The Impact Of Black Friday On American Symbols, Values And Interests

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Background and Problem
September 11, 2001. I was busy finishing my “Rapport de Stage” in the Mackworth College Library, Derby, England, when a lady came to spread the bad news. Four commercial jetliners were hijacked and diverted from their paths to be used as guided missiles. Two of the jetliners ended up by crashing into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, New York City, around 9:00 a.m. local time. Half an hour later, the third jetliner crashed into the Pentagon, whereas the forth one, supposedly on its way to Washington D.C., crashed somewhere in Pennsylvania. However, the implications of that Black Tuesday were far more complicated than the mere reported facts.
To President George W. Bush, the operations that were carried out against his country did not merely represent “acts of terror” on American symbols, values and interests, but they represented “acts of war” against the United States—and to a large extent, the attacks were “acts of war,” indeed. According to many critics, these attacks were “unprecedented” in American history in that they presented a direct, potential threat to the American territory. The gravity of the event was manifest not only in terms of the scale of the attacks, but also in terms of the “direction in which the guns were pointed.” As Chomsky explains
[t]he last time the national territory of the United States was under attack, or for that matter even threatened, was when the British burned
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