United We (Must) Stand

I am Italian, writing on an Israeli website on events that took place in the United States, 11 years ago. I do so even if during that September day I wasn’t in America. I am writing this because I firmly believe that it is our duty to take the unbearable sight of a wounded New York landscape on that faithful morning on September 11th 2001 and keep it in our memory as a personal and historical landmark.

As “nineeleven” is becoming an integral part of our vocabulary. It is increasingly being lost behind the shadows of normality, while everyday routines tend to make of this anniversary something that is almost part of our regular banalities. For those who haven’t experienced it fully, it is almost as if nothing really changed between the 10th and the 12th of September 2001. In the meantime conspiracy theories, marginal matters and exaggerated relativism cloud the memory of those who lost everything on that day. The wars that followed and the scars our generation will keep in itself tend to downplay the way we commemorate the day that changed our History. Not only to be seen as an attack on the US soil, September 11th 2011 has truly been the vivid personification of Nasrallah notorious quote: “they love life and we love death”. In the minds of our killers, this they/we distinction is clear and leaves no room for debate.

European societies are being crippled to the bone by an identity crisis which is fueled by insecurities resulting from repeated financial downturns, the United States prove to be in a situation of great divide as two conception of the nature of the American society are battling for the Presidential election and Israel is torn between growing winds of war and domestic uncertainties. As President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu are giving the impression of increased divergences between the two old time partners, the terrorist attacks of 11 years ago must remind us of a candid truth: regardless of our internal divisions, our enemies view us as a single block worth being fought and destroyed.

From the hollow grounds of downtown NY to the burning rails of Madrid, from a random pizza place in Jerusalem to a bloodied dance floor in Bali, from horror beaten subway stations in London to emptied schools in Sderot, Ashkelon, Beersheva and Netivot, from an airport in Bulgaria to caves in Fallujah and Peshawar, international Jihadist have proven in the last 11 years that their goal is persistent, ruthless and based on the random mass killings of innocent civilians.

We may be Jewish, Christian, Muslim or atheist; we may be rightists, leftists, or apolitical; we may support Israel or oppose its policies; our characteristics do not matter in the eyes of those plotting to kill us. A rocket and a suicide bomber are deliberately the blindest weapon of all. Our freedoms, our resilience and the simple fact that we “are”, are the chilling justifications for the terrorist ongoing campaign of horror and murders.

As a great part of the world has been united 11 years ago in condemning the massacre of 2996 innocent souls, we must today unequivocally honor their memory by openly attacking all acts of terrorism that leave behind mourning families.

“Nineeleven” should for us and for those who haven’t witnessed it be the day in which we stand with one united voice and denounce the murderous fantasies filling the mind of terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, Al Shabab, Al Qaeda and its various offshoots along with Iran and all states supporting or encouraging terrorism.

September 11 should also be the day during which Arab and Muslim populations worldwide recognize openly that the blind hate unleashed by suicidal jihadism does in no way benefit their interests and only brings further death and suffering to already war beaten regions.

These terrorist organizations claim to be fighting for the liberation of Muslim land and that their attacks are made to redeem an imagined nation. Some, while living in the United States, Europe or Israel do sympathize with these “ideals”, showing a great deal of ignorance as a silent suicide bomber, a hidden suitcase or a random rocket doesn’t in anyway make any distinction between individuals, to the eyes of the suicidal pilots which stroke on 9/11, everyone in sight was an enemy. The security of Europe, the US and Israel is in this sense interlinked and resides in part on a clear and unanimous denunciation, without any “but” and without any “if” of all attempts by Jihadi terrorists to endanger our way of life.

In societies where values and principles are increasingly scrutinized under the prism of intellectual relativism, we need to take a break from our daily preoccupations and partisan infightings to consider September 11 for what it is: the day during which we must stand united.

About the Author
Riccardo Dugulin is an independant international affairs analyst. He holds a Master in International Security from the Paris School of International Affairs (Sciences Po) and has worked in leading think tanks in Washington DC, Beirut and Dubai and has held the position of security coordinator for a security assistance firm.