Planetary Reactions to the 9-11 Attacks: A Look Back (Worldmeets.US News, U.S.)


Since 2005, during the U.S. occupation of Iraq, on behalf of the American people and the English-speaking world, the Worldmeets.US team has been translating content from around the planet about September 11, 2001. For much of the globe, including for a large segment of the U.S. population, what happened that day remains in dispute. On the occasion of the 14th anniversary of the attacks, we have gathered together some of the columns we have rendered on the subject over the ensuing years. We hope you find this multi-national look back both enlightening and interesting. If you appreciate the work of Worldmeets.US, please make a tax deductible donation with the button to the right - Managing Editor William Kern.


September 11, 2015






Catastrophe Sparks New Debate Over Wisdom of Iraqi War (Le Monde, France)


By exposing Washington’s inability to protect Americans at home, Daniel Vernet writes that Katrina has called into question not only George W. Bush’s capacity to lead, but his entire post-September 11 strategy. According to this op-ed article from France’s Le Monde, the U.S. President may yet fulfill his original campaign promise to pursue a more ‘humble’ foreign policy. [Click to Read]





Two Black Septembers (El Tiempo, Colombia)


The fourth anniversary of one of the worse attacks on innocent civilians in history finds the great power embarrassed and perplexed. This time though, it is not due to the hatred of an external enemy, but the fury of a hurricane which has left the magical city of New Orleans and neighboring regions submerged, has turned nearly 1 million people into refugees and has left a still uncertain number, perhaps 10,000 according to the mayor, dead. [Click to Read]






What the French Knew About September 11, and When They Knew It … (Le Monde, France)


"It's true that these secret service chronicles about al-Qaeda raise many questions. And right away there is a surprise: A great number of notes devoted to the threats of al-Qaeda against the United States, months before the suicide attacks on New York and Washington. Nine entire reports on that subject between September 2000 and August 2001, including a five-page summary entitled, 'Airplane Hijacking Plans by Islamist radicals,' dated ... January 5, 2001! Eight months before September 11, the DGSE report highlights tactical discussions held between Osama bin Laden and his Taliban allies from the beginning of 2000, on the subject of hijacking American airliners." [Click to Read]





'9-11': Whispered Like an Immense, Horrifying Secret (Liberation, France)


"September 11, 2001 - when referred to as 9-11 - is a form of extreme understatement. I first heard this expression at a Japanese restaurant in Zermatt [Switzerland] on New Year's day, 2002. When I expressed surprise that the restaurant was nearly deserted, our Arab waiter told me the reason: 'It's because of 9-11, the Americans don't come anymore.' ... 9/11 - I have heard the phrase repeated ever since, whispered in a thousand different ways like an immense secret of horror and even unadmitted delight when confronted with its horror, a secret that defied articulation, forbade comment, and a thought to be condemned. 9-11 - an awe-inspiring discovery that will enter into the history of men and will forever remain amongst bloody euphemisms like the "Final Solution." It is however essential that we do dare to think of it - and to recall the horror." [Click to Read]



Le Pen Calls the 9-11 Attacks 'Just an Incident' (Le Monde, France)


"Three thousand dead - that is how many die in Iraq in a month and it's far less than the deaths in the Marseille or Dresden bombings at the end of the Second World War … both were terrorist acts as they expressly targeted civilians to force military leaders to capitulate." - Leader of the Front National, Jean-Marie Le Pen. He was recently deposed by his daughter. [Click to Read]






The September 11 that Washington Ignores … 1973 (Bottup, Spain)


On that day - the first of the 17-years that Chile's military dictatorship lasted - it was more than a man of the moral and political stature as Salvador Allende that died in combat. We can say without fear of being wrong that neo-liberalism - the justification and practice of the most savage and criminal part of the already criminal and savage capitalism - can find no better occasion to express itself as a global system - that condemns all of humanity to repeat, over and over again, on a morning without a future - than the two September 11ths that the calendar gave us in 1973 and 2001. ... But it's not about that overworked  - and at the same time completely unclear - September 11th, the little workhorse that keeps the most backward sectors of the political right in the United States in power, that we want to talk about." [Click to Read]








After 9-11, Iraq was Punished for America's Mistakes (Iraq of Tomorrow, Iraq)


"The attacks against New York on September 11, 2001 constituted a terrible genocide that shocked the world. But at the same time, this horrific crime provided the U.S. Administration with a pretext to launch wars against poorer countries and peoples ruled by corrupt cliques who came to power thanks to this same U.S. Administration. ... What's undeniable is that U.S. President George W. Bush used these wars against Afghanistan and Iraq to serve the interests of weapons merchants and manufacturers, enabling them to test their wares, boost their sales and make billions of dollars in profits. ... As to Iraq's terrorist junta then in power, it was installed in 'Black February,' 1963. It was at this time that the first Iraqi republic was overthrown after it enacted Oil Law No. 8 - which nationalized our unexplored oil fields, withdrew from the Baghdad Pact [a U.S.-led group of nations], enacted land reform, adopted a progressive educational policy, set out to combat illiteracy and walked out of the Sterling Area [a zone of British influence]. Through the ruling terrorist junta, which was comprised of a clique of traitors led by Saddam Hussein and the Baath party, the United States had direct influence over the affairs of the country. It provided the Iraqi dictator with weapons and pushed him into an absurd war against the Islamic Republic of Iran, which ravaged the country and its youth and left it in ruins. That war resulted in terrible casualties on both sides and served mostly the interests of the United States and Israel." -- [Click to Read]



Eight Years after 9/11: The Bloody Legacy of Cheney's Failures (Der Spiegel, Germany)


"After 9/11, Dick Cheney took the reins in America. The 'war on terror' was his idea, and it led to real wars in Afghanistan and Iraq - and to the torture he approved and defends. While Cheney is writing a memoir to influence how people see his role, the rest of the world would just prefer to get on with cleaning up his mess - with him out of the picture. -- [Click to Read]





September 11 Response Brought 'Loss of U.S. Prestige' (El Heraldo, Honduras)


"The response of the United States to the attacks of September 11, 2001 has resulted in a tremendous loss of prestige for Washington, mainly due to the massive violations of human rights committed during its war on terror.' But also because it set the stage for attacks on civil rights, including in some countries where governments used the battle against 'terrorism' to impose blood and fire on minorities, as the Russians did in Chechnya. ... Eight years after the terrorist attacks that changed the world, New Yorkers complain that the monument and building being constructed on the site of the Twin Towers are unlikely to be ready for the tenth anniversary in two years, Osama bin Laden and the leader of the Taliban [Mullah Omar] continue to plan terrorist acts and the world remains a more insecure place to live." -- [Click to Read]



How America Ended its Own Dominance (Wen Wei Po, Hong Kong)


"The over 100,000 American troops still stationed in Iraq represent the kind of strategic defeat not seen since the Vietnam War. First, the U.S. military provoked an unjust war, letting loose the dogs of war without cause. And although a few countries dispatched small numbers of troops to curry American favor and allow the U.S. to deceive the public, everyone knew that these foreign soldiers contributed nothing to the effort, and never played a significant military role. ... The formidable U.S. war machine wasted many years in Iraq and was unable to force a decision through battle. Unable to find a quick fix, Barack Obama came to power and chose to gradually withdraw American troops - but the blunders had already piled up to such an extent that they are impossible to remedy. Not only did the war lose for the United States global support for its battle against international terrorist groups, it exposed the weaknesses of the United States to terrorist organizations and caused countries that were already antagonistic to American wishes (such as North Korea, Iran) to become bolder in their contempt. When these countries posses real weapons of mass destruction, the United States will have even fewer options. That is the true irony when one looks back at the Iraq War." -- [Click to Read]






Japan and World Need U.S. to Recover from 9-11 (Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan)


"In the United States as a result of counterterrorism measures, airport security has become much more aggressive, while prejudice against Muslims and Muslim immigrants has spread. It seems that the great freedom and tolerance that Americans once enjoyed has been lost. ... In contrast to the decline of the United States, newly emerging countries have achieved high levels of economic growth. China, which has shown remarkable growth, has surpassed Japan to become the No. 2 economy in the world, and has been beefing up its military strength. ... Although trends toward a multipolar world will continue, no country other than the United States can play such a central role in dealing with threats like terrorism, which are aimed at destroying the international order." -- [Click to Read]






After September 11, We 'Lost What We Wanted to Defend' (Sydsvenskan, Sweden)


"When people disappear; when secret airplanes transport people who are haphazardly accused of terrorism; when interrogation methods must be called torture; when 779 people are imprisoned in Guantanamo beyond the ordinary principles of law; when Osama bin Laden is killed rather than forced to stand trial, then the moral advantage of the Western democracies is diminished. Then we have lost what we wanted to defend." -- [Click to Read]





'Two Septembers' that Changed the World (Folha, Brazil)


"September 11 was the first catastrophe endowed with instant universal impact, experienced in real time by billions of people. A curious fact: this coup, even as it embodies a moment of vulnerability for the United States, came to exacerbate feelings of superiority and exceptionality rooted in the North American mentality - far more than the triumph of the Cold War. ... If terrorism has led the U.S. toward aggressive extroversion, the economic crisis is leading it to exercise introversion. If terrorism united that nation, the 2008 crisis divides and polarizes its society and political environment. If 2001 led toward unilateralism, 2008 opens new possibilities for dialogue, cooperation and multilateralism." -- [Click to Read]



Overreaction to 9-11 is Major Reason for American Decline (Ibaraki Shimbun, Japan)


"The world has changed dramatically since 9/11. The U.S., the sole superpower in the closing years of the 1990s, can't hide the fact that its $15 trillion deficit has damaged its influence around the world. And the biggest reason for this decline is America's overreaction to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the start of the 'War on Terror.' ... The subsequent chaos and moral lesson of 9/11 is that looking at others with suspicion and brandishing an "ideal" as the U.S. has done, is foolish. This is a lesson that also applies to Islamic fundamentalist groups that try to blend religion and state by means of terrorism and civil war. If put into action, this lesson will lead the world on a path of coping with the current disorder and greater international cooperation marked by tolerance and compromise, in which each country puts itself in the shoes of others." -- [Click to Read]





Since the 9-11 Attacks, Walls Proliferate Between Peoples (Ma, Hungary)


"Germany's Cold War symbol now stands as a memorial, while in many parts of the world, countries and peoples line up along dividing walls. Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the erection of edifices similar to the Berlin Wall has been on the rise: At present, about 50 separating walls or fences exist around the world. The researchers also pointed out that democratic states are the most susceptible to applying such drastic methods." -- [Click to Read]



French Leaders Recall September 11 Attacks (Paris Match, France)


"So what do today’s leaders take away from September 11? For [UDF Party Chair] Francois Bayrou, this date proved to be a turning point: “The democracies have become aware of their fragility. It was also the beginning of a still uncompleted war between the terrorist networks and our societies, which are often unconscious of how fortunate we are. ... [Socialist Party Secretary] Pierre Moscovici, who will take part on Sunday, September 11, in a ceremony for the elders of Liberty [retired soldiers who fought for France during WWII] drew a parallel "between different types of oppression - between Nazism and fanaticism.” On September 11, 2001, when he was minister of European affairs, Moscovici saw “a great cloud” of smoke out of the window of the plane carrying him to Boston.... For [Magistrate] Eva Joly, “History changed dramatically that day, when the terrorist attack created security-related stress among Western populations.” The Green candidate [for president] will make defense one of her campaign issues. She considers that, “this attack also led to a new conception of defense based on preventive war." -- [Click to Read]





America's Economic Crash Had Little to do with September 11 (Financial Times Deutschland, Germany)


"In reality, the U.S. economy was already in recession before the attacks - a recession that resulted from the collapse of the New Economy. At most, the attacks may have delayed the end of the recession by a month or two. According to official assessments, the recovery had already begun in November 2001. ... What didn’t occur were more failures of large banks, as the government - by committing funds - had prepared for that possibility. In the meantime, oil prices fell because of recession fears, which in turn shored up the economy. And U.S. consumers quickly regained confidence because additional terrorist attacks failed to materialize. In the long term, it seems that not even globalization suffered as a result of stricter security controls. In the six years after 2001, global trade rose at the same rate as it did six years previously - by just over 50 percent. There is no visible fracture." -- [Click to Read]



Anniversary of 9-11 Shows Lack of American Solidarity (Huanqiu, China)


"If one listens carefully, the assertion of U.S. officials of the need to create a 'positive, forward-looking narrative,' contrasts sharply with the not-so-positive reality. After the 9-11 incident, the U.S. launched wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. And to this day, they remain caught in a dilemma. President Obama, feeling stretched to the limit and while endeavoring to end these wars, must now consider leaving U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. While the two wars are accompanied by a drop in national strength and a downgrading of U.S. credit, America's "counter-terror" strategy has opened up a Pandora's Box. More and more of U.S. consumption can be attributed to fighting terror, and domestic terrorists have become a new and growing concern. Even killing bin Laden was difficult to celebrate. With the burden of two wars, the U.S. economy has weakened. Issues arising out of the two wars like the Guantanamo Bay detention camp remain unresolved." -- [Click to Read]





September 11 and the Value of Having Defined Enemies (RTBF, Belgium)


"By giving us back clear enemies, a conflict between democrats and terrorists, an "axis of evil," George W. Bush and the Islamists offered us in 2001 a new - and deadly - friend or foe antagonism for the entire decade. A decade that, in fact, ended in May with the 'definitive' end of bin Laden. ... Now we're once again in the midst of one of those moments ... When there is no structured ideological grid, identities are in retreat, and individuals have assembled to defend themselves against chaos to form smaller, highly-homogeneous and sure identities for fear of being absorbed into a larger whole. And this fear sweeps away everything in its path, promotes every extreme and brings forth new antagonisms much more quickly than one might think. Essentially, a few years beforehand, who would have foreseen the coming of the Second World War, the identity conflicts of the 1990s or the September 11 attacks?" -- [Click to Read]






'Having Sown the Wind ... America Reaps the Whirlwind' (Al-Iraq News, Iraq)


"The American victims may be innocent. But they will be as firewood for the ball of fire now hitting back at America, because again, whoever sows the wind, shall reap the whirlwind. ... America created al-Qaeda and extreme Islamist political terrorist organizations in many countries, to have them sow discord and sectarian conflict with left wing and nationalist parties in countries that were subject to its aggression. That includes Iraq, which is still paying the bill for America's crimes and errors in the blood of innocent lives." -- [Click to Read]



Al-Qaeda and the Nazis: 4,481 Days that Terrorized the World (Die Welt, Germany)


"Today, December 18th, 2013, 4,481 days have passed since September 11, 2001, when the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in New York occurred. It's a period that seems like an eternity. In that time, an entire generation of young people have grown up for whom the television images are no more than childhood memories. For school children, "9/11" is pure history. ... For the same length of time that has passed since 9/11, millions of people lived in fear of the Nazis and Nazi Germany, and ultimately, all Germans. First in Germany itself, then in Europe, and finally, almost all over the world. For the same length of time Osama bin Laden's face has been with us as the embodiment of al-Qaeda and as the physical symbol of a movement willing to commit mass murder - Hitler, too, terrorized the world, held it in suspense, and compelled it to defend itself." -- [Click to Read]






'Generation 9-11': End of Innocence for Americans and Us All (Hertener Allgemeine, Germany)

"In terms of the consequences of September 11th, there is much in common between those in both Germany and the United States who are today 30 to 40 years old The 9-11 generation, which ranges in age from the early thirties to the early forties, is now marked by personal fears. There are massive feelings of insecurity due to the collective experience of violence on September 11th." -- [Click to Read]





'American Terrorism': Washington Never Learns its Lesson (Al Ahram, Egypt)


"On September 11, 2001, the United States absorbed a devastating blow from the al-Qaeda group, and American blood was shed at the hands of terrorists who had been trained, funded, armed and mentored by the U.S. … It seems that the Americans failed to fully grasp the lesson of the terrorism industry in Afghanistan, and went right back into the business in Iraq and Syria. Now that they have suffered another terrorist coup, the Americans have reverted again to an international campaign against terrorism." -- [Click to Read]



As Shown Again in Iraq, France Must Reject 'Subjection' to the United States (Le Figaro, France)


"This beneficial and necessary alliance should not be transformed into subjection to America - in a systematic alignment of our diplomacy with hers. That is something de Gaulle understood very well when he demanded that France invariably be treated as an equal by her oldest ally. … Nixon and Kissinger had understood it before many French: France as an ally yet non-aligned was much more useful to the West and the world than a France playing silent second fiddle to the U.S. … This spirit of independence was found again in the courageous February 2003 speech by Dominique de Villepin at the United Nations, imploring America not to invade Iraq - and again, history proved him a hundred times correct. Since then, though, as if she had been frightened of having gone too far, France has toed the line with her systematic alignment with Washington." -- [Click to Read]






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Deal with Iran: Payback for Saudi Role on 9-11? (L'Orient Le Jour, Lebanon)


"We may allow ourselves to ask whether the accord concluded with Iran is not, in part, American vengeance for September 11, 2001. Saudi involvement was never publicly denounced by American officials, but many bits of information (including testimony from former Senator Bob Graham, who chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee and presided over the Joint Congressional Inquiry into the September 11 Attacks, highlight the troubling role of Saudi officials at the time." -- Dr. Patrice Gourdin, Professor Emeritus at the French Air Force academy École de l'air. -- [Click to Read]


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[Posted By Worldmeets.US, September 11, 2015, 8:54am]


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