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Author Topic: Thoughts in remembrance of 911  (Read 12160 times)
IainB
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« on: September 10, 2011, 08:02:55 AM »

I remember lying in bed listening to the news on my radio alarm at about 0630hrs that morning and thinking:
Quote
"Why on earth are they broadcasting this silly fake stuff about a 'live' disaster in New York? I would have thought radio producers would have learned from the panic caused when The War of the Worlds was broadcast as though it were 'live'."
And then it slowly dawned in my still sleepy head that this wasn't a fake broadcast - that it really was happening as I lay there in my bed.
I remember saying to one of my coworkers that day:
Quote
"Things will never be quite the same after this."
And it turned out to be true, and a bit of an understatement.

Here are a couple of clips of how the world responded after that event:
  • Remember Me: Beautiful musical clip with images from around the world showing solidarity with America's losses of 9/11, to the music of Mark Shultz singing "Remember Me".
  • Rejoicing: Fox News footage of Palestinians dancing and celebrating at the news of the fall of the twin towers on 911.

Now I gather that there is a proposal to build a massive Islamic mosque at Ground Zero. Yeah, right.
Quote
"The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers." Turkish Prime Minister Erdo─čan, quoting from an Islamic poem.

In the film The Thin Red Line:
Quote
« Last Edit: September 10, 2011, 08:08:02 AM by IainB » Logged
app103
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2011, 09:18:06 AM »

Now I gather that there is a proposal to build a massive Islamic mosque at Ground Zero. Yeah, right.

It's not a mosque, it's an interfaith community center, in much the way the YMCA is a community center. The so-called mosque is nothing more than a prayer room within the center. And it is not on Ground Zero, it's a couple of blocks away. In fact, a place of Muslim worship already existed on the location for quite awhile, used by about 450 peaceful Muslims, locals that live in the area. Blaming and punishing them for the attack would be no different than blaming and punishing all Christians for the Oklahoma City bombing.

What they want to do is tear down the existing building, which was damaged in the 9/11 attacks by falling airplane debris, and rebuild it, expand it and make it a community center and not just a place of worship. It will include a 500-seat auditorium, theater, a performing arts center, a fitness center, a swimming pool, a basketball court, a childcare area, a bookstore, a culinary school, an art studio, a food court, and a memorial to the victims of the September 11 attacks.

It specifically will not contain a mosque and only a prayer room because if you call it a mosque, then anyone of the Muslim faith, regardless of ideology can enter and use it for whatever purposes they choose, and if they call it a prayer room instead, they can have complete control over who they allow to use it, keeping out radical extremist groups who are less than peaceful...and allowing use by people of other faiths, including Christians and Jews.

The proposed community center's purpose is to promote multi-faith peace, tolerance and understanding...the complete opposite of what the 9/11 attacks were about. The Muslims that are responsible for the proposed community center want to push back against the extremists and be part of the rebuilding of the area.

Quote
"The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers." Turkish Prime Minister Erdo─čan, quoting from an Islamic poem.

And I seem to recall this from a very popular Christian hymn:

Quote
Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
   with the cross of Jesus going on before.
   Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
   forward into battle see his banners go!
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mouser
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2011, 10:27:42 AM »

I hope we can avoid this becoming an angry political thread.  Let's all try our best to keep things very civil, polite, and respectful.

A lot of people experienced an unimaginable amount of fear and suffering on that day and they deserve some reflection.  But it's hard to avoid thinking about the waves of changes that radiated from that event and what they mean.

Here's an interesting article by someone who i frequently disagree with but has been pretty open about his emotional reactions to 9/11, and his changing ideas over time about 9/11 and what came after:

"Bin Laden hoped to provoke a civilizational war between Islam and the West. And we took the bait."
http://www.thedailybeast....id-osama-win-on-9-11.html



Personal notes: I grew up in downtown Manhattan with clear view of the world trade centers; I always loved the look of them.  My mother worked in one of them for a few years (forget which tower) in the 1990s.  On the day of 9/11 i was woken up by a panicked phone call from my best friend from his work office in the financial district saying the streets were full of smoke or dust or something and that people thought there might be some kind of terrorist attack.  It was very surreal.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2011, 11:22:35 AM by mouser » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2011, 11:14:51 AM »

I hope we can avoid this becoming an angry political thread.  Let's all try our best to keep things very civil, polite, and respectful.

Killing each other is evil, period.

I will make a brief comment below, which I insist is NOT AT ALL in contradiction to the italic line above this one.

Quote
"Bin Laden hoped to provoke a civilizational war between Islam and the West. And we took the bait."
http://www.thedailybeast....id-osama-win-on-9-11.html

The greatest problem is illustrated here (I confess I didn't read the article though):

To take 9/11 as the start of something is ignoring history.
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Steven Avery
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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2011, 11:18:04 AM »

Hi Folks,

And I had a view of the towers from my place in the sun (Bayside, Queens), so it was all intense.  However, no direct friends lost.  

On the five-year I hung out with the Trufers as I never really bought the Standard American Description (SAD) of what happened. Building 7, pristine passport landing on the street, etc. There was a conference that year.

And I am considering the same possibility tomorrow, the threat for tomorrow is a bit expected, and something to consider.

Shalom,
Steven
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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2011, 11:23:26 AM »

I can't help but cry inside for the people affected by 911. I've lost people that I care about, and the evil there is simply incomprehensible.

« Last Edit: September 10, 2011, 07:59:22 PM by Renegade » Logged

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mahesh2k
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2011, 11:36:40 AM »

NSFCM

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Shades
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2011, 12:27:10 PM »

@Renegade
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mouser
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« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2011, 01:26:00 PM »

Following up on what others have suggested, one thing i have never understood is how one rationalizes and makes sense of something like the "9/11 Victim Compensation Fund".

Essentially, each family of someone killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks received money from the government which averaged "$2 million tax free".

I cannot wrap my head around the difference in the way we treated families of victims of 9/11 compared to how we treat victims of equally traumatic deaths and injuries.

If your spouse was killed instantly in the 9/11 attacks you get 2 million dollars from the government fund, a national memorial and day of morning, and a huge national support system.  If your spouse is raped and tortured and murdered by a serial killer you get nothing.  I just don't get that.

I'm not trying to be heartless -- I'm not begrudging anyone or trying to take away anyone's pain.  It just seems like yet another example of how reactions to this event have not been rational or proportionate given all of the other cases of death and suffering, both inside and outside of the US.



Edit:
Perhaps some of the explanation for why the 9/11 event felt like something especially traumatic has to do with how we can imagine the fear that so many people went through -- the visceral gut-level fear and panic of being trapped in a giant skyscraper that is on fire.  It's hard to imagine too many intensely scarier things that could happen to you.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2011, 02:18:39 PM by mouser » Logged
Stephen66515
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« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2011, 01:41:41 PM »

Its strange how no matter what country you live in, this is one of the events you remember EXACTLY what you was doing.

I remember being dragged into my friends house, whom I had just knocked on his door to borrow a lighter off him...just in time to see the second plane hit.  Our hearts sunk, it was horrible to watch.

RIP all those lost.



As for all the conspiracy theories...Even if it was Aliens...Even if the government did blow the buildings up themselves...even if the Earth randomly got bored one day and decided to eat entire buildings for the sheer fun of it.......people still died...

You make for interesting reads though...keep up the good story telling skills xD


@mouser - I completely agree...they treated this event like it was the only bad thing to happen in the world...ever...which is stupid...plenty of worse things have happened...


This "Event" should be put in the past.  Things 10x worse have happened since, and nobody seems to care.

This year alone, we have had major Earthquakes in Japan, Hurricanes, Volcanoes, and countless other deaths through people-driven killings....Do they get massive media attention for years?  No.
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40hz
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« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2011, 03:00:08 PM »

I'm not trying to be heartless -- I'm not begrudging anyone or trying to take away anyone's pain.  It just seems like yet another example of how reactions to this event have not been rational or proportionate given all of the other cases of death and suffering, both inside and outside of the US.

It isn't rational. No more than the fact that 100+ Americans die in auto accidents each day with nothing more than an occasional aside, but one airliner crash that nets 80 victims is immediately treated as front page news.

I suspect a lot has to do with the initial rather than the aggregate number of victims. Somehow, 3000 all at once is perceived as more tragic than the same number in 30 days. It's just something our human brain does.

I think a lot of the motivation for  victim compensation for 911 came out of a combination of the desire to "do the right thing" and a sense that somehow the United States had failed these people. Especially since 'securing domestic tranquility' is one of the core functions of government. Ironic when you consider that this same government is relatively comfortable with the knowledge that millions of its citizens unnecessarily go hungry and lack basic medical care, since for the government to do otherwise would be "shockingly socialistic" and "send the wrong message."

Having a large pool of seized and frozen assets to pay this compensation out of also probably had a lot to do with how willing the government was to do so.

Either way, it was well-intentioned even if it does create yet another surreal contradiction for our government.

Politic aside, my condolences to all affected by the events of 911 - be they citizens of the United States  - or Afghanistan or Iraq.

Because once again, the common people are all paying the price for the decisions and actions of the few. And that remains true whether they're self-appointed or elected leaders.

May whatever is Holy forgive us for that.  Sad





« Last Edit: September 10, 2011, 03:05:22 PM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2011, 03:01:13 PM »

To me it's a symbol of just how insane this world has become.
Money was the target, Governments lust after it, mine too.
No honor for the human soul and lives are expendable.
And they have no shame or remorse, it's a show.

This is a war that's been going on for a long time,
worse in the last 60 years.

The war with Arab factions and Governments is never ending.

Many direct casualties and loss of life for more then 20 years now.
Because of deployed troops. On all sides.
Just to pick a fight.
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steeladept
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« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2011, 03:49:04 PM »

@40Hz et. al. -

I have VERY strong feelings about this that will lead to no good if I ranted here, so I will stop short of that.  However, I do strongly object to trying to equate this or any other event to car crashes, starving people, etc.  It truly is a tragedy that these events do not get the attention they deserve, but please do not detract from the events that do.  What I feel makes this and other similar events so critical to point out above and beyond car crashes and other events is that this was a purposeful event - something planned and deliberately executed against their fellow humans (assuming you consider someone so deranged as human in anything more than form).  Crashes, starvation, and other more common forms of tragic deaths are mostly unavoidable and unpreventable to one level or another.  Terrorism, assassinations, and other deliberate forms of extermination are, however; and their evilness should be brought to light and preferably to justice.  Regardless of you views on what justice is in this case and whether or not it is being persued in this case is irrelevant to me.  That point is only a red herring regardless of your view on it, and does not change the fact that it needs to be brought to light.

Because of the views and feelings I have on this issue, I am going to ignore this thread from this point forward, I just thought I should point it out before I do.
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mouser
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« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2011, 04:02:01 PM »

Good advice from steeladept.

A good rule for these kinds of threads is everyone gets to post once and then move on; I'm going to follow that rule after this post.
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« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2011, 04:20:26 PM »

Killing each other is evil, period.

IMHO, that says it all.
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« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2011, 05:36:46 PM »

@Steeladept- just for the record, I was not equating anything with anything. If you'll take a moment to look at what I wrote - and read what I actually said - and what I said it about -  you should be able to see that.  smiley

And on that note, I'll heed Mouser's advice and let this be my last word on this topic.  Cool
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« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2011, 07:42:58 PM »

@Shades
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« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2011, 09:54:43 PM »

Quote
"The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers." Turkish Prime Minister Erdo─čan, quoting from an Islamic poem.

And I seem to recall this from a very popular Christian hymn:

Quote
Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
   with the cross of Jesus going on before.
   Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
   forward into battle see his banners go!

I don't know about the original reference, but I do know that this is being taken out of context.  It's not meant literally, but in terms of spiritual combat.
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« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2011, 10:39:26 PM »

I remember 9/11.  The memory brings a lot of emotions.

Mostly sadness.
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« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2011, 08:28:01 AM »

I would like to thank steeladept for his tactful refrain. It affords me the chance to simply agree, and move on.

My son was at the Pentagon that day.
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« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2011, 04:31:29 PM »

I was in a lab at Cambridge that day. A fellow grad student came in and said: "Have you been following the events in America?" to which I responded with a blank stare. When he explained himself I didn't believe him. Didn't really seem real until I saw the towers fall; the world has never been the same.
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IainB
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« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2011, 09:51:58 PM »

@Darwin: Yes, exactly. I had a similar sense of disbelief as I lay listening to my alarm radio. I was in New Zealand at the time, half a world away from New York.

At the time, I was working on a consulting contract at the New Zealand power grid operator Transpower. I went to work as usual, but for most of that day the client's staff didn't get much work done as they kept watching the nearest TV in stunned silence. Being on a contract where I was paid by the hour, I could not be spending the time watching TV as well, but the little I did see was compelling viewing and perturbed me greatly. The staff watched the events unfolding, and that TV footage was repeated for us over the next few weeks, so I didn't miss anything.

...the world has never been the same.
Yes, exactly how I still feel. It was unforgettable, and yet though I was neither near to nor involved in the event itself, it changed me.
Similarly, because I had lived in London and was near to some of the IRA bombings there in the '70s (only 1 block away in one case), I can never look at an unattended bag or suitcase in a public place without an uneasy sense of alarm. The experience had changed me and my paradigms.

The point about quoting the film The Thin Red Line is to suggest that, even though it is fictional, there may be some truth in the quote, and truth as to the question of:
Quote
"What is this great evil?"
The answer to that question is that it is us. It is we who are doing the killing.
After the senseless slaughter of 911, a lot of senseless slaughter (retribution) ensued in Afghanistan. Don't mess about, use "Daisy cutter" bombs. Then later in Iraq. This is in our natures. I am not condemning those wars. How could you condemn a scorpion for being what Nature made it?

I believe, as @rgdot put it (and a belief is not a rational thought), that it is the killing that is evil. It is anti-Life.
To make us good soldiers, military practice and procedures necessarily desensitise our otherwise natural aversion to killing other people. To make it easier and less risky than having to bayonet them or shoot them yourself between the eyes, we automate it all by an efficient process and do it wholesale. For example:
  • By US military crew putting a group of targets/victims on a night vision video screen as infra-red blobs and then killing them all at the press of a button by remotely targetting and triggering a missile from an overhead drone. Cheers go up at the kill. Move on to the next one to get these barbaric bastards on their home ground.
  • Muslim terrorists enact 911. Palestinian Muslims celebrating, cheering and dancing in the streets after the 911 kills of those unbelievers on home ground and right in the midst of their previously thought "safe" city of NY. That'll teach the imperialist murdering bastard sinners. Two more planes to drop.

What is the difference? Where is the humanity? You kill us, we kill you, and we will keep on doing it. We cannot seem to stop this endless dance of death with our fellow-humans.

It is us committing this evil, and we usually justify it by belief in one imagined theoretical construct or another - one religio-political ideology or another. It doesn't really matter which one - any will suffice. We are capable of killing, and - if we are Fascist enough - will apparently kill other people generally for not accepting our imaginary paradigms or our imaginary ideologies, and in retribution we will kill those who kill us for the same thing.
There is no more persuasive argument than the click of a pistol being cocked and aimed at your head.
That makes my ideology stronger than yours, see? Do you agree, or not?
« Last Edit: September 11, 2011, 10:05:21 PM by IainB » Logged
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« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2011, 10:15:17 PM »

What is the difference? Where is the humanity? You kill us, we kill you, and we will keep on doing it. We cannot seem to stop this endless dance of death with our fellow-humans.

It is us committing this evil, and we usually justify it by belief in one imagined theoretical construct or another - one religio-political ideology or another. It doesn't really matter which one - any will suffice. We are capable of killing, and will apparently kill other people generally for not accepting our imaginary paradigms or our imaginary ideologies, and in retribution we will kill those who kill us for the same thing.
There is no more persuasive argument than the click of a pistol being cocked and aimed at your head.
That makes my ideology stronger than yours, see? Do you agree, or not?

Well put.

Regarding:

Quote
It doesn't really matter which one - any will suffice.

From Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus:

Quote
7. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must pass over in silence.

It's a very Stoic idea. And it rarely happens. Rather, people pull out weapons.

The Nietschean version simply puts those with power in charge to dominate as however they see fit. He also says about faith, "A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything."

In the end, any arbitrary morality/value system can be used to justify anything. The only difference between systems is in how easy it is to prove any arbitrary proposition.

Here's a simple proof for this:

* We all have a belief system. (i.e. We all have beliefs.) (Given)
* We all have at least 1 belief that contradicts another of our beliefs. (You can think of many examples here.) (Given)
* All conclusions follow any contradiction. (Reductio Ad Absurdum)

In the end, we can either choose the absurdity of peace or the absurdity of war. The "logical" choice seems obvious to me, but then, I'm just a madman running around blathering like an idiot.

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IainB
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« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2011, 10:56:27 PM »

@Renegade:
...but then, I'm just a madman running around blathering like an idiot.
Yes, they told me about you when they brought me here.
They seem like very nice people here don't they?     Grin
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« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2011, 11:22:36 PM »

@Renegade:
...but then, I'm just a madman running around blathering like an idiot.
Yes, they told me about you when they brought me here.
They seem like very nice people here don't they?     Grin

VERY nice people! They not only let me out of my straight jacket, but gave me milk and cookies too~! tongue

(I already ate all the crayons...)
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