Remembering 9/11, and forgetting it

The sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks “passed without comment” in the U.K., said the London Telegraph in an editorial. How can we let the date go by without official ceremonies—without so much as a “minute's silence,” as if it never happened? “The attack has transformed the world in which we live, as no other single event in recent memory. If we do not commemorate such atrocities, how soon before we start to forget them?”

The Americans had plenty of ceremonies, said the London Daily Mail in an editorial, but are they forgetting the true meaning of the day? “President Bush resolved to make the world a safer place” after the suicide hijackers struck, and 3,000 people lay dead in the rubble of the World Trade Center. Bush started out fine, attacking the Taliban regime that sheltered al Qaida in Afghanistan. But since then he has used the attacks as reason for an “unjustified war” in Iraq, and “turned an outrage by 19 suicidal hijackers into a calamity for the democratic world.”

The U.S. can get back on the right track by figuring out how the attacks happened, said Peter Tatchell in the London Guardian. Six years later, there has still been no “full and truthful” account of 9/11, and the intelligence foul-ups that came before it. The world needs to know. “But equally important is the way the 9/11 cover-up signifies an absence of democratic, transparent and accountable government. Establishing the truth is, in part, about restoring honesty, trust and confidence in American politics.”