Was it not a few days ago that it was reported that MARCY BORDERS, whose iconic “DUST LADY” picture following the attacks on World Trade Centre in New York by terrorists on September 11, 2001 made headlines worldwide, had died of cancer?
Towards the end of her days, she tended to suggest that her cancer situation might have been brought on by her level of exposure to dust during the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers, by AL-QAEDA. Her death brought reminders and further ached pained hearts (affected directly and indirectly) yet to come to terms with events of that fateful day.
There is no gainsaying the fact that the events of September 11, 2001 changed the world and many of the situations we have today especially socio-politically worldwide have roots in that day. In fact it may not be outlandish to suggest that as with the “BC/AD” scenario, there was a world before 9/11 which is far different from the world we have afterwards. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then, even America’s War Against Terror, of the WILLING against the AXIS OF EVIL has somewhat come and gone, with President Obama’s successful “official” closing of the vistas of war on the two fronts of Afghanistan and Iraq, but with many unofficial ones reopening in the same lands and elsewhere, requiring the use of the Airforce (to bomb Islamic State, ISIS positions in Iraq) and Drone attacks on terrorist havens in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia amongst others, while America’s allies in Europe have also been involved in targeting similar situations in Mali, as well as with the enforcement of a NO FLY ZONE over Libya in conjunction with the British, which snowballed into the toppling of the Libyan strongman, Muammar Ghaddafi from power.
After America’s 9/11, there was the British 7/7, and even Spain was hit (hard enough to bring about a redirection of political path), then smaller attacks worldwide by groups distantly related to Al-Qaeda, or just attempting to gain attention of terrorist organizations by staging their mini terror attacks like the one by the TSARNAEV brothers
at the Boston Marathon, to the House of Parliament in Canada most recently, even a Nigerian (UNDERWEAR BOMBER Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, son to one of Nigeria’s rich bankers and chairman of Nigeria’s first Islamic Bank)
attempted to detonate a bomb strapped to his underwear in a plane bound for Detroit from Holland (where he connected a flight from Nigeria), after having been indoctrinated in the United Kingdom and receiving further training in Yemen, at a time BOKO HARAM hadn’t gained the kind of notoriety it currently has, and suicide bombing (even suicide) was a totally unheard of phenomenon in Nigeria.
While all these simmered, the Islamic State, was silently growing it’s numbers amongst disgruntled Iraqis, while helping (before the falling out) moderate groups in Syria to fight the government, in one of the unfavourable outcomes of the ARAB SPRING, to become the new face of terror, outshining Al-Qaeda and other groups while at it, enough to cause the other groups to swear allegiance (as Boko Haram did in Nigeria, AL-SHABAB in Somalia, ANSAR-DEEN in Mali, and the groups in Libya, Algeria, Tunisia amongst others) to it, while other terrorist groups now existing on borrowed time like Al-Qaeda even elected to not only criticize ISIS’ activities (especially of killing Muslims) but condemn them, without any noticeable effect on the rising number of young recruits to the group, especially of Muslims minority youths in the west, where “freedoms” (of speech and assembly inclusive) have created a haven for radical preachers to proliferate and indoctrinate youths that have given up on society.
Frequent terror attacks by the various groups meant that almost all aspects of life will have to be modified to accommodate security concerns, and the most affected of all being the AVIATION INDUSTRY as it was never going to be business as usual. Nothing was considered innocent to fly with, not even colourless and odourless liquids. Cabin crew would be shut out from passengers regardless of the situation on the other side, a loophole the suicidal German pilot of a low budget airline recently exploited to kill passengers when he intentionally locked himself up in the cockpit and plunged the plane he had control of (after his co-pilot left to take a leak) into the Alps. Even the financial sector wasn’t spared as eagle eyed operatives of the major powers perused through international monetary transfers to sniff up and block funds aimed at funding acts of terror and terrorist groups worldwide, of which many innocent transfers fell victims, sometimes even diaspora funding from the west to less developed parts of the world by citizens of the latter who had emigrated to the former and were living the dream with no intention to forsake their own. International trade was also affected as many countries from where western nations invested became NO GO AREAS, with SAFETY AND TRAVEL ADVISORIES given by western foreign embassies warning their citizens in the terror-bedevilled lands to steer clear of such places, because of how locations especially those frequented by foreigners easily become soft targets for terrorists. Tourism wasn’t left behind in the milieu with the activities of terrorists leaving countries like Tunisia and Kenya reeling financially in the wake of terrorist attacks or impending attacks by reason of a release of a Travel Advisory. Human Rights that used to be taken for granted even in western countries have become threatened in recent times, and taps made on just about anybody’s phones and telecommunications gadgets to eavesdrop on potential terrorist conversation, by edgy spy agencies the world over with governments justifying such policies as being in the overall interest of the populace, to name just a few.
This time, after 9/11 will go down in history as a very perilous one, one in which WAR and how it is waged has received new meanings, with world powers finding themselves vulnerable to attacks by a well coordinated but hidden army operating from within their cities and not without. An enemy that strikes indiscriminately, refusing to follow any written or unwritten “law of war”, rather dictating the pace most times, and easily adapting and defying all efforts and new tactics developed to rout it from relevance, neither leaving any room for negotiation but rather a warning to the world that there’ll be no peace until their will or way is made preeminent. Knowing how the majority of those opposed to that “way” will react (in defiantly refusing to “negotiate” with adamant and unwilling “terrorist/s), it is clear that a situation in which the prospect for PEACE will remain only but a fleeting illusion, has come to stay with us for a (looooooooong) while.