11 years ago, this century’s defining moments and images were captured on the island of Manhattan.
The fall of the world trade center twin towers was an enormous tragedy and has since become a symbol of the challenges humanity faces in the 21st century.
Religion and freedom, international relationships and globalism, finance and poverty, everyone can look at these images and use them to further his own views on the big issues.
Unfortunately, the events of 911 have also proved to be a fertile breeding ground for conspiracy theorists.
Combined with the internet boom at the start of the 21st century, these sometimes harmless, but often malicious elements have made these tragic events their focal point.
Unlike the Pentagon attack and United Airlines 93 (also known as the rockets and the puppets), the WTC attacks provided a different challenge for the conspiracy theorists.
The attacks happened in broad daylight in a heavily populated area of the world’s most famous city and as a result there are several very clear videos and tens of thousands of witnesses to the events that took place.
You might be able to convince your uncle Zeke that what looks like a Boeing 767 was actually a mutated Norwegian stork and that the jumpers came from Jim Henson’s creature shop, but most people aren’t your uncle Zeke and I’m not just referring to the “hogs and kisses” thing.
For 11 years the conspiracy theorists main argument has been this:
The towers of the world trade center could not and did not collapse due to the impact from the airliners.
On every website and in every video you will hear again and again the claims that the planes and the resulting fires they caused were not enough to weaken the structure and cause it to collapse.
The temperatures were not high enough to cause the steel to melt, people reported what sounded like explosions, there is evidence of Thermite and Sulfur in the wreckage are the most often cited claims.
There have been thousands of articles, claims and discussions on this subject by hardcore conspiracy theorists and no less hardcore debunkers.
Millions of words have been spoken or written on the subject and guess what?
It makes absolutely no difference whether the towers fall or not.
Here is president Bush’s speech after the terror attack.
Now here is his speech assuming the towers did not collapse as written by your truly.
“Good evening my fellow Americans.
Today there has been a major terror attack on US soil.
A group of terrorists hijacked two commercial airliners and piloted them into the buildings of the world trade center.
All 147 passengers on board the planes were killed immediately.
Hundreds of people who were in their offices were instantly killed by the impact and hundreds more were burned alive in the following hours.
In addition about two hundred people jumped to their death from the office windows to escape the heat and smoke inside.
But my fellow Americans.
The towers are still standing!
Sure this terror attack cost us the lives of over one thousand civilians.
Sure the damages to the buildings and the neighborhood run in the billions of dollars and the global economy has been severely hit.
But that’s no reason to get upset!
I have already spoken with the perpetrator of this act, a well educated gentleman by the name of Osama bin Laden.
He sounds like a reasonable guy and I have already invited him up to my farm to shoot the breeze and explain his actions.
It turns out his family and my family have business ties, well gee, small world isn’t it?
I have absolutely no quarrels with the Taliban government for assisting this man and have no intentions of toppling them from power.
I guess we got lucky today.
Why, just last week i was talking to my dad.
You know the dude. tall and skinny, keeps saying “this will not stand”, that’s him.
Anyway, we were talking about this terror thing and I told him what really pisses me off are collapsing buildings.
I don’t care how many Americans you choke fry and smash, but knock our buildings down and you’re in trouble Mister.
It’s a good thing those planes left the buildings standing.
still smoking for a week or two, but standing proud.
If they had knocked them down and killed a few hundred more people I would have gone all crusader on their butts.
Invaded their countries, hanged their leaders, robbed their oil and tried to get them to be democratic, you name it and I would have done it.
Fortunately there will be no need for that as this attack was clearly not a declaration of war on the American people.
Instead this was our fanatic Muslim friends reaching out to us in an awkward but sincere way.
Good night and god bless America and it’s structurally sound towers.”
Pretty absurd stuff, but just as absurd are the demolition theories.
It was the unprecedented terror attack on American soil and one of the symbols of American power that prompted the military response.
The backlash would have been identical if the number of casualties was lower by a thousand and if the buildings had remained standing.
In order for a demolition conspiracy to make sense, one of two things had to be true.
1 The perpetrators knew there was something they could achieve with the demolition of the towers that they could not achieve with just the smashing of the planes.
2 The demolition was supposed to cover-up the traces of the Airliners’ impact which was also not kosher.
The first notion is absurd.
Although the videos of the towers falling down are an indelible image, there were plenty of memorable images preceding it.
The fires raging in the building and the people jumping from the windows are powerful enough to have the same effect on the public’s psyche.
If the buildings hadn’t collapsed, the fires would have raged for hours or days more creating more powerful pictures of a blackened skyline.
The number of casualties would have been lower by approximately a thousand, but it would still be the biggest foreign terror attack in America by several orders of magnitude.
Why go through all the trouble of secretly smuggling and placing tons and tons of explosives in the towers and run the risk of being found out by smart guys like the theorists just to gild the lilly.
Unless, as my Bush speech indicates, the people behind the attacks had the silly notion that only falling towers would trigger the appropriate response from the American public and its government due to some “falling building fetish”, they would have to be totally irrational to blow up the building with explosives after the attacks.
The second notion is beyond absurd.
Compared with the hijacking and ramming of airliners into buildings, the logistics of wiring up populated office buildings with a huge amount of explosives are a monumental task.
Hijacking a couple of planes with box cutters takes a few bad men and a couple of minutes.
Placing tons of explosives in office buildings humming with hundreds of delivery and maintenance men is a task that if at all feasible would require thousands of man-hours and an incredible amount of luck over a period of weeks or months.
This isn’t Prisoners of war tunneling under the camp, it’s prisoners of war building a glitzy casino down there.
Covering up a hijacking of two planes with the detonation of two skyscrapers is like running over your neighbor’s dog and then assassinating every dog in town to distract attention.
Even more baffling.
Why, if you already have the buildings rigged with explosives, do you need the airlines crashing?
By simply blowing up the building whenever they felt like it, these shadow men could have killed tens of thousands of people and brought the WTC down without sacrificing men and/or resources on the whole airliners thing.
Flying lessons aren’t cheap you know.
Could it be that they just didn’t want to kill so many people and the crashing of the planes was actually meant to save people by evacuating them from the buildings before the real show started?
I hope you get the point I was trying to get across.
If not, maybe uncle Zeke can explain it to you.