you or have resources you want.

    The only way to actually solve the problems that cause situations like NI, 911 and every other fsckup in the history of mankind is to find out what the problems really are, discuss them and reach a compromise which is agreeable to both parties. Most other civilised countries have worked this out too - why hasn't the US?

  • Re:Terrorism? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MoneyT (548795) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @11:33AM (#4237776) Journal
    Terrorism is any act designed to cause fear or terror in a given group of people. It doesn't even have to be a violent motion, the simple act of waving a grenade arround in a crowd is an act of terrorism.

    The WTC attacks were acts of terrorism. And unlike a single plane crashing in tokyo (which one would assume is not being piloted by terrorists) the WTC attacks involved 4 planes intentionaly flown off course.

    As for millitary vs terrorism, even if you buy your definitions, what about all the civilians on the planes themselves? Or the civilians in the streets below? Are those also legitamte military targets?
  • by Stonehand (71085) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @11:38AM (#4237797) Homepage
    Here are some statistics for you.

    Total imminent fatalties, Hiroshima:
    Est. 75,000.

    Total imminent fatalities, Nagasaki:
    Est. 40,000.

    Total imminent fatalities, US/UK Dresden firebombing:
    Est. 135,000.

    Total Chinese civillians killed in the Rape of Nanking:
    Est. 200-300K.
    Total number of rapes committed there by the Japanese occupation:
    Est. 20K.

    Total number of Chinese civillians killed by the Japanese, 1931-1945:
    Est. 30M.

    Total number of wars of aggression or war crimes that Japan has committed since 1945:
    Zero.
  • by Jobe_br (27348) <bdruth.gmail@com> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @11:45AM (#4237823)

    Very, very well put.

    I think its important to note, also, that as we look at our history, to other conflicts that involved terrorism and guerilla warfare, we can easily see that "an end" to our current "War on Terrorism" will not be easy to come by, nor swift to arrive.

    While some of us here in America have only recently become aware of the conflict between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir region, because of Pakistan's proximity to Afghanistan, and our interest in that area, it is in fact the case that this "terrorist" conduct over the Kashmir region has been ongoing since the British left India and agreed to allow the king of Kashmir to decide which country he wanted his "kingdom" to be a part of.

    The point being: the fight has been ongoing for a long, long time as a result of the 'renewing pool' indicated by the parent post. The very same can be said of the conflict in Northern Ireland which, in one form or another, has been ongoing since the days of the Potato Famine (or even before ?)

    While I'm no expert at history, nor of historic struggles, it appears to me that a true war, while possibly more gruesome in the short term, may actually be favorable in the long run, as it allows both the aggressors AND the defenders to return to a 'normal', albeit different than the previous 'normal', way of life. The families that have grown up in Belfast know nothing of 'normal' life. The sons and daughters of Kashmir militants know nothing of a 'normal' life. The survivors and families of victims of the 9/11 attacks on the US, while forever changed, have known a normal life and may again know a normal life, assuming no further attacks. However, if our War on Terrorism continues indefinitely, without any thought to solving the causes of the terrorism directed at the US and other countries, we, as a country, will join Belfast and Kashmir as a people who do not KNOW what it means to be 'normal'.

    This would (will?) be unfortunate.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @11:53AM (#4237873)
    > I think America is underestimated because
    > outsiders view freedom of religion, freedom of
    > speech, tolerance of different opinions,
    > and open debate as a sign of disunity.
    > Americans agree to disagree, and are
    > passionate about defending the
    > freedoms that allow such diversity.

    As a New Zealander (an 'outsider') living in the US, two thoughts come to mind when I here patriotic rhetoric like this..

    The first is that Americans talk a lot about their supposed freedom and democracy, but to my experience I am no freer than back home or in most European countries, and the government is definitely less democratic.

    To me there is little 'open debate' in America on the issues that really matter. Like why in a supposed 'democracy' and such a multi-ethnic society most of the Govt is made up of rich middle aged to elderly white men. In other countries such as NZ the govt although dominated by the same but seems much more representative - our last two Prime Ministers have been women and we have had a Rastafarian and a transsexual as members of Parliament. In the US why is it that the government is so obviously controlled by big business, and noone is asking what can be done about it? What is wrong with the process that can result in an obvious simpleton like George Bush becoming President? Where is the 'open debate' you are talking about, it's certainly not in the mainstream press.

    One thing stifling open debate in American seems to be a very misguided sense of partriotism. Why is that people who question the Bush administration's foreign policy are often called
    'un-American' (or 'partisan'). Shouldn't criticism of the Government's policy be a *healthy* thing. I know that if you used the term 'anti-New Zealand' back at home to describe anyone people would just laugh at you. Back in Stalinist Russia being 'anti-Russian' was one of the worst crimes imaginable, but to my knowledge the concept doesn't exist in countries outside the US. Wouldn't a real patriot (a person who really loves America) want to fix the things that are wrong?

    (As an aside the level of blind patriotism in America is quite scary to an outsider like myself. Definitely a meme-set that is very much like religion, taught to children early (pledge of Allegence etc) and subtly enforced via the media).

    America seems do a lot of dubious things in the world in the name of protecting their freedom and democracy. How exactly was bombing Afganistan protecting America's freedom? You can do anything you want in the name of protecting your freedom!

    It is that outsiders unestimate American's desire to protect their freedom, or is that they underestimate the American people's ability to be fooled by their Govt into thinking that that is what they are doing?

  • Re:Bleh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 5KVGhost (208137) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @11:57AM (#4237908)
    There's a difference between people dying in a natural disaster and people being murdered as a deliberate act. You know that as well as I do, and pretending that you don't is dishonest.
  • by ArthurDent (11309) <meaninglessvanity@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @12:01PM (#4237940) Homepage Journal
    I understand your point. I, too, think sometimes memorials can be overdone. There's one thing to remember here. Even though you were one of the ones most directly affected, you are not alone. Everyone in the country was affected by the loss of innocence that results from being attacked for the first time on the soil of the contiguous states. Thousands of people lost family members. Millions (probably) lost friends and neighbors and co-workers. That kind of pain does not go away lightly.

    There are always going to be jerks who try to profit off the emotions of others. Live with it. That doesn't mean that the memorials are worthless. It's a milestone for us to examine how the event changed us and decide if we like what we find.

    Ben
  • What a dilemma... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @12:17PM (#4238082)
    Not so long ago I thought that I believed in the Death Sentence for appropriate offenders. Eventually I started to figure out that it is cheaper to put someone in prison for life, than to put them to death. So I changed my mind based on those thoughts.

    Then came Sept 11th, and with a numbness in my heart I watched the buildings burn and fall.

    I watched patriotism in our country be reborn anew...and also watched our country march off to war.

    We were angry, we were hurt, we were confused, and we were saddened. Things like this should not happen in anywhere. Ideally humans would rise above their petty differences based on race, religion, creedo, and fears. However we don't change that fast...and too many find it easy to follow charismatic leaders whom they feel give them a purpose in life, rather than seeking that purpose on their own.

    I don't like the fact that my country went out and bombed the ever living hell out of a mudhole of a country. The people there, most of whom are god (allah) fearing individuals, already endure much suffering due to civil war, and religious intolerance at the hand of a government.

    The people who attacked us are fanatics. Fanatics incapable of seeing past their own actions and the consequences that occur world wide. By their actions, they brought out some of the ugliness in people. Assaults on people who 'look' like muslims, defacing of holy places. It turned us into the muslim haters that they wanted us to be. Our media playing up on the attacks, and the displays of horror rather than the displays of goodness and kindness that came out of the rubble.

    Anymore I'm not sure what to think, other than our Government needs to do a better job with foreign relations and tolerance, and that us Americans need to learn a little humility.

    Living in a free country comes at the cost of security. The two do not mesh well together, and the knee-jerk public tends to think about the immediate concerns rather than how this will affect them in the future.
  • by donutello (88309) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @12:19PM (#4238118) Homepage
    * FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION: Government may monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity to assist terror investigation.

    Seems like you don't understand the meaning of the words "Freedom of Association". You are still allowed to associate with whoever you want. There's nothing wrong with the government monitoring you while you're doing so - your freedom is not threatened.
  • by mirnav (572204) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @12:32PM (#4238237)
    Look at the same point in context of WHO attacked who and your point suffers miserably...

    Very true. In the same light, let's look at the issue at hand - Bin Ladin and his pyromaniac fremen did not just decide to set alight the World Trade Centers, you know. We take your advice, look at the context, and see that the reason why they are attacking the US might have something to do with the fact that their whole lives and those of their friends, family and everyone they have ever met has been affected for the worse because of American policies in the region where they live.

    I look at the issue objectively, and this is what I see. Not that I care one bit for the Arabs and their "causes" to kill thousands of civilians. Neither do I care for Americans who had to kill thousands of Afghan civilians because they got hit by the terrorism they had been funding and lashing onto other nations for so long.

    Sorry if this is a little harsh on the day of remembering the people who perished. I feel for them as I feel for the people of Hiroshima and Bosnia, as I feel for those who died in Nazi concentration camps. Still, you guys need to wake up from this "they are evil, we are good" crap and realize that it's your state's own clumsy meddling in international politics that turned to bite you this time. Yes, I agree completely that things need to be seen in their context. And this is the context created by the USA, with its merits and its perils.

  • by commonchaos (309500) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @12:32PM (#4238245) Homepage Journal
    My best source of news was /.

    I would update this to say:

    My best source of news is /.

    Seriously, I was the best informed of all my friends, they kept asking me where I was getting the news stories, updates and pictures that I was sending them. You'd thing they would have just started looking at /. themselves after the first couple of replies...
  • by cosmosis (221542) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @12:38PM (#4238298) Homepage
    Right on. I couldn't agree more with your statements. My father passed away in May, 2001. He fought in WWII, and survived the devastation of Iwa Jima. He would be sickened today to see the great country he fought for and the freedoms it engenders be stripped away through fear by our very own goverment.

    Lets honor our veterans and those who died on 9-11 that we are brave and we will stand for freedom and liberty - more freedom of speech, religious tolerance and freedom of dissent, more accountability of our goverment, less secrecy, more democracy, pusing for peace instead of war, setting a better example for the world. Right now, the rest of the world hates us - not because of our freedom like Bush would have us believe, but because we are acting like the next roman empire.
  • by letxa2000 (215841) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @12:38PM (#4238304)
    If I remember correctly, they'd already pretty much surrendered when the bomb was being flown over. The military just wanted to test out their new shiny toy.

    No, actually, you remember incorrectly. They were not surrendering and a full-scale invasion of the Japanese mainland would have been necessary. We dropped the bomb to convince Japan to surrender to save countless Americans AND Japanese that would die in the invasion. Japan still wasn't going to surrender because they thought we only had one bomb... so we dropped a second bomb and that convinced him.

    Make no mistake, the Japanese were not going to surrender. If they were, they would have done so promptly in the three days following the Hiroshima bomb. But even that wasn't enough.

    Also, I beleive that America has bombed something like 35 countries killing 3 million people in it's history. That's quite a lot. That's as bad as Germany and the number of Jews they had killed.

    Well, I'm not going to investigate that right now. I don't doubt we've killed many people, that's a given. However, even 3 million would only be HALF as many as the number of Jews Hitler killed. As a result of Hitler's conquest, 19 million Soviet civilians were killed in addition to 6 million Jews. That's 25 million civilians not even counting the millions of military that died on both sides during WWII.

    So, considering Germany wasn't even a superpower and their ambition for conquest killed 25 million civilians in about 8 years, the fact that the U.S.--as a true world superpower, capable of defeating any country on the planet--has only killed 3 million people in the the last 220 years is not bad at all!

    The U.S. is not perfect, no. But there has never been a country so powerful that COULD take over the entire world that didn't try. Say what you want about the U.S., we could annex the entire world militarily if we wanted to--yet our territory hasn't expanded for more than 60 years.

  • by re-Verse (121709) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @12:46PM (#4238374) Homepage Journal
    In my opinion, this is a bit myopic and shouldn't be given such a high score.

    We're talking about people who think it's OK to kill thousands of civilians and actively seek to do so. This isn't just "misguided," it's just plain wrong, but these people have all but been programmed to think this way.

    I'm not trying to start something nasty here, but there have been over a thousand Civilian deaths in Afganistan so far, and some reports say up to three thousand.

    You keep mentioning "these people" and how they all deserve death for "cheering" others death... Do you, in retrospect, also deserve death for cheering their death? One has to be very careful not to become just what they are fighting agasint.

    Not to mention, if the US armies sweep across the globe, killing all leaders that bush sees as "evil", we're going to make a lot more people hate us.. childen whos parents have died in anti-terrorist operations, civilians that got in the way.. etc. Its a perfect way to ensure future terrorists. Personally I'd like to know real reasons on why the USA is so hated by so many people across the globe, and don't tell me its becasue "they hate our freedom", its a wonder every time i see GWB say that with a straight face.

    I think this whole issue is a Lot more complex than having a simple "kill them all" solution. If we are supposed to be the most advanced and cultured society in the history of the earth, i'm sure we can do better than that.

    I may be modded down for this by some who think a second opinion is a bad thing, but i can't help but post this here. This is what i feel and i beleive its valid.
  • Re:Sadness (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xenoweeno (246136) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @12:48PM (#4238392)

    That Iraq is able to scoff at international law, kicking out the U.N inspectors and rebuilding their weapons of mass destruction [yahoo.com] while the rest of the world(except the U.S.) turns a blind eye.

    Now would be a good time to point out soem of the things that the report [iiss.org] on Iraq's WMD status actually says:

    • Iraq does not possess facilities to produce fissile material in sufficient amounts for nuclear weapons.
    • It would require several years and extensive foreign assistance to build such fissile material production facilities.
    • It could divert domestic civil-use radioisotopes or seek to obtain foreign material for a crude radiological device.

    Of course, the only logicaly title for the article on Yahoo is "Iraq Could Make N-Bomb". The titles of articles that appeared in other publications were equally asinine--"British think tank warns of Iraqi threat" for example.

  • by Jagasian (129329) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @12:53PM (#4238440)
    There has not been looting of Arab owned businesses or widespread harasment of Arabs.
    You are just plain pulling things out of your ass! I am a Christian of European decent, so I had a chance to objectively observe the treatment of Muslims/Arabs/"people that look like they might be one of the previous".

    Right after September 11 the widespread harasment started. Mosques got firebombed in my home state! I saw them burning with my own eyes!

    I distinctly remember an Indian conveniance store worker who was shot and killed because the other person believed his kind to be terrorists. So you only had to look like you were from the Middle East to be attacked. Israelis, Pals, Iranians, and many others from the ME have been discriminated against since 911 simply because they look like a terrorist to an ignorant racist.

    Throw in the numerous racist newspaper articles since 911. Also the many comments made on national TV about Islam being the enemy. Yeah, thats harrasment.

    People from the ME were also forced to give up their airplane seats because of their race... sounds like an analogy of a certain bus incident that helped spark the civil rights movement.

    Countless Muslims and people from the ME lost their jobs since 911 due to similar racist fears.

    Wholesale, Muslims' citizenship and patriotism was questioned by many "experts" in the media.

    Teachers teaching their kids that all Palestinian kids are taught to be suicide bombers. Yup, you forgot that one too, didn't you?

    The blatant use of 911 to further the pro-Israel propaganda machine. I mean, how relavent was that video of a few Pals dancing in the street to the events just unfolding on 911? It was awefuly conveniant to play that at a time when the mass population was so emotionally weak. Also knowing that the mass population doesn't know a damn thing about the history of the Palestinians. Playing that video on 911 was blatant propaganda, and their are many other examples of the pro-Israel croud using 911 to further Israeli occupation of that area.

    The Palestinians didn't attack us.

    That whole Iraq thing. Yup, 911 is being used as a propaganda push to start a war against an entire nation. Iraq has never attacked us.

    Hell, just search on Google for "Muslim", "Islam", "Arab", etc... you will find plenty of racism.

    I remember a Muslim Iraqi friend of mine, who had just became an American citizen. The day after 911 he told me he was ready to enlist and help fight to protect America. He is more patriotic than most Christian European-Americans, so why should we question him because of his race or religious creed?
  • by chewmanfoo (569535) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @12:56PM (#4238468) Homepage
    You think your "objectivity" grants you license to illuminate the real reasons for the attacks on Sept. 11. You suggest that American foreign policy is so nefarious, so wicked that two gigantic stuctures and thousands of innocent civilians should die as some sort of repayment.
    Remember that you're living in a nation run by imperfect humans who make diplomatic decisions every day. Where are you from anyway? Think about your largest city, and the two largest buildings in that city. Now, in your mind, bring those buildings down and crush the thousands working there, one by one, in the process. Think about all the funerals for the EMS workers, all the unknown heroes who will perish in that single act of "justice". Now, remember, you deserved it. Go down to ground zero wearing a plaquard reading "Our Own Foreign Policy Did This. It's Our Fault." I have no doubt your fellow countrymen would give you more than a black eye.
    Any suggestion that unknown or plainly obvious foreign policy decisions led to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and that these attacks were somehow justified because of such corrupt foreign policy, is completely assanine.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @01:01PM (#4238501)
    First, I would like to apologize for the treatment you received on behalf of other Americans who did not react that way. I hope that you can realize that a lot of us were pretty pissed off (and still are). Unfortunately, nature tends to favor the easiest path and people are no exception. It is much easier to fall back to using racial slurs and stereotypes than trying to deal with people as individuals.

    I, personally, had a difficult time with the events of 9/11. I knew the pilot of Flight 11, the first plane to hit the North Tower of the WTC. When I saw his name on TV as one of the pilots of those aircraft, my heart sank. I felt... violated. Like some unseen hand reached into my life and stole something from me. It hurt and it was personal.

    On the other hand, my sister-in-law is Muslim. She and my brother got married in a mosque in NYC. She is a devout Muslim (as far as I know) and one of the sweetest and kindest people I've ever met. How could I hate someone like that? Simple: I can't. Those murderers who used our people as flying weapons to kill still more of our people were Muslim in name only. They were not Muslim in truth. I see it as the sham and facade that it really is.

    Osama bin Laden's plot was not to start a civilization war. It was to kill Americans, pure and simple. The reasons behind his declaration of jihad are irrelevant. What matters now is that al Quaeda is crushed, never to return.
  • by jackDuhRipper (67743) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @01:02PM (#4238512) Homepage
    Seems to be the point of the poster was that Japan had a long history of agressive & atrocious behavior which stopped soon after some very firm and significant pressure was applied in the form of several megatons of explosives.

    It's a good point to note: tit for tat leads to ongoing conflict, while massive retaliation generally gets the message across more succinctly and saves lives in the long run.

    Frightening, yes, but historically accurate.
  • Re:A few points (Score:2, Insightful)

    by superyooser (100462) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @01:08PM (#4238557) Homepage Journal
    In fact, the world has been rising up and fighting terrorism for over 20 years and had it not been for September 11th, the US would still have not been involved.

    This is an excellent point. For those accusing the United States of "dragging the whole world into war," please take note. This is the way it always is. If there is a true accusation of evil against the U.S., it is that we have not acted swiftly and thoroughly enough in going to war against terrorists (i.e. Hitler, Hussein, bin Laden).

    War has been waged against us by stealth and deceit and murder. This nation is peaceful, but fierce when stirred to anger.
    This conflict was begun on the timing and terms of others. It will end in a way, and at an hour, of our choosing.

    President George W. Bush, The National Cathedral, Remarks at National Day of Prayer and Remembrance [whitehouse.gov], September 14, 2001
    We are not war-mongers. We never enjoy the taking of life, but removing threatening, unbridled corruption from the earth is the sober duty of a moral people.
  • This is just sad. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by juuri (7678) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @01:12PM (#4238576) Homepage
    Please, stop telling that America is so great. America is every bit as stupid, selfish, jealous, paranoid and incompetant as any other country. And it's considerable more brutal, repressive and intolerant than many.

    I am so tired of this bullshit. The USA is by far the best behaved super power the world has ever known. Anyone who claims any different is blinding themselves to the real truths of history. You tell me one world power, who at their prime, was better behaved than the USA? Not one other country comes even remotely close. No it isn't a perfect country and yes many of its policies suck ass, but your claim is completely without merit.

    We has a world have come a long ways in the last 50 years... a long ways. We still have a long ways to go.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @01:14PM (#4238595)
    No, they hadn't surrendered. Japan was in the progressive of opening up communications for conditions of surrender. And that's possibly incorrect revisionist history and most people who believe this did occur all pretty much assess this as AFTER the 1st bomb was dropped, not before. Regardless, there was no surrender, there were no terms discussed until after the 2nd bomb. Heck, we didn't want to drop the 2nd bomb, because we had no reserve (I believe that was over 4 weeks away) bomb. But Japan didn't do anything. When we did, they then realized the capacity of destruction and surrendered.

    US conflict in 35 countires killing 3 milion people in it's entire history? What are smoking if you think that's a lot? I'm not trying to trivialize the deaths, but if you are trying to reason this out by numbers, Stalin killed 30+ million, Japan ripped open China and killed millions, the Germans through genocide alone killed at least 6 million in just the WWII (don't forget the fighting of that was plus WWI).

    It's not even close to the same, and your argument is even more silly given context in which the deaths occurred. Crack open a few dozen history books and get crackin, maybe you should look at some massacre timelines, because you are sorrily misguided. This is high school history here; even if you want to debate the numbers and look at multiple independent sources, you'll find how messed up your impression is.
  • by Jagasian (129329) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @01:16PM (#4238607)
    Obviously they weren't educated enough to know not to fly a plane into the WTC.
  • Chile, etc. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nullard (541520) <nullprogram AT voicesinmyhead DOT cc> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @01:23PM (#4238646) Journal
    September 11 (1973) US-backed coup overturns democratically elected government in Chile, leading to thousands of deaths, tortures and "disappearances"

    My father was there. He was listening to the radio as democratically elected Aliende prepared to defend his country with his life. Even knowing that he had no chance, he armed himself and stood in front of the seat of the govenrment to fend off the coup with his own hands.

    Would Bush have done the same? Would any recent U.S.president?

    If some foreign force invaded DC, would any recent president -- knowing it would be certain death -- have the cojones to deffend his nation? Or would he run and hide?

    My parents were both in Brazil durring the U.S.-backed military dictatorship there. My father got a first-hand look at just how involved the U.S. was in that affair.

    My father and I now work to change U.S. policy so that maybe someday the rest of the world won't have a reason to hate us. Patriotism is loving your country enough to see its faults -- and try and fix them.
  • Re:Sadness (Score:2, Insightful)

    by akuzi (583164) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @01:39PM (#4238734)
    > That so much hatred could be directed toward > what is undoubtedly the worlds freest country. What makes you think that the US is any freer than Sweden, Holland, New Zealand, Canada etc etc? Americans are indoctrinated from childhood into believing they are the freest and most democratic country in the world, but never ask the question whether this is really true. If Americans have the right to free speech why is their no open debate in the mainstream media about the big questions like why the Govt seems to be completely controlled by big business and what can be done about it? Does the US really have the right to change the regimes of other countries as it sees fit? Why is criticising the Govt's foreign policy often said to be being 'un-American'? If America is truely the most democratic nation why is it that most the Govt is made up of wealthy middle aged white men serving the interests of big business? Part of why there is so much hatred towards America is that Americans themselves are seen to be so ignorant of what is going on in their own-country and in the rest of the world.
  • by skelf (24005) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @01:50PM (#4238832)
    - "We" (the giant corporate military industrial complex of the "west",
    including the world bank, IMF, WTO, etc.) systematically oppress,
    murder and enslave entire countries full of innocent people.

    - We install our own dictatorships in these countries (e.g. Indonesia,
    Iraq, etc.) while parcelling up their resources among 1st-world
    megacorporations, many of which have larger operating budgets than
    entire countries.

    - We force these countries to accept "free trade", meaning we make
    them remove all import tarriffs, and then flood their economy with
    cheap products and staple foods. Just like when a Wal-Mart moves in
    next door, the local artisans/farmers cannot compete, and they and
    their children must give up the farm and move into the city to work
    for subsistence wages under inhumane conditions in factories for
    Gap, Nike, etc.

    - Anyone who tries to resist this is called a "communist" (or maybe
    now they'll be called an "Al Qaeda sympathizer") and is subject to
    imprisonment, torture, and murder. These are people who've somehow
    gotten the crazy idea that a country's natural resources might
    actually be used to benefit its *own* citizens. They don't realize
    that their lot in life is to shut up and be cheap labor.

    - We force these countries to take out massive loans to buy our
    imported goods--loans they will never be able to repay.

    - In addition to providing the capital for the loans, U.S. taxpayers
    money goes into "aid packages" for these now destitute countries.
    The aid packages are earmarked for buying food and goods from
    western megacorporations. This is another way in which the system
    works to channel our money to the corporations.

    - If anyone gets out of line, we don't have a problem using weapons of
    mass distruction against their citizens (a million people have died
    radiation-related deaths in Iraq since 1991 because we rained
    thousands of tons of depleted uranium bombs and shells over the
    whole southern half of the country). After all, making us
    taxpayers support a massive military system (of historically
    unprecented size) is another major way in which the system feeds our
    money to the industrial complex.

    - On 9/11, some assholes out there (we don't have the monopoly on
    evil) manage to succeed in attacking the monetary system that rules
    the world. Over 3000 "collateral" casualties also result.

    - The response? Use this as a great excuse to (a) remove some more
    civil liberties from us (an educated, free-thinking populace is the
    *real* enemy of tyranny), and also (b) channel more of our money
    into our military machine.

    - Anyone who tries to point out any of the above is basically called a
    traitor. After all, "you're either with us or against us". As if
    even trying to understand what's going on is treasonous!

    If you are intrigued by any of this and want to investigate for
    yourself (don't believe me--I'm just regurgitating this stuff), you
    might like to look at John Pilger's new book "The New Rulers of the
    World", or any of his earlier stuff. Also, the copious writings of
    Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and even Gore Vidal are great places to
    start.

    If you are unwilling to open your eyes, you'll probably just call me a
    "communist" or an "Al Queda sympathizer" (I am neither). While it
    shouldn't be necessary, I nevertheless feel compelled to stress that I
    do not condone the 9/11 attacks, nor do I think the people killed on
    that day "deserved to die", or that the terrorists were justified in
    doing it. I also think that it was counterproductive to their cause,
    as all violence is. I just wish people would be willing to see that
    we ourselves have been, and are again contemplating, waging extended
    campaigns of violence in the world that dwarf the events of 9/11. We
    still have a chance to change our ways.
  • by junkgrep (266550) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @01:54PM (#4238871)
    I agree. Not because I LIKE the things that gay rights are supposed to fix, because I don't. But I also don't like the way many people are going about correcting the problems.

    The simple fact is that bigots have rights too. It's easy to take rights away from bigots, but where does it end? Fairness demands that we not place extra burdens on people simply because of their beliefs (however excreble) and choices about what to do with their own private resources. It's not right when laws do that sort of thing to gays, and it isn't right when the law does it to bigots either.
  • by duck_prime (585628) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @02:10PM (#4239009)
    Why is America expected to equally mourn every slain person in the world, while other countries are allowed to prefer their own dead?

    Perhaps it is because I have overcome tribalism and petty nationalism. I read about the deaths of innocents, and it does not matter what their nationality was. These are innocent people who have died through no fault or cause of their own.
    Surely it is admirable to mourn innocent dead of whatever region, but that's not exactly what I'm trying to get at. There seems to be something significant about how it is the US that takes heat for not having (say) a Rwandan memorial. Nobody criticizes Canada or Mexico for not mourning Yugoslavian dead.

    It is almost as if there were an unspoken set of ideals that the US -- and nobody else -- is expected to live up to. The US -- and nobody else -- is supposed to be above nationalism. When France honors her dead, nobody pops up saying "but what about the Kurds!".

    I'm not saying there's any weird conspiracy out there, but there may be some unexamined attitudes.
  • by chimpslice (580971) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @02:15PM (#4239053) Journal
    This article from last October spelled it out clearly and without hysterics:

    http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0142/gray.php

    Why oil profit is worth thousands and potentially millions of human lives is beyond me. Perhaps that's why I'm not a CEO or member of the Bush administration.
  • by Procyon101 (61366) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @02:19PM (#4239084) Journal
    Actually, the balance of power has greatly shifted since those conflicts. During those 2 wars we were checked by another superpower that was our military equal, and actually by many counts conventionally our superior. Had the USSR not been around during those 2 wars, the wars could have been won in a week if we didn't care about civilian casualties. Actually, they could have been one in about 4 minutes if we didn't care AT ALL about civilian casualties.

    Now, the world is a much different place. Not only do we dominate the entire planet militarily, in conventional, tactical, nuclear, and special operations, but most of the world relies on us for their economy. Remember that on of the purported "great crimes" of the US is our "slaughtering" of 400,000 Iraqis through our economic sanctions. Our markets are so required for the health of the world that we are to believe that simply denying a country access to our markets causes mass starvation.

    With this scenario, there are countries that could put up a fight in any attempt at world domination by the US, through nuclear means, but the number is minimal, and the ones that could actually hit us are our closest allies and depend the most on us economically, so much so you could almost call them a territory (canada, britain, france, germany) We almost went to war with china right before sept 11 last year, and we had no qualms about it even though they are a nuclear power. The delivery systems of most nuclear powers cannot touch the us mainland, and are likey to be non-functional via airstrike with 30 minutes of the war starting. A military officer friend of mine told me about a year ago that in a conflict with china the intel says that they would have no airforce within 24 hours, and no navy within 72 hours of a conflict with the us, the ground war being another story because we are so meticulous about inflicting casualties.

    And to every one who thinks the death tolls from our military actions are soooo bad, remember:

    The United States INVENTED the phrase "collateral damage", we are the only ones who attempt to stick to a military policy of low collateral damage, and we are the only ones who have the technology to stick to a policy of collateral damage. One of the reasons we serve "police" missions for our allies is that our allies can't pull of the mission "cleanly" so as to minimize civilian targets. The world has never seen the US in a real conflict in modern times, and we can all pray that that day never comes; when the conflict necessitates the dropping of minimal casualty rules of engagement for the purpose of the security of the sovereignty of the united states, there is nothing that can stand in the way of the us military and economic might.

    And we still havn't annexed new land for 60 years.

    And that was a PURCHASE, not a military operation.

    Ant the aquirements before that were all treaty based, with no military action (guano treaty)

    I think the last time the US Empirialisticly invaded anyone was in the aquisition of the oregon territory, and even that was arguably done in self defense.

  • by dhogaza (64507) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @02:25PM (#4239115) Homepage
    The Japanese were ready to surrender some time before Hiroshima. The sticking point was the Emperor, with the US refusing to guarantee that he'd be maintained in his position (which had been largely symbolic even before the war). After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the US made concessions regarding the Emperor that were satisfactory and Japan surrendered.


    Some things to keep in mind:

    • Top Dog General George Marshall opposed the use of the bomb.
    • General Dwight D. Eisenhower opposed the use of the bomb at the time, and reiterated his opposition in a speech in the early 1960s and in his memoirs.
    • The casualty estimates for an invasion in 1945 were much smaller than those we hear about today. These figures were advanced after the war to help justify the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
    • Regardless of your views on Hiroshima, Nagasaki was unnecessary. The Japanese intent to surrender was clear beforehand.

    Does this mean the US should not have bombed Hiroshima or Nagasaki? Not necessarily. I personally don't feel any guilt or the like over the fact that we did it.

    What is important, I think, is that people understand that at the time the issue wasn't considered in nearly as black-and-white terms as we've been led to believe by mainstream accounts. It isn't "revisionist" to point out the fact that Generals Marshall and Eisenhower opposed the use of the bomb. It isn't "revisionist" to remember that Eisenhower went out of his way later in life to reiterate his opposition and to make clear that he felt he was right at the time.

    When the Smithsonian attempted to display the Enola Gay along with details of this sort which many in our country would like us to forget, the Right responded with a screaming fit, cries of "revisionism", "anti-patriotism", and "anti-Americanism". This pisses me off. Our country is strong. We have nothing to fear from the truth.

  • by IPFreely (47576) <mark@mwiley.org> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @02:31PM (#4239156) Homepage Journal
    Mr. Hand has some nice statistics, but we know what they are worth.

    The reason Japan has not had any agression since WWII is not the pounding they got, it is because of the MARSHAL PLAN.

    Some history. After WWI, Germany was pounded into submission, millions killed, all infrastructure destroyed. Internaltional punishment was delt to them. They were oppressed. Germany was reviled, Their people hated world wide. Extremely horrible economic and emotional conditions.
    Question: Did that prevent them from starting another war?
    Answer: NO!

    After WWII, The Marshal plan was implemented in both Germany and Japan. This plan prevented either from building an Army. But it did help both rebuild their economies, their industries, their schools and hospitals. The US and allies spent millions of dollars rebuilding Germany and Japan into modern, capable and respected countries. No oppression. No punishment.

    Since then, neither has had any aggression of the type in WWII.

    So, by your logic, Germany should have been stopped after WWI. But they weren't, were they. The difference? Rebuild them, respect them. Don't give them an emotional reason to go to war.

    Now a question for you. If someone were to beat the crap out of you, a school yard bully (assuming you weren't the school yard bully). Would you sit and cower and pray he goes away, or would you plot vengence? Do you believe other people think any differently that you do on subjects like that?

    Learn some history. Learn some psychology. Become a better person.

    Peace be with you.

  • by gandalf23atwork (604291) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @02:57PM (#4239392) Journal
    A year ago I was on a boat in the Al Jafad dry dock in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. We'd just gone up to the bridge to use the cell phone (better reception up there). One of the guys, Walt, was talking to his wife when she said that a plane had hit the world trade center. She had no other information, we just assumed some Cessna pilot got lost or flew too close, and we were not too worried. A few minutes later we went downstairs to the mess for dinner and turned on the TV. That's when we saw the second plane hit, and we knew we were in deep shit.

    Quite frankly I was very worried about our safety. We stayed on the boat for about two days. The US consulate was closed, so there was no where for us to go to if we got in trouble. We sat for hours in the mess watching CNN with the sound off. We later found out that the sound was off because the government of the UAE was censoring the broadcast. This was a new experience to me, but not to the guys on the boat. I was outraged, but they would say "Mr. Mike, they do this to protect us. Obviously the people are telling lies or speaking bad about Islam, otherwise they would be allowed to speak." And they were serious. Luckily CNN was running text along the bottom of the screen, so we were able to get a decent idea of what was going on.

    We saw on CNN the joyous celebrations all over the world, so when we did finally leave the boat I made sure I had a flare gun (I stole one from the bridge) and a 6 inch chefs knife from the kitchen with me, in addition to my usual pocketknives (a Bob Lum Spyderco and a Leatherman Side Clip). I also made sure that the other guys were armed with knives as well (mostly 4 inch Opinels). Non-citizens are not allowed to own/possess guns, stun guns, or pepper spray in the UAE, so knives were all we could carry legally to protect ourselves should the need arise.

    It felt odd when we'd go out. Even before the attacks we stood out as we were all taller than the vast majority of the population and we were obviously foreigners, both in dress and face. For two months after the attacks, up until the time we went into Afganistan, people would come up to me on the street and ask if I was an American. At first I did not know what to say, so that first day I said I was a Texan. Most people did not know what a Texan was, but assumed I was not American, so they would then go on about how terrible the attacks were and there was an urgency when they spoke when they'd tell me that Islam was not the cause, that the men who did this were madmen. One very nice older Arabic man had been to Texas, and when I told him I was Texan he hugged me and cried, it was very touching. He and most people I met were outraged at the attacks, furious that men did it in the name of Islam, and worried that the US would destroy the world in retribution. Everyone asked if I knew anyone lost in the attacks, and asked about my family.

    Of course, many people I met, including all of the Arabs on the boat with us, were convinced that it was an Israeli attack. As one crewman put it, "It is against Islam to murder innocents, therefore no Muslim could do this. It must be the Jews." I was shocked at this attitude but did not know how to respond to it. Later on when it became more clear that it was indeed Bin Laden's group, the same guys said, "It is too difficult, what they did. Only a nation could do this, not one man or a few men. It must have been Mossad or China, no Arab could plan this." This was kinda funny, because all the Arabs on the boat were lazy fucks, and I certainly could not see any of them planing a good meal let alone a simultaneous hijacking. However, this was not proof, yet they accepted it as such. They firmly believed that if they could not do it, then no other Arab could. This was an attitude that I would find not only on the boat but all over, and is one that still perplexes me.

    When US troops went into Afganistan, I became real worried. No longer did people smile and stop me on the street to express their condolences over the attacks. Instead I got angry glares and scowls. I went back to carrying the flare gun and chefs knife in my backpack we I went out. Several people spat at me. Luckily nothing happened, although I did have one Afghani challenge me to a duel. He had a sword, which he had drawn, but I had just purchased a very large Pakastani meat cleaver. It weighs about 10 pounds and is huge. (I figured it'd be good for dressing game) So I took the cleaver out of my pack and said, "Ok." His sword was a crappy one, like one of those you'd see in a sharper image catalog for $40, so I wasn't too worried. I figured I'd whack him upside the head with the flat of the blade and knock some sense into him. A large crowd had gathered, and luckily nothing happened. We agreed to be friends even though our countries might not be. I tried to explain, and I think I did get through to him, that the US was not pissed at Afghanis, that we were after Bin Laden and the Taliban was protecting him. If the Taliban gave him up we'd leave Afghanistan alone. He did not like the Taliban, that's why he was in Dubai and not Kabul, but he had family back home and was worried. The whole situation got better a few days later when it was announced that the US was dropping food and supplies all over Afghanistan, but still the scowls and frowns remained.

    After visiting the middle east, I realize how much better off most Americans are than the rest of the world. Especially in the stuff we take for granted, like freedom of religion and of the press. I was not allowed to hear certain things nor was I allowed to say anything bad or even remotely construed as being negative about the government in the UAE. Not just, "don't say that," but the police would come and take me away. The secret police are everywhere and you never know who is listening. My entertainment was censored. Books, newspapers, magazines, CDs, video games, and movies are all censored before they are allowed to be released (for example the whole subplot about the arab arms dealer in the brad Pit movie Spy Game was removed). I was not allowed to practice my religion. I was forbidden to bring a bible in to the country, or to wear a cross around my neck, and there are only about 4 or 5 churches in the entire country (and just try finding a taxi that'll drive you to one of them). I was not allowed to eat what I wanted, nor drink what I wanted. Not that I'm a big drinker or a big pork eater, but after a few months I really wanted to sit down, watch an American Football game, drink a beer, and eat a plate of bacon.

    Anyway, now here I am a year later, back in the states. Every flight I've taken since last September I've been searched by hand, my luggage has been searched by hand, and once in Amsterdam our flight was delayed while they pulled out my luggage and made me go through it while a bunch of nervous guys with MP5s and Glocks watched. I gotta tell you, though, that all that did not make me feel safer, in fact it made me feel less safe. I can't help but think that a semi-determined terrorist/hijacker could still very easily get a weapon on board, but I, and most of the other passengers, would be completely disarmed as we are law-abiding, and this would make it much more difficult to stop the hijacking. A sharpened piece of glass, plastic, or stone will not be detected by any metal detector, but it would be a very effective cutting instrument.

    So what am I doing a year later? Not much. I watched some of the ceremony in New York and Washington. Here at the office I've been listening to NPR all day. I took off early for lunch and went to a memorial service at my church. I'm usually not big on songs, mainly as my voice just sucks, but today we sang one I don't remember ever singing before. #437 in the Methodist hymnal, "This is My Song." I thought the words were very nice, and appropriate, and well, here they are.

    This is My Song
    Lyrics: Lloyd Stone
    Music: Jean Sibelius

    This is my song, O God of all the nations,
    a song of peace for lands afar and mine.
    This is my home, the country where my heart is;
    here are my hopes, my dreams my holy shrine;
    but other hearts in other lands are beating
    with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

    My country's skies are bluer than the ocean,
    and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine;
    but other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
    and skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
    O hear my song, thou God of all the Nations,
    a song of peace for their land and for mine.

    After work I plan on stopping by the indoor gun range and putting a lot of holes into a bin laden target (http://www.reloadbench.com/photo/obl8x11.jpg). I went to an outdoor range this past Saturday but didn't get to spend much time shooting. Then I'll go home, hug my family, call the ones I can't hug, maybe go get a beer with some friends.

    -Gandalf23
  • by munition (212134) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @03:24PM (#4239613)
    I was fortunate.

    I did not live in New York.
    I did not live in D.C.
    I did not lose anyone that day.
    At least, anyone I personally knew.

    I did, however, lose many people that I did not know. These people were not just all Americans. They were from all over the world. These people represented different ethnicities, religions, regions, businesses, families, etc.

    I lost joy in seeing family member after family member holding pictures of their loved ones, wondering if anyone has seen them.

    I felt helpless seeing the building collapse, knowing that all I could do is whisper a simple prayer.

    I felt torn between my thought of religious tolerence and a new feeling of hatred towards the people who did this in the name of religion.

    Yes, I was fortunate.

    I married my wife two months and twenty-two days early because her father had been called to active duty. She wanted to make sure that Daddy could see her walk down the aisle.

    I help my wife night after night while she cried. We both worried together about my father-in-law. World events left us unsure about what he would really be doing on his mission.

    But I was fortunate.

    I remember sitting in my home office when an email came from my mother. Something terrible had happened. I rushed to the living room, turned on CNN, and watched as the world seemingly crumbled around us.

    I remember my class being cancelled by the professor. My friends and I headed for a dorm room to watch the unfolding events.

    I remember the moment of silence in my next class.

    I remember the solemn faces of my peers in my last class of the day.

    I remember the tribute our university band did for the fallen that next Saturday. I remember being a part of that ensemble.

    Yet, I was fortunate.

    I renewed my relationship to God. I put my family first. I no longer found material things worth my time. Instead, I found life and the lives of those around being worth my time. I found that love and being loved was the most wonderful feeling in the world. How easy it is to forget this when one is busy.

    Yes, I was fortunate. 9-11 opened my eyes, my heart, and my life. It changed me, forced me to do more, and made me be a better person.

    Mourning the loss of life,
  • Re:Underestimated (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @03:42PM (#4239749)
    You need to take a step back from your liberal lies and attempt to take an objective, factual view of the situation.

    8. 2002, America invades Afghanistan. Thousands of innocent civilians are killed, hundreds of foreign nationals are tortured and held without trial or rights, the very freedoms Americans are so passionate about defending get reduced and removed.

    An investigation into the total number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan estimated the number to be around 400 - 500. When we were still involved in our air campaign the Taliban was reporting casualities of their own troops as civilian casualities, and this is why euro liberal-socialists such as yourself cry human tragedy. Taliban troops taken out by some JDAMs != Afghan civilians.

    7. 1960s-70s, America overestimates its own ability to win a war without political backing in Asia. North Vietnamese inflict humiliation
    Again, your view upon the situation has caused a statement such as this. The US did not overestimate its ability to win a war without political backing. In fact, we could have easily won the war if we took the fight to the enemy, rather than just trying to protect the south. The command of the military wanted to do this, but the civilian government was against it. The Vietnam conflict could have ended quite quickly if it was not for this political weakness.

    10. 2002, America fails to invade Pakistan, India, South Africa, China, Russia, England, France and several other countries known to have weapons of mass destruction. Arab nations query why Iraq in particular are so special?

    You seem to be trying to create some sort of moral relativity, but that notion is misplaced if you try to understand the whole situation. First, we are targeting Iraq becuase they seem most likely to use their weapons against us. All of those other countries would not use their weapons against us for fear of a massive response by the US. Saddam, on the other hand, thinks differently. He might not overtly attack the US or US interests, but he seems interested in doing it covertly. You cannot say this about any of the other countries you mention, so your attempt at some sort of moral equavilence is misplaced.

    5. America tries to assassinate Fidel Castro. For no good reason. Several times. And fails.
    We have every right to take out Castro. He allowed the Soviets to station numberous nuclear weapons on his country, and therefore was a strategic threat to the US. This act alone demonstrated his hostility towards the US, so we responded. For example, if an unstable dictator came into power of Belgium and pointed nuclear and other dangerous weapons at France, I am sure the French would feel very threatened by this ruler and try to eliminate him.

    11. 2002, America continues to support Israel, despite many documented abuses of human rights, possession of weapons of mass destruction, continued oppression of their own people.
    Israel will not use its nuclear weapons unless attacked by some large force, so the posession of nuclear weapons is of no real threat to us since the only people it threatens are those who would have a war with Israel. Your attempt again at some sort of moral equivalence has again failed.
  • by Lars Clausen (1208) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @04:04PM (#4239905)
    In short (too late!), American culture is taking over the world. We aren't forcing it, people choosed what they like. Other cultures are getting forced out and feel threatened. The resulting fear turns to hatred of America and Americans. We are a "corrupting" influence. And we do take for granted freedoms and benefits others can only dream of.


    We aren't forcing it at gunpoint, we're forcing it through much subtler means of economic pressure.

    Also, many European countries who consider American culture a corrupting influence have freedoms and benefits that Americans can only dream of: Freedom to drink at any ago, freedom for gays, universally available quality healthcare and education... US is not the only country with a powerful constitution, it's merely the most powerful country around.

    -Lars
  • Re:Sadness (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tonytheloony (462274) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @06:06PM (#4240828)
    Would you mind explaining in what way you are so "undoubtedly" the freeest country in the world? Facts speak louder then your (brainwashed) opinion
  • by IPFreely (47576) <mark@mwiley.org> on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @06:46PM (#4241103) Homepage Journal
    Oh, troll troll.

    What the hell.

    Ben Laden is not a country. the Taliban are not a country. Afghanistan was a country. The Taliban are a band of bullies that managed to take control of a very weak and poor country and dominate it through fear and persecution.

    If you want to avoid that sort of thing, you make the country capable of resisting that sort of takeover. You do that by giving it a common government in which all people have a concern. you give it an economy and industry that it can support itself with and defend itself with. You give it unity and ability. Then the likes of the Taliban are just another gang or mafia to be delt with.

    Ten years ago, when the Russians left Afghanistan a mess and bugged out, the US also bailed out. Afghanistan had nothing, no food, no money, no government. That would have been the time to rebuild.

    You don't have to destroy a country before starting the Marshal plan. You can go in and do it. There are plenty of countries in Africa right now that are in economic disarray and governed by the Warlord de Jour. Which of these will become the next Afghanistan? If we help them now, rebuild them, before people start dying, will we save American lives?
    If I had asked you that about Afghanistan two years ago, would I have been wrong?

  • correct (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Max the Merciless (459901) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @07:24PM (#4241374) Homepage
    Ahhh, thank you. That was the correct answer.

    Sad thing is that US behaviour hasn't improved. The UN sanctions on Iraq kill 5,000 children every month. At that is about oil and control of the Middle East. But I guess that it protects "our" freedom to pollute the Earth with our S.U.V's. God Bless...the sacrificial innocent.
  • by Umanity (469812) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @07:42PM (#4241484) Homepage
    I am sorry if I can't be so beligerent as some people seem to be. Although I have political differences with the powers that be I must remember today as the day the terrorists killed my only brother. Jonathan J. Uman was only 34, recently married and just had his second child. He worked for eSpeed on the 105th floor of the 1st tower of the WTC. I live in the San Francisco bay area, and woke up to the news. My father called me to tell me my brother was confirmed to be in the building at the time of the impact. This news was devastating to both my mother and my father, and his wife and children.

    All contempt aside, this day is a day which our country, the United States has never seen the likes of before. This is an historic event, and when they read my brothers name at the cerimonies today I was reminded that me and my family will forever be reminded of his death, and his life. I look at those people who take this event and mock it, those who are 'tired' of the commercialization of the event. I am tired of that too, but there is more to this, a human quality which extends beyond that capitalistic desire. I am tired of all the flag waving, but 2,800 some odd people perished in a couple of moments.... That is quite tragic, and nothing they did would make them deserve the death they received. It was a horrible, horrible death... Burning and falling, screaming and being crushed. I have pictured the event over and over, and have to watch it over and over while watching the news.

    I believe in a future where mankind lives in peace and prosperity. In my speech for my brothers memorial I mentioned my desire to live like Roddenberry depicted in Star Trek, a world without hunger and a world where people strive to make things better. This is an optimistic goal, and one which I have begun to question as I believe that human nature is possibly more ugly than I wanted to admit.

    I don't want my brothers death to cause more unwarranted death in the world. I want to make things better by looking at the problems we have, analyzing them, and making educated decisions. I don't believe the administration is doing that at this time. But that is another story...

    Thank you,
  • Sept. 11 = War? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 12, 2002 @01:26AM (#4242859)
    It's too bad that September 11 seems to be almost directly linked to war these days.

    I think this day should be set aside to reflect on the poor people who were killed and whose families now suffer the loss of their loved ones. We have 364 other days in the year to plot our revenge or whatever you want to call it.

    Listen to Bush... he can't talk more than 10 seconds about September 11 before he starts talking about the war and how we're going to kick their asses in. Now there's a role model for everyone!

    And now we have to _prevent_ terrorism, not simply react to it. That sounds rational. So why is it that law enforcement has always REacted to problems and not been proactive in preventing them? eg. you call the police to report a domestic disturbance. Unless someone has been beaten or killed, they'll ask you to call back later. Hmm.

    What makes the Taliban and maybe other countries hate the US so much? We should be asking ourselves that. Peace requires compromise. We may be able to sway people's opinions, but starting a war is not helping our int'l image.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 12, 2002 @02:58AM (#4243103)
    You Sir are a complete idiot. I just so happen to live in a country (Poland) which was ruled by communist just 13 years ago and its largly thanks to the US government that I can sit in front of my computer instead of a line for north korean rice.
  • by geekee (591277) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @05:24AM (#4243436)
    Who modded this unsubstantiated bullshit up to a 5? I especially like the part about how we force countries to take our loans. That's pretty funny. I also like how he made up some crap about killing Irquis with radiation. When you realize capitalism works because it gives people the option to trade with each other freely, allowing buyers and sellers to come to an agreement about a product or service, and how it relates to the work they've done, you realize it's a lot more free system than a communist system, where your work is worth nothing and you have to beg the govt to recognise what you consider needs to survive.

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

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