The 9/11 Attack has been regarded as one of the major events in the history of America. This attack killed and maimed more people inside United States boundaries in a day than any other event since the historic Pearl Harbor attack. Notably, those who died in the horrific carnage in Pennsylvania, Washington and Manhattan on 11th Sept were the most direct victims of the terror attack. Many more people were killed in the subsequent “war on terror”. Arguably, several essential facts regarding 9/11 attacks were obvious; i.e. the attack was an act of mass murder where more than three thousand people were killed. The attack subjects a lot of people to excruciating deaths that was witnessed by millions of people. Other essential facts about the attack remain hidden from many people; ranging from the physics of the WTC collapses to the investigations conducted about the attack, to who were beneficiaries of the attack. All these have lead to divergent myths about the whole 9/11 attacks.
Bolton (2008) indicates that the U.S. government responded to 9/11 attack with what became famous as The War on Terror. Arguably, this was a united global opposition at opposing terrorism at legal, military, political and ideological levels. War on Terror included invasion of Afghanistan, where Taliban had established as their home. In reference to Bolton (2008) Congress passed the 2002 Homeland Security Act, which created the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This resulted in the gigantic restructuring of the U.S. government in history. Bolton (2008) also notes that passing of the U.S Patriotic Act was aimed at detecting and prosecuting terrorism. In Nov 2002, the National Commission Terrorism Attacks upon the U.S.A was formed.
The 9/11 attack encompassed all the features of a psychological operation psy-op (June et al. 2014).Harumi and Darin (2005) further notes that it materializes to have been engineered to bring shock and fear among many people and at the same time limiting immediate casualties to a few thousand people. Harumi and Darin (2005) also notes that the perpetrators had also counted on psychological numbing to place Osama bin Laden as the attack legend. This attack was so unbelievable that it induced a suspension of disbelief that caused the victims of psy-op to ignore massive gaps in the official story. In keeping with June et al. (2014) suspension of disbelief can be accomplished by a few means;
Scale of the attack together with its shocking targeting of U.S capital and busiest city, required for a suspension of disbelief just to fathom the basic facts. Resemblance of the 9/11 attack to a movie in many triggered the conditioned suspension of disbelief that many develop after watching science fiction and horror movies.
Harumi and Darin (2005) note that the attack unfolded in a span of two hours, same length with a featured movie. This attack also consisted of a series of assaults that were evenly distributed in a span of two hours. In this duration, the shock increased with every assault up to the climax when there were tower explosions. Worse, the media reports and updates filed the plot line with unfolding developments in the story of plan hijackers and replication of images of the attack. Dixon and Stern (2004) note that the attackers targeted Pentagon and Manhattan. Arguably, repetition of memes by relied news sources made the information believable even when their occurrence was completely unwarranted. Literally, the top officials had no idea and could not decide on what to do in all events. The hijackers took control of the jetliners with crude weapons. Those buildings that were hit by the plan suffered partial or total collapse (thrice).
Terror attack was unpredictable, intentional, man-made, and created a political, ideological and social overlay. The major intention of terror according to Harumi and Darin (2005) is to terrify, to overpower and to feel with intense fear and intimidation. As such, psychological reactions to terror are extremely intense and prolonged than the response to the disaster. Bolton (2008) notes that conventional disaster affect the victim and the rescue personnel, the 9/11 terror attack like any other, influenced an audience further that immediate victims. The stress of the 9/11 attack were felt all over the country. The terror caused crisis by observation and it affected even those people who were not directly involved.
The 9/11 terror attack created an ongoing and constant personal threat in the larger American society. This threat was continuous and pervasive and created a constant need for alertness. The 9/11 attack saw an aftermath of intense empathy for victims. It also showed a heightened sense of identity with the beginning of anti-Arab prejudice and a retaliatory military response against people who were perceived to be responsible for the attacks. Bolton (2008) notes that repeated terrorist attacks have been seen to provoke successive attacks typified by disproportionate intensity of force and destructive power. Bolton (2008) indicates that the most rational and effective way of fighting terrorism globally is engaging in poverty reduction, reducing injustice, prejudice and applying proven conflict resolution methods.
The 9/11 Commission
Dixon and Stern (2004) indicate that 9/11 commission was initiated. The commission’s report required for; investigation of intelligence agencies, diplomacy, law enforcement agencies, border control and immigration issues, commercial aviation, terrorists groups flow of assets, congressional oversight as well as resource allocation, and every thing that seemed relevant to the 9/11 attack. In reference to Dixon and Stern (2004) the commission reviewed documents of 2.5 million pages; they interviewed 1,200 individuals in ten countries and listened to testimonies of over 160 witnesses in duration of 19 days. The 9/11 commission produced a final report of about 600 pages that included everything from the 9/11 attacks to response from public and private agencies to why Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda were main suspects of the complicity. The commission listened to scores of devastating personal tragedies and shocking acts of bravery. Over a decade having passed since the 9/11 attack, U.S. still mourns the tremendous loss of citizens and the contribution they would have brought to the world.
The World Trade Center’s site has since been referred to as Ground Zero (Dixon & Stern, 2004). All seven structures that comprised of the complex were damaged along with other buildings in the vicinity. Dixon and Stern (2004) indicates that a design for a memorial that includes the names of all the fatalities set into the paw marks of twin towers. Dixon and Stern (2004) note that those names number in the thousands. In the WTC, 2,606 people perished along with 371 passengers that aboard United 175 and America 11. In reference to Rubin and Verheul (2009) the America 77 crashed into the Pentagon, this resulted to 125 deaths including 59 innocent victims. According to Rubin and Verheul (2009) 40 people dead as they turned on their attackers but they succeeded in preventing United 93 from its intended target. Rubin and Verheul (2009) note that the emergency response from the entire city of New York responded and suffered their own loses are they tried to save lives. According to Rubin and Verheul (2009) New York fire department lost three hundred and forty one firefighters and two paramedics. More so, the New York Port Authority lost 37 officers while the police department lost 23. The private emergency response services also lost 81 medical technicians and paramedics (Rubin & Verheul, 2009).
How America responded to 9/11.
According to Bodden (2008) October 2001, United States and its allies invaded the Al Qaeda base in Afghanistan. Bodden (2008) further indicates that the extreme Islamic group “Taliban,” that ran the Afghanistan government protected Osama bin Laden and also allowed the Al-Qaeda to run training camps inside Afghanistan. Bodden (2008) further notes that U.S. led forces brought down the infamous Taliban. Up to date, the U.S. government still endeavor to stabilize Afghanistan. Notably, since 2001, many members of the Al Qaeda have been capture and many have been killed. On 1st May 2011, the U.S troop invaded and killed Bin Lade n in his Pakistan hide out. Bodden (2008) indicates that in 2003, the U.S. invaded Iraq, where the President George Washington Bush among other U.S. leaders believed that the country’s leader, Saddam Hussein was keeping terrible weapons that could be accessible to terrorists. President Hussein was captured and later executed by the Iraqi court and no weapons of mass destruction were recovered.
After the September 11 attack, the United States government took several measures of making the country safer. The national government tightened its securities at airports and in all major cities. The department of Homeland Security was created under a new cabinet-level department. The department protects the U.S from terrorists. The attacks catapulted promotion of democracy to the centre of United States policy in the Middle East. This attacked questioned
Victim Compensation Fund
According to Drakos (2004), 9/11 attack Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) was inclusive in the legislation that was passed by the congress and later signed into law by the president. Drakos (2004) states that VCF provided compensation for economic and non-economic losses. Compensation was for persons or relative of those who died or physically injured as a result of the attack. The initial VCF operated between December 2001 and June 2004. Later on 2nd January 2011, President Ballack Obama signed into law Zadroga 9/11 Health compensation Act (Zadroga Act). In reference to Drakos (2004), the Act reopened the 9/11 Victim compensation fund of 2011 and expanded the scope of the previous VCF to allow individuals who attained physical injury or died during the attack to obtain compensation from the program.
Religion and 9/11
American has continued to such for a permanent solution to September 11 attacks (Bolton, 2008). While most of the U.S intellectuals continue to focus on the lapse on the United States intelligence capabilities and the inter-agency communication problems; there are those who take on freedom of religion as the remedy to the development. Most focus has been on religion with ideologies that are violent based. Arguably, things would be different had if Osama Bin Laden with intolerant teachings of Sayyid Qutb and Wahhabism were not related to the 9/11 attack. More so, Bin Laden was exposed to all form of Islam beliefs, critics of Islam.
Post-9/11 Attitudes towards Immigrants and Muslim Americans
After the September 11, 2001, Rubin and Verheul (2009) note that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported more than 1,700% increase in hate crimes against Immigrants and Muslims in United States between 2000 and 2001 alone. Pyszczynski, Greenberg and Solomon (2003) further notes that at the time of adjusting to the aftermath of the 9/11, Muslim Americans were faced with upsurge in harmful stereotypes that were expressed by the larger American society. Muslim immigrants were met with negative attitudes compared with other immigrants. In reference to Pyszczynski et al. (2003) there has been increased racial and religious hostility against Middle Easterners, Arabs, Muslims and people bearing stereotyped physical appearance to members of fore stated groups. Pyszczynski et al. (2003) state that although Muslim is a region that does not have any label pertaining to race; regularly, that line between religion discrimination and racism is burred. Muslim Americans are openly alleged as monolithic group which is conceptualized as a religious minority and that acts, behaves and thinks similarly note withstanding the enormous differences existing within the Muslim American community (Pyszczynski et al. 2003). Even with negative typecast of Muslim being announced through the media, a small psychological research that was recently conducted to characterize the attitude of non Muslims towards Muslim indicates that majority of larger American society has negative attitudes towards their fellow countrymen.
Khan (2003) indicates that in recent research that focused on Islamophobia, dread of Islam has been conducted in U.S.A and Europe and it established that hatred and discrimination against Muslim has increased in the recent years (June et al. 2014). Arguably, many Muslim Americans are perceptibly culturally distinct; this would be a value to explore whether the attitude towards Muslim American is the same as the attitude of the European non-Muslims regarding the members of the minority groups. Because of the increased discrimination incidences directed towards Muslim Americans (June et al. 2014) is has been important to identify specific incidences in which the Muslims in America have increasingly been vulnerable to such experiences of expressed depressing stereotypes and attitudes towards their cultural group. Muslim Americans should use information of negative attitudes from the larger society to help them understand the negative experience. June et al. (2014) explores situational attitude toward Muslims in America. Khan (2003) notes that negative attitude towards Muslims in America may have detrimental effects on the victims in particular contexts.
Khan (2003) indicates that discrimination towards Muslim Americans was there before 9/11. Notably, this may relate to Islam being frequently portrayed by social media as fundamentally violent and intolerant. Arguably, the attacks by Muslim terrorists worsened the attitude of the general public towards the mainstream Muslim Americans (Khan 2003). Muslim Americans are part of the U.S society and negative attitude would have degrading effects to the recipients of negative expressions as well as the U.S society in its entirety (Khan, 2003). In keeping with Khan (2003) immense understanding of the affective response to Muslims by non-Muslims is useful information to guide the endeavor to decrease discrimination towards Muslims.
Jeffrey (2002) indicates that until the time the twin towers were brought down, America lived in a deep cocoon of self gratification. The elite reaction to the bombing was an outburst of long-simmering disgruntlement with most frolicsome aspect of the American life. Jeffrey (2002) notes that it is extremely hard to attribute valuable cultural changes to September 11th attacks alone. Jeffrey (2002) further notes that there are brief shudder of general sincerity during the time although human behavior and cultural patterns are hard to uproot. In reference to Dixon and Stern (2004) American culture remains as indeterminate and unquantifiable today just as it was during the time of attack. This is hardly a bad thing.
Annually, on the 9/11 anniversary, America holds a ceremony at Ground Zero. During this time, the names of all victims of the attack are read aloud against a background of quiet. Across the United States, federal agencies and all organizations come to a stand still for a moment of silence at 8:46 AM in remembrance of the iniquitous terror attack.
Bodden, V. (2008). The 9/11 terror attacks. Mankato, Minn: Creative Education.
Bodden discusses events that culminated to the terror attack of 9/11. He further describes the relationship between U.S. and the Middle East as well as, the global response after terror attack and how the attacked transformed the world.
Bolton, M. (2008). U.S. national security and foreign policymaking after 9/11: present at the re-creation. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
In his book, Bolton has analyzed the 109th congress of Dec 2004 that was passed signed under President Bush: Intelligence Reform and intelligent Prevention Act (IRTPA). The book is helpful in defining the extraordinary importance of the Act’s changes that begun by 9/11 and how it affects the national security policymaking.
Dixon, L. & Stern, R. (2004). Compensation for losses from the 9/11 attacks. Santa Monica, CA: RAND.
Dixon and Stern in their monograph examines the benefits of those who died and those who were injured on 9/11. It also analysis the benefits accorded to businesses that suffered losses from the attack. The authors further examine the performance of the insurance and compensation, government program, tort and charity in responding to the attack.
Drakos K. (2004).Terrorism-induced structural shifts in financial risk: airline stocks in the aftermath of the September 11th terror attacks Original Research Article. European Journal of Political Economy, Volume 20, Issue 2, Pages 435-446
This article discusses to critical questions; how terrorism shocks were transmitted across international trade; and the behavioral factors that explain the stock market reactions. The article further provides with the findings of terror shocks and how they are diffused in a non-uniform manner.
Harumi Ito, Darin Lee. (2005). Assessing the impact of the September 11 terrorist attacks on U.S. airline demand Original Research Article. Journal of Economics and Business, Volume 57, Issue 1, Pages 75-95
The article assesses the impact of the 9/11 attack and its after effects to the demand of the U.S. airline. It expounds on how the attack resulted on a negative transitory shock and how the shock can not be explained by seasonal, cultural or economics factors. The data under analysis is from 1986 to 2003.
Jeffrey W Seifert. (2002).The effects of September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on public and private information infrastructures: a preliminary assessment of lessons learned Original Research Article. Government Information Quarterly, Volume 19, Issue 3, Pages 225-242
The article indicates the struggle over multiculturalism and how these struggles are not limited to the political domain. It also shows how multiculturalism has profound cultural implications. American multiculturalism after 9/11 attack has been analyzed with much emphasis on trans-Atlantic perspectives about multiculturalism in a global context.
June L. Gin, Judith A. Stein, Kevin C. Heslin, Aram Dobalian. (2014). Responding to risk: Awareness and action after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks Original Research Article. Safety Science, Volume 65, Pages 86-92
This peer reviewed journal analysis multiculturalism and how it has been affected by the infamous 9/11 Attacks. The article further analysis on how the attack resurfaced the old problem of multiculturalism. The issue of indiscriminate racist attacks on minority i.e. Muslims is expounded in this article.
Khan, A. (2003). Islam, Muslims, and America understanding the basis of their conflict. New York: Algora Pub.
This book brings to light the Muslim and Islam experience after the 9/11. It discusses on the Muslim alienation, and failure of Americans to seek the root cause of the continued anti-America trend. Finally the book looks at disconnect between extremist actions and Islam beliefs.
Pyszczynski, T., Greenberg, J. & Solomon, S. (2003). In the wake of 9/11: the psychology of terror. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Rubin, D. & Verheul, J. (2009). American multiculturalism after 9/11 transatlantic perspectives. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
The book analysis multicultural problem that has evolved in the U.S. since 9/11; it provides a well balanced collection of perspectives. The volume also identifies undiminished weighty reasons like citizenship and immigration. It also points at unsolved variance over universalism, tolerance and religion.