Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 Five Years On

Well, it's 9/11, the anniversary of the World Trade Center attack. At least, it is here in Australia, which is 18 hours ahead of the US. And although the Towers get all the publicity, let's not forget that there were other targets that got hit too. Even the White House was apparently going to be a target for a fifth plane. Like most of the western world, I watched the aftermath on tv and cried as I watched. Even now, as I type this sentence, the memory of those people jumping to their doom, all hope gone, brings tears to my eyes. The 9/11 events were possibly the saddest most of us will ever see in our lives.

I have a couple of acquaintances that are conspiracy nuts, and every single thing that ever happens is a high-up conspiracy by someone, apparently. I firmly believe the truth stands on it's own, so I looked into all the 9/11 conspiracy stories so that I could intelligently argue against them - or agree with them, if the evidence suggested they were actually right. And everything I've read suggests that my initial reaction, that they were nuts, was correct.

Still, 5 years on, there are still a lot of questions that haven't been answered about 9/11. Chief among them is the basic question: "Why did the US go to war against Iraq in response to a terrorist attack by Afghanistan?" Could it have something to do with the fact that, by best estimates, the world has roughly 15 years of oil left, and Iraq has 65% of the world's remaining reserve? And why are the allies still in Iraq? Weren't we assured at the time that it was a quick in-out to stabilize the situation, and that the allies weren't going to become a long-term occupying force? What about all the financial links that Michael Moore made in Fahrenheit 9/11 between the Bush family and Saudi high finance? Sure Moore was as biased as biased can be, knew all the answers to his questions before he asked them and only made the documentary to show his own point of view - but then, that's what every documentary does.

Perhaps the most basic question we need to ask about 9/11 is this: Why, of all targets the terrorists could have chosen, was the US singled out as a target, and why did they hit at the heart of finance? What is it about the US that turns ordinary men into psychopaths who are willing to kill themselves and others to make a point? What can we do, as a tiny, fragile world, to make ourselves better, to bring peace to the world so that no man feels this sort of thing is acceptable?

Sadly, despite the predictions of many, many years of science fiction, I think we're still thousands of years away from that capacity, if it ever happens at all. And that's the saddest thought of all.

1 comment:

foodkitty (hobart life) said...

When I watched "The Falling Man", a doco about one person who choose to jump from the WTC as it became an inferno, I cried. Some of it was sheer gut reaction to the imagery shown, but mostly it was because it reminded me of how I've felt on every anniversary - what makes someone so hateful that they will kill themselves in their quest for vengance?