The True Cost of 9/11

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture
The True Cost of 9/11

Maher Arar

No one can deny that our lives as citizens of the Western world have been affected by the tragic events of 9/11, a day when close to 3,000 innocent civilians of different backgrounds have been murdered in cold blood.

What is rarely talked about is the fact that close to a million innocent civilians, including women and children, the majority of whom are Muslims, lost their lives during the illegal wars that were immediately launched in Iraq and Afghanistan. And what's worse is that the counter is still ticking.

There seems to be no agreement on the exact number of civilian causalities in both of these countries. Some studies put the number as low as 100,000 deaths and others put it as high as 2 million. One particular poll that I found worth mentioning was conducted by the British firm Opinion Research Business. The poll, conducted in 2008, asked 1,720 Iraqi adults if they had lost family members by violence since 2003. Sixteen per cent had lost one, and 5 per cent has lost two. Using the 2005 census total of 4,050,597 households in Iraq, this suggests 1,220,580 deaths since the invasion. When the margin of error is taken into account, the study finds that a minimum of 733,158 to a maximum of 1,446,063 Iraqis have died as a result of the war.

This is a thread about 9/11 and its real "lessons," contra the imperialistic and jingoistic narratives of security and "terror." This thread is not for inside job theories or other conspiracy junkets. Leave them out of this thread.


Catchfire Catchfire's picture

 Noam Chomsky's article 

And here's a wonderful article about babble's role and history with 9/11, by Noreen, our newest satff member.

September 11, 2001 is a date that is etched in people's memories around the world. The horrific attacks have forever altered the geo-political landscape with effects that are still evident today. Nearly a decade later, controversy still surrounds what actually happened on that day. As the twin towers were collapsing, numerous mainstream media sites crashed due to increased web traffic. Millions of people were seeking more information, and in response, rabble's discussion forum, babble, became an integral part of 9/11 coverage. Becoming an example of crowd-sourcing at its finest, babblers began sharing links to news and updates from a wide variety of sources (see other threads herehere and here).


Tonya Surman, rabble's first and only business manager, and Judy Rebick, rabble's founder, both remember being in the middle of a rabble staff meeting when the attacks occurred. "At first we didn't realize how serious the attack was. Once we did, we saw that our babblers were following news all around the world," recalls Rebick.

That babble news thread was promoted to the lead item on rabble by Jude MacDonald, the editor at the time, and babblers were then asked to use separate threads for speculation and personal responses.

"We got a good idea of what social media could accomplish on that day because readers of rabble were getting the multiple perspectives of news from all over the world, including the Middle East," continued Rebick.

Other rabble staff members Michelle Langlois, a former babble moderator, and blogger Krystalline Kraus clearly recall the significance of rabble's 9/11 coverage. Kraus called it "the first awesome use of babble," and elaborated, saying "rabble help[ed] to facilitate Canadian coverage -- and later cover events itself -- during and after the 9/11 attacks, especially when mainstream media sites were crashing due to volume hits so people were turning to rabble for news."

Those babble threads are incredible. What an archive.



Maher Arar wrote:
As far as I know there is no study that confirms with precision the exact number of people who were kidnapped, tortured or disappeared. But judging from the public information available with respect to the people who passed through the Bagram prison in Afghanistan, the Guantanamo Detention Camp and the various worldwide secret prisons, the number can be as high as 20,000. It should be emphasized that most of these people have either been exonerated or no credible evidence has been presented against them. All this is to say that the true cost of human life and dignity is not only that of those who lost their lives on 9/11.

The hawks still maintain that torture was invaluable in rounding up "al-Qa'eda" suspects. But none of the miniscule few will be given a fair or impartial trial. It's all down to an American inquisition, and what they say goes. The torture is nothing new, although the lapdog news media have said that 9/11 is the reason for such extreme interrogations from 2001 forward. And that is a lie of Orwellian proportion. 

American inquisitors tortured a confession from an "al-Qa'eda" suspect, and Colin Powell used that falsehood in front of the UN to connect Saddam Hussein with "al-Qa'eda". And not until after they bombed and invaded did the inquisitors ask their detainee why he lied under torture? Inquisitions and torture have everything to do with propping up authoritarian rule.

We know from Catholic and Spanish inquisitions of medieval times past that torture is never about discovering truth.