9/11 10 years on

2011-09-08 11:35

On Sunday, it will be ten years since the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre fell. It was one of the seminal “where were you when you heard...” moments of our generation.

I can remember sitting at my desk at work, fiddling with various non-pressing deadlines when my best friend called me to tell me that a plane had flown into the World Trade Centre. At that point, the general view was that it was a terrible accident, so I tried to go to to see what had happened. had fallen over from the international hits it was generating, and wasn’t letting anyone in, so I phoned my then fairly newly acquired boyfriend Ter, who was at home, and told him to turn on the news. He delivered the news that a second plane had flown into the other tower - and that was the point at which the story took on a far more chilling bent.

I decided to give up the afternoon’s work as a lost cause and headed home to Ter to watch the story unfold - the astonishing collapse of not one, but two towers and the attack of the Pentagon. I can remember the feeling of astonishment. The sense that this can’t really be happening, and the need to reach out to loved ones - especially those with family in the States or anyone who might have been anywhere near there.

“What’s happening?” one friend asked me, bewildered. And we were only South Africans. I can remember some satire website doing a mock-up cover of Time magazine with a picture of the smouldering Towers and the headline “What the Fuck????” which - crass though it may be - pretty much summed up American sentiment at the time.

It also created a significant shift in attitude. I remember watching the normally unsentimental Oliver Stone movie World Trade Centre and being astonished by the final message: “someone must pay”.

In the wake of September 11, we are left with two wars that still haven’t resolved much in the Middle East region, America burdened with crippling debt - which is owed in no small part to those two wars - a cultural rift that is unlikely to be mended in our lifetime and a world that is significantly less safe, especially for airline travellers.

Even the hunting down and killing of the al-Qaeda mastermind behind the destruction of the World Trade Centre was a hollow victory for the Americans. Although the trumpeting of “USA, USA” and even the resumption of Obama’s battle cry, “yes we can!” by jubilant crowds were televised internationally, Osama bin Laden was only one man, and his death did little to improve relations between Middle Eastern Muslims and Americans or to make the world a safer place for anyone.

As a disaster, the destruction of the World Trade Centre and the deaths of those 3 000 people were not the worst the world has ever seen. But as a terrorist campaign, the job has been done brilliantly - the world will never be the same again.

- Georgina Guedes is a freelance writer. You can follow @georginaguedes on Twitter.

Send your comments to Georgina

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

  • TheWasp - 2011-09-08 11:57

    Ocherstrated by a old man with a long beard who sits on a mat in a cave -Yeah Right Another False Flag and Americans were duped once again to go to War..and pay!

      semaj - 2011-09-08 12:21

      Remember too the Nairobi Bombing....enough said, they are out to get us one way or another

      semaj - 2011-09-08 12:24

      It pays to remember, at this time, the Spanish Inquisition

      Temp - 2011-09-08 12:30

      Correct. For insight into the real orchestrators behind the event, look at the nation which sits at the top of the United States' list of 'allies'. Observe who really benefits from foreign wars in the Middle East, not only in the economic sense, but in matters of 'national security'. The answers are in plain sight, people have only been taught a stifling blindness on the matter.

  • semaj - 2011-09-08 12:19

    Cynical comment but true.

  • Elton - 2011-09-08 12:38

    I totaly Agree with theWasp. 9/11 was an inside job. perfectly planned by the powers at hand in order to pass an ammendment to go to war, the Bin Laden Family had, and still has business dealings with the Bush family.

  • Paralegal - 2011-09-08 13:20

    Firstly, Georgina, the anniversary of 9/11 is on Sunday. Secondly, the attacks on America by "terrorists" is the biggest farce in world history and all that came after it (Iraq/Afghanistan, etc, etc) was exactly what was hoped for - millions, nay BILLIONS, of dollars made by various well-connected companies. Do yourself a favour and do some more research. The unfortunate consequence of this farce is that the rest of the world had to suffer, including millions of innocent Muslims across the world.

      Paralegal - 2011-09-08 13:24

      PS: and without the "War on Terror" the American public would NEVER have allowed the US government to pass an Act like the Patriots Act which basically takes away all the "freedoms" that America was so proud of.

      Umfubi - 2011-09-08 15:16

      She said the anniversary is on Sunday - what's your point there? (We won't even talk about your other so-called 'points', beyond suggesting that perhaps you should seek some counselling.)

  • JudithNkwe - 2011-09-08 13:29

    Whoever did it and for whatever reason, does not change the fact that it changed the world for the worst.

  • jnrb71 - 2011-09-08 14:02

    Yes but the arms manufacturers benefited handsomely from the “War on terror” just like they did out of Vietnam – (another lost cause). After spending US$4 trillion on the war, (see I am sure there are a few fat cats sitting pretty as a result of all this. By contrast in South Africa 50 people are murdered every day and that is just par for the course. During the 9/11 incident 3000 people died and suddenly America was at war spending US$4 trillion – quite a difference?

  • Michael007 - 2011-09-08 14:51

    Agree, anyone who still believes the official story of 9/11 must be as dumb as a rock!

  • observing - 2011-09-08 14:52

    "Arms manufacturers benefited handsomely from the “War on terror”". Here in South Africa Armscor (and its masters) and African Defence Systems (ADS) benefited handsomely from stealing and defrauding the RSA's taxpayer. Please Google "Armscor" and/or "African Defense Systems" and see for yourself.

  • Michael007 - 2011-09-08 14:57

    All these articles about remembering 9/11 is just more prove that they are setting us up for another false flag terror attack. Watch this space. It will either happen on 11/09/2011 or 11/11/2011 and this time it will be nuclear...

      Smk - 2011-09-12 17:23

      The whole 9/11 review is to get emotins flowing, when you are emotional you are not logical. The next big one will be UFO's and pictures of the gods merging together, they been wanting to do that since the 70's. Just look at the type of movies being released it will tell you their ideas as their conditioning is in main stream media, movies etc. Also think this will be when a few billion die because of a UFO "Attack" Project Bluebeam I believe it is called.

  • Proefleser - 2011-09-08 15:08

    I don't usually believe conspiracy theories, but in this case I agree with most commentators here that this was orchestrated by the US. There are just too many things that don't gel, the latest being that the the attack on the White House was a lie.

  • Law01 - 2011-09-08 15:26

    But what are we doing about it, tomorrow these ruthless, mercyless American Regimes could do the same with us??? No one is safe in this world anymore. VISIT: Also read the Book "Confessions of an Economic Hitman"

  • dogue - 2011-09-08 15:49

    Very good article. But there's more conspiracy theorists in the comments than there used to be, which tells something about SA's intelectual decline. I remember being active discussing this and the commentary was varied but far more intelligent.

      Michael007 - 2011-09-08 15:54

      @dogue...Yes we can all see you have less than two brain cells.

      dogue - 2011-09-08 16:09

      Michael007, I was just joking. We all know the Americans did it. Also they never went to the moon, JFK was killed by the CIA, all evil is the Jews' fault, Jesus never existed, Nikola Tesla could generate free energy but was shut up, the oil companies are the cause of why we dont have electric cars, Lady Gaga's Poker Face song is about oral sex... and don't even get me started with the Iluminati.

      jnrb71 - 2011-09-08 16:12

      You say conspiracy theorists have no merit with their arguments. Well, for starters kindly offer us an explanation why the US told the whole world that war in Iraq had to be fought because Iraq had massive arsenals of 'weapons of mass destruction'. It later turned out to be one big fat lie. US companies like Halliburton did extremely well out of the reconstruction of Iraq. I don’t think that there is a terrorist behind every bush but you are extremely naïve if you believe that the motivation for most people’s actions lie solely in their honourable intentions to do whatever is in the best interests of all mankind.

      Michael007 - 2011-09-08 16:17

      Oh yes dogue, you have summed it up perfectly. So please prove to us that we are wrong? Come on Mr know it all?

      dogue - 2011-09-08 16:20

      jnrb71, I believe the invasion of Iraq was an excuse and had nothing to do with fighting terrorism, but how does that prove that the towers were not attacked by islamic terrorists?

      Michael007 - 2011-09-08 16:25

      Hey dogue...please wake up and do some research! You are embarrassing yourself!

      dogue - 2011-09-08 19:01

      Michael007/jnrb71, the conspiracy theories about 9/11 have ALL been debunked by people more knowledgeable than myself. I did research it years ago as it was something exciting, imagine only if... it would be a bombshell, but alas, after getting to the facts (those pesky facts), it turned out to be nonsense. This has been well researched but it doesn’t matter how much proof they throw at you, you will refuse to accept the reality. You want to believe in it, that’s why, but if you really cared to know the truth, and the truth is not always what we would like it to be, you can just google it, you would get to the bottom of it. Stop reading what conspiracists say, you already read all they have to say, now read the other side, what reputable sites like the BBC and credible scientists and so on are saying about it. I know it doesn’t give that feel good feeling, but then don’t come here and talk about brain cells and stuff. The fact that in a tragedy, someone might take advantage of the situation doesn’t make that person guilty. The Americans went after Iraq for reasons that had nothing to do with terrorism, but that only means that they took advantage of the situation and nobody cared much about Saddam (even Al-Qaida didn’t like him as he had links to communism) to get rid of him and pull through their agenda. But that’s like if you’re in an accident and your insurance + 3rd party pays out so much that you’re financially better, it doesn’t mean you had the accident on purpose.

      Luapolku - 2011-09-08 19:12

      dog please explain how the US claimed to have found the passports in the wreckage of the twin towers but said the black box whixh is indestructible was too badly damaged to get evidence from

      Luapolku - 2011-09-08 19:12

      no doubt inside job

      dogue - 2011-09-09 03:06

      Luapolku, in an explosion things get messy and it’s anyone’s guess where each piece is going to land and how damaged. Even in simple things like dropping a pin or screw etc., the thing falls right here and when you look for it, it lands up far away. It even seems like a ghost put it there as it couldn’t have travelled there by itself, and yet you found it there and no ghost put it there. I don’t have all the explanations for you. The story you’re telling me could even be false. These conspiracy theorists sometimes do make up stories. Do you have any reference that shows that “the US claimed to have found the passports in the wreckage”? The black box story rings a bell.

      rimmoah - 2011-09-09 10:15

      and you must think the earth is flat

      rimmoah - 2011-09-09 10:16

      Dogue doesnt exist ,he is actually a bot posting comments.

      rimmoah - 2011-09-09 10:19

      after reading your comments i am tempted to believe that man originated from an ape

      Luapolku - 2011-09-09 11:13

      The passport story was on mainstream media at the time, everyone was talking about it, I heard it myself on BBC and CNN.

      mike - 2011-09-13 09:57

      @rimmoah - from the comments so far I'm starting to doubt that man evolved from apes - apes are more intelligent than that

  • Luapolku - 2011-09-08 15:57

    Georgina why do you not write about the 2 million killed in Iraq and Afghanistaan, seems you look at colour of skin before you write. A must read for every human being.

      dogue - 2011-09-08 16:15

      So everyone who does NOT write about people killed in Iraq and Afghanistan is racist. I've heard a lot of cases of playing the race card, but this one takes the cake. Why don't YOU write about it? Her article is good, but it would be impossible to cover EVERYTHING...

  • Luapolku - 2011-09-08 16:00

    Will we remember Oct 7 2001 10n years on, the day america invaded Afghanistaan, a much bigger terrorist attack, like to see you write an article then Georgina

  • anwar - 2011-09-08 23:45

    For a real perspective on 9/11, read this article by Noam Chomsky (one ofthe greatest minds of our time) at

  • rimmoah - 2011-09-09 10:08

    inside job

  • FAT MAN - 2011-09-09 10:11

    @Just_A_Thought Perhaps you should do more reading than thinking. The Sri-Lankan Tamils are where the most suicide bombings have happened in a great margin And before your GI friends went and poked their noses where they had no business, can you tell me how many suicide bombs there were in Iraq and Afghanistan combines? I'll tell you - the answer is zero Now how does that make sense...Even a 9 year old would understand that You have been indoctrinated by mainstream media headlines and have lost all ability to analyse events for youself I for one dont believe 911 was a conspiracy, but that doesnt justify the war crimes committed by President Cheny, VP Bush and that thief Rumsfeld

  • Daemos1 - 2011-09-09 10:17

    USA needs to focus on low lying single story buildings

  • SNOTKOP - 2011-09-09 17:49

    Read and remove your blinkers:

  • soelyla - 2011-09-10 13:52

    Anything a goverment puts out, is laced with personality journalism, echoed and reported as fact and everything else, conspiracy. Critical analysis, investigative journalism died but when?

  • pages:
  • 1