The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas

WINGSPAN

  • Thursday is Pink Out Pep Rally and football game at the Ford Center

  • Red Ribbon Week is this week (Oct. 23-27) with dress up themes every day

  • Tennis team is the area champion after beating Texas High 10-6 Thursday

Filed under Opinion, Showcase

Opinion: the real reason 9/11 should make you sad

Christi Lazutkin gives her thoughts on 9/11.

provided by Christi Lazutkin

Christi Lazutkin gives her thoughts on 9/11.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






I’ve never been all that opinionated about politics. I keep up with all the political mishaps, subscribe to sites dedicated to political thought, and intend to vote in the November election, but I sincerely hate discussing my stances with the people around me. I know firsthand that it’s not worth it. It’s very difficult to express political concerns without making other people feel like you’re treading on their beliefs.

Yet I’ve always been bothered by the political climate around September. Every September 11, I get to have pseudo-political discussions that never get anywhere, except to say that the collapse of the Twin Towers was a very sad event. Every news station suspends global coverage to talk about people who are still recovering from the event, even 15 years later. We focus on how we’re rebuilding after an attack that killed unimaginable amounts of innocent Americans, but we fail to consider that there is no criticism or expansion allowed of the issue. It feels like we’re stuck in a loop, where everyone can’t help but parrot after each other, “9/11 was inexcusable.”

My problem with this mentality isn’t that I think it’s false. It’d be inhuman to suggest that 9/11 was anything but tragic. I certainly sympathize with the families of the innocent people who died, coping with both personal loss and a shattered American spirit. In fact, I believe there should be outrage over how 9/11 came to be, because it demonstrates a global problem that we had refused to acknowledge earlier.

However, it makes me angry that we aren’t thinking about the bigger picture. I think we should all know that nothing in this world is ever as simple as a one-track narrative.

Many people know that 9/11 was the second terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. The first attempt, a truck bombing in 1993, didn’t succeed in its ideological goals. Six people died, more than 1,000 people were hurt, and some criminals were caught, but there were no major changes in political ideology, and no worldwide panics caused by the event. We only remember it today because of its connection to the later 9/11 attack.

If we go back even further, many adults will be familiar with the perhap the world’s first act of terrorism on a global scale, the Munich Massacre, where Palestinian extremists held hostage, and later slaughtered, Israeli athletes. It was unprecedented: the notion of murder, especially that of innocents, as a political protest. The world was horrified. Yet this incident, too, faded into relative obscurity.

Even this overview of terrorism is too short-sighted. If we wanted to break down terrorism into its key components, we would have to look into the previous major conflict, the late 20th century clash between the United States and communist forces. Not only were the tactics used to fight ideological opponents perfected then, but the seeds for the war against terrorism were sown.

Certain groups learned to identify the enemy among innocent people, and seize political power in the hysteria. It encouraged proxy wars throughout the Middle East and South Asia, such as the Arab-Israeli conflict, that devastated local populations and their political stability. As if that wasn’t enough, the U.S. supported authoritarian regimes in the Middle East, which blatantly went against American democratic ideals, for the sake of maintaining shaky allies and staving off political opponents. The people who had to grow up in these conditions would naturally come to resent the United States for its political exploitation of the countries they inhabited.

All of this relates back to 9/11 quite neatly, because the terrorists who hijacked four planes in September of 2001 would have felt as though they’d make Americans understand what they did to their people. I don’t believe there’s ever any excuse to kill people, and I think that this one in particular is based on a very corrupted version of an extreme belief. However, the outrage experienced by people from the Middle East should have been foreseen. Both the lack of foresight on Cold War America’s part and the hypocrisy of its government officials had a very real effect on the world, and actions should have been taken earlier than they were.

Because of this, I notice Americans were forced to metaphorically scramble to their feet when the Twin Towers fell, leaving America worse off, in many ways, than it started. In a misguided attempt to reestablish stability, the U.S. government created the Transportation Security Administration, which today plagues us with intrusive body scans and the need to take off our shoes before we pass through security. It’s noteworthy that this invasion of privacy hasn’t even produced results; just try looking up how many terrorists the TSA has caught. Yet America persists, citing a need to protect national security after 9/11 with no better options.

Still more sinister are the agendas fueled by Americans’ naïveté and panic over 9/11. It is a widely known fact that the Bush administration started the Iraq war on falsified grounds shortly after 9/11. Still under Bush, Congress would pass the Patriot Act, a widely-decried law that enabled the government to read private messages and listen to private conversations for suspected terrorist activity. Both acts would later be condemned for going against numerous constitutional rights, but would not result in lasting charges against the former president, as lingering paranoia allowed the government to maintain these rulings until recently. Even then, some of the provisions remain in effect today.

America’s unpreparedness even encouraged its isolation from other victims of terrorism. The majority of ISIS’ victims are Muslims who oppose their presence in the Middle East. The death toll is higher in places like Afghanistan and Iraq than in the likes of North Texas. Yet the American media often condenses the conflict with terrorists into a massive oversimplification, targeting Islam rather than extremists. The American public is not encouraged to understand what 9/11 means to Muslims. As such, sympathy for 9/11 victims is rarely shared for victims of other terrorist acts, despite them having experienced horrors of their own. Indeed, today’s Syrian refugee crisis is inexorably tied to the U.S.’ fear of terrorism, and its revealed unpreparedness for a terrorist attack. As much as Syrian refugees need a place to escape from truly nightmarish conditions, the United States cannot imagine anything scarier than another 9/11.

If past political agendas or ideological genocide don’t worry you, don’t get comfortable. The blind-faith response to 9/11 has also encouraged widespread racism against Americans of Middle Eastern descent. Due to confusion over the nature of terrorism, Muslims that had already lived in America pre-9/11 are now targets for criticism and attack. Hysteria on some Americans’ part only reflects these tensions between immigrants and non-immigrant voters.

Notably, amid discriminatory TSA profiling procedures and acts of violence against Muslim communities, political candidate Donald Trump has made Islamophobic policies one of his many claims to fame. What I find more telling about how people today perceive Muslims is the amount of people in society that agree with him. The political climate has been influenced by terrorism concerns enough that the general public easily accommodates people who want to see Muslims out of America.

Arabic-sounding names get “randomly” searched more often than others at the airport. Muslim women are pressured not to wear hijabs, a form of religious attire that covers the hair. In the worst of cases, Muslim presences and practices can be met with violence. The message is clear even without saying it outright: many in the U.S. do not trust Muslims.

All of this begs the question: with terrorism countermeasures taking such a heavy toll on innocent Americans, and threatening to challenge the American values of freedom, liberty, and equality, can we really say we’ve learned our lesson from the day the Twin Towers fell?

The emotional devastation of the attack, the ruin caused by the planes, and the scar left on America’s ego is impossible to ignore. But the reality of the bigger picture should be just as unavoidable. Americans and Muslims around the world have been hurt by our decisions. To continue on like this is to let political blindness inform our decisions.

We, as Americans, need to change the way we think about 9/11, and the impact it had on how we think today. We need to be willing to step up and solve this problem in a way that doesn’t oppress others. Otherwise, we can’t say we’re winning the fight against terrorism. We’re encouraging it.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

4 Comments

4 Responses to “Opinion: the real reason 9/11 should make you sad”

  1. Muhilan Selvaa on September 13th, 2016 9:20 pm

    More libtard propaganda disguised as objective. I wish I had enough time to debunk every bit of liberal propaganda I am hit with on an a daily basis. I mean if you watch any cable news that is not named Fox (I know that Fox is overly biased toward the other side but they are blatant with it) they promote a leftist agenda but pretend they are being objective and they call anyone who disagrees with islamophobic, racist, xenophobic, etc. When someone begins with a statement like ” I am being objective” or “I am not opinionated on politics” you know that they’re not going to be objective and they are on the left. Even the extremist on the right-wing admit their bias. I have learned to admit this as fact, however I never expected this from my school’s “award winning student news website”

    [Reply]

  2. Wingspan Staff on September 14th, 2016 9:45 am

    Thank you for the comment. Just as a point of clarification, this is a clearly labeled opinion column and staff members are entitled to express their opinions just like they are in every other news publication in America whether on the professional level or high school level. In fact, there are two primary components in journalistic writing: news and opinion.

    Wingspan’s policy concerning opinion pieces can be found in the “About” section where it states:
    “Opinion Article Policy – As a news-oriented publication, Wingspan tries to maintain an unbiased and fair representation of events in news stories. In columns and editorials, however, the opinion and voice of the reporter is expressed. These views do not represent Wingspan, Liberty High School or FISD as a whole. Wingspan is under no obligation to seek out views that differ from staff reporters. However, Wingspan will post different views if and when those opinions are submitted.”

    [Reply]

    Muhilan Selvaa Reply:

    I know it is an opinion piece. I am just pointing out that you pretend to be objective EVEN in an opinion piece.

    [Reply]

    WingspanStaff Reply:

    Just to clarify: the opinions expressed by Wingspan staff members are the opinions of the individual and do not represent Wingspan, Liberty High School or Frisco ISD. When Wingspan is expressing its opinion as a publication, which it is entitled to do, it will be labeled as an “Editorial”.

    [Reply]

Wingspan intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. Wingspan does not allow anonymous comments and requires the person's first and last name along with a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments. To see our full Comment Policy, visit libertywingspan.com/about/

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Opinion: the real reason 9/11 should make you sad

    Columns

    Say It Louder: What to do with conflict

  • Opinion: the real reason 9/11 should make you sad

    Opinion

    Real Talk: Cyberbullying

  • Opinion: the real reason 9/11 should make you sad

    Columns

    A Little Wisdom: Engage in cultural synthesis

  • Opinion: the real reason 9/11 should make you sad

    Columns

    Sincerely Sydney: You’re not alone

  • Opinion: the real reason 9/11 should make you sad

    Opinion

    Opinion: Trump misfires on Iran nuclear deal

  • Opinion: the real reason 9/11 should make you sad

    Columns

    Say It Louder: Take charge of your happiness

  • Opinion: the real reason 9/11 should make you sad

    Opinion

    Real Talk: Superstitions

  • Opinion: the real reason 9/11 should make you sad

    Columns

    A Little Wisdom: GPA chase can leave education behind

  • Opinion: the real reason 9/11 should make you sad

    Columns

    Sincerely Sydney: Trials and tribulations of trust

  • Opinion: the real reason 9/11 should make you sad

    Columns

    Say it Louder: The importance of family

The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas
Opinion: the real reason 9/11 should make you sad