Why did 9/11 happen?

As I recently mentioned in another thread, it’s been almost 3 and a half years and I’ve yet to see an intelligent, in-depth discussion on why exactly 9/11 happened. The media (from what I’ve seen - I am not a 24-hour news junkie) has seemed to skirt the issue and none of my real-life friends, acquaintences, or co-workers have brought it up or seem interested in the subject at all.

I absolutely refuse to believe that a bunch of Muslims got bored one day and decided to attack America because “they hate our freedom.”

It also bothers me that I have this disturbing gut-feeling that one of the reasons they hate us is that the common Joe on the street doesn’t know or care why they attacked us or why they hate us. It seems painfully obvious to me why they did it if I look at the situation from all sides (or really any side other than American), but as an American, I almost feel like we have to froth at the mouth and say they did it BECAUSE THEY HATE OUR FREEDOMS! or else I hate America and the t’rrists have won.

I’m inclined to believe that it has to do with our foreign policy that isn’t exactly a fair hand in the middle-east (and of course it’s more complicated than this), but I’m interested in hearing what some other informed opinions have to say on the topic.

Also, if reports and/or tv documentaries or things of the sort have been done on this topic, please let me know. I’m not saying they don’t exist. I’m just saying I haven’t seen them.

AFAIK, 9-11 was a response to the presence of US troops in Sad Arabia

So have you actually heard anyone offer the opinion that they did it because “they hate our freedom”? I think I’d fall over laughing if anyone said that in my presence.

I would too, except the dipsticks who believe that nonsense are running the nation. :frowning:

The broad stroke answer is that 9/11 happened because a bunch of Muslim extremists got sick and tired of American interference with their part of the world – their culture, their governments, their way of life. Military bases in Saudi Arabia, US support for repressive governments (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Israel), Western and American interventionism in Arab leadership (Shaw of Iran, anyone?), and encroaching globalization all come to mind. Throw in some longstanding resentment that western nations are stealing the region’s riches (oil) and waging a generations-long war against Islam, dating as far back as Christopher Columbus’ voyages, and you’ve got a venerable shopping list of reasons for why the extremists believe They’re Mad As Hell And Won’t Take It Any More™.

I recommend Why Do People Hate America? for an in-depth study of the topic.

snort Ever taken a good look at the former Taliban government in Afghanistan. Thats home grown repression that makes the Shaw look like a nun. You sort of hit the nail by accident though…they hate America because of folks like the Shaw, no doubt but not because they were repressive (one look at Arab governments NOT ‘controlled’ by the US should show thats old hat)…but because they were PROGRESSIVE in a secular way. The Shaw was trying hard to bring Iran into the modern world…and that grated on the fundamentalist types. Israel is certainly another point of contention, and our troops in Saudi were resented by a small minority of nutballs…even though the Saudi’s ASKED us to put them there during and after the first gulf war and DIDN’T ask us to remove them.

Nutballs can always come up with an excuse to hate someone or some group. Ask the Nazi’s. They killed millions of jews on such a house of cards. Most of their ‘reasons’ are bullshit…and MOST of the really shitty things done in the region were by your precious Europeans dicking around after WWI, as Europeans used to do. The US was merely a convient target for the extremist types.

Not a very good strawman you’ve build. Can you name anyone who thinks this simplistic crap? That said, there is a core of truth here. The fundamentalist types DO hate the west (not just the US) because of freedom of religion and our general secularist bent, the freedom of our women, as well as our general affluence and the lifestyles our citizens lead. Its a direct threat to fundamentalist Islamic extremism, everything from the the religious freedom to the affluence…to the general education and rights for women. They rightfully see it as a threat.

In addition, there are several extremist factions in the region (of who ObL is one) who want to create an Islamic superstate along Taliban/Iranian lines encompassing much of the region. America would certainly be opposed to such a move and would take steps to prevent it happening, so I think 9/11 had a lot to do as an opening move with putting America back into its shell so we wouldn’t fuck with their plans. My opinion is that the plan was to hit America hard and demoralize us, and then suck us into another Vietnam type quagmire in Afghanistan and bleed us white (a la the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan). Eventually America, who I’m sure it was thought couldn’t stomach massive casualties, would tuck tail and bolt…leaving the region free for the taking by the glorious mujahadeen. Who would contest the region if the US didn’t (lots of people I think…even the Europeans…I’m not saying this was such a great or well thought out plan mind you)?

The plan was flawed because the basic understanding of America was flawed…and their assessment of what America could and would do also sucked big time. However, I think that this was the major factor in WHY 9/11 happened. Anger at the US for past slights I think had very little to do with it except from a propaganda/excuses perspective. However, YMMV and if you want to think its simply because they were mad at the US (funny they didn’t go after the UK and France who had a lot more to do with their current shitty situation) then be my guest.


Oh give me a break. The house of Saud is homegrown movement, and created Saudi Arabia as it is today, and Iran and Afghanistans governments are the product of domestic revolutions.

Those poor extremists rjung, they’re so misunderstood aren’t they?

I’m sorry but this persons hystericalness is hiallrious.

rjung = ejects his victory within argument/debate by propagating outlandish and exaggerated statements.

Yeah. Almost everyone I know.

Exactly why I try to stay out of Great Debates. I ask a question, you automatically assume it’s politically loaded and respond snarkily as such.

Please dismount if you want to continue this discussion in this thread.

You’re right, there is some reasons why Osama did what he did, but to to entirely lay it at the Wests front door and say ‘its your fault’ is ridiculous and typical of what I’ve come to hear since 9/11.

Yeah. Almost everyone I know.

Exactly why I try to stay out of Great Debates. I ask a question, you automatically assume it’s politically loaded and respond snarkily as such.

Please dismount if you want to continue this discussion in this thread.

I interpret that phrase as shorthand for “they (specifically, the people who use fundamentalist Islam to control their masses) fear that the spread of Western culture (of which political freedom is a major component) will undermine their power base”.

Expanded in that fashion, it makes perfect sense to me. It does neatly explain why radical Islamism has a significant appeal to the upper classes (which are, if anything, complicit in rather than victimized by “American imperialism”) rather than being confined to the dirt-poor “Arab street”.

Either there is something going on that us Americans are completely unaware of, A.I.: disease experiments, random unlawful testing- in the islamic nation that hates us so, or they hate us for being in more control than any of the other countries. It’s kinda like a battle for the crown. Right now, America seems to be doing well for itself and now it’s trying to influence other nations and make them our followers. All of this would be great, if other nations wanted to follow. Is see the islamic outbreak as an act of rebellion. And what has America done about it? We’ve flown our asses over there and forced them into a Democratic government.


They did it so America could take away a lot more of our freedoms and keep doing so because of the “threat of terrorism”.

Well, I’ll try and avoid the snark on this reply and only say maybe you SHOULD stay out of GD with answers like this. I won’t even put in the requsite rolly eyes.

Yet I answered your OP in depth…and you have nothing more than THIS to say? That my closing, which to me WAS pretty clearly ‘politically loaded’, was snarky? Nothing more??


Er…well, I meant that I thought your OP was ‘politically loaded’ of course. Must learn to preview. Oh well, maybe Tam will wander into this thread and give us his/her thoughts about it all.


If you think the people of Saudi Arabia are thrilled with the royal family, you’re seriously out of touch here.

And remember that the Iranian revolution was primarily in response to American intervention back in the '50s. Having your prime minister secretly overthrown by the CIA is bound to cheese people off.

Are you kidding? Our own president says it every chance he gets:
“But there are other terrorists in the world. There are people who hate freedom. This is a fight for freedom. This is a fight to say to the freedom-loving people of the world: ‘We will not allow ourselves to be terrorized by somebody who think they can hit and hide in some cage somewhere.’”
George W. Bush, 2001.

“We love freedom, and these cold-blooded killers hate freedom. And that’s why they want to come and hurt America. And we are not going to let them.” George W. Bush, 2002.

“They hate freedom, they hate free nations.”
George W. Bush, 2003.

“And so long as I’m the President, we will be determined, steadfast, and strong as we pursue those people who kill innocent lives because they hate freedom.
And, of course, al Qaeda looks for any excuse. But the truth of the matter is, they hate us, and they hate freedom, and they hate people who embrace freedom.”
George W. Bush, 2004.

Sorry neutron star, perhaps you missed the whole quote. Let me put it up for you again to help out:

I even bolded and underlined the key parts of it for you. I don’t see the ‘bunch of Muslims got bored’ part in any of your quotes. Perhaps you have some followup cites?? I know of NO ONE who thinks AQ is made up of bored Muslims who decided to attack the US because they hate our freedom.

As for what you narrowly focused on, while the president is vastly oversimplifying things (something he seems to excel at) with his ‘hates us for our freedom’ blather, I think there is a core of truth in it. Muslim extremists DO hate the west, and part of that hate is because of our various freedoms which are a direct threat to what their core precepts. Now, you can disagree with that, but what I quoted from the OP WAS a strawman that I haven’t heard anyone, not even Bush the master of crap, put forth.



That may well be true, but it’s hardly the USA’s fault he’s in charge. It can’t even reasonably be said that the USA “propped him up” as they have other dictators in the past. American soldiers are only there since the Gulf War, and are clearly there to protect the country from external enemies, not defending the House of Saud from some hypothetical resistance movement.

The same core of truth that’s found in accusing someone who does not like pepperoni of hating pizza? Deliberately equating parts and wholes, when it is known that they are different, does not strike me as serving the notion of ‘truth’.