Today is the second anniversary...
Posted 11 Sep 2003 at 12:06 UTC by chalst
... of the horrifying attack against the people who live
and work in New
York, and against people who flew in America on flights that passed through Boston Logan.
Please take some time to mourn those who died then, and please
do not obscure their memory by talking about the war on terrorism
I started keeping a regular diary here at advogato because of
my shock at the horrifying attack on the Twin Towers, and because I
needed to talk about it `out loud'. My
sister and her (now) fiance were visiting New York, and two friends
of mine worked then in the financial district, one of whom I
later discovered worked in one of the towers, but was fortunately
late for work that day. I emailed several American colleagues that
day, and resolved to write a diary following what I learned from
Dave Winer's weblog.
Here is what I wrote the day after. Please use this thread
to talk about how that day affected you and the people you know, or knew.
No Ordinary Day, posted 11 Sep 2003 at 13:29 UTC by mglazer »
The Two Towers, posted 11 Sep 2003 at 15:43 UTC by mrorganic »
Manhattan just doesn't look right without the towers.
I remember visiting New York in 1995 or thereabouts, and I was the prototypical yokel, gawping up at the tall buildings. I remember going right up to the South Tower and looking straight up, and getting dizzy. I remember all the people I saw going to and fro: all kinds of people, a mishmash of language and clothing style, some laughing, some yelling, some just walking along. Strange to think that many of those people I saw that day might have died in the attacks.
These were just people, average working Joes and Janes; for the most part they had no axe to grind and no agenda to push. They were just going about their morning routine, heading in to work, maybe still half-asleep. Then some fanatical bastards crashed two loaded planes into their workplace and ended their lives in a nightmare of fire and ash.
Bastards. Bastards. I'll never forgive or forget that day.
[...Like other average people in Afghanistan and Irak, chessboard of the USA since more than 20 years.
« Bastards. Bastards. I'll never forgive or forget that day » may say or may have said many citizens of these two countries.]
That's moral relativism, and is horseshit of the purest ray serene. You are, in effect, saying that we deserved it. Don't bother denying it: that's the gist of your post. I've noted a lot of Schadenfreude coming out of Europe lately, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
I've got a lot of spleen to vent on this issue, but I won't do it here. This is a day for mourning and remembering the victims on 9/11. May they rest in peace.
I don't want to obscure the intent of this article, so I'll make it brief. To yeupou, there is a distinction between actions of the U.S. government and the actions of citizens. The crimes of U.S. government are not the crimes of it citizens. The recent wars were only supported my American citizens through a massive propaganda campain waged against the American public. To note, 69% of the American people belive Saddam Hussein had a part in the 9/11 attacks. To date no connection has been proved between Iraq and 9/11 attacks. Many of the families of the 9/11 victims have publicly protested the use of the attacks by the U.S. government as propoganda for the establishment of a police state, and justification for the wars against and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
oh please, posted 11 Sep 2003 at 23:45 UTC by ishamael »
to say that we didn't deserve it is horseshit. I don't mean that the citizens deserved it, certainly not. But the government and the country as a whole deserved the eyeopener that it should have been: that we cannot be the policeman of the world and abusing the countries in the middle east. And I echo what mslicker
I agree, today is for remembering the world trade center & pentagon attacks, remembering *WHY* they happened.
Software?, posted 12 Sep 2003 at 00:47 UTC by slef »
The attacks of 11th September 2001 were tragic, but what has it to do with advogato? Shall we post messages here on the anniversaries of Omagh, Lockerbie, ...? Each country can probably add more to this list. I know there's a scale difference, but the site will soon be nothing but "never forget" messages.
BTW, it's not necessarily schadenfreude. Some people just think the US is being nutty again and don't feel too sympathetic when the decisions of US's elected officials have consequences for US citizens. Hey, they have enough consequences for non-USians.
no shadenfreude here, posted 12 Sep 2003 at 04:52 UTC by obi »
Well, needless the say that it was a tragedy, and I do empathize with everyone who lost someone on 9/11.
It's my personal impression however, that it changed the US in the worst way, despite the rhetoric saying how the America stands united, etc. Just now I saw interviews with US citizens, who were saying things like: "if we have to give up some civil liberties to get better security, we should definately accept that". There's now a situation of perpetual war against whoever the people in charge feel like calling terrorists today, and dissent is unpatriottic. The perpetrators already managed to turn a relatively open society into a quasi police state.
As for european shadenfreude, I think it's silly to presume most people in europe would wish a tragedy like this on anyone. However, it is important to understand where this came from, because no amount of policing, hunting for terrorists, wars, spying or repression is going to stop terrorism. These acts were committed with knives, after all. There's a lot of people blaming the US for the way they're kept in poverty/misery - this may be partly unfounded, but there's no denying that the industrialized world has a responsability for a lot of the things that happen in those places.
And there are cases where the US did have a clear responsability - as an example: 9/11 has a very different meaning for chileans. It's the day the US-backed Pinochet did a 'regime-change' over there, which was the beginning of a reign of torture and 'disappearances'.
And as for the distinction between the US governement and the US citizens, I have to wonder: who else is the US governement accountable to? It seems that the US governement just isn't judged on how ethically it's acting abroad (unless it has a pricetag that the US people notice, like immediate risks to American lives, or higher taxes); it's judged on how the american economy is going (rest-of-the-world-be-damned the impression is). If 'mishaps' like in Chile, or the situation in the middle east would cost the people in power votes, maybe they'd think twice about doing things like that.
Still, no matter what: noone deserves a tragedy like 9/11. This was an incomprehensible act of blind hatred.
Well, US is a democracy. US government are made and elected by US citizens, so, in some level, US gov't actions reflect US citizens desires.
OTOH, if US citizens are so easily taken by propaganda and so easily swallow US gov't half-truths, then it is likely that US gov't can steer US citizens into believe they need something they don't.
I agree that no citizen should pay for their gov't crimes, and I mourn for the losses of 9/11. I really do. It was a tragedy, and not only for US citizens.
But that is not a good reason to try and forget why that happened. All happened for a reason, a general insatisfaction with the way US gov't do things off-shore. Sadly, they still doing it.
I hope a tragedy like that never happens again. And I also hope that US gov't/citizens grow more mature in the way they interact with the world.
big reply, posted 12 Sep 2003 at 06:24 UTC by yeupou »
, I don't need you to express my feeling. I did not said that some people deserve to die (so you reply if Off-Topic).
mslicker, you are right (there's no contradiction to what I said)
obi, you said that "There's a lot of people blaming the US for the way they're kept in poverty/misery" and "this may be partly unfounded". Get a decent history book about Iraq and Afghanistan, you'll see that in these two countries the USA is a major actor (USA heavily supported both Talibans and Saddam Hussein in the past - while it was already known that these persons where criminals).
Apart from that "noone deserves a tragedy like 9/11", I agree. But the worse is the fact that this "act of blind hatred" is not "incomprehensible" (understand does not mean empathy).
yeupou, posted 12 Sep 2003 at 19:01 UTC by obi »
: Well, I was trying to be diplomatic. I'm very aware of the US role in [Afghanistan|the Iraq-Iran war|...]. And I do understand where it's coming from. But emotions there are going a bit out of control, to the point that the US gets blamed for absolutely everything, even things they're not remotely responsible for. Not that there's a shortage of things to blame the US for, however.
As for the 'blind hatred' part being 'incomprehensible' - I don't think I made myself very clear. Absolute villification of the other party is always wrong, because it stops one side from understanding the other and actually positively influencing or even fixing the issues (it's good for propaganda though, but propganda is not really the end goal; or is it?). This is however exactly what both the taliban/terrorists/<whatever> and the US are doing.
I think it's incomprehensible not because it's difficult to see where these sentiments come from, but because it doesn't serve any purpose, it doesn't really advance their cause or improve their condition. Such actions just polarize the situation.
yeupou, mslicker, ishamael, obi: I'm sorry you couldn't wait a
day before posting your reflections on US global power and its
consequences. I think you have bad taste.
slef: Yes, I think it is fair. Better examples would be the
Bangladesh floods, the Kobe earthquake, and the Bhopal poisoning.
I think, though, that many people here at advogato were far more shocked by
9/11 than by these greater human tragedies; certainly I was. I don't
think we are obliged to restrict posts to the front page to
software topics, though, only topics that many advogatans will find
Lastly, to those who think America deserved it: what about if
Al Qaeda could plan a crippling attack that would kill several
hundred thousand people, ravage the American economy to put it
to the same level as Somalia, and completely eliminate US military
power? Do you think that would actually be a good thing? Would
you press the button? If so, you are a moral monster. In defence
of America, read Norman Geras, British marxist and deep thinker about the ethics of
I guess even a techie nerd doesn't have to be civilized as represented by the sicko comments posted here yesterday.
You live in civilization, use civilization's technology and tools but then you act uncivilized.
I wonder how many of you losers who hate humanity and life are Americans, use America, are ungrateful sychophants, and heartless?
Luckily, you do NOT represent humanity at all and most haven't forgotten
Technology represents civilization at its best
The comments posted here yesterday represent technology users at their worst
bad taste?, posted 12 Sep 2003 at 21:29 UTC by mslicker »
This was my defense of the 9/11 victims and more generally victims of terrorism. Sorry if you felt it was in bad taste. I don't agree with yeupou that terrorism commited against ordinary citizens by islamic fundamentalist is an appropriate response to acts of aggression by the U.S. military.
Further, the 9/11 attacks cannot be explained simply as a result of prior U.S foreign policy. What happened on 9/11 was systematic break down of U.S. security. To date there has not been a full or conclusive examination of the events leading up to 9/11 attacks.
As far as the as U.S. a world power. The U.S. government is far from the only national government with dirt on its hands. Just the same I would not say citizens of a euorpean nation deserve attacks comparable to those of 9/11.
mglazer: The rhetoric is perhaps a bit overdone, but for once
I agree with the sentiment. I really think less of advogato
after seeing yesterday's performance.
mslicker: Yesterday was not a day for understanding the motives
of hate-driven terrorists. Nor was it a day to to say that
America had it coming. Why exactly couldn't you wait?
..., posted 12 Sep 2003 at 22:42 UTC by mslicker »
I neither tried to explain the motives of the people who caried out the attacks (less even specified who they were) nor did I say that "America had it comming". Besides these facts, although I try to be respectful I don't feel constrained by one person's notion of good taste.
mslicker: I'm sorry if you think I have been unfair; I agree you did neither
of the two things I said, however you did
use this thread to criticise the war on terrorism, which is the
first thing I asked that people do not do yesterday. Why couldn't that wait?
- « to those who think America deserved it [...] » but nobody said that here.
- « I'm sorry you couldn't wait a day before posting your reflections on US global power and its consequences. I think you have bad taste. ». Please explain _why_ it's unfair to talk about USA world-policy at the anniversary of the death of many persons, this is not something obvious. I'm pretty sure that you would have no problem to talk about Saddam Hussein at the anniversary day of the begin of the war (or on the blocus on medical facilities...). Does it means that you consider that iraqi people deserved to die?
mslicker, you should be truly _ashamed_ of your rethoric methods. I never wrote that « terrorism commited against ordinary citizens by islamic fundamentalist is an appropriate response to acts of aggression by the U.S. military ».
You argue like the USA does during the war, it's a pity to see someone defending his point of view only by inventing the point of view of his interlocutor.
Nobody said that people deserve to die, if you have nothing else to say, just say nothing instead of pretending to educate people by yelling "nobody deserves to die", just like if someone said the contrary.
I give up, posted 13 Sep 2003 at 19:29 UTC by mslicker »
, I don't understand the meaning of your original post. You have not made any attempt to clarify what you meant. In the future I should not respond where the meaning is not clear, invention is inevitable.
Clarity, posted 14 Sep 2003 at 03:44 UTC by neil »
mslicker: You want clarity? I think you ask too much from these moral relativists. All they do is make vague statements, muddying the intellectual waters until they can't see right from wrong.
inevitable, posted 14 Sep 2003 at 07:26 UTC by yeupou »
, when you are not able to understand something, you find that "invention is inevitable". How convenient! So you do not even need to admit that inventing is misbehaving.
neil, you are absolutely right, when you notice the hate in the speech of someone that is victim of hate, it's just "muddying in the intellectual waters". At no point, there's a parallelism between the first man attitude and the second's one. Sure, the terrorist were all evil evil guys, born evil, and the others are just cool and nice guys, born smart. Basically, the cool guy says "Bastards. Bastards. I'll never forgive or forget that day" and got a big army to get his revenge. The evil guy said ten years before "Bastards. Bastards. I'll never forgive or forget that day" and got only a knife.
Noticing this fact may disturb you. However, it does not mean that I believe that someone deserve to die. But it surely means that when someone writes such message of hate, he contributes to this vicious circle of hate.
*sigh*, posted 14 Sep 2003 at 08:50 UTC by tk »
I wonder, when you "civilized" white men attend a funeral service or a
commemoration service, do you go about it quietly, or do you get into a big
argument, or start a long sermon on morals? Now, if I ever get involved in
any commemoration service (hopefully not), and some guests start preaching
stuff, I'll throw them out immediately.
I wanted to talk a bit about the effects of 9/11 on myself, but I think I'll
ditch the idea. What's the point of talking? "Civilized" people never bother
to listen to others, they only want others to listen to them.
Decency, posted 14 Sep 2003 at 10:02 UTC by chalst »
tk: Thank you for writing that. That expresses exactly what I think
is wrong with the people who have politicised this thread. I'm
relieved to learn that mglazer isn't the only candidate for advogato's
most decent human being.
yeupou seems to have misunderstood my original reply to mslicker. I
did not accuse anyone here of holding these opinions, (namely
thinking the US had it coming, and thinking understanding
what drives the terrorists is more important than dealing with them). I don't think these
opinions are in bad taste. I think they are wrong, but arguing for
them needn't hurt anyone. Just understand where is reasonable to
make these arguments and where is not.
Decency, posted 14 Sep 2003 at 10:08 UTC by chalst »
tk: Thank you for writing that. That expresses exactly what I think
is wrong with the people who have politicised this thread. I'm
relieved to learn that mglazer and mrorganic aren't the only
candidates for advogato's place of
most decent human being.
yeupou seems to have misunderstood my original reply to mslicker. I
did not accuse anyone here of holding exactly these opinions, (namely
thinking the US had it coming, and thinking that we need to spend a
lot of time understanding
what drives the terrorists),
but I think they are very similar to what lies behind mslickers posts,
and also some other posts to this thread. I don't think these
opinions are in bad taste. I think they are very badly wrong, but arguing for
them needn't hurt anyone. Just understand where is reasonable to
make these arguments and where is not. This thread was not.
Dr. Revilo P. Oliver, professor of classics at the University of Illinois is inevitably dead.
"War and Peace" is everlasting. But eternity is beyond time and certainly not everlasting. As long as the notion that there is no realm outside the time machine, everlasting is all that humans can rest their ideas upon. And is there a beginning of all, including what we perceive as time?
inevitble, posted 14 Sep 2003 at 21:43 UTC by mslicker »
, it is apparent the only one who can understand these particular words is you. Under this context, yes, invention is inevitble for anyone trying to interpret such words. However in your lastest message you confirm my interpretation. That the response of the terrorist not only appropriate, but heroic. After all, the terrorist acomplished their feat only with knifes.
It is also apparent that your understanding of the 9/11 attacks and actions of U.S. government are simplistic at best. National governments such as the U.S. don't act on principles of revenge. Surely there is anger and outrage in the remarks of mrorganic, and justifiably so, however this does not equate to revenge. In America there is a commonly felt principle of justice, that perpetrators should be brought to justice. This is the pretext for which the Bush administration sought the war against Afghanistan. The media was succesful in its trasformation of raw emotion felt from the 9/11 attacks to support for the Bush adminstrations never ending "war on terror". We went from bringing the perpetrators to justice to "ending states that support terror", even this was further manipulated especially in the case of Iraq. As for the terrorists, I make no attempt to fully understand their motives, but it is clear that the attack on the world trade center was not an act of vengeance against the victims. The world trade center, the pentagon, the whitehouse were unmistakably chosen for their symbolic value. Further, you ingore the role of terrorist oraganizations in funneling justifiable anger into acts of terrorism.
I think far worse than people expressing their opinion in this thread is the meta discussion which seems so popular on Advogato. The discussion of taste, who said what, and the judgements that were pronounced are empty and distracting to anyone wishing to express their thoughts. I don't care if people hear my opinion, but I will make attempts to correct misconceptions of which there appear to be many surrounding 9/11. Given the international nature of this site, I think it was inevitable for certain dicussions to take place. I think some of the comments in particular were reacting to the self-centered nature of the article, and subsequent posts. It is a truth about Americans that we are largely ignorant of or indifferent to the world around us, especially the suffering that is inflicted by our own government in many parts of the world.
: actually you and yepou are pretty much in agreement. What he tried to tell (with, admittedly, not very sharp english skills), is not that the 9/11 victims deserved it but that one of the root cause of the terrorists' hate is the US foreign policy. That doesn't make them right, but it's still something you have to take in consideration if you hope for the situation to ever improve. Especially given that, as you said, what's happening in Afghanistan or Iraq is unlikely to make things any better.
When France had its share of islamic bombings, the common opinion was that we were reaping what was sowed decades ago in Algeria. The only people claiming for strong retaliation were of the extreme right wing. That doesn't mean we didn't do anything to bring the terrorists to justice either. Compare this to the reactions of neil, mglazer, or ESR.
So to the people that expected this thread to remain politics-free : given the current course of events, politics are the probably the last thing which can avoid that all these deaths be in vain, and that new ones happen.
That may not fit the Hollywood-like script some would like this to follow, with brave young heroic soldiers killing the bad guys and stuff (you'll have plenty of that anyway, we had some here as well, to a scale fitting our economical means of course :-), but politics is one of the things being "civilised" is about, rather than giving in to hate and anger. Nobody said it was easy, however.
One has to appreciate the irony of a Christian president of a Christian country ignoring the most basic Christian values, though. Even an atheist like me does.
discussion of taste, who said what, and the judgements that were
pronounced are empty and distracting to anyone wishing to express
Don't give me this junk about "free speech". When you invite people into
your house for a birthday party, and a visitor decides to embark on a hate
speech, are you going to just give him the "right" to "express his
thoughts"? Remember, it's your house, and it's a birthday
party, and as such is supposed to be a pleasant gathering.
Given the international nature of this site, I think
it was inevitable for certain dicussions to take place.
Right, given the biological instincts of man, it's inevitable for rape to
take place. Therefore, rape is acceptable.
I'm dismayed that "civilized" white men like to be rude, and then give bogus
excuses for their rudeness later. mslicker, clearly you
have direct control over your ten fingers, and you can restrain them if you
want to. What's so "inevitable" about it?
OK, sometimes people say things
that are bogus, or that sound bogus. Don't you have the good sense to look
at the specific setting, and see
when you should try to correct them, and when you should just close your
About 9/11 and myself, posted 15 Sep 2003 at 06:08 UTC by tk »
(OK... now I'll try to use this thread as it was originally intended.)
I missed the initial announcement of the attack on the TV news, but when I
saw Bush giving a speech and Japanese news headings saying "... aircraft ...
attack ...", I knew something big had happened.
So the next day I looked up (!) Slashdot,
and then I knew. There were articles on the plane crashes, alongside Jon
Katz's drivel about how people were queueing to donate blood (by the way,
why oh why can't these people just write succintly?). Then, I watched a
footage of how the planes were being crashed into the Twin Towers. It's
horrifying. The name "Al-Qaeda" didn't appear until some time later. (And
strangely, to this day there's no direct evidence that the Al-Qaeda planned
the attack, though that doesn't matter any more.)
At that time, this seemed to me like it might be the beginning of a new kind
of war, perhaps WWIII, with a group of guerillas going around crashing
planes. It turned out to be an isolated attack however.
So how did the attack itself affect me? If there was any effect, I think it
made me realize that my very life can actually be affected by the thoughts
and actions of some people far away, people whom I don't even know about --
and that's scary. It's uncertain, though, how I can ameliorate this.
Deserved it?, posted 15 Sep 2003 at 06:08 UTC by ncm »
I doubt anyone here would swear vengeance if mglazer had been hit.
That's the problem, of course. Every time somebody gets mad enough
to do something about crimes against them and theirs, they go
sniping at innocents, instead of taking out the people responsible.
(Or, at least, their frothing supporters.)
I've had it with breast-beating over the tiny band of malcontents
who dropped the WTC. It wouldn't have happened if the FBI hadn't
been ordered to drop its ongoing investigations of Saudi nationals.
The event was a godsend for those who had seized power earlier that
year, at a time when they were in deep trouble over the meltdown of
the economy, and over their debt to securities fraudsters. The main
official response has been to take advantage of the hysteria and
eliminate essential liberties without materially improving security
(or even catching any of those responsible!), and to pump untold
billions of dollars of public money into the pockets of those least
How many people died in the WTC? When you ask
the Pentagon how many innocent Iraqis they have killed, they say
(quoting) "That's not important, they don't count." Hint: many
more than 3000. (Recall, again, that Iraqis had nothing
to do with the WTC event.) How many Afghanis were murdered?
How many Guatemalans were killed with
U.S.-supplied bullets? The list goes on. Does any of that
justify dropping the WTC? Of course not, but it does reveal
the "Never forgive, never forget" crowd as shameless hypocrites.
They expect the rest of the world to forgive and forget, hundreds
of times over.
How many Americans, sucked into addiction while still teenagers,
die from tobacco poisoning every week? Thousands. In the
last two years we've had over a hundred dropped WTCs worth,
each victim dying after months of twisted agony. Another WTC-worth
fell to secondhand smoke. How many die of cancer caused by lead
poisoning and asbestos? Those hazards were well-known to their
promoters at the time of their introduction. Ill-tested
pesticides? Ill-tested food additives? Who will avenge
those deaths? Do they matter less because you didn't see them
on TV? Evidently we, too, are expected to forgive and
forget, hundreds of times over -- and, obedient sheep, most do.
To those of you swearing vengeance against the rest of the world:
What else is new? Does this mean doing something different
than before? Americans have been exacting their brand of
vengeance against the rest of the world, as against native
americans and black people here, for centuries. For anyone
else to defend themselves, their property or their livelihood,
when profits are at stake, is the greatest crime we know.
When will we start shooting cruise missiles at the homes of
tobacco executives? They have far more to answer for than
anybody in a cage at Guantanamo.
I thought some might find interesting the statements of the families of the 9/11 victims (September Eleventh Families For Peaceful Tomorrows). It might make you consider everyone has personal reaction to events and politics are not off limits even for those who were most directly affected by the tragedy.
Re: Victims' families, posted 16 Sep 2003 at 07:57 UTC by tk »
*sigh* How many times do I have to repeat, one should look at the
specific setting to decide what's proper and what's not? When victims'
families hold a commemoration service, then as far as the service is
concerned, they say what they want, and we shut up. Not
because they're right and we're wrong; it's just decorum.
Does it occur to you that your brand of thinking is quite similar to the
"imperialist" thinking which you are so opposed to? If something's true in a
certain setting, then it must be true everywhere, everytime, and for
everyone. So, when Americans are in America, they are protected by American
law; when they go to Japan, or to China, or to Singapore, they
still expect to be protected by American law. If 9/11
victims' families have the right to rant in a specific place, then everyone
has the right to rant everywhere and everytime.
I've used my judgment. I think your posts are in a far worse strain. I think you are more interested in talking about personal conduct than any thing relating to subject matter. Why waste your time here, you should set up your own site "Proper 9/11 conduct from tk, a man from Singapore who wacthed the events on tv". If chalst wants authoritative control, he should set up it own site or should he have more sensitive in writing his article, so as to not provoke a political response.
I have no idea why mslicker supposes I would want `authoritative control':
I made a request, and when it was not observed I said what I thought about it. I
tried to exercise sensitivity when writing this article, and I'm sorry if I failed.
Guillaume I think is right when he says it was naive of me to hope there would not be political responses in this thread. It has
become pointlessly divisive, and I think we should end it here.