Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 5 years on

The Widower's Story

BBC Have your Say: A Changed World?

Sometimes I wonder if wall-to-wall coverage is doing the terrorists' job for them, and I am aware of the irony of me saying that. But then, I think it is also important to remember, and to consider where 5 years of 'a war on terror' has got us, to look to our shared future.

And I was going to write a long piece on that, but it will have to wait. I don't think my thoughts have come together enough to do the subject justice, and I'm feeling unsettled, angry, emotional. Last night I got into an argument with someone who is still making out that the 7/7 bombers were innocent, the whole thing was an act of State terrorism, as was 9/11. Conspiracy theorists. Looking for patterns and meaning in a random world. Filling a God-shaped hole.

I have no doubt at all that politicians in the UK and the US and elsewhere have exploited 9/11 and 7/7 to the max, as that is the nature of politicians - and I am against much of what is done in the name of the war on terror, and I keep trying to say so, as often as I can, without becoming a single-issue bore. But I do not think that 9/11, or Madrid, or Bali, or 7/7 were acts of State terrorism, and I think anyone who is insisting that they are, is missing the point entirely.

Thinking of Seth, one of this blog's readers, in New York, today, and all the people in New York, and Washington, and all the families and friends of the passengers and crew of the four flights, the airport workers, those working in the Pentagon and the WTC, and the fire officers and police officers and rescue workers, and all those all over the world who have been casualties of the War on Terror. Too many to name, too many to number.
The Independent does some of the maths.

One thing in my life that changed after 9/11. I always kiss J before I go to work and I tell him that I love him. And I always carry a mobile phone.

What changed for you? Did anything change?

UPDATE: CNN is playing all the harrowing footage of the day as it happened, which I can't face, personally, but if you didn't see it, is an extraordinary moment in history preserved in all its horror.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you expand on why you dont think 7/7, 9/11, Madrid and Bali were state sponsored please?

You seem so resolute so you must have given it a lot thought.


September 11, 2006 8:57 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Hi anon,

I am not a conspiracy theorist and I am not really happy to go into all the conspiracy theories on this blog. There are plenty of places to discuss them, but this isn't one of them, I'm afraid. That's because I have found in the past that the comments get taken over by single-issue agitators and it can get heated and unpleasant, and it's just not what the blog is about, discussion of alternative theories and the denial of the existence of Islamist terrorism.

Having been on the recieving end of of Islamist terrorism, I find no problem accepting its existence; the alternative theories in contrast seem hugely flawed and wildly unlikely and the application of Occam's razor shreds them in a second.

I can see the politicians have exploited these events - particularly 9/11 and 7/7 - for their own ends, but there is no evidence to convince that they actually ordered them to be perpertrated. Or knew about them in sufficient detail to prevent them but actively sat back and let them happen. There may well have been cock ups and cover ups and arse covering, but that doesn't make a conspiracy.

And as I do not want to have this my personal blog taken over with endless speculation about LIHOP, MIHOP, missiles, pods, Reichstag fires, Gladio, Northwoods, COINTELPRO, false flags and all the rest of it, I suggest if you have an interest in such things you go to one of the many disussion boards on the subject, not hang about here, as you won't convince me. I have read the sites, looked at the links, and engaged with conspiracy theorists over a period of this last year since I got blown up, and as I said, I simply don't find them to be convincing, any more than I find the Creationist's explanation that God created the world in 7 days convincing.

I'd rather save my energy and campaign for something useful, like the protection of civil liberties, and the adoption of a more ethical foreign policy. Today, for me, seems a day to remember the dead, all over the world, killed by bombs and and to consider our shared future, rather than speculate about which conspracy theory is most exciting.


September 11, 2006 9:52 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was lucky in that I did not personally know anyone that was murdered during 9/11 and since I live and grew up within 15 miles of where the towers were that is pretty rare. But I did work in Newark International Airport at the time of the attack and went through the same security that morning that the terrorists ( and passengers) of Flight 93 went through at approximately the same time. The pilots of that flight bought a coffee at my place as they boarded. I will never forget the pit in my stomach as the news switched over to an "accident" with a plane at the first tower. Then being a part of evacuating the airport, and the very distinct memory of turning around to help the manager lock our door and seeing the second tower crumble is in my head like it happened this morning.
I don't think we have gotten very far in "the war on terror" since then and I think we are going to be hit just as badly in another way we are not expecting.

Good luck to all.

September 11, 2006 9:53 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What has changed for me?

Nothing really

I still work on the UK railways, and I know that I am more likly to be involved in something than Joe Public.

I live my life the way I want to, and I know that is easy to say, and I sm sure I would feel different if I was actually involved in what you ave been through.

But, I figure, if my time is up, not one thing I do will change what happens. We are here on earth till our clock runs down, and there is no key to wind it back up.

I was in the US 5 years ago today (not NY), I was in London during the IRA years. Life must go on, for if the choice is to be a part of life, or to stay at home, I hope I would always choose life.

Some things have changed - much has not - my daily grind is still the main focus of my day

If I was the right person, then all I would ask for is a right to live as who I am, and for "you" to live as who "you" are

My thoughts are with those who lost loved ones, in all fields of destruction, and to those that survive - I respect your resolve and strength, I wish you all the ablity to grow stronger every day

Rachel - thank you, for being open, for telling your story. You are amoung the bravest people I know.

I wish I could do more than write these words, but I am only a human being

Take care, be strong, live!

September 11, 2006 10:38 am  
Blogger me said...


while you've brought 9/11 up yourself, I couldn't resist :-)

The FBI does not list 9/11 as an event for which they want Osama bin Laden. Their webpage on him lists explicitly only the "AUGUST 7, 1998, BOMBINGS OF THE UNITED STATES EMBASSIES IN DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA, AND NAIROBI, KENYA."


So why list explicitly those terrorist attacks, and not the largest ever terrorist attack of 9/11?

The FBI told Muckraker Report investigative reporter Ed Haas that ObL was not wanted for 9/11 because the FBI has no hard evidence linking ObL with 9/11!!

For the implications of this admission by the FBI see

There are many ridiculous conspiracy theories, e.g. it was Elvis, many thought of to destroy the 9/11 truth movement. But a fundamental theory of 9/11 is that ObL did not do it.

If it was not ObL, then who dunnit?

Why is it that after 5 years the FBI has not been able to find evidence linking 9/11 with ObL sufficient enough for a prosecution, despite the release of all those video tapes etc, when Cheney, the man running the terror drills on 9/11, 'knew' immediately who the perpetrator was, resulting in the USA fulfilling the wet dream of PNAC (co-founded by Cheney) and waging multiple simultaneous wars in energy-rich nations?

September 11, 2006 5:46 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Truthman, I checked that myself and look what I find-
'Usama Bin Laden is wanted in connection with the August 7, 1998, bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. These attacks killed over 200 people. In addition, Bin Laden is a suspect in other terrorist attacks throughout the world.


The Rewards For Justice Program, United States Department of State, is offering a reward of up to $25 million for information leading directly to the apprehension or conviction of Usama Bin Laden. An additional $2 million is being offered through a program developed and funded by the Airline Pilots Association and the Air Transport Association.'

Seems fair enough to me, and as OBL badly wants the propoganda coup of 9/11, why give it to him on a plate, when you have enough to nail him for as is?

Note the Airline pilots & Air Transport Assoc contribution to the reward.

Once again, conspiracy mountains out of molehills, plus a lack of awareness of how PR works

September 11, 2006 6:01 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said... - Bin Laden says he wasn't behind attacks - September 17, 2001
Bin Laden says he wasn't behind attacks

DOHA, Qatar (CNN) -- Islamic militant leader Osama bin Laden, the man the United States considers the prime suspect in last week's terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, denied any role Sunday in the actions believed to have killed thousands.

In a statement issued to the Arabic satellite channel Al Jazeera, based in Qatar, bin Laden said, "The U.S. government has consistently blamed me for being behind every occasion its enemies attack it.

"I would like to assure the world that I did not plan the recent attacks, which seems to have been planned by people for personal reasons," bin Laden's statement said.

"I have been living in the Islamic emirate of Afghanistan and following its leaders' rules. The current leader does not allow me to exercise such operations," bin Laden said.

September 12, 2006 12:57 am  
Blogger me said...


If you read my post again you will find that the FBI told Ed Haas that they do not have the evidence linking ObL to 9/11.

It is NOT the situation that the FBI do indeed have the evidence linking ObL to 9/11 but, as you appear to suggest, do not list 9/11 explicitly as a crime for which he is wanted because it would be a propaganda coup for ObL.

The situation is that, after five years of searching and questioning, the FBI do NOT have the evidence linking ObL to 9/11.

And if they did indeed have the evidence, was not the invasion of Iraq by the USA/UK “coalition of the lying” a much bigger propaganda coup for ObL, because that folly into Iraq is recognized to be a major recruiting sergeant for terrorism? So then why would the FBI still not list 9/11 as a crime for which ObL is wanted?

The simple fact, as hard to stomach as it may be, is that the FBI do not have the evidence linking ObL to 9/11. That is why 9/11 is not explicitly listed.


September 12, 2006 8:38 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me that there are two kind of 'loons', those that subscribe to plots involving Jews and hologramatic planes piloted remotely by a crazy eyed Dick Cheyney - then a second kind of loon that utterly denies that there could have been any involvment or facilitation at any official level what-so-ever. I am not suggesting governments purpotrated these attacks, just that they may have merely facilitated them by turning blind eyes at the appopriate moment, or by calling officials to stand down from actions that might prevent attacks. To deny that this is even a possibility is ludicrous. I think most of us can see that politicians have exploited these attacks, and that their actions have led to thousands of civilian deaths world wide, is it so strange to think they may have exploited the attacks on their own people by simply letting them happen. Do any of you really believe that men that are willing to kill hundreds of thousands overseas value their own nationals so much more that they would never consider letting a terrorist carry out their attack, so that the attack can be exploited to bring about the necessary changes they need to afford policy change or support for wars?

September 12, 2006 1:09 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Look guys, please can you discuss this elsewhere? I've already said very clearly that this si not the place.

As I don't even know your names, and you choose to remain anonymous. there is no reason for me to host discussions i do not invite by people I do not know on my personal blog. It is not as if there aren't zillions of other places to talk about this stuf on the internet.

Comment moderator is on, and conspiracy stuff won't be put through from now on, it may all be valid questions but I have explained why I don't want to discuss it here on my personal web diary. If I do want to discuss it, I know where to come.There are plenty of sites and I have been directed to dozens of them over the last year.


September 12, 2006 1:52 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

To the anonymous person who wrote

'If you honestly don't want comments about 9/11 then maybe you shouldn't write posts about 9/11, with titles like "9/11 5 years on" that have the comment facility enabled.'

can you not see why a terrorism survivor might want to blog about the 5 year anniversary of 9/11 APART from to discuss stupid conspiracy theories?


And I thought the one thing conspiracy theorists had was lashings of imagination, if not empathy or common sense...

No, I'm sorry, but please go away and discuss conspiracy theories somewhere else, this is a personal survivor blog, not a conspiracy theory free for all.

September 12, 2006 2:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi rachel,

thanks for thinking of me on this post- now that its september 12 i feel a little bit better than i did yesterday. there is talk btw of making 9/11 either a holiday or "national day of mourning" or "national day of service". More people died on 9/11 than even those killed during WW2 and the politicians here cant even decide that.

btw abc tv had a VERY interesting miniseries called "the path to 9-11" shown on u.s. tv on sunday and monday evenings. It was a docudrama not a documentary but was loosely based on the findings of the 9-11 commission.It had a lot of real footage shown,but most of the scenes werent filmed in ny-they were filmed in toronto,canada which is now a big movie and tv production center-its a short plane ride from the u.s. and the government gives all sorts of tax breaks and incentives for u.s production to be filmed there.

The miniseries ended with the following scene: a businessman coated in dust trudging thru the haze.ask,etc after the towers collapsed.

then came some statistics,shown one by one.

the 9-11 commission regraded 40 different recommendations in december 2005. of 40,only 17 have been acted upon, and most of those received a d or f grade.

they still havent focused on subway and commuter rail security,port security and containerized shipping containers.

5 years has gone by and where is osama? how many f---n caves,ratholes and mountains can you hide in? make the reward $30 million u.s. and find him once and for all.

September 12, 2006 8:17 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Hi Seth, I watched it too, I found it very upsetting but very powerful.

I also watched a documentary about The Cult of the Suicide Bomber, which was very upsetting as well.

There is so much hatred and suffering because of 9/11 and after. It is terrible that racism and suspicion and paranoia are growing across the globe, here, and everywhere. There are people of all races and creeds suspicious and angry at each other, even here in N. London where we are pretty well mixed.

There has been antisemitic grafitti near where I live, and also racist grafitti. It is so sad.

One of the blog readers sent a very sad extract from a young British Muslim's blog where he describes the racism of people who think all Muslims are suicide bombers, which is just ignorant and hateful. But then I looked and his own writing contained anti-semitic references and untruthful conspiracy theories, which is sad as well. One of my friends who is a Sikh from Wales had someone say to him
' bomber go home' on a bus last week! My friend said, 'what, to Cardiff?' The guy who bombed my train was Jamaican British, not Pakistani or Arab. Wait til there 's a white Islamic suicide bomber in this country. Then maybe all young men will be under suspicion.

I still get jumpy about 16-30 year old men with rucksacks, - black, white, asian - doesn't matter - it's if they are a) very clean-shaven b) wearing Western clothes c) carrying a bulky rucksack and d) LOOKING VERY NERVOUS AND SWEATY or having a 'bad vibe' which wierds me out. Because that is the profile of a suicide bomber.

Women in hijabs, older men in Muslim gear, fine. It's the angry young men thing that makes me jumpy.


I dare say it will get better in time. It comes and goes, the fear of travelling on the tube. Crowded carriages are the worst.

It's all so incredibly depressing. Racism is just vile, but so is being in denial about the problem of islamist extremism even existing.

Argh. Well, I'm off to make supper and hope J gets home before too late. I'm still in the office too.

September 12, 2006 8:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi rachel,

i didnt know that british tv showed the 9-11 "docudrama" its 18:19 pm eastern daylight time in ny-that means its already wednesday in london-and you are still at the office? yuk.

its very upsetting and disturbing that in a cosmopolitan city like london,anti-semitism is alive and well. if i ever caught those chaps (or bloks) id teach them sensitivity training-with the end of my steel toed workboots-i dont work in an office at this time. That'll teach them.

anyway go hoist a cold frosty for me and i hope all is well with u and j. as i said one day-hopefully in the near future-ill get to the UK and have a domino's ay caramba fajita pizza- first stop after leaving heathrow :)

toodles for now,

September 12, 2006 11:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi rachel,

i forgot to mention-the flight 93 movie is now on dvd in the u.s- i may rent it or buy it. i believe that you went to the UK premiere.

i have decided for now, to pass on seeing the oliver stone movie. i dont think i need hollywood to remind me of the horrors of the day- and i worry that it could happen again.

September 13, 2006 1:22 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi rachel,

have you been watching the telly in the last few days? guess who the new spokesman for al queda is:

a kid from california with a jewish father and catholic mother. his birth name is adam pearlman.

i can imagine what his arab name is- ay caramba :(


September 14, 2006 3:52 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Rachel,

I want to ask you to take a look at a new movie made by relatives of victims of September 11th, which is a compilation of mainstream media reports regarding the 9/11 attacks :

9/11: Press for Truth

Can you let us know what you think about this report by 9/11 families ?

I think it's one of the best reports which have been released since that dreadful day in 2001.

Yours truly,
Martin Cunning

September 14, 2006 4:40 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Thanks for the link Martin.Unfortunately I don't have any speakers on my computer, so I can't watch movies.

September 14, 2006 7:28 am  

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