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Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2001: Ten Years After

The Butterfly from Hell
[Updated after the jump, with excerpts of my pre-blog reactions, written on the day of the attacks.]

[Update II: What Paul Krugman said:
The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.

[Update III: A little anniversary cheer: Some real Shock and Awe: Racially profiled and cuffed in Detroit.]

Ten years ago, a ripping of the fabric of the world had begun. It had seen many tears (and tears) before, but humanity's tailors always seemed to manage a stitch in time. This one was different, and ten years after we stand in paralyzed witness of tatters relentlessly growing in the gusts of a still-gathering storm.

I cannot say what happened on that day.

But, ten years after, I can say that humanity has not yet acquitted with any grace.

If there is anything to be taken away, to be remembered on this anniversary, it is that we are often far too willing to sacrifice innocent lives for grievance, or for grand ambition.

[Updated: Below find my reactions, written on the day of the attacks:]

10:10 AZ time, 1:10 pm Eastern Time

This is in reference to the unbelievable and massive attack against New York City and Washington D.C. this morning. I reel.

Pacifist that I normally am, and as much as I want to rip W. over his unilateral actions of late which no doubt gave aid and comfort to our enemies, I say it's time to demand that the Taliban turn over Usama Bin Laden RIGHT NOW or we invade and give the Taliban leadership a taste of "collateral damage." This was the stupidest thing that those idiotic extremists could ever have done, and we sorely need to point that out to them in very ugly terms.

It matters not whether Bin Laden is responsible (although I've heard that he hinted at a U.S. "huge and unprecedented attack" in an email a few weeks ago). These people are the ones with the resources and the rhetoric. This may be unjust, and I may change my mind after I settle down a bit, but I think that these guys have de facto put themselves in our crosshairs, and I say "Fire!"

You assholes over there who are giving good Muslims the world over a terrible name have got to go. This is it, this is enough, and I predict right here that they will see some dark days ahead.

Black Tuesday, September 11, 2001

11:00 AZ time, 2:00 pm Eastern Time

I comfort myself by believing that this was a case of fanatics shooting their entire load in one vicious, coordinated attack. I don't think our response will be tempered at all - I just heard Sen. Joe Biden say that we are "at war" right now. Damn right. Britain's Tony Blair said:

This mass terrorism is the new evil in our world today.

It is perpetrated by fanatics who are utterly indifferent to the sanctity of life and we, the democracies of this world, are going to have to come together and fight it together and eradicate this evil completely from our world.
I believe that we will have the international support we need to act.

Updated September 20, 2001

Cooler heads arise from the cooling ashes of New York and Washington. My earlier posting... alludes to the truth that the heat from this terror cooked even the minds in this Arizona desert, and it subsides with the horrifying slo-mo of Hollywood; this, mocking our [Gary] Condit obsessions of the week before, and I, with great melancholy, observe this dirge-march towards realpolitik. And I, again with chagrin, cannot disagree. This unfortunate situation demonstrates a leveling of the waters, a demonstration of unintended consequences. It is becoming clear that a ham-handed military response, if affected, could very well be a demonstration of American ignorance at its most classic...

...I am concerned that the knee-jerk macho patriotism that is all the rage at the moment... will inevitably begin a polarization between the "Love It Or Leave It" crowd and thoughtful critics ("intellectual elitists"). I know which camp I belong in...

...I use the leveling-of-the-waters metaphor because the dam is being breached. We cannot reach out to the world with unilateral intentions or expectations. The damn is being breached by the inevitable historical march towards world unity, and those who try to set the terms of the unity without respect for their neighbors' world-view are doomed to suffer hardships, just and unjust...

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