Friday, September 09, 2011

TMND, Fri, Sept 14, 2001

FRIDAY :: September 14, 2001 :: EMAIL EDITION


EDITOR'S NOTE: On Tuesday, as the magnitude of the
tragedies that had just happened began to become
clear, our contributor Matt Hogan filed a response,
and we immediately provided a link to it. Because
we believe it deserves to be read widely, we're
reprinting it here today. -- C.D.

TMNS Contributor

They said that all monuments were closed, but tourists ambled around the
famous Iwo Jima memorial in Arlington, Virginia. Still, the sight of large
groups of people crossing the bridge from the District of Columbia, and the
police closing the highway to the Pentagon, confirmed the crisis atmosphere
created by the crash of the American Airlines plane into the Pentagon and
the related sabotage-slaughter at the World Trade Center. At the nearby
Fort Myer facility, I walked past as bereted troops in fatigues inspected
each arrival.

Behind that, a plume of smoke came from one side of the headquarters of our
Defense Department.

Verbal bombs are following. Everyone is calling the terrorists "cowards" or
their actions "cowardly." Call it as you will: fanatic, evil, satanic,
dastardly; it was many things, but it was not cowardly. One person, perhaps
Orrin Hatch, has called them "cowards who would stop at nothing." The
shortsightedness of that comment is self-evident: it is the very opposite
of cowardice to be stoppable by nothing.

On the streets in Arlington an old white guy is saying how we need to close
the borders and keep the Muslims out. He lived in Saudi Arabia. I also
spent considerable time in the Middle East and I dont worry about Muslims,
just bad people who happen to be Muslims. (It also might be a good idea if
in the long run we got our own explosives out of the Middle East.) I fear
there will be a backlash against ethnic and religious groups by vigilantes
and mobs -- the same savage mentalities as the bombers themselves.

The media is fanning the flames of tyranny, trying to goad commentators to
say that we must now change our whole lives for the sake of security.
Rubbish. The people who tried to turn the Pentagon into the Square should
not be allowed to turn the free and the brave into slaves of fear. Let's
find the guilty and any sponsors and breathe fiery judgment. Let's solve
any underlying political issues that enable the guilty to circulate and

From New York I learn that my brother who works for local TV is OK while
covering the event. My uncle used to work in the World Trade Center but
died a few years ago. Many people we know must at least know someone who
works there. It is conceivable that tens of thousands are dead. (I am not
an architect, but why should the whole building collapse when the top is

I do agree the likely suspect is Osama bin-Laden. The method is familiar
-- multiple attacks, no claim of responsibility, a level of intelligent
organization. The targets dealt with American world power and foreign power
which usually dont bother militia type groups. The fact that they chose the
Pentagon is revealing as well. Palestinians dont have much grudge against
the American military, but the Osama people do because of U.S. military
presence in Saudi Arabia.

Another questionable comment is that this is unprecedented in America. Not
really. The British occupied New York in the Revolution and the rebels
burned a good part of it. In the War of 1812, the British burned
Washington. In the Civil War, the Yankees burned Atlanta. As deliberate
targeting of civilians in American history goes, however, this is
nonetheless a doozy.

Find the guilty. Kill them, preferably after due process; punish their
sponsors. Don't be blaming religions and ethnic groups. Realize that they
are not cowards. Also realize that intentionally killing civilians is
nothing that odd for people at war: we razed Japan, killing hundreds of

"There is no morality in war," is the quote of the American pilot who
dropped the A-bomb and never lost a nights sleep. And the attackers of New
York and Washington obviously feel the same.


Listen, all of you. Love your enemies.
Do good to those who hate you. Pray for
the happiness of those who curse you;
implore God's blessing on those who
hurt you. . . . Do you think you
deserve credit for merely loving
those who love you? Even the godless
do that.

-- Jesus Christ (quoted by
St. Luke)

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