Comics – The 9/11 Report

9 11 2006


The 9/11Report

Originally uploaded by swftoys.

After a steady diet of Marvel for the past few weeks, I have slotted in this exception into my comics read time. I first came across The 9/11 Report from a local newspaper article citing several 9/11 related comics/graphic novels. It was a welcome as I had been searching for 9/11 related comics for a while now.

First of all, 9/11 took everyone but the perpetrators by surprise. I remembered only knowing this catastrophe had happened hours later when I saw the pictures of the smoking World Trade Center in the newspapers on my way out. I remembered the front page had 3 pictures arrange horizontally showing the WTC from the time the planes hit till it went down eventually.

I remembered my disbelief that the WTC had collapsed and I had to scan the report for confirmation. I had hoped that the building could had stood still defying the inhuman attacks on non-combatants. Alas, the report confirmed that both towers collapsed minutes within each other. I knew many had perished while I slept through the night at this other end of the world.

5 years later, here I am picking up an illustrated report on the 9/11 incident. Reading the first few pages of this comic helped me get some facts straight – something I had never remembered. For example, the South tower went down first although it was hit later than the North tower. The comic also provides a re-cap of the flight numbers of the planes and show how each plane proceeded from the airport to their fateful final destinations.

It even have comic sketches of the terrorists involved and their names. As I scanned through their faces, I wondered what hate so great drove them to this one act that wounded so many. What could have justified this act?

Besides illustrating the happenings on Sept 11 itself, it also reveals the events leading to the attack from findings in the 9/11 Commission’s Report. It seems that the period before 9/11 can be considered serene and peaceful(although there were wars at that time) as fear of destruction was certainly not on the minds of cities around the world.

Security was more lax and forgiving. The threat always seem to come from the outside factor – other countries or militants in other places. The borders of a country had gaping gaps that were thought secured by inadequate measures. The threat never seemed so close and unpredictable.

The 9/11 Report showed how oversight in security allowed terrorists to slip in and out of the United States, enrolled in flight school without the flagging of an intelligence agency and a foreign mastermind was able to architect a terror attack that the United States’ mighty military machine was not able to do anything about it.

With the 9/11 attacks, it showed that a small force allowed freedom can cause massive destruction under the noses of the US Government. No army or serious military hardware was required. Box cutters and obsession was all it takes.

The 9/11 Report also reveals findings on the problems within the US Government that made the attack possible. Intelligence agencies guarded their ‘turf’ jealously refusing to be cooperative about intelligence data. Everyone had a piece of the puzzle but was not willing to make the first step to offer their piece. Had it been so, the fragments of data would have given more clue as to what was coming their way.

I guess the 9/11 attacks really woke everyone up. It exposed gaps and revealed how inadequate the current processes were. Reading this comic, I can’t help but feel that the borders of the U.S are so huge that it seemed nearly impossible to effectively police. I imagine a missile could be shipped in in a million parts from a thousand entry places in the U.S. Even if the operation takes months, with patience those parts will form a missile one day within the bounds of security. Let’s hope we find measures to curb such matters!

The 9/11 Report is a good handbook containing facts and anlysis of the September 11th attacks. I see it as a good reading material worth passing on to posterity! Imagine them arriving in a world where Ground Zero is an empty land or new architecture. They would not know the story of the WTC unless heralds draw lessons of humanity from the stories of 9/11 to share them.

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