The terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001 not only affected the United States, but also brought countries all over the world together to cope with this unbearable tragedy. Because of our American leaders taking “on defense interests rather than international opportunities for peace and reconciliation,” the fear and anxiety in American life was revealed (Lancet, par. 2). The aftermath of 9/11 created many doubts and fears within all of the people in America. As it is stated in the article, “Torture, War, and the Culture of Fear After 9/11”, by Charles Strozier, “it filled us with fear and profoundly altered cultural and political understandings”(Strozier par. 1). People were baffled and confused, wondering how such a thing could happen to us and how our government could claim they had not the slightest clue an attack was coming. Citizens were questioning our government and pondering if this was really a surprise attack, or if our government knew it was going to happen and didn’t prepare for it or prevent it.
Not to mention the pain, Strozier brings up in his article, “it brought us a radically revised definition of torture that hovers over these papers and has reshaped the civil liberties we cherish” (Strozier, par. 1). This one horrific day of September 11th has brought confusion, horror and the loss of many. In the speech George W. Bush made, “Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People, Sept. 20, 2001,” he began to try to rationalize and justify his decision to prepare for war by stating, “Tonight we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger, and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.” When people start to panic and fear what is going to happen next, they tend to look up to higher authority, such as the government, and George W. Bush saw this happening and took it in his hands to persuade the people that war was the right for our country and the just thing to do to keep the lives of Americans safe and protect our loved ones.
This gives everyone the impression that he means business and that reveals the value and importance of justice in our country, but also puts fear in people that more lives will be at risk. As stated in lecture, “The news media has also become extremely fear-conscious, mining events like the 2001 anthrax attacks and changes in the terror alert levels for higher ratings.” Media used fear to their advantage and disregarded the consequences of the reaction of the people. There was a huge sense of insecurity and fear in the actions of the Bush administration as well. For example, stated in lecture notes, “in the days following 9/11, the Bush administration rounded up thousands of Arabs, Muslims, and even suspected Arabs and Muslims and held them for weeks without charge. In some cases, they deported the individuals without due process and without even notifying their family members.” There was anxiety and fear running through American blood and this caused judgment upon race and religion to occur.
These Arabs and Muslims were kept hostage without charge due to the fact that they were the same race and religion as the ones who caused the attack. As stated in the article “9/11: Ten Years on,” Many American Muslims felt marginalized, stigmatized, and intimidated.” During that aftermath of 9/11, hate crimes against minorities such as Muslims and Arabs were continuous throughout the United States. Homes were vandalized, families were threatened, men were beaten and murdered, and temples were burned to the ground. These terrible actions occurred to our own people were terrified of their country, merely because they were of the same religion as the terrorist.
There were many images released and comic books produced that were inspired from the horrible tragedy of September 11, 2001. Through these images you could see the challenges and doubt in the heroism post the terrorist attack of 9/11. For example, there is an image of Superman, a big time childhood hero that people always saw as unstoppable, holding in one hand the American Flag torn and burnt up with holes in it, while the other hand is holding the wound on his arm and the towers are burning down with smoke surrounding the background. The meaning of this picture conveys that even the macho Superheroes we idolize over in our childhood couldn’t put a stop to this terrible day. It represents that our superheroes had been beat and kind of gives a sense of being let down and a fear that no one could protect us. Another example is a picture of the Statue of Liberty weeping with her hands covering her face and dark smoky sky’s post 9/11. Given that the Statue of Liberty stands for the right to our freedom, holding a patriotic place in each and every one of the American hearts, this picture portrays the let down of freedom and liberty.
It’s stating that the freedom symbol of our country is even in a state of pain, loss and is hanging her head. After 9/11 occurred, homeland security and the emergency preparedness became more of a concern. The article “9/11: Ten Years on” stated, “Paradoxically, US national security strategies after 9/11 had a positive impact on the nation’s commitment to global health. The US Government saw development- and its commitment to global health-as critical aspects of American influence. The US administration saw local health engagement and broader efforts to stabilize fragile states as delivering benefits to American, as well as global, stability and security” (Lancet, par. 4). The government and the people of the United States began to open their eyes to other social conditions and responsibilities because of the attack. Health costs became a huge issue in the aftermath of 9/11 and our country pulled together to turn it into a positive opportunity for improvement.
The tragic event of September 11, 2001 has put fear and anxiety in the lives of many people. It has taken away many innocent lives and the hope for safety of many. The doubts and insecurities grew large as the United States and other countries around the world were put on an extreme state of alert due to potential follow-up attacks and possibilities of going to war. The stress and the fear of something this major happening again are very high and have caused doubt and fear in our government. Fear became a stepping stone to unifying Americans and getting them to agree upon things such as war, which given the circumstances, they might have otherwise objected too. This tragic event will be forever remembered and the lives lost will be cherished each and every year.
Bush, George W. “Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People, Sept. 20, 2001.” US Capitol, 20 Sept. 2001. Web. 18 Nov. 2010 Strozier, Charles B. “Torture, War, and the Culture of Fear After 9/11.” International journal of group psychotherapy 61.1 (2011): 67-72. ProQuest Research Library. 10 Apr. 2012 . “9/11: Ten Years on.” The Lancet 378.9794
(2011): 849-. ProQuest Research Library. 10 Apr. 2012 .