ONE year ago, the world witnessed a unique kind of broadcasting - the
mass murder of thousands, live on television.
As a lesson in the pitiless cruelty of the human race, September 11
was up there with Pol Pot's mountain of skulls in Cambodia, or the skeletal
bodies stacked like garbage in the Nazi concentration camps.
An unspeakable act so cruel, so calculated and so utterly merciless
that surely the world could agree on one thing - nobody deserves this
Surely there could be consensus: the victims were truly innocent, the
perpetrators truly evil.
But to the world's eternal shame, 9/11 is increasingly seen as America's
Incredibly, anti-Americanism has increased over the last year.
There has always been a simmering resentment to the USA in this country
- too loud, too rich, too full of themselves and so much happier than
Europeans - but it has become an epidemic.
And it seems incredible to me. More than that, it turns my stomach.
America is this country's greatest friend and our staunchest ally. We
are bonded to the US by culture, language and blood.
A little over half a century ago, around half a million Americans died
for our freedoms, as well as their own. Have we forgotten so soon?
And exactly a year ago, thousands of ordinary men, women and children
- not just Americans, but from dozens of countries - were butchered
by a small group of religious fanatics. Are we so quick to betray them?
What touched the heart about those who died in the twin towers and on
the planes was that we recognised them. Young fathers and mothers, somebody's
son and somebody's daughter, husbands and wives. And children. Some
And these people brought it on themselves? And their nation is to blame
for their meticulously planned slaughter?
These days you don't have to be some dust-encrusted nut job in Kabul
or Karachi or Finsbury Park to see America as the Great Satan.
anti-American alliance is made up of self-loathing liberals who blame
the Americans for every ill in the Third World, and conservatives suffering
from power-envy, bitter that the world's only superpower can do what
it likes without having to ask permission.
truth is that America has behaved with enormous restraint since September
the gut-wrenching tapes of weeping men phoning their wives to say, "I
love you," before they were burned alive. Remember those people
leaping to their deaths from the top of burning skyscrapers.
the hundreds of firemen buried alive. Remember the smiling face of that
beautiful little girl who was on one of the planes with her mum.
Remember, remember - and realise that America has never retaliated for
9/11 in anything like the way it could have.
a few al-Qaeda tourists got locked without a trial in Camp X-ray? Pass
some Afghan wedding receptions were shot up after they merrily fired
their semi-automatics in a sky full of American planes? A shame, but
maybe next time they should stick to confetti.
could have turned a large chunk of the world into a parking lot. That
it didn't is a sign of strength.
voices are already being raised against attacking Iraq - that's what
a democracy is for. How many in the Islamic world will have a minute's
silence for the slaughtered innocents of 9/11? How many Islamic leaders
will have the guts to say that the mass murder of 9/11 was an abomination?
When the news of 9/11 broke on the West Bank, those freedom-loving Palestinians
were dancing in the street. America watched all of that - and didn't
push the button. We should thank the stars that America is the most
powerful nation in the world. I still find it incredible that 9/11 did
not provoke all-out war. Not a "war on terrorism". A real
fundamentalist dudes are talking about "opening the gates of hell",
if America attacks Iraq. Well, America could have opened the gates of
hell like you wouldn't believe.
US is the most militarily powerful nation that ever strode the face
of the earth.
campaign in Afghanistan may have been less than perfect and the planned
war on Iraq may be misconceived.
don't blame America for not bringing peace and light to these wretched
countries. How many democracies are there in the Middle East, or in
the Muslim world? You can count them on the fingers of one hand - assuming
you haven't had any chopped off for minor shoplifting.
love America, yet America is hated. I guess that makes me Bush's poodle.
But I would rather be a dog in New York City than a Prince in Riyadh.
Above all, America is hated because it is what every country wants to
be - rich, free, strong, open, optimistic.
ground down by the past, or religion, or some caste system. America
is the best friend this country ever had and we should start remembering
Or do you really think the USA is the root of all evil? Tell it to the
loved ones of the men and women who leaped to their death from the burning
Tell it to the nursing mothers whose husbands died on one of the hijacked
planes, or were ripped apart in a collapsing skyscraper.
tell it to the hundreds of young widows whose husbands worked for the
New York Fire Department. To our shame, George Bush gets a worse press
than Saddam Hussein.
we were told that Saddam gassed the Kurds, tortured his own people and
set up rape-camps in Kuwait. Now we are told he likes Quality Street.
Save me the orange centre, oh mighty one!
remember, September 11. One of the greatest atrocities in human history
was committed against America.
do more than remember. Never forget.