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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 24 April, 2014

9/11: What the rest of the world is saying

As commemorative services take place across the US, we take a look at the rest of the world’s take on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America.

Image: PA Wire/PA Archive

“FOR MOST AFGHANS the 10th anniversary of September 11 will pass without fanfare,” Ben Doherty writes in the Sydney Morning Herald from Kabul.

“For the man in the street, it will be just another dangerous day, like any other.”

From Russia’s claim that one of the legacy’s of 9/11 is an “out of control” drug problem to China’s plea for a “common standard” to fight terrorism, we take a look at what the rest of the world is saying on the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York.

-United Arab Emirates

In the Khaleej Times in Dubai, Yasser Khalil writes that the 9/11 terrorists failed to accomplish their goal of inciting all-out hatred between Muslims and the West.

Looking at all the events that have taken place over the past decade, it is clear that though terrorists may have succeeded in committing a crime, they failed to achieve their goal

As such, on this 10th anniversary, the most fitting legacy would be to reach out to our neighbours and to those who are different from us.

-Saudi Arabia

An editorial piece in the Arab News, a Saudi Arabia-based daily, discusses America’s reaction to the attacks and how one of the repercussions was the polarisation of the world into “good guys” and bad guys” – those who were “with America” and those who were not.

The world was told there would be a war and that “You’re either with us or against us.” Needless to say, most of the world has been suborned or bullied into the former.

Khaled Almaeena claims that as the US fought wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Washington did not realise that its foreign policies were a factor in generating the violence it was now working to combat.

The US reaction was completely unrestrained, more impetuous and foolhardy than the act that provoked it. America reacted as a bigger Israel and ran amok. Nearly 3,000 people died on 9/11; in the first few years of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan there was a 9/11 almost every month.

However, balancing his piece somewhat, the editor of the newspaper said Muslims need to think what have some of their coreligionists brought to the name of Islam by their actions.

-UAE

Kamal Kobeissi pays tribute to the “forgotten Arab victims” of 9/11 in the Dubai-based Al Arabiya News.

He says the stories of Arab and Muslim victims remain largely under-reported.

It is not clear why they have been neglected. Perhaps it is because there were few of them, and because marginalisation has always been their destiny.

Kobeissi documents the names, ages and occupations of those victims here.

-China

Double standards are obstructing global anti-terror efforts, Yan Qingchuan and Zhi Linfei write in Xinhua, the State-controlled news agency of China.

The authors say the US and its western allies have repeatedly used such double standards on anti-terror issues and this has obstructed the progress of the global effort.

After 9/11, Washington launched the so-called “war against terror” in Afghanistan and Iraq, resulting in the killing of thousands of innocent civilians and displacement of millions more. Fighting and eradicating terrorism, extremism and separatism should be an international responsibility and, therefore, shared by every country, rather than the sole responsibility of the United States. Thus, there is an urgent need to create a common standard for fighting terrorism around the world today.

-Russia

Alexander Golts writes in The Moscow Times that 9/11 was an opportunity for the Kremlin to “boost ties with the West” – one it did not take.

Golts documents how then-President Vladimir Putin was the first world leader to express his condolences, despite advice from some of his inner circle to ignore the events in Washington and New York.

He also highlights various events that seemed to signal improved ties but concedes that these were short-lived.

In the end, Russia lost a chance to become a true partner of the United States after 9/11, he says, concluding:

Although Sept. 11 offered a chance to build a short-term U.S.-Russian alliance, a long-term alliance would have required that the two countries share common democratic values. Thus, as long as Putin remains in power, any alliance with the West will be temporary at best.

In a separate editorial in the same newspaper, there are claims that Russia’s growing drug problem is a legacy of the 9/11 attacks.

The heroin problem has “spun out of control” as opium production increased significantly in Afghanistan since the war began, claims the editorial.

Opium production has increased 40 times since U.S.-led forces invaded Afghanistan in October 2001, a large percentage of which ends up in Russia, Federal Drug Control Service head Viktor Ivanov said. This has helped bring the number of Russia’s drug addicts to 2 million, causing 30,000 deaths a year.

Moderate Russian officials say the Americans are ignoring the narcotics problem in Afghanistan because they don’t want to lose the loyalty of their anti-Taliban allies. More conservative politicians and commentators claim that it is part of a U.S. conspiracy to weaken Russia by creating millions of drugged-out “zombies” in the crucial 18 to 30 age group.

The article says that the US attitude toward the narcotics flow into Russia “must change”.

-Twitter

Meanwhile, on Twitter, the USA and United 93 are trending in Ireland.

Tweeters around the world are also taking the opportunity to post their support for other countries struggling in difficult times.

Variations of the tweet are being sent across the social media site, signed off with various countries, including Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia.

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