A Decade After 911

10 years ago, I remembered I was still a 9 year old kid. I sat in front of the television with my family and watched the heart-breaking scene when families of innocent victims mourned and grieved for the sudden death of their beloved ones. It was September 11. It was the day that changed the world history. 911 has been a significant day, not only in New York City but the entire world went through the darkest moment that day.

And so, US President Bush sent out army to attack Afghanistan. Great Britain, Canada, Australia and other strong nations joined forces.

10 years later, when we sit down and reflect, what have we really achieved after all?

  • Leader of al-Qaeda Osama bin Laden has been captured and shot. However, does that mean al-Qaeda will not appoint a new leader? The prime target has died. But has the war in Afghanistan ceased?
  • A decade of hatred and racism erupted between Christians and Muslims. That is equivalent to taking steps backwards from the point of view of equality.
  • Many innocent civilians died in New York City as the Twin Tower crashed into ashes. And at the same time, many innocent civilians died during the 10 years war in Afghanistan too.
  • Global economy slumped. The 2008 economy crisis has been described the worst in human’s history. President Bush who declared war had left the entire global in crisis as he happily enjoyed his retirement.
  • Is it still necessary to fight? Many world leaders claimed that revenge should be taken on behalf of the innocent civilians. However, the dead cannot be risen upon death even revenge has been taken. Wars cannot heal the wound of the sufferings but widen the gap between the United States of America and Afghanistan.
  • What do we fight for? Soldiers are sent to Afghanistan to fight. But what are we fighting for?  Afghanistan civilians live through their darkest moment everyday. Family of soldiers sleep uneasily every night, worrying their loved ones may not come home in one piece.
  • Days of fear and nights of worries continue. Since 911 has erupted, there has never been a good day for anyone. The family of the dead, innocent civilians in Afghanistan, soldiers fighting valorously in Afghanistan and the loved ones praying at home every night
  • Higher expenses for the countries. Nations such as Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand who continuously send soldiers over to Afghanistan have to increase the budget. Is it really necessarily for us to spend more money on wars when there are more important issues in our own country and in the world.
  • Can this battle really end terrorism? Propaganda that this battle must be won to end terrorism in Afghanistan, Afghanistan should not be a safe haven for terrorism have been used widely by politicians. However, do we really need to invest our national assets, tread our soldiers’ life in this context? Can we really end terrorism at the end of the day?
  • The Chinese saying, “If everyone gives in and tolerate, the world would be a better place.” (Translate: 退一步,海阔天空). If we have not been too headstrong as starters and believe fundamentally in this Chinese saying, today, we may have achieved even better things

A decade has elapsed after the 911 incident. What do you think we have really achieved? In the next decade, we will still commemorate the death of innocent lives in NYC and Afghanistan. However, will war be still the only solution to end terrorism or a more diplomatic approach should be used?

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