The 2015-2016 New Year’s fire in Dubai immediately makes you think of 9/11 and destruction of the Twin Towers. Inferno in the 63-story hotel in Dubai spread through forty floors in about five minutes. It took an hour for fire trucks to get into position. The fire burned through most of the night. It generated way, way more heat than the fires in the Twin Towers. Yet the hotel structure held up as intended. Scroll down to see a picture of the smoldering tower on New Year’s morning, in this Telegraph article.
Who wants to argue that the Dubai hotel was structurally sound, but the Twin Towers were not? Who wants to argue that the Dubai hotel was the safer structure – no one died in the New Year’s Eve fire – but that the Twin Towers were death traps? Who cares to say that engineers in the United Arab Emirates know how to build a skyscraper, but that engineers in the United States are incompetent?
We make mistakes of perception all the time. We see one thing and think it is another.
No one cares to make those claims, because they are untrue. You cannot think of any circumstances where a relatively small fire causes utter destruction of a 110-story skyscraper, but a relatively large fire leaves a 63-story hotel intact. No one in the United States will even touch the comparison, because it leads to one conclusion: the so-called collapse of the Twin Towers was fake. Fake means that people who benefit from lying about how the Twin Towers fell passed one event – controlled destruction – off as another – structural failure and collapse.
We make mistakes of perception all the time. We see one thing and think it is another. It is a standard plot device in films: a man or woman walks in on a couple, and believes in an instant that one member of the couple is being unfaithful. After you jump to a conclusion, it’s difficult for the brain to rethink the situation, reevaluate the evidence. You hold onto your original thought longer than you would if you had refrained from jumping to a conclusion in the first place.
Interestingly, people outside the United States readily compare the Dubai fire and its result, with the 9/11 fires and their results. People outside the United States recognize the significance of what happened in each case immediately. They understand why the results differed, with total destruction for three buildings in New York, and structural integrity for the Address Downtown hotel in Dubai. Large propane tanks exploded in the Dubai hotel, but those explosions had no effect on the building’s structure. The explosions in the Twin Towers, and in Building 7, brought those three buildings down because the explosives were designed to bring the buildings down. No one who understands how skyscrapers are built has doubts about the reason for their destruction.
It ought to make us angry when other people deceive us.
The conclusion to be drawn from the Dubai fire is a truth we have known for a long time: fires do not bring down steel framed towers, no matter how hot they burn, and no matter how long they burn. Steel structures strong enough to support a tower that high do not lose their integrity due to fire. That is a basic truth of engineering. Yet people in the United States still believe that the Twin Towers and Building 7 came down due to the effects of fire. The only explanation for this belief is that false initial conclusions and improvised, post hoc theories supplanted the truth.
It ought to make us angry when other people deceive us. I’m not talking about white lies. Those deceptions are part of everyday life. I’m talking about deceptions that matter. Call them black lies. These lies cover up crimes and betrayals. They protect traitors and criminals. For crimes on the scale of 9/11, we ought to be angry when the people who committed them lie to us about what happened, and succeed in their deceit.