View Full Version : 5th Anniversary of 9-11 – Open Thread

09-10-2006, 12:36 AM

Open to your opinions, reflections...

09-10-2006, 11:52 AM

09-10-2006, 03:02 PM
The Arab and Iranian Reaction to 9-11: Five Years Later (http://www.memrifilms.org/). (Link to transcripts and documentary film).

Since the attacks on September 11, 2001, The Middle East Media Research Institute has monitored, translated, and recorded what was said in the Arab and Iranian press about that day. Prominent journalists, members of academia, leading religious figures, and even Arab government officials helped shape conspiracies about what "really" happened.

The carefully documented collection is now available as a PDF and includes a compilation of articles and editorials from the mainstream Arabic and Persian language press, as well as transcripts from television programs.

A documentary film about the Arab and Iranian reaction to 9-11 incorporates footage from various TV and satellite stations in the Middle East. It was made with Interface Media Group and narrated by acclaimed actor Ron Silver.

09-10-2006, 04:10 PM
From Chatham House (http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk/index.php) (formerly the Royal Institute for International Affairs): Al Qaeda Five Years On (http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk/pdf/research/mep/AlQaeda0806.pdf)


• Five years on, the challenge to al-Qaeda is coming from within as traditional Islam attacks the use of terror as un-Islamic and popular support wanes as terrorist attacks target Muslims.

• Nonetheless, there has been an increased radicalization of the Muslim street but this seems to be finding expression in Islamist groups who are keen to use democratic channels.

• Al-Qaeda’s main success has been to highlight the link between the West’s policies in the Middle East and terrorism.

• Despite its religious rhetoric, al-Qaeda’s strength lies in its political message which resonates with many but whose tactics have attracted only the fringe.

• The West faces a terrorist challenge that comes from within its borders and which impinges on community relations and civil liberties.

09-11-2006, 04:30 PM
By Ahmed Rashid, in the Washington Post (free registration required):

Losing the War on Terror: Why Militants are Beating Technology Five Years After Sept. 11 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/10/AR2006091001145.html?sub=new)

In the five years since Sept. 11, the tactics and strategy of Islamic extremists fighting U.S. or NATO forces have improved dramatically. To a degree they could not approach five years ago, the extremists are successfully facing off against the overwhelming technological apparatus that modern armies can bring to bear against guerrillas. Islamic extremists are winning the war by not losing, and they are steadily expanding to create new battlefronts...
This short article contains a few hard truths that key decision makers should face up to - it also contains a few broad-brush negative generalizations that are patently false when the details are taken into consideration. Still, it is a quick read illustrative of a certain perception that is currently held by not a few people.

09-13-2006, 12:50 PM
From the Jamestown Foundation: Al-Qaeda's Evolving Strategy Five Years after September 11 (http://www.jamestown.org/terrorism/news/article.php?articleid=2370127)

Five years after September 11, al-Qaeda is, in its own words, "continuing the policy of bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy," drawing the United States into a gradually widening conflict until it is no longer sustainable to continue operations against the mujahideen. Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri have mentioned this "bleed-to-bankruptcy" plan more than once in recent years. It became an integral part of their long-term strategy following the 9/11 attacks since, after the fall of the Taliban government, they understood that they could no longer operate as they did before, but they could inspire fellow Muslims to take up the cause with little or no direct involvement on their part.

"All that we have to do is to send two mujahideen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaeda, in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without achieving anything of note…this is in addition to our having experience in using guerrilla warfare and the war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers, as we, alongside the mujahideen, bled Russia for 10 years, until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat," bin Laden said in a statement issued on November 1, 2004 and printed in al-Jazeera...

09-13-2006, 04:01 PM
Transcripts from the 7 Sep 06 hearing, "9/11: Five Years Later - Gauging Islamist Terrorism", of the House Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Nonproliferation:

Testimony of Peter Brookes (Heritage Foundation) (http://wwwc.house.gov/international_relations/109/bro090706.pdf)

Testimony of Frank Gaffney (Center for Security Policy) (http://wwwc.house.gov/international_relations/109/gaf090706.pdf)

Testimony by Dr. Walid Phares (Foundation for the Defense of Democracies) (http://wwwc.house.gov/international_relations/109/pha090706.pdf)

Testimony of Thomas Sanderson (CSIS) (http://wwwc.house.gov/international_relations/109/san090706.pdf)

09-14-2006, 07:07 PM
"Are We Safe Yet?" A Foreign Affairs Roundtable

Five years after 9/11, there have been no further terrorist attacks in the United States. Many claim the threat nevertheless remains very high; in the September/October issue of Foreign Affairs, John Mueller disagrees, arguing that the absence of attacks derives mostly from the absence of potential attackers.

In this special Web-only feature, world-class experts assess Mueller's argument and the state of the "war on terror" at five.
Round 1: Posted September 7, 2006 (http://www.foreignaffairs.org/special/9-11_roundtable/#responses1)

Round 2: Posted September 11, 2006 (http://www.foreignaffairs.org/special/9-11_roundtable/#responses2)

In the Sep/Oct issue of Foreign Affairs: 9/11: Five Years After

Is There Still a Terrorist Threat? (http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20060901facomment85501/john-mueller/is-there-still-a-terrorist-threat.html)

Summary: Despite all the ominous warnings of wily terrorists and imminent attacks, there has been neither a successful strike nor a close call in the United States since 9/11. The reasonable -- but rarely heard -- explanation is that there are no terrorists within the United States, and few have the means or the inclination to strike from abroad.
The Next War of the World (http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20060901faessay85506/niall-ferguson/the-next-war-of-the-world.html)

Summary: The twentieth century was the bloodiest era in history. Despite the comfortable assumption that the twenty-first will be more peaceful, the same ingredients that made the last hundred years so destructive are present today. In particular, a conflict in the Middle East may well spark another global conflagration. The United States could prevent such an outcome -- but it may not be willing to.
The Real On-Line Terrorist Threat (http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20060901faessay85510/evan-f-kohlmann/the-real-online-terrorist-threat.html)

Summary: Fears of a "digital Pearl Harbor" -- a cyberattack against critical infrastructure -- have so preoccupied Western governments that they have neglected to recognize that terrorists actually use the Internet as a tool for organizing, recruiting, and fundraising. Their online activities offer a window onto their methods, ideas, and plans.