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More on the WTC Disaster (Updated)

Of course this is not game related (we do not expect to be doing any further game coverage today), but with the legit news sites being almost impossible to access at times today, we've been getting loads of requests for more information about what's been going on. Here is the latest as of about 9:00 PM EDT:

  • President Bush addressed the nation 8:30 PM EDT. Here's a wire report: WASHINGTON (AP) - A grim-faced President Bush condemned ghastly attacks in Washington and New York on Tuesday and vowed to "find those responsible and bring them to justice." In the second Oval Office address of his presidency, Bush said the United States would retaliate against ``those behind these evil acts,'' and any country that harbors them.

To recap:

  • In two separate attacks, hijacked planes struck both main towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan this morning, and both of the "twin towers" subsequently collapsed.
  • A hijacked plane struck the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and part of it has collapsed as well.
  • A hijacked plane crashed in western Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. Reports indicate the hijackers planned to crash this plane into Camp David in Maryland.
  • 47 Story WTC building seven, one of the five (relatively) smaller buildings in the World Trade Center also later collapsed from ancillary damage.
  • The White House, the Pentagon, and the Capitol Building were all evacuated, all domestic flights in the US have been grounded through at least noon tomorrow.
  • Other closings include most federal offices, the stock markets, the Disney theme parks, and the cancellation of today's Major League Baseball schedule. The President's speech announced that all federal agencies will be open for business tomorrow.
  • Broadcasts out of Afghanistan showed evidence of missile attacks and antiaircraft fire, but what connection this has to today's apparent terrorist attacks in the US is not clear at this point. The US has denied involvement in these attacks.
  • In the first hints of any sort at the scope of casualties, the New York City Fire Department has estimated that as many as half of the 400 firefighters dispatched to the scene are missing. CNN has said that 78 Police officers are missing. Also, the death toll from those on the four hijacked planes has been placed at 266. The number of dead and injured at the Pentagon has been widely reported as about 100. No estimates of the number of victims from the World Trade Center have been made.
  • People throughout the United States have are being urged to donate blood to help offset significant shortages in New York and Washington. The American Red Cross in Greater New York or the American Red Cross are places to contact about donating blood or money, or both.
  • Some news sites seem to be back online. Here are some links that have been more reliable: CNN.com; CNET.com; Yahoo; The New York Times; washingtonpost.com; usnews.com; ABCNEWS.com; FOXNews.com; MSNBC; and BBC News Online.

All of our thoughts go out to the victims of these attacks and their families and friends in what must be an incredibly difficult time.

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524. Re: To all who hate Americans... Sep 13, 2001, 23:05 anon@66.136
 
[i]Not countries defending democracy really. We support countries that we either put in power or that we have some control or leverage over. It's all about oil over there, otherwise we wouldn't even be there.[/i]

That's the cynical thing that skeptics likes to tout. If you speak to American citizens (who pay their taxes and send contributions to other countries - via red cross or other charitable organizations), it's not about the oil or power or control. It's about doing the right thing. It's about defending and helping people who don't want to live in a communist regime or be taken over by their neighbors through military force. In the Gulf you have the Kuwaiti people who do not want to have their way of life taken away by hostile neighbors so they ask allies for assistance. In Vietnam you have a portion of its people who do not want communism (the communists help those who want communism and the allies help the ones who want democracy). In Korea you have a race who have been attacked by the Japanese then the Chinese and become split between communisms and democracy in a similar fashion - the communists support North Korea and the allies support South Korea.

If there was a never ending supply of money, people didnt' die, etc., etc., I'm sure the U.S. would help more countries. However, the truth is, that's impossible so they end up choosing the cause that makes the most sense - and that means strategic to economic and security issues.

I'm not aware that ANY U.S. State or its people would refuse assistance in times of need. I doubt that New York City residents would say no to cash aide, free medical supplies, or such. Also, a lot of Americans don't wait for countries in need to ask for assistance... they just organize and donate - be it via red cross, salvation army, missionary groups, etc. Most of them give a rats ass about oil, power, control or leverage.
 
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