Homework Help

What has America learned from the attacks of 9/11?As we remember the terrible events of...

user profile pic

pootle | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted September 11, 2011 at 5:53 AM via web

dislike 5 like
What has America learned from the attacks of 9/11?

As we remember the terrible events of 9/11, it should make us stop and think about causes and outcomes. Why was America attacked that day? Did we do anything to encourage such hatred or were we innocent? What did/does Al-queda want? Why were we attacked? How have we changed?

What have we learned from 9/11?

34 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 11, 2011 at 6:28 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

What have we learned?  That's a tough question for many reasons.   First you'd have to define who "we" are.  Different Americans have learned different things.  Liberals have learned that we have to try harder to make Muslim countries not see us as the enemy.  Conservatives have learned that we need to be more aggressive militarily to disrupt potential terrorists and deny them safe havens.

Second, "learning" implies that you have found out the correct answers about things.  The problem is, we don't know for sure if either of these things that people have "learned" is the right approach?

So, to me, this is impossible to answer because there are several groups of "us" and because we have no way of measuring whether we've "learned" true lessons.

user profile pic

beefheart | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted September 11, 2011 at 6:30 AM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like

It is a very good question, "what have we learned from 9/11? Sadly, I don't think America has tried to look at this situation in an honest and adult way. I think we merely retreated into simplistic rhetoric and emotional aggression.

But this was not simply an undeserved attack on 'freedom' by evil people. Yes, the attackers were drunk on hard-core religion and believed they were going to get their 72 virgins in the garden of paradise; they were young and woefully idealistic. But their mentors were not so naive and they had reasons for these attacks. Have we tried to find out what those reasons are? I don't think so.

In 200 years, when they teach this subject in history classes (and they WILL teach 9/11 in history classes for centuries to come), I suspect they will associate these attacks with America's hard-line, non-negotiable foreign policy regarding the Israel/Arab conflict and our casual support for brutal Muslim dictatorships.

But, I wonder what other people think. Why was America attacked on 9/11? We haven't forced ourselves to look at this question often enough, I think. If we refuse to learn from history, we will be forced to repeat it. So what can we learn from 9/11?

user profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 11, 2011 at 6:33 AM (Answer #4)

dislike 0 like

For one thing, some of us American citizens have learned that we have sacrificed some of our First Amendment Rights in order to be "safer."  The Patriot Act, by the way, did not pass under its first name before 9/11, but afterwords, the knee-jerking Americas went for it.

So, now the FBI can investigate whomever they consider "suspicious" just because....They can monitor public libraries computers, etc. etc.

user profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 11, 2011 at 7:39 AM (Answer #5)

dislike 0 like

Thorough background checks are now a routine of many business transactions, from insurance sales to rental housing. More identification is required to renew drivers' licenses and for job applications. International travel is scrutinized much more carefully, though travelers from known terrorist countries are allowed to move freely through the states. It almost seems that the government is more worried about threats from within than from without--a highly questionable proposition, I believe.

user profile pic

wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted September 12, 2011 at 2:55 AM (Answer #6)

dislike 0 like

One of the main lessons I think we, as Americans, learned on 9-11 is that we are vulnerable.  We tended to think of our country as secure and immune to attacks that plague other countries.  All in all, there have been very few attacks on American soil.  This made us overly confident and almost cocky.  In a way, our country was a lot like a teenager.  We were (and still are) a young nation by comparison.  I think 9-11 taught us some very valuable lessons about reality.  While we cannot and will not live in fear, we should not be complacent or overly confident either.

user profile pic

pacorz | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted September 12, 2011 at 4:01 AM (Answer #7)

dislike 0 like

I absolutely agree with #6, but I don't think Americans were "almost" cocky - I think we were utterly cocky and completely self-indulgent as a nation. Unfortunately I don't think we really learned much from 9-11; for a while there was a lot of paranoia, but I believe the average American has, in spite of some additional inconveniences in things like air travel, gone back to pretty much the mindset we had 10 years ago. We think we're right, those with non-Christian beliefs are both wrong and immoral, and nothing else is going to happen. We're still the world's bully. and we're still swaggering.

Unfortunately I think our politicians did learn an important lesson, and that's the immense power of having a common enemy. If those in power can keep the electorate focused on an external enemy, then they can get away with all kinds of domestic mayhem...and over the past decade, they have.

user profile pic

lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted September 12, 2011 at 6:38 AM (Answer #8)

dislike 0 like

9/11 made Americans realize that while we may be one of the post powerful nations in the world with a vast influence around the globe, we are not beloved around the world.  As Americans, we know that our country does good things for the people on every continent of this globe, but not everyone on the globe appreciates those efforts or applauds those missions.  From out ethno-centric perspective, our good outweighs our bad, but not everyone agrees.

user profile pic

belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 26, 2011 at 2:23 AM (Answer #9)

dislike 0 like

We learned that we cannot protect ourselves from an enemy that will kill itself to see us burn.

We learned that we must recognize evil where it exists and take steps to protect ourselves when we can.

We learned that there is no objective standard for Patriotism.

We learned that determination means success, even in plans of villainy.

We learned that we will stand together, even if briefly.

We learned that we wilfully refuse to take steps until pushed into action.

We learned that some of us will walk into fire to save others.

We learned that sacrifice means sacrifice, not feel-good superficiality.

user profile pic

litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 26, 2011 at 5:23 AM (Answer #10)

dislike 0 like

I think that Americans were shaken that day.  Until then, we felt that the large oceans surrounding us made us invincible.  We were much more trusting.  Now we are more paranoid, but we are also less naive.  In some ways we went overboard, and have now backed off.  We are becoming more complacent.

user profile pic

Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:53 AM (Answer #11)

dislike 0 like

One of the things we learned, as in discovered, is that our government was totally ineffective in protecting the country. The investigation following the events of 9/11 showed that

  • government agencies were not sharing information in the common cause of national defense
  • the CIA had not developed the contacts necessary to gather on-the-ground, human intelligence
  • numerous warnings of an impending attack had been ignored
  • there was a failure in imagining and preparing for the type of attack that was carried out
  • airport security was lax
  • communications in air traffic control were disorganized and confusing

The 9/11 attacks were a shocking, tragic wake-up call for the country and for those in positions of responsibility for protecting it.

user profile pic

valie77 | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted October 15, 2011 at 7:38 PM (Answer #12)

dislike 0 like

i don't know but don't you think that the people who jumped from the building (knowing they would never make it to the ground) were sooooo brave?

 

user profile pic

sirinee | eNoter

Posted October 18, 2011 at 1:01 AM (Answer #13)

dislike 0 like

Unfortunately , you Americans still do believe that Arabs , Muslims , el Qaeda were responsible for the 9-11's attack.
haven't you even questioned why around 3000 christian workers were " off work" that particular day!!? and why the plane that crushed the building was yellow on BBC channel , while black on Al Jazeera !!?
an other unfortunate thing , is that we_ Arabs tend to believe that you take us for terrorist , while your own movies , your own media represent us.
you only see what you want to see , or basically what you are wanted to see.
through Hollywood movies , Westerns are saviors ,  heroes , brave while arabs are vulgar , violent and terrorist.
If we are terrorist , thanhow Iraqis and Palestine take  the US and Israel for?

 

So let us not scape-goat each other . Peace

from :
An Arab Tunisian Muslim Teenager

user profile pic

sirinee | eNoter

Posted October 18, 2011 at 1:07 AM (Answer #14)

dislike 0 like

Pardon me for the spelling or word choice mistakes i made , after all English is but an FL for me, and i'm only a student :)

user profile pic

sirinee | eNoter

Posted October 18, 2011 at 1:15 AM (Answer #15)

dislike 0 like

It is a very good question, "what have we learned from 9/11? Sadly, I don't think America has tried to look at this situation in an honest and adult way. I think we merely retreated into simplistic rhetoric and emotional aggression.

But this was not simply an undeserved attack on 'freedom' by evil people. Yes, the attackers were drunk on hard-core religion and believed they were going to get their 72 virgins in the garden of paradise; they were young and woefully idealistic. But their mentors were not so naive and they had reasons for these attacks. Have we tried to find out what those reasons are? I don't think so.

In 200 years, when they teach this subject in history classes (and they WILL teach 9/11 in history classes for centuries to come), I suspect they will associate these attacks with America's hard-line, non-negotiable foreign policy regarding the Israel/Arab conflict and our casual support for brutal Muslim dictatorships.

But, I wonder what other people think. Why was America attacked on 9/11? We haven't forced ourselves to look at this question often enough, I think. If we refuse to learn from history, we will be forced to repeat it. So what can we learn from 9/11?

Let us abandon those tendencies to mock different religions , for we are all equal. Jesus has never taught you such a moral , neither has our prophet Muhamad (P.B.U.H)
And they won't teach the 9-11 in history , but rather The Palestinian issue.

user profile pic

frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted October 21, 2011 at 3:24 AM (Answer #16)

dislike 0 like

Unfortunately , you Americans still do believe that Arabs , Muslims , el Qaeda were responsible for the 9-11's attack.
haven't you even questioned why around 3000 christian workers were " off work" that particular day!!? and why the plane that crushed the building was yellow on BBC channel , while black on Al Jazeera !!?
an other unfortunate thing , is that we_ Arabs tend to believe that you take us for terrorist , while your own movies , your own media represent us.
you only see what you want to see , or basically what you are wanted to see.
through Hollywood movies , Westerns are saviors ,  heroes , brave while arabs are vulgar , violent and terrorist.
If we are terrorist , thanhow Iraqis and Palestine take  the US and Israel for?

 

So let us not scape-goat each other . Peace

from :
An Arab Tunisian Muslim Teenager

 Well, at least it is reassuring to see that crazy conspiracy theories are not exclusively a western thing. Sirinee, 9/11 was a muslim terrorist attack. You may not like that, but it is a fact.

It is also a fact that America's reaction to 9/11 has been trivial and blinkered. Proof of this was that the invasion of Iraq was 'justified' by the Bush administration using 9/11. Yet nobody seemed to really care or be surprised when, 5 years later, Dick Cheney openly admitted that there never was a connection between Saddam and Al-Qeada. This outrageous confession barely caused a ripple.

Half a million people dead and we didn't give a hoot that it was all for a Washington lie. America's attitude to foreign affairs is tragically casual. And even 9/11 failed to change that.

user profile pic

frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted October 21, 2011 at 4:40 AM (Answer #17)

dislike 0 like

On a lighter note, but emphasising the idea that America is not concerned about foreign affairs, there is a joke that you often hear in Europe. It goes like this...

"Do you want to see a magic trick? Open an American newspaper and watch your country disappear."

Many a true word is spoken in jest.

user profile pic

c--------- | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted October 21, 2011 at 6:00 AM (Answer #18)

dislike 0 like

i think America has learned nothing by the 9/11 attacks. they are stick with their persistent foriegn policies towards middle east policies regarding dispute of israeel and phalistine.

 

user profile pic

sirinee | eNoter

Posted October 24, 2011 at 10:33 PM (Answer #20)

dislike 0 like

Unfortunately , you Americans still do believe that Arabs , Muslims , el Qaeda were responsible for the 9-11's attack.
haven't you even questioned why around 3000 christian workers were " off work" that particular day!!? and why the plane that crushed the building was yellow on BBC channel , while black on Al Jazeera !!?
an other unfortunate thing , is that we_ Arabs tend to believe that you take us for terrorist , while your own movies , your own media represent us.
you only see what you want to see , or basically what you are wanted to see.
through Hollywood movies , Westerns are saviors ,  heroes , brave while arabs are vulgar , violent and terrorist.
If we are terrorist , thanhow Iraqis and Palestine take  the US and Israel for?

 

So let us not scape-goat each other . Peace

from :
An Arab Tunisian Muslim Teenager

 Well, at least it is reassuring to see that crazy conspiracy theories are not exclusively a western thing. Sirinee, 9/11 was a muslim terrorist attack. You may not like that, but it is a fact.

It is also a fact that America's reaction to 9/11 has been trivial and blinkered. Proof of this was that the invasion of Iraq was 'justified' by the Bush administration using 9/11. Yet nobody seemed to really care or be surprised when, 5 years later, Dick Cheney openly admitted that there never was a connection between Saddam and Al-Qeada. This outrageous confession barely caused a ripple.

Half a million people dead and we didn't give a hoot that it was all for a Washington lie. America's attitude to foreign affairs is tragically casual. And even 9/11 failed to change that.

If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts.
It's not a fact dear frizzperm

user profile pic

sirinee | eNoter

Posted October 24, 2011 at 10:36 PM (Answer #21)

dislike 0 like

Besides, it is easier to believe a lie that one has heard a thousand times than to believe a fact that no one has heard before.

user profile pic

sirinee | eNoter

Posted October 24, 2011 at 10:37 PM (Answer #22)

dislike 0 like

"There are no facts, only interpretations." ;)

user profile pic

frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted October 25, 2011 at 2:17 AM (Answer #23)

dislike 0 like

There are plenty of facts...

On 9/11/2001 19 members of Al Qeada, an Islamic terrorist group, hijacked 4 civil aircraft and attempted to crash them into planned targets in New York and Washington. They murdered 3000 people.

Now, be very, very careful because I will simply not tolerate sloppy claims or fuzzy statements on this topic. You are talking about an extremely sensitive subject and you are a Muslim, on an American website, who is claiming that the attacks of 9/11 were some sort of non-Muslim conspiracy. You are on very thin ice. So please maintain a suitable respect.

You said in post number 13...

haven't you even questioned why around 3000 christian workers were " off work" that particular day!!? - sirinee

So... there is your claim. Apparently I believe often-told lies about 9/11 and somehow you know that 3000 Christians didn't go to work on 9/11. One simple question... which 3000 Christians are you refering to? I want links to credible sources (NOT internet conspiracy sites) names, interviews, police reports, etc. You are making a massively easy-to-prove claim, because if 3000 people knew that 9/11 was going to happen, then there will be plenty of first-person testimony. Find some please.

 

user profile pic

sirinee | eNoter

Posted October 25, 2011 at 4:18 AM (Answer #24)

dislike 0 like

Ok ! i got it , i know I am a sort of an intruder here :) thanks for reminding! see you are one among others who has a particular stance ; on the other hand, I have an other belief_ which is I tend to believe NORMAL
So , let it go , i was answering post nb : 3 in which its writer offended my religion the same way u defended your coutry or  whatever..

you are being so very defensive as if i attacked you personally.
you should be tolerant indeed ,  and try not to stick to one thing. try to dig beneath what is shown on the surface , again , what you are wanted to see . After all , US goverment has done great damages all over the world , so far. let's deal with this fact.

user profile pic

sirinee | eNoter

Posted October 25, 2011 at 4:25 AM (Answer #25)

dislike 0 like

give me links that prove that al Qeada was responsible !!! a photo maybe , a testamant..
give me links that show me that an islamic terrorist group hijacked 4 civil aircraft , because i can only hear and not see .
only theories , absract notions , accusations.

user profile pic

frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted October 25, 2011 at 6:03 AM (Answer #26)

dislike 0 like

That is a very poor answer. You made an assertive public claim that 3000 Christians did not go to work on 9/11 because they knew the attacks were going to happen (post13). When I asked you to provide evidence, you just said that the America government does bad things generally (an insultingly sloppy and fuzzy non-answer) and then you suggested I ought to prove it was Al Qeada instead.

No, Sirinee! You have made a public claim that 9/11 was a conspiracy and the West blamed the Muslims for 9/11 because we are biased against Islam. Now either retract that outrageous statement or defend it. I will not drift and flap about from one subject to another.

''3000 Christians had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks.'' That's your claim, do you admit you can't actually prove it?

user profile pic

chicagogirl | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted October 29, 2011 at 5:52 AM (Answer #28)

dislike 0 like

I think 9/11 reignited religious passion around the world and we, the Americans, have learned that religion can be strident. Bin Laden wanted to motivate muslims to Jihad by attacking the decadent and secular West, but ironically, his attacks also poured petrol on the fire of American Christian fundamentalism.

I think some Americans learned from 9/11 that religion can be aggressive, intolerant, forthright and dominant. And I think they have been attracted to that message.

user profile pic

dancer7 | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted October 29, 2011 at 6:23 AM (Answer #29)

dislike 0 like

The attack on the WTC was the result of complex geo-political factors. The reasons for the attack are not simple. But George Bush summarised a simplistic explanation when he described it as, "an attack on freedom." This is not a true expalnatio, but America grabbed at it as a 'get-out-of-jail-free' excuse and totally rejected the moral responsibility to investigate WHY Muslims are so angry at America.

We have not tried to see our enemy's point of view, we have no idea why they attacked us. And so we invite them to attack us again.

user profile pic

frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted October 29, 2011 at 8:02 AM (Answer #30)

dislike 0 like

I think 9/11 reignited religious passion around the world and we, the Americans, have learned that religion can be strident. Bin Laden wanted to motivate muslims to Jihad by attacking the decadent and secular West, but ironically, his attacks also poured petrol on the fire of American Christian fundamentalism.

I think some Americans learned from 9/11 that religion can be aggressive, intolerant, forthright and dominant. And I think they have been attracted to that message.

 @Chicagogirl... while I agree that 9/11 encouraged all religions to 'toughen up', it also empowered another group... the atheists. We're on the march and we are a new movement.

9/11 galvanised atheists to action. 9/11 was a bolt from the blue; modern western society was not expecting a return to fundamentalist doctrine in the 21st century. We thought religion was a fading system. When Bin Laden put a torch to fundamentalism, he also energised the atheist free-thinkers. We will not allow the world to return to middle-age brutality without a major fight. And we are the people with the most-advanced skill set.

9/11 spurred atheists to assail religion's faults. 9/11 removed the excuse for 'respect'. 9/11 exposed the results of religious indoctrination. 9/11 was the start of the atheist assault on religious values. And, boy, are we winning! Religion crumbles when it is opposed by non-deferential reason and evidence.

Just as you could argue that Hitler was the prime mover for the creation of Israel, so, in the future, you may be able to argue that Bin Laden was the prime mover for the creation of post-modern atheist America.

It's a funny old world.

user profile pic

panayotovv | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 1, 2011 at 12:04 AM (Answer #32)

dislike 0 like

You all "patriots" say America is this... America is that... Americans are the "people with the most - advanced skill set". A simple question: Where was your tremendously advanced air defense, and actually, as far as I remember, there were two strikes that day... and still it's the muslims. Atheist - one of the many fools believing we were actually hairy chimp ones. :D

You americans are extremely hilarious. :D

user profile pic

wattersr | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted November 1, 2011 at 8:48 AM (Answer #33)

dislike 0 like

That our government will stop at nothing to cover up the TRUTH

user profile pic

wattersr | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted November 1, 2011 at 8:52 AM (Answer #34)

dislike 0 like

We have learned that shock and rage are the best tools the government uses to bring us to war. 

 

user profile pic

wattersr | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted November 1, 2011 at 10:59 AM (Answer #35)

dislike 0 like

(and uses to pass legislature which erodes our freedom)

user profile pic

wattersr | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted November 1, 2011 at 11:01 AM (Answer #36)

dislike 0 like

9/11 has taught us the extent of Man's greed and our lack of compassion. 

user profile pic

wattersr | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted November 2, 2011 at 4:19 AM (Answer #37)

dislike 0 like

We have learned from 9/11 that a faceless enemy who has no national border is the best enemy, for it allows us to invade whoever we want and take prisoner whomever we want.

user profile pic

zakyriah2 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 6, 2011 at 10:21 AM (Answer #45)

dislike 0 like

I think we have learned to tighen up security around our borders. we are more careful now then before the attack and in some ways I find it annoying.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes