September 11, 2006

September 11th. Five Years On

It is truly unbelievable that five years have passed since that horrible day. Like most people, it is an experience I will never forget.

When the crisis began, it was the late evening in Tokyo. I was busy surfing my usual sites on the internet, when I was alerted that a plane had hit the World Trade Centre. Immediately, I turned on my television to follow events. As I watched horrified, and already supposing that it was a terrorist attack, I saw the live footage of the second plane crashing.

Within minutes, friends all over Tokyo, who did not have cable television, were contacting me to find out what was going on. My dear friend, Brett, who was my neighbour at the time, came to join me and watch the coverage. I had CNN on the television and the BBC streaming through on my computer.

We both sat watching the news dazed and shocked at what was occuring. This was so clearly an event that would have massive repercussions on our lives. You could just feel immediately the impact of what was happening.

It is sad to see how the events that have since followed, such as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, have done nothing to return a sense of security. In fact, the world now seems more dangerous, with the media continually fuelling fear and terror like cheap pedlars of drugs: The boogeyman, who used to wear red and goose-stepped, now wears a turban, has bird flu and is lingering under our beds, waiting to wreak havoc with a sniper rifle at our malls!

When I was in Thailand, a few years after 9/11, I met a very wise American gentleman. He surprised me with his description of what he believed would have been the correct response to the events of 9/11. He said: 'Bush should have come on television and said, "We forgive you."'

I was blown-away by the ramifications that such a noble, simple statement would have made upon the world. It would have instantly neutralised the poison of all terrorist acts, as well as presented the US as a fine role model for all in the world.

Of course, this vision did not happen, and disaster after disaster has since enveloped our world with continual violence that seems to know no end. The lines between friend and foe have now become blurred, as both attempt to bring 'shock and awe' upon each other, while in the process a fleshy, bloody mountain of 'collateral damage' continues to rise.

How many more innocent children, women and men must die? What will come of all of this death? Why is the world ruled by leaders of below average ability, who seem to have no vision for humanity beyond destruction and death? Where are the inspirational men and women who will lead us out of this nightmare?

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