Every week, the Global Public Square brings you some must-read editorials from around the world addressed to America and Americans. The series is called Listen up, America! This week we look at what papers around the world are saying about the anniversary of September 11 – from conspiracy theories in Saudi Arabia to exasperated calls from China to foreboding messages in Australia.
Australia – “The paradox of 9/11 is that it may yet be overwhelmed by the 2008 global financial crisis as a long-term blow to U. S. power, authority and self-esteem,” writes Paul Kelly, editor-at-large of the Sydney-based Australian.
“The extent of U. S. economic self-harm may exceed the harm from al Qaeda’s lethal strike a decade ago. The irony is that Australia, tied to the U. S. in security terms, is divorced from the U. S. in economic terms and has escaped the internal economic crises that plague the U. S. and Europe.”
Taiwan – “More than lives were lost and harmed in the Sept. 11 attacks by 19 men armed with box cutters and religious zeal,” says an editorial in the Taipei Times. “Freedoms, political, religious and personal, have been compromised in the name of greater security and the war on terror, and not just in the U. S.”
“Those who were too young at the time or who have been born since do not have those memories and must be taught what happened. What they are taught and how they are taught is crucial to how our globalized world develops and changes in the years to come.”
Germany – “America changed after 9/11,” writes Gerhard Spörl, Hamburg-based Der Spiegel’s opinion editor.
“But some things remain the same. Religious piety is still the root of American democracy. The country’s thinking in terms of good and evil creates rifts that we aren’t familiar with in Europe. War is perceived as a political instrument,
and many Americans still dream of controlling the world.”
United Arab Emirates – “While the terrorists achieved the physical destruction they set out to create, they failed to accomplish their goal of inciting all-out hatred between Muslims and the West,” writes Yasser Khalil in the Dubai-based Khaieej Times.
“As such, on this 10th anniversary of 9/11, the most fitting legacy would be to reach out to our neighbours and to those who are different from us.”
Pakistan – “Except for the attempted Times Square bombing, no one has come close to repeating a terrorist strike on U. S. soil,” writes Khalid Aziz in the Karachi-based Dawn.
“This is a major achievement of the U. S. and indicates that despite criticism on some fronts, it has succeeded in destroying the capability of Al Qaeda….This is not to say that such attempts will not be made in the future, but Al Qaeda as an organisation has gone into hibernation in Somalia and Yemen for the present. However, it remains active within Pakistan.”
Saudi Arabia – “Like JFK and Martin Luther King’s assassinations, there are still many doubts and theories surrounding 9/11,” writes Seif Somalya in the Jeddah-based Arab News. “Every day the formal 9/11 Commission report is being challenged. The suspicion that 9/11 was an inside job is gaining ground.”
“While those 3,000 innocent lives which were lost in those 9/11 terrorist attacks are being remembered and mourned on its anniversary, nobody seems to talk about the millions who perished and were maimed in Iraq and Afghanistan as a direct consequence of 9/11.”