911 Anniversary

One of my very favorite bloggers (and sorry for repeating that description every time I link to him), living up to his reputation for creative use of visuals, shows us the tragedy of September 11th for its victims outside of America. Good use of words as well:

Another 9/11 anniversary. Three thousand dead. A terrible tragedy. A horrific crime.

Five and a half years into the invasion and occupation of Iraq, a million dead, give or take a hundred thousand or so. So much destroyed, so many dead they have to be counted by survey like voters in an opinion poll. No exact number. No real list. No one can read out the name of every dead man, woman and child each year the anniversary comes around. The architects of this crime aren’t being hunted down – they were rewarded. Reelected.

A million dead: Three hundred and thirty three 9/11s. More than one a week, every week for five and a half years

Whatever you do, don’t miss the visual.

The Discussion: 35 Comments

Great idea. Let’s do everything possible to discount the 911 tragedy. Like, well sure, it was sorta a bad thing and all, but you know, Bush and Blair and all that. Millions dead, and islamic jihadism had nothing to do with it, corrupt and brutal regimes had nothing to do with it. The world was all fine and peaceful until Bush broke everything. Move along here, if we can just paste a hendy poster with “Bush” printed on it, it will explain everything. What’s the Chinese phrase for “frog in a well”?

September 12, 2008 @ 9:15 pm | Comment

Not to belittle at all the tragedy that the Iraq war has been to all involved in it, but saying that a million people died in it is completely incorrect. The government of Iraq’s own figures show a maximum of 150,000 violent deaths during the war as of June 2006, and it is impossible to imagine that this has increased to as many as a million in the intervening time. Asides from this, since the majority of people who have died violent deaths in Iraq have died as a result of bombings, and since the proportion of people killed to those wounded in a bombing is 1 to 3, this would imply that a quarter of the population of Iraq has been killed or wounded during the war – and nowhere near this number have been wounded.

September 12, 2008 @ 9:28 pm | Comment


Give. Me. A. Break.

September 12, 2008 @ 9:39 pm | Comment

whilst i wouldn’t want to discount 911 persay, it has to be said that it is largely unique because it happened to america (who, almost uniquely in the world had never suffered a major attack on their civilian population by an externals enemy), because of the audacity of its methods and because of the bodycount. 3000 dead is not a large number, it is a bad day in vietnam, or europe during ww2.

having said that, i also oppose the whole million dead thing about iraq. there may well be 1 million dead (though i understand this is very much at the top of the range of estimates) but the majority of these deaths have been caused by islamic militants killing each other. whilst bush and blair have a great deal of blood on my hands and should stand trial, i don’t agree with the idea that they are responsible for all the deaths.

September 12, 2008 @ 9:47 pm | Comment

Plus – by connecting the Iraq war to 9/11 you are conflating the two in the same fashion that George Bush attempted to do – Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, Al-Qaeda only started fighting in Iraq after the invasion. In fact, if we had had to choose a country other than Afghanistan to invade in response to the 9/11 attacks it would have been Saudi Arabia, as this is where the funding for the attack and the majority of the hijackers came from. 9/11 made people more likely to go along with a war fought with the idea of eliminating a potential sponsor of nuclear terrorism, but the war could well have been fought even if the 9/11 attacks had been foiled or not taken place. Don’t forget – ‘regime change’ in Iraq was part of George W. Bush’s manifesto when he ran for office.

This cannot be said enough: Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, and fighting this war in Iraq does not make western countries any safer from the threat of terrorism.

September 12, 2008 @ 10:01 pm | Comment

Tell me, which part of the thread is wrong? Is it not true that there are many many more innocent Iraqis who died from the Iraqi war than in 911? Is Iraqi war not a bigger tragedy than 911? You hold a memorial every year to commemorate the deaths of Americans in 911. Tell me, who will hold a memorial for the deaths of Iraqis during this war? NBC? CNN? FOXNEWS?

Stop joking me.

September 12, 2008 @ 10:14 pm | Comment

@Hongxing – I do not believe anyone here has said any of those things. No one is ‘joking you’.

September 13, 2008 @ 12:09 am | Comment

911 was a great tragedy, so was the war in Iraq.

But I will not blame Bush and Blair.
It just was a natural response to danger and insecurity everyone regular experience in daily life, national leaders and terrorists are no exception to this.

Violence has been part of human history since the birth of our race, it is not going to go away, because there is always going to be a time when we think it is justified and make excueses for it.

As far as I can tell, on the day of 11th of Sep 2001, these guys on the plane definitely consider they were commit themselves to a noble cause, a justified cause. So were many Americans on the day of March 20th 2003. But what about War in Afghanistan, which is less controversy, is the violent overthrow of Taliban justified?

Is violence against Taliban, al-Qaeda more justified because they are directly response for their own violence that resulted in the death of three thousand people, more directly than Saddam Hussein.

So, can violence justifiy violence? Blood for blood.
Can violence be justified because it could stop more violence?Disarm WMD.
In face of violence, is there another way for our defendence other than violence itself?

Or, will we be noble enough to accept our own demise in a sea of violence? Let these who decide to use violent means to attain their goal, eventually, win.

But by using violence as a defence eventually make us one of them. Can we accept this? That we are not that different from the terrorists we have been fighting for, they, after all, killed themselves and others for a reason that is, good, to them.

Terrorist consider us as evil long before we consider them so. But I found many people believe they are not that evil, at least not so evil to be killed. We do wrong things all the time, and make a ruler for ourselves to measure how wrong we have been, using our own notion of right and wrong. We choose wrong word in our daily lives that could offend others; we lie, we kill and we eat– animals that some people think should not be killed. Lots of time we think it does not matter, or simply that these acts are not wrong in the first place.

Maybe we could realize that these minor acts are causing grievous to others,making them uncomfortable, but we make excuses for ourselves anyway. We told them to be more tolerate of others, we told them to accept realities, we told them many many.

Yet in the end, we insist we did nothing wrong, until the day we find ourselves surround by them–angrily, unreasonably. It is the day violence begins

Not only because we could not tolerate each other, but also because we could not restrain ourselves, our desires, our actions, our words and finally, a way of life we simply want to live so much so that we decide the pains others felt are not really pains but an illusion they create for themselves, or something that they should just let go.

Beyond the realm of us there is always a Them, they live a different way of livs, eat different food, wear different cloth and finally, believe in differently, feel differently.

Shall we ignore their pain and misery when it is a pain and misery we could not possibly felt when being in the same situation? Or
Shall we only address the pain and misery that only we can feel, touch and see but not the ones they feel most strongly.

It is a common sense that Muslim, Westerner and Chinese have different ideas of being offended even though there are overlaps. But it is the differences that set us apart

A joke becomes an offence
an offence becomes an insult
an insult leads to pain
pain leads to suffering
suffering continues until the day when it cannot be continued……

May the mankind be at peace,

September 13, 2008 @ 12:55 am | Comment

Sam, you know if you go back in this site I have written with passion about 911. Do you remember the post where I linked to the video, and you said it made you cry? Go back and look.It was for me, as for the rest of you, one of the most powerful, terrible experiences of my life and I have written about it extensively. (I’ll be glad to go back and search out the posts if anyone doesn’t believe me.)

But there is more to remember than just the Americans who died. In the name of 911 we went into Iraq, launched our glorious war on terror, and in so doing stepped up renditions, created Gitmo and Abu Ghraib, legalized torture and suspended habeas corpus. I want all who doubt to go back to Bush’s speeches leading up to the war in Iraq: every single one of them had one consistent motif, and that was 911. Do your homework and tell me if I am wrong. It was one of Karen Hughes’ rules: Never mention Saddam Hussein’s name without a reference to September 11th. That is an incontestable fact.

Chinese, I do blame Bush and partly Blair (far less so). We now know the truth – the suppression of all evidence that contradicted the myth of Iraq’s WMDs, the phony mushroom-cloud scenario, the contractors who made sickening amounts of money. The yellowcake BS. Ignoring General Shinseki and Colin Powell. War with Iraq neither inevitable nor necessary; war with Afghanistan was. Iraq diluted that necessary war. And here we are, seven years later and the Taliban are making an extraordinary resurgence, while the fate of Iraq hovers like the sword of Damocles.

So take responsibility, America. We said we needed war, and we got war. Never mind the promises we’d be greeted as liberators, our soldiers handed flowers and chocolates from an adoring and grateful populace. Never forget the failure to go in with an pccupation plan. Never forget disbanding the Baath army, and thus creating a hornets’ nest for terrorism while simultaneously liquidating the sole force that could possibly have maintained order. We did it. This was America’s war, as 911 was Al Qaeda’s. They wanted war. And so did we. And no one aside from Bush has been more enthusiastic about it that John McCain, except for maybe Sarah “Iraq was a task from God” Palin.

As we shed tears for the victims of 911 – as we should – so should we remember those who then perished needlessly to fulfill Bush’s fantasy. And remember, even if the surge is working and even if it “succeeds,” it does not in any way justify our having gotten into that war in the first place. It will only give us an excuse to get out and then leave the Iraqis on their own, so we can claim the ensuing bloodshed is their own fault; “we did all we could.”

September 13, 2008 @ 1:17 am | Comment

Remember who’s enemy no.1 of the NeoCons before 9/11? Remember the plane crash fiasco in South CHina sea? And the newly elected President of ROC, A-Bian was leading Taiwan to independence.

That year is summer 2001. China was a strategic competitor, that’s half a notch below the enemy status.

Then 9/11 happened. The torch bearer of the international communist movement— China was saved from the brink of being another USSR.

Seven years later, China’s GDP goes from 1 trillion to 4 trillion (2008 estimate). Beijing just threw the biggest party of all time. Just count the number of state heads in the opening ceremony, closing ceremony of the olympics and the paralympics, it’s amazing. And China is running free crushing the separatists in XinJiang and Tibet. Three Taikonauts are going to be sent to the orbit. What’s not to like being a CHinese? I don’t know. My American born Chinese friends are cheering for the Chinese Olympians over everyone else, yeah, i think they should be sent to some sort of camps.

The leaders of CHina just played the waiting game, now Putin jumped in to claim the Enemy no.1 title.

I see years of good time ahead of us.

But it sucks for the Iraqi people, but who cares? Liberals and conservatives alike.. as long as we have cheap gas, we don’t give a fuck.

September 13, 2008 @ 1:26 am | Comment


I am most certainly not discounting the tragedy of 9/11, nor am I denying that it was a horrific crime. That’s why said precisely that in my first sentence. And surely regular readers of the Peking Duck must know that Richard doesn’t think it was no big deal. But other people’s tragedies are real too. And there are real people who are responsible for that.

The Johns Hopkins studies indicated that it was a myth that the vast majority of deaths were caused by militants. But even if that were the case, they would never have been able to do this if Britain and America hadn’t invaded (illegally) and destroyed all ability of the state to maintain any semblance of law and order.


I’ve posted a reply to both of your points at my original post.

September 13, 2008 @ 2:05 am | Comment

Ricard, since I am not American, I am not really in a good position to judge which war–Afghanistan or Iraq is necessary which one is not.

But I still think that the war in Afghanistan is equally wrong with the war in Iraq. Because, I really want be sure, what is America’s goal here?

If the goal is to hunt terrorists or al-Qaedam , then the whole notion of having a war with a country is problematic. Because terrorist organisation can be anywhere, at anyplace or any country on earth.

Go to war with a country is not going to get any terrorist, becasue terrorist can simply run away. And now US troops is even operating in Pakistan to hunt them without the consent from Pakistan!(http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/11/AR2008091103811.html?hpid=moreheadlines)

If it is about the country’s relationship with the terrorists, then there are a number of countries that is more qualified than Afghanistan for that role. Or is it more about the country than terrorists themselves?

Besides, there is always a more efficient way of doing this, like send CIA operatives and work with host government to get these terrorists organisatoins rather than invading a country. It costs less lives, money and could retain the goodwill US got after 911.

With regard to Bush.I do not blame him because any one in his postion will need to find a big target to strike anyway, the only difference is the selection of strike targets, that is, which country to strike.

In that case, there is going to be little differences, altough I still cannot help but wondering why cant American learn something from Israel,which went on terrorists individually after its athletes were killled in Munich. I am not saying that America should us terror tacit, but at least US could send agents to find these terrorists and work with foreign governments to arrest them rather than assassinate them. Give them a fair trial at least.

September 13, 2008 @ 2:14 am | Comment

kumra guptra

Do not be upset.

After 911, although US failed to capture Ben Laden and destory al-Qaeda, but it did succeeded in one thing–get its troops into China’s backyard!

With other military bases in south and east Asian, China was effectively surrounded by US militarily now.


September 13, 2008 @ 2:32 am | Comment

The U.S. attack on Saddam’s government was mishandled in such a way as to leave a power and security vacuum, that made existing conditions develop into a civil war. Innocent civilians were certainly killed by U.S. troops, that’s undeniable… in most cases accidents of the mess that is war. All tragedies and heart wrenching. Some well-publicized ones were intentional murders by sick individuals. Where exposed, these people have been tried and faced criminal proceedings. I’m proud to live in culture where people can expose crimes of the military and government, and have those people brought to justice. Tell me that happens in any place but the west.

Let’s talk about crimes of the jihadis, Sunni and Shiite militias, and those very real forces from Iran that seek to rule Iraq. Any numbers of deaths calculated from suicide bombers on other attacks on innocents? Should the U.S. be blamed for these deaths? Hell to the no, my super-friends.

September 13, 2008 @ 3:27 am | Comment

A Chinese,

Why should I get upset?

I think China is in no position to get paranoid. Military conflicts between major powers ( N 5) is so early 20 century. US can have her military bases all over the world as she wants. But the bottom line is, if China grows as Deng Xiaoping planned (peaceful rising), there is no need to worry about US’s military existence at all.

These two great countries don’t have irreconcilable conflict of interests. China and the US are more or less on the same boat. That is, China should respect the current international order and grow into an economical superpower/military power.

Let the US be the sole military superpower on the planet. It’s not really something China should be. It’s too much of a burden without a lot reward.

Let’s just get rich first.

September 13, 2008 @ 6:17 am | Comment

Richard, I’ve got to hand it to you. What the hell did you expect? So many people killed that day, and you expect the US to just sit back and take it up the butt? I know: yes they should because Bush is in power and thus since you hate him so much (very unhealthy in my opinion and probably reveals a great deal about how utterly unhinged you are)we should. We should also realize that the US is totally evil since Bush was elected and re-elected. I think this is really what this is all about. Mister Bush and his evil co-horts destroying millions..

September 13, 2008 @ 6:24 am | Comment

Billy and all those Bush defenders..

9/11 was carried out by some Saudis trained in Afghanistan. So let’s attack Iraq?

September 13, 2008 @ 6:28 am | Comment

The Hussein Iraqi government was totally, completely innocent and sanctified by Allah, and did nothing to encourage terrorists, terrorism, nor harbor Al-Qaeda operatives. The US merely invaded that country in the hopes to set up a few malls, Applebees, and, hopefully, a Church of Scientology. Any of the Anti-US rabble rousing from Dadday Hussein was total nonsense. We went in there and destroyed a cultural oasis. We should go to the White House and piss and defecate on the front lawn after guzzling goat’s milk and unleaven bread.

September 13, 2008 @ 6:36 am | Comment


Say you are stabbed by a KKK member because your Halloween costume is Michael Jackson.

Now what do you do? You fight back against the KKK… OR in your logic, destroy the whole white community in Idaho because there are some racists up there?

September 13, 2008 @ 6:41 am | Comment

I don’t like Michael Jackson, the KKK, racists, and yes, even Idaho. I don’t like pedophiles, rednecks in white sheets, idiotic bigots, and small populated states that harbor Aryan Skin-head units, and I especially don’t like posting to guys like you who have funny names, but as long as you don’t murder a few thousand in one day, or promote it and support it, I can live with it.

September 13, 2008 @ 6:51 am | Comment


OK.. say if you were molested by your favorite pastor when you were young. What would you do? Sue that pastor or torch a church 100 miles away. Because.. obviously, there is a pastor in that church too! And he might molest you if he’s got his way.

September 13, 2008 @ 7:01 am | Comment

If he got his way, I’d be the pope and send his ass to Kabul for a little kite flying.

September 13, 2008 @ 7:08 am | Comment

What about the first pastor who actually molested you? What about him? Before you send this potential molester to Kabul.

September 13, 2008 @ 7:10 am | Comment


No you didn’t.

Last time I checked, that pastor who molested you is still at large. He and his cronies are still molesting your cousins and nephews.

As for my sexual orientation, I am very comfortable with what I am. Let’s just say I’m bi-curious and I’m HIV positive about it.

September 13, 2008 @ 7:36 am | Comment

Ok, Kumra, back off these questions about what if Billy was stabbed, molested, etc. If you want to talk about the events that followed 9/11 you can put them across in a different way.

September 13, 2008 @ 6:54 pm | Comment

You had to see the comment I’d deleted from Billy,Raj – one of the most offensive here ever, including a vile reference to “fudge packers.” I was wondering what his game was from his very first cvomment above. Now we all know.

Matt: Let’s talk about crimes of the jihadis, Sunni and Shiite militias, and those very real forces from Iran that seek to rule Iraq. Any numbers of deaths calculated from suicide bombers on other attacks on innocents? Should the U.S. be blamed for these deaths?

Yes, I am sad to say that the US is responsible. Definitely. Saddam was a demon, a force of evil. But there were no terrorist bombings or attacks on innocents under his rule, except for those innocents he went after himself. We made the suicide bombings possible by toppling him without a plan for maintaining security during the occupation.There was zero al Qaeda presence in Iraq; Zarkawi was hanging out in the Kurdish region but he had committed no attacks against the Itaqis and others until the invasion.We opened up a Pandora’s box;not securing Iraq was our great failure, one we still pay for half a decade later.

September 13, 2008 @ 7:47 pm | Comment

Now we all know.

Yes, he is a troll – I’ve moderated his latest comment (thought you might want to see it first re possible banning).

I don’t agree that the US is fully responsible for all the deaths. The groups that carried out the killings are mostly to blame. The US is partly responsible, but not totally – human beings are not robots and have free will.

September 13, 2008 @ 9:08 pm | Comment

Raj, here’s the bottom line: before the US invasion, no acts of terrorism.

After the US invasion, never-ending terrorism for half a decade. Even Bush’s people have admitted they did not plan adequately for civil unrest let alone a full-fledged armed resistance movement. (Flowers and chocolates were all we were promised.)

Are those who committed the acts of terrorism to blame? Obviously. Would the terrorism have occurred had we not bungled the occupation? No. There were many factors behind the terror, all created by US incompetence. No water, no electricity (for years), no protection from insurgents, the disbanding of the army. Remember Colin Powell, “You break, you buy?” We broke it and are responsible for that nightmare that arose in the vacuum of any plan.

September 14, 2008 @ 12:10 am | Comment


You didn’t like me from the first sight, did you? It’s the name?

You to me, is as Bill O’Reilly to Steve Colbert. You are my Rarabear or Jajabear. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QquTUR9nbC4

I’m trying to be you, although I know I can never be as loud as you are. Afterall, it’s your show here. But nothing can stop me trying.

Rarabear, it’s ON.

September 14, 2008 @ 1:47 am | Comment

You didn’t like me from the first sight, did you? It’s the name?

When you first came on to the blog I had no idea what your name meant. And I don’t know what you look like, so it wasn’t first sight.

Rarabear, it’s ON.

Nothing is “on”. Even if we disagree I hope we can try to keep the discussion civil. If you seek conflict then things will get difficult, obviously – so don’t seek it.

September 14, 2008 @ 4:45 am | Comment


Like Colbert told his Papabear O’Reilly “I’m what you want me to be.”

You called me “an idiot” and “a troll”. You asked for it, my Jajabear. I do whatever Rarabear tells me to.

Tell your friends in London New Jersey and New Delhi: IT’S ON!

September 14, 2008 @ 4:59 am | Comment

Gupta, please stop this nonsense right now.

September 14, 2008 @ 8:12 am | Comment

Let us roll this over, start a new topic can we?

September 14, 2008 @ 3:43 pm | Comment

Tell me that happens in any place but the west.

That’s mostly because it’s usually the West invading other countries as of late; it also depends on whether or not you consider Japan to be “the West”, where many war criminals are free, alive and kicking.

September 14, 2008 @ 7:26 pm | Comment

When Bush, Sr., didn’t have the fortitude to follow through in the world sanctioned put down of Iraq’s attack on Kuwait he set the stage for all of the later BS. Americans’ refusal to wean themselves from using petroleum in ever increasing quantities has enabled the medieval Saudis to enrich themselves. Now that thirst has even allowed a second tier country like Russia to gain some clout.

What is the point of claiming to be “greatest nation on earth” if we don’t act like it? We need a real national energy policy. We need a real defense policy that lets our enemies know that we will not tolerate attacks on us or our allies. Bush, Sr. should have used nuclear cruise missiles to wipe out Baghdad. Clinton should have done the same to the Taliban and Osama. Our enemies need to know that their will not a proportional response. Our response, when attacked, should always be the strongest, most lethal force we can unleash. To that end, the US military has also shown itself to be weak, undisciplined and ineffective. (Oh, and by the way, the Chinese military have never done anything except mow down their own defenseless people in the most cowardly fashion).

September 16, 2008 @ 6:56 am | Comment

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