Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Ten Years after 911, A South Asian Reaction

It has been ten years since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the world has drastically changed in these ten years.

Unlike other acts of terrorism, the 9/11 attacks were a TV sensation--it was the most horrible reality show one could ever watch. Live telecast of the second plane hitting the World Trade Center and the subsequent collapse of the two towers were viewed by millions of people all over the world. Though the western news agencies and the Bush administration were quick to put the blame of the 911 attacks on Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda organization, conspiracy theorists kept coming up with imaginative ideas to 'better' explain the attacks. In 2002, after a lot of public outcry, US Congress put together a commission to independently investigate the 9/11 terrorist attacks. A comprehensive report prepared by the 9-11 Commission laid many of the wild theories to rest. The 567 pages long report goes in great detail about the terrorist attacks and in providing 'evidence'--most of it coming from Khalid Sheikh Mohammad's testimonies--that 9/11 attacks were indeed planned and funded by Al-Qaeda. Some would argue that on 9-11, the US paid an unfortunate price for the destruction of the USSR--the CIA-created Jihad network came back to bite the hand that once fed it.

Shortly after the 911 terrorist attacks, letters containing Anthrax spores were found in envelopes mailed to several media outlets and to two senators. The note enclosed with each letter read, 'Death to America. Allah is Great.' The anthrax attacks created a media frenzy and the attacks' connection to Al-Qaeda and the 'fundamentalist Muslims' was obvious to many. Ten years after the Anthrax attacks the case involving the use of biological weapon is closed and all blame has been put on a dead man, Bruce Edwards Ivins, a researcher at Fort Detrick, the center for US Army's biological weapons of mass destruction . There was never a public inquiry of these attacks, but the damage was done. Anthrax attacks created the necessary atmosphere of fear conducive to the passage of the PATRIOT Act, a drastic 'legal recourse' to keep an eye on the enemy within. Anthrax attacks also provided a pretext for the US to attack Iraq, "a country stockpiling 'weapons of mass destruction.'"
On this coming anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks George Bush and Barack Obama would visit the World Trade Center site in New York and would meet with people who lost their loved ones on September 11, 2001. Obama and Bush's speechwriters would craft the best speeches most suitable for the occasion. On the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Obama and Bush would deliver these heartwarming speeches--using teleprompters--with somber faces, resolute demeanors, and determined voices; speeches which in truth would be the masterpieces of doubletalk. Only the flag waving naive would agree with the official story and would understand why the War on Terror should go on.
And on the same day, several peace groups would have a very different type of 911 remembrance. These other type of commemorative programs would be protests against the war and appeals for peace. One such program is being arranged by the Friends of South Asia (http://friendsofsouthasia.org/). "Ten Years after 911, A South Asian Reaction: Films, discussions, and literary readings" would be held on Sunday, September 11, 2011, 1- 4 pm, at the Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco. The event is free and open to all. For those who attend the program it would be an excellent opportunity to share their own 9-11 stories and a catharsis of 9-11 related emotions.

Photo courtesy of americanheritagevillage.net

1 comment:

Cemendtaur said...

Ten years of violence

Is the tide turning? Are more and more Americans getting convinced that terrorism cannot be uprooted through violence? If you turn off your TV set on September 11 and join peace rallies and events organized by peaceniks, this is exactly the message you would get: Americans are tired of ten years of bloodshed.
San Francisco Bay Area being a haven for peace movements hosted a plethora of anti-war programs on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. One such event organized by the Friends of South Asia and held at the San Francisco Public Library's Koret Auditorium was dubbed ' Ten Years after 911, A South Asian Reaction.' The program started with a screening of a 15-minute long compilation--put together by Saqib Mausoof--of video excerpts from various films made on the themes of extremism (Kala Pul), entrapment (The FBI's Jihad), drone attacks (Silent Screams), Afghanistan war (Afghans for Peace), and growing anti-American feelings in Pakistan (Wide Angle on Pakistan).
Various aspects of 9/11 and the continuing violence and hatred it has unleashed were discussed by a panel comprising of Veena Dubal (Staff Attorney at the Asian Law Caucus), Roshni Rustomji-Kerns (writer, Professor Emerita, Sonoma State University), Dr. Maheen Mausoof Adamson (Director of Research, War Related Illness and Injury Study Center, VA Palo Alto), Yasmin Qureshi (writer and activist), and Fariba Nawa (Afghan-American journalist). The panel was moderated by Sharon Sobotta (Director, Women’s Resource Center, St Mary’s College).
Dr. Khawaja Ashraf (travelogue writer, Urdu novelist, writing as K Ashraf), Maryam Turab (Urdu columnist), and Roshni Rustomji-Kerns read their writings related to the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
Complete audio of the program is here: