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On 9 (September) 11 in 2001, terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon,

but did not damage the

Patriotic Spirit of the USA.


What Happened?

What about ISLAM?

How to Respond?

What about Further Attacks?

According to a 29 October 2001 article by David E. Rosenbaum and David Johnston in The New York Times of 30 October 2001:

"... The government warned tonight [29 October 2001] that new terrorist attacks were planned against the United States in the next week, but it offered no specifics about the nature of the attacks or what the targets might be. ... One senior government official said the warning appeared to arise from new threats from Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network but offered no evidence. ...

... The alert came on a day when officials announced a suspected case of inhalation anthrax in New York and a case of skin anthrax in New Jersey. The two would be the first among the recent anthrax cases who neither work for the government nor are connected to a media company. Also today, federal officials said anthrax had been found in the mailrooms of three more government buildings: the Supreme Court, the State Department and a building on Independence Avenue that has offices for the Voice of America and agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services. Because anthrax was found in a Supreme Court mail center in Maryland last week, the justices sat in another place today for the first time since the court building opened in 1935. ...

... The government issued a similar alert on Oct. 11 ...

... Robert S. Mueller III, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, ... said he had no reason to believe that the new threat was related to the anthrax attacks. This seemed to be a slight change from his suggestion after the last alert was issued that there might be some connection between the earlier advisory and the anthrax mailings.

As matters now stand, inhaled anthrax, a serious and sometimes fatal illness, has been diagnosed in eight people: six postal workers and two employees of American Media Inc., a tabloid newspaper company in Florida. Three of these people have died, one has been released from the hospital and four are hospitalized in serious condition. ...".


Tom Clancy wrote, in Debt of Honor (G. P. Putnam's Sons 1994, Berkley 1995):

"... "Good evening, the Captain said first in Japanese, then in English. "This is Captain Sato. ... With luck we should be in Vancouver at about seven in the morning, local time." ...

... The 747 touched down ... Captain Sato ... looked around ... then headed off to the airport administrative office. ... "One of our 747s has mechanical'd rather badly," Sato explained. "It will be out of service for three days. I have to fly to Heathrow to replace the aircraft. ... No passengers ... but a full load of fuel." ... Sato finished his walk-around and climbed aboard, stopping first at the forward galley. ... "All ready?" he asked. "Preflight checklist complete ..." the man said just before the steak knife entered his chest. ... "I'm very sorry to do this," Sato told him in a gentle voice. ... The ground crew was too far away to see into the cockpit, and couldn't know that only one man was alive on the flight deck. ...

... it had never occurred to anyone to have fighter aircraft aloft over the capital ...

... Sato brought his aircraft around ... the 747 banked left, clearly under precise control ... Sato had been to Washington often ... including the Capitol Building ... he adjusted his flight path so that he was now roaring right up Pennsylvania Avenue ... His last voluntary act was to select the point of impact, two thirds of the way up the stone steps ... Nearly three hundred tons of aircraft and fuel struck the east face of the building at a speed of three hundred knots. The aircraft disintegrated on impact. ... Next came the building itself. ... one hundred tons of jet fuel erupted from the shredded fuel tanks, vaporizing ... A Second later it ignited from some spark or other, and an immense fireball engulfed everything inside and outside of the building. ...".

A promotional quote for Debt of Honor (in Tom Clancy's Without Remorse (Berkley 1994)) from Entertainment Weekly:

"A shocker climax so plausible you'll wonder why it hasn't yet happened."


On 9 11 in 2001, it happened!

[ The above images are from the web at ]

[ Compare these images

from BBC video of The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy ]


According to a 12 September 2001 article in The Boston Herald by by Ed Hayward, Tom Farmer and Cosmo Macero Jr.:

"... A horrified nation witnessed the shocking carnage as the World Trade Center's "North Tower'' burned and exploded after it was struck just before 9 a.m. by Los Angeles-bound American Airlines Flight 11, which departed Boston's Logan Airport at 7:59 a.m. with 81 passengers, two pilots and nine flight attendants. A second jet - United Airlines Flight 175, that left Logan for L.A. at 8:14 a.m. carrying 56 passengers, seven attendants and two pilots - was captured on video as it sliced through the "South Tower'' and unleashed a massive fireball just after 9 a.m. ...

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... Roughly 50,000 people worked at the World Trade Center and there was an hour available for evacuations. But the toll already appeared staggering for the men and women who worked to save lives. A firefighters union official said an estimated 200 firefighters had died. An estimated 87 police officers were missing.

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Within two hours of the initial Trade Center crash, the fiery nightmare gave way to mind-numbing grief, as both towers imploded,

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raining thick dust, glass shards, metal chunks and human remains on the streets below.

As the twin symbols of American capitalism's global reach crashed to the ground in a smoking heap of dust and debris, the Pentagon burned after another fiery strike

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is from the web at ]

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- this time American Airlines Flight 77, which left Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C., for Los Angeles with 58 passengers, four attendants and two pilots. ... just moments before it crashed into the Pentagon, Barbara Olson, wife of Solicitor General Ted Olson, called her husband on a cell phone to tell him hijackers wielding knives and box cutters had hearded passengers and crew into the back of the plane. ...

A fourth hijacked plane, United Airlines Flight 93, carrying 38 passengers, two pilots and five flight attendands out of Newark, N.J., crashed in Pennsylvania ...

... Authorities in Massachusetts identified at least five Arab men as suspects in yesterday's terror attacks launched from Logan International Airport ... Two of the men, whose passports were traced to the United Arab Emirates, were brothers, one of whom was a trained pilot, a source told the Herald, speaking on condition of anonymity. ...

Once in the air, the hijackers in one plane began killing flight attendants in order to lure a pilot from the cockpit and seize the plane, said one source. "They started killing stewardesses in the back of the plane as a diversion. The pilot came back to help and that is how they got into the cockpit,'' said the source. ... The suspects had no guns, but used shaving kits and other carry-on luggage to smuggle knife-like weapons made up of plastic handles embedded with razor blades, sources familiar with last night's developments said. That finding is consistent with reports of a flight attendant's cell-phone call from one of the doomed airliners. ...

While no terrorist group had claimed responsibility, investigators focused quickly on billionaire terrorist fugitive Osama bin Laden, already tied to the 1993 World Trade Center truck bombing and the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. ...".


According to a 12 September 2001 article in The New York Times by James Glanz:

"... The cause of the twin collapse yesterday of the World Trade Center towers in downtown Manhattan was most likely the intense fire fed by thousands of gallons of jet fuel aboard the two jetliners that crashed into the buildings, experts on skyscraper design said. The high temperatures, of perhaps 1,000 to 2,000 degrees, probably weakened the steel supports, the experts said, causing the external walls to buckle and allowing the floors above to fall almost straight down. That led to catastrophic failures of the rest of the buildings. ... The structural design of the two towers, fairly common now, was considered innovative in its day. Instead of the heavy internal bracing and heavy exterior masonry of, for example, the Empire State Building,

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the designers of the trade center towers chose a light glass-and-steel facing threaded by steel columns. Those columns, 61 on each side, gave the towers most of their stiffness and largely held them up ... the situation was much different from the one that occurred in 1945 when a much smaller plane slammed into the Empire State Building.

[ This image

of a B-25 bomber collidision on a foggy July 1945 day with the Empire State Building at the 78th and 79th floors is from a Wayback web page by Patrick J. Kiger. ]

That plane, a bomber with a smaller impact and less fuel, ripped a 20-foot hole in the structure, but the building remained standing. ...".


Click Here for More 911 Images.

How to Respond: Militarily and Economically?

Military Response

According to a 12 September 2001 article in The New York Times by James Barron: "... At the White House ...

"Freedom and democracy are under attack," the president said. "The American people need to know we are facing a different enemy than we have ever faced. This enemy hides in shadows and has no regard for human life. ... But it won't be able to run for cover forever." ...".

According to a 30 October 2001 AP article in The New York Times: "... The United States is committed to keeping its anti-terrorism campaign going as long as it takes to destroy Osama bin Laden's terrorist network, Gen. Tommy Franks, commander of the U.S. operation in Afghanistan, said Tuesday. Franks also denied suggestions that the U.S. operation against Afghanistan's ruling Taliban had reached a stalemate or stalled. ... Franks was in Uzbekistan, where an estimated 1,000 U.S. soldiers with the Army's 10th Mountain Division have been deployed at an air base at Khanabad, 90 miles from the northern Afghan border. ... Franks refused to comment when asked whether U.S. ground troops would be sent into Afghanistan ...".


Here are some factors that might be worth considering in evaluating a military response:

since September 11 also underscores a significant shift in the Bush administration's thinking about the role of the military in projecting American power. ... It is establishing a broader political and security relationship with the republics of Central Asia, rich in oil and gas reserves. ... [As in] Bosnia and Kosovo, where the United States still has several thousand troops ... the Pentagon appears to be moving into Central Asia for the long run. ... The expanding U.S. deployment into Central Asia is raising eyebrows in Beijing and Moscow, both of which have strategic interests in the region. Russia considers the five former Central Asian Soviet republics to be in its sphere of influence. ... China has expressed concern that the United States is seeking to use the war on terrorism to expand its influence in Central Asia and the Pacific. ...".

In the Southern part of Central Asia, according to an 18 February 2002 article by Robert Wall in Aviation Week, "... The standoff between India and Pakistan ... could explode into armed conflict that might escalate into the use of nuclear weapons. ...".

In the Pacific, according to a 26 February 2002 article by Raymond Bonner in The New York Times, "... [United States] Special Forces soldiers have arrived on Basilan, a small island at the southern end of the Philippine archipelago, over the last two weeks ... to help the Philippine Army track down and defeat Abu Sayyaf, a terrorist organization ... This is probably the largest deployment of Special Forces troops into a combat zone, other than Afghanistan, since some 50 advisers were sent to El Salvador in the 1980's. ...".


An interesting Nixonian point of view is put forward by William Safire in a 5 November 2001 article in The New York Times:

"... Know your real enemy. It's not just bin Laden and his terrorist cells. It's the movement threatening to take over the Islamic world. Those beards and their even more dangerous state sponsors want the Saudi and Kuwaiti oil. That would give them the money to build or buy the nuclear and germ weapons to eliminate the reasonable Muslims and all the Christian and Jewish infidels. ...

... I'd make a deal with Ankara right now to move across Turkey's border and annex the northern third of Iraq. Most of it is in Kurdish hands already, in our no-flight zone - but the land to make part of Turkey is the oil field around Kirkuk that produces nearly half of Saddam Hussein's oil. ... We'd provide air cover and U.N. Security Council support in return for the Turks' setting up a friendly government in Baghdad. The freed Iraqis would start pumping their southern oil like mad and help us bust up OPEC for good. ... northern Iraq could be good for nearly two million barrels a day, and the European Union would fall all over itself welcoming in the Turks. Next, Turkey would solve its internal Kurd problem by making its slice of Iraq an autonomous region called Kurdistan. ...

... what's the big deal about new borders? Iraq was a 20th-century British concoction. Only 50 years ago, Israel became a state, and soon there'll be a Palestinian state. New times, new borders. ... Speaking of Israel ... I'd tell Sharon to annex the Jordan valley, to protect Jordan, but then to hand over the rest of the West Bank or he's down the tubes. ... Then I'd tell the Saudis and other rich Arabs to build good housing and plants in Palestine or accept a million Palestinian immigrants. With Iraq's threat neutralized and Iran coming around, the sheiks will ante up in a hurry. ... Change the flow of money and power in the Middle East and bin Laden and his boys will fall into our hands like rotten fruit. ...".

A related opinion is described by Thomas E. Ricks in a 6 August 2002 article in The Washington Post, cited by the Drudge Report:

"... A briefing ... prepared by Laurent Murawiec, a Rand Corp. analyst ... presented on July 10 to the Defense Policy Board ... recommended that U.S. officials give ...Saudi Arabia ... an ultimatum to stop backing terrorism or face seizure of its oil fields and its financial assets invested in the United States. ... The briefing argued that removing ... Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq ... would spur change in Saudi Arabia -- which, it maintained, is the larger problem because of its role in financing and supporting radical Islamic movements. ... Murawiec said in his briefing that the United States should demand that Riyadh stop funding fundamentalist Islamic outlets around the world, stop all anti-U.S. and anti-Israeli statements in the country, and "prosecute or isolate those involved in the terror chain, including in the Saudi intelligence services." ... If the Saudis refused to comply, the briefing continued, Saudi oil fields and overseas financial assets should be "targeted," although exactly how was not specified. ... The report concludes by linking regime change in Iraq to altering Saudi behavior. This view, popular among some neoconservative thinkers, is that once a U.S. invasion has removed Hussein from power, a friendly successor regime would become a major exporter of oil to the West. That oil would diminish U.S. dependence on Saudi energy exports, and so -- in this view -- permit the U.S. government finally to confront the House of Saud for supporting terrorism. ... "The road to the entire Middle East goes through Baghdad," said the administration official, who is hawkish on Iraq. "Once you have a democratic regime in Iraq, like the ones we helped establish in Germany and Japan after World War II, there are a lot of possibilities." ... Of the two dozen people who attended the Defense Policy Board meeting, only one, former secretary of state Henry A. Kissinger, spoke up to object to the anti-Saudi conclusions of the briefing, according to sources who were there. ....".

According to a 1 August 2002 article in the World Tribune:

"... U.S. officials have confirmed reports that senior Saudi officials have discussed the prospect of nuclear weapons cooperation with Pakistan. ... the report, authored by former Pentagon official Anthony Cordesman, said ... Saudi Arabia ... "... did ... buy long-range CSS-2 ballistic missiles from China. Very senior Saudi officials have held conversations with officials involved in the Pakistani nuclear program, and possibly with similar officials in other countries." ... The report appears in the latest issue of the State Department's "U.S. Foreign Policy Agenda." The journal was published on the department's web site and focused on the topic "Weapons of Mass Destruction: The New Strategic Framework." ... U.S. officials said Saudi leaders have also discussed the procurement of new Pakistani intermediate-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. They said Saudi officials were invited to tour Pakistan's nuclear weapons facilities and that no sale has been concluded. ...".


An issue on which some people become disaffected with the USA, possibly motivating them to join anti-USA terrorist groups, was described in a 10 November 2001 article by Alexander Stille in The New York Times: "... Charles Kimball, chairman of the religion department at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., ... said ... "I was talking to a group of about 150 top executives of the Sara Lee Company, and I asked how many people knew what U.S. policy in Algeria has been ... Not one person raised their hand, and these are bright, well-informed people." Mr. Kimball explained that the Algerian government had [in January 1992] canceled elections when it appeared that Islamic fundamentalists were about to win, a decision supported by the United States and its principal allies. "We say we stand for one man one vote, but not everywhere. Most of the kids protesting in the streets of Pakistan know this, and so we need to know it, too." ...".

Yet another issue on which some people become disaffected with the USA was described in an 11 November 2001 article by Amy Harmon in The New York Times: "... many are challenging one of the towering achievements of American industry during its economic boom years: an unprecedented expansion of intellectual property rights.


It would be a silver lining to the cloud of the 911 attack if the response of the USA resulted in resolution of long-standing sources of disaffection, such as:

Economic Response

According to a (Thursday) 13 September 2001 article in the BBC:

"... After an early rollercoaster ride of sharp gains and losses in early trading, shares in Japan have begun to settle down as the furore in other Asian markets also begins to calm. Trade in Europe on Wednesday had shown some signs that the world's financial markets were beginning to stabilise, as shares pulled back some of the ground they had lost, and the dollar strengthened slightly against other currencies. But hopes that trading on US stock markets would resume on Thursday have been dashed - trading there will not start until Friday at the earliest.
Governments, central banks and economic authorities around the world have pledged to seek ways to help stabilise the global financial system in the wake of the US attacks. ...

... "Today the markets seem to have regained their calm," said Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Yasuo Fukuda. "I think it is early to say if that sort of state will continue. But fortunately, the Group of Seven countries are coordinating, as they have in the past. Protecting a free economy is important and the G7 will do this together." ...

... The chairman of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Richard Grasso said he hoped trading would resume on Monday at the latest, and that it might begin again on Friday. "Our first and primary concern is restoring the public's confidence that this marketplace ... will be up and functioning - and no one can interrupt that resolve," he said. But he added that the NYSE wanted to avoid doing anything that might interrupt the recovery operation currently underway around the World Trade Center. Trading in government bonds will begin again on Thursday, and officials at the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange where future and options are traded have also said they will resume trade on Thursday.

Some idea of the problems being faced by the NYSE came from the telephone company Verizon Communications. The company said the attack on the World Trade Center damaged network facilities that serve the exchange. "The extent of the work we have to do is just enormous," said Verizon's vice chairman Larry Babbio. And he added it "could be a very long process" to restore a normal service. ...

... On the currency markets the dollar showed signs of stabilising. It recouped some of its losses it had made on Tuesday when it dropped sharply against the Swiss franc and Sterling, which were seen as safe-haven currencies. At 2300 GMT the dollar stood at 90.67 cents to the euro, while one dollar bought 119.52 yen. ...".

The economic response must not only deal with the direct problems of damage to the World Trade Center's people and buildings, but must also take into account the structural problems of the global economy, and try to prevent the existing (unfortunately large, but fortunately manageable) damage from triggering much greater, potentially unmanageable, global-scale economic damage.

It would be a silver lining to the cloud of the 911 attack if the response of the USA resulted in constructive resolution of structural problems of the global economy,



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