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September 11, 2006 | by  | in Features |
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The 9/11 Debate

SALIENT brings you a hard-hitting three-way debate about who was really responsible for what happened on September 11, 2001, much in the style of proper, serious current affairs magazines and newspapers…

It’s Always the Yanks…

If there is anything universal in this world it’s the joy of Yank bashing. Americans have become the piñata for all political frustrations in the world. And why not? Rigged elections, disenfranchising of black voters, the Bush family, Enron, Dick Cheney, war, constant lies… Paris Hilton… did I mention the lies? You name it, and the Yanks are probably to blame for it somewhere down the line.

Take what happened on September 11, 2001 for example. It is indicative of the global scenario that even when four planes were hijacked for the purposes of crashing into famous landmarks, events which took place in front of a worldwide audience of millions, that the country in which it happened could be blamed for the senseless destruction that took place. As a country, America must have really backed themselves into a corner for people to want to believe that it was actually an inside Government job and that they killed thousands of their own countrymen for no other particular reason than the sheer utter malevolent joy of it all.

And maybe, just maybe, this is why America at the root of all of this, could in a small way blame themselves. You’ve got to make people think that you’re capable of some pretty despicable tasks for them to turn around after such an atrocity and think to themselves, what if they did it? What if they crashed the planes themselves?

America has never done their own public relations well. They come from a long line of opulence, conspiracy and poorly received sitcoms. America never bothered about image. They never cared whether their mistakes could come back to haunt them. There was good, but there was bad also. If anything, 9/11 was a day that symbolised the very real idea that there was concrete and angry resistance to American mistakes of the past. Making a little more good with the Middle East, at the same time as bringing justice against those responsible should have been the post-9/11 policy. But if anything, it crystalised in the American administration after 9/11 a concrete stubbornness against what the rest of the world thinks. And sadly now, if 9/11 mark two came along, the Americans would be more than just a little responsible.

For every shipment of government aid, there was a democratic government overthrown to fit in line with foreign interests. For every global alliance made, there was a small and insignificant country that was left high and dry when they didn’t really seem needed any more. Afghanistan, the country that would give rise to Bin Laden, the primary exponent of the attacks, was directly affected by American involvement, and the Cold War. Resources were thrown into Afghanistan to fend off the Soviet invasion. Bin Laden himself received third hand CIA cash and was a leader of the movement. But when the war was won, and ended, Afghanistan was left worse off than already before: destroyed, and with little to say and do about it. All they had was a pile of left over guns. It was short sighted, and slightly cruel government policy.

American foreign policy can breed extremism. Extremists are represented as senseless, reasonless killers in the media. And maybe in some way they are. But when you take away hope, and add desperation by the bucket load, you breed people who don’t see a future for themselves beyond revenge against who they see responsible. Look at the Palestinians, and while it isn’t the American army out there each day killing, maiming, displacing and jailing without cause or reason, it can still all linked back to an American inability to recognise Israeli occupation of Palestine under international law and help adhere to United Nations resolutions.

And from these actions, of which the two above are only well known examples from a pile, you breed a culture of people born to hate the American opulence, without reason. The same way Muslim children were harassed in American schools, these ‘terrorists’ grow up to hate. Because they feel wronged by American mistakes that America themselves never addressed. Rumsfeld, last week came swinging against such anti-Americanism. He used the over-relied on notion that to be a global leader you have to make the tough decisions. And maybe he is right. But America in believing this, have assumed that their size puts them over and above the idea that for each action there is an equal and opposite reaction. And 9/11 was a reminder that this is not the case.

America allowed a dangerous perception of their own country to fester and grow, basking in their own supposed set of ‘freedoms’ for so long that they couldn’t notice how seriously at risk they were. Sure, it’s easy to say all this in hindsight, but 9/11 was not an attack on their way of life, but revenge. None of the almost three thousand who died that day deserved to do so, but they were citizens treated as collateral damage, in line with how the United States government has treated the citizens of many a supposedly insignificant nation.

Victims shall be mourned. Rhetoric bandied around. Agendas moved. But beyond all this 9/11 was payback from a small proportion of the world. A sick reminder that no country is free from reprimand, no matter how cruel.

Victims shall be mourned. Rhetoric bandied around. Agendas moved. But beyond all this 9/11 was payback from a small proportion of the world. A sick reminder that no country is free from reprimand, no matter how cruel.

By James Robinson

Goddam Arabs…

September 11, 2001 is clearly the fault of the Taleban and Osama Bin Laden. And all Muslims because anyone who believes in the same God must think alike. Note to Muslims, this doesn’t mean you can say Catholics and Protestants are the same. Those religions are different because when Jesus said: “love thy neighbour” he meant Christianity needs to be split into a lot of denominations which are structurally and philosophically totally different.

If anyone knows anything about the media, it’s that there’s a scale. One dead American equals 100 dead Europeans equals 100,000 dead Asians equals 1,000,000 dead Africans. That’s why the 3,000,000 Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians killed by the Americans doesn’t compare at all to the mention of the Holocaust. In fact, they even gave Henry Kissinger a Nobel Peace Prize for not killing enough. Why can’t Muslims realise this?

There is absolutely no way anyone who challenges a mighty empire can be ever right. It’s not many young girls’ undying wish to have a white wedding with a Visigoth. People just don’t go to Hun school. Nor, outside of Naenae, do many people aspire to become a Vandal. As history shows, anyone who attacks an empire is evil, from Neville Chamberlain to Noam Chomsky. Who doesn’t hate Noam Chomsky? So therefore, anyone who attacks the glorious, benevolent American empire must be synonymous with evil. America is the type of country that goes and folk-dances at old folks homes, recycles all their pieces of rubbish including tin foil and drinks Fair Trade coffee from Papua New Guinea. What do the Muslims do? Build nuclear bombs and own oil. Who’s the selfish one there?

If there’s anything history has always taught us, it’s that there’s only one side to everything. Tibet led the Chinese on. Depleted uranium is used as baby food in Serbia. Julius Caesar stabbed himself. Newstalk ZB (which is never wrong) told me the other day that Muslim fundamentalists on that day back in 01 killed more innocent people than America killed in Nicaragua and I’m liable to believe it, because those Nicaraguans are a bunch of illiterate crime causers and Sandinista! was the Clash’s biggest folly. Well Newstalk ZB didn’t say anything about Nicaragua, but I could tell that they implied it. When they were hassling Labour about something it was clear the allegorical implication was that they meant the International Court of Justice was wrong about America’s involvement in Nicaragua. So the one side that is clear on this issue: non-white people are the only people who kill white people.

How did these buildings fall down anyway? Are people seriously going to believe a bunch of computer-geek losers with their conspiracy theories? Those guys aren’t getting laid, and don’t take their Prozac because they have no-one to notice they’re clinically depressed, yet people still take them seriously because it’s written on a blog. Who reads a fucking blog? Only old people who think they’re getting hip with the youth. They’re the type of people who text each other with weird text language that confuses most people.

Anyway it was clearly the Muslims who were to blame for the terrorist attacks. They had no right to fly a plane, as the cockpits are the domain of white pilots. Black pilots have always had to fly in the back of the plane, and there wasn’t nothing Rosa Parks could do about it, because she was too poor to afford to fly. Now all those Anti-Americans will bleat on about Iran 1953, sponsorship of Saddam, Palestine, continual massacres in Lebanon and so on, but what they don’t realise is this: no-one cares. It’s like when you went up to the massive school bully and told him “did you know assault is a crime? I’ll tell on you.” And then he punched you. And although you may find the school bully is now a repressed homosexual, born-again Christian who’ll one day need that stem-cell he knows nothing about, you’d still never tell him he’s a dumb motherfucker.

And for those Muslims saying the terrorists aren’t to blame, why couldn’t those Muslims navigate properly? Surely it isn’t too hard to see you’re going to hit a big building. And not once but twice! Idiots! Soon instead of women driving jokes we’ll end up with Muslim flying jokes. Such as “why can’t Muhammed Ali fly a plane? Because he’s a Muslim!” But since they did it purposefully, I bet those terrorists will have a rude shock when they don’t wake up in Paradise, but in Hell. You misread the Qu’ran, you tossers…

Those Muslims hate gay people and say they don’t like things, like penises, being shoved down their throats. Those Muslims hate the fact that America sells them such classic TV shows like Friends (ahhh Joey… when will you learn?) and Everybody Loves Raymond at such a cheap price and show them how great the American life is, and then when they come over to America to get this way of life, they’re told to fuck off.

It’s because those Muslims also seem to hate the Western way of life. They hate the fact that upward mobility has meant Paris Hilton sells heaps of albums and is our decade’s blonde icon. Can a woman do that in a Muslim society? Unlikely. A woman in those societies are there to only please men, dress and act as men want them to and not use their brains. Those Muslims hate gay people and say they don’t like things, like penises, being shoved down their throats. Those Muslims hate the fact that America sells them such classic TV shows like Friends (ahhh Joey… when will you learn?) and Everybody Loves Raymond at such a cheap price and show them how great the American life is, and then when they come over to America to get this way of life, they’re told to fuck off. They should realise when things are advertised it doesn’t mean you have to follow it. They also don’t like the idea of Western civilization. It’s like Jeff Goldblum said in Jurassic Park, civilization always finds a way, and Muslims hate that. Brazilians hate that too. They all look alike.

By Brannavan Gnanalingam

The Mole Men are to Blame

It would seem an inexcusable waste of time at best, and an obscene disrespect to the native intelligence of the everyman at worst, to harp on at length about whether it is America or Al-Qaeda who is responsible for the tragedy of September 11. After all we all know that this goes much deeper; Bush and Bin Laden play croquet together on dappled fall mornings, the CIA fund Islamic uprisings in the developing world who in turn provide seed capital for establishment of KFC franchises and all the pawns dance a merry jig to the sinister fife of their cute little black button-nosed masters.

Deep underground in their cathedral caverns where streams of sulphur stain the air with acrid stench, and glistening jewels lay strewn but unclaimed, they plot the downfall, not just of the callous Western world, who dare not lift a decadent finger to aid those less fortunate than themselves, or the fundamentalist hordes of unkempt terrorists who smuggle their bombs in the milk of mewling babes. They plot the downfall of all surface dwellers, lowly and high, rich and poor, obese and dumpy alike. They are the motherfucking mole men, and you’d better watch your back, because they’re gonna fuck some shit up.

They hate the sun and all the surface dwellers with their dusky tans and smooth muscular forearms. In the dark they sit and plot and twitch their adorable whiskery snouts while weaving gargantuan conspiracies too vast and tangled for any whose mind has been addled by the sun to understand. And they do so for the most ancient and most curious of reasons – because they are pure evil. Do not try and understand them, for by the time you comprehend even the dimmest outline of their fiendish schemes it will be too late, and they will have ravished any of your orifices you have not sealed tightly firm with electrical tape.

It is the mole men who must bear the responsibility for their actions that they committed, but it is we who must bear the responsibility if we allow such a thing to ever happen again.

The only important thing is to rally against our would-be subterranean conquerors, take to the streets, construct witty poorly constructed placards, and chant your displeasure to the government of the day, though they can do nothing. Run to the media and tell them that the mole men are evil and alien and a threat to our way of life, brand those who would disagree with you traitors. Seize the moral high ground and offer emotive rhetoric from Internet sites and photocopied fanzines. Never miss an opportunity to call for arms and appeal to the pride and innate sense of freedom that characterises the surface-people and, likewise, enlist the support of rock musicians and movie stars who can engage the people even if they fail to grasp the intricacies of what they denounce. Do all these things and do them well and maybe we will be fine, and maybe, just maybe our children will be able to grow up in a world that is not racked with fear. It is the mole men who must bear the responsibility for their actions that they committed, but it is we who must bear the responsibility if we allow such a thing to ever happen again.

By Nicholas Holm

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About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

Comments (3)

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  1. D says:

    wow
    that article sucked
    sorry dude but you gave no facts to back up your statement. Im not sayin what side i take on this whole thing, but you cant say something just cuz you have no clue why the gov. would do this
    think this over, they would get people around the country to feel mad and patriotic and they will let you invade the middle east without a good reason when you really wanna go there for money from oil. youre also free to pass acts like the patriot act which people would normally oppose you passing but since it’s a question of “national security”, they don’t care

  2. Hugh says:

    Yeah, real food for thought, D.

  3. Nick says:

    D. You have the political nous of a fourteen year old. My section of the article was contrived almost solely to make fun of people like you.

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