June 5, 2014

Remembering September 11th, 2001 and Its Aftermath in These Free Audio & Video Resources

In this carefully selected list of audio & video resources, we remember September 11th, 2001 and its aftermath. Starting with a historical trace of what happened on that tragic day, we present an audio version of the 9/11 Commission report and archived audio that tracks how the event unfolded. This list also showcases a large collection from various lecturers, political leaders, and social scientists as they attempt to unpack why 9/11 happened, and how the world has changed in its wake. Speakers include Lawrence Wright, Thomas Friedman, and more as they assess Osama Bin Laden’s legacy, discuss Islamic Terrorism and scrutinize US National Security policy in the 21st century. Learn more about 9/11 and how America and the rest of the world responded by clicking any of the links below:

1. The 9/11 Commission Report

To mark the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that have come to define the modern era, today we’re featuring The 9/11 Commission Report put together by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. This report was issued in 2004 and details the findings of the Commission after interviewing over 1,200 people in 10 countries and reviewing over two and a half million pages of documents. The report looks at the events leading up to the September 11, 2001 attacks and it outlines a strategy for the War on Terror. This unabridged audio book was read by volunteers at Librivox and is available to download through their site.

2. Was America Responsible for the Attacks of September 11th?

A bit of a provocative title perhaps but this debate offered from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute really doesn’t cover the September 11th attacks. Instead it is more of an overall debate about whether American power and wealth in the world is generally good or bad. Dinesh D’Souza, author of What’s So Great About America, argues that the American way of life is superior than other cultures and that we all too often ignore the freedoms and priviledges that make us the envy of the world. Rabbi Michael Lerner argues that the American empire is excessively selfish and greedy, and that our financial and military power has been used to oppress cultures throughout the world. It makes for a very heated and interesting debate. It is available on streaming audio and video as well as on MP3 download.

3. 9/11 Major Speeches and Interviews

To mark the anniversary of the terrorist attacks that have come to define the modern era, we present the 9/11 Major Speeches and Interviews available on streaming audio from The American History Center. These speeches & interviews represent September 11th directly as it happened: through various news dispatches, Pentagon briefings, and statements made by the President and other governmental officials. Here you will listen to how the shock of what happened gave way to the slow realization of who perpetrated the attacks, and finally how the American people rallied to face a new kind of threat. Relive recent history and remember an event that has come to shape our daily lives to the present day.

4. The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism

Political scientist Robert Pape identifies the main causes that lead to terrorism, in this informative streaming video discussion hosted by Conversations with History host Harry Kreisler. Here Pape traces the history of this particular tactic of suicide terrorism; an epidemic of what was once guerilla-led violence that has now taken on a more complex dimension in the post 9/11 world. After pointing out its origins, and sketching out the character of the people that perpetrate these attacks, Pape then offers his opinion on how the U.S. and other world leaders should address the issue on a strategic and diplomatic level. Watch this fascinating lecture offered for free and available on YouTube.

5. The Threat of Nuclear Terrorism

Currently terrorist groups show no qualm in the active pursuit of nuclear weapons. In this lecture presented by the University Channel, Nuclear Threat Initiative (NIT) spokeswoman Laura Holgate provides a historical record of how the world’s nuclear powers have maintained their stockpiles and then illustrates how any lapse in current security could have dire consequences. Holgate finally discusses what the NIT has done to create a database of who wants weapons, who could provide them, and what can be done to assure they do not succeed.

6. U.S. National Security in the 21st Century

For this presentation provided by University Channel, spokesmen from the Princeton Project on National Security give listeners the results of a two-year investigation into the current state of American national security. In an effort to come up with a coherent foreign policy strategy, the speakers give their recommendations based on a new world order that contains multiple threats as opposed to the single opposing force presented during the cold war. What comes out as a result of this assessment is an illuminating debate on how to restructure the UN, and how America’s ideals are changing in the new era. This talk is available on streaming video from the University Channel.

7. Lawrence Wright on The Looming Tower

Author Lawrence Wright digs into the cultural roots of what makes a terrorist in this streaming video lecture provided by Google. Here Wright explains how marginalized young men have been molded into an army bent on reclaiming their religious heritage in the face of Western encroachment. It is precisely this sense of alienation that the author argues needs to be addressed before any meaningful change can be made in the War on Terror. This talk is available on streaming video from YouTube.

8. Thomas Friedman: Exploring the World After September 11

Bestselling author Thomas Friedman discusses what September 11th means for the world in this streaming video lecture provided by FORA.tv. First outlining who the 9/11 hijackers were, Friedman argues that many of these educated young men were disillusioned by the incongruity between Mideast poverty and the West’s rampant affluence. Friedman feels that as a religion, Islam is now at a turning point where it can either follow Osama Bin Laden’s lead and stay aggressively static, or evolve to meet the reality of a world where belief systems must reside together in a global community. Though recorded just a year after 9/11, Friedman accurately predicts the pitfalls the U.S. would later face when conducting their war on terror, and the massive influence the internet has had in democratizing the Middle East.

9. Conversations With History: Michael Scheuer

Former Chief of the CIA’s Bin Laden unit Michael Scheuer talks with Conversations With History host Harry Kreisler about the state of U.S. Foreign Policy and the terrorist threat. Scheuer is the author of numerous books on Osama Bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the War on Terror. He discusses America’s history of dealing with Osama Bin Laden starting in the 1990s and the efforts and failures of both the Clinton and Bush administrations at killing Bin Laden. He provides a good insider view of how the CIA and the president deal with terrorist threats. He goes on to criticize current U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East and in particular the handling of the Iraq War. It’s an expert opinion from someone who has been on the front lines of fighting terrorist threats for decades.

10. Conversations With History: Steve Coll

In this Conversations With History interview host Harry Kreisler talks with Pulitzer prize winning author of Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden Steve Coll. After 20 minutes of discussing his journalistic methods, Coll tells the story of the rise of Radical Islam in Afghanistan and how America’s abandonment of the region after the Cold War led to a precarious situation with Pakistan supporting the rise of Radical Islam in order to gain leverage against India. Out of this rise of Radical Islam came the harboring of figures such as Osama Bin Laden. Scheuer suggests some of the key points at which the events leading up to the attacks could’ve been handled differently which would’ve most likely prevented 9/11.