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Why is 9/11 considered worse than other tragedies?

  • #2
    Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 55 ✭✭✭ nicholasIII


    Not trying to be disrespectful. Any tragedy where people lose their lives is bad however I do wonder. 9/11 involved 3,000 people losing their lives. I think way more have been lost during WWII.

    In 1994 years before the Rwandan genocide, almost 1,000,000 died within three months in a slaughter.

    There are many tragedies which have taken countless more lives yet if you mention anything today, the 'freshest' tragedy is 9/11.

    Does it have to do not so much with the death toll but method of attacK? The September 11th attacks were the ultimate deception, using seemingly innocuous commercial transport as weapons of terror. This was unprecedented compared to the other methods of attacks.


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Comments

  • #2


    You're comparing the events of a single morning to wars?


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    It's in living memory, it was unexpected (to people outside specific security communities), much of it happened live on TV, it happened in a much more connected age and to much more connected people, and it hit somewhere that anyone who's experienced much American culture feels like they know.

    Rwanda was "away" and while it was on our TVs every night, it was as packaged reports.

    WWII had nights with more deaths, but it happened during a war, and reportage would have been written with eventually maybe some newsreels or radio coverage. By the time people knew the extent it was old news.


    Time will reduce its perceived impact, as would something worse happening in a similar environment.


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    It happened to America. That's why the second worst tragedy is Pearl Harbour.


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    In living memory, a significant portion of it played out on Live TV.
    It impacted a generation in the same way as the moon landing, Kennedy being shot or Packie Bonner saving that penalty.

    Wars, genocide and conflict all over the world rage every day.
    They are very rarely played out on Live TV, nor do they shut down aviation for 3 days.
    Or have such an immediate visceral impact on people.

    Above all, the collapse of 2 towers were seen live on TV and broadcast around the world and seen as a symbol of American disaster an attack that struck the heart of US economic power.
    It must be remembered that for a large portion of the 1st day and even into the 2nd, death toll estimates ranged up to 50k.


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    I don’t know if it’s considered worse but it’s certainly a “where we’re you when...” moment in history and people who were alive when it happened remember where they were. I was 16 in school and while I remember many things about secondary school, on that day I remember what classroom I was in and what subject it was when we heard the news. Also, not many events of this kind had been seen live on TV. That footage of the second plane coming into view is one many won’t forget.


  • #2


    L1011 wrote: »
    It's in living memory, it was unexpected (to people outside specific security communities), much of it happened live on TV, it happened in a much more connected age and to much more connected people, and it hit somewhere that anyone who's experienced much American culture feels like they know.

    Rwanda was "away" and while it was on our TVs every night, it was as packaged reports.

    WWII had nights with more deaths, but it happened during a war, and reportage would have been written with eventually maybe some newsreels or radio coverage. By the time people knew the extent it was old news.


    Time will reduce its perceived impact, as would something worse happening in a similar environment.

    The 1996 Manchester bombing was on live TV, in living memory. More examples:
    The Docklands bomb was caught on CCTV
    The Miltown cemetery attack was caught on pre-recorded TV along with the Corporal killings a few days later.
    The 1991 mortar attack on Downing Street was caught on pre-recorded TV as well,
    Some Bloody Friday car-bombs were caught on TV
    Some of Bloody Sunday was captured on TV
    And the worst Irish massacres Omagh & Dublin 1974 were caught on TV about 10 minutes afterwards.

    All in living memory, all over shadowed by 9/11


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    i don't think it's considered 'worse' than other tragedies, but it was unexpected as L1011 said, and also novel given the method the terrorists used, plus the imagery of falling (world famous) skyscrapers.


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    Largely because the American propaganda machine will never let you forget it.


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    Not trying to sound condescending here, but are you old enough to remember it? At the time it was an earth shattering event. I'm not old enough to remember the JFK assassination, but older people say that's the only thing comparable.

    It wasn't the number of people who died as such. Like you say, more people have died before and since of all kinds of natural and manmade disasters. For me, with 9/11, the shocking thing was seeing the twin towers which were icons not just of New York but America, the great world power, come crashing down. It was like something out of a blockbuster movie, something you would never expect to happen in real life.


  • #2


    The 1996 Manchester bombing was on live TV, in living memory. More examples:
    The Docklands bomb was caught on CCTV
    The Miltown cemetery attack was caught on pre-recorded TV along with the Corporal killings a few days later.
    The 1991 mortar attack on Downing Street was caught on pre-recorded TV as well,
    Some Bloody Friday car-bombs were caught on TV
    Some of Bloody Sunday was captured on TV
    And the worst Irish massacres Omagh & Dublin 1974 were caught on TV about 10 minutes afterwards.

    All in living memory, all over shadowed by 9/11

    So in your opinion which of your listed tragedies is of similar impact and should not be over shadowed by 9/11?


  • #2


    The 1996 Manchester bombing was on live TV, in living memory. More examples:
    The Docklands bomb was caught on CCTV
    The Miltown cemetery attack was caught on pre-recorded TV along with the Corporal killings a few days later.
    The 1991 mortar attack on Downing Street was caught on pre-recorded TV as well,
    Some Bloody Friday car-bombs were caught on TV
    Some of Bloody Sunday was captured on TV
    And the worst Irish massacres Omagh & Dublin 1974 were caught on TV about 10 minutes afterwards.

    All in living memory, all over shadowed by 9/11

    You're picking one single point, and not quite getting it either.

    Footage existing is not the same as much of the incident happening on live TV with a global audience.


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    It’s cos most of it happened on tv. We will probably never see a day like it again . Wars genocide etc.. are bigger tragedies but you don’t see them live on tv thankfully


  • #2


    Snotty wrote: »
    So in your opinion which of your listed tragedies is of similar impact and should not be over shadowed by 9/11?


    None, that was my point. Although had they happen in America they would be a lot more significant. America is the new Rome, it's not being critical it just is what it is.

    For only three thousand two hundred people died in Northern Ireland out of about 1.6/7 million people. So the death equivalent for Northern Ireland for 9/11 would be about 500,000, and about 40,000 in England.


  • #2


    Dr. Bre wrote: »
    It’s cos most of it happened on tv. We will probably never see a day like it again . Wars genocide etc.. are bigger tragedies but you don’t see them live on tv thankfully

    We seen the Tet Offensive & a good bit of the Vietnam War of Independence on TV





  • #2


    JPup wrote: »
    Not trying to sound condescending here, but are you old enough to remember it? At the time it was an earth shattering event. I'm not old enough to remember the JFK assassination, but older people say that's the only thing comparable.

    It wasn't the number of people who died as such. Like you say, more people have died before and since of all kinds of natural and man made disasters. For me, with 9/11, the shocking thing was seeing the twin towers which were icons not just of New York but America, the great world power, come crashing down. It was like something out of a blockbuster movie, something you would never expect to happen in real life.

    Yeah another great point, there was more mourning done in Ireland for JFK than the combined victims of the Dublin, Belturbet, Monaghan Castleblaney & Dundalk bombings


  • #2


    Not trying to be disrespectful. Any tragedy where people lose their lives is bad however I do wonder. 9/11 involved 3,000 people losing their lives. I think way more have been lost during WWII.

    In 1994 years before the Rwandan genocide, almost 1,000,000 died within three months in a slaughter.

    There are many tragedies which have taken countless more lives yet if you mention anything today, the 'freshest' tragedy is 9/11.

    Does it have to do not so much with the death toll but method of attacK? The September 11th attacks were the ultimate deception, using seemingly innocuous commercial transport as weapons of terror. This was unprecedented compared to the other methods of attacks.

    Because people identify with it more having been to NYC or seeing it in films.


  • #2


    None, that was my point. Although had they happen in America they would be a lot more significant. America is the new Rome, it's not being critical it just is what it is.

    For only three thousand two hundred people died in Northern Ireland out of about 1.6/7 million people. So the death equivalent for Northern Ireland for 9/11 would be about 500,000, and about 40,000 in England.

    It's ridiculous to compare 9/11 with almost 30 years of the troubles. People are obsessed with body counts.


  • #2


    It's recent.
    It was completely unexpected.
    The victims were all innocent civilians.
    Many of us can draw similarities to the victims, all white collar workers going about their day.
    It was televised around the world.
    It was done in a place that many people have a familiarity with.
    It kick started the chain of events that led to the War on Terror, which is still going in many ways and has affected us all.
    Rodin wrote: »
    It's ridiculous to compare 9/11 with almost 30 years of the troubles. People are obsessed with body counts.

    Exactly. You need a personal connection to be affected by this stuff.
    In all honesty, it's rare to find anyone in Ireland who cares about famines in Africa, the persecution of minority groups in China, the murder rates in Brazil, the gang warfare in Mexico etc. The chance of anything like that happening here is near zero.

    But a terror attack in Omagh, or the Bataclan Theatre, or London Bridge hits home very quickly and reminds us how fragile life can be.


  • #2


    The 1996 Manchester bombing was on live TV, in living memory. More examples:
    The Docklands bomb was caught on CCTV
    The Miltown cemetery attack was caught on pre-recorded TV along with the Corporal killings a few days later.
    The 1991 mortar attack on Downing Street was caught on pre-recorded TV as well,
    Some Bloody Friday car-bombs were caught on TV
    Some of Bloody Sunday was captured on TV
    And the worst Irish massacres Omagh & Dublin 1974 were caught on TV about 10 minutes afterwards.

    All in living memory, all over shadowed by 9/11

    9/11 was much slower. We all watched it happen on TV. The towers stood, on fire, the fell, one after another on live TV. We had watched people falling from the towers, until the towers themselves fell. We saw live footage of people running away from the cloud of debris.


  • #2


    I think you already know the answers. The war torn countries with bombings being more commonplace receive less attention, not because the lives are less important but because it is in fact so commonplace. Also, Ireland has a huge connection with America, even if you think they're all stupid Yanks and whatnot. In general English speaking countries tend to pay more attention to the news in other English speaking countries.

    Most English speaking countries don't have intense war torn regions where bombings are commonplace.

    It's far different to view the bombing of the same type of places in what seems to be a hornets nest of violence such as the middle east vs. the shattering of a way of life of a country that enjoys unmatched prosperity. While it isn't exactly super safe everywhere, the US doesn't really get bombed by anyone else. For those who might resent American meddling (aka violence, invasion, bombing) in the mid east certainly it was a hugely successful strike against the bullies. So it is not just 'oh it's mourned more', it's generally very culturally significant. and the world trade center, whatever it stands for, being felled by regular airline passenger jets (with passengers on board) is just not comparable in terms of shock, symbolism, etc. The WTC stood for the whole Western (not just American) way of life - in fact, not just the whole Western but the whole Capitalist way of life.

    And there is a lot more to it, too. The war on terrorism and the conspiracy theories. It's just got a massive cultural significance.

    Of course you'll have your typical Irish begrudgers, many of whom have a chip on their shoulder about the yanks, who ask questions like in the OP. But most people with any awareness about them realize why it is so significant, and I don't think smugly dismissing the attention or discussion it generates as some kind of 'typical overdramatic American shíte' wins you the edgelord style points you might think.

    I mean, the emergency services in NYC and the neighborhoods of NYC have a slightly higher percentage of Irish folk in them then their counterparts in Rwanda, wouldn't you say? So naturally they will be more significant to the Irish, for certain. So it seems silly to wonder why we pay more attention to one over the other.


  • #2


    "I recall the lack of reaction to it" - Chomsky on first Atomic bombing







  • #2


    McGaggs wrote: »
    9/11 was much slower. We all watched it happen on TV. The towers stood, on fire, the fell, one after another on live TV. We had watched people falling from the towers, until the towers themselves fell. We saw live footage of people running away from the cloud of debris.

    I watched the Indonesian tsunami live. Though not a terrorist attack people forget how many died. But nobody really gives a xxxx. No need to judge but people only care about what's relevant to them. Nobody cares about a random Indonesian but many can identify with a New Yorker or someone on a plane


  • #2
    Bombs and wars are ten a penny.

    Commercial airliners being flown into iconic buildings are not.


  • #2


    "I recall the lack of reaction to it" - Chomsky on first Atomic bombing
    probably a similar number of people died on the first night the american air force firebombed tokyo successfully (IIRC estimates run to ~100k), but people are barely aware of that, which is another example of people remembering the novel and not the well-worn story.


  • #2


    It's because it happened on US Soil and was broadcast live. The fact it was New York, countless times destroyed in movies and then happening in the real world. Keep in mind, before this event, the closest you'd have something like this happening in the US was Pearl Harbor and that was in the Pacific Islands, so before this the only similar event in US soil was the Civil War.

    This of course is, the US being attacked by a foreign entity in it's own soil in this scale of grandeur. Add to this that while the US was involved in loads of conflicts outside the US, military service is not mandatory therefore a big chunk of the population had never experienced first hand the horrors of a war.

    The plot itself was extremely intelligent, taking years in the making with the perpetrators living in the US for years on end learning to use civilian planes as weapons, the perpetrators where next door neighbors which in the aftermath leads to people becoming distrustful of your own neighbor. So it wasn't someone coming on that day from far away, grabbing a plane and doing what they did. Was years living in the target country, plotting, learning, preparing, exercising until finally executing the plan.

    I would risk say if there was for example an attack during the Cuban missile crisis it would not have been as engraved in memory as this event was. Just like Pearl Harbor, it was an attack that was unexpected by the civilian population and all of that heightens what happened.

    This doesn't mean any of the conflicts mentioned by other users where of less importance, they where obviously of more importance, but for the western civilian population and to Americans in general was an unexpected shock similar to an end of the world scenario, again, so many times repeated in Hollywood movies...


  • #2


    Rodin wrote: »
    It's ridiculous to compare 9/11 with almost 30 years of the troubles. People are obsessed with body counts.

    Yea, the US Army was in Vietnam with Search & Destroy missions, although not with civilians .
    The events in Ireland I mentioned had a much less smaller body count.

    Things just matter more to people when it happens to the most powerful country in the world. The US is Rome the rest of the world are vassals, the EU is like Egypt which gives us some leverage, countries that challenge US power are the barbarians at the gates.
    The Dunblane massacre happened 3 years before Columbine. Everybody in the West who watches the News knows what "a Columbine" is, you'd have to explain Dunblane to most people.

    Ok what about Sabra & Shatila, that took 30 hours. Sean MacBride described as genocidal, and he was correct.
    Or 9/11 1973 in Chile?


  • #2


    Mackwiss wrote: »
    It's because it happened on US Soil and was broadcast live. The fact it was New York, countless times destroyed in movies and then happening in the real world. Keep in mind, before this event, the closest you'd have something like this happening in the US was Pearl Harbor and that was in the Pacific Islands, so before this the only similar event in US soil was the Civil War.

    This of course is, the US being attacked by a foreign entity in it's own soil in this scale of grandeur. Add to this that while the US was involved in loads of conflicts outside the US, military service is not mandatory therefore a big chunk of the population had never experienced first hand the horrors of a war.

    The plot itself was extremely intelligent, taking years in the making with the perpetrators living in the US for years on end learning to use civilian planes as weapons, the perpetrators where next door neighbors which in the aftermath leads to people becoming distrustful of your own neighbor. So it wasn't someone coming on that day from far away, grabbing a plane and doing what they did. Was years living in the target country, plotting, learning, preparing, exercising until finally executing the plan.

    I would risk say if there was for example an attack during the Cuban missile crisis it would not have been as engraved in memory as this event was. Just like Pearl Harbor, it was an attack that was unexpected by the civilian population and all of that heightens what happened.

    This doesn't mean any of the conflicts mentioned by other users where of less importance, they where obviously of more importance, but for the western civilian population and to Americans in general was an unexpected shock similar to an end of the world scenario, again, so many times repeated in Hollywood movies...

    I agree with almost 100% of you post except this part, unless you mean in terms of casualties.

    The closest violent incident to 9/11 in the US at least in terms of media coverage, national & international public interest, was the Mason Family murders. And the reason why is because like you said it was in the US, on mainland American soil,it was very unexpected & the victims were all very wealthy & one was a beautiful actress, married to the most famous movie director in the world, and the killers were obviously very bad people but fascinating, but saying that it was more to do with who the victims were rather than the killers because nobody bated an eye lid when they killed Gary Hinham a few weeks earlier in similar fashion. Even President Nixon commented on the trial.


  • #2


    probably a similar number of people died on the first night the american air force firebombed tokyo successfully (IIRC estimates run to ~100k), but people are barely aware of that, which is another example of people remembering the novel and not the well-worn story.

    That was literally hell on Earth. Even worse than the firebombing of Dresden because so much of Tokyo was wood & paper.

    There was much more racism when it came to Japan & Japanese civilians than that of Germany & German civilians.

    I actually doubt if the US had the bomb ready to be used between January - April 1945 that they would have dropped it on German soil. The allies had much more respect for Germany & other European Fascists, even later making close ties & agreements to Franco Spain.

    Nixon wanted to use the A-Bomb on Vietnam, but Kissenger of people talked him out it. And I doubt it would have made much of difference as the VC usually stayed as close as possible to the US army, in fact I doubt it would make little difference in most guerrilla wars as the enemy is not in one big centralized area, they are spread out in different towns & cities, just like the Tet Offensive.


  • #2


    It was live TV

    Had Dresden or the blitz bombing in east London been shown live it would have made 911 look like a walk in the park


  • #2


    We seen the Tet Offensive & a good bit of the Vietnam War of Independence on TV




    We saw a lot more of the US-Vietnam conflict than we ever saw of the Soviet Afghan conflict in the 1980s for sure. Why?


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