As civilians watched the twin towers of The World Trade Centre burn in New York, people knew the world would never be the same again. On the morning of 11th September 2001 the two towers had been hit by two passenger jet aircraft and were burning fiercely, out of control and dangerous. The structure of the buildings had been damaged with people still inside scared for their lives.
Firemen were bravely running in rescuing workers, them too terrified, as people were streaming out through doors. But some people could not stand the flames in their office and leapt out of windows, plummeting to their deaths. Frighteningly the first building started to sway from side to side and crumble, chunks of the building coming down onto the roads and then the whole tower came down with an eruption of sound, smashing, imploding. Thousands of workers and firemen had been trapped inside being crushed to death.
The building collapsed at great speed and the rubble covering a massive area, still in flames. The rubble and dust was flying through the streets destroying a near by building down to its foundations. Everybody was in disarray and all mobile phone links had been cut, stopping people from communicating with loved ones. Another bang, rumble, with men, women and children already in complete numbness looking up to see the other tower collapse. For a second time, fire fighters and workers who didn’t get out tragically, being killed.
Now, the most immediate threat to those who had not been in the Trade Centre was the flying dust, rubble and shrapnel flying through the streets leading to demolished building that once was the World Trade Centre. At the epicentre of this chaos, an enormous fire was raging with all available fire fighters on the scene trying desperately to control this intense rampage of fire. Then news came through that a plane had crashed into the Pentagon- the U. S government headquarters
This disaster is the largest terrorist assault ever in the world. The whole world went into shock when the news was spread. The American economy was paralysed, disabling any trade to be done with the country. Other stock exchanges around the world plunged down and dropped share prices.
Who did this? Why did they do this? What was there objective? Was it a foreign terrorist attack or was it an internal attack on America by a native like Timothy Mc Veigh who bombed the building In Oklahoma?
All eyes immediately turned to a Saudi Arabian barn Muslim millionaire named Osama Bin Laden, and his terrorist network- Al Qui’ da as the prime suspects. These two parties are responsible for bombing the World Trade Centre unsuccessfully in the early 1990s. They also keep an oath that they are “always at war with America” and that “Allah condones this fighting”. The reason that they claim to be at war with America is because of America’s ignorance towards the rest o f the world and their unfair treating of Muslims. This is why the Taliban – the rulers of Afghanistan have been hiding Bin Laden from the western armed forces.
We need to understand the consequences of the events that took place on 11th September 2001. We should consider the world Economy. America is now the super power of the world. It has the largest stock exchange in the world and the most influential firms based there, such as Microsoft, General motors and IBM.
These companies have a large say in the success of other, smaller companies because they dominate the industries so much. The stock exchange in America immediately froze when the panes hit the towers, because so much investment and banking trade went through the buildings, and also the telecommunications mast on the World Trade Centre failed to operate after the plane hit the certain tower and then was broken when the towers collapsed meaning that nobody could buy shares on their mobile phones. There rest of the world immediately suffered too. Both the London and the Tokyo stock exchanges went into recession and still (a month on) are suffering in certain ways.
This has had a profound effect on companies worldwide and a lot of investors who thought they had shares in safe and stable firms have suffered terribly. It is going to take years to regain stability in investments and the powers of certain companies. Also reports suggest that hundreds of people were selling their shares in the NAS- DAQ hi- tech American stock market just before the Terrorist attack. Could this mean that there were some sick people trying, and succeeding to make money out of innocent civilians deaths? If this true, U.S intelligence services may have to closely monitor all finance and trade taking place throughout the world for years to come, especially in America.
Airlines are in a very difficult situation at the moment. A lot of experts have blamed U.S airports and airport security regulations for leaving America so vulnerable to such an attack. In America the customs regulations are very relaxed for internal flights. Bags are rarely checked for weapons and illegal substances. So, in theory, you could easily carry a gun or knife with you in your hand luggage through customs and onto the plane without being caught and prosecuted. This is very ignorant of the fact that America is very prone to a terrorist attack, seeing that it isn’t the most popular county in many people’s eyes.
The worldwide aircraft industry has been thrown into panic, with American Airlines sacking thousands of people due to flights being cancelled and the amount of money being spent on new safety measures. British Airways have made lots of people redundant after lack of money being available, and Swiss Air have even closed down due to lack of demand in flights. It was reported that this company was in a lot of trouble before the attacks on September 11th. The company were over expanding and were in a lot of debt, and the attacks just blew the final whistle on this troubled company.
There is now a strong chance that each public aircraft will be required to have armed guards on the plane. Is this a good or bad idea? Well, the bullets that would most likely be used are low- velocity bullets. These bullets travel at a low speed so that they would not penetrate the body of the plane, but penetrate a body.
However, these bullets, when fired often do not travel in a straight line but stray away from the intended target causing a hazard rather than an aid to defence and safety to the innocent passengers. One month ago no- one would have taken such an idea so seriously. Now, because these attacks have made people realise that something so terrible does happen, this idea is now being taken into account on a way to prevent hijackings and terrorist assaults. There would be strong opposition to it though, being that it would possibly make passengers feel uncomfortable. There would always be some one checking that you did not seem suspicious or illegal. The “Big Brother” idea is what many may call it
A lot of families have been split apart by the events that took place on that fateful morning of September 11th. Men and Women who were working in the building, firemen rescuing people from the burning building, but also those people who were in the aircrafts which crashed. The friends and relatives of people who have died have been offered counselling, but not knowing whether they would ever see their loved ones again, but all hope has been lost now, a month on. There have been many places where relatives of the missing have placed notes and pictures of that person missing; Union Square is one of these places.
Friends and relatives of the dead have to try looking forward and start to rebuild their lives. Firemen have lost “brothers” and many have needed help to come to terms with the loss, but are carrying on their job instead of turning their back in fire fighting. The people who worked in the World Trade Centre were not just American. There were over eighty different nationalities of people working in the two buildings, including British.
“A war. A war on terrorism is how the Americans are putting their attack on terrorists. But the name personally is very contradictive. What I mean is “a war” means fighting against another thing, and isn’t this what Osama Bin Laden is doing? Of course the Americans are the “goodies” and terrorists are the “baddies” but I feel that they should rephrase this “war” to “freedom fighting”, but this is still “fighting” an offensive word. Maybe “peace making” would be more appropriate because in effect this is what the “goodies” are aiming for.
American and British troops have been deployed in Afghanistan to work with the Northern Alliance, a rebel group fighting against the Taliban, who are in power. The Northern Alliance’s main aim is to bring upon the fall of the Taliban because they are hiding Bin Laden. Bombings on Taliban hideouts and strongholds have taken place in an attempt to force them to give up Bin laden. These air attacks are now starting to work, with cities now being invaded by the Northern Alliance, but there is still no sign of Osama Bin Laden.
This war on Afghanistan has reported to be very accurate as far as air strikes are concerned, but many people have fled cities such as Kabul and are staying in refugee camps and living on rations brought in by the west. Reports suggest that some bombs are unexploded and some have hit houses. But the most tragic report personally is that food parcels have been dropped on land mine fields, so when people go to collect the foods they get injured and even killed by stepping on unexploded mines.
The war on terrorism is not going to finish once bin Laden is caught, but is going to be directed at other parts of the world such as Iraq and target enemies of the west, such as Saddam Hussein. There maybe many changes in our country too, with the possible introduction of I.D cards but this may, again, feel like “Big Brother” is watching over you, giving you no privacy.
Overall, I think this incident will have a profound effect on the way we live our lives from now on and life, as we know it. More care will be taken on Disabling terrorist networks like Al qui’ da and stopping terrorists from harming other people. Hopefully there will be less terrorist attacks thanks to this “War on Terrorism”.