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The 20th Anniversary of the 9/11 Attack


Ric
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Time is a fickle thing. It doesn't seem like 20 years ago, yet it also does. I remember watching it happen, yet there are people who will post on this won't have been born in 2001. I wasn't alive for things like the assassination of JFK or the Moon landings, and 9/11 seems like a similar "record scratch" moment, although perhaps more from the shock of the scenes rather than the surprise someone would attack America.

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Did it change the world? It certainly changed the Western world, that's for sure (domestically the public are still negatively affected by numerous 'security' laws put into place at the time that are still on the statute), and while it's obviously right to pay tribute to the number of innocent civilian lives lost, but at the risk of whataboutery, we should also recognise that number is a tiny fraction of deaths caused by American foreign policy over the decades. To me, and in a very dry geopolitical point of view, 9/11 was the culmination of decades of an aggressive foreign policy, military funding based on the "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" mantra and a domestic audience receptive to xenophobia (that's a constant, from McCarthyism all the way up to the modern day with Trump). Bin Laden had already tried to topple one of the trade towers some years earlier, using a car bomb in the underground parking lot. So it was clear this was a target. In the years running up to 2001 there had been an increasing number of high profile attacks on American buildings in foreign countries, such as the attacks in Kenya. Coupled with this, there was considerable chatter warning of a major attack.

Of course, we have overwhelming evidence that the plot was planned by Saudis, in Saudi Arabia and funded by Saudis, and carried out almost exclusively by Saudi citizens. The Saudis buy a shit ton of American weapons, and to avoid harming business, the US went after the last staging point, which was in Afghanistan. No need for me to expand there, it's all pretty much covered in the Afghanistan Crisis thread.

Let me say here, I absolutely do not believe in any 9/11 conspiracy theories, I simply do not believe that the Bush administration could not only organise such thing, let alone ensure that not a single (credible) witness has come out to expose anyone in what would be a plan containing 100's of participants but that no death bed confessions, no leaks of government documents, have happened They are easy to postulate though, as the rather excellent "Loose Change" demonstrates. (Well worth a watch, but watch with a pinch of salt, as it were).

 

Were you alive when 9/11 happened?
Did you watch it, and what did you think at the time?
After 2 decades, has history taught us any lessons?

 

 

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It was the glorious interregnum between leaving school and going to uni and I put the telly on after sleeping all morning to watch the early showing of Neighbours but got the breaking BBC news about the plane hitting the first tower. Neighbours had been taken off TV for Diana and the Olympics so it happening again for a plane accident was quite annoying. Obviously the second plane hit live on BBC1 and the scheduling decision was justified. I believe it remained off air until the following Monday. 

I remember later that day getting the big enclyopedia out to find out exactly where Afghanistan was and what Muslims believed. Simpler times. 

 

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I was looking for work at the insistence of the government in a place in Irvine (can't remember the name, was upstairs and not the jobcentre) and someone announced that the Pentagon had been hit, no one believed it and it was brushed off. Went outside into the Irvine Mall a little later and saw the news on tvs in a shop window.

Sometime later (possibly later in the week) the BBC broadcast footage taken by people on the ground as the attacks happened which was terrifying, all the dust swelling up etc. 

Edited by meanmistermustard
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The BBC were broadcasting from the ground (I think ABC's feed) live as the second plane hit and the towers collapsed. 

I can remember a camera and reporter legging it live on TV as the tower came down. 

The BBC also famously announced the strange collapse of building 7 25 minutes before it happened. 

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Your mind plays trick with you over time.  I was convinced it was a Wednesday, up until a few years ago.  I also thought I watched the second plane hit, but couldn't have as I was at work, with no TV, only a radio.

I do remember calling my friend from the house phone to his work, when they started to falling down, absolutely gobsmacked.  he  never had anty access to a TV at the time, and was giving it 'calm the f**k doon, man'.  I was expecting nukes that night, I was a little stoned to say the least.

Here is a new doc, just a few hours old.  I didn't know about this guy.

 

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Were you alive when 9/11 happened? Yes


Did you watch it, and what did you think at the time? Yes. I had just left university and started work. I was at a training week away with work when it happened. Not sure what I thought at the time.


After 2 decades, has history taught us any lessons? Waging a long-term war against “Terror’ is a pain in the arse. Terror 1 v 0 World.

I watched the documentaries on Surviving 9/11 on BBC iplayer. The one with the stories from survivors, like that fireman boy, were very moving. They really bring home the horrors experienced by those involved on the day.

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I was working in the most boring job I ever had, at Zurich Insurance in Glasgow, when we got news that the WTC had been bombed. 18 year old me from suburban Lanarkshire had never heard of the World Trade Centre and had no concept of it in my head. Obviously growing up in the 80's and 90's IRA bombs were a not uncommon occurrence, so I figured it was just another one on that scale. I didn't pay it much heed tbh.

Getting home and watching it on the TV I have to confess to finding it all pretty exciting. It did look like an action movie and the massiveness of it started to hit. It felt seismic, like I was watching a huge historical event. Also it was the USA getting a massive bloody nose, which was unheard of. Part of me was even rooting for the hijackers. It wasn't a real event to me involving real actual people. It was, as I said, like watching an action movie. 

Then I saw the footage of people jumping out the windows. That was surreal and still something that I still think about now and again. I think that's when it began to be something more real to me. 

It was an event that defined everything after that. It was an era of relative prosperity and jobs were pretty easy to come by, and I wonder what the political landscape of the UK would look like were it not for the Iraq war. I also wonder what Blair's government would be known for were it not for the foray into Iraq. They did great work in Northern Ireland near the end of the millennium, and iirc there was similarly good stuff done in Israel. I think it definitely eroded our faith in politics and politicians and gave more fuel to Scottish Independence. 

I'd never been on a plane until 2000 and can't remember much about it, but air travel after 9/11 has been an absolute faff. Can anybody comment on how easy the whole process was prior to this?

 

 

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5 minutes ago, velo army said:

I'd never been on a plane until 2000 and can't remember much about it, but air travel after 9/11 has been an absolute faff. Can anybody comment on how easy the whole process was prior to this?

I don't think it changed that much, I think the big change in security came in the 80's when hijacking was the big craze at the time.

Edited by SlipperyP
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1 hour ago, Ric said:

Time is a fickle thing. It doesn't seem like 20 years ago, yet it also does. I remember watching it happen, yet there are people who will post on this won't have been born in 2001. I wasn't alive for things like the assassination of JFK or the Moon landings, and 9/11 seems like a similar "record scratch" moment, although perhaps more from the shock of the scenes rather than the surprise someone would attack America.

SRG0qkl.jpg

Did it change the world? It certainly changed the Western world, that's for sure (domestically the public are still negatively affected by numerous 'security' laws put into place at the time that are still on the statute), and while it's obviously right to pay tribute to the number of innocent civilian lives lost, but at the risk of whataboutery, we should also recognise that number is a tiny fraction of deaths caused by American foreign policy over the decades. To me, and in a very dry geopolitical point of view, 9/11 was the culmination of decades of an aggressive foreign policy, military funding based on the "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" mantra and a domestic audience receptive to xenophobia (that's a constant, from McCarthyism all the way up to the modern day with Trump). Bin Laden had already tried to topple one of the trade towers some years earlier, using a car bomb in the underground parking lot. So it was clear this was a target. In the years running up to 2001 there had been an increasing number of high profile attacks on American buildings in foreign countries, such as the attacks in Kenya. Coupled with this, there was considerable chatter warning of a major attack.

Of course, we have overwhelming evidence that the plot was planned by Saudis, in Saudi Arabia and funded by Saudis, and carried out almost exclusively by Saudi citizens. The Saudis buy a shit ton of American weapons, and to avoid harming business, the US went after the last staging point, which was in Afghanistan. No need for me to expand there, it's all pretty much covered in the Afghanistan Crisis thread.

Let me say here, I absolutely do not believe in any 9/11 conspiracy theories, I simply do not believe that the Bush administration could not only organise such thing, let alone ensure that not a single (credible) witness has come out to expose anyone in what would be a plan containing 100's of participants but that no death bed confessions, no leaks of government documents, have happened They are easy to postulate though, as the rather excellent "Loose Change" demonstrates. (Well worth a watch, but watch with a pinch of salt, as it were).

 

Were you alive when 9/11 happened?
Did you watch it, and what did you think at the time?
After 2 decades, has history taught us any lessons?

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, velo army said:

I was working in the most boring job I ever had, at Zurich Insurance in Glasgow, when we got news that the WTC had been bombed. 18 year old me from suburban Lanarkshire had never heard of the World Trade Centre and had no concept of it in my head. Obviously growing up in the 80's and 90's IRA bombs were a not uncommon occurrence, so I figured it was just another one on that scale. I didn't pay it much heed tbh.

Getting home and watching it on the TV I have to confess to finding it all pretty exciting. It did look like an action movie and the massiveness of it started to hit. It felt seismic, like I was watching a huge historical event. Also it was the USA getting a massive bloody nose, which was unheard of. Part of me was even rooting for the hijackers. It wasn't a real event to me involving real actual people. It was, as I said, like watching an action movie. 

Then I saw the footage of people jumping out the windows. That was surreal and still something that I still think about now and again. I think that's when it began to be something more real to me. 

It was an event that defined everything after that. It was an era of relative prosperity and jobs were pretty easy to come by, and I wonder what the political landscape of the UK would look like were it not for the Iraq war. I also wonder what Blair's government would be known for were it not for the foray into Iraq. They did great work in Northern Ireland near the end of the millennium, and iirc there was similarly good stuff done in Israel. I think it definitely eroded our faith in politics and politicians and gave more fuel to Scottish Independence. 

I'd never been on a plane until 2000 and can't remember much about it, but air travel after 9/11 has been an absolute faff. Can anybody comment on how easy the whole process was prior to this?

 

 

I remember being on a business trip to China in the late eighties and one of the guys with us worked at Scone Aerodrome.  On the flight between Hong Kong and Haikou he was up in the cockpit chatting with the pilots.

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1 minute ago, Granny Danger said:

I remember being on a business trip to China in the late eighties and one of the guys with us worked at Scone Aerodrome.  On the flight between Hong Kong and Haikou he was up in the cockpit chatting with the pilots.

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I was shopping in Grimsby of all places, when I got a text from a mate telling me America was under attack and I should get the news on if I hadn't already. Watched it for a while with no sound on TVs in Dixons, then went to a pub to watch and listen on their big TV. I had little interest or knowledge of politics at the time and just thought 'oh well, terrorism happens for reasons'.

Plenty of lessons should have been learned since then but sadly they will not be heeded. Our overlords know their policy and action overseas leads to terrorist atrocities on home soil, and they only need to try to keep it at manageable levels to avoid public revolt. The hugely successful 'they hate us for our freedoms' propaganda goes a long way toward keeping this sustainable. They can live with us carpet bombing their cities, blowing up wedding parties and school buses, but those freedoms! 

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8 minutes ago, Granny Danger said:

I remember being on a business trip to China in the late eighties and one of the guys with us worked at Scone Aerodrome.  On the flight between Hong Kong and Haikou he was up in the cockpit chatting with the pilots.

1980 I was in cockpit on a flight from Heathrow to Sydney, I was 6 at the time.  All the kids cot their 5 minutes or so.

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I was in the Southwest at the time, and it was quite terrifying how many people were fully expecting armed Arab armies to suddenly materialise from nowhere and attack their homes/places of business. For a few days it was entirely acceptable to discuss what amounted to ethnic cleansing, with some of the most appalling racism I've ever heard emerging to describe any and all Arabs. Reports of police pulling over Americans who looked a bit Middle Eastern-y and confiscating their IDs in an attempt to claim they were illegal immigrants (in the standard way they were already doing with Hispanics).

Can't speak for the rest of the country, but Arizona had a collective Head's Gone for a few days, over a single attack that happened thousands of miles away, and that killed fewer civilians than the American government is happy to sacrifice on an annual basis. Since then, absolutely nobody seems to have extrapolated from this that the mass-murder of people in America is horrific, so maybe it's the same when done abroad too.

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