Those B***ards at Al Qaeda

Monday morning will be a difficult one for those of us who remember where we were five years ago, and how our lives were irrevocably changed over the course of two interminably long hours. It’s an extra difficult one for all of us whose lives were changed, and who bemoan how the Bush Adminstration subsequently squandered just about every opportunity to make the world a better and safer place. It’s hard to expect sympathy or co-operation when our leaders do so little to deserve it.

Still, one of the very hardest things to accept about our post 9/11 world is something even closer to home. It’s how so many people – otherwise good people, some that I consider my friends – have continued to challenge the very facts of the attack. People whose cynicism is so absolute that, for them, the attacks of 9/11 must have been the work of a right-wing Republican Administration, eager to bomb its own country’s landmarks as a pretext for invading other countries.

The cynics’ doubts about Al Qaeda’s involvement started the very morning of the attacks and have continued, almost unabated, throughout the five years since – fueled, in no small part, by the clever initial refusal of Osama Bin Laden to claim responsibility for 9/11. Unaware that this was an Al-Qaeda tactic dating back to the 1998 bombings of American Embassies in Africa, these Conspiracy Theorists convinced themselves from Bin Laden’s silence – and, of course, from the abject failure of American-led coalition forces to capture him – that someone else must have carried out the attacks and framed him in the process. What better candidate for guilt than the disputedly elected new right-wing President, someone they see as so evidently a puppet of the War-hungry Oil Industry?

I don’t deny that the Bush Administration, like the Clinton Administration before it, cocked up on Al Qaeda, that its attentions were focused elsewhere while the attacks were being planned, that the American people were not properly protected, and that the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld Axis used the attacks for their own nefarious ends, none of which have led to victory in their War on Terror. But I’ve never doubted, for a moment, that the events of 9/11 themselves were orchestrated by Al Qaeda under Osama Bin Laden’s guidance.

Which is why I read with interest about the latest Al-Qaeda video, delivered Thursday to Al Jazeera TV as part of 9/11’s 5-year anniversary media overkill. According to the NY Times,

American intelligence officials said that they were studying the videotape but that they saw no immediate significance in its content or its release.

I deign to disagree. Again according to the Times,

The film showed images of what were reported to be sections of the last wills and testaments of two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, Wail Alshehri and Hamza Alghamdi. Al Jazeera said several of the hijackers were shown on the tape but did not say which ones.

The latest Al Qaeda video takes responsibility for 9/11.

In one scene, Mr. bin Laden addresses the camera, calling on followers to support the hijackers, The Associated Press reported. “I ask you to pray for them and to ask God to make them successful, aim their shots well, set their feet strong and strengthen their hearts,” he said.

Mr. Alshehri and Mr. Alghamdi were each shown speaking to the camera, their images superimposed over background pictures of the crumbling World Trade Center towers and the burning Pentagon, as well as a model of a passenger jet.

For those who have continued to question Al Qaeda’s reponsibility for 9/11, I have to ask: on top of all previous proof, is this new video not now evidence enough? Because only if we accept from whom and where and why these attacks were launched five years ago Monday, can we possibly succeed in preventing a repetition and making the world a better place, for all of us. Peace.

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