Anniversary of 9/11/01 marked by remembrances, attacks, protests
by Don McKee
columnist
September 12, 2012 01:16 AM | 964 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Don McKee
Don McKee
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The 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America was marked by somber remembrances in this country and grim reminders in other countries that the fight against extremists goes on.

There were deadly attacks on our forces in Afghanistan, destruction of the U.S. Embassy flag in Cairo and the torching of a U.S. consulate in Libya.

In Afghanistan, insurgents — a nice word for terrorists — fired rockets into the U.S.-run Bagram Air Field outside Kabul, destroying a NATO helicopter, killing three Afghan intelligence employees and wounding NATO personnel on board. It happened as American and allied military forces marked the anniversary of the 9/11/01 attacks. The ceremony paid tribute to more than 3,000 foreign troops killed in Afghanistan, including about 2,000 Americans, since the country was invaded less than a month after the 2001 attacks.

And the group that claimed responsibility for the attack? The Taliban, of course, the same Islamist outfit that harbored Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda followers as they plotted the 9/11/01 attacks using hijacked commercial airliners to hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, while a fourth airliner went down in a Pennsylvania field far short of its target because of resistance by courageous passengers.

In western Afghanistan on Tuesday, a 14-year-old suicide bomber walked into a shop and blew himself up, killing five people. The target was a community leader who commanded a local militia – another message by the extremists that those who cooperate with America and its allies helping the country to actually have a democratic government face the risk of death every day.

In Egypt, protesters climbed the wall of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and pulled down the American flag — flying at half staff to commemorate 9/11/01 — and tried to burn it or burned parts of it, according to news reports. Members of the mob said they were associated with “an extremely conservative branch of Islam” known as Salafism, the Washington Post reported. The mob was protesting a video “promoted by an anti-Muslim Egyptian Christian in the U.S.,” the Associated Press said. Some protesters said their preachers had told them to demonstrate at the embassy Tuesday over the video.

The BBC reported that the offending video or film was “said to have been produced” by a U.S. pastor “and co-produced by some Egyptian Copt expatriates.” The protesters “condemned what they said was the humiliation of the Prophet of Islam under the pretext of freedom of speech.” The U.S. embassy issued a statement condemning “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.”

Not a good way to mark 9/11/01. But at the Kabul ceremony honoring those who have died defending freedom, Marine Gen. John Allen, top commander of U.S. and coalition troops, said that commitment “remains strong and unshaken.”

And to prove the point, after the ceremony he swore in eight U.S. service members who wanted to re-enlist on the anniversary of 9/11/01.

God bless America.
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