International affairs · Politics/Government · Security How has 9/11 changed your view of the world? Eric Ringham September 10, 2010, 5:00 AM Sep 10, 2010 31 comments This weekend marks the ninth anniversary of the terror attacks of September 2001. Today’s Question: How has 9/11 changed your view of the world? ‹ Older Is America becoming a less welcoming place for Muslims? Newer › Does Minnesota need to change its approach to environmental protection? Browse by category Education Health Economy Politics/Government Culture Religion/Ethics Science/Technology Transportation Race/Gender Environment/Energy Security International affairs Immigration Media Military About the blogger Eric Ringham firstname.lastname@example.org howard 9/11 was a horrifying day, but am not sure it changed my view of the world. Terrorism has existed in the world long before 9/11. Tim The aftermath of 9/11 changed my opinion of Americans much more adversely than my opinion of Islam. Michael Shepard The biggest change in my life since 9/11 is that I deal with a much higher percentage of the population employed in law enforcement than before the Twin Tower tragedy. My behavior is constantly being scrutinized by video and folks in uniform. This description leads one to believe me incarcerated in federal prison. I am not; and yet; in a way; we all are inmates. Figuratively at least. This swap of freedom for security can lead to stress in the most law-abiding of citizens, especially when one considers the fact that an increase in enforcement numbers brings a guaranteed, corresponding increase of aggressive lawbreakers wearing the badge and gun. There is something wrong with a proletariat collecting millions of disposable lighters while 50 crazy guys get away with hiding in the desert, conspiring evil deeds to America. The fact we have failed miserably in killing Osama bin Laden with a concurrent and highly successful seizure of countless Bic lighters, tells one this sand-eating nutcase fits in with an American imperialist grand plan. I am sure this post monumentally increases my risk of coming under Homeland security surveillance. Oh well. If this be the price of freedom, so be it. Kiki F.K Nkulu As I was watching live on TV how the 2nd airplane was crashing on the tower,I remembered the movie Delta Force with Chuck Norris. One of the terrorists told the two marrins that” one day he will be hitting the white house with a tank(not an accurate quote)-because “they Have Friends inside”. I then understoodn that the enemy we fear from far and try to keep away from US borders is not really that far. It can be any body at any time for unknown reason and like Kevin Costner in Body Guard,”when someone wants to kill you,there almost nothing to do than to be ready to stop before he strikes”. I hope many families that lost their loved one are healing from their wounds by the grace of God. Steve the Cynic I used to be proud of my country. Then the 9/11 attacks happened. At first, I was proud of how we were handling it. We had the sympathy of the world. Our leaders parlayed that into international support for overthrowing the brutal Taliban regime in Afghanistan. We had a golden opportunity to show the world the sharp contrast between American values and those of militant extremists, and to overcome evil with good. I looked forward to seeing Americans adopting and embracing Afghanistan and empowering Afghans to take charge of their destiny, join the community of nations, and provide an example for the rest of the developing world. We were on the verge of proving that we were better than our enemies, because we didn’t sink to their level of hatred and violence. (Anyone remember the Marshall Plan?) Then we allowed the fear-mongering chicken hawks to lead us into an unnecessary, ill-advised war of agression in Iraq, against the strenuous objections of most of our key allies. My pride in my country was briefly restored when we elected Obama, but now it looks like the fear-mongers are going to win again this November. CC&H Tim and Steve the Cynic – Beautifully stated. Sad, but well said. Thank you. James Trust is earned, not given. DTOM steve because of 9/11 we are more conscious of security and have really stepped our efforts to stop terrorism. We are more cautious and anxious, more distrustful and less friendly towards others. We are more attuned to cyber attacks and financial scams because of the terrible state of our economy. We are a global economy now! Brad At first I was proud of the way we all pulled together and supported each other. Then as the months progressed it was obvious that we were going to fall prety to our baser natures. Armed guardsmen all over our large cities and airports. Limits on fluids brought on planes, removing shoes at airports. We became a nation of cowards trying to protect ourselves against the next unknowable form of attack. We began giving away our own and others basic civil liberties. Next came the scariest aspect of all, the puffery and insidious call to Nationalism and false patriotism that has destoyed so many countries in the past. The search for immediate answers and comfort in a situation that can provide neither. Glenn I was working a construction project at the Golden Valley Golf Course that morning- we started at 7:00 central time, with a radio on. Some members were having breakfast, about 20 autos parked in the lot. At 7:30 everyone parked in the lot left. I thought this was odd. At 7:50 or so- reports were broadcast of the first crash. At 8:03 the second crash was reported. I mentioned to a co-worker, “It’s tough when they fight their war here!” He scanned the empty lot and said “World Trade Center!!” Two more crashed were reported. Planes were grounded- except for one privately owned jet that was allowed to leave the country. Hmmm. We later learned the plane belongs to a promenant Saudi family. The White House bagan to “sell the fear.” And so we are- Khatti 9/11 didn’t change my worldview at all. I was too much of a history geek to be surprised. Heartbroken yes—but not surprised. What surprised me was how shocked so many other people were. I remember hearing interviews on NPR where people said: “They were no longer safe. They could die in a terrorist attack at any moment!” When I heard this it occurred to me that this was just as true on 9/10. One of the odd victims of 9/11 was the actor and movie producer Ben Stiller. He had a movie in the Austin Powers genre all ready to go. Had the attack happened in 2002 it might have been a massive hit. Instead the central precept behind it—that spies and spying was a ridiculous anachronism—was suddenly obliterated. Warfare, and all that it implied, had come back into fashion. In the intervening years there has been criticism of President Clinton for not being more aggressive in pursuit of Al Qaida—but let’s be honest with ourselves: had Clinton announced that he was going to invade Afghanistan in 1998 we would have thought he was insane. Democrats would have been leading a new campaign to have Clinton impeached. A whole generation of Americans had grown up with the idea that their only enemies were other Americans. No one could have warned us about this danger, we just wouldn’t have listened. We had to learn this lesson the hard way—and we did. Tom 9/11 didn’t make me more worried about terrorists, it made me more worried about the level of ignorance and the propensity for hate people seem to have in this country. And it made me more aware of how incredible of a motivating and blinding force fear can be. I’m more scared of other US citizens’ reactions to the perceived threat of terrorism than I am about terrorists themselves. John As an engineer I was surprised when the buildings fell, but believed the pancake theory. Seven years later my son had me watch “Blueprint for Truth”. The evidence presented was compelling. I wonder why MPR has not had a single interview with David Ray Griffin, Richard Gage or Steven Jones, three intellectual professionals who have taken a careful look at the public record and found serious inconsistencies with the “official” conspiracy theory. I have lost faith in MPR in providing unbiased news. Lawrence Actually, the world has been at relative peace since 911, with the exception of the Iraq and Afghanistan War. 911 changed my view of American’s attitudes towards other cultures. We just don’t seem to learn from history because we consider ourselves far more superior than every other place in the world. We have 11 million illegal Hispanics that were going hungry in Latin American, but our country won’t talk about it other than to say the illegals must go. We’ve only now started to withdraw troops from Iraq, even though it has been clear for some time that the Iraqis were a peaceful nation. The terror there was internal, not external. Afghanistan is in complete chaos. Before we invaded them, most Americans hadn’t even heard of Afghanistan. Even now, we are having trouble understanding the nature of civil service in Afghanistan and how this country has never adapted well to foreign soldiers. steve Not really. The world has always had ‘crazies’. I suppose the tools they have to do harm have gotten better. I think the over-reaction of Americans was understandable but am still surprised at the inability of some to separate the terrorists from those just practicing Islam. I think our own fear/hatred of Muslims is a mirror of what many Muslims think of us. It’s a distorted, incorrect and incomplete view which both sides feel no need to bridge and correct. I guess I feel less optimistic about the world, but mostly in own country. Adversity will happen but character is a measure of how well you respond to it. Some still respond very poorly, indeed. Billy Dee Certainly 9/11 has changed my view of the world because has been bceome more polarized along religious lines. For example, look at the irrational frenzy of Muslim around the world in response to a Florida pastor now suspended plans to burn of Korans is bizarre. Burning Bibles or a burning American flags, as is the case on a reular basis around the world, does not incite mass riots and threats of violence here in the US or anywhere in the “Christian World.” Yet our “leaders” cower to Muslim threats and fear our military men and women can not defend themselves? By the way, where are the “moderate” Muslims who denounce violence in response to a Quran burning? Kevin Changed? Well that people are or can be so messed up to do something so blindly. That religious fanatics not only exist in Christian belief, but in other belief systems. That if in a airplane and I am seeing skyscrappers flying by question whats going on…. fast. That the blame can be sent in directions the problem never came from. Afghanistan intervention made sense. Iraq was a lie from our president and Vice President. That leaders can manipulate information to fool people into invading a country that had NOTHING to do with the attack…. Like Iraq….. I realized there are a lot of gullible people in this country. And apparently other countries….. SUM: That the only way we can avoid all this is look at facts, keep seeking even if we seem to have the answer, and never become ignorant. Sue de Nim Billy Dee asks, “By the way, where are the ‘moderate’ Muslims who denounce violence in response to a Quran burning?” They’re out there, and not hard to find. Do you know any muslims personally? I’d bet if you ask any of them, they’d denounce all such extremist violence. Don’t know any muslims? Maybe that’s why it’s so easy to mischaracterize them. Moderate muslims have been denouncing terrorism till they’re blue in the face, but those denunciations don’t get much coverage by corporate news media, because that’s not sensational enough. And if all you watch is Faux News, you might not be aware that there are any moderate muslims at all. Bryan Mckenzie Yesterday I visited this site for the first time, hoping to join in an open minded discussion. After reading the posts of the last two days, I have come to the conclusion that it is nothing more than a safe haven for likeminded cowards who have their heads buried in the sand. Steve the Cynic I suppose it takes one to know one, Bryan Mckenzie. There’s always room for one more. Bryan Mckenzie You may suppose anything that you like, but you could at least sign your name to it. Steve the Cynic What good would that do? You haven’t even shared an opinion, nor explained what you meant by “likeminded” (which is obviously false, if you’ve read more than a couple of days). And I have no idea what “head in the sand” means in the context in which you used it. If you have some enlightenment to share with us poor benighted troglodytes, do tell. Or is it beneath your dignity to cast your pearls of wisdom before us swine? Bryan Mckenzie You set the bar high, but here goes, Of course 9/11 has changed my view of the world. The horror of seeing the second airliner strike on live television is the most traumatic thing I’ve ever seen. In the days and weeks that followed I tried to absorb every peice of information I could get my hands on to try and understand the motivations of the people who perpetrated these barbaric acts. Fareed Zakaria’s peice in newsweek shortly after the attacks was an eye opener. Unlike some in the muslim world who said that the U.S. brought this on itself, Zakaria placed the blame on a combination of ignorance and resentment of the wests progressiveness. In short, there was (is) a huge population of muslims who hate the west and they probably can’t even articulate why. This troubles me. So yes Steve, 9/11 has changed my view of the world. Madrid, London, Bali, Beslan and the countless other barbaric acts commited in the name of Allah don’t make me angry, they depress me. Khatti I have to agree with Mr. Mckenzie that we are a somewhat parochial group. Steve the Cynic Thank you, Bryan. (That wasn’t so hard, was it?) I actually agree with your comment, in general. I would even go so far as to suggest that one of the reasons “they” hate “us” is that the dictatorial regimes that rule many of “them” use lies and distortions to stir up hatred of the West and an irrational fear of “Yankee imperialism” so as to focus attention away from their own despotic mis-rule and to deceive their people into thinking that they need the security that those regimes (falsely) promise. The world has legitimate complaints against us, but we are certainly hated more than we deserve. America is not faultless, but over the course of history it has done more good than harm in the world. That said, what disappoints me about America’s response to the 9/11 attacks and other acts of terrorism since then, is that we are allowing ourselves to become like our enemies, letting fear and hatred get the best of us. There’s a difference though. Where tyrants like Saddam foment fear and hatred to keep their people under control and bend them to their will, we’ve been doing it to ourselves. Those of us who opposed the invasion of Iraq were labeled “unpatriotic” or worse by many of our neighbors. In a war of ideas, which is ultimately what we’re caught up in, we win when we show that we’re better than they are, when we don’t sink to their level, when we prove them wrong about us. When we allow them to provoke us, we wind up fighting on their terms, and we’ve already lost. That’s why the Iraq invasion was such a disaster for us. Our troops did everything we asked of them, and excellently. Even so, every battlefield gain is a pyrrhic victory in the war of ideas. Bryan Mckenzie sorry about the pot shots, it was low class. goodnight. jack goldman I never knew Americans were so uninformed, misinformed, over informed, and ignorant about our evil and terrorism we have waged on the world in the name of militant Judaism and militant Christianity. I was shocked at the pent up, ignorant, hate and anger in America. We have been returned less than one millionth of our own evil in the Pentagon bombing and it’s source of funding at the global World Trade Centers and we cry and whine like babies. Ground zero is in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, not New York City. Only one nation has had weapons of mass destruction and used them. Iraq had no weapons. Hussein told the truth. Bush and Cheney lied. Who is evil? It’s a war of misdirected insanity and hate. America is an evil empire by any measure. Bush and Cheney should be jailed as war criminals, at least for one day. They murdered Hussein for telling the truth. I am surprised the Jewish, Jew, Hebrew, Zionist, Israeli point of view has been exaggerated to the point of directing all Christians, the zealots of love, to hate an entire race and religion in blind, bigoted, racist, mass murdering, evil. Jewish, Jews, Hebrews, Zionists, Israelis influence in America far exceeds their numbers in the population just like Christian White Males did in 1950 America. Where are the calls for Israel to stand down? Where is Hebrew Affirmative Action? Where is the outrage over Zionist racism and terrorism funded by US taxpayers? We deserved it. Why do we now embrace rule of racism and double standards instead of rule of law, all for the money, money, money? I am ashamed of American government. We deserved 9/11 and we don’t have the guts to look in the mirror and embrace the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The Pentagon bombing was provoked like all other wars. What business does America have in Iraq “spreading democracy”? LIve by the sword, die by the sword. As you sow, so shall you reap. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. What don’t we get? I am ashamed that rule of law, the constitution, and Congress were unable to stop a war with weapons of massive destruction unleashed on the relatively undefended Iraq. America was bombing Iraq for thirteen years before the sad, tragic, illegal, immoral invasion of March 17, 2003. It goosed the stock market and now we suffer. Who protects Iraq from terrorists and evil empires? Who protects Palestinians from Zionists and evil empires? Where is rule of law? Where is Hebrew Affirmative Action? Where is a monument in Iraq to apologize for the heinous holocaust the Americans and Zionists have brought to Iraq? Where is the “Never Again” monument in Iraq or Vietnam, the other war America was lied into? America, Israel, and Great Britain truly are the new, automated, mechanized, global, evil empire. We have met the enemy and he is us. Where is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about provoked wars always, only, “for the money”? The Pentagon 9/11 bombing taught me even empires can get a bloody lip. This is repeated in history for thousands of years. When will we ever learn? A 13 Trillion dollar debt was 5 Trillion in 2000. We will not die by bombs or bullets. The empire will fall, like all others, when the currency collapses. Protect yourself. No one else can or will. That is the lesson I learned from 9/11. Steve the Cynic And then there are those rants that are so blatantly ridiculous that no sarcastic reply is necessary. Gerald Myking The America I knew since the late 80’s makes me suspect I am a character in the “Truman Show”. The Horror of 9/11 was more than the destruction of buildings and the taking of human life. The horror includes our past and present foreign policy, loss of faith in our basic principles, fear, hate, paranoia, and lack of confidence. All is not lost. Many it seems can see the enemy from within as well as outside. I also see courage and a search for truth. When my time is at end I will at least die with some hope for America. Dick Saunders IT HAS NOT BECAUSE KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! AMERICA IS REAPING WHAT IT HAS SEWN! It was a matter of time when America would become the victim on home soil. This was caused by our ally Britain who asked Eisenhower who asked the CIA to overthrow Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh and support Shah Pahlavi, who was a very brutal dictator. The Shah used every tool in the CIA’s arsenal to keep him in power for 25 years until the Iranian revolution removed him. The Shah horribly scarred an entire Iranian generation who, to this day, despise America for interfering in its governmental affairs. Steve the Cynic There’s a glaring flaw in your argument, Dick Saunders. Iran had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. In fact, bin Laden considers himself an enemy of the Shiite leaders of Iran.