How did 9/11 change the world?
The US commemorated the victims of the 9/11 attacks with a minute of silence in New York on Sunday. Fifteen years after jets crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington, killing almost 3,000 people, the press looks at how these events have shaped the world.
US trapped in identity crisis
The global balance of power changed after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the US still hasn't recovered from this, the Berliner Zeitung comments:
“In today's multipolar world, America has less influence than it has ever had since World War II. At the same time, no international crisis can be solved without US participation because no institution wields the same degree of power. Obama wanted to change that, and has called on the Europeans to shoulder more responsibility on various occasions. But neither the EU nor its key members have been willing or able to do so. ... America's wars have in part been waged in breach of international law, and that has plunged the country into a political crisis of identity. And this crisis - as one would expect with a superpower - has significant repercussions for the rest of the world. What's more, America's global reputation has been badly damaged, and Obama's rational and measured policies of the past eight years have done little to change that.”
West has lost its soul
In the war on terror the West has changed and undermined its own values, Hospodářské noviny observes:
“ Fifteen years ago an enemy was born that the world didn't know after the end of the Cold War - Islamist terror. For 15 years we have struggled with this enemy. Under the influence of our fear and populist games with emotions we now see terror in almost everything that has anything to do with the Muslim faith, the Koran or the burqa. It's as if we need this war on terror to justify our own existence. In this war we are trampling on all our ideals, limiting our own freedom. … If there is one thing terrorism has achieved it is that it has forced the Western world to simply react rather than creating anything new, useful, inspirational or positive.”
Muslims have suffered the most
The 9/11 attacks have had dramatic consequences above all for moderate Muslims, The Malta Independent concludes:
“The multiple memories of that tragic day have left an indelible mark on our collective memory. Utterly reprehensible in every way, those heinous acts represent a condemnable and twisted view of one of the world’s great religions, and the perpetrators through their despicable actions rendered a great disservice to its followers. The sad fact is that those Muslims who do not subscribe to extremists’ warped interpretation of their religion have borne and suffered the many consequences of their actions. Since then, with the rise of al-Qaeda and later the Islamic State, that burden which they bear has become all the heavier.”