Ten years ago today, the jets hit the Twin Towers.

I was taking a course at Hawkstone Hall, a spirituality centre in Shropshire in the north of England.

Do you remember where you were and how you heard the news?

Was what happened an avoidable disaster?

In yesterday’s Globe and Mail, Michael Ignatieff writes:  “The intelligence community saw warning lights flashing but nobody took preventive action. Then airport security failed.  Then the jets failed to scramble.  Institutions that were supposed to protect us were asleep.  In an instant, we discovered that no one was looking out for us.”

Let us be more specific:

Early in August, 2001, intelligence crossed the desk of Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, in Washington.  The intelligence mentioned bin Laden by name and said explicitly he was planning an i m minent attack on the United States.  We know this because Rice so testified reluctantly and under oath subsequently before the 9/11 commission looking into the disaster.  This intelligence was passed onto President Bush, who, as usual, was on vacation on his ranch in Texas.  There is no record of anything having been done in response to this explicit intelligence.

Then 9/11!!

The disgusting Dick Cheney is now crossing the United States flogging his autobiography in which no mistakes were made on his watch.

What rubbish?

The only time an external attack seriously threatened the homeland of the United States, A REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT WAS IN POWER IN WASHINGTON.!!!

Was 9/11 an avoidable disaster?

What do you think?


  1. 1

    Avoidable? No.
    As long as Muslims have the right to practice their version of “religion”, it can and will happen again.

  2. 2
    Paul Says:

    The acts of 9/11 were the unspeakably barbaric acts of truly evil people. That being said I find that the sweeping ignorance of the previous comment is just one of the many things that makes me have little hope that our world will be any safer in the forseeable future.

  3. 3
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Neil writes:

    “The only time an external attack seriously threatened the homeland of the United States, A REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT WAS IN POWER IN WASHINGTON.!!!”

    And here I thought Neil couldn’t outdo the distorted anti-Americanism of his previous, along comes this distorted anti-Republican Party rant.

    Think Hawaii, Neil. Think FDR. Think December, 1940. Think Democratic Party.

    Moving on from the historical distortions…

    Without VERY specific intelligence as to what target a terrorist has his eyes on, guarding against an attack is “needle in the haystack” territory. There are simply too many ways that one intent upon harming the US can do so. It’s a free, open society with freedom of movement for all.

    We can just as easily ask why Obama didn’t protect that Arizona Congresslady from being shot in the head by that nutcase. But such a question would be unfair, as is Neil’s question.

  4. 4
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Sorry, make that December 1941, not 1940.

  5. 5
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Paul: why is what littlepatti wrote “sweeping ignorance”?

    Other than perhaps replacing “Muslims” with “certain Muslims” in her sentence, what’s either inaccurate or inappropriate about what she wrote?

  6. 6

    Patti, this was not “religious practise.” This was terrorism, pure and simple. Religion had nothing to do with it.

  7. 7

    I purposely wrote this comment as is, this morning to see what the reaction would be. I am surprised.
    Correct me if I am wrong Lady J.- Jihad is religious.
    Frankly, the thing that bothers me, is that Muslims around the world have not denounced terrorism. (enough). They should be denying it every day. Disassociating themselves from acts of terror, and trying to find ways to show that their religion teaches love and promotes peace.
    There is a deafening silence.

  8. 8
    Neil McKenty Says:

    Are there not millions of loyal Muslim Americans living in the United States (and indeed around the world) who have made it clear they would no truck or trade with terrorism.

    Isn’t the mayor of Calgary a Muslim?

  9. 9
    Tony Kondaks Says:


    I’m hearing the same deafening silence littlepatti is hearing.

  10. 10

    “Correct me if I am wrong Lady J.- Jihad is religious.”

    Jihad is. But the asttacks on the towers and the pentagon were not jihad. Jihad was never declared by religious leaders.

    “Muslims around the world have not denounced terrorism. (enough).”

    How much pennance do you want the innocent to perform on behalf of the guilty? I don’t hear any Christians running around apologizing for the Westboro Baptist Church, either.

  11. 11

    I agree, Westboro was one incident against the backdrop of terrible injustice in the USA.
    We have apologized for our treatment of the Japanese, the natives, the Jewish refugees, the orphans, the abused and paid restitution. (not enough)
    Yesterday, the Taliban attacked the US in Afghanistan, there have been numerous attacks (London) and attacks thwarted (Toronto 18)- Too numerous to mention.

    FYI: The Qur’an 2:251 describes Jihad as a system of checks and balances “check one people by means of another”. Chilling!
    2:190-193 :War is waged to defend against oppression & persecution “let there be no hostility EXCEPT to those who practice oppression.
    The Qur’an is full of flowery love-thy- neighbour phrases. However, there are many “exceptions”. It says “except”, “but”, “whenever”, “if” after every declaration.
    I don’t plan a study, or an argument…”but” the more I see and hear, the more I am skeptical of the intentions!

  12. 12
    joe agnost Says:

    littlepatti wrote: “…The Qur’an is full of flowery love-thy- neighbour phrases. However, there are many ‘exceptions’.”

    Your bible isn’t any better. From torture and rape to the complete destruction of entire civilizations… the bible, like all religious books, is rife with cruelty and violence – most of it by God Himself!

    Nothing like a global flood to wipe the earth of ALL life (except a select few) to remind us that the Christian God is a violent, cruel and barbaric character.

  13. 13
    joe agnost Says:

    Oh – and I must note that only a coward would post a article on sex-selection and abortion and then kill it when the comments got nasty… way to stifle discussion there Neil!

  14. 14

    MY Bible?
    You are right-the old testament is hellfire & damnation.
    The new testament has many wonderful stories, parables and words although I am not a student. I do know that it says “forgive those who trespass against us, and deliver us from evil,,,”

  15. 15

    In Neil’s defense- although he doesn’t need one-
    That previous subject was over and had degenerated to “spreading ones legs” and “sticking things”-
    It reminds me of our government in session. Such hostility, and lack of respect for opinion is not advancing any discussion.
    But, we can all get carried away.

  16. 16
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    I apologize if my “spreading one’s legs” comment offended anyone. In a discussion of aborting human life (over 45 million since Roe v. Wade) I thought it was no wotse than the vulgarity territory we were already inhabitting.

    As for the Westboro Baptist Church example: a poor one. As repugnant as their antics are, they haven’t killed anyone…and it is their words that are doing whatever “damage” Lady J and littlepatti are up in arms about. So you should take issue with the first amendment not all of Christendom which owed no apology on their behalf.

  17. 17
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Just to make a wee “side” point on Westboro: as you are no doint aware, their horrible protests at soldiers’ funerals was deemed protected speech under the US constitution’s first amendment. Contrast that with the silly and totally unsubstantiated decisions by our Supreme Court upholding the worst aspects of Bill 101.

    Whose charter/bill of rights would YOU rather have protecting your individual rights and freedoms?

  18. 18
    Neil McKenty Says:

    I am sure I speak for thousands of Quebecois (of whom I am one) who are living serenely in this beautiful province where we have the utmost respect for Canada’s apolitical Supreme Court, one of hte most honoured and emulated courts in the whole world.

  19. 19
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    1) I’m certain, too, you speak “for thousands”, Neil. But “thousands” is not a very impressive number in a province of over 6 million.

    2) You can’t be a proud “quebecois” because you aren’t one and never will be. You see, Neil, you don’t have the “pur laine” roots requiired by the xenophobic racists who popularize the term”quebecois”. You are a Quebecer, Neil, with a separate, segregated set of civil rights, under Quebec’s current laws, than the quebecois. You’re also not considered part of the quebecois people that, according to Harper and the Parliament of Canada, constitute a nation.

    I know you’re proud of your separate but equal status, Neil, but I’m not.

  20. 20

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