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Marking 10 Years Since 9/11/2001 804

Posted by timothy
from the keep-calm-and-carry-on dept.
10 years ago today, coordinated terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. killed nearly 3,000 people. It wasn't the first terrorist attack directed against the U.S., or even on U.S. soil, but it was the deadliest, and came at a time of relative peace. Probably most people reading this remember where and how they heard the news. We've often discussed the consequences of the attack: security cordons, ID checks and metal detectors where none existed before, a reexamination of how U.S. policy affects international perception and attitudes, and the encroachment of surveillance policies and technology, to name a few. Today, we don’t want to inundate you with links to tributes and retrospectives, so we’ll offer the only thing we can: a look back at how the day unfolded here. Our thoughts are with everyone who lost friends and family members.
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Marking 10 Years Since 9/11/2001

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  • But (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 11, 2011 @09:29AM (#37367552)

    It's not even November yet.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 11, 2011 @09:30AM (#37367566)

    Isn't that 3000 ppl died, that happens also in car accidents every few months.

    It's that USA went from being a respected member of the world community to a nation hated even among its allies. A nation that things it owns the whole world, can torture other country's ppls, can force them to act in ways it wants, and that is in everyone else's face.

    It was the day that marked the beginning of the end for the USA.

    • by North Korea (2457866) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @09:34AM (#37367586)
      So well played. I don't think the purpose was ever to cause destruction - it was to provoke US to make themselves look like asses. Just like you do when you want to get back to big stupid bullies who just use power.
      • by chrb (1083577) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @10:22AM (#37367966)
        It wasn't even a secret. British journalist Robert Fisk interviewed Osama bin Laden several years before the Twin Towers attacks. He stated that his aim was to draw the U.S. into a protracted war in Afghanistan, one which would last a long time, ultimately leading to defeat of the U.S. - just like the way they beat the Soviets. He understood that, as with the Soviet campaign, they could not hope to win a conventional war. He also named the U.S. Somalia experience as being an influence. When U.S. marines went to Somalia Osama sent some Afghan Mujahideen fighters to battle them. They reported back that the American soldiers had fled the country after a few short battles; they believed that the Americans were not ready to fight against a long-term guerilla campaign. And why did Osama want to fight the U.S.? Two of the important factors he mentioned in these interviews were U.S. troops entering Saudi Arabia, and U.S. sanctions against Iraq leading to the indirect deaths of 600,000 Iraqi children. Fisk also pointed out that some of the first anti-U.S. operations - the U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, which had been blamed on simple "hatred of America" by the western media, occurred on the eighth anniversary of the arrival of the first US troops in Saudi Arabia in 1990.
        • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @10:43AM (#37368108) Journal

          The Russians had publicity in the west against them so they pulled out of a war that was nothing but negative press to them.

          The US was making that bad press and funding the war against the russians.

          The Russians may be laughing their ass of at the mess the US has gotten itself into BUT they are not going to aid the taliban just to piss of the Americans.

          The US may not be winning the war but they sure as hell are thinning out the Taliban. There is reason the Taliban is using more and more terror tactics in Afghanistan, they are running out of capable recruits.

          What you may not have heard is that just after 9/11 the Taliban fielded a fairly capable army and was using traditional war strategies against the Afghani government. They are no longer capable of it. That is not to say the war has been won but you got to have a LOT of hatred to join up for what is practically a suicide mission. Suicide bombers you say? Count them. They have a horrific impact but are totally incapable of being used in any sensible military tactics. Post 9/11 people feared an uprising, the beginning of a new war... but where is the hatred? Just recently Libyan's were shown kissing the US flag for the aid in helping liberate their country. Oh, the US involvement there is far from clean BUT Osama cried for Muslims around the world to rally to a common cause and for 9 years, the answer was silence. There are plenty of individuals with enough hatred but terrorism is hardly new. IRA, Basks, German radicals. There are always going to be people who want to force their minority opinion through violence.

          The western world has payed dearly for the war but the price payed on the side of the extremists is far far higher. Their leadership is in ruins, new plots are half-assed and stopped routinely and worsed off all. When the uprising finally started, it was peaceful and directed against Muslim rulers with so far precious little input from extreme Islam. This is not what Osama was dreaming off.

          And those who cry about how the west is fighting itself... metal detectors? They have been at airports for decades. Just because the US allowed internal flights to be boarded from the runway by anybody taking anything they wanted doesn't mean that this is the norm. I was search 30 years ago on a boat trip to the UK for crying out load. Maybe the US just needed a wake-up call in general.

          As for hatred against the US? There seems to be more hatred amongst rich white boys from the American suburbs then say in Egypt or Tunisia or Libya. Remember the protests in Iran. The ones happening in Syria? Against the evil imparislists! Oh, wait no... they are protesting against their own leaders, leaders who try to use the US as the great Satan and their people are rejecting it.

          No, 9/11 saw big changes in the world but I doubt Osama is very pleased with them... even if he was still alive.

          But kiddies like you wish to see the world burn and use their own fears to put hatred into other peoples mind, even if those other people got far more important things to worry about. Read the real news for a change, not Fox or the BBC, both are extremists wishing to color the news to suit their agenda but the real news. What real people living real life are thinking.

          • by sydneyfong (410107) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @11:06AM (#37368272) Homepage Journal

            On these subjects, if you read "news", or even *real* news , you're probably already unknowingly subject to various propaganda campaigns, unless you read a *really* wide range of news from various agencies and countries, in different languages.

            The picture painted (for example) in the news in the Muslim world is not as rosy for the US as the whatever news you read.

          • by MightyMartian (840721) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @11:47AM (#37368596) Journal

            Thinning out the Taliban? What are you talking about? The pourose border with Pakistan means the Taliban can move with relative ease to escape NATO forces. What's more they're receiving aid from Pakistani security services, so it's not like they don't have important allies.

            The minute NATO leaves, the government will be overrun, collapse and everyone will be back where they started.

          • by chrb (1083577) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @11:48AM (#37368598)

            The US may not be winning the war but they sure as hell are thinning out the Taliban.

            Evidence, and over what time period? In 2009 it was reported [aljazeera.net] that "Taliban-led forces fighting US and Nato troops in Afghanistan have increased nearly fourfold since 2006, according to a US intelligence estimate". In the last few years the Taliban have managed to spread their influence (or, at least, philosophy) to largely destabilise the tribal regions of north west Pakistan, suggesting that their power over the last 5 years has increased rather than decreased. This graph [wikipedia.org] of coalition casualties in Afghanistan shows that most deaths have occurred in the last two years, further suggesting that Taliban power isn't waning.

    • by RebelWithoutAClue (578771) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @09:59AM (#37367784) Homepage

      Hmm, no. Car accident statistics dont get worse if you ignore them.

      On the other hand ignoring something as big 9/11 would have emboldened OBL and invite him to make the next one even bigger...

      It would have made us look like paper tigers. The appearance of weakness is the sort of thing that tempts our enemies to start wars.

      • by Shihar (153932) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @11:25AM (#37368428)

        The US faced down the fucking USSR. The USSR could literally destroy the world, and we had a policy of going toe to toe with them if they messed with us or our allies. We were just as ready to jab the 'blow up the god damn world' as they were, if not more so. We went nearly a decade in that mindset without pissing away our civil liberties.

        9/11 comes along and one of the least scary threats to Americans, a threat that ranks well below eating McDonalds food (which actually DOES kill Americans), and we piss ourselves.

        Our actions didn't scare away OBL. OBL couldn't do it again because as soon as we installed $100 security doors and airplanes and passengers decided to beat the shit out of anyone trying to take over the airplane, it made that attack impossible. The US could eat a 9/11 10 times a year, and if we didn't act like fucking cowards in response, terrorism still wouldn't even make it into the top 10 most likely ways to die as an American. Eating your fat American ass to death would remain safely on top by over two orders of magnitude.

        I am all for beating the piss out of Afghanistan post 9/11. It is a friendly reminder to other nations not to harbor enemies. I was okay with dropping a couple hundred on security doors for airplanes and telling passengers to beat the shit out of anyone trying to take over and airplane. Absolutely everything beyond that was a complete fucking waste of money and much of it a violation of civil liberties we managed to keep even when facing down the fucking USSR.

        Seriously, consider that. The fourth amendment meant something when facing down the god damn USSR, an world ending threat. When faced with sheep herders who are as likely to blow their own dicks off as they are to blow up a single airplane (of our many thousands), we promptly rip up the constitution and use it as toilet paper to help clean up the mess when made we shit ourselves in cowardly fright.

        Anyone who fears terrorist in the US is a fucking coward, pure and simple. Anyone who fears them enough to mew and bleat to politicians to strip their fellow Americans of civil liberties and constitutional protection is not only a complete and total fucking coward, but a sniveling traitorous coward of the worst kind, as they have the nerve to bleat for politicians to strip their fellow citizens of freedoms that 200+ years of Americans fought and died to build and protect. If you are going to be a coward, do it quietly, and don't be a traitorous piece of filth working to undo freedoms bought with 200+ years of sweat and blood by men and women far more deserving of those freedoms than your sniveling pathetic ass. If the thought of dying really causes your bowels to loosen, eat less fucking food.

        • by multi io (640409) <olaf.klischat@googlemail.com> on Sunday September 11, 2011 @01:32PM (#37369256)

          The US faced down the fucking USSR. The USSR could literally destroy the world, and we had a policy of going toe to toe with them if they messed with us or our allies. We were just as ready to jab the 'blow up the god damn world' as they were, if not more so. We went nearly a decade in that mindset without pissing away our civil liberties.

          The USSR could destroy the world, but they DID NOT WANT TO. The commies were corrupt dictators, but they were rational people who loved their lives and that of their children. They wouldn't attack the west with terrorist sleeper cells that used airplanes as bombs, or with suitcase nukes in NY harbor. With people who love life, the "mutually assured destruction" deterrent works. The USSR had the capability to destroy the world 10 times over, but they didn't use that capability for 40 years. Islamic terrorists do want to destroy the world. If you gave the nuclear arsenal and launch sites of the USSR to Al Qaida, western civilization would cease to exist the next day.

          • by ultranova (717540) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @02:21PM (#37369600)

            Islamic terrorists do want to destroy the world.

            The problem is, the Religious Right also wants to destroy the world. Go see Rapture Ready forums: every time something bad happens somewhere, the news is met with jubilence; because, after all, it hastens the day when Lord Jesus returns and drowns the world in fire while the righteous - meaning people who'll enjoy watching everyone else burn - watch. And if Lord Jesus might seem to be taking his time in returning... Well, one could always help God's plan along by causing some bad news, right?

            Basically, we have two bunches of omnicidal maniacs, one with nuclear weapons, and both are trying to goad each other to get on with it.

        • by nmb3000 (741169) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Sunday September 11, 2011 @04:48PM (#37370636) Homepage Journal

          The US faced down the fucking USSR. The USSR could literally destroy the world, and we had a policy of going toe to toe with them if they messed with us or our allies. We were just as ready to jab the 'blow up the god damn world' as they were, if not more so. We went nearly a decade in that mindset without pissing away our civil liberties.

          I agree with the sentiment of your post, but I also think it's important not to gloss over history.

          The truth is that more than a few people had problems during the Red Scare [wikipedia.org] (both of them), but even more so as a result of McCarthyism [wikipedia.org]. While we may have done better then than we are doing today, the US didn't weather the Cold War without any blemishes on civil rights or liberties.

      • by martyros (588782) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @04:22PM (#37370454)

        Car accident statistics dont get worse if you ignore them.

        You have it exactly backwards. The only reason people do terrorism is to get attention.

        Look, the whole point of terrorism is to be an effectiveness multiplier. The purpose of flying the planes into the twin towers wasn't to kill people. It was to get the US to spend billions of dollars on counter-terrorism measures.

        You'll occasionally see in sports games, people who strip naked and run onto the field. When that happens, the TV broadcasters point the cameras away. Why? Because they know that the cameras is what the guy wanted. By putting him on TV, they're giving him exactly what he wants, and encouraging more people to do the same. By talking about the game and ignoring him, they're sending a message: Your little stunt will be largely ignored.

        If the media did that with terrorism, then terrorism would not exist: there would be no point. But the fact is that terrorism is very good for the media. It has people glued to their television sets. The media are an integral part of a terrorist attack; it wouldn't function properly without it.

        Now, I'm not saying we should just ignore terrorism. We need to find out the root causes and see what we can do about it. But one of the biggest things we could do is just not make a big deal out of it.

    • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @02:11PM (#37369532)

      It was the day that marked the beginning of the end for the USA.

      even I don't believe this.

      its the beginning of a dark period, to be sure. but the whole WORLD has gone 'down hill' along with us. this is not a USA issue but it shows what people are like. more specifically, it shows what people IN POWER are like. world wide, all countries have take the same liberties away from its citizens. this isn't an american issue; its about all world leaders and how human beings react to threats and threats on their powerbase.

      if you can't see this, you are as foolish as the people you accuse.

  • Nice summary, but... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 11, 2011 @09:32AM (#37367580)

    I try to remember the thousands upon thousands of civillians in the Middle East who have perished, as well as the poor souls in America.

    I'm sick of that aspect being completely ignored so often by Western Media.

    My hat is off, hand on heart - to all of the victims of the event, and the consequences.

    Would love to be able to fly without being treated like a criminal though.

    • by Nerdfest (867930) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @10:13AM (#37367894)
      True. Of course, I also remember Palestinians cheering in the streets after the attack. Almost everyone in the world could be better behaved and more humane.
    • by poity (465672)

      We hardly ever remember the millions of Middle Eastern civilians who died in the past century at the hands of European countries. Why make an exception now?

  • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @09:34AM (#37367592)

    Actually I was reading /. when I heard about it.

    My thoughts are with everyone who lost friends and family members in the attack.

    Fuck religion! This is what happens, over and over.

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @09:38AM (#37367614)
      Blaming the attacks on religion is a bit misguided. The attackers were trying to fight against US foreign policies and globalization -- look at their choice of targets (a major global financial center, the US military headquarters, and various US government targets that were thankfully missed). Religion may have been played a small part in convincing the attackers to commit suicide, but the motivation for the attacks themselves was political.
      • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @09:41AM (#37367634)

        "Religion may have been played a small part in convincing the attackers to commit suicide, but the motivation for the attacks themselves was political."

        That "small part" is lethal.

        • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @09:48AM (#37367700) Journal
          Not really. People have been going on suicide missions for thousands of years without religious motivation. Protecting their tribe and their tribe's way of life has always been enough to convince some subset of the population to die, and there's a good evolutionary reason for this, particularly for if the individuals in question have already passed on their genes. Religion is a convenient excuse to behave like an asshat, but if you take it away then people just find other excuses (national exceptionalism, for example).
      • by PyroMosh (287149) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @10:02AM (#37367802) Homepage

        I agree it's wrong to blame religion in general for this, But the attacks were religiously motivated.

        They were conducted by a religious fanatical group, al-Qaeda.

        The stated reasons from al-Qaeda for the attacks were threefold:

        1) U.S Support of Israel
                  This could be religious or non-religious, but for al-Qaeda it was probably a religious reason)
        2) U.S. presence in Saudi Arabia
                  This was definitely a religious motivation. al-Qaeda believs that the Koran forbids a long term presence by non-Muslims so close to Mecca.
        3) U.S. / Western sanctions against Iraq.
                  While al-Qaeda had no love for Saddam Hussein, they still listed this as a reason. I've never heard an explanation for why this is a reason, but I presume it's because they perceived the sanctions as harming Muslims living in Iraq.

        So religion played more than a small role in the motivations. These statements were made before the attacks (years before) and after.

        That said, as an atheist, I still can't make such a sweeping statement that religion is *always* bad, or that it causes things like this. It can motivate people both ways, like politics and lots of other things.

    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Sunday September 11, 2011 @09:50AM (#37367714) Homepage Journal

      Religion doesn't cause war, but is used by people who aren't religious but pretend to be. All wars are for power and wealth, started and waged by sociopaths.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 11, 2011 @09:38AM (#37367612)

    In 1714, the Spanish army crushed the Catalan resistance and imposed their barbarian culture upon them. A whole nation obliterated.
    In 1973, the US-backed Pinochet overthrew the democratic government of Chile. At least 3,197 died.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 11, 2011 @09:39AM (#37367620)

    They got us good. They caused the equivalent of a cytokine storm, a massive autoimmune response. We lost important freedoms, likely for good, and bankrupted ourselves financially and otherwise. The world hates us, our economy is in the toilet, the government is hopelessly corrupt, and we STILL haven't won, because no one really wins asymmetric warfare short of turning the insurgents and their country into a smoking glass crater. They did to us what we did to the Soviets not 20 years ago, and we fell for it.

    • Nailed it.

    • The terrorists wanted to strike US foreign policy and globalization. The policies the terrorists were trying to strike back against have been make even more aggressive following the attacks, and the US is continuing to push the globalization agenda. Claiming that the terrorists attacked us because of our freedoms is complete nonsense -- they would have attacked us just the same if we had been the USSR (in fact, Osama bin Laden had once fought against the USSR in Afghanistan, an episode that may have had s
      • by Yvanhoe (564877)
        The terrorists did not have real plans, were not well organized, their movement was not coherent. They wanted to kill Americans and make some ruckus. We answered by wanting to kill terrorist and make some ruckus.

        Many security experts have proved, and the Oslo shooting case is another proof of this, that the counter-terrorism measures that have been taken are just ridiculous and would not stand in the way of a serious, motivated and well funded enemy. Most graduate students today could come up with a plan
    • by tverbeek (457094) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @10:34AM (#37368042) Homepage

      The Onion has an article joking that Americans enjoy remembering 9/11 more than we enjoy remembering the 10 years since. It's true, and you can hardly blame us. On 9/11, despite the pain and fear, we saw scenes from around the world of people weeping along with us, or standing firmly in solidarity with us, because they saw this attack on the US as an attack on civilized people everywhere. Sure, there were some assholes cheering here and there, but there was also the Queen of England having "The Star Spangled Banner" played at Buckingham Palace, and countless makeshift US flags and signs saying things like "we are all Americans today" being waved at vigils in the streets around the world.

      Then George W. Bush – with the support of the American people – pissed all over that goodwill, to the point that the Nobel committee eagerly handed the Peace Prize to the new guy when "regime change" finally happened.

      I wrote this [toddverbeek.com] on 9/12/2001. I sent it in to the local newspaper, and they ran it on the front page of the Opinion section the following Sunday, next to a big picture of Osama Bin Laden and an article about what America would do in response. As my words were being read, they were already being ignored. Fear and Hatred won.

  • The original thread (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fadeaway (531137) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @09:39AM (#37367622)
    I remember the madness of trying to get details on that day. One of the things that stuck with me is that most of the major media websites were completely overwhelmed. One of the primary methods of gathering information was through comments on aggregation sites like fark and slashdot: http://slashdot.org/story/01/09/11/1314258/World-Trade-Towers-and-Pentagon-Attacked [slashdot.org] We all leaned very heavily on the internet on that day, and discovered what a blessing (and/or curse) social media can be.
  • 10 years later (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dlt074 (548126) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @09:43AM (#37367656)

    I sure didn't think i'd be spending the ten year anniversary of 9/11 in Afghanistan... but here I am. strange how life works out. i remember on that day, i wanted nothing more then to find the people who'd done it and make them pay... i wasn't in the military back then.

    now, i'm here, they know they've won, we've announced our intentions to leave(surrender) and they attack almost daily. their(Islamists) resolve is stronger then ever. ours(average US citizen) is pathetically weak and short sighted. though, it's not like we have any direction or a plan to get behind.

    nope, never thought ten years later, this would be happening.

    • Re:10 years later (Score:5, Insightful)

      by copponex (13876) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @10:03AM (#37367810) Homepage

      First, thank you for your service to our country.

      Second, fuck you for joining out of bloodlust. Service is a duty, not an excuse to become a heathen. Our military doesn't exist to settle feuds. It exists to uphold principles and rules of law, and to protect our nation from existential threats. Do you honestly think terrorist attacks from a landlocked nation that hasn't had a stable central government in three decades is capable of destroying our national sovereignty? Our failure to use restraint and common sense has cost this country its principles, the lives of your fellow soldiers, and trillions of dollars, all without making the world any safer from terrorism.

      In short, your ignorance is more dangerous and has done more damage to this country than fundamentalist Islam.

      As a citizen who is paying your salary, I wish I could fire you. You don't represent me or my values.

    • by decora (1710862) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @10:10AM (#37367872) Journal

      who did you want to invade and kill?

  • by jampola (1994582) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @09:44AM (#37367660)
    ...the families of EVERYONE who lost their lives as a result as a result... Iraqis, Afghans, Americans, EVERYBODY. I may be a little drunk right now but I am completely perplexed as to why everywhere and everybody's thoughts are focused on the people who lost their lives on that day, not the amount of lives that have been lost on the ensuing 3650 days since 2001. My thoughts are with all families of all nationalities who have lost their lives as a result, whether it be an Australian soldier, Iraqi family or an American who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. My thoughts are with you all.
  • The sad thing is (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 11, 2011 @09:44AM (#37367666)

    that the terrorists have won.

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Sunday September 11, 2011 @09:45AM (#37367674) Homepage Journal

    I had an FPS site then. My journal today is a rerun of what I posted on that day.

  • by savi (142689) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @09:48AM (#37367694)

    For some reason, this is the only place that it doesn't bother me to see the 10-year anniversary stuff. I can very clearly remember reading slashdot in an office when news of this began to spread.

    What a terrible tragedy the event was.

    And what a terrible tragedy the last ten years of response to it has been.

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @09:53AM (#37367738)
    The only politician in the public eye who has been "reexamining" US policy has been Ron Paul... and more recently the other politicos who have been following in his footsteps.

    But keep in mind that unlike the others, Paul as ALWAYS been saying these things, for 30 years, while those others are just trying to get your vote, then will do whatever the hell they want if they get in office. Kind of like Obama.
  • Day of Mourning (Score:5, Insightful)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @10:00AM (#37367788) Homepage Journal

    This should be a day of mourning, not just because of the people who died (one of my managers at the time, Vladimir Tomasevic, I am lucky not to have been there too), but it's a day of mourning for the liberties and freedoms lost across USA but also across the entire freaking world. The entire world today looks more and more like a crazy toon town, with cops with machine guns everywhere, insane laws, TSA, just general loss of privacy, liberty, decency, everything, and this should also include the economic calamity that obviously worsened due to the insane response to the events.

    This kind of response is not about fighting crime, which terrorism basically is. This kind of response is about destroying the human rights and freedoms, if that still means anything to anybody.

    I wish to see return to normalcy and government non-intervention, so I think voting for Ron Paul is the obvious good first step. If the man understands one thing - it's liberty and the other thing is economy.

    Also, WTF, USA? Where are 10 towers in place of those 2, 10 that are 5 times as tall?

    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      That was something that always bothered me. You get popped in the nose by a bully, you get right back up and sock him in the face. Building anything less magnificent than what was already there is like crawling away crying while the bully kicks you.

      Redesigned towers? Sure. But there should have been two of them, and they should have been bigger and better.

  • Some recollections (Score:5, Interesting)

    by macwhizkid (864124) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @10:02AM (#37367796)

    I was in 10th grade German class when we got the announcement. I remember not grasping the significance of the news until I saw the look of fear on my teacher's face. I hopped on the school network to try to get updates. I was moderately successful... most sites were down, CNN was a 50/50 shot, and so much of my news that day came in through reading updates and comments on Slashdot, at least until we were allowed to go to the library (the one place in our school that had cable TV).

    I'm fearful that we've squandered quite a bit of the opportunity (not the right word, I know) that the tragedy bought us in the following months and years. Instead of making amends with the world, I fear we've gotten involved in three endless wars and brought our country to the brink of bankruptcy, both fiscally and morally.

    As one commenter put it, in perhaps the most chillingly precognitive Slashdot comment of all time [slashdot.org]: "The biggest casualty will probably be our Constitution. Whenever a tragedy likes this occurs, the government always announces a get tough on terrorists policy that will have no effect on the psychopaths who do this, but will severely limit our rights.

    "The huge loss of life is bad enough. The subsequent loss of what truly represents what this country stands for will be intolerable."

  • by bobbinspenguin (1988368) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @10:07AM (#37367846)
    When I was a kid you'd turn the telly on and see another news report about the IRA blowing up a school or setting off a nail bomb in Soho. It happened too often to stop the country though and America didn't give two shits so the rest of the world didn't say anything. You just got on with it. This country's took a lot from terrorist attacks over the years but September 11th was the first proper kick in the teeth for the previously untouchable Americans who're brainwashed from birth to believe they're the greatest country in the world. That was probably a bigger shock than the lives lost - the fact that someone got to them. This really isn't flamebait so don't consider it as such please. Spare a thought for the lives lost in the attacks yes, but do these people ever spare a thought for the lives lost elsewhere. Those places not in the centre of the universe. http://www.amazon.com/Keep-Calm-Carry-T-Shirt-Red/dp/B004IC0WMM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315749737&sr=8-1 [amazon.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Is that a referrer link? Are you really trying to make a quick buck off 9-11?

    • What was also interesting about the IRA thing was just how much funding from various irish interest groups in the US basically dried up after 9/11, as people in said interest groups suddenly had it brought home to them just what the money that was "supporting the cause" was going towards. To be blunt about it, the message that "Terrorism is not big and clever, it's unpleasant and nastyt" was beaten into the US in the worst possible fashion. The fact that all those new laws about funding terror and so forth

  • by 88NoSoup4U88 (721233) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @10:09AM (#37367862) Homepage
    I quite liked this ten minute clip [dumpert.nl] of the initial news bulletins after the first attack.
    R.I.P. for the people that died that day... and the thousands more that had to die in other countries that were since then invaded by the US...
  • by whoda (569082) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @10:14AM (#37367902) Homepage

    Yet we still allow 18,000 or so people to be killed each year by domestic drunk drivers and don't really do anything about it.

    • Not True (Score:4, Insightful)

      by srobert (4099) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @11:24AM (#37368426)

      Not True. The number of deaths from drunken driving has been steadily reducing for many years. What we've done about it has been very effective. We've treated it as if it were a crime.
      How effective do you all suppose it would have been to have declared "WAR" on drunk driving? My guess is that we'd have spent our treasury dry and had to borrow money from China. Probably would have ruined our economy. Sure glad that didn't happen.

    • The Supreme Court has created an exception to my 4th amendment rights to stop every vehicle on a road to check for drunk drivers. You call that doing nothing? I call it doing too much.

  • by pecosdave (536896) * on Sunday September 11, 2011 @10:17AM (#37367918) Homepage Journal

    The first I heard about this was a news article that simply said "Plane hits World Trade Center."

    The first thing that went through my mind was "some dumbass in a Cesna" I didn't know for another hour or two that it serious. An hour or two after that they were evacuating down-town Houston, the buses to the park and ride were so full I took the local Greenspoint Bus instead since it went to Greenspoint mall which wasn't far from my intended stop, even if it did take a lot longer to get there.

    Security down town got stupid strong after that. I had to show my ID to simply use the ATM in the tunnel system across the street from the building I worked in. They locked down most of the stairwells in most of the down town buildings, you could only go downstairs, not up, if you could even do that after the attacks. So much for that stay healthy method.

    It still saddens me to think back to that day. I don't think W. did the right thing, but for the life of me I don't know what the right thing was. Everyone cheered him on at first and supported the whole open up a can of whoop-ass idea, but when we didn't know where to stop they pointed the finger at him without actually offering a good what solution as to what we should do next. Even Obama is still doing what Bush started, Nobel Peace prize in hand. I think it's time to stop and completely leave the Middle East. We have plenty of oil here we're not allowed to get and we're rapidly developing technology to reduce our need for it. Get the government out of the way and we can cut our demand to quarter of it's current amount in the foreseeable future. I think Ron Paul is right, leave them alone and they'll leave us alone. We made our point, leave with a note saying "do it again and we'll be back" and GTFO out of their affairs. The key to prevention is to get out of everyone else's business and fix our own affairs.

    • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @10:46AM (#37368138) Homepage Journal

      We have plenty of oil here we're not allowed to get

      No we don't.

      and we're rapidly developing technology to reduce our need for it.

      Yes we are.

      Get the government out of the way and we can cut our demand to quarter of it's current amount in the foreseeable future.

      No we can't. I run the tech for an energy management equipment/network/software/support company in NYC that cuts energy consumption an average of 20%, mostly in heating oil/gas. The notoriously greedy building owners never pay the upfront costs, even when it pays back in under a year - that's close to 100% ROI, and rising with energy costs. The only way they do it is when there's government money and/or requirements to do it. Until NYC's law kicked in this year, building owners refused to even measure their energy consumption, let alone reduce it. This is the reality, not the "Mayor of Sim City" Ron Paul LARPing Ayn Rand.

      The right thing would have been an "Apollo programme" for energy efficiency/alternatives to get our money, and the troops that always follow it, out of the Mideast. By now, a decade later, we could have cut our energy consumption by at least 30%, maybe more, and set trade policies to get all of our oil/gas from our biggest sources: Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean (and some gas from the Pacific). Instead we invaded Iraq, sending oil to $100:bbl for most of a decade, while promoting SUVs and even Hummers that get 1/3 the mileage we should require from cars. We could have interconnected regional and commuter rail, built more cargo and passenger interlinks. The $3 TRILLION [washingtonpost.com] we spent in Iraq so far could have bought us an energy, transit and building infrastructure that got the Mideast and much of the global corruption out of our hair permanently. Instead we spent the time, money and lives making things worse.

      We don't need to do wild science fiction to solve our core economic/political problems. We need to do straightforward science and engineering. Which should be the easiest politics of all. Instead, we wanted a flight suit, a megaphone, and blood. We sure got it.

      • by pecosdave (536896) *

        Listen, three generations back my family was in the oil business and they passed the torch down the line. I'm the first in succession since then to not go into oil, and my dad is still in it. If he tells me there's plenty of oil here, his brother backs it up, and all the oil field workers I know personally, including the ones I've worked with through my technology jobs at various oil companies here in Houston (hint, more than three) tell me there's plenty here on U.S. soil for us we're not allowed to get

        • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @12:21PM (#37368774) Homepage Journal

          The trucker union, the Teamsters, has some power, but it's not even enough to protect their pensions - let alone force the US to choose roads and airports over rails. The power is in the vehicle makers: car and truck makers, airplane makers. And of course the oil corps. Those corporations have been calling the shots since Henry Ford, and are the ones who tore up America's rail [wikipedia.org] to replace with roads and cars. Those are the orgs that set up Houston, Oil City, the way you hate - not the unions.

          You can tell me about how your family oil business knows there's so much oil left to drill, yet despite getting royalty-free drilling land practically wherever they ask, their industry doesn't drill. Except maybe when getting Federal money from the rest of us to multiply their profits. The actual unlimited supply is self-serving lies about where oil is or isn't coming from oil companies with agendas to maximize profit by increasing demand and decreasing supply. I know they're your family, but if they're like mine or any other family I know, they'll tell you the same lies they tell themselves that protect what they do that they know is wrong.

          I can tell you from direct experience that NYC building owners don't invest in their operating capital even when the ROI is, as I told you, close to 100% or better, except when the government both forces them and pays them to do it. It doesn't make sense. But that's because economics is not like electronics, where consistency and actual value rule the actors. Economics is a measure of people's exchanges of value with each other and their environment. Which means it's governed by human social psychology, not primarily by the potential and limits of the material being exchanged. Despite their deserved reputation of being the worlds most determined capitalists, NYC building owners refuse to make rational investment decisions all the time. It's not because of property/zoning laws/regulations. It's because they are used to increasing profits only by cutting immediate costs (like cheaper maintenance workers) or by reducing the supply of real estate against the constantly increasing demand for it. Purely rational people would change despite what they're used to when there's double or triple digit ROIs from investing in necessary costs they have to pay anyway (boiler upgrades and fuel). Building owners don't change, because they wait for everyone around them to change, or to be forced to change, or to be paid to change - or all of them usually.

          Again, this is not some kind of guess at what might happen. Also, your statement that the rich in NYC are taxed so much that they flee to other states is just a lie. Except for the extremely rich who move across the state line to Connecticut. It's not that they're taxed so much in NYC, but that they're taxed so little in CT. So when rivers overflow in predictable storms, they're surrounded by a moat their private airlifts have to get across with food and diesel for their generators. Because without taxes and working government their infrastructure, like roads, powerlines and drainage, can't withstand the changes their businesses are making. They are the tiny minority. NYC is full of the richest people in the world, not despite the taxation but because of the services it pays for. And every day more rich people come here, to pay the taxes and consume the services.

          FYI, NASA is not a good example to contest government leading energy efficiency, because building efficiency is not rocket science. NASA as run by either a Republican president or Congress or both for the past couple of generations is like any other large government procurement system: corporate welfare for those who sell by the part# through their DC lobbyists. NYC law, like practically all energy efficiency regulations these days, requires only performance standards and energy improvement results (or just standardized reporting in physical units).

          I'm always fascinated by the people whose entire career

    • by Xacid (560407)

      Dang.

      You nailed some very good points there. This one particularly stuck out " I don't think W. did the right thing, but for the life of me I don't know what the right thing was."

      How do you approach the next evolution of war? It reminds me of the transition of formal warfare into guerrilla warfare. Those who don't get a clue and adopt similar styles typically end up defeated.

      What's interesting is that with every new stage of warfare we take one step further of removing the "humanity" from it. Like the step

  • Religion (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 11, 2011 @10:19AM (#37367934)

    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.

  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @10:34AM (#37368038) Homepage Journal

    We've often discussed the consequences of the attack

    The main consequence of the attack was that Bush/Cheney invaded Iraq. It's now over 8 years later, and we're still at war in Iraq. No WMD, no Binladen connection, or any of Bush/Cheney's other lies were ever proven anything but lies. Like "the war will pay for itself [boiseweekly.com]". The Iraq War has cost us well over $3 TRILLION [washingtonpost.com]. It has cost us almost 5000 dead Americans [antiwar.com], over 100,000 wounded Americans, and hundreds of thousands of dead and wounded Iraqis. Not to mention the severe costs of Americans torturing so many people.

    We'll memorialize 9/11/2001 for a long time. But 3/19/03? What's that? It's the date the US invaded Iraq. Nobody wants to talk about that, so the war never ends.

  • by MrKaos (858439) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @10:45AM (#37368132) Journal

    There is no doubt this was a tragedy and a sad day for the American people but from an outsiders perspective (an Australian perspective) this is what we saw happening to you guys.

    • You were hurt and wronged, but before any investigation had been conducted fingers were being pointed.
    • To this date I know of no forensic investigation being conducted into this act. Why?
    • When OBL was killed the victims were granted revenge, a cheap imitation of justice.

    Why has no forensic investigation ever been carried out and scrutinised? Why wasn't OBL tried and humiliated, and made to face his worst fear in front of the American public? I strongly feel that Americans have been denied actual justice and have instead been given a serve of McJustice by media/military. The true strength of Western democracies has been that they are countries run BY RULE OF LAW that has been refined over a roughly 800 year period. If we look at it from that perspective the military look like a very blunt tool, by comparison. Yet it was the tool of first resort. What does it say about our democracy that one of the strongest was so easily subverted?

    The consequences of not applying those principles have drawn the U.S into an asymmetrical war that has cost trillions, without actually being able to hit a target of any meaning. I believe many forth amendment rights have practically been abandoned, you have a domestic spy policy now and bills introduced to protect the freedoms of everyday people are slowly being whittled down.

    To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin "The constitution in it's current form will not save the United States from Despotism". The American people have been lied to and deceived, I'm ashamed to say in part, by an Australian Media mogul who learned how to do what he is doing to America in my homeland.

    Justice delayed, Just denied.

    The war that was being waged on America began when the Towers were hit but the enemy has attacked in such a way that the freedoms that protected US citizens have been hit far more severely than those Towers. The institution of democracy was weakened from within at one of the modern cradles of it's creation and now I see it more compromised than it has ever been. Human rights, the bedrock of your enviable Bill of Rights, the true strength of your nation were treated as an inconvenience to circumvented. Yet it's the only weapon capable of disarming a martyr.

    Know your enemy, Know yourself, and whilst the truth must be painful for you to hear will you bludgeon to death the friend who has the courage to look you in the face and tell it to you? The one who says, "hey mate, yer acting like a dickhead". How can you possibly win in Iraq and Afghanistan when the real war is in the cathedrals of your institutions by an enemy who is manipulating you so skillfully that you dance willingly to the tune. Stop, friend, before you destroy yourself and ask who the real enemy is, what the true theater of this war is and what forces are at play?

    How many of Ben Franklins warnings will you ignore? Why do I, an Australian, have to point out the wisdom of your own founding fathers whose words have been paraphrased ad infinitum;

    Those who trade an essential liberty for temporary security deserve neither security nor liberty

    Then why America why, do you keep doing it?

  • by Shihar (153932) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @10:57AM (#37368216)

    The anniversary of 9/11 always pisses me off. No, not because 3000 people died. 3000 people dying was a tragedy to be sure and the relatives of the victims certainly have my condolences. What pisses me off is the cowardly way that we as Americans reacted and how we continue to behave.

    After 9/11 we had a decision. We could either have been brave or cowardly. We chose the path of cowardice. Cowardice is submitting to terror by stripping ourselves of civil liberty, creating a department of "homeland security", and installing pr0n scanners in airports. Cowardice is secret no-fly lists and domestic spying. The worst cowardice was Americans mewing to their politicians to strip them of their liberties to save them from the oh-so-scary terrorist. Cowardice is the path we picked. We gave up essential liberties for a trivial amount of security.

    The path of bravery would have been to have by clinging to our essential freedoms and liberties. The nation that stood down the fucking USSR, a REAL threat, managed to go half a century without surrendering their freedoms and running away screaming like cowards. Seriously, consider that. 9/11 stripped away freedoms that we had even when the US was facing down a nation armed with a nuclear arsenal big enough to wipe out the world multiple times over. We faced down a world ending threat and didn't balk, but when a couple of sheep herders managed to knock down two buildings in a manner that they can never repeat again, we promptly shit ourselves and surrender those liberties we guarded when facing down the existential threat that was the USSR. Talking about acting the part of the fucking coward. If there was ever a time to piss ourselves and wipe our ass with the constitution, it was during the Cold War.

    Just think about it for a moment. In a time when it was our policy the literally destroy the world if our allies were attacked, you could get on an airplane unmolested and the fourth amendment was still actively enforced.

    If you are an American, you are going to die by stuffing your face with too much fucking food. Fucking deal with it. You are not going to die in a terrorist attack. The food you stuff into your god damn face is going to be the death of you. That, or your own body is going to murder you with cancer. If you are really lucky, you might die in an exciting car accident. The fucking terrorist are not going to kill you. If you believe so, you are a god damn coward and an idiot.

    Look here: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/lcod.htm [cdc.gov]

    Fucking food bacteria kills 10x more people every year than terrorist did in 2001. It kills 300x more people than terrorist have killed Americans in the past decade. Terrorism in 2001 didn't even make it to the top 10 most likely ways to die. It falls well below chocking on your own god damn food over the past decade. That is right, stuffing food into your fat face is literally more likely to kill you than a terrorist.

    So what pisses me off about 9/11 is that it is not a time for memorials and what not. What pisses me off is that we sit around circle jerking each other over how scary the terrorist are as we stuff our fat Americans asses with McDonalds food. We mew and bleat to politicians to protect us from one of the most unlikely ways to die imaginable, as we work on scoring a heart attack before the age of 60 by eating ourselves to death.

    We could have a 9/11 style attack every single MONTH, and we would still have more people dying to being fat asses. Despite this, I don't see us cowardly begging the government to strip us of our civil liberties to save us from eating ourselves to death.

    9/11 pisses me off each and every year because it is a sore reminder that when faced with a minor and petty threat to ourselves, we shit our pants, pissed ourselves, and picked the path of the coward. We gave up our civil liberties and elected asshole politicians who promised to rip apart the constitution. It pains me to think

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 11, 2011 @11:15AM (#37368354)

    The best writing I've seen on 9/11 was by Hunter S. Thompson. Hunter knew how the US government worked, and foresaw just about everything that has happened since right from the start:

    It was just after dawn in Woody Creek, Colo., when the first plane hit the World Trade Center in New York City on Tuesday morning, and as usual I was writing about sports. But not for long. Football suddenly seemed irrelevant, compared to the scenes of destruction and utter devastation coming out of New York on TV.

    Even ESPN was broadcasting war news. It was the worst disaster in the history of the United States, including Pearl Harbor, the San Francisco earthquake and probably the Battle of Antietam in 1862, when 23,000 were slaughtered in one day.

    The Battle of the World Trade Center lasted about 99 minutes and cost 20,000 lives in two hours (according to unofficial estimates as of midnight Tuesday). The final numbers, including those from the supposedly impregnable Pentagon, across the Potomac River from Washington, likely will be higher. Anything that kills 300 trained firefighters in two hours is a world-class disaster.

    And it was not even Bombs that caused this massive damage. No nuclear missiles were launched from any foreign soil, no enemy bombers flew over New York and Washington to rain death on innocent Americans. No. It was four commercial jetliners.

    They were the first flights of the day from American and United Airlines, piloted by skilled and loyal U.S. citizens, and there was nothing suspicious about them when they took off from Newark, N.J., and Dulles in D.C. and Logan in Boston on routine cross-country flights to the West Coast with fully-loaded fuel tanks -- which would soon explode on impact and utterly destroy the world-famous Twin Towers of downtown Manhattan's World Trade Center. Boom! Boom! Just like that.

    The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now -- with somebody -- and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives.

    It will be a Religious War, a sort of Christian Jihad, fueled by religious hatred and led by merciless fanatics on both sides. It will be guerilla warfare on a global scale, with no front lines and no identifiable enemy. Osama bin Laden may be a primitive "figurehead" -- or even dead, for all we know -- but whoever put those All-American jet planes loaded with All-American fuel into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon did it with chilling precision and accuracy. The second one was a dead-on bullseye. Straight into the middle of the skyscraper.

    Nothing -- even George Bush's $350 billion "Star Wars" missile defense system -- could have prevented Tuesday's attack, and it cost next to nothing to pull off. Fewer than 20 unarmed Suicide soldiers from some apparently primitive country somewhere on the other side of the world took out the World Trade Center and half the Pentagon with three quick and costless strikes on one day. The efficiency of it was terrifying.

    We are going to punish somebody for this attack, but just who or what will be blown to smithereens for it is hard to say. Maybe Afghanistan, maybe Pakistan or Iraq, or possibly all three at once. Who knows? Not even the Generals in what remains of the Pentagon or the New York papers calling for WAR seem to know who did it or where to look for them.

    This is going to be a very expensive war, and Victory is not guaranteed -- for anyone, and certainly not for anyone as baffled as George W. Bush. All he knows is that his father started the war a long time ago, and that he, the goofy child-President, has been chosen by Fate and the global Oil industry to finish it Now. He will declare a National Security Emergency and clamp down Hard on Everybody, no matter where they live or why. If the guilty won't hold up their hands and confess, he and the Generals will ferret them out by force.

    Good luck. He is in for a pr

  • by Hazel Bergeron (2015538) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @11:22AM (#37368400) Journal

    I was once attacked by a dog. Since then I have carried around a solid gold tiger. It has made me the object of ridicule, my limbs are aching and I can barely afford to eat. But at least I haven't been attacked by any more dogs.

    God bless your betters!

  • by Vellmont (569020) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @11:51AM (#37368620)

    It's shameful that the media coverage is merely a flashback back to 9/11, and I here nothing about the subsequent fear, paranoia, and loss of freedoms that have engulfed the country. It was certainly a horrible day, but the aftermath on our country has been tens of thousands of times worse.

    We got into two wars that we're STILL it., We have this lovely patriot act, which continues to be renewed with little debate. We have a continually fearful public, cowed into submission to The Official Reaction. We have ever increasing security theatre at airports. But yet no coverage of any of that. It's all about the day, and nothing about the disaster afterward.

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