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Middle East Bloggers Remember 9/11

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Voices without Votes, Americans vote, the world speaks

Today marks the seventh anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the US, a pivotal day in history and a day which brought about so much heartbreak and destruction not only in the U.S. but around the world. Bloggers from the Middle East reflect on the disaster.

Jordanian Hareega wishes it never happened:

I wish it never happened. It could and should have been prevented.

You may ask, how come I'm still remembering this event even though most Americans (82% on today's CNN poll) are not doing anything significant to mark it?

I don't believe in conspiracy theories. I do believe that it was those 19 low-life men that flew those planes into the towers and into the Pentagon, and doubt that the US government had an active role in bombing the towers or shooting the planes. I am buying all of this.

But what infuriates him the most is what happened on September 12:

I'm just not buying anything from 9/12 afterwards.

I can't buy how the CIA could not have prevented this attack, or why wasn't anyone fired from the administration for not preventing them. Why wasn't anyone from the government held responsible in a country where it's "rumored" that every adult is responsible for his or her own mistakes?

How come all the warnings before the attacks were ignored, and different key figures in the government gave contradictory testimonies without being forced to say the truth?

How does the US expect the world to take it as an example for democracy when the very democracy brought criminals like Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice into office, and the same democracy failed miserably to make them pay for the lies that wasted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and shattered the whole country of Iraq.

His anger continues:

There are several reasons for me to wish 9/11 never happened. It's the 3000 victims, and those who were murdered in retaliation. None of them should have died, and those responsible for their deaths were not held accountable and will never be held accountable in a country that claims to be the leader of the democratic world. They just proved that all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets, and that the first victim when war comes is truth.

Fellow Jordanian Qwaider, at Memories Documented, takes a trip back in time. The blogger, who lives in the US, was vacationing in Jordan at the time:

I remember exactly what I was doing, who I was with, and how we all reacted, that warm September afternoon 7 years ago, as someone rushed into the room to say, you won't believe what's on CNN!

Qwaider adds:

Then followed the difficult times, the "random" screenings at the airports, the profiling, the visits by the FBI, the wiretapping, the no-liquids-or-gels on flights, the you-can't-argue-with-stewardess-or-you'll-end-up-in-Guantanamo-bay. Everything

That day, was the day when many civil liberties died... Many people continue to suffer its aftermath, and chances are, the world will never be the same way again.

I will never forget that day ...

Still in Jordan, Kinziblogs also remembers the day clearly:

I stood frozen with my dishtowel clutched to my chest as I understood that someone had actually planned to fly two planes into two office buildings, plotted to destroy the lives of whoever got in the way. Our guest immediately said: "This was Osama Bin Laden's work". I had no idea who he was. His almost-fiance said: "Please God, don't let it be Arabs who did this, the world hates us enough already".

And MommaBean remembers Ramzi Doany, a Christian Palestinian who was killed on the day:

I didn't know Ramzi personally. But, as I'm sure you all know, Amman is a VERY small town. It's so small that when the World Trade Center was destroyed on September 11, 2001, one of our own was lost. Ramzi was not only from Jordan, he was not only Palestinian, he was not only Christian, he was a member of our family. Although we weren't related (even by marriage), we were related by faith, by worship, by practice. Ramzi was one of those American myths, the forgotten, the glossed over: the Palestinian Christian...

And when those planes went down, I listened to little-thinking colleagues talk about "those Palestinians" who were rejoicing. I explained that "those Palestinians" were mourning one of their sons. You would be foolish to think that out of nearly 3000 people, a Palestinian wasn't killed.

From Israel, Aussie Dave writes a few observations on the anniversary. Among them are:

* Seven years on, and people still don't get what this war is about. Heck, most people still don't get that we are in a war at all.

* Al Jazeera (predictably) reports a poll which suggests that more than 50 per cent of people "reject the official belief that the attacks on the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, were carried out by al-Qaeda." Of particular interest:

Of the countries surveyed, Egypt and Jordan had the highest percentages of people who believed Israel was behind the attack, polling 43 and 31 per cent respectively.

Palestinian Haitham Sabbah links to a WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of 17 nations, where the majority in only nine countries points the finger to Al Qaeda as being behind the attacks. Jordan's The Black Iris also reflects on the polls, describing the day as what "eventually paved the way for a great deal of horrific days outside the US."

On Lebanese blog The Ouwet Front, which reflects the personal views and opinions of the Lebanese Forces members, N10452 writes:

May all those who died in this terrorist attack rest in peace.

7 years from that date, terrorism is still spreading and more victims are dying everyday.
USA has failed to assimilate the terrorist threat unfortunatelly, but my hopes are that the World is fully aware of this prominent threat and will act accordingly in the years to come.

September 11 marks another anniversary for Iraqi Ladybird:

Today 11 September 2008 is exactly the day 2000 since the U.S. occupied Iraq under the name "liberating Iraq". Thanks to Al-Akhbar article as a reminder of achievements of this "liberation":

In 2000 days, about 1 million Iraqis killed and 4 million displaced which is the biggest exodus largest since the Palestinian refugee crisis in 1948. As for the American side there are 4155 dead soldiers and 30324 injured, add to this 176 dead Brits and 138 dead from other nationalities.

The costs of the occupation exceeded 1 trillion dollar, most of it is paid by the American taxpayer.

For Israeli Yael, the world has changed since September 11 in "unimaginable ways." She adds:

It changed far beyond the huge hole left in the Manhattan skyline, the tall and magnificent buildings stretching skyward with their lights that used to fill my view as I sipped coffee on my couch and wondered about the lives of those working so late and providing me, by their office lights, almost a magical experience every evening of every day. Those buildings, lights, and lives disappeared seven years ago today but a lot more disappeared with them.

The change went beyond Manhattan, and it went beyond the U.S., and it went beyond the wars that destructive, senseless, inconceivable act sparked in Afghanistan and in Iraq. The entire world changed. While the world and the people of Manhattan and Washington have returned to their everyday lives, their daily routines, a banal normality, it is a new normality that we all live with. The world not only seems a far less safe place but is in fact less safe.

Yael continues:

September 11, 2001 ushered in a worldwide intifada. Since that day, terrorist plots have been fostered and foiled in nearly every Western country -- including countries that before have seen no acts of terrorism directed against their lands, such as Australia, Canada, Norway, Denmark -- and some of those terrorist plots have succeeded. It has heightened the acts of terror in those countries that are far too familiar with terrorism such as in India, Indonesia, Spain and across the Middle East.

One Jerusalem agrees that the world has indeed changed from that day, and poses the following questions:

What would the world be like if there was no 9/11? Would America still go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq? Would George W. Bush still be elected for a second term? Would the Georgian conflict and the possible emergence of a second Cold War still be happening?

Jordanian blogger Ali too has a question:

Today is the sad 7th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it is not really an anniversary but remembering the 3000 innocent lives lost in that day. It should be a time for all to remember the dead in a day that realy have changed America and the whole world. What have the American government really accomplished so far, is America safer now?

He also compiles a list of how the world was pre and after 9/11.

And for Teachthemasses's School Days another conspiracy theory is in the making:

A fire has broken out on a train going through the Channel Tunnel today on the anniversary of 911.

Coincidence?

This blogpost is cross-posted from Voices Without Votes, a Global Voices project that aims to enable readers to experience American events through the eyes of ordinary citizens from outside the United States.