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Posted on on September 12th, 2011
by Pincas Jawetz (

The Vienna papers this past week, this weekend, and today, Monday, September 12, 2011, are full with reporting of events from the US and studies via analysis interpreting the global situation looking at how these last 10 years have changed the US position in the world.

One such group of studies appeared in Der Standard –… – authored by Professor Heinz Gärtner,  of he OEIIP – The Austrian Institute for International Affairs…

The weekend Der Standard had whole sections about 9/11. The other papers might have had less in quantity but also came up with interesting articles – Die Presse i.e. had an article by Erich Kocina who spoke with Anas Schakfeh, then the head of Islam in Austria, who immediately in 2001 stated – “This is not good for Muslims.”

Anyway, today, the Monday after the memorials, “Heute” had on its front page “WIR WEINEN MIT NEW YORK” – WE CRY WITH NEW YORK.


At the UN enclave at the Vienna International Center the memorial was held only today – Monday. It was in the Rotunda – the round area from which radiate the corridors to the ‘Alphabet Buildings.”  The topic:

“Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the 11 September Attacks United Nations Vienna Office Honours Victims of Terrorism.” – that is terrorism in general not just 9/11.

To be crystal clear – the UN says: “All the victims of terrorism worldwide are being remembered in a special event at the United Nations in Vienna today.”

Fair enough for an international organization where some Member States either do not believe that the acts of terror of 9/11 were committed by Islamic Radicals, or their hatred of the US is open for all to see anyway. Having said this, we add nevertheless that I found the event in good taste and rather with acceptable honesty. I also include the posting of the speech by the US Ambassador who also had no problem with delving into all other acts of terrorism because the reaction to these acts is what binds us together these days. The terrorists are the outcasts!

On one side of the Rotunda there were eleven panels holding each the picture of the front page of a journal dated September 12, 2001 – with screaming photos and titles of the atrocity that was committed against the United States.

In front of that series of panels there was the speakers’ stand, and in front of the stand a map that showed the countries that had citizens among the nearly 3,000 people killed on 9/11. On the lower part of that map there was the list of 90 countries that lost citizens of their own on that day.

I have heard the number 90 before – I was familiar with it – but I never saw this in a map form. I looked at the map and was amazed – trust me that I do not make this up.


The whole MAGHREB, Sudan, All The GULF STATES, The whole Muslim part of the Horn of Africa – all of these States – not a single victim. Yes – we know that the perpetrators were mainly  from Saudi Arabia, with a sprinkle from the UAE (2), Lebanon (1) and Egypt (1) – I just saw their faces again courtesy of Der Standard – let them turn in their ashes.

We know that many of the States mentioned had oil business and financial dealings at the World Trade Center. They had trainees and professionals on banks’ staff – how were they so lucky not to be there at the T-time? I wonder if it will ever be possible to explain this simple coincidence.? Having shown that map – we consider it an act of courage of the UN.

To repeat one more time – the fact that nobody from Antarctica, Greenland, Mongolia, The Small Island States of the Pacific, or the African Sahel was among those killed at the World Trade Center or the Pentagon is clear, but how is it that in the whole expanse of the MENA (Middle East-North Africa) countries – it is only Egypt, Yemen, Ethiopia, and Kenya that had victims of 9/11?

The UN release says that there were “more then 2,800 victims” from “over 70 countries.” The facts are…  – there are close to 3,000 names on the new memorial – to be exact 2,996 – and to be sure – these names do NOT include the hijackers. Further, the map/list that  I saw had 10 columns of names of States with 9 names in each column – and 9X10 = 90. I hope the UN New York – takes notice.


The event was chaired by Mr. Janos Tisovszky,  Director of Information Service at UNOV, and it was mainly in the hands of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which is the largest tenant of the VIC.

Mr. Tisovsxky said that the meeting intends to honor the victims and to express solidarity against terrorism. He noted that the Directors General and the other heads of the UN institutions headquartered in Vienna, sit literally shoulder to shoulder with the US Ambassador.

The Opening speaker was Mr. Yury Fedotov, Director-General of UNOV and Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

He was followed by Mr. Yukiya Amano, Director General IAEA, and Mr. Tibor Toth, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban- Treaty Organization (CTBTO).

The Closing remarks were made by US Ambassador Gkyn Davies who was actually the initiator of the event.


Mr. Fedotov said that the terrorists who carried out the “senseless, criminal” attacks on the United States that day did not succeed in destroying the common bonds of humanity – on the contrary, they made them stronger.   “All countries, all peoples were united in their condemnation of this atrocity,” he said.  “We are all united by our common rejection of terrorism which finds no sanctuary in any nationality, any religion nor any legitimate political philosophy.” He noted that the UN fights terrorism with projects like the MDGs to give people aspirations for a good life. We want to encourage people living by the rule of law and reject terrorism.

As terrorist acts continue to be a serious threat to peace and security around the world, Mr. Fedotov stressed that more needs to be done to combat this global scourge, especially through enhanced international cooperation and exchange of information.  He also drew attention to the links between terrorism and trans-national organized crime with criminal profits increasingly finding their way to support terrorism.

Mr. Fedotov honored specifically the memory of all the  23 people recently killed, and many more injured, in the bombing of the UN office in Abuja, Nigeria.  Eleven of those killed were UN colleagues.

Mr. Amano said: As the IAEA works to protect the world against the risk of nuclear terrorism, he renewed his pledge that nuclear security will remain a high priority throughout his tenure as Director General.Mr.Toth went on enlarging the list of past acts of terrorism – Paris, London, Mumbai, Moscow, … Abuja.

Ambassador Davies continued painting this larger picture of terrorism in order to reach the conclusion that we must be united.


Remarks by US Ambassador Glyn Davies:

September 12, 2011
Vienna International Centre

Directors General Fedotov and Amano, Executive Secretary Toth, and indeed all the heads of the international organizations who are present this afternoon, I thank you for participating in this commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.  Mr. Yumkella, Dr. Othman, welcome.

And, to all of you: Excellencies, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends, thank you all for taking the time today to join us for this simple, solemn event.  Ten years ago yesterday, nearly three thousand people from more than ninety countries died in New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.  We come together today to honor their memory.

We also assemble today to remember and honor the victims of terrorism everywhere in the world.  We gather to mark our unity of purpose in confronting and countering any and all who seek to achieve political or religious ends through the senseless slaughter of innocent men, women, and children.

New York, and America, were struck ten years ago, but terrorism affects us all.  The list of nations recovering from terrorist attacks is long.  I say “recovering”, for indeed we, the nations and people of the world, have proven resilient.  What terrorists destroy, we rebuild, we re-consecrate, we rededicate.

After the 2002 Bali bombings, Indonesia demonstrated its resilience by holding a festival to commemorate the victims on the very beach where so many were slaughtered.  Madrid re-built its train station after the 2004 atrocities that killed nearly 200 injured more than 1000.  By the first anniversary of the London transit attacks that killed 52 in 2005, the transit system had been fully returned to normal.  In the United States, the collapse of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center laid waste to a large swath of Lower Manhattan.  And yet, by May of 2002, mere months later, the clean-up of the site was completed.  Today, a shining new edifice, One World Trade Center, is reaching up into New York’s skyline, and will soon claim its rightful place as the tallest building in North America.

But of course this isn’t about buildings, it’s about the people.  The children of those who died on September 1, 2001, are growing up.  Families have found the strength to cope with their grief, and indeed have formed networks to assist one another and other victims of terrorism.  And just as communities have come together to support those in need following terrorist attacks, the same is happening around the world.

From Bali to Beslan, Athens to Amman, Kigali to Kampala, people of all faiths from the four corners of the globe have united in their resolve to condemn terrorism and to offer support to victims.  In 2009 a suicide bomber killed five Pakistani staff members at the United Nations World Food Program in Islamabad.  One victim’s husband reached out to friends and survivors of violence to establish the Pakistan Terrorism Survivors Network, which works to help the wounded and family members overcome trauma and rebuild their lives.

And the solidarity, the strength displayed after terrorist attacks is not just local, it is global.  We all stood united with India after the cowardly attacks across Mumbai.  We all rejoiced when hostages held by the FARC in Colombia were rescued after six long years of captivity.  We grieved as one for the many thousands of civilians lost to car bombings in Iraq.  And after the deadly havoc wrought by one man recently in Norway, we rallied to stand by our Norwegian colleagues and renewed our common commitment to stand up to any and all who would use such appalling means to achieve political ends.

So how fitting that we mark 9/11’s ten-year anniversary in this place, this great rotunda of the Vienna International Centre, home to so many vital multilateral organizations whose work touches directly or indirectly on the challenge of countering terrorism.  For international organizations are indispensable partners in this effort, and international public servants have often borne the brunt of terrorist attacks.  We all well remember the terrorist attack on United Nations offices in Iraq in 2003, which killed 22 people, including UN envoy Sergio de Mello.  And only a few days ago United Nations offices were attacked in Nigeria. One of the UNODC’s own – Ingrid Midtgaard – lost her life, along with at least 22 others, in this most recent act of violence, and we offer our condolences.  The very nature of the UN’s work as a champion of freedom and international cooperation puts all who dedicate their lives to serving humanity at direct odds with terrorists.

But you are not alone.  Even before the death of Usama Bin Laden, the overwhelming majority of people saw that the murder of innocents did not bring about a better life for anyone.  People across the Middle East and North Africa continue to reject extremism, and are charting a path of peaceful progress based on universal rights and aspirations.

So, from Mumbai to Manila, Lahore to London, New York to Nairobi, we have witnessed resilience and solidarity.  Terrorism remains a threat, but our common human spirit has endured and emerged, stronger than ever.  We have not succumbed to the grief and fear that terrorists seek to spread.

On the contrary, since September 11, 2001, countries across the globe have responded collectively to reduce the threat of terrorism.  We have sharply diminished the capabilities of terrorist groups through the combined, collaborative efforts of the international community.  Together, we have answered the terrorists’ attempts to weaken or destroy our societies.  Our message of hope, of support for peace, security, and universal human rights is far more compelling than any message of hate, discrimination, and death.

The tenth anniversary of September 11 is an especially moving moment for Americans.  We are ten years on, but the pain and grief has hardly abated.  And that compels me to thank all of you profoundly for coming here today and joining us in this simple event.

Colleagues, Friends,

Here, gathered as the missions and the staff of the United Nations and the international organizations headquartered in Vienna, here in this great international city, I can think of no more appropriate charge to all of us than that voiced by UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold: “No peace which is not peace for all, no rest until all has been fulfilled.”

And that is the thought I wish to leave you with.  We gather today to share our common commitment to peace for all, and our common determination not to rest until terrorism is defeated.  We gather to make known our unified message: Terrorism will not prevail. We are vigilant.  We remember and honor those we have lost.  And we pursue our lives with confidence, not fear.

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for joining us here today.


and looking back at news reports from places not called New York or Washington:

9/11 Global Memorials, Tinged With Weariness.

By Published, The New York Times,  September 11, 2011…

PARIS — On Sunday, however briefly, nations around the world came together with the United States to remember the attacks on New York and the Pentagon that killed nearly 3,000 people from 90 countries.

Commemorations were held from Indonesia to Israel, with many political and religious leaders expressing their commitment to democracy and the fight against terrorism. But there was also weariness, with smaller-than-expected crowds in some cities and numerous commentaries noting the wars that followed Sept. 11 and the attacks’ more negative impacts — on civil liberties, air travel, international law and the United States’ reputation.

There was an overnight suicide bombing involving an explosives-packed truck in Afghanistan, the arrests of terrorism suspects in Berlin and Sweden and heightened security alerts most everywhere. There was analysis about how democratic values have triumphed in the Arab Spring, which has been seen as a defeat for Al Qaeda. But even with Osama bin Laden dead, Al Qaeda or its offshoots remain active in the chaotic areas of Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and the Maghreb, and its ideology still inspires some to plan attacks against the United States and its allies.

Although NATO is at war against Al Qaeda and the Taliban, 10 years later, the European allies have tired of the war and are pressing for negotiations with the Taliban.

In Pakistan, where opinion surveys show most people doubt that Al Qaeda was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, the government ignored the anniversary, except to put an advertisement in The Wall Street Journal describing Pakistan as a victim, not a perpetrator, of terrorism.

In Germany, where the attacks were planned, there was a quiet commemoration, an interfaith service at the American Church in Berlin. Three days after the attacks, about 200,000 people had gathered near the Brandenburg Gate, but barely 200 showed up for a moment of silence on Sunday. “I thought there would be a few more people,” said Alan Benson, who helped organize the program and held an American flag. “First there was empathy with Americans, but as a consequence of the wars there are a lot of misgivings now.”

In Hamburg, Germany, where the lead 9/11 hijacker, Mohammed Atta, and several of the other plotters lived at Marienstrasse 54, Mayor Olaf Scholz ordered flags at half-staff on public buildings.

Britain, which lost 67 of its citizens on Sept. 11, held several commemorations. It has been America’s principal military partner in Afghanistan and Iraq over the last decade, and 559 British soldiers have died in the wars there.

In London, remembrances were led by Prince Charles and Prime Minister David Cameron and included many relatives of the 9/11 victims. The ceremony was held at the London memorial garden for the victims in Grosvenor Square, across a park from the United States Embassy.

After family members read the names of those who were killed, relatives, including children not yet born on the day of the attacks, walked into the arbor and laid white roses on a memorial stone that is atop a piece of twisted metal taken from the rubble at ground zero.

Prince Charles said he could identify with the families’ grief, having lost his uncle and mentor, Lord Louis Mountbatten, in a 1979 terrorist bombing in Northern Ireland. “For so many of those left behind,” he said, it had been “a continuing, awful agony that has to be endured day by day.”

In Rome, the Colosseum was illuminated on Sunday night as a gesture of mourning. The Italian president, Giorgio Napolitano, wrote President Obama of the need to “look forward and reinforce that international and multilateral solidarity that supported us 10 years ago.” Pope Benedict XVI urged world leaders to address “the grievances that give rise to acts of violence.” Terrorism in the name of God, the pope said, was a kind of abomination, adding, “No circumstances can ever justify acts of terrorism.”

In Paris, the main commemoration was across from the Eiffel Tower on the rainy Place du Trocadero, where 10-story replicas of the twin towers were covered with the names of the victims and messages from the French. Some 1,300 people came. A large sign in French and English read: “Sept. 11, 2001. The French will never forget.” One organizer, the businessman Patrick du Tertre, said, “We want the Americans to know that we love them, that we are their allies, that we remember and that we share their sorrow.”

On Friday, the American ambassador to France, Charles Rivkin, held a small ceremony in his garden with President Nicolas Sarkozy, who delivered a fiercely pro-American speech.

“In the darkest hours of its history, France has always been able to count on the American people,” he said. “Without you, the Americans, we would not have been able to keep our freedom. So on 11 September, when terrorists struck at the heart of America, every French citizen felt the blow.”

In Oslo, there was a sense of affinity with the United States after the July 22 killings by Anders Behring Breivik, who took 77 lives. He claimed to be acting to defend Europe from Islam, an obsession that began with the Sept. 11 attacks.

Kari Gasvatn, a commentator for the newspaper Nationen, said that both attacks were challenges to democracy and raised questions about what kind of society to build afterward. “Both attacks show how vulnerable we can be,” she said. “Skyscrapers can collapse on a sunny autumn day. Young people can be massacred on a peaceful Norwegian island.”
Asle Toje, a political analyst, said that in Norway, as in most of Europe, the initial sympathy for America after 9/11 was “followed by a lack of enthusiasm, you might say, for the way 9/11 was exploited for political purposes.”
The war in Iraq was connected to 9/11, he said, “and that has made sentiments about 9/11 a lot more complicated.”
Russia marked the anniversary with a powerful evocation of the Holocaust, a subject that was off limits for much of the Soviet era. The Russian National Orchestra performed Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13, “Babi Yar,” and Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3, titled “Kaddish.”
Russians recalled the outpouring of sympathy 10 years ago and the sense, however fleeting, that the threat of Islamic terrorism meant that Russia and the United States were aligned. Yevgeniya Pishchikova pointed to deeper shifts. Fear has become so reflexive, she wrote in Moscow News, that conversations in hair salons touch on the changes in the Muslim world, the riots in Europe and the reliable conclusion that “everything is about to crash.”
“Only one thing is clear — there is no way to live calmly,” she said. “So let’s not put on airs. Whether America appeals to you or not, let us commemorate with her the decade of global fear.”


Reporting contributed by Ellen Barry in Moscow; John F. Burns in London; Jane Perlez in Islamabad, Pakistan; Henrik Pryser Libell in Oslo; Nicholas Kulish in Berlin; Elisabetta Povoledo in Rome; Michael Wines in Beijing; Isabel Kershner in Jerusalem; and Elvire Camus and Alan Cowell in Paris.

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