Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11--9 Years On

The World Trade Center site with memorial footprints of the twin towers visible (Getty Images)

It is interesting that 9 years on it seems as if this year the commemoration of 9/11 is more important and controversial than it has been in other years. It may be in part due to the coincidence of Eid Al-Fitr falling over the same time period, or because the economy is still bad news; but, I suspect it has most to do with this being an election year, and a highly polarized one at that. That seems to outweigh the relative obscurity of any 9 year anniversary, as opposed to the 1st, 5th, or 10th for example.

Two respected commentators have written interesting opinion pieces about 9/11, with the advantage of their knowledge at the time, and the perspective of temporal distance. Perhaps because this is the 9th year and not a more sentimental 10th, they are freer to speculate on the tragedy of the deaths, but more so on the tragedy of the subsequent response. The two are Robert Fisk, columnist for The Independent, a 40 year veteran foreign correspondent who has lived in Beirut for the last 30, Robert Fisk: Nine years, two wars, hundreds of thousands dead – and nothing learnt; and, Fareed Zakaria, an Indian American Muslim, specialist in international relations and American foreign policy, who comments and writes frequently on both, What America Has Lost: It’s clear we overreacted to 9/11. As you can tell by the titles of each article, both journalists are skeptical in their own way about the results of how the US government reacted to 9/11.

Artist's rendering of planned Memorial site, with sunken water falls and cascade in the footprints of the WTC twin towers.

This morning, I was watching the CNN early news reporting on today's planned 9/11 commemorations, and I was struck by the information about the planned memorial and museum at "Ground Zero" or more aptly the World Trade Centre site. The description of the state of completion of the WTC memorial--in the footprints of the twin towers--included the information that the wall of honour would memorialize the names of those killed in the 1993 bombing of the WTC as well as those killed on 9/11/2001. This reminded me of questions I have had about the WTC since 9/11, especially about why certain command centres had been put there after 1993, and why certain top secret, highly important government as well as financial centre resources were there as well. This was particularly odd, especially as it has been given as a reason certain rescue efforts and protocols were impeded when the attack did happen.

Then I came across this video, which makes compelling scientific arguments that the World Trade Towers--all 3 (North, South, and WTC7) were brought down by internally placed dynamite in a controlled explosion like those done to remove unwanted buildings.

Presentation by Richard Gage, San Francisco Bay Area architect and a member of the American Institute of Architects,
the founding member of AE911Truth, American Engineers and Architects for 9/11 Truth

I'm not sure where I learned so much (relatively) about controlled explosions, how they are done, and what they look like--especially since, unlike the highly qualified architects, engineers, and crisis managers in the video, I can barely find the Faculty of Engineering on campus. However, I do recall thinking right after 9/11 that the buildings did come down in the same implosive, "into their own footprint" manner as those buildings that I was aware had been deliberately taken down by controlled explosions to make room for new ones, and the sight of what that looked like.

The video's prime purpose is to show that there is excellent scientific evidence to suggest that the World Trade Towers came down as they did, not because of the planes flown in to them, but because of pre-placed explosives and someone's deliberate choice. It merely states that if that is true, there are uncomfortable questions about who would have made the decision to do so, and why.

Flowers, photos and messages are left at a reflecting pool in ground zero during a memorial service commemorating the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010 in New York. (AP Photo/Andrew Mills, Pool)

The most uncomfortable questions for me were the ones the speaker raised about why the firefighters weren't forewarned; and one I have thought of since watching it. Why weren't the emergency dispatchers informed, and instead advised people to stay in the building leading to more deaths? More importantly, why wasn't a pretext found to evacuate the innocent? Those questions are assuming on my part that the planes did strike the twin towers unexpectedly; and, perhaps taking them down through controlled explosions was a safety precaution put in place after 1993, enacted deliberately on this occasion for that reason.

However, as I write that, I remember the look of sheer determination to suppress a giant eye roll from a very bright and well-informed Muslim student, who finally just said to me, "If you want to catch a thief, you LET him in."

An officer stands guard over a reflecting pool during a memorial service commemorating the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010 in New York.(AP Photo/Don Emmert, Pool)

None of this is to in any way diminish the tragedy or the loss of lives on 9/11. It is more in the spirit of greater understanding and further prevention of similar incidents--whatever they may be, and with the collusion of whomever.

Take a look at the video; it is lengthy but worthwhile, and could be subtitled "Controlled explosions for non-Engineers 101".

A message to a loved one is seen on the Ground Zero reflecting pool at the site where the twin towers once stood on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, in New York City September 11, 2010.(REUTERS/John Angelillo/Pool)

Your comments, thoughts, impressions, experiences?

2 comments:

Susanne said...

Some touching photos...thanks for sharing.

Chiara said...

Susanne--thank you for your comment. This is a difficult topic to address, in light of the very real pain and losses of 9/11. Which is perhaps why it needs to be addressed anew. Thanks again for your comment!

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