Thursday, September 11, 2008

7 years after 9/11

Time does fly indeed. Can you believe it’s been 7 years since the world stood still? The day most of us across the globe were solidly behind America in their most trying time since Vietnam. That Tuesday morning in September, terrorism took a new dimension and a powerful group called Al-Qaeda was firmly in its driving seat. The impact was costly. Over 3,000 american souls were gone, courtesy of daredevil terrorists who brought an innovative plan to disastrous fruition.They didn’t need bombs,rocket launchers,AK-47s or sophisticated arsenal. In fact their weapons were already provided for them, in the form of american commercial jets.I remember first hearing the tragic news at a friend’s small cybercafé. He was browsing randomly when he stumbled across the ‘breaking news’ on cnn.com.Initial reports stated that a plane had ‘accidentally’ hit the World Trade Centre in New York. It wasn’t till the 2nd airline crashed into the same building that the world suddenly realised it had all being cleverly orchestrated.
As I had a brother living in the Big Apple, my family had tried unsuccessfully,and desperately,to reach him. We kept on dialing the States but we just couldn’t get through. Our main worry was due to the fact that he worked in downtown New York and the jets had struck just past 9 a.m that weekday morning,a time when most workers would have been at work. We panicked, and at the same time, watched the horror on CNN.I doubt i would ever forget the shocking images of people jumping from 40 stories up,in a desperate attempt to preserve their existence.The screaming,the tears,the smoke,the mayhem,the brave firemen,a heroic mayor called Rudy Giuliani(who i now strongly dislike,by the way) etc.
Fortunately,we finally got through to my sibling several terrifying hours later and were ecstatic to hear he and his family were all fine, safe & sound.That Tuesday, the Osama Bin Laden-led Al Qaeda had brought the world’s sole superpower to its knees. And the U.S was humbled. It’s accurate to say that since that infamous day, the world (and the States) has never been the same.Actually,it may never be. President Bush had to show executive toughness and send a message to terrorist cells across the planet, especially to Al-Qaeda,easily the most powerful of them all. The organization being controlled & inspired by a long bearded, rich Saudi Arabian & ex- U.S ally from remote caves in Afghanistan.
George W. Bush ordered an invasion of the asian country using state-of –the-art military equipment to pound the Taliban-controlled region. Sadly for Bush, it’s been 7 years since the tragedy and America’s full scale reprisal,but the most wanted man on Earth is still alive and free. One doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out what the main reason behind the delay in catching the US’s no.1 enemy has been. That reason was Iraq, a country led at the time by Saddam Hussein, a sworn enemy of George Bush Snr.Maybe it was the oil, or maybe President Bush Jnr needed to help Daddy finish the Iraqi dictator once and for all. Irrespective of the motive, it distracted America from their main target and so, Bin Laden & his lieutenants continued/continue to co-ordinate activities from his hide-out in the dangerous regions of Afghanistan.Today,Al Qaeda is still a force with several cells and splinter groups wrecking havoc in various locations across the globe(however, excluding the US).
As Presidential candidates Obama & McCain stand together, with partisanship put aside, at Ground Zero(the place where the Twin Towers once stood)today, two things are clear. First of all, one of them would be the next Commander-In-Chief come January.Secondly, that person has to do his best to complete the job their Texan predecessor sadly couldn’t finish.

5 comments:

Bobby said...

Ok, September 11 was a horrible crime/Tragedy and led to the death of 3000 American lives. GWB attacking Iraq and Agfanistan which has directly led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands or people is heinous at best and at worst.... These wars in Agfanistan and Iraq like you say shifted the focus but the question is "was it neccesary?". No doubt, the world is much more unsafer and the war has given legitimacy to Islamic bigots whose main aim is to kill and maim people on the basis of a stupid ideology in the name of religion. GWB and Osama Bin Laden are really two of the worlds most dangerous people. The good news is that one would leave in January 08 for good and hopefully the other has died in some rathole or cave in Waziristan. Good riddance I say.

Ali said...

I'm with Chigo on wishing Geoge W. and Osama good riddance, but unfortunately both legacies will live on for a lot longer than Jan 09. With Al-Qaeda a decentralized organization, Osama's death will not bring an end to terrorism, and with the power GWB gave to General Petraeus and staking up all the commanding officers in Iraq and Afghanistan with pro war generals, the commander in chief title of the next president is just a title... General Petraeus run things.

Yinka said...

Bobby's comment is at the heart of Obama's appeal. no good comes from stoking fear to rally people. scared people rally because of hope. the politics of GWB and the republicans has been hey we've rallied but we should remain paranoid; because nothing has happened again does not mean nothing will and therefore we must remain permanently on edge. this is logical but extremely tiring and many Americans are tired. it's just not a sustainable strategy. A better strategy is to lead the world in removing environments that are breeding grounds for terrorists.
throw into the mix the monumental cock ups of "you're with us or you're with the terrorists", WMD, Mission Accomplished, Insurgency, Sunni vs Shiite, Osama alive and well, and you begin to understand why a nation that the world was ready to die for in 2001 is nowhere near there today.
Iraq was never the main front of the war on terror until the US went there. the front was and has remained in the caves of Afghanistan and the mountain paths between those caves and North Waziristan (a wholly neglected campaign).
this week they have decided to pull out 8,000 troops from iraq by january and send them to Afghanistan to help fight the re-invigorated, resurgent taliban. the NATO commanders there say they need about 400 ... thousand. but what can they do? they cant just pull out of Iraq and they really dont have any more troops to send (talk about being between iraq and a hard place)
if there is one thing the unnecessary war in iraq has shown, it's that the US really is not that powerful after all. what a pity; the world was actually much safer when we thought they were.

Folashade said...

The worst thing Osama did was to instill fear in the American psyche, which I believe was his true intention. Until those attacks, America believed it was invincible, and that it was perhaps the safest place on earth. Now they live in constant fear. Fear warps the thinking of anyone who allows it to thrive, and unless and until America stops crying 'wolf' and chasing shadows, it will not be able to think straight. Osama did not act in the interests of Afghanistan when he attacked America, so why did they practically destroy the country claiming they were looking for him? The actions of a single individual does not constitute an invitation to war, yet they went ahead, and because it was America, all the other world powers fell in behind them. Now they're in the process of levelling Iraq, and the very people who they claim they're trying to protect are the ones paying for this madness in the form of additional taxes, poor healthcare, an ailing economy etc. Its just so unfortunate. The war on terror in 2008 is more strategic than moving soldiers around like pawns on a chessboard. America has lost more people to these 'wars' than in the September 11 attacks, and its not over yet. Something has to give. War is not, and never will be, the answer to 21st century issues. Hopefully America will draw back before this becomes the second most disgraceful war they've ever been involved in.... who knows, it just may take the gold since its already by far the most costly in terms of money and manpower.......we shall see.

Chakams said...

Interesting take,guys...i agree with Ali...Al-Qaeda is like Naija's MEND in the sense dat there are too many spin-off groups now,making it hard for anybody to effectively curb.