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Pakhi Goyal
Research Paper
Contemporary History
August 25, 2012
“The planes were hijacked, the buildings fell, and thousands of lives were lost nearly a thousand miles from here. But the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were an attack on the heart of America. And standing here in the heartland of America, we say in one voice: We will not give in to terrorists; We will not rest until they are found and defeated; We will win this struggle, not for glory, nor wealth, nor power, but for justice, for freedom, and for peace; So help us God.” – Tom Harkin. 9/11 is a date that most of us will never forget until the day we die due to the impact it had on the country and people worldwide. More than a decade has passed since the shocking events of 9/11, and while certain facts about 9/11 are still debated, it is widely known that a group of terrorists working for al-Qaeda hijacked four domestic US flights, and conducted four suicide attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a failed attempt on the White House, which crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. The premeditated attacks killed an estimated 3,000 people, with thousands more injured. This terrorist attack will forever be remembered for those people who fell victims and were killed for no reason at all. 9/11 is definitely a significant contemporary event and therefore I chose to do my research on it. I wanted to do thorough research to find out the cause of 9/11, what impact it had on the country and its people, and the changes that took place because of the attack. There are several causes according to the people worldwide as to why Al Qaeda attacked the US but no one really knows the correct answer. This horrific event left the whole country shook and though to some people it may not be a big deal, for majority of the people it was and still is till this day. Three weeks after 9/11, as the US began launching air strikes against Taliban positions, a video of Bin Laden sitting on a rocky outcrop was broadcast on Al-Jazeera. On the tape, Bin Laden said, “What America is tasting now is something insignificant compared to what we have tasted for scores of years. The Islamic world has been tasting this humiliation and this degradation for 80 years. Neither America nor the people who live in it will dream of security before we live in it in Palestine, and not before the infidel armies leave the land of Muhammad.” So in his first statement following 9/11, Bin Laden emphasized the “humiliation” of the Muslim world and the negative effect of US policies in the Middle East. Bin Laden often talks about the “humiliation” suffered by Muslims at the hands of the west. It seems as if one of the reasons for the attack was simply revenge. Bin Laden wanted to prove a point and bring grief, pain, and sorrow to the people of US so they could see how it feels to go through what they have been going through for the past 80 years, in his eyes that is. Another cause could be the alienation of Muslim immigrants in the west. According to Prospect Magazine, “Three of the four 9/11 pilots and two key planners, Ramzi bin al Shibh and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, became more militant while living in the west. Perceived discrimination, alienation, and homesickness seem to have turned them all in a more radical direction. This is in fact true for other anti-western terrorists”. After further research they found out that one in four of these terrorists had attended colleges in the west. The only reason I could think of is that they disliked the American culture or weren’t doing too well in school. They probably didn’t like the western behavior and how people did things the way they did, which caused them to be Anti-western. I know a lot of foreigners who come from different countries have trouble adjusting to the western culture because it is so different, especially from the Asian culture where it’s all about the family. I know I had a hard time adjusting...
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