Posts Tagged ‘New York’
When the World Trade Centre was built in 1970, it was a symbol of American prosperity. The two towers sat in New York, of which the highest dominated the skyline, although I doubt any of the builders or workers could predict its untimely demise. Even now, ten years after that morning, the destruction of the biggest symbols of American capitalism are hard to comprehend.
A plane slammed into one of the towers at roughly the 93rd floor, and another later in the morning; bringing the towers to their absolute ruins and thousands of people murdered in the process. Roughly around two thousand body parts were collected by search and rescue teams in the aftermath, and 1,612 bodies were never found, but were issued a death certificate.
Despite the horrific human tragedy at the hands of terrorism, 9/11 wasn’t the worst to come. A three thousand page piece of legalisation called the US Patriot Act, crushing civil liberties in its process, was quickly ushered in under the premise of “You’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists”. It was this mindset which brought in the War on Terror, today leaving us with two wars within the Middle East and in Central Asia that we cannot win, along with millions of killed civilians and thousands of killed military personnel. Backlash victimised minority groups on both side of the Atlantic, and often saw people kidnapped and murdered. Torture was commonplace within the Iraq war, most infamously with the Abu Ghraib Prison scandal where soldiers were brutally torturing, sexually abusing and killing prisoners within their care.
In addition to the somewhat seemingly institutionalised system of brutality within the military on civilian populations (re: the second battle of Fallujah which saw nuclear weapons used, resulting in a generation of children being born with devastating deformities) MI5, our own secret service agency, have been revealed as complacent within international torture, such as in the case of Binyam Mohamed. Muhammad was abducted at Karachi airport in Pakistan, being incarcerated within a number of countries including Morocco and Afghanistan before being finally transferred to the infamous Guantanamo bay where he was subject of torture, torture that the UN “bans under all circumstances”.
9/11 was not the first terror act in the world; far from it. 9/11 was the first terrorist attack on US soil. A pivotal moment in world history saw the US victim to the effects of its invasive military policy after years of foreign policy intervention. Human beings are not collateral damage, although in this post 9/11 world including illegal wars, torture, widespread fear, nationalism, widespread racism, stereotyping of minorities, war crimes and Islamic terrorism, it seems that we are seen as collateral damage in the eyes of both our leaders, and of our enemies.