Twin tow­ers’ rem­nants find role in Lon­don me­mo­rial

The Washington Times Weekly - - Geopolitics - BY JEN­NIFER STEIL

LON­DON | The grass-car­peted grove of trees just in­side the Rosary Gate of Bat­tersea Park is known as the Amer­i­can Ground. When the park was cre­ated in the 1850s, it was planted with North Amer­i­can trees and shrubs.

On Sept. 5, they were joined by an­other piece of Amer­ica, a 28-foot twisted tower of steel once part of New York City’s twin tow­ers.

Lon­don Mayor Boris John­son said dur­ing an un­veil­ing cer­e­mony that the Sept. 11, 2001, at­tack “was not just an at­tack on build­ings, but on our two cities and what they jointly rep­re­sent.”

Sixty-seven Bri­tons died on Sept. 11, more than in any ter­ror­ist at­tack in the United King­dom.

“It is only if we and our chil­dren prop­erly re­mem­ber and un­der­stand 9/11 that we can make sure that noth­ing like it ever hap­pens again,” Mr. John­son said.

The sculp­ture, by New York artist Miya Ando, con­sists of three en­meshed gird­ers and a steel plate. Ti­tled “Af­ter 9/11,” the art­work was com­mis­sioned by the 911 Lon­don Project, an ed­u­ca­tional char­ity ded­i­cated to help­ing stu­dents un­der­stand what hap­pened 10 years ago.

“I wanted to cre­ate some­thing that would give light back into the com­mu­nity,” Ms. Ando said.

She meant that lit­er­ally and fig­u­ra­tively.

While she

left the warped steel in the same shape and con­di­tion in which she found it, she spent six months pol­ish­ing and sand­ing the steel plate un­til it was mir­ror-smooth.

“I thought it was a po­etic way to ex­press trans­for­ma­tion,” she said. “Not only are we hav­ing the piece stand up­right in a ges­ture of re­silience, but to cre­ate some­thing serene and light.”

Thomas Von Es­sen, the fire Com­mu­nist Party-run news­pa­per Global Times is­sued a rather hege­monic and fierce editorial threat­en­ing Libya’s new govern­ment-in-wait­ing that dis­closed China’s sub­stan­tial arms deals with the in­ter­na­tion­ally dis­cred­ited regime of Col. Moam­mar Gad­hafi as re­cently as July.

Ti­tled “Libyan Op­po­si­tion Group Must Cor­rect Its World­view,” the editorial listed the Libyan rebels’ National Tran­si­tional Coun­cil’s mis­be­hav­iors in dis­re­spect­ing China. It in­cluded claims that a coun­cil of­fi­cial pub­licly com­plained about China’s stonewalling in ef­forts to un­freeze Libya’s over­seas fi­nan­cial as­sets, and for pro­mot­ing what it said was the ru­mor that China is will­ing to sell arms to Col. Gad­hafi. Chi­nese govern­ment of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing Li Daguang of the National De­fense Univer­sity, re­cently an­nounced that this ru­mor might well have been en­gi­neered by Amer­i­can and Bri­tish in­tel­li­gence ser­vices to harm China’s re­la­tions with the as­cend­ing Libyan rebels.

The Libyan rebels, the Global Times editorial lec­tures, should com­mis­sioner of New York at the time of the at­tacks, fought back tears as he gazed at the me­mo­rial.

“I look at it, and I don’t see beauty. I see pain,” he said. “I see steel that de­stroyed a lot of lives.”

Mr. Von Es­sen lost 343 fire­fight­ers in the tow­ers. He said it is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber, de­spite the grief. know that since the end of the Cold War, sev­eral “lit­tle coun­tries” have had regime changes, and those new regimes ini­tially held un­friendly views about China but grad­u­ally they have all cor­rected their views and be­came friendly to China. The new Libyan govern­ment, the editorial threat­ens, should learn from these cases. Other­wise, “It will be nec­es­sary [for the new Libyan govern­ment] to pay a price,” be­cause China has its own stan­dard

Fam­i­lies of the Bri­tish vic­tims were not rep­re­sented at the un­veil­ing.

The un­veil­ing also marked the launch of the 911 Lon­don Project’s ed­u­ca­tional pro­gram — a web­site that gives teach­ers the re­sources to ex­plore the causes, ex­pe­ri­ences and con­se­quences of the Sept. 11 at­tacks.

Cre­ated by the In­sti­tute of Ed­u­ca­tion at the Univer­sity of to han­dle in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions, and it will never “bow to a lit­tle coun­try like Libya.”

The Libyan rebels, the Global Times editorial lec­tures, should know that since the end of the Cold War, sev­eral “lit­tle coun­tries” have had regime changes, and those new regimes ini­tially held un­friendly views about China but grad­u­ally they have all cor­rected their views and be­came friendly to China. The new Libyan govern­ment, the editorial threat­ens, should learn from these cases. Other­wise, “It will be nec­es­sary [for the new Libyan govern­ment] to pay a price” [. . .].

one se­ri­ous ex­cep­tion. One year ago, the com­mu­nist govern­ment en­acted what it calls “the Guard­ing State Se­crets Law,” and Bei­jing is with­out a doubt very se­ri­ous about en­forc­ing it. Start­ing Lon­don, the web­site is de­signed to be used across the sec­ondary cur­ricu­lum through sub­jects in­clud­ing English, his­tor y, ar t, ci­ti­zen­ship and re­li­gious ed­u­ca­tion.

The ed­u­ca­tional pro­gram is the brain­child of Peter Rosen­gard, chair­man of the 911 Lon­don Project.

Af­ter read­ing a news­pa­per ar­ti­cle men­tion­ing that 2,000 re­cov­ered pieces of the twin tow­ers were be­ing kept in a gi­ant hangar at John F. Kennedy In­ter­na­tional Air­port, he thought Lon­don might get a piece to cre­ate a me­mo­rial.

Mr. Rosen­gard texted the mayor and, to his sur­prise, Mr. John­son texted back im­me­di­ately: “YES!!!”

A sur­vey con­ducted by Mr. Rosen­gard’s or­ga­ni­za­tion found wide­spread ig­no­rance of the at­tacks among school­child­ren.

One child said, “Septem­ber 11? Wasn’t that re­tal­i­a­tion for Afghanistan?”

An­other thought the at­tacks were “about trade.”

Sept. 11 wasn’t be­ing taught in any school be­cause teach­ers didn’t know how to teach it, but 90 per­cent of those sur­veyed said they want to in­clude it in their les­son plans.

“Our pro­gram is about telling young peo­ple ages 11 to 16 what hap­pened — its causes, its con­se­quences,” said Mr. Rosen­gard. “Chil­dren have to un­der­stand that it wasn’t a video game. It could have been their mums, their dads, their brother or sis­ter mur­dered by ter­ror­ists.” two weeks ago, a 30-day na­tion­wide pro­pa­ganda cam­paign was launched to raise pub­lic aware­ness of the law. Govern­ment of­fi­cials must at­tend an in­ter­nal com­pre­hen­sive ex­hibit now tour­ing the coun­try called “the National Warn­ing and Ed­u­ca­tional Ex­hibit of Steal­ing and Leak­ing State Se­crets Cases.” Party of­fi­cials high and low, from Polit­buro mem­bers to re­gional party sec­re­taries, flocked, ap­par­ently on or­ders from on high, to view the ex­hibit put to­gether by the coun­try’s vast in­tel­li­gence and counter-es­pi­onage ap­pa­ra­tus, in­clud­ing the State Se­cu­rity and Pub­lic Se­cu­rity min­istries, and the in­tel­li­gence and se­cu­rity wings of the State Coun­cil and the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army.

Coin­cid­ing with the pro­pa­ganda cam­paign, and as a warn­ing, China re­cently al­lowed Maj. Gen. Jin Yinan to dis­close a few well-known, al­beit embarrassing, re­cent cases of for­eign in­tel­li­gence in­fil­tra­tion among its high­est ranks. The cur­rent ex­hibit ap­par­ently in­cludes many more cases, mostly deal­ing with cy­ber­spy­ing.

True to its spirit, all de­tails of the ex­hibit are clas­si­fied as state se­crets. Its con­tents were blacked out in party-con­trolled Chi­nese news me­dia.

Miles Yu can be reached at mmilesyu@gmail.com.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Lon­don Mayor Boris John­son un­veils “Af­ter 9/11” in Bat­tersea Park in Lon­don on Sept. 5. “It is only if we and our chil­dren prop­erly re­mem­ber and un­der­stand 9/11 that we can make sure that noth­ing like it ever hap­pens again,” he said.

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