September 11, 2001

To the class of 2051

... a Melrosian's recap of recent history

by Len Dalton

As you Melrosians of the class of 2051 look back or think back to the calamity that befell we Americans of the year 2001, please allow me to offer you a closer look.

For a good many years prior to Tuesday, September 11, 2001, animosity arose between the Muslim world, largely consisting of Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Afghanistan, and all Western countries, most especially the United States. To begin, the United Nations created a Jewish homeland, Israel, from what was Palestine. Sympathy for doing this was the result of the Holocaust of World War II in which the elements of the Nazi German army systematically murdered over 6 million Jews in Europe. Another strong factor was a civil war in Palestine by Jewish rebels. Almost immediately all the Arab countries swore to bring about the extinction of Israel.

The second factor causing problems between the Muslim and the Western worlds was oil. The largest reserves of oil in the world were to be found in 2001 in Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. In 1973 these oil powers arbitrarily decided to loot the western world by elevating the price of their oil from a matter of $8 to $10 a barrel to over $30 a barrel! This was accomplished with a solidarity between members of OPEC, The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. This caused a great deal of fiscal discomfort around the world and further polarized the Western and Middle Eastern countries.

Perhaps a third element could be claimed as coming from fanatic Muslim groups. For years these groups sought and fought for recognition among Arabs and often met with defeat and exile. One such group was extremely fundamentalist in nature, led by an exiled Saudi millionaire named Osama Bin Laden, a man of 40 years of age. After Afghanistan succeeded in ridding itself of invading Russians, fundamentalist Afghan Muslims took over and gave sanctuary to Osama Bin Laden and his group. The hate harbored by this group for Israel and the United States was such that they conspired to wreak havoc with them in any way they could. They sent men to several Eastern and African nations and detonated explosives that destroyed American Embassies as well as many innocent lives. Except for a brief retaliation by the U.S., these radicals were otherwise ignored. A small group attempted to destroy the buildings of the World Trade Center on lower Manhattan, New York City with explosives but it failed and those men were sent to prison.

During the year 2000, these Bin Laden people planned to enter the United States, commandeer large jets loaded with fuel for long flights and crash these jets into that very same World Trade Center. It seemed a far-fetched scheme.

The 18 or more men entered the United States. Ten of them purchased airline tickets on two American Airline jets scheduled to fly to California from the City of Boston and occupied by many people living in the Boston area. After leaving Boston's Logan Airport these men took over both aircraft and headed for New York City. The first one to arrive was flown into World Trade Center building number 1 in a horrendous and hideous ball of flame. As thousands of us watched in fascination on television, the upper levels of the building burned. Most people thought it was an accidental air crash. Of course the sight was amazing to watch. Twenty minutes after that crash, we all saw a second large passenger jet fly low right into the World Trade Center Tower number 2. The force took the wreckage and fuel all the way through several of the afflicted floors of the building with large amounts of wreckage hurtling to the streets below. The thousands of workers in each building set out to flee as police and fire people arrived to make an attempt at dealing with the catastrophe. It was awful to watch. Dozens of doomed workers leaped to their deaths from the top floors of both buildings rather than be burned to death. On the ground firefighters entered to do their jobs. Police did what they could. Suddenly the second tower, 1362 feet above them collapsed. As the upper floors failed, they took down those beneath until the entire building was gone with untold numbers of people. A matter of minutes later the entire nation watched as the first tower also collapsed to the streets below. The body count is expected to be in the thousands as I sit here typing two days after the event. What the consequences will be, I know not.

The citizens of the United States are predictably upset and angry. The United States government, in concert with allies around the world who are equally horrified, are compelled to react. In what manner at this time we know not. It is promised that the reaction will serve the purpose of arresting any further aspirations of rogue nations or groups to attack non-Muslim nations. A statement by Western Nations will be made in retaliation. Thank you.

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