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More non-Americans than Americans
September 22, 2001 1:49 PM   Subscribe

More non-Americans than Americans were killed on Sept. 11th, according to cryptome. Should this change the way we feel about the attack? Should it change the way other countries feel about the attack?
posted by jaek (24 comments total)

 
There were more than 3000 non-americans killed?
posted by Doug at 1:51 PM on September 22, 2001


This was covered here days ago wasn't it? Same point being made here, right?
posted by mathowie at 2:01 PM on September 22, 2001


The salient facts are still the same. Namely:

1)They didn't know or care who they massacred
2)All the victims, whatever their nationality, were killed in U.S. territory. Non-American victims would not have died if they weren't in America. So the target is doubly America.
3)Non-Americans are not a nationality. More Americans - way more Americans - were killed than any other nationality.
4)My Portuguese countrymen who died, like everybody else, died as Americans. This is an honour. As many Americans have died for us and all of us.
5)It brings us together. But not because of arithmetic. What about the number of people, of even more nationalities, who could have died?
Precisely.

Good question, though.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:01 PM on September 22, 2001


Globalization .
posted by Postroad at 2:05 PM on September 22, 2001


Doug: from the linked page
"Although the major media has reported that other nations lost a number of their citizens, it is not being reported that their numbers, some 3061, are in excess of U.S. casualties, currently estimated at around 2589. These figures do not include any Canadians who may have been lost in the cataclysm."
Of the dead among the foreign nationalities, some 506 were from predominantly Islamic countries.
posted by tamim at 2:15 PM on September 22, 2001


I'm sure doug read the article, tamim. I think he just questions its validity.
posted by jpoulos at 2:18 PM on September 22, 2001


Miguel, can you (or someone else) explain some of that again? Re: point 2, how is the target "doubly America"?

Re: point 3, of course Non-Americans is not a nationality, but the reason the figures are important is because they lend credence to politicians' comments that this is an international disaster, not just an American one.

Wouldn't you agree that, judging by these figures, the decision as to what kind of response or retaliation there should be should be an international one rather than solely George Bush's? (America has reserved the right to act alone in any military action should it so wish).
posted by skylar at 2:19 PM on September 22, 2001


skylar:
I think they wanted to punish not only Americans but all those who "collaborate" or agree with the American way of life.
So they targeted Americans and all the other foreign nationals who chose to be in America. The fact that tourists are staying away from New York is a consequence.
Wall Street is not only the American way but also the capitalist way.
I agree entirely with your other points. New York is even more international than the U.S. and, viewed from your perspective, the numbers are important.
I.e. if only Americans had been killed the reaction of the international community - though sadly, in my view - would have been different.
Another convincing factor that follows from what you say is too horrible to mention, but I'll do it anyway. The fact that so many Muslims were also killed probably helps to defuse, or at least alleviate, any hatred directed at Arab-Americans or Muslims in general.
My previous opinion stands thus revised and corrected - thanks.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:32 PM on September 22, 2001


Do you really think the response would have been different? Despite the number of Britons killed, it still feels to me like an american tragedy (I'm in the UK). Do you feel it's a portugese tragedy? I was in Germany last week, talking with Germans and Chileans, and got the impression that they felt it was an american thing too.

From the other side, check out the NY Post(?) editorial posted elsewhere about the UN - that pretty clearly felt that it was an american problem.

Any french people reading? How did the WTC compare to the factory explosion a few days ago - I suspect the two felt very different (sorry, don't mean to denigrate either disaster by comparing them)?

[PS Am I right in capitalising when using, say, "American" to refer to a person, but not when using it as an adjective?]
posted by andrew cooke at 3:23 PM on September 22, 2001


Andrew, I think it would have a capital "A" both times.
posted by skylar at 3:25 PM on September 22, 2001


These figures do not include any Canadians who may have been lost in the cataclysm.

Jeez...first Canadians get snubbed in the "big speech" and now we don't get included in the casualty count?
What have we done to deserve this? ;)
posted by Grum at 3:33 PM on September 22, 2001


skylar Yes, I just checked and a bunch of places online say languages and countries as adjectives should be capitalised. Sorry! (Think I'm getting confused with Spanish grammar...)
posted by andrew cooke at 3:37 PM on September 22, 2001


This article from the NY Times says that Giuliani and friends think the foreign numbers that have been reported aren't the most accurate of things. For instance:

"One country, he said, had reported 56 people feared to be missing at the site. After checking, officials now believe that none, in fact, had been in the buildings."
posted by smackfu at 4:10 PM on September 22, 2001


I don't think it changes anything, b/c the main purpose of the attack wasn't to kill civillians, but to create turmoil, especially in America.

Moreover, the main reason we (America in particular) should respond is not for retribution, but to restore security and protect our national interests. The threat terrorism poses to the U.S. (and the world) is undiminished by the non-native origins of those killed.
posted by mattpfeff at 4:14 PM on September 22, 2001


I think they wanted to punish not only Americans but all those who "collaborate" or agree with the American way of life.

Perhaps, but somehow I doubt they crafted their strategy at the level of poets. It seems more likely to me they thought "big buildings in big American city...make a big boom."
posted by rushmc at 5:24 PM on September 22, 2001


Moreover, the main reason we (America in particular) should respond is not for retribution, but to restore security and protect our national interests.

Ideally, and yet there is considerable question as to whether this is an achievable goal, given the techniques and methods of terrorists.
posted by rushmc at 5:26 PM on September 22, 2001


It wouldn't make a difference to me if it were a pack of wild animals killed in the attack, I'd still be pissed.
posted by Jack Torrance at 7:04 PM on September 22, 2001


Miguel (and you other folks too): I talked about it at some length here and here, so I won't repeat myself. I disagree with you that 'they' 'they wanted to punish...Americans'.

Although Jack Torrance's comment made me giggle a bit, which may or may not have been his intention, it serves my argument - that the attack was on capital 'A' America in the minds of the attackers, not on Americans, as rushmc mentions. This perhaps leads logically to the discussion, idealism aside, of whether America = Americans. My feeling is, these days, on the world stage, it increasingly isn't. More's the pity.

"Collateral damage" (and how I hate that phrase) in the form of the citizens of other countries, horrible though it was, was not even on the agenda, I wouldn't think.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:34 PM on September 22, 2001


To me, no, it doesn't change the way I feel about it. 6000 innocent humans dying at once is tragic under any circumstances, whether they're American, Somalian or Chinese humans.

That's exactly why I hope the US doesn't now take the equally despicable move of bombing civilian centres, and killing yet another 6000 innocent humans. Hopefully they'll just take out the guilty parties instead.
posted by wackybrit at 9:37 PM on September 22, 2001


Why do we assume that the intentions of the perpetrators, and our own reactions, must be one and the same. I've no doubt that the attackers meant to strike at America; not Americans, but America. But those of us who are humanists, unlike the terrorists, shouldn't give a fuck about that. To me, they struck at 7000 people. Even if it had been 7000 American people, or 7000 non-Americans, we should have mourned just the same. The terrorists want America to take it personally, and the American nation seems determined to play along with them. Ignore both. It was a crime against humanity.
posted by liam at 12:25 AM on September 23, 2001


Canada is only number 18 according to the tally, which seems very wrong. Canadians are everywhere! I should know, I am one (but fortunately I didn't work at the WTC).
posted by clevershark at 1:16 AM on September 23, 2001


"Perhaps, but somehow I doubt they crafted their strategy at the level of poets. It seems more likely to me they thought "big buildings in big American city...make a big boom." - rushmc

Please do not keep on underestimating these guys. A lot of thought went into selecting the targets. If they had wanted 'big boom' they would have crashed into nuclear plants. The only reason for attacking the WTC is the 'poetic' nature of such a foul deed.
posted by FidelDonson at 4:33 AM on September 23, 2001


While the target was America, IMHO, I believe the direct target was Capitalism (that may not be a country or language, but I think it's worth capitalizing).

The U.S. is the superpower of Capitalism.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 6:31 AM on September 23, 2001


asking whether the breakdown of the dead by nationality should affect who should respond and how much input a country should have in a multiparty response seems to indicate the position that life is valuable, but some lives are more valuable than others.
posted by tolkhan at 10:01 AM on September 23, 2001


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