911 overblown

911 was spectaculer. We had some riveting TV and the buildings came down making great TV drama. After it was over ,we should have scraped the debris out and rebuilt another building in its space. A better one to be sure, but quickly and in the same spot.
When Bush kept saying 911 over and over, my mind pictured Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon screaming Attica, Attica. It was designed to infuriate . Yes ,it was terrible. Yes it was on our shore and 2500 Americans died . Many countries have terrorist acts and go about their business.
You can justify going into Afghanistan and cleaning out the Taliban and running after Ben Laden and his gang. They probably could have been completely neutralized at that time . We would have acheived a measure of terrorist defeat and shown the world the cost of attacking us. We could have kept our world standing. We blew it.

Your debate would be…what, exactly?

And I’m sure the people in the twin towers and who responded there that morning (some who are on these boards) would be pleased with your reducing the impact of the day to two sentences, one containing a spectacularly misspelled word, and the other containing the phrase “great TV drama.”

Seems to be that they should have rebuilt the twin towers or something in their place immediately.

And then forgot it ever happened.
And then invade afghanistan.

The year 9/11 happened 40K+ people died in car accidents. Every year since, another 40K have died. The world didn’t ‘change’ because of 9/11. It was a captivating spectacle, and it captured the world’s attention, but it changed nothing. And the people who died, their lives were no more sacred then the lives of all the people who’ve perished since then.

I can’t be the only one feeling guilty for seeing the title and thinking “More middle-to-upper-blown”. Can I?

I’ll just go sit in this corner.

This is patently false. Your statistics were true when Pearl Harbor was attacked as well (not the exact number, but the fact that the people who died weren’t necessarily special/more sacred and that more people died that year in car accidents), but the attack on Pearl Harbor did change the world. I don’t have the exact quote handy but I believe Winston Churchill remarked when he heard about it that, “we’ve won the war.” In one single move the Japanese assured that their pacific empire was going to fall.

Looking at it from the perspective of number of lives lost is a foolish way to look at it. When Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, that was one death. But (if you know any who are still around, and there’s scarcely any) ask any WWI veterans if that conflict changed the world.

9/11 was important because of the greater geopolitical ramifications that came afterwards. The attacks changed the entire nature of international diplomacy. Bush gets a lot of bad press and some of it deservedly so, but one thing you can be sure of, no matter who was in office the day 9/11 happened, we were going to make fighting terrorism a top priority. Which means a drastic overhaul in how U.S. security agencies operate, how we handle domestic security, and how we handle foreign relations. Anyone else in the White House would have handled it in a way unique to themselves, but all of them would have altered U.S. foreign policy.

And for the obvious rejoinder that “we shouldn’t have LET it change everything,” well, you call me back when you have a way to “make” the millions of people in this country agree to do ANYTHING all at once. As long as there would have been public pressure to do something, 9/11 would have changed a lot of things very radically. If you know of some way that could’ve been prevented, please offer it.

Comparing murders to accidental deaths is a pretty terrible way to make your point. Murder victims aren’t more special or sacred than people who slip on the ice in their driveway and freeze to death after a concussion, but if you’re trying to convince me that we should respond to these deaths in the same way you’re out of your friggin’ mind.

911 wasn’t overblown. The fact that some politicians were able to motivate us to an insane war and crazy domestic policies because of it doesn’t mean it was “overblown”. You should pick a better word, because the implication that those attacks were no big deal just doesn’t make sense.

Yes, people die in car accidents every day. But they are accidents, not deliberate acts of murder aimed at the values of this country and its allies. There’s a world of difference, and you can’t simply count heads and draw any comparison.

You of course feel the same way about Pearl Harbor…and the invasions in Afghanistan and Iraq…correct? Well, and WWII I suppose too. After all, more folks die per year of cancer than died in WWII (if we look at the US only of course)…so these statistic mush mean something. Right?

What would that be exactly? That because more folk die from cancer in the US per year that WWII was a non-starter? That the invasion of Iraq changed nothing (positive or negative), being nothing but a ‘captivating spectacle’? Or maybe that raw death statistics don’t actually mean much of anything when comparing apples to oranges? Or something?

Should we have pissed on the dead too, or just thrown them in the river or something?

That aside, you do realize that removing all that debris was a bit of a task…not to mention trying to keep the ‘bath tub’ from, well, filling back up with water? Right? Or maybe we should have used our alien technology to make the debris, bodies and such simply disappear…and erect a brand spanking new building (better of course) using nanites that would feed on all that stuff…

I recall it well…Bush, the lone voice of unreason, howling in the wilderness about this supposed attack against US citizens on our own soil. The nerve of the man…when all the rest of us wanted to just push the dead bodies into the ground as quickly as possible and get on with rebuilding the towers! Bush is SUCH an asshole that way…


Can you name any that lost anywhere close to that many civilian citizens in a single coordinated attack? Do the rest of our Euro buddies REALLY just turn the other cheek when they get attacked? I seem to recall our British friends not being so fun loving when THEY were attacked by the Irish, say. And then there are our beloved Frence buddies…and…and…and…

Well, I’m sure they just suck up attacks like 9/11 every week and don’t blink an eye…

Well, thats good I guess. I’m sure Bush et al will be SO pleased that they could justify their attack on Afghanistan, since they have your approval…or at least your understanding. :stuck_out_tongue:

I assume this sentence translates (in English) to something along the lines of: We could have gotten that rat bastard ObL and all those AQ schlubs had we just gone into Afghanistan whole hog, instead of pussyfooting about and then wandering off to Iraq.

If so, I’ll comment on what I THINK you meant…obviously if you meant something else (that is probably completely off the wall) then I apologize…be more clear and I’ll comment on your actual intent next time. My comment is two fold…for part one I will say, wrt going into Afghanistan whole hog and getting ObL and AQ out by the scruff of their necks…look at a map of Afghanistan sometime. It would not have been the cake walk you seem to think.

The second part of my comment has to do with wandering off into Iraq. Here I agree with you (well, with what I THINK you were getting at)…we should have stayed the course IN AFGHANISTAN and not gotten distracted in Iraq. We would probably be taking as many or more casualties THERE as we are currently in Iraq, but we wouldn’t be taking them alone…and it would have been in a ‘justified’ cause (your words).

Perhaps…perhaps not. For my part I think the real world effect would have simply meant that young and hot blooded Arab men, looking for glory and fun in the afterlife, as well as getting their bag limit of American’s, would simply have gone to Afghanistan (as they did when the Soviets were there) instead of Iraq. I don’t think we would have ‘shown the world the cost of attacking us’ any better by staying in Afghanistan than we did by blitzing through Iraq (which, frankly, scared the shit out of a number of NATIONS in the region…and probably around the world).

However, you’ve sort of strayed from the opening spirit of your own OP (I realize in such a massive and well written OP as yours, going into such detail and depth that its hard sometimes to keep focus through page after page of writing of your normal caliber :stuck_out_tongue: )…which seemed to be that 9/11 was overblown. I fail to see how this links up with what we should or should not have done in Afghanistan. After all, if it SHOULD have been a non-starter, if we SHOULD have simply moved on, rebuilding the towers as rapidly as possible and following the heartwarming examples of our more civilized Euro buddies, then it seems logical we should have not bothered with Afghanistan at all…just left them be and they would leave us be, living in joyful happiness.

Depends on how you mean that I suppose. Did we blow it because we were overly concerned with a direct attack on our own soil that killed US citizens in the thousands? Was it because of how Afghanistan turned out…or our invasion of Iraq? Because we didn’t magically rebuild the towers the next day? Something else that we blew?

Depending on what you mean by this cryptic statement I could agree with you…or disagree.


Hey, thets pretty good. :wink:

Ferdinand’s assassination is a good comparison.

Assassinations of dukes, princes, and other leaders around the world are common. But they don’t usually result in world wars.

So what’s special about the duke?

The answer is that there was nothing special about him; it was the world’s reaction that caused WWI, not the assassination itself. It was the injection of nationalism and politics that sparked the war. The duke was simply an excuse.
The attack on the towers was a terrible crime. But it was just that - a crime.

It wasn’t an act of war. It wasn’t an attack by a belligerent power. It wasn’t Pearl Harbor. It was a crime, and those behind it deserved to be hunted, prosecuted, and punished. Calling the people behind it anything more than criminals gives them a status they don’t deserve.

Beyond that, everything that made 9/11 ‘special,’ every ‘change’ that resulted from it, was the result of politics, politicians, nationalism, and scare-mongering by professional scare-mongerers.

And every ‘change’ that’s resulted from the day that ‘changed everything’ has been a change for the worse.

Oh no xt ,I must have thought removing the debris was a 10 minute job. Thanks for straightening me out. I suppose you thought I wanted them to pour cement over the bodies and go right ahead with rebuilding. Thanks for your insight.
Who in the hell said Bush needed my approval . Do you never tire of arguing with yourself,?
Strangely ,I remember we had the world opinion and the American people in back of the Afghan invasion. But, we never finished the job. Ben Laden may have been eliminated. The Taliban could have been NEUTRALIZED. They would have had no training camps and their political influence would be gone. A problem would have been solved. The Taliban is coming back and Afghanistan is falling apart. Iraq is a mess and Afghanistan is becoming a druglords playground.
When I think it will be a cakewalk ,I will say so. We had them on the run. I believe it was well on the way to success.
Iraq is a mess and Afghanistan is getting that way.

911 (“nine one one”) is a phone number for emergencies. I think you mean 9/11 (“nine-eleven”).

What is your point? That Bush used 9/11 for inappropriate political purposes? That’s not a new idea.
That we, the USA, should have just shrugged and said, “oh well, a terrorist attack. Lots of countries have them. Let’s just go on about our business”?

Why are you bringing this up?

I missed when people started calling it 9 slash 11. Wait they have not . it is referred to as 911. (or 9 11).
Let me make it simple. If we had quickly(but not too quickly. xt) cleaned up the mess and rebuilt a building on the same spot ,we would have shown we are not going to be cowed by attacks. We will fix it and go on. We are above it. Terrorists in Afghanistan would see that they are small time . They can not hurt us. Just piss us off. The next bombers would have to wonder what the original hijackers had really accomplished by giving up their lives. The building is up and life goes on.

Anyone who thinks destroying an integral part of the NYC skyline, putting a big hole in the side of the Pentagon, crashing four jets and killing several thousand people is “small time” and the best response is saying “They can not hurt us” is delusional. They DID hurt us, bigtime, and all the manly posturing in the world couldn’t change that. Now certainly you can argue that our reaction to it hurt us further, but their acts, and their acts alone hurt the country. It’s not unpatriotic to say so.

You’re acting as if the best response to Pearl Harbor would have been to just rebuild the ships ASAP and act like nothing happened.

Pearl Harbor was an act of war by another country. Not the same thing at all. But we did not wimper about an attack. We rebuilt our navy as fast as we could. It pissed us off. That is the American way. Fix it and make it go away. Do not let them change you.

Considering that these were the basic motives behind 9/11, that’s not terribly surprising, is it?

It looks like you’re trying to make a meaningless distinction, and that you’re arguing against something no one has said. No one has made a claim that the people who died during 9/11 were “special.” Saying it was not an act of war is questionable, though, it was carried out by a radical Islamic terrorist group that was being sheltered by a sovereign state. Said sovereign state then refused to stop harboring said terrorist group. It’s actually not dissimilar to what started the first World War, the guy who killed Franz Ferdinand was not part of any government.

Saying it wasn’t a special crime is ludicrous. Special just means out of the ordinary. Assassinations are “special” crimes, because while there are hundreds in the historical record, they are still rare. Serial killings are “special” crimes because they are rare, abnormal, et cetera. Likewise, massive terrorist attacks which kill over 2,000 people are special acts in that they are way out of the ordinary. Acting as though it was akin to a mugging is just disingenuous.

Saying that the 9/11 attacks were not special is akin to saying they were “ordinary, or usual.” That’s just not the case, such attacks are not ordinary nor are they common or usual.

You are right that the political response to 9/11 is why we invaded Afghanistan. But said political response happened precisely because of the unique nature of the attacks, no one has ever said the attacks were not a crime, they were under American and probably international law. However, they were also a unique crime in that they were carried out by an international terrorist group that was being sheltered by a sovereign state. It brought Islamic terrorism to the forefront in the United States as a major issue.

The Tylenol murders had a similar effect in the United States, because they were special murders in that they were entirely out of the ordinary. Part of the response to the Tylenol murders was increased focus on safety measures in consumer packaging so people would be able to easily tell if a product had been tampered with.

Hey, no worries. I think of it as a public service. :stuck_out_tongue:

Er…well, I suppose arguing with myself is more interesting than trying to puzzle out what the hell you are talking about come to think of it.

Strangely, so do I…apparently better than your own recollections. You see, it was a mixed back of horror over what happened, sadness, anger…and genuine happyiness or at least satisfaction that we had got our just deserts. I remember traveling in Europe a few months after 9/11 (I’ll get back to this ‘9/11’ theme in a bit, never fear :))…that would be before we invaded Iraq or even went into Afghanistan. And what struck me most was…how many mixed feelings there was from the people I talked too. There was certainly none of this feeling of the world standing shoulder to shoulder with us in our grief, being some kind of unified monolith behind us, blah blah blah…that you are apparently remembering through your rose colored glasses. I remember demonstrations against the US about our planned invasion of Afghanistan…and talking to folks who were extremely opposed to our doing so, regardless of if AQ was there or not or what the Taliban thought.

Leaving Europe aside, ‘the world’ encompasses a whole lot of folks out there…and a hell of a lot of them were quite vocal in their demonstrations of joy following 9/11…just as a lot of them were quite vocal in their demonstrations of support and horror over what happened. Thats the reality…not some psudo-history where everyone was behind us until Evil Bush™ took us into Iraq.

Strangely, considering our usual difference of opinion, I agree with you here.

I’m not sure who ‘Ben’ Laden is, but I’ll just say…maybe he could have, maybe not. Personally I think our original battle plan in Afghanistan was a good one (possibly even brilliant)…it was our follow through that sucked donkey dick. That said, I don’t think even if we HAD completely followed through we would have eliminated AQ completely…and I’m doubtful we would have gotten Bin Laden either, though luck is always a factor…and I concede that with more troops even in so ridiculously difficult a place to find anyone as the Afghan highlands the probability of finding him would have been greater.

Well, by and large they WERE neutralized. The problem was with our follow through…which allowed them to come back, rebuild and become a pain in the ass again.

Maybe. Personally I think this is wishful thinking on your part. Basically, IMHO anyway, what we would have is a low level, grinding insurgency in Afghanistan instead of one in Afghanistan AND Iraq. However, I think had we stayed in Afghanistan, while the insurgency there would have been at least as bad as what we currently have in Iraq, we would have had more international support…and perhaps the situation would have been more contained. Or maybe not…we’ll never know and its all pure speculation.

You can believe whatever you like. I hear some folks believe the earth is flat or that God created everything in the universe like some kind of cosmic magician pulling fish out of his ass. Unfortunately your belief doesn’t make it so. Its pure speculation that things would have been like the rosy picture you attempt to paint had we just done the right thing (being defined by your own opinion of what is right or wrong)…and its a picture that doesn’t bear much resemblance to history in that region.

That said, I agree with what apparently is the core of your point (well, gods know if it IS your point, the way you write)…which is that we should have stayed in Afghanistan and left Iraq alone. Even a nasty insurgency there would have been better than a simultaneous insurgency there AND in Iraq.

Now, getting back to that whole ‘9/11’ thingy…

They call it ‘9 slash 11’ because it happened on September 11th…which most of us realize is commonly denoted (in the US…you know, where it happened?) as (drum roll please!):


See how that works? Perhaps you were aware of this uncommon fact, perhaps not. Hopefully I’ve now been able to clarify it for you if not. :slight_smile:

We cleared up about as fast as it COULD have been cleared up. How quickly do you THINK it could have been cleared up and a new building designed and accepted? Do you suppose the President held up construction…or had really any say in how rapidly the site was cleared and a new building designed and accepted?? What do you base this incredible opinion on exactly?