Jittery US unites in grief

2011-09-11 10:12

New York - A jittery, embattled United States comes together in grief on Sunday's 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks which killed almost 3 000 people and plunged it into an era of war and bitter internal division.

President Barack Obama and his predecessor George W Bush will attend ceremonies at the site of the destroyed Twin Towers in New York, with Obama also flying to 9/11's other crash sites in Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon.

With federal officials warning of a new terrorism scare, security in major cities was extraordinarily tight, and Obama has called for a "heightened state of vigilance and preparedness."

Heavily armed police squads and bomb sniffing dogs deployed across New York, while motorists in some neighbourhoods were forced to go through checkpoints.

As every year since the horrific events of September 11  2001, remembrance ceremonies will centre on Ground Zero, where 2 753 of the day's 2 977 victims died in the inferno of the collapsing skyscrapers.


But unlike previous years, the ritual of reading the names of the dead will take place against a backdrop of the gleaming, three-quarter built 1 World Trade Centre tower, rather than a chaotic-looking construction site.

Sunday will also see the dedication of a simple, but moving monument, consisting of massive fountains sunk into the footprints of the former towers, with the names of the dead written in bronze around the edges.

Even as US intelligence agencies chased down what officials said was a credible but unconfirmed threat of an al-Qaeda attack around 9/11, Obama assured terrorism would never win.

"We will protect the country we love and pass it safer, stronger and more prosperous to the next generation," he added. "Today, America is strong and al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat."

Obama and Bush will attend the ceremony together for the first time, along with victims' family members, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his predecessor Rudolph Giuliani - who led the city 10 years ago.

Al-Qaeda weakened

The 9/11 remembrances unite Americans like almost no other event. According to a poll last week, 97% of people remember where they were when they heard the news, on a par with John F Kennedy's assassination.

The country was also thrilled - with young people spilling onto the streets in Washington and New York - at the news in May that US Navy SEALS had flown into Pakistan and shot dead al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.

Yet while al-Qaeda is severely weakened and New York is recovering, the anniversary still finds a nation struggling to overcome the longer-term impacts of the last decade.

In Afghanistan where US forces will also hold ceremonies on Sunday at the Bagram air base with a similar event at the US embassy in Kabul, troops are stuck in a seemingly unwinnable war against a Taliban guerrilla movement few Americans understand.

Though US troops have a reduced presence in Iraq, their occupation of the country, years of vicious inter-Iraqi violence, and a host of torture scandals, have bled the US economy and sullied Washington's image abroad.

Distant wars

And as unemployment and next year's presidential election become the focus for most Americans, those already distant wars can seem a world away.

Leading politicians may make patriotism part of every stump speech, but the loss of more than 6 200 US soldiers in wars launched by Bush, the hundreds of slain allied troops, and the deaths of tens of thousands of Afghan, Pakistani and Iraqi civilians, rarely get a mention.

In this time of rancour, Sunday is at least a chance for brief reflection, and many ceremonies and services were being held around the world from New Zealand to Russia and Paris to honour those killed on 9/11.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Sunday that al-Qaeda had been weakened since the attacks.

"Al-Qaeda is now weaker than at any time in the decade since 9/11 - and political progress through peaceful protest in the Middle East and North Africa has shown it to be increasingly irrelevant to the future."

Permanent stigma

But the Taliban hit back on Saturday saying the post-9/11 invasion of Afghanistan by the United States and its allies "will remain a permanent stigma on the face of Western democracy."

In addition to the carefully stage-managed Ground Zero ceremony, Obama was to pay respects at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania where one of the four hijacked planes fell into a field, apparently after passengers overpowered the assailants.

On Saturday a national memorial to the 40 passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 who died in the Pennsylvania crash was inaugurated in a solemn dedication.

Bush praised the heroism of the passengers who battled to overcome the hijackers, saying: "One of the lessons of 9/11 is that evil is real - and so is courage."

  • Libertadores - 2011-09-11 11:03

    The US has lost its way. It needs to stop, regroup, and retrace its steps. From now on, bombing countries and plundering their resources is no longer going to save the US. These wars and bombings are the acts of a desperate and dying madman. The death twitches are self-evident. For all the pious bloviating and self-righteous posturing of Obummer, Clinton and their handlers as well as the republican and tea party degenerates, your country is sinking deeper and deeper into ints self-imposed oblivion.

      BOFFINBOB_UNBANNED - 2011-09-11 11:32

      Well....One good thing came out of this. It showed the rag-heads that you dont mess with the USA that easily & get away with it. And there is nowhere to hide for these fanatics. Never forget what misery these dispicable fanatics have caused in their killing of innocents for " their cause. " Innocent people on both sides have suffered, but most arabs support anti western terrorism, who will ever forget their joy @ 9/11. Now many of those who rejoiced are no more. God bless America....Everyday.

      Luapolku - 2011-09-11 13:30

      Boffin Bob, I think you need to google Joseph Fritzl to know which society shags their daughters, The west is the Mosk sick and immoral society ever to walk the face of the earth, as for not messing with America, they catching a hidind in Afghanistaan, just today over 80 US soldiers where injured in an attack(check bbc) admitted by western media imagine what the real figure is, The reality is Islam has grown much stronger(highest rate of conversions took place after 911 and all existing muslims woke up and realise America is their enemy) and America is on their knees, so do not make yourself happy, as for 911 100% inside job.

      BOFFINBOB_UNBANNED - 2011-09-11 13:41

      LUAPOLKU...Dont you believe it. Muslim / Arab terrorism has strengthened the Western world more than ever & particuarly the USA determination to retaliate. Arabs are cowards when it comes to waging war against the west, look how Iraq's army crumbled twice & how it took little Israel SIX DAYS to defeat Egypt, Syria & Jordan. No they prefer the more cowardly way to kill innocent people, by brainwashing young Muslims to blow themselves up in the name of Allaha. Notice how its not the elders doing the suicide thing, too clever by far, rather indoctrinate the young minds. Arabs might not shag their daughters, but it is well known & accepted in the Arab world that many partake of shagging boys. Some even kill their daughters in so called " honour killings " & 99% of the time it is the daughter who has been the victim of a rape. Good people indeed. Gotta love em. Where do I sign up ?????

      betweenu&me - 2011-09-11 14:21

      Is it not possible that both sides are as evil as each other?!

      daaidoos - 2011-09-11 16:06

      @libertadores the US might have some problems but they are dealing with it. It saddenes me to say this, but if you want to see a country sinking into oblivion look no futher than SA.

      amos - 2011-09-11 16:59

      @BOFFINBOB_UNBANNED what a load of old bull **** are you craping. Nearli 10 years on and one of the poorest nations in the world [Afghanistan] is teaching the so called mighty USA (worlds no one terrorist) another lesson ..a refresher course? which the Vietnamese has taught them.

      slg - 2011-09-12 01:55

      Thanks Liberta. I'm sure the US will keep your thoughts in mind, notwithstanding that they're an almost complete distortion of reality.

      slg - 2011-09-12 02:00

      Amos, in your dreams buddy, your sick, twisted dreams. It's the other way around.

      slg - 2011-09-12 02:02

      Luopolka, 9/11 was an inside job. Ha ha ha ha. And you want people to believe the rest of what you say? Ha ha ha.

      slg - 2011-09-12 02:09

      Betweenyouandme, no, that is be simple thinking. It's about evolution of humanity versus it's destruction and accelerated entropy by a relatively small group of cruel people who want to terrorize others into doing as they say, which is live according to a dark and oppressive body of rules worse than Apartheid and Naziism. They're weak and most are going to die by their own choice. The sympathizers on this website are dark weaklings who don't know right from wrong.

  • Law01 - 2011-09-11 11:15

    Libertadoeres: You wonder why NEWS 24 never listen or acknowledge OUR Views. It is all one sided?

      slg - 2011-09-11 12:27

      Poor, poor me. No-one understands me and I'm being victimized. Have you ever thought that your ideas are plain crazy and completely wrong and stupid? Try changing them. Maybe then you won't be so alienated.

  • Law01 - 2011-09-11 11:50

    Boffin: And how could a Cave Man in Afghanistan with not much technology orchastrate 911?? Have you heard of the "MEDIA" and the POWER of the MEDIA? IT IS SO POWERFUL and indoctrinating that you have become a vistim of it just like billions around the world. Have you heard of "Zionism" please go and google Zionism and educate yourself as to the EVIL that is out there to achieve World Domination at OUR expense, with no regard for Humanity, killing millions of innocent civillians in the process. What about the Nuclear Bomb that AMERICA unleashed on JAPAN and is there a DAY to remember the 250 000 people that died as a result??

      Libertadores - 2011-09-11 11:59

      BoffinBob hasn't read Chomsky, his consent has been manufactured. The cheer morbid attitude exhibited by him, the callous indifference to suffering for millions of muslims and non-westerners as a result of amerikan foreign policy, defies logic… Pure satanic, diabolical. He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice. Albert Einstein

      LUFC - 2011-09-11 12:01

      Theres no point in trying to explain it to the general population. They dont/wont understand it and that is why it continues to influence as heavily as it does. It literally runs the worlds opinion.

      Law01 - 2011-09-11 12:19

      BoffinBob: also visit and also read the book: "Confessions of an economic hitman" by Perkins it is insider information from a former agent of the American Government. Shocking what the CIA/Mossad are up to, very very very Sad and concerning, it could be us next. GOD Protect us all from this Axis of Evil.

      slg - 2011-09-11 12:25

      You guys are dark, nut cases. Crawl back into the holes from where you came.

      whereu - 2011-09-11 12:31


      BOFFINBOB_UNBANNED - 2011-09-11 12:50

      LOL...Misunderstood conspiracy theorists grouping together in their own shady anti western little world of espionage & double dealing. Libertadores....Why the hell should I care one iota about a bunch of religious fanatics who show no tolerance towards me or my kind & regard westerners as infedels, treat their woman like slaves & cling to beliefs from a bygone age. I'm just sorry America has'nt wiped the whole lot out. This disgusting lot wanted a jehad & they got it. Bit off more than they could chew & received a hiding. Gotta love it. I do.

      Law01 - 2011-09-11 13:13

      BoffinBob: One can easily identify you as a gullible person, digesting only what is fed to us by western propaganda. An intelligent person is one who is objective, and making a judgement based on facts/proof. There is no proof that Bin Laden was Behind 911 attacks BUT lots of proof and facts that the towers came down caused by a controlled demolition and not by the Planes that hit them. Many American Professional engineering Bodies have expressed this view. PEOPLE LET US USE THE INTELLECT THAT WE HAVE AND WE SHALL DISCOVER THE TRUTH!! PEACE OUT!

      Libertadores - 2011-09-11 13:16

      Its really easy Bob, keep your armies at home,no more foreign adventures, but you can't have that as you lot will starve to death if you don't steal from non-western countries.

      BOFFINBOB_UNBANNED - 2011-09-11 13:53

      Law01...Yes. I can just see how it unfolded. Control...." Ready with the detonator Bob. " Bob........" Hang on control...theres a bloody plane flying low, seems like its going to hit Tower one. " Control...." Damn Bob, this was'nt part of the plan, or was it ? " Bob........" Well, I did hear talk of a drone that can be made to look like a commercial airliner, maybe this is one of them. " Control...." Drones are normally much smaller Bob, ah what the hell, hit that button anyway. " Control...." Damn Bob, that was great, before we finish up here, you do know you are one the few that know this was'nt an act of terrorism, but an inside job. You do realise in order to ensure you wont talk, we might have to " take you out. " Bob....." Yeah, sure control, but ah, it was worth it anyway. "

      daaidoos - 2011-09-11 16:12

      @law01 so you think the poor little Japs was poor innocent victims. It was war my friend either 250 000 Japs had to die or 250 000 westerners would have had to die. Unfortunately for the Japs the Americans had the upper hand. Shame poor Hitler as well.

      slg - 2011-09-12 02:12

      Lufc, you some it up, really, your arrogance.

  • Peeved - 2011-09-11 12:08

    USA needs Malema, our number one export

      daaidoos - 2011-09-11 16:13

      yeah they might find a spot for him in a circuis or a zoo

  • Law01 - 2011-09-11 13:05

    Pieteriiiish : Shag their Daughters, where is your proof?? Have you watched Jerry Springer, the stuff that goes on in that American Society is sick mate. They are an immoral society bred by the influence of Hollywood. Our Kids have Brittany Spears,Maddona etc as their Role Models??? Where are we heading, GOD save us all...

      BOFFINBOB_UNBANNED - 2011-09-11 13:19

      Law01...Yes certain aspects of American psyche are immoral & they have produced their fair share of wierdo's, but the amazing thing is that after 9/11 very few Muslim/Arabs etc residing in this "immoral society" were sought out & killed in revenge attacks around the country. One could only imagine if this had happened in Teheran, Baghdad, Cairo etc, what " fanatical " response there would have been to westerners had the attacks been perpetrated by western christian fanatics. " Yep....Utter bloodshed & revenge killings on westerners...And there is no denying that !

      BOFFINBOB_UNBANNED - 2011-09-11 13:43

      Yep...Just as I Thought....No response from the " pro arab " brigade.

      Law01 - 2011-09-11 13:55

      boffinBob: Again I ask, where is the proof that Osama Bin Laden committed the terrible act??? Lots and Lots of proof that it was an insider JOB mate. You seriously short of intellect Boffin, exercise your brain!

      Libertadores - 2011-09-11 14:01

      The U.S. is immoral. Its network of spooks and thugs spreads right across the world. The U.S. is a malignancy, one that is pulling the whole world down and down and down. It stands for nothing but greed and violence and killing.

      BOFFINBOB_UNBANNED - 2011-09-11 14:02

      Law01..I think i'm doing great so far. USA are doing great too. You ask Osama if he thinks so too. Oh, sorry, thats right...He's in paradise with all the virgins he can handle. What reward for having the blood of so many innocent westerners on your hands. LOL. No intellect needed when debating this, if you are a conspiracy theorist, that is.

      vis vang - 2011-09-11 14:03

      Boffin, you certainly are mentally challenged. I'm from OKC, and immediately following the federal building explosions which were perpetrated by a christian fanatic, Muslims not only in and around OKC, but across the US were targets of right wing extremists. The very next day, Tim Mcveigh and his counterpart were arrested for the murder of over 160 oklahomans, yet you did not see Muslim Americans suddenly attack white Christian Americans. By the way, there are Christians and Jews presently residing in Iran and Iraq, and they are not targets of the Muslim majority, hence they continue to reside there.

      BOFFINBOB_UNBANNED - 2011-09-11 14:30

      VIS VANG...LOL.McVeigh is referred to as a " Christian fanatic. " What about the " dishcloth brigade " you support ? Fanatics much ??? or just good ole allaha boys doing what allha expects them to do ? Hmmmmm.......No you would rather see them as victims, not so ? Anyway as long as there is a country by the name of the USA, we can all breathe easily & sleep well @ night, knowing that we wont be overthrowen & forced to kneel down & wail.

      Oldbuck - 2011-09-11 14:47

      Did any of you guys watch the rugby,I think there is a rerun on supersport now

      amos - 2011-09-11 17:29

      The trouble with people like @BOFFINBOB_UNBANNED is that they sit too long on their brains...clearly they are not only mentally challenged they are just IDIOTS providing some amusement. Its time to surgically re transplant their brains back to their head.

      BodWag - 2011-09-11 23:53

      As an American citizen, I have to say that a lot of your views of the US are scued by what the media feeds to you. My husband, who is from South Africa learned this when he moved to the United States two years ago. The US is far from perfect, but at least this country stands united...which is more than what I can say for South Africa. At least our children can go outside and play without fear of being raped or murdered. At least we can go to sleep at night without fear that someone will break in our homes. I laugh at you calling our society immoral based on influence of Hollywood. You have no idea what you are talking about. Maybe it is time for you to come visit the USA so that you can learn the truth once and for all!

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-09-12 00:03

      He's just incredibly Jealous of America, Bodwag. The most vocal critics of america usually are.

  • Jimm636 - 2011-09-11 13:44

    lets not forget the rescue services who fought bravely to save people on the day, the rescue personel who have suffered the effects of toxins from the world trade site and who have not been supported by the government in their battle for health, and let us not forget those innocent families in middle east who have died at the hands of the americans and their wanton carpet bombing, drone attacks and general attrocities 'all in the name of freedom'.

      Law01 - 2011-09-11 14:01

      Jimmy: you right let us spare a thought for those humanitarians, who were fooled by their own Government, and many who paid with their lives. Their efforts were noit in vain though as lives needed to be saved regardless of who was behind this heinous crime. Jimmy why is our Media also so one sided, we give them their strength, which is used to misinform us. It is like giving a thief the keys to your house and telling him go ahead!

      Jimm636 - 2011-09-11 14:19

      @Law01 when the media is predominantly owned by one person, its difficult to find a way to get the real stories out, and yes we do feed the system and let it get away with what it does. its only the few of us out there that are willing to scratch the surface and dig down a bit in order to find the lies upon which so much is based, and not be sucked in by the 'real truth' as told by the cnn's, sky's, bbc's, al jezza's.

  • ManBoobs - 2011-09-12 00:24

    Hey BoffinBob. I see you have no friends at Is this because you got caught with your kilt round your ankles jerking off to pictures of dubya?

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