11 July 2024

It’s “that month” again, arguably the most significant period of the year when many in America are concerned. But September has never been the same for a lot of other world citizens since that fateful day more than two decades ago, and neither have global politics, US security laws and measures, diplomacies at the highest level, perceptions of the ideological camp that controls the world’s political and economic orders. What look liked unrelated incidents throughout the earth have also been perceived with remnants of 9/11 in views.

While it was the biggest world event of modern history, few people talk about 9/11 these days, except so-called “conspiracy theorists” who are spouting the most shocking story ever heard. For 21 years. The “truthers”, as they name themselves, have been constantly and utterly discredited and largely suppressed or ignored, yet they are notoriously tenacious and relentless. And their “Truth Movement” looks at itself as the reason why every 9/11 anniversary over the past few years has been seemingly lukewarm and appeared to be commemorated with a rush.

Are their allegations catching fire? With the mainstream media staying away from them, it’s a slow burn at best. However, online comments especially on YouTube suggest that more and more people, silently or else, are buying into or taking closer looks at their highly and explosively controversial claims, which seemingly are based not just on crazy imaginations, but also on hard physics, proclaimed chemical evidence and solid, logical questions.

The noises of the “Truth Movement” traditionally get louder during this time of the year. Yet the status quo must be wondering why, for years, the United States has been constantly watched with increasing suspicion and why everything it does is always questioned. After Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, a popular phase has been along the lines of the world being united on the Ukrainian sufferings but divided on America. It can’t be said that the skeptical attitude has something to do with 9/11, but it’s also true that the truthers’ blatant accusations are not helping.

A US flag is seen on the 9/11 Memorial on the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in Manhattan, New York on September 11, 2021. / AFP)

The United States’ “no comment” response to inquiries is a policy that has worked on some occasions and backfired on the others. When it comes to 9/11, silence is not always golden. It keeps doubts linger, lends credits to those whose credibility the US authorities want to question, and affects American plans, statements, attempted mobilizations and so on all over the world.

In other words, instead of merely saying “the conspiracy theory has been debunked several times”, the US government should have, for example, explained the collapse of Building Seven in great details, answered the question why the collapse of the third skyscraper that day was kept from public views for so long. It is unwise to just say “it has been debunked” and leave it at that because the “truthers” are never tired of telling their side of the story in great detail over and over, day in and day out.

They have filed lawsuits and even created a comic book. As this article is being read, architects and engineers who are members of the movement are disseminating their thoughts at gatherings somewhere in and outside the United States. Activists are making video presentations. Books are being written. A major “webinar” is being organized. A new film is being shot, to add to what has been made before.

The truthers’ narrative is ultra-serious, as it concerns the global trust that America _ as leader of the “free” world who initiates projects, triggers sanctions and condemns war crimes or political atrocities elsewhere _ must have. In today’s world, complicated by increasingly-large political and business interests, such trust is much more important than ever.

This is why the White House, for its own good, needs to come clean, again maybe, on the allegations. In unambiguous details and loud and clear, that is. What the “truthers” are saying or asking repeatedly, such as why there were no visible plane wreckages at the World Trade complex, the Pentagon or Pennsylvania, must be countered publicly and categorically. If all of that has been done already, it should be done again.

It’s a mistake to assume that, since the mainstream media are not picking up on the accusations, it’s unnecessary to come up with detailed denial. The “conspiracy theorists” are like weeds that can stay underneath barren grounds forever, waiting for their chances. They are using the unresponsiveness to their advantage.

Like rains, September comes every year. The former turns the dry land green. For better or worse, the latter has changed a lot of the landscape over the past 21 years, and the reflections are still ongoing. The last thing the United States wants is for the movement to continue to be part of that.

By Tulsathit Taptim