TURN ON THE TV

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Thru December 2001: TURN ON THE TV
By Heiko on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 04:43 pm: Edit

"Now, do you reckon the Saudis will cede control of Mecca to THEM? Or to ANYONE?"

I hope not - at least not to some crazy extremist islamists.
I just wanted to say that the Saudi monarchy isn't a perfect government. There are reasons (and let envy be the first) for a lot of people in the region to dislike them (and with them, their allies).

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 01:01 pm: Edit

Well, I'm off.

Don't let this asshole spot of shit so called Lord H revel in my absence.

He's a coward and a buffoon.

The kind the RIC used to buy for a pint of bitters to sell out his mates to the Castle.

Needs kevlar on his kneecaps he does.

They'll also help him be more comfy when he's sucking bin Laden's cock.

Toodaloo.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 12:10 pm: Edit

Plastic Paddy, is it, you half an Orangeman piece of shite? Spastic Socialist I'd call you, or worse. Your mother sucks Black & Tans. Your father is an unknown member of the 1st Para with tertiary syphilis and bad teeth.

By the way Lord Haw Haw this means you.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 12:05 pm: Edit

In the time honored leftist style none of you have addressed the issued.

So fuck you.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 12:02 pm: Edit

Heiko, have you ever been to Saudi Arabia?

THERE ARE NO POOR SAUDIS. All Saudis are richer than Croessus. The poorest Saudis as the Bedu, and they male up the SANG, the Saudi Arabian national Guard, and they are the MOST LOYAL AND MOST CONSERVATIVE guardians of the Monarchy.

The problem is that there are not enough Saudis to populate Saudi Arabia, so there are lots of guest workers. You are German and understand guest workers. The Saudis regard them as shit and there we are. THOSE are the 'poor oppressed who hate the Saudi monarchy' BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT SAUDI AT ALL. They are expat workers from all over the Islamic world from Morocco to Phillipines. Now, do you reckon the Saudis will cede control of Mecca to THEM? Or to ANYONE?

By Heiko on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:52 am: Edit

"The Saudi King is guardian of Mecca, and resists the pressures of the expansionist Caliph."

The bad thing about this government is that it is corrupt and self-centered. Therefore most of the Saudis hate their government (unless they are rich and their companies are given monopolistic rights - like bin Laden's father...)
One reason why the poor and depressed love bin Laden: he is from the rich upper-class and could have had an easy life in Saudi Arabia as a close friend of the King but he chose to fight against Russia in Afghanistan and criticize the Saudi government.
Mao Tse Tung started out the same way and later became a crazy dictator...

By _Blackjack on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:49 am: Edit

Fair enough, Heiko, but I didn't want to leave out Mao and Pol Pot and all the other nasty perversions. Totalitarian-Socialism, then.

By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:43 am: Edit

"Lord H, unworthy of being anything but a Lord Haw Haw... You wannabe Thought Police scumbag, disgrace to the Irish"

So the 'Plastic Paddy' is back, pining for the homeland of his ancestors. I thought you never wanted to address me ever again.

When, Don has support of US foreign policy ever been a condition of being Irish? Are you under the impression that Ireland is a member of NATO?

Hobgoblin

By Heiko on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:42 am: Edit

Better say: Nazism and Stalinism were very bad things.

Communism never existed and will never exist (unless we all get some altruistic genetic engineering)

By _Blackjack on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:38 am: Edit

Don, is it really necissary to accuse ANYONE who disagrees with you of being a communist? It really makes you sound just as silly as those who insist anyone right of Hillary Clinton is a Nazi.

Nazism and Communism were Very Bad Things and the terms should be reserved for those who really deserve them.

By Tlautrec on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:27 am: Edit

Don posted the following:

"The power centers are Baghdad, Mecca, and Teheran (as inheritor of the Persian Empire). Saddam wants to be Caliph of Baghdad and so he is. The Saudi King is guardian of Mecca, and resists the pressures of the expansionist Caliph. The Persians, who are NOT Arab, have their own version of Islam and want to recover their former political, and economic domination of much of the Islamic world and incidentally spread Shi'ite Islam to the Sunni and Ala'awite and Sufi worlds. Bin Laden is a renegade Saudi who wants to topple the monarchy and gain personal power."

Although I may be deemed to be a member of the dreaded Politburo for some of my previous thoughts in this thread, I must concur wholeheartedly with Don's geopolitical analysis of the agenda of the above-mentioned players in the Middle East.

And yes, it mostly is about oil and the survival of the West as we know it - call it "civil society" to define it in its best, broadest, most benevolent and most desirable light. Israel/Palestine is an unfortunate side-show, in which both sides have done much wrong.

By Luger on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:26 am: Edit

Amen!

"Besides they have untunable triggers"

I agree with everything else but this!
Not many persons that can do it though,,,,

I apologize for suggesting that you would not know the meanings of such famous words, I´ll give yoy a harder question next time :-)

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:26 am: Edit

Denial, who cares?

The US, British, French, German, and Israeli intelligence agencies ALL agree it was bin laden's organization. These agencies can't agree on what day it is, but they agree about this.

So take it to the bank.

Don't fall into the trap of getting into the head of the terrorist. He's working hard to get into yOUR head and he's doing it vis the media. Leave it to the very very professional psychologists at Langley to trace the plumbing in HIS head, they are very good at this. I used to know some of these people, Dr Sheldon and her husband, who lived in Falls Church, he was in a wheelchair with MS, she was a famous science fiction writer under the name "James Tiptree Jr." and deceived everyone about her gender. (They did a double suicide in the 80s, as his MS was accelerating, can't fault them for that. But they were genuises at the inside of the skulls of world leaders, The technique of psychological profiling for intel purposes was pioneered by them.

Amateurs should not play at propaganda not at psywar.

The admonition is a lot like a priest entering his first exorcism. Do NOT engage in conversation with the demon, he is a LIAR.

In psyops this is good advice as well, ground yourself and tune the enemy out.

I got my training from the best, from Dr Paul Linebarger himself. (University Club, Johns Hopkins Emeritus Prof. of Sinology (that's Chinese Studies, dammit not the study of Sin.) Godson of Dr.Sun Yat Sen hismelf.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:11 am: Edit

Dubya is moving up to 30% of US overall grain production into alternative energy within his administration, that means 4 years. I am in the alcohol business, I have this on excellent authority (ever hear tell of ALltech in KY? want to get 24% ethanol from fermenting CORN?

Does that sound like the action of someone who cares nothing about alternative fuel? Do you have ANY idea what diverting his much FOOD AND FEED STOCK is going to mean to the world? World grain prices and food costs will rise, inevitably, while US fuel costs will drop. That ethanol, butanol, biomass methanol whatever will not be for export. Other nations will have to make up the grain supply for food and feed. Canada, Russia god help th world if they fuck up. Even my friends and sources in the alcohol fermentation technology biz are frightened at the potential of miscalculations in this area. CHINA is moving 20% of its RICE CROP into ethanol production. A miscalculation and 200 million Chinese better be able to survive on booze -- not that the government will LET them.

Didn't read this in the Washington fucking Post did you?

Check it out, and not in the journal of the Socialist Workers Party pls.

Anyway you are just changing the subject.

Yeah, the oil will flow and why the fuck NOT?

By Bob_Chong on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:05 am: Edit

He always denies it. Denial is key to any cowardice, from Nixon to Clinton to Bin Laden.

By Verawench on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 10:50 am: Edit

Something I don't understand..

Why would bin Laden deny his involvement so vehemently? It's not as if the U.S. government will shrug, say "oopsie daisy, nevermind" and leave him and the Taliban alone... If they're coming after him regardless, i don't see much sense in him offering any kind of denials.

By _Blackjack on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 10:49 am: Edit

I didn't say this was about Israel. Israel is another question altogether (and another one where the US has made major mistakes). And I am fully aware that the beef (not pork) these murderers have with us is primarily a symbolic one. However, when we do things like involving ourselves in the Gulf War, and playing puppet master with various states, we make OURSELVES the symbol. We are the most obvious target because we are the biggest and the most powerful. If our motivations for involvement in the Middle East were totally noble, if we were only there to promote democracy and prosperity, to be a "beacon of light" or whatever Dubya said, then, hey, it might be worth the strife to continue. But our motivations are not always noble, and they are often downright petty. If we aren't doing good, and our presence makes us a target, wouldn't leaving be a viable option?

Because the oil must flow.

Well, Don, then we are going to have to keep killing terrorists, and they are going to keep killing Americans.

Maybe cheap energy (you know as well as I do there are other sources) is worth it. Maybe maintianing the prosperity and growth of the major economies yields more lives than are lost in the Midle East. Maybe all this is necessary.

But don't expect me to smile and wave the flag while it's happening. I will, at best, sigh and wish we could do better.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 10:42 am: Edit

"To ensure Peace, prepare for War"

Hence the name of the Luger Parabellum pistol, 7.65x21mm, 9x19mm and rarely in .45 ACP for the American trials.

Designed at the turn of the 20th Century, this descendent of the Borchardt remained in service till '45. Luger, in your email header your organization is given as DWM, you are being self indulgent. Your first name is not Georg.

Besides they have untunable triggers, lousy safeties and a tendency to jam. Their magazines are sensitive to lip deformation and they have piss poor sights. And they are a serious pain in the ass to manufacture. So there!

By Luger on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 10:27 am: Edit

"How did Libya decide to roll over?
Experience, fear, and common sense.
Know how many times Ronnie put Seal Team 6 (stone killers) on the beach in Libya, had them take pics, and then
called off the killing of the Colonel? Who d'ya reckon the pics went to?

He was sending Qaddafi a message."

I almost laughed my ass off when I read that. If I had seen his face, I wouldn´t have to add the word "almost" :-)

Another version of Emperor Augustus words:

"Si vis pacem Para Bellum".

Any real gun enthusiast must recognize these words :-)


Luger

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 10:00 am: Edit

BJ the analogy fails on several levels.

Lots of those allegedly 'confrontation' states do a lot of business with Israel.

And this is not really about Israel. That's all a pretext and you are falling for the pretext. BOTH the AIPAC and the Islamic extremists WANT you to fall into that box, the former because it suits their agenda, the latter becasue they wish to conceal their true agenda.

Once you turn off the TV abd forget about the rather fucking irrelevent Palestinian bullshit, and accept that it is not ABOUT Palestine ot Israel, then things get easier.

It is about POWER in the middle east. Some folks have it, other folks want it, and we side with the haves against the bad hats who would displace them. The prize, the stakes, are the oil supplies. And that means nothing less than the survival of Japan and Europe (foremost) and the US (secondarily) although if our tradings partners go down so do we so, in the end it is the survival of the world.

Now, if you want me to decry stupid Israeli intransigence and over-reaction let me happily do so.

BUT THAT IS ESSENTIALLY IRRELEVANT.

The focus is Mecca not Jerusalem.

Pls get that through your head.

The power centers are Baghdad, Mecca, and Teheran (as inheritor of the Persian Empire0. Saddam wants to be Caliph of Baghdad and so he is. The Saudi King is guardian of Mecca, and resists the pressures of the expansionist Caliph. The Persians, who are NOT Arab, have their own version of Islam and want to recovere their former political, and economic domination of much of the Islamic world and incidentally spread Shi'ite Islam to the Sunni and Ala'awite and Sufi worlds. bin laden is a renegade Saudi who wants to topple the monarchy and gain personal power. The anti Israeli and anti US stances are instrumentalities, means to his ends. Don't be stupid, be a smarty, come and join the bin laden Party.

"Maybe we should re-evaluate our froeigh policy"

BULLSHIT

"Maybe we should get US troops out of Saudi"

BULLSHIT

False premises get you faulty conclusions

(One of the above is not yours, it is PV's but this was a convenient time to call BS on it.)

By _Blackjack on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 09:59 am: Edit

My point is that there is a difference between railing against specific actions taken by the US and railing against the US. I mean, this is one of the few places where I'm ALLOWED to rail, and that counts for an awful lot.

By _Blackjack on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 09:42 am: Edit

I am not railing against the US. I am expecting the US to act in a manner apropriate to it's position of power. The US has made bad mistakes and I'm not going to pretend it hasn't just because we aren't as bad as those presently attacking us. We may well nullify this threat with force alone, but we are either going to have to re-evaluate our ways or gird ourselves for having to spend the next several decades constantly sending our forces to wipe out new terrorist threats, because I just don't think they are going to be detered by military action. It hasnt worked for the Israelis, and they've killed ten Palistinians for evey Israeli killed.

I can walk into a honky-tonk in the boondocks in a sequined thong and high-heels, singing showtunes, and I'd have every right to. I could probably even kick the ass of every guy started a fight, tho I'd get hurt doing it. It seems to me, it's easier just to get the hell out of the bar.

(Of course, for this analogy to work, they'd have to serve really good beer for cheaper than I can get it at home, and there's have to be a couple of guys there who invited me because they want to sell me beer, even if they think I'm a freak, and there would be this really tough guy in the corner who nobody liked but me, and who took somebody else's chair...)

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 09:10 am: Edit

Heiko, blood calls for blood. The guilty must be punished. Those lives must not have bene purchased cheaply. They must be dear. Perhaps you are right and others will follow bin laden's path, I think fewer than you expect, and whatever, they will have to die. If we are effective they will die before they can kill. That is pre-emption. My colleagues and I argued for pre-emption for 20 years before it got the green light in 1996. Now you see why I quit in '89?

By Heiko on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 09:00 am: Edit

I just watched Final Fantasy and found a metaphor that fits perfectly for our situation: "We are fighting ghosts"

I don't think killing bin Laden and some of his allies will stop any of the other countless fanatics. I don't think bin Laden was the only leading person behind the attack - maybe he was just kind of a role model for other fanatic islamic groups who actually organized the attack?
As long as we don't kill all muslims in this world (well, nobody thinks about that, hopefully) there will be some left who say "now they killed our messiah bin Laden (or someone else) - we have to fight them even harder"

You could stop Hitler's regime by defeating his country - but it won't be that easy with bin Laden. You couldn't eradicate catholicism by killing the pope, and it's the same with fanatic islamic groups, IMO.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 08:45 am: Edit

How did Libya decide to roll over?

Experience, fear, and common sense.

Know how many times Ronnie put Seal Team 6 (stone killers) on the beach in Libya, had them take pics, and then called off the killing of the Colonel? Who d'ya reckon the pics went to?

He was sending Qaddafi a message. You're a corpse anytime I say so, you fuck.

Qaddafi finally got the message.

This accomplished more than the air strikes. He gave the Colonel a taste of his own mortality.

Eventually the Lockerbie bombers (Libyam Intelligence OFFICERS, not just agents) were given up for prosecution.

Quaddafi didn't want to have to have a chat with any of Dick Marsencko's boys. And Dick is my old friend.

Libya's out of it.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 08:37 am: Edit

Blackjack, I am loathe to dispute with you as we have a mutual friend in Seamus the K.

However, if you want to join the Politburo and make it a trio...against my advice...let the chips fall where they may.

If you want to rail against the USA NOW when we are at WAR I will definitely take you off my list of friends.

Say it ain't so.

By _Blackjack on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 08:32 am: Edit

What about me, Don? I have no problem admitting to being on the left. Am I a commie too?

US foreign policy is full of paradoxes. We have, in the last 3 years, given the Afghani people millions of dollars in aid, and fired cruise missiles at them in violation of their soveriegnty. we are obviously not "always" bad, but we have been bad, on occasion, and like the one bad cop out of a thousand good ones, when we are bad, our power is great enough to do real damage. We ARE the giant that Bush has claimed we are, and that means our mis-steps can crush many innocent people.

You have defended our policies of interference. You have said that, for instance, the Iranians were better off under the Shah than they were under a (corruptly) elected government. That may be (tho I have body-counts that would disagree), but that was hardly our real motivaton in putting him in power. We thought Pinochet was a good idea too. Whatever atrocities Allende MIGHT have been capable of, he couldn't have been much worse, and he was the choice of the people. My point is, while we have often intervened for the good of humanity, and have often been successful in doing so, we have alsoo intervened out of pure self-interest, and have played a part in great wrongs in the process.

This is made most obvious by the fact that we are, once again, about to go to war with a leader we once supported, out of self-interest.

I do not believe that any US ally is corrupt. Many are, but no less-so than other nations. Some of them, despite their corruption, have shown great courage and strength under adversity. Even Israel, whose actions I often consider criminal, had the strength not to strike back when attacked as a result of our intervention in the Gulf.

Nor do I believe our enemies are noble. I do often think we mis-identify them. I also think we would have fewer of them if we did not swing our big stick around so much, not necissarily because they are right to hate us, but because we have been wrong to intervene.

I am suspect of US motives. I am suspect of everyone's motives. There are times when we are obviously doing the right thing for the right reasons, but then we turn around and ignore others in need, or take actions not justified by the situation, and the government expects me to believe these actions are just as noble. I can't understand, for instance, why Iraq is so much worse than China that it deserves to be starved into submission, while China is a most-favored-nation. I could go on and on, of course, but I'd just sound like some pinko.

We HAVE to be suspect, and critical, of our own motivations, because we are the most powerful forse on earth. If we make a mistake, it is going to have a greater price, and it is usually non-Americans who pay it. We can't let ourselves play on the terms of smaller nations. We must be MORE responsible, MORE vigilant, and MORE careful about how our power is wielded.

Whenever the subject of American "pride" comes up, I am quick to point out that I am not _proud_ to be American. It isn't something I did. I am, however, very, very LUCKY to be American, and I don't ever forget that. I love this country, not as a thing-in-itself, but as one of the few places where there is at least the potential for people to be as free as I think they should be. When I criticize the US, it is not because I think it is evil, but because I don't think it is as good as it can be.

Killing innocent people is wrong. It was wrong when the hijackers did it, and it has often been wrong when the US has done it. At times it may have been necissary, to save more lives, but other times, it has been done simply to maintain the status-quo of prosperity, or to win a phantom battle with an ideology without disturbing the very despotism that made the ideology wrong. We can be better than that; we can be more than the least-bad superpower, and until we are, I'm not going to shut up, just because somebody calls me a Wannabe Politburo. The freedom and justice which this country has the potential to foster is too important to me to let it be tainted by greed or prejudice or blind self-interest.

Gotta go get a mop. My heart seems to be bleeding.

By Luger on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 08:28 am: Edit

"will answer for their sponsorship. Even Libya has rolled over."

Now *that* is what I call a surprise!
How on earth did that happen?

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 06:33 am: Edit

Lord H, unworthy of being anything but a Lord Haw Haw, you call Vera a fascist, that makes you a psuedointellectual bully against a girl half your age. Fascist indeed! You wannabe Thought Police scumbag, disgrace to the Irish, why don't you call me a fascist so I can come tear off your head ans shit down your throat? In the nicest way of course.

I have dubbed you and your fellow traveller P_V the Wannabe Politburo Duo. You are both pitiful.

Any US ally is corrupt.
Any US enemy is noble.
Any US motive is suspect.
Any anti-US motive is to be taken as righteous.

SORRY assholes. Take your bullshit elsewhere.

The world is falling in line against the Taliban and bin Laden. That includes their former sponsor Pakistan; Iran; Saudi Arabia; India, NATO, we can expect that the Syrians, Egyptians, Jordanians, and Kuwaitis will join in. Plus the Russians. We will have full UN support. How stupid, to attack in the shadow of the UN HQ. Might as well have hit the UN itself. Those dips will vote with their very bowels.

This will be a World War against Terrorism and the sponsor states (Afghanistan and probably Iraq and possibly Palestine) will answer for their sponsorship. Even Libya has rolled over.

NO ONE can call this a war against Islam, when MOST of the Islamic world is siding or will side with the US, and if there is a jihad it will be a jihad against bin Laden and the Taliban.

Make no mistake. This will be remembered like the Alamo, like Pearl Harbor, like Bunker Hill, like the Bonhomme Richard.

Petty little scum lefist dweebs best stay silent. That means YOU Lord Haw Haw and YOU dead green bird.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 06:16 am: Edit

Tlautrec

I trust you are a better lawyer than you are a student of history.

The KKK was crushed by the FBI. Hardly a struggle between Right and Left.

HUAC's Joe McCarthy was eventually brought down not by the Left, nor by the unions, nor by the academics, but by the Secretary of the Army. McCarthy was an embarrasment and set back the antiCommunist cause in the US for decades.

Right vs Left?

PROHIBITION? A creation of the right? You are mad. Prohobition was voted in by the newly enfrancised WOMEN while the men were off fighting WWI. Oh yes, the overall anti-alcohol movement had a religious component, in US and in Europe. So what? If anything, what today we would call the religious right was in 1875-1925, the mainstream. And it was still the mainstream when prohibition was repealed, this time the men were not away at war.

Many of us on the ideological right despise the religious right. Certainly I do. I'm a Goldwater/Buckley conservative. Not a member of the Christian Coalition.

And I would argue that the ideological Right has done as much to safeguard our fundamental freedoms as has the ideological Left.

Buckley wants an end to the Wars on Drugs. His logic is bulletptoof and the crux of his argument is that failed policies are not worth the economic cost nor the swollen prison population nor the slow ratcheting up of the police state and creeping loss of our constitutional rights. (When I argue this matter with lawyers I am told that this would be 'abandoning the underclass' -- now, what sort of rhetoric does that sound like?

The RICO laws were drafted not by the Right but by Bobby Kennedy's protege Blakely. And of course they have always been mostly applied to people not associated with their intended target, traditional organized crime.

If you want to argue that the Right is and has been a threat to the Constitution, pls come up with better examples than these, these are all non-starters

(Post is from a private exchange)

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 06:11 am: Edit

Back by popular demand...maybe a limited engagement...thanks to the senders of the many emails that demanded this.

Geoffk: My buddy Don Dedera (journalist) accompanied Barry on his trip to VN to visit the troops after his defeat in 64. Don told me, at Khe Sahn a Marine called to Barry, "I voted for you!" and Goldwater said, "Hell, I was running in the wrong constituency..."

These wannabe Politburo members here aren't worthy to have cleaned Barry Goldwater's boots. That's the late longtime Senator Barry G., Major General USAF Reserve. A great American, who served his country for 30 more years after losing to the corrupt asshole Democrat Lyndon Johnson who truly deserved to be a one term President and who could never have gotten to the WH except by being a bullet away.

Anyone who wants to impugn Barry's name had best be prepared to answer to ME.

By Geoffk on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 11:16 pm: Edit

Yeah, a damn good thing that Goldwater didn't get elected! A warmonger like that might have gotten us stuck in some silly-ass war for most of the Sixties and then just escalated it and escalated it.

Oh, wait...

-- Geoff K.

By Lordhobgoblin on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 01:39 pm: Edit

"Now I'm liberal to a degree
I want everybody to be free
But if you think that I'll let Barry Goldwater
Move in next door and marry my daughter
You must think I'm crazy
I wouldn't let him do it for all the farms in Cuba."

I don't know shit about Goldwater either but this has always sounded pretty good to me.

Hobgoblin

By Bob_Chong on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 01:28 pm: Edit

Tlautrec:

Again, I wish you could break out of the left/right box.

And nice job waving the bloody shirt around (KKK?, the religious right?). C'mon, you can do better than that. Does that mean you like Farrakan, Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson? I didn't think so. The fringe elements of a philosophy do not define the philosophy.

Quickly: the HUAC's first chairman was a Democrat, FDR was a fascist (more on that later), and the 18th amendement was ratified by 46 states (which means that quite a few people were in favor, no matter how idiotic it was).

Finally, I doubt the founding fathers were a bunch of bleeding heart liberals. "Give me liberty or give me death," didn't mean, "Tax the shit out of me and waste my money with bureaucratic bloat while attempting to give it to yourselves and others." I'd rather not lionize the left or the right, as neither has proven responsible with our tax dollars.

I guess I simply don't believe that a "fighting for social justice" is the sole possession of the left. Nor to I believe that social justice equates to govenment funded programs. If you believe the government is the great savior who will make everything sunshine and dandelions, then you better get back to those history books. "An enlightened government?" LOL. Keep dreaming. Whatever asbsinthe you've been drinking, I'd like to try it. Whatever happened to "the best government is the one that governs least"?

I'll admit that I don't know shit about Goldwater, but his saying (paraphrased), "I won't go to Washington to create laws but to repeal them," sounds pretty damn good.

Hell, we can go around and around, but you'll never convince me that Clinton was a great man or any leftist program is worth a damn as it is currently practiced (in theory is another story, of course).

Finally, I'll end with a non-sequitur. Let me opt out of Social Security completely.

BC

By Marc on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 06:43 am: Edit

tlautrec,

what a splendid post.

By Tlautrec on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 11:55 pm: Edit

Etienne-

Thanks for your positive comments on my post. I try not to be simplistic in my political thinking, but after all, we all have our particular ideological biases that are hard to break free of, even when we are being as honest about our thinking as we possibly can be.

Chonger-

I've been looking forward for the opportunity to engage with you for a long time now. You are obviously an intelligent and thoughtful person, even though I don't agree with you on many issues. From the substantial number of your posts that I've read over the past nine or so months that I've been following this forum, I assume (although I hope not presumptuously) that your politics veer more to the right than to the left. Mine obviously, are otherwise.

I will admit to you that I respect the libertarian element that resides on the right side of the political spectrum in this country. I love freedom, particularly freedom of speech and freedom of religion/persuasion. In particular, I relish the freedom that American/Western society gives me (especially, in recent years, on wide-open, unregulated means of communication and interpersonal relationship such as the internet - and this forum) to share my thoughts, to spill my guts and to try to find kindred spirits out there. However, I profoundly reject and oppose the fundamentalist element on the right. In my personal experience, the religious right in this country is bigoted, narrow-minded and oppressive. Indeed, at its core, it is fascistic. The religious right would persecute (and prosecute!) gays, progressives, pro-choice people, women who would rather have a career than to spend their lives barefoot and pregnant, and anyone else who does not buy a rigidly neo-Calvinist view of the world. I, for one, am not a Calvinist of any sort; I utterly reject Calvinism and its misguided commingling of (Judaeo-Christian) "salvation" and material wealth/success. Even more radically, I see merit in (small "s") socialism and in the notion that society, guided by an enlightened government, can make life better for the multitudes. The market is not a god; it is merely a means to effectuate the efficient (and hopefully high-quality) production of discretionary products: Coke and Pepsi; Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren; Segarra and Larsand and (hopefully soon) Jade.

None of the foregoing is to state that the Left has been free of sins. In my earlier post, I did, after all, equate Stalin with Hitler. Both were evil, megalomaniac tyrants - one coming from the left, the other from the right - each of whom caused millions of people to die for no legitimate reason whatsoever. I utterly and unequivocally reject such tyranny. I am sure that you would agree with me on this.

However, I am also an American. In this country, the Left has never posed any serious threat to social order or individual freedom. By contrast, in our history, the Right has most assuredly manifested a frightening and dangerous countenance on many, many occasions. What about the Ku Klux Klan? What about the House Un-American Activities Committee? What about Prohibition? (You, my friend - a member of this forum like me - must enjoy imbibing absinthe, whatever its legal status here, am I wrong?)

If you seriously examine the history of the United States (unfinished experiment that it remains), you will ultimately have to reach the conclusion that it is the forces on the Left of the political spectrum that have moved us to the experience of greater freedom and greater justice that have made living here worthwhile, despite the many continuing social problems that we experience, and that it has been the political Right that has generally resisted and opposed these positive trends. I'm not justifying Stalin or Mao or Pol Pot here; I'm pointing you, rather, to Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, to Martin Luther King, to Cesar Chavez, and to the many, many other fighters for social justice who have given you the opportunity to live decently and speak freely in this crazy, wonderful, flawed country we live in.

By Mr_Rabbit on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 12:47 pm: Edit

0

By Lordhobgoblin on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 01:20 am: Edit

Tav,

"I’m resting comfortably at a gathering of near friends and those that are not near and I know everyone that is here will be here tomorrow."

But this is something that you do not and cannot possibly know. The grim reaper can call on any of us at any time. Anything can happen, you yourself may even not be alive to tomorrow. Nobody chooses their time of death (except in the case of suicide) and everybody dies sometime (and not always from old age or chronic illness).

Hobgoblin

By Verawench on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 09:38 pm: Edit

Tav,

First words of wisdom we've heard for days! God bless you, friend, and may God bless Serpis.

By Etienne on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 09:31 pm: Edit

Methinks the kid's drunk! :-)

By Etienne on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 09:28 pm: Edit

What??

By Zack on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 09:25 pm: Edit

Thanks Tav,

For that wonderful illustration of state-bound knowledge.

By Tavarua on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 09:11 pm: Edit

We speak on a forum of young and old alike and we spite those that are younger and those that are older. Who knows what and how to do and those that don’t just write. I’m resting comfortably at a gathering of near friends and those that are not near and I know everyone that is here will be here tomorrow. If only those that didn’t know would be here tomorrow and if they weren’t, would anything change. I don’t know what is right and who is wrong, but I do know this, what is wrong is wrong, and if anyone actually know what is what, karma prevails.

Compliments of Serpis.

By Etienne on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 08:49 pm: Edit

As you say, Bob, Mr. Clinton was most adept at "demonizing" anyone who didn't agree with his own program. I have seen this from the wrong end of the stick for a number of years.

Tlautrec;
I feel your post was considered and intelligent. I also am very deeply concerned about the erosion of liberties that this event may bring about, although perhaps from a different point of view. As an intelligent person, please, please, don't be so simple in your thinking as to assume that the "right" is the only position in the political spectrum that would attempt to deny these liberties to you.

By Bob_Chong on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 07:29 pm: Edit

Tlautrec:

Your post is odd in that you believe there is only "left" and "right" and that only one of them erodes civil liberties. You are so stuck in your self-righteous box that the blame game is all you have left. Break free of the false dichotomy.

Where to start? How about reading up on what your boy Clinton did to our civil liberties. Just type in these keywords into a search box and start learning: erosion civil liberties clinton. Hell, where should you even start? It boggles the mind.

Let he whose party has not signed a law curtailing civil liberties in the name of anti-terrorism cast the first stone.

I am sure all of this will fall on deaf ears. You seem convinced that you are right. Whatever you need to tell yourself, go right ahead. But the left is just as guilty for all these things and more.

BC

By Heiko on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 06:45 pm: Edit

Do you think, now that customs look for bombs, weapons and people who look like muslims, they will still have time to confiscate a package containing absinthe?

Maybe police will not have time anymore to bother with people who are caught with a tiny amount of weed because they will have to look for REAL criminals? I hope so. Maybe I'm totally wrong...

By Absinthespoon on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 06:45 pm: Edit

"Bush vows to rid the world of evil"

what an idiot. He looks foolish and amateurish.

By Tlautrec on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 05:21 pm: Edit

Falwell and Osama bin Laden, as did Stalin and Hitler, have much more in common with each other than either one realizes. Fundamentalists and true believers of all stripes - religious, political, what have you - are, at bottom, totalitarian, and are all equally dangerous to the values of a pluralistic, civil society that values tolerance and diversity.

The great societal problem that this awful event leaves us with is that we in the West, the majority of whom (I hope) continue to uphold the values of a pluralistic civil society, are now faced with an inevitable diminishment of our civil liberties, which will be justified, and largely accepted by the people, in the name of national and personal security. Unfortunately, this week's events do cry out for some dramatic improvements in our national security apparatus. Even more unfortunately, however, America's historical track record in dealing with perceived major threats to national security has been pretty dismal. The "red scare" after World War 1, which resulted in the wholesale deportation of many thousands of Southern and Eastern European immigrants and the wholly unjustified execution of Sacco and Vanzetti, among other travesties of justice, and the McCarthy era after WW-2, the authoritarian and anti-democratic nature of which needs no elaboration here, are only the most obvious examples.

Freedom and security are, however, not inevitably opposite ends of a monolithic spectrum. They can co-exist if the leaders of a society are wise, just and very judicious in the use of force to protect the public good. Again, unfortunately, our current leaders in America appear to lack those necessary qualities.

The right-wing Republicans who are now in charge of the federal government are great at wrapping themselves in the flag, and will possibly run a more effective military "campaign" against Middle-Eastern terrorists than "bleeding heart" liberal Democrats like Clinton would have done. However, the liberals have always placed the highest value on the desirability of a pluralistic, tolerant and open civil society. By contrast, the Right in this country has always been quick to demonize anyone who doesn't think just the way they do. Falwell's ignorant and idiotic blatherings are all too typical of this tendency. His remarks would appear to be just the beginning of a right-wing backlash, fueled by the upwelling of public sentiment in favor of enhanced national security, against any progressive voice in this society that values civil liberties, that questions the agenda of global capital, or that simply finds fault with any one of many fault-riddled institutions of our society.

It's fine for us all to pull together as a nation to mourn the innocent fallen and to seek to carry out appropriate countermeasures against the evil and cowardly bastards who perpetrated Tuesday morning's abomination. I personally join in that mourning and support those appropriate countermeasures.

But, down the line a few months or a year, what of the new and oppressive government policies, crafted by the right-wing Republicans in the White House and their supporters in Congress, justified under the rubric of national security, and cheered by the likes of Jerry Falwell? Will any protest of these policies brand the protester as a terrorist sympathizer? Will we lose our right even to protest such policies, because our protests will somehow be perceived to threaten "national security"? The beatings that the kids protesting globalization in Seattle, Washinton and Genoa have suffered over the past year or so could, in retrospect, seem like a garden party. Future protests, even in this country, may turn out to look more like Tiananmen Square if our leaders do not manifest the wisdom of sages and exercise the most exquisite restraint in response to this week's events. However, when I look at the likes of the leaders in Congress lke Tom DeLay, Dick Armey, Trent Lott and their ilk, who generally sympathize with the ideas of reactionary bigots like Jerry Falwell, my heart is sick.

I am profoundly worried about the inevitable infringements on our freedoms which will be the sinister progeny of this week's events. Unless our leaders manifest a level of discretion, restraint and wisdom which to date, I have not seen in them, history may well report that September 11, 2001 was the beginning of the end of America's - and the West's - freedoms, as well as the beginning of a dark new era of authoritarianism - in the advanced "democracies" as well as in the rest of the world.

By Chevalier on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 04:42 pm: Edit

Tomorrow morning I'm flying from Chile to Argentina. I haven't been on a plane since last March. It's a short flight, less than two hours; but damn it if I don't feel uneasy. Several years ago, a large synagogue was bombed in Buenos Aires. Logic tells me it doesn't matter, South America isn't bin Laden territory, etc. But all this doesn't help much.

A lot of people will be flying this weekend. I wonder if they'll be feeling the same way.

By Rupert1029 on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 03:23 pm: Edit

Not only did Falwell blame the WTC tragedy on gays, lesbians, ACLU, and feminists....but Pat Robertson responded to falwell that he concurred.

Our religious freaks in the USA are as fucked up as the ones in the Middle East.

I remember when Larry Flynnt named Falwell "Asshole of the Month" in Hustler many years ago. He deserves the title again.

By Pataphysician on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 02:02 pm: Edit

>I always wondered how somebody could know their religious scripts by heart but act against it every second
>

Precisely BECAUSE they 'know it by heart': they have the words memorized, but they've never given a thought to what it really means. The religious script is just a justification for what they would do anyway. That goes for the Taliban and Jerry Falwell.

By Heiko on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 01:22 pm: Edit

That's what secularized me: fanatics of any religion...
Why can't we just put them together somewhere in the desert where they can beat each other on the heads with their korans and bibles?

I always wondered how somebody could know their religious scripts by heart but act against it every second, in true belief that they're doing the right thing...

By Maxpower on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 12:56 pm: Edit

that is something that scares me,people like them will use the tragedy to push their agenda,and in th emotion of the moment,people wont mind,and before you know it,martial law is declared.and non christians,,well at least non fanatical christians will be the prey.

By Verawench on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 12:49 pm: Edit

"On the broadcast of the Christian television program "The 700 Club," Falwell
made the following statement:

"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists,
and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an
alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them
who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and
say 'you helped this happen.'"

Falwell, pastor of the 22,000-member Thomas Road Baptist Church, viewed the
attacks as God's judgment on America for "throwing God out of the public
square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden
for this because God will not be mocked."

Now there's one human being other than the terrorists themselves I truly wish was in the WTC Tuesday morning.

By Lordhobgoblin on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 11:36 am: Edit

Certainly a reasonable approach is needed. This is not a war against the Afghani people or even Muslims in general as some people have suggested. Whoever is responsible needs to removed but care needs to be taken not to respond in such a way in order to appease people's desire for revenge. No bombing just to look tough, no bombing of civilians in order to say to he world "don't fuck with the USA". Cool, level heads are needed to choose the most effective means and not to be concerned with giving the public what they want to see. Time for politicians to forget their grubby careers. A war is probably inevitable, as are more innocent deaths, but all this knee-jerk "bomb the Afghanis, teach the bastards a lesson, and screw the ordinary Afghanis who get in the way" shit that people spout makes me sick. Jesus, ordinary Afghanis have suffered enough under the Taliban. I have an Afghani girl in my class, she or her family are not the enemy, (I also have a boy in my class who lost a relative in the attrocity).

I'll no doubt be flamed for saying this, but American foreign policy (and the foreign policy of other Western nations) needs to be carefully looked at. Why do so many nations in the world seem to hate the USA (with hatred of Britain being a close second)? If we are to live in a world where economic and military might will not save us from a repeat of the attrocities that have happened this week then it is in the interests of the USA and other Western nations to look at this question. Having the most guns and the most money will not keep us safe anymore.

Hobgoblin

By Lordhobgoblin on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 11:11 am: Edit

"Of course, you going to have non-Taliban casualties. In fact, you're going to have AMERICAN casualties, which I care a lot more about than any Afghani."

What a sick attitude. The life of an American innocent is NOT of more worth than the life of an Afghani innocent. The suffering and pain experienced is the same whether you are American, Afghani or any other nationality and if you are an innocent civilian you have just as much right to live whether you live in New York or Kabul. The people hijacking the planes to kill others had this attitude.

If you don't give a shit what happens to the lives of people from other nations then don't expect any people from other nations to give a shit about what has happened to lives of people from your country.

As for Arafat, he is not simply paying 'lip-service' as you put it, he is not a monster and the Palestinians are not rejoicing over this. Israel is not the innocent party in the war going on in Palestine/Israel and Arafat is not the evil terrorist.

Hobgoblin

By _Blackjack on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 10:07 am: Edit

If he's wearing a tie, it's not Satan, it's Maximon.

By Tavarua on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 09:27 am: Edit

The first thing I did when I saw the picture in the Daily Times was look for the Associated Press endorsement and could not find it, but if you tell me that is in an accredited paper, then I believe you. I did check the CNN website and had trouble finding the picture. Could you provide a link to the picture on their site. I would like to see it for myself.

But don’t change the subject Oink. Can you honestly tell me that Satan wears a neck-tie and not a bow-tie.

By Oink on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 08:55 am: Edit

those pictures i posted origianlly came from the Associated Press...
the video screenshot of the 2nd attack Tav posted is still on the CNN website for download

By Tavarua on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 08:16 am: Edit

Here’s another one.

http://www.pirate4x4.com/ubb/uploads/wtfisthat.jpg


I’m sure if you looked long enough, you could see donkey making sweet love to a yak, in that mess.

By Leela on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 08:03 am: Edit

I first saw the picture in the Philadelphia Daily News...which isn't the most serious of newspapers, I might add.

Now, if it had been in the Philadelphia Inquirer (not to be confused with the National Enquirer) then that would be a different story.

Leela

By Tavarua on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 07:36 am: Edit

Don,

Sorry chief, I guess you have enough intelligence for all of us.

By Tavarua on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 07:34 am: Edit

I have seen this image in the daily times, which is probably where this image is coming from. If this is the case, I am very skeptical about it’s authenticity. This is also second or third “face of Satan” that I have seen in the smoke. Not to mention that Satan is apparently wearing a tie, and as we all know, Satan much prefers to sport the BOW-TIE, as it is a much more intimidating piece of neckwear Come on Oink, smarten up a little.

By Don_Walsh on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 07:31 am: Edit

Be ashamed, be very ashamed for even repeating such phony stuff. Satan's face my ass. Doctored image, more like it. Propaganda for the bad hats. Fuck ANYBODY who spreads such shit.

And Tav, don't plan on a career in intelligence analysis.

By Oink on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 07:11 am: Edit

http://forums.chinatimes.com.tw/special/america/photo/sadanface.jpg
http://forums.chinatimes.com.tw/special/america/photo/face2.jpg

By Oink on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 07:05 am: Edit

Satan's Face


By Tavarua on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 06:08 am: Edit

I believe the flight numbers, when added up, equaled 11, 12, 13, and 14, as in the 11th, 12th,, 13th, and 14th of September. So, in theory, this would be the last day to worry about. Also, Apparently bin Laden said something to the affect that he would rain terror from land, sea and sky, and all we have seen is the sky. Although, they did arrest someone on an Amtrak train, and also a train derailed yesterday, but that was apparently unrelated to these incidents. But considering the failed attempts in the past few days, I think we are in the clear, or at least hope that we are. I hope these are accurate statements, who can tell with all the bullshit floating around.

By Etienne on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 05:17 am: Edit

"Bomb threats everywhere today"

Not too surprising really. People are still very tense. There's no real reason to assume that this is all over. The action in New York could very well only be the first installment.

By Oink on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 09:35 pm: Edit

acutally Vera that speech was spoken not in context to the terrorists but was a speech made nearly 30 years ago by a Canadian broadcaster


"In the script, Sinclair praised the United States, calling it "the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth..."
"Canadian broadcast journalist Betty Kennedy, who was a friend of Sinclair's, told Reuters he wrote the radio speech in response to reports that the American Red Cross was on the verge of bankruptcy.....Kennedy said she believed the transcript resurfaced, which won wide play in the United States at the time, because it spoke well of the American people."

By Absinthespoon on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 08:25 pm: Edit

Bomb threats everywhere today. Sigh. This makes me so tired. At the company I used to work for, we had bomb threats nearly every Friday in our industrial park. It turned out someone at a neighboring company wanted to go up to the Sierra early every weekend. Whoever does this kind of thing is scum. It's so juvenile, yet they have to take these things more seriously than usual due to the extraordinary circumstances.

Not even my precious Panda Cam was safe today. There was a bomb threat at the San Diego Zoo, so they played a Nature video instead of live pictures of Hua Mei.

By Mr_Rabbit on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 07:51 pm: Edit

There are fighters over Three Mile Island.

Seeing as how I could see it out my window if it weren't for some trees in the way, I am very, very glad of that.

By Verawench on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 07:04 pm: Edit

"Actually Vera, heh ... Tav posted it someways down"

Doh! Sorry... trouble sorting through 200+ posts.

They're supposedly patroling skies over major cities right now. I heard evidence of this when I got home today and my windows rattled gently as I heard a massive loud engine roar overhead. It scared me senseless. NASA is about 35 mins from here and Houston with its massive skyscrapers not too much further so...

By Bob_Chong on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 06:56 pm: Edit

I forgot to mention that this was two hours ago.

By Bob_Chong on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 06:50 pm: Edit

Speaking of bomb threats, I was forced to evacuate a WalMart due to one. Odd, esp. since I live in the middle of friggin' nowhere.

By Admin on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 04:16 pm: Edit

San Francisco received 2300 bomb threats on tuesday, apparently my place of employ was one of them.

Hooooooeeey!

By Admin on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 03:04 pm: Edit

Actually Vera, heh ... Tav posted it someways down.

By Verawench on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 02:19 pm: Edit

Another email... Interesting, because i haven't heard any foreigner, even a neighbor, put things in this perspective. I'd love to hear opinions... Kallisti, sorry for the bandwidth:


"TRIBUTE TO THE UNITED STATES
> America: The Good Neighbor
> Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable
> editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television
> Commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as
> printed in the Congressional Record:
>
> “This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most
> generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth.
> Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of
> the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and
> forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying
> even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.
>
> When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who
> propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the
> streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.
>
> When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries
> in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by
> tornadoes. Nobody helped. The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped
> billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those
> countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.
>
> I’d like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the
> erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other
> country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the
> Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don’t they fly them?
>
> Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes?
> Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the
> moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk
> about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American
> technocracy, and you find men on the moon -not once, but several times - and
> safely home again.
>
> You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store
> window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued
> and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they
> are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at
> home to spend here.
>
> When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through
> age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad
> and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both
> are still broke.
>
> I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other
> people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to
> the Americans in trouble? I don’t think there was outside help even during
> the San Francisco earthquake. Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I’m one
> Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around.
>
> They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do,
> they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over
> their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those.”
> "

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 01:39 pm: Edit

Ted is fine, but his computer is having hiccups.

By Wolfgang on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 01:03 pm: Edit

This guy should buy some lottery !

By _Blackjack on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 12:56 pm: Edit

I found out yesterday that the father of my oldest friend was not in the middle of the fireball at the Pentagon only because he was sick on Monday. The other people in his office are dead.

This is the same guy who survived Vietnam because he was bent over tying his boot when his platoon was cut down.

I guess he's lucky, but I bet he doesn't feel that way.

By Wolfgang on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 12:52 pm: Edit

huuuu...by the way, did we eard about Ted since tuesday ? Don, any news ?

By _Blackjack on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 12:47 pm: Edit


Quote:

If you take a look at the RAWA web site (Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan ), you will probably understand that something must be done against the Taliban even if they are not connected to this story



Well, the reason we had not "done something" about the Taliban previous to this, and probably wouldn't have if they had not done something that threatened our interests, is the simple fact that, if we "did something" about every vile, oppresive governemtn with no respect for human rights, we would constantly be at war. The Taliban is hardly the worst on earth, I'm afraid.

I mean, if we had "done something" about Stalin, possibly the worst monster of the modern age, we might be a smoking crater right now.

This is a place where I also end up being pragmatic. We can't stop every oppressive, murderous regiem. Even we aren't that powerful. If we tried, the resources and human costs would be unimaginable.

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 12:38 pm: Edit

And the duty to enforce neutrality is well established in that international law that I am so contemptuous of, from experience, but that others seem to take comfort from.

Make no mistake. The forms of kanly will be observed. Whoever posted 'the spice must flow' below is not the only fan of Frank Herbert here. I have a distinct memory of when I (only months after discovering ANALOG, then in large format, on my neighborhood K&B drugstore news stand, one of the first half dozen issues I ever bought was the very first installment of DUNE with a nice cover illustration. 1964, I think it was. Maybe earlier.

The much later movie was far inferior to the book.

Whoever can destroy a thing, controls that thing.

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 12:13 pm: Edit

The government of any nation has a responsibility to enforce the sovereignty of that nation. Neutrality and sovereignty are linked. If a government cannot or will not prevent a third party from using its sovereign terruitory as a base from which to wage war against a foreign country, then the neutrality of that country has been compromised.

In this instance, the Taliban, a most dubious government of a country in perpetual chaos, has not only allowed bin Laden's terrorist group to use Afghani territory to wage a war of terror against the United States, they have aided and abetted and protected him and in return he has assisted them against their internal enemies.

Afghanistan has forfeited its neutrality and a declaration of war would be appropriate. No doubt this will be forthcoming from the US and NATO, the UN Security Council has already, and unanimously, signalled its approval, and the leaders of every major concerned nation are being polled for their approval and cooperation, if not participation.

BTW the Canadian FM is quite correct, the Taliban is a criminal gang (among other things engaging in narcotics trafficking while executing all competitors in the name of Allah) and one sponsored and created by a foreign power (Pakistan) and imposed from without on the people of Afghanistan.

Theodore Roosevelt once sent the US Marines to clean out the Riffian berbers ('Barbary pirates') when the government of the the north African nation involved was unable or unwilling to protect the lives and property of Americans from kidnap, theft, extortion and murder. Does the phrase 'to the shores of Tripoli' ring any bells? It comes right after 'From the halls of Montezuma..." Tripli, Libya, turn of the 20th century.

By Alphasoixante on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 12:12 pm: Edit

"http://mail.rawa.org/rawa/rules.htm
Can a society truly sustain itself on such laws?"

there are parochial schools in the u.s. whose rules are, in all seriousness, as absurd as those on this list. let's "nuke"* them too. oh! oh!, and let's get those damned quakers too, while we're at it!

*(NUCULATE, it's pronounced NUCULATE. pretty ugly gadgets to give a cute pet name like "nukes" to--much less to use as a synonym for microwave use.)

By Pataphysician on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 12:02 pm: Edit

A belated thanks for the condolences from around the world. But this was quite literally an attack on the whole world. Among the dead are citizens of the UK, Japan, Australia, Germany, Korea, Mexico, and on and on. Probably everyone on this board lost countrymen, some lost hundreds of them.

By Verawench on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 11:21 am: Edit

http://mail.rawa.org/rawa/rules.htm

Can a society truly sustain itself on such laws?

By Wolfgang on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 11:15 am: Edit

If you take a look at the RAWA web site (Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan ), you will probably understand that something must be done against the Taliban even if they are not connected to this story...

http://www.rawa.org

In my humble opinion (and in the opinion of the Canadian foreign minister Lloyd Axworthy), the Taliban are a criminal gang and not a true government.

By Tavarua on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 10:36 am: Edit

Wiz:

We are pulling ALL Americans out, if they are not already out, which I believe they are.

By _Blackjack on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 10:31 am: Edit

I'm finding this an interestng illustration of the absurdity of our entire concept of war.

If I, as an individual, kill a whole bunch of people in another country, I get arrested and go to jail and maybe get executed.

If I, under orders from my government, kill a whole bunch of people in another country, that country suddenly has license to kill pretty much ANYBODY in my country.

I can't deny the inescapable reality of this, but it doesn't make much sense.

Especially when you have a situation like Afghanistan, where the government is an amorphous, chaotic mess. How do you decide if an action is sanctioned by the government when there is no real chain of command? How high-up do the orders have to come from before we cross the line between "prosecute the individuals" and "kill anybody you need to"?

Again, no answers from me. I'm glad I'm not president. I suspect the rest of you are too...

By Wiz on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 10:27 am: Edit

Hobs,
"Apologies for my post at you."

Thank You.

I remember when I was in the USAF in '80' and here in AZ at Williams AFB in Chandler,AZ an ATC base, we were training the Syrians, Iraqies, and other middle eastern peoples how to fly our f-5 fighters. We were training them in our fighter piolet combat skills.
I wonder how much of what is going on could beconected with this?

We have given those people our skills for the last 20 years and now the people who we schooled in the Military and at the Universities are teaching these techniques to their extremeist fanatical groups.

I agree with Mr. Walsh we aree at WAR, the gauntlet was thrown down and we were slapped in the face hard.

I remember when I was a little kid and my father was stationed in Misawa,Japan during the Cuban Missle crisis and they took all of us kids with our moms, put us on a plane and flew us off to Alaska, my Dad stayed in Japan. When it was all clear they flew us all back.
I wonder what the US bases are doing now, with all the Servicepersons Wifes, Husbands and dependents?

By Tavarua on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 10:22 am: Edit

Yes, his father is a Multi-millionaire, but I have yet to hear that he has financed anything except training camps, weapons and others instruments of war. I would be interested to know whether or not he has financed the Afghanies, aside from what he has paid the government for asylum.

On a more disturbing note than that of the pilots being trained in the US, was the fact that one of the terrorist pilots was a well known terrorist of this country and others, not some recruited student. Here comes the kicker, he used his real name when buying the ticket. That is just inexcusable on the part of the intelligence agencies of this country.

By _Blackjack on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 10:06 am: Edit


Quote:

I forgot until now to mention your (unintentional) Mrs. Lovejoy impression at the end of your 11:02 post yesterday.



I was aware of it, but I let it stand because, in this case, it is appropriate. There are a lot of stupid things done "for the children," but I sincerely hope that most human beings feel pain for children who die as a result of wars, even when those deaths were unavoidable and the war was necessiary to prevent even greater death, because they have no power at all over the actions of their governments, but still suffer from the consequences of their governments' actions.

By Admin on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 09:48 am: Edit

Heiko, just ran across this newswire:

http://www.salon.com/news/wire/2001/09/13/suspect/index.html

By Admin on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 09:44 am: Edit

From Greenhour! His vantage point.

explosion

By _Blackjack on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 09:38 am: Edit

The spice must flow...

By Heiko on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 09:36 am: Edit

"He did all of this with the support and possibly the finance of Afghanistan."

The finance of Afghanistan? Are you kidding? If anything, bin Laden finances the Taliban - he is a multi-millionaire (at least).

Have you heard this story? Two of the (suspected) suicide terrorists/pilots had been living in an apartment in Hamburg, Germany. This is what they told their American host when they were in the US to have a (probably expensive) flight training!
That was on German tv today, it seems the FBI has tracked down some connections...

By Bob_Chong on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 08:57 am: Edit

Marc:

As GeoffK already pointed, you made a fallacious argument about action vs. advocacy. There are many examples of how people can act and help in a time of (need, war, etc.). Think of WWII: did every man, woman, and child pick up a gun and marching orders? Of course not. Everyone has different gifts, and the best thing to do is to use your gifts wisely. One of my gifts is teaching. Have I been educational or instructional here? Unfortunately, no, probably just rhetorical. But if you look at my posts, my concern has been that we stop looking at this as a criminal act. This is beyond "crime." What have world courts ever done? Did they stop innocents from dying needlessly in Chile, Kosovo, etc.? The last thing I want to see is Johnny Cochran and F. Lee Bailey defending Bin Laden at the Hague.

I don't think I need to be censored (or censured) because I don't agree with you. I can learn through disagreement, through cognitive dissonance. Keep disagreeing with me, my man: you only make me smarter (and yourself, as well).

BC

By Tavarua on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 07:17 am: Edit

I have been so busy in my neck of the woods, I have not been able to take part or express my views, for all of glued to your keyboards sayin, “Hey, I wonder what Tav’s views are.” ;-) Anyway, I am still up to my neck in activity, so I can only dip in from time to time.

Anyway, while skimming through, I did find a few things I would like to comment on.

Bjacques, this is not a criminal activity, it is an act of war. If Bin Laden trained a bunch of terrorists to come to the country, illegally, walk into a deli, and steal a bag of chips, then yes, it is a criminal. But he did not. He trained a REGIME of his followers to come over, hijack a bunch of American planes, 4 that we know of, and strike the US in key areas. He did all of this with the support and possibly the finance of Afghanistan. Make no mistake, this is an act of war. Call it an act by the Taliban and not Afghanistan if you must.

Also, I am not sure that we are going to bomb this country. Yes, we are making threatening motions, pulling people out, having direct talks with countries that will allow us to use their airspace for these bombings, but would we be this public about doing it if we were serious. Couldn’t it be that we are attempting to make Afghanistan sweat, to give up this dick before we invade. At some point, we may drop bombs, but at the moment, all we are doing is scaring their Government into giving up Bin Laden.

Gotta go.

Tav.

By Mr_Rabbit on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 07:11 am: Edit

I guess everybody is pretty stressed by all this.

And that's probably why we are calling each other names and belittling one another.

Take a minute, and a deep fucking breath, before attacking each other. Now is not the time. Disagree. Discuss. But don't snarl and bite.

It would be a sad thing to see the terror truly sown, and to let this divide where it should unite. Hate is what got us here.

Should there be reprisals? Yes. For moral or pragmatic reasons, as they would both be served. They should be dispassionate, in either case, and well reasoned acts.

Should we attack one another? For chrissakes, no! For moral and pragmatic reasons, take your fucking pick.

I say now is a time for friendship, to all but them what did this.


{hops off of soapbox.}

By Chevalier on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 07:07 am: Edit

Forgive me if I'm wrong, or if the following is old news: I live far from the U.S. and don't know whether the American press has broadcast this story or not -- or if it's a story at all. I just looked through CNN.com, but didn't find it.

Very early this morning, around 1:00 am EST, a Chilean TV reporter, reading the wires, said that Osama bin Laden's own brother had been living in living in Boston until very recently. In fact, the brother owned one or more apartment buildings in the area. I didn't want to believe it.

Have you heard anything about this?

By Timk on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 07:02 am: Edit

"Those will be NATO casualties and the UK will do its part. Done your National Service yet, Mr Kelvington? You're the age for it."

I would never join a military organisation, for fear of being sent into a conflict with which I disagree on some grounds. If it ever came to it, and i felt the need to join a conflict, I am sure I can find other ways than serving in my countries military.

And yes, I am old enough to serve and die for my country, if that is not an outdated concept.

If you would, Don, take the quote in context,

"Of course, you going to have non-Taliban casualties. In fact, you're going to have AMERICAN casualties, which I care a lot more about than any Afghani."

Which means that he rates any AMERICAN civilian above any Afghani civillian, i thought such idiotic comments would be absent from the forum, obviously not.

By Heiko on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 06:38 am: Edit

"The trouble with this is that it only works if the culprit actually cares about what happens to the others possible attackers. If he doesn't care about what happens to them (as is likely) then what motivation is therefore him to own up?"

I mean, if the Taliban don't want their country totally destroyed, they just need to tell Bin Laden to go somewhere else - the US, for example...
And it seems the Taliban have already said that, with some proof against bin Laden, they will let the US arrest him.
Of course bin Laden doesn't care what happens to others - but if all the others care and therefore help the US, he won't be safe anymore, not even in Afghanistan.

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 06:26 am: Edit

Pakistan is already rolling over, they know when it's time to cut their losses and stay out of it.

Even Libya and Iran have condemned the attacks.

The bin Laden bunch and Taliban are now isolated within their own world.

It's curtains for them.

I used to deal with POF (Pakistan Ordnance factories) and I know some of their senior people well (#3 in their government for example), their entire focus is on India, and they have no interest in a conflict with the US much less all of NATO backed by the US Security Concil and most of the Islamic world.

It's all they can do to keep the Indians (increasingly Hindu nationalist ruled) off their back, and to keep they petty insurgency in Kashmir simmering. Their military bases and population centers are all close to the border with India, the back of Pakistan looks like Afghanistan, i.e., more dark side of the moon (so does a whole lot of central Asia.)

All that's going to happen is that we are going to take away their instrumentality the Taliban in the ungovernable neighboring wasteland called Afghanistan. The Pakis aren't going to take on the world to protect their puppets. Like every other state in that part of the world, all they really respect is force, and that's what they are faced with now.

By Maxpower on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 06:08 am: Edit

here in maimi yesterday,some clowns were calling in bomb threats to local mosques,and the one ass decided to play rambo and fired 3 shots into another mosque.i really hope this vigilante trend is curbed quickly.this is the last thing we need at this time,or anytime for that matter.

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 04:29 am: Edit

Those will be NATO casualties and the UK will do its part. Done your National Service yet, Mr Kelvington? You're the age for it.

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 04:26 am: Edit

Marc. You don't really want to call me a wannabe in John Watne drag. When I look in the mirror it's with my right eye, the left one stopped working in '73 in Saigon. The lens looks like granite, the retina and macula died before the cataract formed, the inner works are now trying to find daylight down arount 8 o'clock. A lot of surgery saved the other one, but the lens had to go and get replaced with a piece of plastic, that was in '96 but dates to the same little disagreement I had with a hand grenade gifted to the place I was in by some Vietnamese gentleman. Been there, done that, Marc. But if they took fat blind old 50 year old burnouts, guys like me, I'd go in a NY minute. Shit, it's just a hop skip and jump from here, just Burma and India in the way.

By Timk on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 04:21 am: Edit

"AMERICAN casualties, which I care a lot more about than any Afghani"

What a fucked up attitude

By Geoffk on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 03:33 am: Edit

Well, it was probably a lot of fun. I'm a pretty high stress guy though. In a low stress, low tech environment, I tend to get bored quickly. Moreover, I'm compulsively clean and educated, and don't have much patience for people who aren't. Finally, I'm pretty traditional and conservative, although I do enjoy sex.

It's good that I live in Japan. I just described 95% of the population.

-- Geoff K.

By Marc on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 03:12 am: Edit

geoff,

I was a hippie that hung around Dupont Circle in 1967. I was one of the "animals" you were gawking at. Guess what? Still am.

By Geoffk on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 03:04 am: Edit

If I read you right, you're saying "You're not a soldier in uniform on active duty, therefore you have no moral right to advocate military ation, regardless of the circumstances."

That is a pretty extreme position, and I don't buy it. I guess that means that women can NEVER express any opinion about war or whether it's right.

If I got called up (which wouldn't happen at my age) I'd go and contribute in some way. I think most Americans feel the same way. Army recruiting is already up, and blood donation lines are two hours long.

As for the hippies, I used to ride around DC in my Grandpa's Lincoln watching them in the park, like zoo animals in a safari ride. My Grandpa would say "Geez, what a bunch of freaks" and I would agree 100%. I still feel that way. You'd be amazed how many Hippie kids are right-wing maniacs now. They completely burned out on left-wing nonsense as kids.

-- Geoff K.

By Marc on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 02:36 am: Edit

The bickering, namecalling and threats being exchanged here in the forum demonstrate why human beings are doomed to endless warfare. We're fucking jerks! Its our self-righteousness and absolute conviction that I AM RIGHT which continues to fuck up our lives and planet. Enough with the tough guy talk, Don, Bob, geoff, get yer guns out and walk the walk. I'm sure there are mercenary organizations who would love to hire you to take on a few terrorists. But no, in reality you're just sitting in front of computer screens puffing up your chests like a bunch of cyber Walter Mittys in John Wayne drag. I respect you and call you friends, but until you're willing to back up your macho posturing with some real action, you ain't shit.

Peace and love, the world's last remaining hippie, Marc

By Marc on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 02:35 am: Edit

The bickering, namecalling and threats being exchanged here in the forum demonstrate why human beings are doomed to endless warfare. We're fucking jerks! Its our self-righteousness and absolute conviction that I AM RIGHT which continues to fuck up our lives and planet. Enough with the tough guy talk, Don, Bob, geoff, get yer guns out and walk the walk. I'm sure there are mercenary organizations who would love to hire you to take on a few terrorists. But no, in reality you're just sitting in front of computer screens puffing up your chests like a bunch of cyber Walter Mittys in John Wayne drag. I respect you and call you friends, but until you're willing to back up your macho posturing with some real action, you ain't shit.

Peace and love, the world's last remaing hippie, Marc

By Geoffk on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 01:51 am: Edit

Hey PV, This is a serious question:

Are you really as far out of whack as you seem to be or is this a deliberate troll of some kind?

Of course, you going to have non-Taliban casualties. In fact, you're going to have AMERICAN casualties, which I care a lot more about than any Afghani. That's tough, but the price of rooting out terrorism is killing some people. And that's the fault of the terrorists and the people who harbor them.

Blaming the US for war casualties is like blaming the police for pursuit of a bank robber. It's dangerous, but the police can't just let them drive away.

-- Geoff K.

By Perruche_Verte on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 01:08 am: Edit

Well, no one will shed tears for the Taliban. If only they were the only ones killed in this adventure -- but most likely that will not be the case. Was everyone killed in Vietnam a communist?

By Aion on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 12:15 am: Edit

Saw that Saria Shah documentation, that Heiko mentioned earlier in this thread yesterday.
The pain an terror that the Taliban regime cause to their own people is absolutely unbelievable.
Even if the Talibans and Osama bin Laden are not involved in the terroristic acts against the USA,
against the whole western society, they deserve death. Don´s "Dark side of the moon" statement is so absolutely true, it couldn´t have beed said better. These creatures have lost every human right, these creatures do not deserve to be called human any more.
These creatures are aliens, evil aliens, that have to be extinguished and removed from the surface of this planet together with their dirty ideology to avoid any further contamination.
A.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 11:41 pm: Edit

The US has invoked the mutual-defense clause in the NATO accords for the first time in NATO's 52 year history, and NATO is making preparations for a massive assault on Afghanistan, with the approval and cooperation of Russia and major Islamic stastes being sought right now.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 11:36 pm: Edit

If it were a criminal manhunt it'd be a non-starter, as the US has no extradition accord with Afghanistan as far as I know.

You think Interpol is going to accost bin Laden and say "What's all this then?" and he's going to put out his wrists for the cuffs and say "It's a fair cop." ??

You're really funny.

By Bob_Chong on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 11:25 pm: Edit

BJacques:

Wrong, wrong, wrong. The more we view acts of terrorism as mere crimes, the more innocent lives will be taken. If one can kill 20,000 in a flash, only to be brought to trial as a consequence, what deterrent is that? What about the governments who offer safe harbor to these people?

If Bin Laden is not afraid of killing innocents, why should he be afraid of lawyers and judges?

Bombing the crap out of another country, as you put it, is not what I'm talking about. But bombing the crap out of another government is more like it. When we go to war, we take out the foot soldiers and the governments training them alike.

It is the pussy tactics you advocate that have (in part) put us in the position we are in today. We are overlawyered and litigious enough already.

BC

By Lordhobgoblin on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 11:16 pm: Edit

Vera,

There are 4 Muslim children in my class of 7-year olds. What am I to do with them? Do I hang half of them? Do I arrange a whole-school assembly where we line up all the Muslim children in the school on the stage and educate all the other children in the school that these are the ones who are guilty of the suicide bombings and we should treat them accordingly?

Hobgoblin

By Lordhobgoblin on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 10:48 pm: Edit

Wiz,

Apologies for my post at you. I believe you are wrong in blaming religion for this, but my remarks to you were unwarranted.

Heiko,

"In my opinion, the US could use a tactic well known by parents or teachers: if the guilty person doesn't admit, the whole bunch of possible attackers will be punished. That should solve the problem soon... "

The trouble with this is that it only works if the culprit actually cares about what happens to the others possible attackers. If he doesn't care about what happens to them (as is likely) then what motivation is therefore him to own up? All that happens is that the innocent get punished unnecesarily which as well as resulting in the misery of those who don't deserve it, will result in greater hatred towards the USA.

Hobgoblin

By Bjacques on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 10:41 pm: Edit

So far we're doing the right things. Build a legal case against bin Laden, assuming it's him, line up our allies, then we can demand the Afghans hand him over.

Chest-thumping and bombing the crap out of Afghanistan won't catch bin Laden. It will just look like impotent rage. It won't bring those people back. It will hurt Arab-Americans too.

This isn't a war. It's a criminal manhunt.

By Lordhobgoblin on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 10:39 pm: Edit

Vera,

"Nuke them.

This isn't a time for moral or economic considerations with regard to the enemy.
No one would raise frown and kvetch if the U.S. decided to obliterate half the Muslim world."

That's right Vera, blame every Muslim in the world for what is likely to be (but we are still not 100% certain) to be the work of some extremists.

What a facist statement. Hitler would be proud of you. Perhaps you should help by forming a vigilant mob, roaming the streets and stringing up any Muslims you come across.

Take your racist hatred and shove it up.

Take out the killers and those responsible yes, but not everyone who happens to be the same religion as them. Despite some carefully selected footage from East Jerusalem, the Muslim world was not rejoicing (let alone guilty). The West Bank was quiet as was Gaza. This act has been condemned by Muslim leaders all over the world. Muslim, Jewish and Christian church leaders held joint services.

So you think that half the Muslim world (which is made up, not of monsters but of ordinary men, women and children) now deserve to die. The death and pain of innocent people is equally wrong regardless of their nationality or religion. You are as bad as the hijack-bombers.

Hobgoblin

By Bob_Chong on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 08:57 pm: Edit

Blackjack:

I forgot until now to mention your (unintentional) Mrs. Lovejoy impression at the end of your 11:02 post yesterday.

BC

By Zack on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 08:45 pm: Edit

"Nuke them.

This isn't a time for moral or economic considerations with regard to the enemy. No one would raise frown and kvetch if the U.S. decided to obliterate half the Muslim world.

I am watching all these limp dick politicians fiddle and yammer. The world is watching. It's sickening."

What's sickening is your racist hate speech. There would most certainly be many people oppossed to this nuclear genocide that you suggest...everyone that doesn't have a kindergarten knee-jerk reaction to things they don't understand.

By Mr_Rabbit on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 08:19 pm: Edit

A delivery van would work.

Put bomb on container ship quietly.

Load container on delivery truck. Drive to target. Set timer. Leave. Claim no responsiblity. There will NOT be enough left for them to find definite evidence, unless you have a security leak.

By Bob_Chong on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 08:05 pm: Edit

But do they have a delivery vehicle (and I don't mean a rental van)? I doubt it. And the bomb means they're playing with the big boys, which is a bad idea for any country without a legitimate air force.

By Mr_Rabbit on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 07:59 pm: Edit

We yammer about international law constantly.

If we are trying to work towards a more lawful world, where problems are solved by violence less than they are now, nuking half the muslim world or sending hit men after world leaders we don't like is NOT the way to get there.

I am a little worried at this point about Pakistan.

They have the bomb. I hope they just let the US remove the Taliban like the unsightly wart that it is and don't try to intervene.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 07:49 pm: Edit

The French and the Israelis are not shy when it comes to wet-work. International law? You are joshing!

The Mossad backed off a bit after they scragged the wrong guy in Lillehammer a while back, he turned to be an innocent waiter.

I don't recall the Israelis being hauled in front of the Hague (World Court) for that or the dozen killings that preceded it that WERE on target.

The South Africans killed a former Swedish PM just because he pissed them off (not, IMHO, a valid motive for a political killing.) The same fellow had pissed the Americans off by proposing that LBJ be tried for war crimes, but, unlike the Boers, we didn't take him out for his immodest suggestions.

By Greenhour on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 07:49 pm: Edit

I apologize to my fellow Forumites for my rampage. Please forgive my rudness.
I'm just sad and still dealing.
sorry
G

By Verawench on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 07:47 pm: Edit

Nuke them.

This isn't a time for moral or economic considerations with regard to the enemy. No one would raise frown and kvetch if the U.S. decided to obliterate half the Muslim world.

I am watching all these limp dick politicians fiddle and yammer. The world is watching. It's sickening.

By Greenhour on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 07:45 pm: Edit

OK listen, I dont mean to send challenges out over the web, BAD FORM ON MY PART. SORRY. Im still mad and sad that my friends are dead.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 07:41 pm: Edit

More pompous bleatings and pulings from herbivorous cattle, who back up their cowardice with the mixture of ink and bile penned by disaffected former staffers who have long knives out for their in-harness seniors and betters.

Pitiful.

By Greenhour on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 07:39 pm: Edit

perruche,
You are whats wrong with people today. I've checked on your info and you don't have the balls to even say where you are from or you're real name. COWARD! Look how cavalier you are regarding a catstrophic loss of life. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? CAN WE BOMB YOU AND WRITE IT OFF AS "That's the breaks cupcakes" You spineless bastard! How easily you hide behind other people's words! You are pathetic! Call me, for real, love to meet you! I live in Brooklyn my info is on my Bio!

By Mr_Rabbit on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 07:15 pm: Edit

Because he is hard to track down, and because it is not generally OK to assassinate someone according to international law.

Now, however, the international community will not give us any shit about it.

By Verawench on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 07:02 pm: Edit

Maybe someone can solve this problem for me:

30 billion a year in intelligence budget per year. The most sophisticated technology in the world. Previous attacks by the same vile fucker.

What exactly kept this country from blowing Bin Laden up years ago? A bad head cold?

By Geoffk on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 06:57 pm: Edit

One other thing. It seems that there is evidence now that the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania was intended for the White House and that it crashed in a rural area because the PASSENGERS overpowered the terrorists--at the cost of their own lives.

I am awed by the foresight and bravery of these people. I must admit, I'm not sure if I could have done what they did, but I withdraw any implications that I might have made about the ineffectiveness of passenger action. Note that there were only 30 passengers on this plane. And that one of the passengers who fought, has a 3 month old daughter, who will never see her father again.

By the way, take a look at this Wall Street Journal editoral (free):
http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=95001109

It basically says New Yorkers didn't panic, they acted bravely and everybody tried to help.

Nobody should underestimate the American people. I'm sorry that I did.

-- Geoff K.

By Geoffk on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 06:37 pm: Edit

Ok, PV you convinced me. It's not the fault of terrorists that WTC got blown up. It7s the fault of the airlines for being cheap about security (not that the liberals and ACLU would allow them to make it properly secure before). Or it's the fault of the CIA for training Bin Laden to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan (a bad decision in retrospect but that's politics. Who knew at the time?). Anyway America is guilty for all the evil in the world anyway so we just deserve whatever we get.

What a crock of shit.

-- Geoff K.

By Chevalier on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 06:33 pm: Edit

Michael Moore says bin Laden bit the CIA hand that fed him. Is that the hand's sin, or bin Laden's? I don't hold the CIA responsible for a loose cannon who needed people to blow up after the Soviets left. Osama bin Laden isn't acting under Agency orders. His boss is an angry "Allah".

By Perruche_Verte on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 06:03 pm: Edit

Another take on airport security and terrorism, this one from Michael Moore. Sorry I can't just give you an URL, but it came by email.

Death, Downtown

Dear friends,

I was supposed to fly today on the 4:30 PM American Airlines flight from
LAX to JFK. But tonight I find myself stuck in L.A. with an incredible
range of emotions over what has happened on the island where I work and
live in New York City.

My wife and I spent the first hours of the day -- after being awakened by
phone calls from our parents at 6:40am PT -- trying to contact our daughter
at school in New York and our friend JoAnn who works near the World Trade
Center.

I called JoAnn at her office. As someone picked up, the first tower
imploded, and the person answering the phone screamed and ran out, leaving
me no clue as to whether or not she or JoAnn would live.

It was a sick, horrible, frightening day.

On December 27, 1985 I found myself caught in the middle of a terrorist
incident at the Vienna airport -- which left 30 people dead, both there and
at the Rome airport. (The machine-gunning of passengers in each city was
timed to occur at the same moment.)

I do not feel like discussing that event tonight because it still brings up
too much despair and confusion as to how and why I got to live. a fluke, a
mistake, a few feet on the tarmac, and I am still here, there but for the
grace of.

Safe. Secure. I'm an American, living in America. I like my illusions. I
walk through a metal detector, I put my carry-ons through an x-ray machine,
and I know all will be well.

Here's a short list of my experiences lately with airport security:

* At the Newark Airport, the plane is late at boarding everyone. The
counter can't find my seat. So I am told to just "go ahead and get on" --
without a ticket!

* At Detroit Metro Airport, I don't want to put the lunch I just bought at
the deli through the x-ray machine so, as I pass through the metal
detector, I hand the sack to the guard through the space between the
detector and the x-ray machine. I tell him "It's just a sandwich." He
believes me and doesn't bother to check. The sack has gone through neither
security device.

* At LaGuardia in New York, I check a piece of luggage, but decide to catch
a later plane. The first plane leaves without me, but with my bag -- no one
knowing what is in it.

* Back in Detroit, I take my time getting off the commuter plane. By the
time I have come down its stairs, the bus that takes the passengers to the
terminal has left -- without me. I am alone on the tarmac, free to wander
wherever I want. So I do. Eventually, I flag down a pick-up truck and an
airplane mechanic gives me a ride the rest of the way to the terminal.

* I have brought knives, razors; and once, my traveling companion brought a
hammer and chisel. No one stopped us.

Of course, I have gotten away with all of this because the airlines
consider my safety SO important, they pay rent-a-cops $5.75 an hour to make
sure the bad guys don't get on my plane. That is what my life is worth --
less than the cost of an oil change.

Too harsh, you say? Well, chew on this: a first-year pilot on American
Eagle (the commuter arm of American Airlines) receives around $15,000 a
year in annual pay.

That's right -- $15,000 for the person who has your life in his hands.
Until recently, Continental Express paid a little over $13,000 a year.
There was one guy, an American Eagle pilot, who had four kids so he went
down to the welfare office and applied for food stamps -- and he was
eligible!

Someone on welfare is flying my plane? Is this for real? Yes, it is.

So spare me the talk about all the precautions the airlines and the FAA is
taking. They, like all businesses, are concerned about one thing -- the
bottom line and the profit margin.

Four teams of 3-5 people were all able to penetrate airport security on the
same morning at 3 different airports and pull off this heinous act? My only
response is -- that's all?

Well, the pundits are in full diarrhea mode, gushing on about the
"terrorist threat" and today's scariest dude on planet earth -- Osama bin
Laden. Hey, who knows, maybe he did it. But, something just doesn't add up.

Am I being asked to believe that this guy who sleeps in a tent in a desert
has been training pilots to fly our most modern, sophisticated jumbo jets
with such pinpoint accuracy that they are able to hit these three targets
without anyone wondering why these planes were so far off path?

Or am I being asked to believe that there were four religious/political
fanatics who JUST HAPPENED to be skilled airline pilots who JUST HAPPENED
to want to kill themselves today?

Maybe you can find one jumbo jet pilot willing to die for the cause -- but
FOUR? Ok, maybe you can -- I don't know.

What I do know is that all day long I have heard everything about this bin
Laden guy except this one fact -- WE created the monster known as Osama bin
Laden!

Where did he go to terrorist school? At the CIA!

Don't take my word for it -- I saw a piece on MSNBC last year that laid it
all out. When the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan, the CIA trained him
and his buddies in how to commits acts of terrorism against the Soviet
forces. It worked! The Soviets turned and ran. Bin Laden was grateful for
what we taught him and thought it might be fun to use those same techniques
against us.

We abhor terrorism -- unless we're the ones doing the terrorizing.

We paid and trained and armed a group of terrorists in Nicaragua in the
1980s who killed over 30,000 civilians. That was OUR work. You and me.
Thirty thousand murdered civilians and who the hell even remembers!

We fund a lot of oppressive regimes that have killed a lot of innocent
people, and we never let the human suffering THAT causes to interrupt our
day one single bit.

We have orphaned so many children, tens of thousands around the world, with
our taxpayer-funded terrorism (in Chile, in Vietnam, in Gaza, in Salvador)
that I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised when those orphans grow up and
are a little whacked in the head from the horror we have helped cause.

Yet, our recent domestic terrorism bombings have not been conducted by a
guy from the desert but rather by our own citizens: a couple of ex-military
guys who hated the federal government.

From the first minutes of today's events, I never heard that possibility
suggested. Why is that?

Maybe it's because the A-rabs are much better foils. A key ingredient in
getting Americans whipped into a frenzy against a new enemy is the
all-important race card. It's much easier to get us to hate when the object
of our hatred doesn't look like us.

Congressmen and Senators spent the day calling for more money for the
military; one Senator on CNN even said he didn't want to hear any more talk
about more money for education or health care -- we should have only one
priority: our self-defense.

Will we ever get to the point that we realize we will be more secure when
the rest of the world isn't living in poverty so we can have nice running
shoes?

In just 8 months, Bush gets the whole world back to hating us again. He
withdraws from the Kyoto agreement, walks us out of the Durban conference
on racism, insists on restarting the arms race -- you name it, and Baby
Bush has blown it all.

The Senators and Congressmen tonight broke out in a spontaneous version of
"God Bless America." They're not a bad group of singers!

Yes, God, please do bless us.

Many families have been devastated tonight. This just is not right. They
did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they
did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New
York, DC, and the planes' destination of California -- these were places
that voted AGAINST Bush!

Why kill them? Why kill anyone? Such insanity.

Let's mourn, let's grieve, and when it's appropriate let's examine our
contribution to the unsafe world we live in.

It doesn't have to be like this.

Yours,

Michael Moore
mmflint@aol.com

By Chevalier on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 04:53 pm: Edit

I'm not looking to win because I don't want anyone to lose, BC -- not you, not me. True, the article was long and in retrospect I should have left it where PV put it. Your point is taken: I'll go with your advice regardless of how it was offered. It's that "great departure from your usual posts" bit that makes me see red. Pride, you know? I shouldn't give a shit, it's just words on a forum, but ...

By Bob_Chong on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 04:38 pm: Edit

Very witty, Chevalier. You win. Please post more lengthy articles. Maybe someday, in a magical world, we will all know how to open links on our own.

By Chevalier on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 04:20 pm: Edit

Bob:

I know you're old around here, and I'm glad to hear that you know how to open a link.

A snippet here or there, or even a paraphrase, would not necessarily be better. For one thing, the article works as a whole: each successive point builds upon the one before, supporting the main thesis. As for bandwidth, you have a point. Tell that to everyone who has posted repeatedly on this thread. (I have nothing against them doing so. Do you?)

Your words to me, Bob: "For another, it would prove that you have the cognitive ability to process information on your own. That would be a great departure from your usual posts."

Back it up or back down. You want a fight? Go right ahead.

By Mr_Rabbit on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 04:15 pm: Edit

"These imperatives are not based on the fascist tendencies of a cadre of powermongers. They are based on a simple fact. The Americans, the Canadians, the Europeans, the Japanese, the Northern fucking Hemisphere will NOT freeze to death in the dark"

Well said Don. Never forget folks, that practicality is the bottom line of life and death.

I think the way to go is to first try to find the cause of the violence- what motivated them to do this. Try to deal with that, and if it is at all reasonable to solve, solve it.

But ultimately it may be a set of reasons we can't reason with, like the Aum Shiva cult. If this is because we are the Great Satan, well shit.

There won't be anything for it but war then.

By Perruche_Verte on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 04:08 pm: Edit

Bob,

I've read my history. What it seems to tell me that empires rise and fall, and you will never have enough weapons to fight off the enemies you make by misusing those weapons. Worse, living in an empire means never knowing which of your friends are real ones, and which are simply playing for time.

I am very afraid right now that our current empire's weapons are once again going to be used in "surgical" reprisals on schools, aspirin factories, daycare centers and sewage treatment plants, as in Iraq and Sudan. Someone here posted that he'd prefer seeing Afghanistan bombed flat to seeing his friend killed. That's the strength of friendship, but it shouldn't be foreign policy.

If you can stop beating the war drum long enough to think, you might recall that the values the U.S. embraced after its revolution include not punishing the innocent. The disciplines of law and medicine both teach that the professional needs to avoid doing harm, and that this is more important than engaging in hasty "treatment".
Pity that our military professionals don't seem to be taught this principle.

BTW, as I'm sure you know, you can't catch E. coli from your own ass, only someone else's. I'll refrain on commenting where your tongue seems to be lodged at the moment.

By Bob_Chong on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 03:13 pm: Edit

Seriously, PV, what has happened to you in your life that you have become so ignorant and bitter?

By Bob_Chong on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 03:12 pm: Edit

know

By Bob_Chong on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 03:10 pm: Edit

Chevy:

I know you're new around here, but believe it or not, we all now how to open a link.

A snippet here or there, or even a paraphrase, would be much better. For one thing, it's less bandwidth intensive. For another, it would prove that you have the cognitive ability to process information on your own. That would be a great departure from your usual posts.

BC

By Rimbaud on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 03:10 pm: Edit

Hello all.

I post here rarely, but lurk constantly and have been for three years or so now. I am from Long Island NY, and have been living in NYC (Times Square) since this past December. I awoke yesterday morning to a call from my mother worrying about if I was alright. She told me what had happened:that a plane crashed into one of the Twin Towers of the WTC. This was just after 10AM. I immediately turned on the TV to find out that one of the towers had already collapsed. I then watched in horror and disbelief as the second tower went down. Meanwhile, I heard that the Pentagon had been hit as well. I wondered...what would happen next? I'm still wondering...

~21st Century Rimbaud

p.s.- Good to hear that my fellow New Yorkers are okay (Marc, The Nephilim) as well as Blackjack down in D.C.

By Artemis on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 02:50 pm: Edit

"And I don't believe you, Artemis."

I'm not sure what I believe any more.

I got a fortune from a fortune cookie yesterday, it was: "Better an hour among friends than a day among strangers". I believe that. Maybe in Vegas some of us strangers can become friends.

Well, I must leave for my new job tomorrow, no putting it off any longer. So this really WILL be my last post for a while. Adios, all.

By Perruche_Verte on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 02:02 pm: Edit

I don't mean to seem insensitive. It's just that the least productive thing to do right now is to "feel good about being Americans".

Let's think about why this happened and how to keep it from happening again, without forcing the innocent to suffer for the crimes of the guilty.

By Chevalier on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 01:50 pm: Edit

No problem, Tav. To give credit where it's due, it was Perruche Verte's fire. Well worth reading, too.

-- "Chevy" Chevalier

By Perruche_Verte on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 01:50 pm: Edit

Yes, thanks for reposting that sad piece of propaganda. I just heard it played on "Crap from the Past", a cool retro show on late-night FM in my city. It's been re-recorded numerous times with patriotic anthems as background music, and was one of Ronald Reagan's favorites. I'm sure its time has come again.

By _Blackjack on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 01:44 pm: Edit

I just realized something about how bad this could get if Pakistan got dragged into this: they've got nukes. Or, at least, A nuke. Now, I have no illusions that they might have a delivery system capable of hitting US, but they might, facing war with the US, strike out against India or Israel, both US-friendly, both also nuclear powers.

Just thinking. The situation is to complex to predict right now. I'd just like to avoid even limited nuclear exchanges, thanks...

By Tavarua on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 01:41 pm: Edit

I don’t mean to steal your fire Chevy, but I got this and had to share. It may seem a little self serving, but I know it will make some of us feel a lot better to be Americans, and for those that don’t need any reinforcement, please check it out anyway.

Kallista:

I apologize for the length (bandwidth), feel free to wipe it off the forum after a day or two.

TRIBUTE TO THE UNITED STATES

This, from a Canadian newspaper, no less, is worth sharing.

America: The Good Neighbor.

Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as
printed in the Congressional Record:

"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth.

Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.

When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the
streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped.

The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.

I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes?

Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American
technocracy, and you find men on the moon - not once, but several times and safely home again.

You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are
breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.

When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke.

I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.

Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those."

Stand proud, America!

By Chevalier on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 01:18 pm: Edit

I just read it. Hmmm. Perruche, would you mind if I posted it here directly? It's not much longer than some of the other posts we've been writing.

I hope that DON WALSH reads it; I for one would like to hear his opinion. Here:

The Counterterrorist Myth

A former CIA operative explains why the terrorist Usama bin Ladin has little to fear from American intelligence

by Reuel Marc Gerecht
.....
The United States has spent billions of dollars on counterterrorism since the U.S. embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya, in August of 1998. Tens of millions have been spent on covert operations specifically targeting Usama bin Ladin and his terrorist organization, al-Qa'ida. Senior U.S. officials boldly claim—even after the suicide attack last October on the USS Cole, in the port of Aden—that the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are clandestinely "picking apart" bin Ladin's organization "limb by limb." But having worked for the CIA for nearly nine years on Middle Eastern matters (I left the Directorate of Operations because of frustration with the Agency's many problems), I would argue that America's counterterrorism program in the Middle East and its environs is a myth.

Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan's Northwest Frontier, is on the cultural periphery of the Middle East. It is just down the Grand Trunk Road from the legendary Khyber Pass, the gateway to Afghanistan. Peshawar is where bin Ladin cut his teeth in the Islamic jihad, when, in the mid-1980s, he became the financier and logistics man for the Maktab al-Khidamat, The Office of Services, an overt organization trying to recruit and aid Muslim, chiefly Arab, volunteers for the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. The friendships and associations made in The Office of Services gave birth to the clandestine al-Qa'ida, The Base, whose explicit aim is to wage a jihad against the West, especially the United States.

According to Afghan contacts and Pakistani officials, bin Ladin's men regularly move through Peshawar and use it as a hub for phone, fax, and modem communication with the outside world. Members of the embassy-bombing teams in Africa probably planned to flee back to Pakistan. Once there they would likely have made their way into bin Ladin's open arms through al-Qa'ida's numerous friends in Peshawar. Every tribe and region of Afghanistan is represented in this city, which is dominated by the Pathans, the pre-eminent tribe in the Northwest Frontier and southern Afghanistan. Peshawar is also a power base of the Taliban, Afghanistan's fundamentalist rulers. Knowing the city's ins and outs would be indispensable to any U.S. effort to capture or kill bin Ladin and his closest associates. Intelligence collection on al-Qa'ida can't be of much real value unless the agent network covers Peshawar.

During a recent visit, at sunset, when the city's cloistered alleys go black except for an occasional flashing neon sign, I would walk through Afghan neighborhoods. Even in the darkness I had a case officer's worst sensation—eyes following me everywhere. To escape the crowds I would pop into carpet, copper, and jewelry shops and every cybercafé I could find. These were poorly lit one- or two-room walk-ups where young men surfed Western porn. No matter where I went, the feeling never left me. I couldn't see how the CIA as it is today had any chance of running a successful counterterrorist operation against bin Ladin in Peshawar, the Dodge City of Central Asia.

Westerners cannot visit the cinder-block, mud-brick side of the Muslim world—whence bin Ladin's foot soldiers mostly come—without announcing who they are. No case officer stationed in Pakistan can penetrate either the Afghan communities in Peshawar or the Northwest Frontier's numerous religious schools, which feed manpower and ideas to bin Ladin and the Taliban, and seriously expect to gather useful information about radical Islamic terrorism—let alone recruit foreign agents.

Even a Muslim CIA officer with native-language abilities (and the Agency, according to several active-duty case officers, has very few operatives from Middle Eastern backgrounds) could do little more in this environment than a blond, blue-eyed all-American. Case officers cannot long escape the embassies and consulates in which they serve. A U.S. official overseas, photographed and registered with the local intelligence and security services, can't travel much, particularly in a police-rich country like Pakistan, without the "host" services' knowing about it. An officer who tries to go native, pretending to be a true-believing radical Muslim searching for brothers in the cause, will make a fool of himself quickly.

In Pakistan, where the government's Inter-Services Intelligence Agency and the ruling army are competent and tough, the CIA can do little if these institutions are against it. And they are against it. Where the Taliban and Usama bin Ladin are concerned, Pakistan and the United States aren't allies. Relations between the two countries have been poor for years, owing to American opposition to Pakistan's successful nuclear-weapons program and, more recently, Islamabad's backing of Muslim Kashmiri separatists. Bin Ladin's presence in Afghanistan as a "guest" of the Pakistani-backed Taliban has injected even more distrust and suspicion into the relationship.

In other words, American intelligence has not gained and will not gain Pakistan's assistance in its pursuit of bin Ladin. The only effective way to run offensive counterterrorist operations against Islamic radicals in more or less hostile territory is with "non-official-cover" officers—operatives who are in no way openly attached to the U.S. government. Imagine James Bond minus the gadgets, the women, the Walther PPK, and the Aston Martin. But as of late 1999 no program to insert NOCs into an Islamic fundamentalist organization abroad had been implemented, according to one such officer who has served in the Middle East. "NOCs haven't really changed at all since the Cold War," he told me recently. "We're still a group of fake businessmen who live in big houses overseas. We don't go to mosques and pray."

A former senior Near East Division operative says, "The CIA probably doesn't have a single truly qualified Arabic-speaking officer of Middle Eastern background who can play a believable Muslim fundamentalist who would volunteer to spend years of his life with shitty food and no women in the mountains of Afghanistan. For Christ's sake, most case officers live in the suburbs of Virginia. We don't do that kind of thing." A younger case officer boils the problem down even further: "Operations that include diarrhea as a way of life don't happen."

Behind-the-lines counterterrorism operations are just too dangerous for CIA officers to participate in directly. When I was in the Directorate of Operations, the Agency would deploy a small army of officers for a meeting with a possibly dangerous foreigner if he couldn't be met in the safety of a U.S. embassy or consulate. Officers still in the clandestine service say that the Agency's risk-averse, bureaucratic nature—which mirrors, of course, the growing physical risk-aversion of American society—has only gotten worse.

A few miles from Peshawar's central bazaar, near the old Cantonment, where redcoats once drilled and where the U.S. consulate can be found, is the American Club, a traditional hangout for international-aid workers, diplomats, journalists, and spooks. Worn-out Western travelers often stop here on the way from Afghanistan to decompress; one can buy a drink, watch videos, order a steak. Security warnings from the American embassy are posted on the club's hallway bulletin board.

The bulletins I saw last December advised U.S. officials and their families to stay away from crowds, mosques, and anyplace else devout Pakistanis and Afghans might gather. The U.S. embassy in Islamabad, a fortress surrounded by roadblocks, Pakistani soldiers, and walls topped with security cameras and razor wire, strongly recommended a low profile—essentially life within the Westernized, high-walled Cantonment area or other spots where diplomats are unlikely to bump into fundamentalists.

Such warnings accurately reflect the mentality inside both the Department of State and the CIA. Individual officers may venture out, but their curiosity isn't encouraged or rewarded. Unless one of bin Ladin's foot soldiers walks through the door of a U.S. consulate or embassy, the odds that a CIA counterterrorist officer will ever see one are extremely poor.

The Directorate of Operations' history of success has done little to prepare the CIA for its confrontation with radical Islamic terrorism. Perhaps the DO's most memorable victory was against militant Palestinian groups in the 1970s and 1980s. The CIA could find common ground with Palestinian militants, who often drink, womanize, and spend time in nice hotels in pleasant, comfortable countries. Still, its "penetrations" of the PLO—delightfully and kindly rendered in David Ignatius's novel Agents of Innocence (1987)—were essentially emissaries from Yasir Arafat to the U.S. government.

Difficulties with fundamentalism and mud-brick neighborhoods aside, the CIA has stubbornly refused to develop cadres of operatives specializing in one or two countries. Throughout the Soviet-Afghan war (1979-1989) the DO never developed a team of Afghan experts. The first case officer in Afghanistan to have some proficiency in an Afghan language didn't arrive until 1987, just a year and a half before the war's end. Robert Baer, one of the most talented Middle East case officers of the past twenty years (and the only operative in the 1980s to collect consistently first-rate intelligence on the Lebanese Hizbollah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad), suggested to headquarters in the early 1990s that the CIA might want to collect intelligence on Afghanistan from the neighboring Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union.

Headquarters' reply: Too dangerous, and why bother? The Cold War there was over with the Soviet withdrawal in 1989. Afghanistan was too far away, internecine warfare was seen as endemic, and radical Islam was an abstract idea. Afghanistan has since become the brain center and training ground for Islamic terrorism against the United States, yet the CIA's clandestine service still usually keeps officers on the Afghan account no more than two or three years.

Until October of 1999 no CIA official visited Ahmad Shah Mas'ud in Afghanistan. Mas'ud is the ruler of northeastern Afghanistan and the leader of the only force still fighting the Taliban. He was the most accomplished commander of the anti-Soviet mujahideen guerrillas; his army now daily confronts Arab military units that are under the banner of bin Ladin, yet no CIA case officer has yet debriefed Mas'ud's soldiers on the front lines or the Pakistani, Afghan, Chinese-Turkoman, and Arab holy warriors they've captured.

The CIA's Counterterrorism Center, which now has hundreds of employees from numerous government agencies, was the creation of Duane "Dewey" Clarridge, an extraordinarily energetic bureaucrat-spook. In less than a year in the mid-1980s Clarridge converted a three-man operation confined to one room with one TV set broadcasting CNN into a staff that rivaled the clandestine service's Near East Division for primacy in counterterrorist operations. Yet the Counterterrorism Center didn't alter the CIA's methods overseas at all. "We didn't really think about the details of operations—how we would penetrate this or that group," a former senior counterterrorist official says. "Victory for us meant that we stopped [Thomas] Twetten [the chief of the clandestine service's Near East Division] from walking all over us." In my years inside the CIA, I never once heard case officers overseas or back at headquarters discuss the ABCs of a recruitment operation against any Middle Eastern target that took a case officer far off the diplomatic and business-conference circuits. Long-term seeding operations simply didn't occur.

George Tenet, who became the director of the CIA in 1997, has repeatedly described America's counterterrorist program as "robust" and in most cases successful at keeping bin Ladin's terrorists "off-balance" and anxious about their own security. The Clinton Administration's senior director for counterterrorism on the National Security Council, Richard Clarke, who has continued as the counterterrorist czar in the Bush Administration, is sure that bin Ladin and his men stay awake at night "around the campfire" in Afghanistan, "worried stiff about who we're going to get next."

If we are going to defeat Usama bin Ladin, we need to openly side with Ahmad Shah Mas'ud, who still has a decent chance of fracturing the tribal coalition behind Taliban power. That, more effectively than any clandestine counterterrorist program in the Middle East, might eventually force al-Qa'ida's leader to flee Afghanistan, where U.S. and allied intelligence and military forces cannot reach him.

Until then, I don't think Usama bin Ladin and his allies will be losing much sleep around the campfire.

By Anatomist1 on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 01:16 pm: Edit

The fact that warring on the mideast to protect oil supplies vs. americans freezing to death in the dark can actually be proposed as a valid binary is a triumph and a failure. A triumph for the greedy few who hijacked energy policy in favor of vested oil interest decades ago. A triumph for propaganda that calls government spearheaded efforts to find new, cleaner, home-grown energy sources and sane mass-transit works 'socialism' and 'the nanny state', while calling public resource giveaways to oil and defense companies and reliance on the massive use of war machinery to keep oil prices low 'defending the free market'. A triumph for the few, the vested, the prosperous, and for the rhetoric of self-fulfilling prophecies. Especially a triumph of stupidity among voters, non-voters and anyone smart enough to be capable of foresight involved in politics who wasn't/isn't a whore. A failure for the rest of us - particularly the ones susceptible to becoming frozen in the dark. We should be three decades on our way to clean energy-independence by now.

...besides if we're to believe the rhetoric of "free markets" isn't people freezing to death precisely the kind of free market mechanism necessary to spur changes in energy use?

K.

By Perruche_Verte on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 12:54 pm: Edit

A piece on why the US won't be "cleaning up" anything anytime soon, unless we engage in the sort of indiscriminate killing that really would make us moral equivalents of the bombers:

http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2001/07/gerecht.htm

By Perruche_Verte on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 11:59 am: Edit

A little good news: The response to the American Red Cross call for blood donors has been so strong that they are utterly swamped. It's about a 2-3 hour wait to give blood right now. I'll try to get in today, but I may have to wait until the weekend, when they've added special hours.

They are sorely in need of volunteers, so anyone who can spare the time should consider it.

By Chevalier on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 11:51 am: Edit

This thread is getting longer than the Bible. (or Koran, as it were.)

-- The terrorists are playing a deadly game by their own set of rules: devious, uncompromising, fanatical, suicidal, apocalyptic. They're not our rules. We can't get them to play by our rules. "Sending them to Allah" will do us (and them) a favor. Life and liberty are not these guys' first priorities. Martyrdom is.

-- Though they'd publicly scream against it, the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and other Middle-Eastern states would secretly sigh in relief were we to come in and clean things up over there. They're incapable of defeating for good the Shiite extremists who harass their non-theocratic governments. Mubarak and company would be only too delighted to have Uncle Sam do the dirty work for them. Think of the money and lives they'd save, not to mention their own political hides!

In the Middle East, as in much of the world AS IT REALLY IS, hypocrisy is an gracious art served with tea and daggers.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 11:39 am: Edit

Sorry for the typos. I am geting drunk.

By Alphasoixante on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 11:32 am: Edit

Mr. Walsh: well spoken.

as for the towers, i agree they should not be rebuilt, but not that there should be a monument--just an empty space to denote what we (we the doggone human race) are with great determination attempting to build today: nothing.

it might have an inscription: "man would sooner have the void for a purpose than be void of purpose".

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 11:16 am: Edit

"Your discussion of the use of the atomic bombing is thoughtful and informative--thanks. i'm not sure i understand your specific reason for remaining a "dissenter". is it only because the bomb was a display for stalin rather than tojo?"

No. My concern was and is that it seems to me that atomic bombing was (pardon the pun) a quantum leap in modern warfare, a modern warfare already fit to disgrace the Allies on any scale of ,oral equivalence with the Nazis and the Imperial Japanese.

Furthermore I still question whether or not all possible avenues of diplomacy and of alternatives such as a demonstration bombing of an uninhabited area, with official Japanese witnesses, were insufficiently explored. And my concern arises totally, TOTALLY from having walked the ground of the Peace Park, in old Hiroshima, been through the museum, rung the Heian-kane, strolled in tears along thhe calan along past the 'Atomic Dome' and me, a military-industrial complex type, steeped in the standard line about how this 'saved lives' on both sides. Well, maybe. But no other weapons attacked the gene pool as atomic weapons do. No other weapons attack generations unborn (well, teratobenic and/or mutagenic chemical weapons might. But the scale is vastly different.) Finally, there was a tremendous internal debate among and between the Manhatten Project scientists and the policymakers about this. Leo Szilar, one of the architects of Manhatten, and a signatory to the original communication that convinced Einstein to weight in with Roosevelt -- went round security and Oppenheimer and put a petition inf ront of the policymakers AGAINST the bombings. Damn, if old Leo who dreamed it up felt so strongly, how hard is it for me, born in 51, to come to same conslusions in the 80s and 90s? After I had learned on my own hook to not automatically slurp up the truth trough? The government valued me for my BRAIN so why not make use of it?

My bottom line on Hiroshima/Nagasaki remains: the boms were developed to use against GERMANY. But Germany capitulated befroe they were ready. And I am not at all sure that the decision to drop them on a European target would ever have been taken so lightly.

A JAPANESE target, well, it's just Asians and that's different...so went the unspoken logic I think.

So 45 years later I walked the ground and made up my own mind and looked at the permanent shadow of the poor bastard who was sitting on the steps when the device went off and he was near ground zero. Vaporized, only his shadow burned into stone to mark his passing. A metaphor for himanity for the thermonuclear age to come. So yeah I cried, and yeah I changed my mind.

There was a racist component to the atomic bombings.

Washington may have demurred in Europe.

250,000 Japanese civilians paid the price. It took minutes, each time, and still today, survirors die every year from the bomb effects,

We learned a lot obout radiation effects, if that is any recompense for the slaughter of a quarter million human beings.

That canal I walked along. It was shallow and narrow, but hundreds of civilians, burned and burning and mostly naked and blinded, threw themselves in the water trying to escape the heat and the pain. I think, no one can ever walk by that canal, ever, and not hear their screams. Adn what do they scream? They scream Why? and they cry Never! Again!

I fear NYC has its own ghost spaces now. The towers ought not to be rebuilt. We need a monument to our abject failure to defend our own.

By Alphasoixante on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 10:37 am: Edit

"Alphasoixante, you are so utterly disconnected from reality that there is little point in trying to communicate. I hope you are institutionalized already; if not go check yourself in."

SNARL. (check in? i just broke out.)

"The Germans were the ones to target civilians first."
"As for the Japanese, civilians in the Philipines, Singapore, and China were never spared the kind attentions of the Imperial Army. I'll see your Cologne and Dresden and raise you a Nanking or two. Or do you only care aboutcaucasian lives, you hypocritical piece of leftwing shit?"

The Germans and the Japanese are, of course, as guilty as we are. So is everyone else. That is why I suggested we find our common ground in being guilty. Doing so would perhaps require setting aside distinctions such as who did what to whom first and who achieved the higher death toll. in the contest of dog-like viciousness we are all winners, the final score for each pack of dogs ultimately trivial.

Your discussion of the use of the atomic bombing is thoughtful and informative--thanks. i'm not sure i understand your specific reason for remaining a "dissenter". is it only because the bomb was a display for stalin rather than tojo?

you're right, of course, that the alternatives to the bombs could have been much worse, just as heiko is perfectly correct that the consequences of american military tactics may have been, ultimately, happy ones for germany. but in both cases, it seems perfectly reasonable to distinguish between the pragmatic and ethical dimensions of an action. unless taking exception to the dimestore philosophy of utilitarianism is forbidden these days.

the point about guilt was, i thought, a simple one, and had nothing to do with the practical: it is not true that the guilt of he who did it first cancels out the guilt of he who follows suit; it is not true that he who sheds more blood cancels the guilt of those who shed less; it is not true that the practical consequences of an action determine its ethical status. one can, quite consistently, throw out the ethical dimension--acting for the sake of the best outcome. but if one chooses such a course of action, one can no longer consistently take a moral high ground or maintain a self-righteous posture.

my concern is this: the dog's snarl and vicious attacks turn its victims into snarling and vicious dogs, with the impractical and unethical consequence that the idiotic nonsense goes on, self-producing, indefinitely. (surely readers of this forum, not just spectators of world events, have noticed this before.) one can join in and play the dog's game until one or both parties is eliminated, but not under the hypocritical pretense of having an ethical imperative to do so (eliminating a party in the conflict is equivalent to setting aside the ethical dimension altogether). or one can find common ground--and the only one, i'm still convinced, is guilt.

hello, my name is alphasoixante, and i am guilty.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 10:35 am: Edit

You know, I took a degree in political science and heavily gravitated toward the International side, my main prof was Dr Werner Feld. Lots of courses in International Law and what they taught me was that this is a JOKE.

From other sources I know a maxim that has always seemed appropriate:

Great states like rampant penises have no consciences.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 10:30 am: Edit

Heiko, cool, yes that regime had to go. However there is no need to thank anyone for incinerating Dresden and Koln, no need to thank the Russians for raping German women, and no need for thanking them for occupying half of your country for all the time till their own hateful regime finally capitulated to he weight of its own economic unreason. Yeah the Nazis were bad. But they are gone, long gone, and never to return, nicht wahr? There will be no more Krystallnachts, no more Endlosungs, no more silly ass attepts to synthesize half baked occult theories into a world order. No need to dip into the Teutonic Knights to justify the antipathy to the East -- no American needs that explained. But the East has collapsed of its own absurd dead weight. No Skull of Shamballah brought them down, nor Spear of Longinus. SDI and the Exodus Program and all that brought them down along with the rise of personal computers...Germany, reunited, is a central power in the EU and the dynamo (if I can borrow a bolshevik cliche) or the world economy. The Soviets didn't make postwar Germany great. (For a distillation of German attitudes about Berlin just before the Wall, see Billy Wilder's classic black comedu ONE TWO THREE starring Jimmy Cagney). Wilder was a GERMAN director. He knew how to satirize both the American and his on people, and not incidentally, the Soviets.

Trade Commisar #1 We bought large consignment of Swiss cheese.
Trade Commisar #2: Had to reject it!
Trade Commisar #3 Absolutely defective! Full of holes!

Later in film:

Trade Commisar #1: Cuba gives us cigars, we give them missiles.
Jimmy Cagney: (sniff) Pretty crummy cigars.
Trade Commisar #1: Pretty crummy missiles!

I was about 9 when this movie ame out but learned to love it in reruns.

I wish it was run more often.

Do you know this film?

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 10:07 am: Edit

Blackjack: well said. Personally I have many such quibbles and qualms. And so I no longer participate in what Kipling called the Great Game -- and pls appreciate that Kipling was a COLONIAL. Born in India. However, I do not try to confuse my personal qualms with the national good. It was sufficient for me to absent my talents from their felicity, and retire to drink beer and absinthe and (in former years anyway) to allow the local demimondaines to ead me into sin.

The main thing is you and I both love Seamus Kennedy.

And nothing can take that away.

By Heiko on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 09:47 am: Edit

"International politics always seems to eventually return to the level of a school-yard fight."

Not eventually - always...

And what does solve a school yard fight better than a punch on the nose of your attacker?Intellectual communication is not known to be very effective in that case.

By Heiko on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 09:43 am: Edit

As a German I can say that it was much better to bomb German cities in WWII and to kill some civilians than to let the regime go on with killing even more innocent people.
Hereby I thank every nation that freed Germany from its dictatorship - I'm glad I was born in a free country and I don't want that to change.

In my opinion, the US could use a tactic well known by parents or teachers: if the guilty person doesn't admit, the whole bunch of possible attackers will be punished. That should solve the problem soon...

By _Blackjack on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 09:31 am: Edit

"They did it first."

International politics always seems to eventually return to the level of a school-yard fight.

You know, one of the primary motivations for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was the US's embargo of oil shipments to Japan.

By _Blackjack on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 09:24 am: Edit

My point isn't that we are the oppressors, per se, but that we don't care one way or the other so long as the oil flows, and we are powerful enough to get our way.

I don't think I need to defend my education. You and I agree on the basic facts. We differ in the value we place on various outcomes, I think. The oil will flow; I don't doubt that. I'm just not willing to say that is a necessary good.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 08:48 am: Edit

Targeting of working class german and japanese civilians.

Hah.

The Germans were the ones to target civilians first. At the onset of WWII the Allies decried this. By the end of the war, the Allies had outdone the Germans, at least on the Western Front. The toll of civilian casualties on the Eastern Front is horrific.

As for the Japanese, civilians in the Philipines, Singapore, and China were never spared the kind attentions of the Imperial Army. I'll see your Cologne and Dresden and raise you a Nanking or two. Or do you only care about caucasian lives, you hypocritical piece of leftwing shit?

I happen to be of two minds about the final (atom) bombings of Japan. I am emotional about it because I have walked the ground with my Japanese wife (now ex) and I know that much energy was being devoted to negotiated surrender and various alternatives to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But, being honest to myself, I also know that even AFTER the bombings the militarists made an attempt to intercept the recording of the Imperial rescript (announcing surender) and to seize the Imperial Palace (a coup d'etat pure and simple. He who controls the person of the Emporer, is the Shogun. The Emporers were prisoners of the military class for 800 years.) My point is that this is entirely in line with the thinking in Washington, as much as I would like there to have been another way. Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed MANY FEWER Japanese civilians than a conventional invasion of Honshu would have. Our experience on Okinawa, and our experience in Saipan, taught us to expect mass suicides by the civilians (who were told to expect slavery and rape). Extrapolated to the main island, this would have meant millions, tens of millions. And the military will to resist was strong, even in the face of futility. So, even I can see the logic. Where I Still have questions is in the matter of how much o this show of nuclear muscle was really intended to intimidate Stalin not Tojo. And Stalin already had our atomic secrets and was well on his way to making his first bomb...

So I remain a dissenter, about the bombings.

But I think you have not done your homework my friend.

Your language betrays your political bent, you are a dinosaur of the Left, wake up and smell the samovar.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 08:28 am: Edit

Alphasoixante, you are so utterly disconnected from reality that there is little point in trying to communicate. I hope you are institutionalized already; if not go check yourself in.

P_V I don't even have time, energy or words to express my contempt for your asinie remarks.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 08:25 am: Edit

Blackjack, you miss the point. We are not the oppressors of the peoples of the middle east. Our system has made them rich. In Iran the Shahimshah Reza Pahlavi fell not because he was an oppressor but because he was too LIBERAL. His REFORMS and MODERNIZATIONS were counter to the tenets of Persian rule and so he fell. He was replaced by a bullshit Shi'ite theocracy that is counter to everything that mainstream Islam stands for, and that the Iranian people have been struggling ever sicne to get rid of. This is merely one example. I have already discussed this in relation to the oppression of the Afghani peoples by the (Pakistani) Taliban.

If you only know about the Middle East what you read in TIME and see on CNN please recognize that you are reading crap being spoonfed to you. Do your homework or do not bother to have an opinion based on profound ignorance of the subject.

You are in the DC area. Contact Dr Michael Collins Dunn and get an education. He is my editor and publisher.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 08:08 am: Edit

Carved into the marble over the main entrance to CIA, that is, to the right of the Tastee-Freeze auditorium, and the Patrick Hale statue, is the legend "And You Shall Know the Truth, and the Truth Shall Make You Free". And the civil and uncivil servants in that building and its satellites strive to live up to that ideal, although they are often compartmented into only knowing the truth they are cleared for (and have a need to know.) At the top, I suppose, things are better or maybe worse. I have not resided at those exalted climes on the 7th floor, I have visited a few times and swapped pleasentries with the late mumbler Mr.Casey. The late gray cypher Mr Colby got me my big break in '83 and made me a power in the arms business for awhile. He later turned up dead, a long while later, under circumstances I remain highly suspicious about. His arch rival, the paranoid to the nth power James Jesus Angleton, who preceded him into the void by a decade or so, still impacts the national and international Jungian gestalt as the archetype for the Smoking Man on X-Files, and Jim was my friend. Known as Poetry to the journalists, he was the blackest of the black spooks, and is now (falsely) implicated in everything from the JFK assassination to Watergate to flying saucer coverups. His family owns a little company out of Dayton OH called national Cash Register, and he was a buddy of (and probably parodied by) his fellow Ohioan William Burroughs. All that spooky stuff in NAKED LUNCH was not an accident. Burroughs of course was of the Burroughs Business Machines clan.

The journalists called Angleton 'Poetry' because he published what we would now call a fanzine named FURIOSO for many decades, devoted to poetry, and Ezra Pound was his close friend. Jim was X-2 (counter-intelligence) chief of OSS in WWII and CIA's station chief in Italy in the postwar years. As station chief in Rome he presided over the Italian elections manipulations of 47 (let's not hear any pious hand wringing from you crypto-commies) and was of great assistance to the Jewish resistance organizing the establishment of Israel. Because of this, he was the ONLY American CIA oficer that the Mossad would deal with until he was sumamrily shitcanned in '72 by (my main patron) DCI Colby. He ran the 'Israeli desk' at CIA till then. He is caricatured poorly in Aaron Latham's ORCHIDS FOR MOTHER.

By _Blackjack on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 07:47 am: Edit

Well, Don, you have certainly made the most honest and pragmatic argument I've seen for the other position. You aren't afraid to admit that, basically, we, as a society, consider the ability for the West, particularly the US, to have access to power cheap enough to sustain our present level of prosperity, to be more important than the lives and freedom of people in the Middle East. You do understand, however, how this position might lead some of those people to likewise have little regard for the lives and freedom of Americans, right?

Like I said, I'm not sure you're wrong, but in looking out for our own, might we have set the stage for greater suffering for the same people we are supposed to be protecting? If you disregard the well-being of others, you are going to make enough enemies that, no matter how big a monkey you are (and we are a fucking big monkey), you can't hope to hold onto all your bananas.

By Alphasoixante on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 07:41 am: Edit

Blackjack and Marc's posts are admirable and reasonable. And they have an important point of connection. Blackjack suggests finding "common ground", and admits that it sounds naive. It does seem naive. But Marc has pinpointed precisely where that common ground is to be found: we are also guilty. (Here's a case in point--the intentional targeting of working class german and japanese civilians; some info can be found at http://www.fortdouglas.org/articles/dugwayww2,htm.htm) many of those photos on CNN are so uncanny because we are very familiar with pictures of cities in smoke, but photos taken from the air, not from the ground.

question: why is "coward" the worst word we can find? "stupid" is more damning, and more accurate. evil often takes courage, and almost always requires stupidity.

question: why repeated comparisons of the evil-doers to vermin? (this rings a bell--who else compared fellow human beings to vermin...)
this is an insult to insects, a relatively admirable bunch of creatures. if one must compare human beings at their worst to "lesser" creatures, the only reasonable comparison is to dogs, which are, as burroughs points out, the only self-righteous animal. "a dog's snarl is ugly, a redneck lynch-mob paki-basher snarl...snarl of someone got a 'kill a queer for christ' sticker on his heap, a self-righteous occupied snarl. when you see that snarl you are looking at something that has no face of its own. a dog's rage is not his. it is dictated by his trainer. and lynch-mob rage is dictated by conditioning".
there were, no doubt, such snarls on the faces of those who planned and achieved these attacks, and like a virus, those snarls can now be found on all of us. if we absolutely insist on being viscious snarling resentful self-righteous and ultimately stupid animals, then by all means, let us kill each other until there is nothing but the sweet, mind-their-own business, admirable vermin left to inherit the earth. but we needn't insist.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 07:39 am: Edit

Thanks, Bob, I knew I could count on you.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 07:31 am: Edit

No, I don't pull punches. I sat there and wrote those posts in salty constant tears, You want punches pulled? (Apparently not. That's good.)

I am neither politician nor diplomat. I deal in truth and sometimes, burning, blinding bloody truth.

Islam is not the enemy. Islam, despite the media, is a moderate and accomodating religion. The majority of Islamists stand aghast at what a tiny minority does in their god's name. Similar paradigms rule in Christianity but, at the moment, the Christians aren't the thorns in our side. (Or as my ancestors would have put it not the stone in our shoe.) BTW we Sicilians have a good dose of Arab (Saracen, Phoenician) blood in our veins, the sign of the Mafia being the Black Hand, il mano negro, so close to the blue hand sign ubiquitous in the Arab world as a ward again the evil eye. So tell me, cousins, I am anti-arab. There are parts of Sicily more Arab than parts of Malta or Lebanbon or (God knows) Cyprus.

No. Islam is not the enemy. We know the enemy. The enemy will die. The harborers of the enemy will die along with them.

By Etienne on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 07:29 am: Edit

Heiko;
A very good observation. Some aspects of Isalm do remind me very much of Christianity during the Middle Ages.

By _Blackjack on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 07:25 am: Edit

Given a full day to reflect, I've decided to go out on a limb and say I don't have the faintest fucking idea what is the right way to react to this, and I am highly suspicious of anybody who claims they do. This is way beyond the pale of previous experience, and we can't hope to predict the result of any course of action based on past events because, well, this hasn't ever happened before.

The right course of action is the one which best minimizes the chance that people--and yeah, I suppose I'm willing to say: especially Americans-- don't continue to die in huge numbers, or lose their freedoms. I just can't for the life of me come up with one right now.

Mark this one down, kids. The know-it-all is giving in...

By Bob_Chong on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 07:16 am: Edit

Thanks, Don, for stepping over the liberal horseshit and getting to the matter.

(And from reading some of the posts other than yours, I realize that I may have been premature in naming the forum's Chamberlain Award.)

BC

By Heiko on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 07:11 am: Edit

Not long ago, one UNARMED psychopath almost managed to kill himself, the crew and hundreds of tourists on board of a charter flight from Palma de Mallorca. He went into the cockpit and started strangling the pilot. He almost succeeded...
If you're facing a team of trained, determined terrorists with knives, it is something else, I think.

I am, now even more, afraid of fanatic islamists. Not that I was afraid of the islam, I know it is a religion like any other. But the extremists, the fanatics, seem to be on the level of the christian inquisition of the middle ages. You can't talk to them - if you try to, they will fool you and in the end step on you. Some of these fanatics already try to (and have succeeded yet) to build their organizations in Germany, because in Turkey the government already knows better how to treat them...
These groups don't go to foreign countries with the aim to integrate and live there peacefully - they aim on getting to power and forcing all people to obey their laws.
To utter this is not considered pc, that's why you usually hear this only from liberal muslims who are also afraid of the fanatics...

By Etienne on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 06:51 am: Edit

Don, well put.
You never are one to pull punches.

As you said, this is simply about power, and those that suffer from all this will end up being numbers in a history book.

Terrorism is just another form of warfare, and until we come to accept it as such we are never going to be able to deal with it.

Another excuse for the government to step in and control things a little more tightly, all in the cause of our own safety.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 06:50 am: Edit

We consume a lot of fossil fuel. The government is moving to shoft 30% of our total grain production into alternative energy (ethanol, butanol) but we will still need a LOT of petroleum. The supply of that from the Middle EAST will NOT fall into the hands of a few fanatics who want to dispense with the Saudi monarchy and establish a fundamentalist state on the Iranian model.

Americans froze to death in the dark in the 70s briefly, and that is not going to happen again. Never.

Americans aren't going to ask their government how this is accomplished or whether all was done in the best traditions of republican democracy. If the UN were to object, better we deport those fine diplomats or line them up and acquaint them with Rule 762, or Rule 556, take your pick. Know what? Europe is no different. The fuel has to flow. The fuel HAS to flow. And it will. Those who stand in the way of these imperatives, not to mention the fuel supply to Japan, will die. And that is that.

These imperatives are not based on the fascist tendencies of a cadre of powermongers. They are based on a simple fact. The Americans, the Canadians, the Europeans, the Japanese, the Northern fucking Hemisphere will NOT freeze to death in the dark. The peoples of this hemisphere will not allow it, and if their governments falter in determination then those governments will be replaced with ones with a stouter heart and a more willing hand. No little tribe of Bedu will stand in the way of that imperative. We have made the Bedu rich, we did not do so in order for them to feast on our carcasses. Deviationists will DIE.

The Southern Hemisphere by the way has no desire to see us falter.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 06:19 am: Edit

By the way, Wormwood, although we agree, in some details you are wrong. It isn't that we haven't thought about the possibility of terrorists using hijacked airlieners full of passengers as kamikazis. We HAVE thought about it and gamed it and plotted stategies and tactics and countermeasures up the kazoo for decades. BUT basically, no one had the political will to implement the recommended security measures in the face of what was till that fucking day yesterday that WILL live in infamy greater than 12 Dec 41, a purely hypothetical threat. Never thought it could happen? Shit, even Hollywood got in on the act, so did Tom fucking Clancy, it is almost a cliche.

As to active measures, show me the American President who would order the shoot-down of a planeload of American hostage passengers even if it was headed toward Washington DC. A non starter, we are not the god damned Russians and we do not do that sort of thing. No nuke on board, or a CBW threat on board, no WAY.

And do not think for one second that these decisions were not debated and hotly argues in the time between the hijackings and the impacts. THEY WERE. THEY HAD TO HAVE BEEN. We are not blind incompetent idiots, the defense of this nation is serious business. To shoot down those planes would have been to shift the 'guilt' in some measure away from the terrorists. Thank you, no.

My friends and fellow Americans it is now WAR and it is time to stand together or by God we will surely fall one by one. I don't care what you think about dubya, dubya is now the Commander in Chief and he wouldn't be off playing golf anytime in the near frigging future. You owe him in his wartime capacity your support and when the job is done you can go back to carping and naysaying as is your constitutional right.

This ain't Vietnam, folks. These bastards have killed a lof of us on OUR SOIL and mean to go on killing us unless we kill them first and kill them ALL. Make no mistake about it.

And if you're not up to it, I hope someone else is, else I will just have a beer and wait for the barbarians.

10,000 ghosts are screaming for justice. They are your compatriots. They are your brothers, sisters, wives, daughters, and children. Are you all cloth-eared cowards that you cannot hear their cries? Are you so craven that you do not stand and want to yourself take arms? Where are your hearts and where are your very balls? Are you sheep or are you men and women? If sheep, get out of my sight and hearing and let me speak to my fellow Americans. The rest of you be damned.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 05:57 am: Edit

Well said, Wormwood.

We kill terrorists because the world is better off without them. My mother used to ask me why I devoted my life (at least a big chunk of it) to making peculiar weapons so people could go kill other people. "Mom," I said, and meant it, "some people need killing." I was and am unrepentent.

I quit doing this because my client governments and I started to disagree about who he bad hats were. I knew I had stayed too long at the fair.

But I have not abandoned my worldview, merely absented myself to maintain its purity.

Marc, this ain't about religion. It's about power. At most religion is a pretext; to the politicians it is a tissue of lies and to the professionals it is a joke. That leaves the True Believers. They are cannon fodder. Always have been. This is a fight about power. Either we keep it, or we lose it to people who would be fucking delighted to turn OUR land into green glass in the name of whatever, Allah, Mohammed, I don't care. What they really want is political domination of the energy supply of the world, and that is that. Well, they can't have it and the world really doesn't care how many people we have to slaughter to make damned sure of that. As we are adroit at these things we will probably manage to keep things down to a dull series or crumps as the sticks of 500 lb bombs fall and the Tomahawks strike and the laser guided and video guided bombs find their surgically selected targets. The price of our blood, my man. The price of 10,000 American lives. Purchased dearly, it will have been, afore we are through.

By Wormwood on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 05:40 am: Edit

Reading the posts about this tradegy here just reinforces what a diverse group we have here. We sure didn't all come to this forum because we agree on politics.

To all the coulda woulda shouldas. Human nature is such that noone could have thought the highjackers would do this. No one has highjacked a plane in 10 years. If radar equipped aircraft carriers in the Pacific in WWII couldn't stop kamakazi aircraft attacks how in the fuck is an unarmed building going to do it. I'm sure the poor people in the plane thought you resist you die, sit in your seat and who knows what will happen. Who could have imagined they would have killed everyone. As a child when I saw pictures from the holocost I would think "how could one German with a pistol heard hundreds of people into a gas chamber? If the jumped him only six or so would have died." now I understand that everyone of them was praying it was a shower like the gaurd said it was.

"Any retaliation will just make them hate us" Do most Germans or Japanese today hate us? If we kill some terrorists the survivors will hate us for it, but they will get over it. If they don't they sure as hell will not have the means to make their displeasure know to us in this country.

Retaliation is not done to make people "feel better" if I kill the roaches in my apartment I don't feel good about doing it. I feel good knowing they will not be spreading germs to my food and crawling in my ears at night. After the terrorism at the Munich Olympics in the 1970s Massod hunted down and killed all the responsible terrorists. It didn't make the families of the athletes that were murdered feel better, it made the families of the people who were not murdered some time in the future by these individuals.

Our government already knows who did this. The terrorists are probably all videotaped getting on the planes buying tickets and going through security. We can find out how they got into the country who their friends were etc. The NSA can sort through the phone calls they made before the attack and know who planned it. I think it is a matter of time before they all die for it too. I would not tip my hat if was planning a military operation to respond to this, by telling the world who we thought was responsible and what we were going to do to them. They are probably acting like roaches when the kitchen light is turned on right now anyway.

I understand trying to compare this attack to Pearl Harbor, but comparing it to the Reichstag fire. Not much of a student of history are we Perruch Verte. Did anyone die in the Reichstag fire? what are you trying to say. Our government secretly blew up the towers so we could commit genocide on an entire race of people?

By Marc on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 02:19 am: Edit

Don,

it ain't dimestore philosophy that's fucking up the world, its religion.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 02:06 am: Edit

I'm through bandying words with pious sheep blathering their dimestore philosophies. While I'm out of it, personally, confined to the sidelines, I will enjoy watching what transpires.

Bush has his father to advise him, and George Senior knows just what to do at a time like this. And those are HIS people around his son. Bush was well respected during his tenure at the Agency, and not every ex DCI is respected at all.

By Zack on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 01:50 am: Edit

"Zack, you assume that bin Laden represents the Isalmic world."

No, I make no assumptions about who is responsible...I am not privy to any intelligence information, nor do I believe all I see on CNN. I do know however that there is a reason they did this, it's not simply because someone is "evil" or just hates America. There is a reason they hate America.

"No one is 'going out and killing a few Arabs'. BTW while bin Laden is an Arab (the Saudis are Arabs) the Afghanis most definitely are not."

The "killing a few Arabs" was referring to the mentality of the people who like to assume things. I don't care who is responsible and neither do most Americans really, they just want someone to pay, Arab, Afghani, Palestinian, it really doesn't matter.

By Marc on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 01:44 am: Edit

A friend of Jennifer's, Donna, was talking to her husband who was working on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center when the plane hit. The line went silent. Her husband was killed. Donna is 4 months pregnant.

The pain has only just begun. There will be many stories and much agony over the next few weeks.
And the anger will eat at us. But, we are finally getting a taste of what goes on regularly in the Middle East, innocent people dying because they're in the wrong place at the wrong time. Terrorists are not the only ones guilty of such atrocities. We, the U.S., have been guilty of heinous acts. We have destroyed innocent people. We are a nation built on genocide and slavery.
Maybe this is karmic, perhaps we have a debt to pay. Whatever the case, it is time to to attempt to make an evolutionary leap as a species. How to achieve it? Certainly not through religion. The my God is bigger than your God attitude got us to where we are today: fanatics, bullies and murderers. When Bush quotes scripture, he is displaying the same self-righteousness as the terrorists. Our God is THE God. We need to find a common ground, our shared humanity, our global connectivity, and move beyond religious differences. We need to see beyond borders and
recognize that we are all citizens of the planet Earth. Its corny but true. We ARE all one. We better wake up to the fact or we will all perish.
As long as we continue to find reasons to hate each other, our enemy is ourselves.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 01:22 am: Edit

This has nothing to do with the Palestinians vs Israel. The Islamic world cares little for the Palestinians as a people, or as individuals, and even less as a proto-state. bin Laden cares not a fiddlers fart for the Palestinians, and neither do the Taliban or their pakistani masters, nor does Qaddafi, nor does Saddam. And the Palestinians are highly fractious and prone to slaughtering each other (though they can't hold a candle to the Afgahns in this regard) so you might almost say that the Palestinians care little for the Palestinians, just as the Lebanese (whatever that means) care little for the Lebanese. Now, if you refine the term into Druze and Marionites (Christians) and all the various clients of Syria, Iraq, and Iran, then you will start to have a glimmer of an idea...similar centrifugal forces exist among the Palestinians.

But lecture aside, don't fall for the bullshit that this is about Palestine.

It's not.

It's about a power struggle within the Islamic world, one that it is important that a bin Laden not win. He's been building up stature by attacking us and killing us with impunity.

He's killing us like it's free.

And it's time to teach him the price of our blood.

Take him off the chessboard.

By Marc on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 01:08 am: Edit

Blackjack's post of 11:02 p.m. is right on.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 01:04 am: Edit

Zack, you assume that bin Laden represents the Isalmic world. He does not. Nor does the Taliban. Killing bin Laden and crushing his organization and removing the Taliban from power is not 'oppressing a culture'. If anything, the Taliban is oppressing the Afghani people, so removing the Taliban (which was trained, organized, financed and placed into power by Pakistan) is quite the opposite of oppressing the Afghanis.

No one is 'going out and killing a few Arabs'. BTW while bin Laden is an Arab (the Saudis are Arabs) the Afghanis most definitely are not.

For 10 years I was ASEAN Bureau Chief for a newsletter that specializes in the analysis of politico-military intellgence on the Islamic world. FYI my editor/publisher is also editor of The Middle East Journal, and lectures on Islamic theology at Georgetown. AIPAC, the American Israeli Political Action Committee, hates him. And he's a Irish American from Kansas, not an Arab, although he speaks Arabic and reads and writes it, He's an arabist academic, not an arab, and AIPAC hates him for not towing the Israeli propaganda line, which is basically that the only good arab is a dead arab.

So I am hardly an arab basher.

On the other hand I hate terrorists, real terrorists, regardless of where they come from. And that includes genuine terrorists who happen to be Arabs.

By Royale on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 12:49 am: Edit

a blackberry is similar to a palm pilot but can actually send and receive emails remotely

By Malhomme on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 12:35 am: Edit

Allisons brother was witness to the WTC attack from a 45 story building in mid-town. He's in international finance and works in that area. In fact, he just had a meeting in one of the towers last Thursday. He told us tonight about some co-workers that were on the 84th floor (he said they thought the plane had crashed into the 88th). It was a group of about seven of them. They said that it took them about 20 minutes or so to evacuate from that level, that everyone exited in a quiet and orderly fashion. They were sending messages out with a "black-berry"(?). They said that they met some people they new headed back up to continue working, and they presume that they are missing. My point is that it appears from this testimony that the towers were (somewhat) successfuly evacuated of civilians.

Allison's uncle was driving by the Pentagon and witnessed the third plane crashing into it.

What a very strange day.

By Zack on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 12:27 am: Edit

Blackjack, I don't think you are being naive (which is more than I can say for most Americans). I in NO WAY beleive these terrorist acts are justified, but if we simply label them as "evil" and turn around and blow up some Arabs, we are just as much terrorists.

If anything can come out of this, I hope it will be the realization that the US cannot go throwing it's weight around all over the world with a disregard for other cultures and ways of life. I'm not saying this attack makes us "even" or anything of the sort, I don't believe you can fight death with death...This should just motivate us to make the first step in at least trying to achieve understainding of opposing cultures, because now we know oppressing them not only hurts them, but us as well.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 12:15 am: Edit

The term for federal marshals (Justice Dept) who were detailed to ride around on airliners, was Sky Marshals not Air Marshals. Air Marshal is a foreign military rank usually corresponding to a USAF General (4 stars). It is in same series with Group Captain and Wing Commander etc. I believe the British use this system. The Thais do. The Americans don't.

"Terrorist" is a term often misused, but professionals know the proper definition, and there is no confusion about whether or not Ossama bin Laden is a terrorist or not. MISUSE of the term stems from political expediency, or ideology, whereby subnational contestants are labelled as 'terrorists' by one side and as 'freedom fighters' by the other. And over time the labels shift and get re-arranged. To the UK, for example, the Irgun and Haggenah and most certainly the Stern Gang were terrorists in 45-46, but once these groups were incorporated into the IDF under the newly created state, the label went away. Not that a few people were a little unhappy when Begin became PM, because they remembered the King David Hotel. However, none of those groups (excepting maybe the Sterns) were true terrorists. They were rhetorically terrorists.

Personally, I became disgusted with the shifting labels a long time ago. I don't believe political expediency ought to transmorgrify a TRUE terrorist into an acceptable dialog partner in a peace process, much less into a statesmen or a 'freedom fighter', but then no one in power gives a fuck about what we think who have to carry out their will. And that's why I no longer play a flute with the marching band. BUT no amount of expedient whitewash will EVER revize bin Laden's sorry ass, he's a dead man walking.

Until the governments can agree to no longer tolerate GENUINE terrorism, and to abandon it as an instrument of national policy, and to tirelessly cooperate to exterminate all those who practice terror, the world will remain a sorry sorry place. And a 'government' that HARBORS such is a pariah government and needs to make its peace with God, because it's days are few and will be 'interesting'.

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 11:55 pm: Edit

BTW you folks don't know much about the specialized weaponry available to US agencies, but there are quite a few sorts of firearms and ammunition types which are specifically designed to be safe to discharge inside of a pressurized airframe at altitude, and to not overpenetrate the individual they are aimed at. I can think of one that, at very close range, is lethal, but a little further away will knock someone down HARD but not even penetrate the skin. That one isn't even classified and was developed back in the bad old days of air hijacks and sky marshalls.

There are LOTS of classified ones, and doubtless even more than have been developed sine I have been out of the loop (last 15 years or so).

Meanwhile I think we can expect El Al style security for domestic and international air travel from now on. Such security is draconian but very effective. A small price to pay. The average American just got a wake up call, folks, that things aren't going to be nasty just on their TV screens any more, on the other side of the planet, the terrorists have (foolishly) decided to up the ante and spill American blood in American cities. They will regret waking the slumbering giant, and they will regret receiving the stings of his wrath.

Best skip all the pious liberal blather, people, it's beyond that now. It's war.

By Admin on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 11:50 pm: Edit

My fear about targeting "those that harbor terrorists" is not that they will be sanctioned or strongarmed into giving up those they perhaps have been protecting, but that it creates a precedent of an easy target upon which to slake our thirst for revenge.

Thanks Blackjack! Air Marshalls ...that was it.

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 11:29 pm: Edit

The Saudi asshole is being protected by the Taliban, which itself is a creature of the Pakistani ISI (Inter Service Intelligence.)

I'm sure the US will not occupy Afghanistan, but we are perfectly capable of wiping the Taliban out, and we are perfectly capable of pressuring Pakistan to acquiesce to letting Afghamistan return to status quo ante chaos. As a collateral benefit we can destroy the #1 source of heroin the world now has (Afghanistan not the Golden Triangle any more). And for what it's worth put an end to the folks who destroyed those 2500 yr old Buddhist images.

No genocide, no use of weapons of mass destruction, no troops on the ground except maybe some special ops types here and there -- we have been there before when we were supporting the mujis against the Sovs. No need to level Kabul but it's probably a good idea to advise the rest of the world to yank their dips out of there and the NGOs and the UN and so on, befoe the Taliban decides to start using them as human shields.

When the dust clears, the landscape will be little altered (ever SEE Afghanistan? Already looks like dark side of the moon.) But no more phony Taliban, which is purely a construct of the Pakis.

Domestically, it's time to get tough with the community that harbors these people, and expel as many as possible, other than citizens. Naturalized citizens can be stripped of citizenship if there is evidence they have been aiding and abetting terrorists.

And I think it's fair to say that George Tenet's days as DCI are numbered. If Dulles deserved to get sacked over the Bay of Pigs and the ONI deserved to get spanked over Pearl Harbor, then the man who runs the entire US intelligence community (not just CIA) should be removed for failing to predict and prevent this fucking fiasco.

The African embassies and the naval vessel in Yemen were bad enough, bin Leden and his entire organization and his fellow travellers all deserve to die for those. But THIS, THIS is on American soil and make no mistake this IS war.

By _Blackjack on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 11:02 pm: Edit


Quote:

If Bush turns the whole area into melted glass, I don't shed a tear.



Just as those men didn't shed a tear as they condmened thousands to die this morning. And that's the problem. As long as we, as a species, are willing to justify the deaths of innocents in the name of some cause, things like this will continue to happen. Is our cause more just than theirs? Right now, perhaps, but I cannot be so sure about 10 years ago in Iraq, and it cerainly WASN'T, say, 30 years ago in Chile.

Perhaps I'm being naive, but I have found that one of the luxuries of being the biggest and the strongest is that I can turn the other cheek. Since I know I can hurt them more than they can hurt me, I don't have to strike back. Perhaps that is what the US has to do now. I'm not saying just forget about this and let it go, but use it as an opportunity to prove the extremists wrong, to show that we are not a self-centered, war-mongering, racist nation intent on controlling the middle-east and stopping the spread of Islamist governments. It may be time for us to sit down with Bin Ladin, and Hussein, and Arafat, and all the rest, and try to figure out if we can find enough common ground, as human beings, to exist together. It may also be time for us to take Israel to task, and, instead of making vague condemnations of specific tactics, say, "No, we are not going to support you as long as you continue to ignore the rights of the Palistinians. Because, like us, YOU are the strong one in the conflict, and if YOU do not act to end it, it will not end."

I don't think that these men are "insane." I do not think that it is impossible to reason with them, that they will always hate Americans no matter what. We need to find out what it is they want to happen, and to what extent it is possible for them to get it without harming ourselves more than their wars against us do.

But like I said, I may be hopelessly naive.

And I don't believe you, Artemis. You might be able to justify turning the whole reigon into a bowl of glass, as the lesser of two evils, as an act necissary to prevent even greater loss of life, but I can't believe you wouldn't shed a tear, at least for the children.

By _Blackjack on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 10:44 pm: Edit

Air Marshals.

By _Blackjack on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 10:42 pm: Edit

Unless we commit genocide, I suspect "a few heavy bembs" would simply strengthen their belief that the US is evil, intent on dominating the world by force, and willing to murder their children to achieve its political aims. It might take them a few years to regroup (viz. Iraq), but it would not stop them. Moreover, it would likely polarize other groups to act against us.

This is why I suggested a third party. Our tit is so far in the wringer at this point, that ANYTHING we do is going to make things worse.

By Bob_Chong on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 10:32 pm: Edit

Blackjack:

Regarding war with Afghanistan (or w/ anyone), casualties depend on the objectives. The wars you mentioned all attempted to subjugate the nation. We look to punish, no? Some heavy bombs should do it.

BC

By Geoffk on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 10:21 pm: Edit

Movies aside, you really don't want to be firing a gun or shotgun inside of a pressurized airliner. Besides, if a terrorist already has hostages at knifepoint, how much would giving a gun to the pilots really help?

A secure cockpit is a VERY good idea though. The passengers could still be killed, but at least the aircraft couuldn't be commandeered.

-- Geoff K.

By Admin on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 10:21 pm: Edit

There was some interview today where someone said there used to be an armed person (don't remember what they called him) that would be put on various flights, not all, kind of like they do on buses here in the city with police officers. This was one of the victims of the airlines cost saving measures.

Whether you agree with it or not (and I certainly don't in extreme), there will be palpable changes for travelers. No goverment would do less.

and Yes, there will be war (of some kind), which my friend pointed out it is hard to go up against people who have no qualms making human bombs out of themselves. It is an entirely different kind of warfare.

By _Blackjack on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 10:20 pm: Edit

The 800 figure at the Pentagon is not confirmed, and is based on a statment from a firefighter who said there may be AS MANY as 800 bodies left in there. I suspect the number is not that high, when you consider that the blast involved was not all that much worse than OK City.

New York, on the other hand, I can't begin to guess. It seems a lot of people, even from higher floors, managed to get out, but there are just SO many people tobe accounted for. And the loss of firemen and police alone is beyond belief.

I hope this does not lead to war, but I suspect it will. And if it becomes a war with Afghanistan, prepare to see many thousands more Americans die before it is over. Ask the Soviets. Ask the Turks. Ask Alexander the Great.

By Bjacques on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 10:20 pm: Edit

I'm glad you guys are ok. It looks like more people escaped the buildings than anyone thought.

The first counterstrike: www.taleban.com. Verify ownership with whois

Condoleeza Rice has me worried. She's probably on the phone with Ollie North asking to borrow his old notes for REX84 (idle 1984 plan for mass arrests of dissidents in case of declared war with Nicaragua, germ of rightwing 1990s belief in secret UN prison camps). On CNN I saw so much chest-thumping I thought I was watching Fox News or MSNBC. Sad for 5000 dead, worried for the quarter billion survivors.

By Anatomist1 on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 10:08 pm: Edit

Wouldn't it be simple enough to arm pilots, navigators, and maybe the lead flight attendant with .38 revolvers or little shotguns? All that remote control failsafe stuff sounds good too, but a couple of pistols in the cockpit could have averted all this.

I can understand going to extremes in the case of airlines, but, in the long run, crackdowns and draconian security proposals are going to harm everyone's freedom and quality of life more than prevent anything. If the target is everyone, there are innumerable cheap ways to poison, infect, bomb, and slaughter vast amounts of people available to anyone with a little imagination and the willingness to die.

K.

By Absinthespoon on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 09:23 pm: Edit

The significance of these events cannot be underestimated. Life in America will be different. I feel so deeply for those who have lost loved ones or do not yet know... I have witnessed death and my life was changed. The memories of those experiences resurfaced in a big way today. I am so, so sorry for those people who have experienced personal loss today.

By Leela on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 09:17 pm: Edit

If you can't give blood or are otherwise interested, here is some info about giving monetary donations to the American Red Cross.

The Greater New York chapter of the American Red Cross serves New York City, and is helping in the disaster relief there. They have a web site at http://www.nyredcross.org

You can donate directly to them online by going to http://www.nyredcross.org/donate/index.htm You can specifically select "World Trade Center Disaster" the SLL-secure donation payment form (payable from any credit card).

The Arlington County chapter serves Arlington, VA, which is where the Pentagon is located. They have a web site at http://www.arlingtonredcross.org

Their donation page takes you to the National Red Cross's donation web page at https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation-form.asp Earmark any donation you make to "Disaster Relief Fund" to aid victims of the Pentagon and World Trade Center attacks.

Leela

By Admin on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 09:00 pm: Edit

And Bob, my friend DOES NOT say the act should go unpunished. But discusses the fact that there are also other issues to be considered here, mainly weak existant airline security and Bush's kneejerk "now your gonna do it my way" outlook towards world policies.

I'm not really qualified to argue this type stuff, I posted the letter because it was a little bit of clear sightedness that I hadn't been seeing alot of.

I think very few people, even here, think these people should go unpunished.

By The_Nephilim on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 09:00 pm: Edit

wtc2

By Admin on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:54 pm: Edit

My candles are burning low!

I had about 20 burning at one point ... now I have a few in the window with the names of friends on them. All of which have checked in, including the lovely folks here.

By Royale on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:52 pm: Edit

oops, sorry. Ignore the double post.

By Admin on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:52 pm: Edit

The point is that BASIC airline & cockpit security could have curbed this incident. Not talking about draconian measures here. BASIC security.

I only saw one report on the 348734 newscasts today that talked about the airline security. In recent government tests the airlines and flights had been infiltrated 3 out of 4 times.

It's too late to be reactionary against personal infringement. Its gonna happen. Even if its short term. And if the cash pocketing airlines had done their precautionary homework in the first place we might not have been in this predicament. But that is a bit of wild speculation on my part.

It's been known for sometime that airlines have pulled security measures to save cash.

I find it hard to holler about quashing terrorist nests and those that harbor them, and bewailing the loss of personal liberties in the same breath. You can't have one without the other, in the real world, they will go hand in hand.

Personally, I think both are hard to live with, and just a little bit necessary. But I am not an idealist in any sense.

By Royale on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:51 pm: Edit

Rabbit and Geoff I have to agree with you on this I would not dream that these hijackers would be on a suicide mission if I were in that situation.
I have been checking in and am glad to hear everyone is safe so far. We have been tucked in fielding calls dealing with eastern friends and family.
The most disturbing news has come via Canada where a family member of mine who is privy to government information there says that the US government reported an estimated casualty rate of over 40,000 to the Canadian Government but this is not what they will release to the media. That is a lot of candles so maybe we can all help Kallisti and light a few each.

By Bob_Chong on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:49 pm: Edit

In response to the dove who thinks this act should go unpunished, and supports the arguments with Time magazine articles (of all things): until we look at terrorism as a form of warfare instead of a mere crime, we are lost. What happened when the PanAm flight was shot down over Scotland? It took us ten years to send two guys to trial, and Lybia was off the hook. Not much of a deterrent there. (Thanks, Clinton!)

"If individuals aren't afraid of blowing themselves up in bombing attacks, they're not going to be worried by legal briefs and prosecution." --Seth Gitell

There is a lot of blame to be thrown around here, but "Bush and his isolationist policies" (huh?) are johnny-come-latelies at best. There were eight years of erosion of (clout, power, integrity, civil rights, defense budget, intelligence capabilities, etc.) before Jan. 20, 2001. This "world consensus" stuff is horseshit.

By Wolfgang on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:49 pm: Edit

I just want you to know that I'm mourning with you my friends.

Our illusion of security have been shattered today. Many reflexions will comes out of this event. I just hope it will lead to some kind of world wide coalition against terrorist groups and not to mindless bombing of innocent civilians.

Wolf.

By Royale on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:48 pm: Edit

Rabbit and Geoff I have to agree with you on this I would not dream that these hijackers would be on a suicide mission if I were in that situation.
I have been checking in and am glad to hear everyone is safe so far. We have been tucked in fielding calls dealing with eastern friends and family.
The most disturbing news has come via Canada where a family member of mine who is privy to government information there says that the US government reported an estimated casualty rate of over 40,000 to the Canadian Government but this is not what they will release to the media. That is a lot of candles so maybe we can all help Kallisti and light a few each.

By Artemis on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:37 pm: Edit

I can't deny a thirst for revenge, but wiping that whole terrorist hotbed out wouldn't be about revenge so much as a protective measure. If roaches keep invading your kitchen, and you know where the nest is, and they're all holed up in there, you destroy the nest. No more roaches in the kitchen.

"one of the worst problems: piss-poor airline security. It's way past time to put in place massively upgraded cockpit security,"

BULLSHIT! It's a slippery slope from there to massively upgraded infringement on personal privacy and freedom of movement in every aspect of our lives. Let's wipe out the damned terrorists and everybody who harbors them.

Anyway, I just got off the phone with The Nephilim. My memory of what he told me was faulty - he USED to work right near the WTC, but now works much further up town. I'm still angry, but I go to bed in some measure thankful tonight.

By The_Nephilim on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:33 pm: Edit

WTC

By Geoffk on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:12 pm: Edit

This reminds me of when I saw the "Poseidon Adventure" as a kid with parents. Afterwards, we were discussig whether we would have stayed in the ballroom with the purser or climbed the tree with the minister. All of us agreed that we would have probably listened to the purser as an authority figure (and died).

No terrorist has ever flown a plane into a building and these people had everything to lose and very little to gain by resisting. Assuming that there were two or more terrorists, then even if they overpowered the one(s) in the cabin, then the ones on the flight deck would still be locked in and inaccessable.

This was a terrible situation, but even a planeful of police and military types might not have done things differently.

-- Geoff K.

By Verawench on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:09 pm: Edit

800 dead at the Pentagon, and that's only the ones they've found there so far.

By Admin on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:08 pm: Edit

an email from one of my closest friends, that says more than I could hope to elucidate:


Quote:

I'm sure we've all been shocked and stunned by what happened today,
it is a day which will certainly go down in history.

Of course, people want revenge. The politicians and the pundits talk
of declaring 'war', and of exacting revenge. But to who? It only
takes a handful of people willing to kill themselves to turn our
immature sense of security upside-down.

The Bush administration's arrogant and isolationist foreign policies
don't help. Colin Powell, who I had great hopes for being a voice of
moderation, has been practically muted in favor of irresponsible
hawks like Condoleeza Rice and Dick Cheney. Some perspectives:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101010910-173474,00.html

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101010910-173441,00.html


But amidst all this talk of war and revenge, not a lot is discussed
about one of the worst problems: piss-poor airline security. It's
way past time to put in place massively upgraded cockpit security,
mechanisms to track and perhaps even remotely-control hijacked
airliners, and to authenticate the pilots of those airliners so that
if someone else steps in, a warning is issued or the plane goes into
remote-control mode.

More on lax US airline security:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/americas/newsid_1538000/1538682.stm


It bears repeating that while it's all well and good that we
rightfully feel anger at and grandstand about 'punishing' the
perpetrators, the obvious fact is that threatening suicide-bombers
with death isn't a particularly useful tactic. (removing their
ability to commit terrorist acts, if it were possible to do so
effectively, could be useful though)

I do however know this: if we continue to act as though we're
invincible and if we continue act with little regard for world
consensus on foreign matters, we've just seen the tip of this
iceberg.


By Anatomist1 on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:04 pm: Edit

I'm with Artemis on the sheep issue. I guess that's why for a while they were debating how the terrorists got on the plane with firearms. The only thing I can think is that things happened quickly, and the passengers didn't have any idea what was in store. There's not a lot of room to move on an airplane - cutting a throat and holding a blade to another might buy you quite a few minutes. Anybody remember that 'sit around and let the police take care of it' debate a while back? If people fought back tooth and nail at the scene of every crime immediately, capers would seem a lot less plausible.

K.

By Mr_Rabbit on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 07:56 pm: Edit

"And what a nation of sheeple we've become. How the FUCK do what, three or four people with KNIVES, overcome a hundred people on an airplane? "

Simple. You hold one at knifepoint. A woman or a child if you can get one. You make everyone obey you with the threat of killing that vulnerable target.

You tell them this plane is going to NY as a protest. You tell them to shut the windows.

Your second operative is in the cabin with the pilot. The cabin door is closed.

Everyone on the plane is tense, but not too worried, because hey, he only has a knife, he can't start shooting. When they lose altitude, not knowing the pilot is now dead, they think they are landing, not headed for a building.

You can overcome a plane full of people with a knife if they have hope.

At least, you could before now. Next time, I imagine folks will take their chances with the hostage and jump the fuckers. At least I hope so.

By Admin on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 07:54 pm: Edit

Marc, Nephilim! I am so relieved to hear from both of you. Thanks for taking a mo' to wave a post in our direction.

Neph, I cannot imagine what you and yours has gone through today, but my candles continue to burn.

By Etienne on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 07:44 pm: Edit

Right on Artemis! There's on one on this earth that will take care of us but ourselves.

By Etienne on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 07:34 pm: Edit

At last, voices of sanity on the forum. To hell with the poor put upon Palestinians. I am not a hyper-patriot, that emotion has never played a large part in my life. I simply refuse to accept the notion that we, as a nation, could possibly stand idly by after being the victim of the most underhanded act of violence that I can remember.

By The_Nephilim on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 07:33 pm: Edit

i'm alive. i'm home. it took me 7 hours and 70 miles to travel what normally takes me 35 minutes and 4 miles. incredibly minor inconveniences in the grand scheme of things.

i got to work right as the first plane hit. i was watching TV coverage as the second plane hit and the south tower fell. I was making my way across the 59th street bridge into Queens (the only open bridge at that time that i know of) to see the end of the north tower's fall.

i sat at my desk and wept incredulous tears. i've known people that have worked there at one time or another. i've been there so many times. when i first came to NYC the WTC was at the tail end of repairs from the bombing. Coming up from the PATH train platform I would look up and see the gaping hole in the dropped ceiling and realized that this is the last remants of the damage. I had often thought about the devastion that *could* have been had the building(s) toppled. i need not think about it ever again. now i know.

the cars park on the streets of Brooklyn Heights near the Promenade are coated in a thick grey dust. the plum of smoke and dust poured like a volcanoe directly over brooklyn

my heart goes out to all that are lost:

the 260 people on the two planes

the firefighters and police men (around 250) who were the first on the scene and then crushed by the buildings toppling

the countless people trapped by the fireball of jet fuel.

the countless people crushed by concrete and steel.

the people who jumped from over 50 stories up to escape fire and the collapsing top of the building

the people who were just walking by

i can not allow myself to grasp the totallity of it all. i've been on the virge of breaking down all day and i think i'm going to be ill.

By Thegreenimp on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 07:23 pm: Edit

It may turn out the the Pennsy. crash happened because the crew or passengers fought back.....regardless at least that one plane didn't make a target, who knows how many hundreds or thousands would have been killed otherwise.

By Bob_Chong on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 07:22 pm: Edit

Cost of life in perspective:

Revolutionary War: 4,435
War of 1812: 2,260
Mexican War: 1,733
Battle of Antietam, the Civil War's bloodiest day: 4,710
Pearl Harbor: 2,403
Korean War: 33,651

By Artemis on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 07:13 pm: Edit

"Everyone that I know in New York is okay"

I hope that includes The Nephilim, because I haven't heard from him. Maybe he wasn't in New York.

He and I stood on the waterfront in Jersey City last Spring, looking at the World Trade Towers across the river. He was describing the destruction of the previous attack there a few years back, and I wasn't paying much attention. It seemed like a story of the Civil War, something that existed only in dream conciousness. Why think about it?

I'll tell you this, and I don't care what anybody thinks about it. I wouldn't trade the whole nation of Afghanistan for him. I see video on TV of people dancing in the streets over there. If Bush turns the whole area into melted glass, I don't shed a tear. Air Force 1 went right over my house this afternoon, four fighter planes flying escort. You go, George.

And what a nation of sheeple we've become. How the FUCK do what, three or four people with KNIVES, overcome a hundred people on an airplane? I really don't get that. If only those hundred people hadn't been systematically disarmed, and taught that protecting themselves is best left to a non-existent SOMEONE ELSE .....

By Marc on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 06:54 pm: Edit

Thanks for all the concerned e-mail I received.
Everyone that I know in New York is okay, including my daughter. She e-mailed and told me that she watched the second plane crash into the World Trade Center from the roof of her apartment on the Lower East Side. Can you imagine? How horrible.

By Bob_Chong on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 06:53 pm: Edit

And the Neville Chamberlain Award goes to...[drumroll]...the forum's own Perruche Verte!

PV, take your head out of your ass before you get e. coli. Don't retaliate? What fantasy land do you live in, and how can you have such a lack of basic understanding of the world that your posts reek with indignation?

With Pearl Harbor, at least those attacked were soldiers. Here, it was thousands and thousands of civilians snuffed out in an instant. Why should we lay down and ask to be fucked in the ass? Where do you come up with this shit?

By _Blackjack on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 06:50 pm: Edit

But, honestly, part of the root of terrorism is that it is far cheaper than equivalent conventional war. One guy with a car bomb, or a handful, apparently armed with box-cutters in one case, can produce casualties that would cost us millions in missile-systems and high-tech fighters.

By Thegreenimp on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 06:44 pm: Edit

I would hazard a guess that the pilots may turn out to be be ex-military pilots......but to hit a target with a 350-400+ mph approach with a fair degree of prescision would take more than just a pilot showing them how to handle controls.
Plus navigation training, and how to manage the flight systems.
This was no low buck effort.....you would have to have a comparable plane to practice with, and it would take more than just an instructor in the right seat.......airliner time costs more than just pocket change.
The logistics of setting up an operation like this were well financed, don't kid your self.

By Anatomist1 on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 06:29 pm: Edit

I'm surprised that whoever it was accomplished so much destruction with so little apparent outlay of resources on their part. Aside from intelligence and four pilots trained to use one type of cockpit, or four guys trained by the same pilot, this has cost them nothing. Considering the coordination displayed so far, it could easily just be day one, wherein they used up tactic number one and four soldiers or so.

I really thought that when something like this happened it would be a small nuke or a massive chemical or biogical weapon/poisoning incident.

K.

By _Blackjack on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 06:21 pm: Edit


Quote:

200 firefighters and over 70 police are dead or unaccounted for in New York.



I think it's my superhero complex but this hits me especially hard. Whatever confrontations I may have had with police in my life, these guys went from safety INTO the chaos, in a mosly vain effort to at least save some of the people. New York's Finest and Bravest indeed. I am humbled. Likewise by the soldiers going back into the Pentagon.

We are between Cylla and Caribdos here. Any action we take, in retaliaton, is only going to fuel the hatred felt by the most radical factions in the Mideast. But, likewise, failure to do so would be a show of weakness which might invite more attacks.

I wish there was some way we could get a neutral party to act as an agent of justice, to oversee the investigation and prosecution of the murderers. The Russians, maybe, tho I doubt they would be keen on provoking another war with Afghanistan. China, likewise, has ties to Pakistan which would make this unlikely. Perhaps one of the more moderate Arab powers.

Sigh. Things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. Hell, they even picked a target which would greatly reduce the positive impact a war would have on the economy.

As far as the identity of the terrorists goes, I am wary of assuming it to be radical Muslims, but what I am hearing is that this attack required a level of organization and resources which none of the domestic groups have. I do hope we have solid proof before we take any devicive action.

I am curious how this will effect the WTO/IMF meeting scheduled for here in DC next weekend. I suspect that they will move them to Qatar, especially since I can't imagine DC allowng a bunch of angry protesters to decend on the city any time soon.

By Geoffk on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 06:17 pm: Edit

"The people who committed that monstrous act are dead already. Retaliation might please macho patriot types but it doesn't bring back the dead and will kill even more of the innocent. Bush and his thugs are not a bit better than those killers."

Excuse me? Ok, a dozen or so suicide terrorists are dead, but the people who planned this, trained them, financed them, and helped carry it out are all alive. Should we just ignore them and wait for the next wave of attacks?

Bush and the others are planning to kill ruthless armed terrorists as richly deserved punishment for their cowardly attacks on thousands of innocent ciilians. I don't see any moral equivelancy here, even by the most warped liberal standards. The only people in the entire world who apparently feel this way are the Palestinians, the Iraqis and the Taliban. Even here, Arafat and the Taliban are giving lip service to being shocked.

You're wrong.

-- Geoff K.

By Greenhour on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 06:12 pm: Edit

To report from the front lines, what I witnessed today will forever haunt me. Walking along the Brooklyn Heights prominade I saw two old friends of mine and all the souls they contained, struck down in an atrocious act of fucking COWARDICE!!! The faces of the friends I don't yet know are alive, I see every time my eyes are closed. Im still waiting for their phone call. The world will never be the same. Not for me.

By Thegreenimp on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 05:36 pm: Edit

For the uninformed that think the US has struck Afganistan, little would be served in striking Kabul, which is little more than rubble already courtesy of the ex-soviet military.........The Northern Alliance generally uses ex Eastern Bloc equipment btw.
What fell today was likely ex Russian.
The Kabul Airport has been hit repeatedly before by the rebels....this is nothing new.

By Heiko on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 05:36 pm: Edit

This is unbelievable. All countries seem to be speechless. I've watched German, French, Austrian and Swiss TV - they were all sending only special reports on the attack. Two German music channels have totally stopped their program. People have called n-tv (a business news channel) and asked them why they won't stop that stupid stock market news ticker.

"What have the Afghans done except give asylum to Osama bin Laden."

The Afghans, nothing - but the Taliban. I've seen a documentary by Saira Shah recently "beneath the veil". The Taliban killed most of the men who wouldn't support them and then not permit their women to work anymore. They are also killing their own people in the name of allah...


What struck me was that everybody seems to be sure it could have been only muslim arabs. What if some anti-globalization groups have formed an ultra militant underground organization, something like the "red army fraction" did in Germany in the 70ies?
Even worse: what if a group like that worked together with militant muslim extremists?

This ain't war as we don't know the enemy. It's more like a viral infection.

By Blygdon on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 05:30 pm: Edit

Verawench - on Bush's walk alone from the helicopter...you didn't see it as a show of force? A "I don't need my bodyguards at fingers edge" because we're now insulated" kind of PR thing? I thought it was well crafted. Of course, snipers were (and probably still are) on the roof on every building around...

PR and image and "face" add up to big sticks. However, statements being issued that we will track down and make them sorry only cause face loss when that doesn't happen.

There are those that get paid to think these things.


Queens boy is home safe and sound. Now I'm waiting to hear from Bronx boy, who works in Soho.

Blood's been given already in this household. But geez, the price of gas and the lines to get gas in the midwest have gone amazingly high.

Kallisti, what's your candle count?

By Chevalier on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 05:08 pm: Edit

Whoever did this must be absolutely convinced that we are demons ruining the Earth. Terrorists have mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, wives, husbands and friends. These guys must think that their attacks are the only way to save their world and their souls. God help us from them.

Jacques Barzun was right. We live in the Age of the True Believer, and his finger's on the button.

By Thegreenimp on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 04:48 pm: Edit

I guess the peace loving Taliban lets him live there because he likes the climate, not because he funds their actions, and aids other groups and governments in the mid-east.
Amazing.......

By Verawench on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 04:47 pm: Edit

200 firefighters and over 70 police are dead or unaccounted for in New York.

And that's just the beginning.

By Chevalier on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 04:40 pm: Edit

George Washington called the presidency a "glorious burden". On a day like this, I can't see how any glory might justify the burden.

By Verawench on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 04:37 pm: Edit

From what I understand, the attacks in Afghanistan aren't U.S retaliation...

Also, a 3rd building (smaller world trade center #7) has collapsed. the Marriott hotel close to the WTC might also come down.

The Village Idiot is back in Washington and is speaking out at 9pm eastern. I don't like him, no.. but there was something oddly touching and sad in the image of him leaving his helicopter to walk back to the white house. No one followed him. He kept looking around, tense and broken, like a kid in a dark alley. I felt incredibly sorry for him.

By Perruche_Verte on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 04:32 pm: Edit

Was it the World Trade Center that
burned, or the Reichstag?

Bush says that Afghanistan will be held responsible for anything Bin Laden does.
CNN, Fox and NBC are already trotting out "experts" who are "90% sure" that bin
Laden's group did it (complete with footage
of his previous work in Yemen).

I imagine the next step is to announce the bombing, after which he may or may not admit
that the bombing already started...

By Chevalier on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 04:23 pm: Edit

Just to clarify:

I wrote "the so-called 'Arab World'" because Middle-Eastern peoples are NOT a homogenous, unified group. Neither are the so-called "Latin American Community", "African-American Community", etc.

A Shiite Muslim country is not a Sunni Muslim country. A nation governed by a corrupt, autocratic oligarchy (Saudi Arabia) is not a rogue state whose people are in the crosshairs of their gangster rulers (Iraq) or religious fanatics (Afghanistan).

Egypt hates Iraq. Iraq hates Jordan. It's not a unified "World"; it's a collection of armed camps.

By Thegreenimp on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 04:16 pm: Edit

So I guess then, the only thugs are the well trained people that carried this out (I have 20+ years of avaition and flight experience, this was not easily done)......I wonder where the due process comes for the victims.

Jay

By Perruche_Verte on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 04:03 pm: Edit

Well, the Pentagon and CIA are denying that it's the USA bombing Kabul (this passed on secondhand from CNN) -- so it may well be the Northern Alliance. (They're the anti-Taliban faction in Northern Afghanistan, if anyone didn't know.) Then again, that may just be disinformation.

By Emmy on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 04:02 pm: Edit

oops, i meant it appeared from the left.

By Emmy on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 04:00 pm: Edit

in case anyone's getting their news from this board rather than the boob tube, the said missile strikes below have been denied account for by US officials who say it's possibly coincidence thanks to the ongoing Afghani civil war.

the two images stuck most in my mind so far:

-- a video camera shot from not several blocks away, looking up at the twin towers... suddenly the second plane appears from the right, and flies straight into the building, disappearing into the glass tower and coming out the other side in a plume of flames, smoke, and debris. (exclusive to ABC, shown about an hour or so ago a few times interviewing the guy who shot it.)

-- a woman frantically retelling her account of running out of the building, looking up to see the damage, and realizing that some of what she thought was debris were people leaning out of windows and jumping to their deaths... followed by footage of just that... people scattered about the damaged floors, frantically waving their arms and clothing in the air, desperate to escape, some climbing out and leaping...

*sigh*

By Etienne on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 03:47 pm: Edit

The people who committed that monstrous are dead. The people who planned and orchestrated it aren't. We walked into Iraq with smiles on our faces, the Arab world will do absolutely nothing.

By Wiz on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 03:44 pm: Edit

"you attack Muslims from a position of ignorance"

Hobs,
Where in my posts can you justify that?
I never said one thing negitive about them. I have 4 very good Islamic friends, true Muslims. I know the faith and have read quite a few chapters from the Koran.
What I did was ask a question, Do we jail the Arab type people like they did the Japanese? meaning will the US do to arab type peoples like they did to the Japanese people in WWII.People seem to have no comprehension skills whatsoever.
This is another perfect example of the over exageration and mis-understanding of other peoples comments.


"This has nothing to do with religion, it has to do with politics"

They are one and the same in my eyes, even though the governmental entity tries to keep the two seperate.
I see it this way, draw a line put a dot on each end of the line, label one religion and the other politics. The line never blurs between the two, they just blend. Between each dotted end, that is everything else. The Egregore that has become an entity is what controls both for the one goal of total and complete dominion and control of Humankind's lives and taking away all Freedom of Choice to do as our Free Will allows.
Humankind controls its own fate. It's just who Humankind decides to 1)give control of it to, or 2)let it be taken away. This can be seen all over the world in the 3rd World. Too simple, sorry.

Retaliation, I hope the perps get what all Murderers derserve. I will let the US governmental entity decide what they will do. What I believe has no effect on that decision, but I do believe in precision punishment, nothing sporadic.
To many innocent people have been harmed in sporadic punishment, acting in haste makes us as low as those who caused the pain, and just as evil.
Ignorant, I think not. Tired of the Bullshit, yes.

By Chrysippvs on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 03:34 pm: Edit

that is probably the norther alliance...the taliban has been invovled in civil war and this happens quite a bit, we just never hear about it. I really hope it isn't a retalitory strike...

By Chevalier on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 03:23 pm: Edit

Here's a little scenario:

A terrorist group with strong links to at least two different middle-eastern countries (Afghanistan? Iraq? Wherever?) gets aid from them in planning and executing today's attacks. In turn, these countries agree not to claim responsibility for anything. If the U.S. tries to enter either country (against their will, of course) in order to smoke out the terrorists, the so-called "Arab World" will consider it an invasion.

Pretty awful scenario, isn't it?

By Perruche_Verte on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 03:19 pm: Edit

The people who committed that monstrous act are dead already. Retaliation might please macho patriot types but it doesn't bring back the dead and will kill even more of the innocent. Bush and his thugs are not a bit better than those killers.

By Perruche_Verte on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 03:16 pm: Edit

I see punishment without due process is once again the order of the day. What have the Afghans done except give asylum to Osama bin Laden, who hasn't even claimed responsibility.

Bush, you asshole. You're not my president.

By Artemis on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 03:08 pm: Edit

Gasoline prices just went up 40 cents a gallon in our little town, and CNN is showing cruise missles falling on Afghanistan. The shit is hitting the fan.

By Admin on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 03:05 pm: Edit

There are missile attacks and explosions in Kabul Afganistan. It may or may not be retaliation.

By Chevalier on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 02:36 pm: Edit

Excerpts of an e-mail I received from the U.S. Embassy here in Chile:

"... the United States Embassy in Santiago wishes to advise the American community that it is closed to the public ... Embassy operations have been restricted to essential personnel until further notice ... Visa operations have been suspended until further notice."

Standard operating procedure, but it shook me up anyway. One way or another, this affects so many of us -- expats included.

By Etienne on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 02:26 pm: Edit

LordH, I partly agree with you. Mostly politics, fueled by religious extremism. Retaliation is not only likely, it is required. If bin Laden is seen as responsible the Taliban will give him up, one way of another.

By Verawench on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 02:15 pm: Edit

Please give blood. I'm going tomorrow. Call Red Cross at 1-800-448-3543.

There are absolutely no justifications for something like this. No moral or ideological reasons that could stand up to even the most frail sense of reason or justice. Tens of thousands of industrious and innocent office workers scored and buried in these ruins. This is evil...

I pray for Marc's family and Nephilim and whoever else from the forum may be in the D.C., NYC area.

Vera

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 02:10 pm: Edit

Absolutely horrendous, those poor people, the scale of death and injury is likely to be huge. I hope for the sake of those of you with friends and relatives in that area that they were lucky.

Unfortunately there's nothing really that any nation can do to stop attacks like this. If a nation makes dangerous enemies then stuff like this can happen. The West may ave the financial and military muscle but this won'y stop suicide bombers. Perhaps a radical rethink of the nature of the relationship between the West and other civilisations is the way forward.

The DFLPD have stated that they weren't responsible. If it is Bin Laden (or if he is chosen as the culprit) then I sure as hell hope for the sake of the ordinary people of Afghanistan that this doesn't start a war with Afghanistan in order to force the Taliban to give him up (and they won't give him up readily).

Wiz, you are an ignorant man. This has nothing to do with religion, it has to do with politics. The motivation behind this attack is likely to be a strike at the USA for it's percieved support of Israel's actions. Another likely factor is George W Bush wanting the USA to take a more isolationist position (and he is right in this) and this could be a strike to push him the extra mile in that direction. And what sort of retaliation do you support (and retaliation will happen)? Would you drop leaflets or give those responsible a stern talking to? Retaliation will happen by using bombs and guns and if you support retaliation you support the use of bombs and guns, it's as simple as that. You're words insult decent Muslims who will be sickened by this attack. This attack has nothing to do with the teaching of Islam. But then I suppose you have never even bothered to even open a copy of the Koran and you attack Muslims from a position of ignorance.

Hobgoblin

By Leela on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 01:39 pm: Edit

About the Red Cross:

You can give in the Bay Area, but KTUV is reporting that the Red Cross blood donation centers are jammed and that you should not come in without an appointment right now.

They'll be needing blood for the next few weeks, though, so wait a few days if you can give and go in then. They especially need O+, as it is considered the "universal" donor-type (i.e. the type most compatible with all the other types).

Leela

By Emmy on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 01:36 pm: Edit

when mel and i went on honeymoon to the uk in 99, when we got into heathrow they led mel through a line of white people and she had no problems i don't think they even asked her any questions... they led me through a line that was mostly arab and indian folks and every one of us got the third degree. they asked me why i was coming to the uk and i said i was on honeymoon. they looked at me funny and asked where my wife was. i said she's right there (pointing at mel). they looked at her funny, looked at me funny, did a double take, squinted at my passport and finally said "alright, move on." obviously because i'm of a darker complexion. i've never had that problem stateside, not so blatantly at least, but i won't be surprised if it starts to happen. unfortunately.

By _Blackjack on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 01:22 pm: Edit

Yeah, now that the shock (and I mean shock...I literally thought I was still dreaming) is wearing off, and I realize there is little I can do about it (I'm not sure if I'm eligable to give blood...the Red Cross site is jammed), I am becoming increasingly concerned for civil liberties. Not my ability to import liquor, of course, but infringements of privacy and due process which wil probably result from the far of terrorism. I am also deeply concerned with the reaction this is going to bring against Muslims in the US, and even those who might be mistaken for Muslims.

I dunno. I can't see much that could be done to prevent actions like this taken by persons with no regard for their own lives. Except maybe banning air travel. I'd much rather see that than warrentless phone taps or such, since not only is flying not a right, it's primarily a privelage of the wealthy.

I am also worried that our president is not equipped to handle this. I'd feel better if Chaney pulled a Haig and declared himself in charge. I mean, he's a reactionary and a war-monger, but at least he has experience with foreign affairs.

By Artemis on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 01:08 pm: Edit

"Artemis, please let us know when you hear of Nephilim, him and Marc and his friends and family have most of my concern right now."

Calls toward that area of the country aren't getting through for me - circuits overloaded. I wanted Neph to come to my house to join Petermarc and me last weekend, but he told me he was going camping in Ohio - he didn't say on what days. Hopefully he was safely in the woods or on his motorcycle out on the highway somewhere when the bad stuff happened. If memory serves me right, he once told me he usually parked his bike in the WTC garage while at work.

I'm hoping we hear from Marc (HippyMC) soon as that's his neck of the woods also.

By Emmy on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 01:08 pm: Edit

oh, duh. SFO has been evacuated and Oakland International has been closed as well.

By Emmy on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 01:06 pm: Edit

bill, bridges are open to traffic for now, just heightened patrols etc. the walkway on the gg bridge is closed. sf city hall and a four block perimiter is closed. all federal bldgs are closed. all state bldgs are closed. some other local gov't bldgs are closed (including all Alameda county bldgs). tonight's Giants and A's games are cancelled (all of MLB actually). most of the big malls and shopping centers in the bay area are closed (but Macy's and Nordstrom have said they are staying open). BART is running, but direct service into SF is only running on the Pittsburg/Bay Point line. some Muni lines are affected due to certain areas of downtown and civic center being closed. SFUSD schools are closed. Oakland city hall is closed. Transamerica Bldg, Bank of America bldg, Wells Fargo bldg, 101 California, and other financial and business centers including the Pacific Stock Exchange are closed...

did i miss anything (bay area-wise)?

By Emmy on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 12:58 pm: Edit

wiz, it's not religion you should be shaking your finger at. it's blind faith... be that in religion, politics, or love, fundamentalists of any sort are to be... well, not blamed, we're all only human, rather... to be wary of if you may. you seem to be a fundamentalist on the other end of the scale from those whom you finger waggle at.

my thoughts and concerns are with those mentioned below. beth, i'm at mel's if you need to talk or rant or whatever.

By Leela on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 12:55 pm: Edit

Morriganlefey writes:

> Oh, and we've more important things to focus our
> energies on the absinthe shipments from SC,
> friends.

Well, yes and no. And let me explain what I mean.

I can worry and fret about what is going on, and pray and wonder. But there's not much I can do about what has happened.

At some point the citizenry and the government will demand tightened security measures that affect daily life. I can be so horrified and shocked about what happened today that I go along with it, "reasoning" that giving up some civil rights is worth it to not have crazed hijackers drop 757's on my office.

Or, I can worry about things that affect my daily life, like a shipment from SC. I can worry that people will be so panicked and so willing to give up their daily rights for a promise of added security that I can no longer receive international packages. Or that I can no longer take a plane ride without emptying the contents of my suitcase and undergoing a personal background check. Or that I can't buy fertlizer in amounts larger than a 25 pound bag without a three-day waiting period. Or that anyone with an Arabic-sounding last name will be villanized and investigated. Or that foreign nationals will start getting their tourist and work visas revoked and so deported. Crap like this can happen as a reaction to terrorism. And that's why I think it's as important to worry about mundane personal daily things like the possibility of incoming shipments as well as worrying about givng blood or monetary donations to the Red Cross in action in New York.

Leela

By Chevalier on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 12:54 pm: Edit

"Oh, and we've more important things to focus our energies on the absinthe shipments from SC, friends." -- Morrigan

Much more important. There's a time for dealing with disasters, and a time for absinthe shipments. We're neck-deep in the former, for Pete's sake.

By Guillermo on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 12:50 pm: Edit

Dear Morrigan and Kallisti,

I came into the city early this AM for a friend's naturalization swearing-in at the Masonic temple across from Grace Cathedral on Nob Hill. I was surprised at the feel of the town -- business as usual, although about 1,700 were sworn in during a much-shortened ceremony. Not even a ceremony really, more just a recitation of the oath, maybe 5 mins total.

We came across the bay from Berkeley on BART, which as far as I know is open, although I heard that the bridges were closed except for GG?

It's all very strange. My sister lives in DC and it's lockdown there. But it sounds like some of the major SF bldgs have been evacuated? I would find it hard to believe that the city not clear out the whole financial district, but I haven't been watching the tube, mostly phone calls.

Cheers -- Bill in Berkeley.

By Morriganlefey on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 12:38 pm: Edit

I work at 101 Cal, which is (obviously) shut down today. Our NYC office is located in Tower 2 of the (former - it gives me chills to say that) World Trade Center. We have not heard from any of them.

Words are coming hard today. But my heart goes out to all closely effected by this horrific experience. Oh, and we've more important things to focus our energies on the absinthe shipments from SC, friends.

- Morrigan

By Alphasoixante on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 12:36 pm: Edit

"If everyone would just chill out, 420, have good sex, 420, dance, 420, listen to Music, and 420 again and again and again maybe they would forget their bullshit and Know Humankind creates its own destiny."

yes, smile and be american--that'll solve the problem. sex drugs and rocknroll worked wonders for the suburban children shooting others and themselves on a daily basis. "man would sooner have the void for a purpose than be void of purpose", old Nietzsche used to say.

By Wiz on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 12:02 pm: Edit

I think you mis-understand the under simplifaction of my remarks. I don't think we should retaliate with bombs (Shit show me where you found that in my posting) or whatever in any form or fashion.

There's to much over exageration of other peoples comments here all the time, and this is another perfect example, that's where the bickering and name calling starts.

Don't put words that I never said in my mouth.
If you're going to quote me then do it right, and show me how and where you formulate your reasoning from.

What I do say is that Religion sucks and thats where all this Worlds trouble starts from.
My own observation. If you need to believe that a god pre-destined all this crap, then go on. Just don't try to force it on me cause I'll just bow out of your mind numbing boring prostlyzing and silently hope that you see the real Light. Just because I believe people should pray, doesn't mean I believe in a god. I feel prayer leads to personal comfort within.

I do think Justice, what little there is, should rule, I believe "You do the Crime, You do the Time". I play that game all the time in this Life. I have done the Time for the Crime, lost my rights as a voting civillian just because I owned a legal knife here in AZ. then I crossed the boarder with it into neighboring state and now have a felony class 6 for possession of a dangerous weapon, if I would have known that it was illegal to have it in that state I would have never taken that stupid knife with me.
OK so you think Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll won't do it.
I do. nuf said mos def.
Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll.

By Admin on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 11:44 am: Edit

Artemis, please let us know when you hear of Nephilim, him and Marc and his friends and family have most of my concern right now.

I have two other friends I am waiting to hear about thru the grapevine.

My living room is starting to look like a catholic church.

By Bob_Chong on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 11:43 am: Edit

My guess would be that the hijackers worked at the airport or got on somehow besides the passenger route. Seems much easier to infiltrate as a worker than as a customer. But you're probably right: getting on a plane will now be even more ridiculous. The metal detectors will go off if you have iron-rich blood.

BC

By Leela on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 11:37 am: Edit

Last time I checked my SC tags it arrived via JFK in New York. None of the downed planes originated at JFK. Of course, no matter where your shipment is now it's not getting any closer. It's either on the ground in Europe or on the ground in New York or worse yet diverted to Canada and on the ground there.

I'm really afraid to call my parents. Not because they are in any danger (they are 5 hours north of New York) but because my dad is an ex-Military type who I'm sure is having fits now. I don't want to hear his lectures and theories, he's very far to the right like Newt and Rush.

My biggest fear is that this will hasten the erosion of civil rights in this country. It's bad enough that people get pulled over for "DWB" (driving while black), but now instead of crap like that getting better more and more ethnic groups will get profiled and harassed.

And what will this do at the airports, once they reopen? Will you have to start showing up at flights 2 hours early to get through all the added security? Will you no longer be allowed any carry-on bags? Will you have to consent to a complete search, not just a bag scan at check-in?

Will all packages going through the mail be searched? Will I have to go down to the post office every time something arrives for me? Lord I hope not because our local office is completely incompetent already.

Leela

By Chrysippvs on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 11:33 am: Edit

Last I heard the DFLP had claimed responsibility. IIRC they are a tiny hardline group that regards the Fatah/PLO as traitors for accepting the idea of a Palestinian state that doesn't include all of Palestine...

I have heard from several news agencies that DFLP had taken responsibility and then backed out. It would not be suprising for several groups to take responsibility as they have before for acts they had nothing to do with.

I just got off the phone with a friend of mine in Yisrael and he was telling me that they are having parades and parties even now in Nablus and in Khebron. It seems that this may in face be a Palestinian action. I certainly hope not. I have seen Senators on TV wishing to declare war on whomever did this...They will be suprised to know that there is no country to wage war on...that they have robbed those people of a country. Not that I am a hardliner against Israel, but I am certainly no Tzionist...

By Chrysippvs on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 11:24 am: Edit

Wiz,

You under-simplifaction of is as bad as the "let's just nuke 'em" mentality that I get so often. Please, in light of such a grave event, have the decency to not, even in jest, claim that smoking pot and good sex will in any way stop things like what went down today from occuring again. It is silly bordering on insulting to those that lost friends and family today.

By Perruche_Verte on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 11:21 am: Edit

Everyone take a chill pill -- remember, there's a reason they call it "terrorism". Often the panic is worse than the deadly act itself.

Though this case definitely stretches things.
10,000 dead seems like a low figure to me.

I am very worried about backlash against Arab Americans, Muslims and Arabs living in the U.S.
I hope people are taking steps to ensure the civil rights of these folks, most of whom would certainly not support such an action.

Last I heard the DFLP had claimed responsibility. IIRC they are a tiny hardline group that regards the Fatah/PLO as traitors for accepting the idea of a Palestinian state that doesn't include all of Palestine. I have heard "Islamic Jihad" tossed around but I don't know that they've claimed any part in this.

I wish more of our politicians would think "justice" instead of revenge. Fox News had Newt G. on, spouting the typical bile. "You support the terrorists or you support 'the Americans' - there is no middle ground." Yeah, thanks Newt.

My crack a few months back about wanting to see the World Trade Center in flames seems remarkably tasteless now. The WTC is/was a symbol in a lot of people's minds of all kinds of corporate evil, but I'm sure most of those dead people were not culpable in any way. They were office workers in cubicles, working to feed their families. Whoever did this could have given a warning so their lives could be spared.

Back to the trivial: my SC shipment still isn't here. Damn. Hope it wasn't on the wrong plane.

By Zack on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 11:10 am: Edit

All of San Antonio's area military bases are on some sort of 'condition force Delta' security and there are lines to get in. I can understand that, but we also closed down most government buildings and colleges/universities...This is really overdoing it IMO. I'm pretty sure the Alamo Community College District is an insignificant factor in terrorism efforts. This is doing nothing but propagating the mania.

I wonder if Bush is gonna add Commercial Jet Defense in with the Missle Defense System?

By Wiz on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 11:08 am: Edit

This is what these stupid religious beliefs can do to our World.
If everyone would just chill out, 420, have good sex, 420, dance, 420, listen to Music, and 420 again and again and again maybe they would forget their bullshit and Know Humankind creates its own destiny.

By Artemis on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 11:00 am: Edit

Marc and I have a dear friend, "The Nephilim", who worked in the shadow of those towers. God, I hope he stayed home today.

I was watching ESPN this morning and got bored with the talk of Michael Jordan's return. Called my friend in Michigan, asked what's up? Are you kidding, he said? Is the TV on?
Yeah, I said, on ESPN. He watched one of the towers collapse live at that point, telling me about it.

I tried to call New York, not a chance. Sorry guys, I had to work out some nervous energy somehow. Thanks for listening.

By Chevalier on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 10:49 am: Edit

Our own Pearl Harbor. Jesus ...

By Emmy on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 10:45 am: Edit

more news: battleships, destroyers, and two aircraft carriers have left Norfolk, VA to secure the eastern coastline.

By Chevalier on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 10:44 am: Edit

"please, light a candle."

Much of the world is. More than we'll ever know.

Rest in peace, you mothers and fathers, sons and daughters.

By Emmy on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 10:43 am: Edit

heh was just reading that page =) i'm gonna bonk the guy who told me bart and the bridge were closed on the head =P in any case, even if i wasn't planning on staying on this side of the bay today, i would be now heh.

walkway on golden gate bridge is closed though. also all fed and state bldgs as well as SF city hall and a four block area around it. i think oakland city hall is also closed.

talked to mel who works by oakland airport and she says it's eerily quiet. they're all gathered around the tv and online there.

By Admin on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 10:38 am: Edit

bart & bridges are open here, but many other things are closed down, and bridges are being patroled

http://www.sfgate.com/today/local_emergency.shtml

By Admin on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 10:34 am: Edit

first estimate in is 10,000 dead.

please, light a candle.

By Maxpower on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 10:27 am: Edit

the hospital i work at is having an emergency blood drive,id give if i could,but they wont let me because i recently got ink.this is truly some crazy happenings,i wonder what the us is going to do in retaliation

By Emmy on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 10:24 am: Edit

cool, glad you're staying home, K. i was gonna email you in hopes that you would. apparently the bay bridge is shut down and so is the BART system. it's been reported that San Francisco is one of the targets and they were starting to shut down areas of downtown when i was coming to work (B of A bldgs, 101 California, and the Transamerica Pyramid probably more). i had no idea what was going on and started freaking out listening to conversations on the bus and train about planes hijacked, buildings destroyed, the Pentagon attacked... i just wanted to get somewhere safe... which i'm not exactly at right now. given the focus of security forces at this time, no one is watching the clinics and right now would be a good time for some nutjob to attack. i'm heading home. hope you're all safe.

Justin, i'm with you there. it was only a matter of time.

BC, as usual, we are in agreement in our political outlooks.

By Chevalier on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 09:58 am: Edit

In bad taste, Wolf ... but you're forgiven. :~/

By Wolfgang on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 09:53 am: Edit

Please donate blood and absinthe!


The only "absinthe" I have left is a bad mix of Serpis and ...Ricard ;-(. Even if I'm in Canada, I will wait before ordering and will survive on my Pastis Combier.

sorry...just wanted to vent out some nervous craziness.

By Wiz on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 09:22 am: Edit

Do you'll think this Act will affect our goings on with shipping from Spirits Corner? I do. I hope everyone has a decent supply of Absinthe.

There is a blood shortage in the East Coast area.
Donate if you can.

International Boarders are closed, The USA is shut down. Natl Guard has been called up.

Is the next step curfew for all of us and the Military setting up roadblocks.

Do we jail the Arab type people like they did the Japanese?

Cell phone towers may be shut off, and beeper acces too.

With all the petty bickering and name calling going on here I think you'll need to stand back and look at what could happen to our lives here in the USA where most of us live.

Or..

Does the USA ignore this Act like all the other bombings that have happened here and around the world on US territory, and only focus on the David Koresh, Ruby Ridge types.

By Admin on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 09:08 am: Edit

I just tuned in. Thanks people.

My work has sent out notice not to come in ...



xoxo.

By Chevalier on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 09:03 am: Edit

Awful. After years of foiled attempts, most of which we'll never know about, the Big One got through. Time and the odds were on its side. What do we do now?

Here in Chile, the TV sets are blaring the news. CNN nonstop. My Chilean colleagues are in shock. I can't describe how I feel.

By Chrysippvs on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:58 am: Edit

If this is the work of the DFLP or the Islamic Jyhad, certainly, and with some sadness I say...this is the price of zionism.

By Wiz on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:43 am: Edit

America is at WAR, and has been since 1933. We have never been out of the Official Declaration.
All Airports and Airlines are shut and grounded untill further notice.
Let us all pray for the Victems of this Cowardly tactic. There were over 50,000 people that worked in the WTO.
This attack was claimed by the Islamic Jihad Movement.

By Absinthespoon on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:39 am: Edit

It's so over-the-top, worse than any disaster movie. I couldn't believe my eyes this morning as I watched the plane crash into the second tower of the WTC live on TV. This event will have enormous consequences, and will change our lives here in America forever.

By Bob_Chong on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:38 am: Edit

Standard line: "It's Osama Bin Laden."

...who also fixed the 1919 World Series, landed at Roswell, and kidnapped Chandra Levy...

By Wolfgang on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:35 am: Edit

ho! the news feed is back...

By Wolfgang on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:26 am: Edit

Well, I also think it's an act of war. When you are not strong enaugh to attack from the front, you use that kind of tactic...

Problem is, there will be all kinds of crazy terrorist groups who will claim this act even if it's not them.

Question is where shall we retaliate ? (ok I know, I'm not american but well, Canada is like your little brother...or something like that).

By Luvlite68 on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:21 am: Edit

"I never thought I'd have a measure of gladness over having a warmonger president."

During the Iran hostage situation, the new Republican president seemed to dissuade terrorist from messing with the US but this time around, it may turn out that it attracted the attacks.

By Bob_Chong on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:19 am: Edit

I never thought I'd have a measure of gladness over having a warmonger president.

Right. After the last president did so well with Israel, Yugoslavia, Korea, Bosnia, China, Haiti, Somalia, Iraq, Rwanda...

By Blygdon on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:09 am: Edit

Bob and others...thanks for the updates. A friend in Manhattan just emailed me and said "its an act of war, not terrorism" and that the transit systems are shut down. He doesn't know how he's going to get back to Queens when work lets him out. Ft. Knox has been emptied out of soldiers (my second thought was of our boys going to war). I never thought I'd have a measure of gladness over having a warmonger president. Interested to see how this unfolds. So many unncessary deaths in WTC.

Really, I just wanted to say thanks for the updates y'all.

By _Blackjack on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:06 am: Edit

I'm a mile from the Pentagon. I woke up at 10am for work to discover a half dozen panicked messages from people checking to see if I'm alive.

I've been told to stay home from work, tho I don't know if I ought to grab the cats and rats and run.

By Wolfgang on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 08:00 am: Edit

Here in Montreal where I work, one of the CEO is an ex five star general of the US army. He still have an office in the Pentagone, exactly where the plane crashed... Luckily he is here in Montreal this morning for a meeting so he asked us to move a satelite dish we use for tests so he could use it to listen to CNN in the council room. Funny thing is this satelite feed is also connected to another TV in the cafateria so everybody was there looking at it, not working (or not losing time on the internet...). I guess they just figured that out because they just shot down the satelite feed.

By Absinthedrinker on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 07:52 am: Edit

Well it seems that the twin towers have both collapsed after the planes crashed into them. Another hit the Pentagon and a car bomb has reportedly gone off outside the Secretary of States office. Annanova was still online when I last checked. Just heard that they are evacuating some large buildings here in London too.

By Heiko on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 07:45 am: Edit

Any newssite I could think of is temporarily overloaded...

Damn, I don't have a TV here (at work).

By Wolfgang on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 06:49 am: Edit

Apparently they also attaked the pentagone! I'm trying to connect to cnn but it's jammed...

By Bob_Chong on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 06:21 am: Edit

If you haven't seen any news, turn on the TV now. Two large planes crashed into the World Trade Center, seemingly on purpose.

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