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Our New Pearl Harbor 1402

Weehauken, N.J. -- It's almost impossible to reconcile the cool, clear, cloudless day with the scene across the water. There are no World Trade Centers, and up above the giant white clouds steaming from the spot where they used to be, pairs of F-15's circle over Manhattan, around and around the encircled island. Along the closed entrances and highways into the city, ambulances, fire engines and police cars line up for miles waiting to take the thousands of casualties out of New York City and all over the Northeast. At the blood bank in Paramus where I tried to give blood, there were five-hour lines, and the police turned us away.Reporters break down on the air and sob. At the closed-down bridges and tunnels, people stand alongside their cars by the score, staring and crying. I keep calling the cell of one of my closest friends, who went to work inside the Towers at 8:30, and kept getting his voice-mail, until 11:00 a.m., when a recording said his phone was no longer in service. All around New York City, psychologists are showing up at school bus stops to deal with kids whose parents aren't coming home. It's impossible to stare at the TV and not think of the horrific convergence between technology, politics, and information.

Eerily, the scene invokes disaster movies -- a number of which have actually shown the World Trade Center towers being blown up. Staring across the harbor on this gorgeous day, it takes a few seconds to realize that this isn't the evocation of something new and horrible, but the real thing, our own Pearl Harbor, perhaps even worse, since it struck us closer to home and reminded us all how technology can bring us all nose-to-nose with war in seconds, and there are no real barriers between people willing to use it in evil ways and us. Technology allows us to see the building collapse before the reporters even know what has happened. We have to try and make sense of it ourselves.

The silence is stunning, unprecedented for mid-morning, mid-week anywhere near Manhattan island. Everyone is in shock. Stories, malls, business are closing, their workers crying, distracted, unsure of how to behave.

Technology turns planes into weapons. It tracks aircraft hundreds of miles away. It brings us instant and horrific images. It sends us to e-mail, telephones and cell phones to spread news, facts, rumors and stories.

We are both shocked and oddly prepared. Sci-fi and other forms of popular culture have been preparing us for this kind of Techno-Armageddon for years. Technology can do all sorts of amazing things, but it can't protect us from a handful of determined people. We've never seen anything like it, yet in a strange way we have thought of it for years.

Standing over the harbor, I did something I haven't done in 20 years. I dropped to my knees -- following the lead of a bunch of strangers -- and prayed. I have a bunch of friends in somewhere in that Techno-Armageddon, and just wanted to post these thoughts. If anybody wants to post their own, hopefully here's a good place.

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Our New Pearl Harbor

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  • What repercussions (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MxTxL ( 307166 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:21PM (#2280722)

    In the wake of this tragedy, I think we need to examine the repercussions.

    As for the US's retaliation, I think it should be swift and decisive. I think there should be a battery of cruise missles launched at every known, suspected or rumored terrorist hangout, EVERYWHERE in the world. There are arguments to this that we should wait until we are sure who it is, that we should not retaliate at all because this will just perpetuate the hostilities.

    This is bull-shit. When colombian drug dealers killed DEA agent, Kiki Camarena, the DEA broke down every suspected drug dealer's door with or without evidence of any crimes. The DEA fucked them up really good. Since that time, DEA agents have led charmed lives. In many cases DEA agents are in peril, but only live because the Druggies know better than to touch a DEA agent for the repercussions. In the same light, it is clear to me and should be to everyone else that a serious strike against ALL possible/suspected terrorist organizations will send a similar message.

    I think we should consider the movie "The Siege" with Denzel Washington. In the movie, following three or four terrorist attacks the city of New York was brought to a standstill. They declared Marshall Law. This was the effect on one city. In real life, with todays terrorist attacks, most state universities were shut down, many, many businesses all over the nation are closed. Lots of people will begin to live in fear.

    This is, of course, what the terrorists want. When we begin to live in fear, we have betrayed the principles of our very country. We must strike back at these and all terrorists. We must send a message to this sick and twisted community that the US will not stand for this.

    Beyond whatever reprisals the President decides to launch. I think we will begin to see some other serious repercussions. Do you think air travel will be the same? I thought it was very strict as it was. We may have to submit to cavity searches before too long.

    Here's an interesting issue and one that is well to debate on Slashdot. It is said on just about all the major news networks that there has been an intelligence breakdown. That the terrorists use sophisticated encryption measures and that our intelligence agencies are under-funded and don't have the ability to keep tabs on the terrorists. Question: would you be willing to trade your personal privacy for maybe some further measure of security from terrorists? Would you grant the people running Carnivore greater rights into your life in order to perhaps prevent more events like this? Is the encryption export ban such a bad thing when stacked against 50,000 people's lives?

    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
    safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

    I don't know if we should put up with a greater intelligence presence. I know that is what we will experience. That is pretty clear. But what is obvious to me is that we must rise above this, we must not live in fear, and we must make these sons-of-bitches PAY for what they've done to assure that they can never do it again.

    • by typical geek ( 261980 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:26PM (#2280772) Homepage
      and not as interested in low tech, face to face survelliance. Somewhat like a certain web page, the US intelligence community believes there is a high tech solution to every problem.

      When your biggest enemy is Russia, almost as technically advanced as you, this may make sense.

      When your biggest enemy is a terrorist living in the mountains of Asia, and plotting an attach face to face over Coleman lantern light, the best spy satellites in the world won't help you, you need someone on site.

      Iran was overthrown becuase we had no agents in the Ayatollah's movement, and this may be a similar situation.
    • by halftrack ( 454203 ) <jonkje@gmaTIGERil.com minus cat> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:28PM (#2280793) Homepage
      The american people will cry out for revenge, but you should calm down before striking whoever responsible. Revenging - you must remember - is hard. Traditionally, revenge leads to someone revenging the revenge, unless the revenge is targeted with high political and practical accuracy. Remember, a missil can't tell Bush from e.g. BinLaden. In addition the pressision is not high enough to avoid hitting civilians. If civilians is hit the governmet controlled media in the target country can:

      1. condemn the action agains WTC and the Pentagon, thus condemning the attack on their country.
      2. using their government controlled media to make the people - even those personally neutral to the US - condemn the US, thus making new terrorist killing more people.

      I would like to urge the American people to look for other solutions, silent actions. For instance they can through heavy intelligence - which will be conducted - locate and arrest the people responsible. A trial and conviction would be a much more satisfying and peaceful solution.

      Two bonuses will also be given by doing it this way:
      1. you are sertain the people responsible are caught, not just presumingly dead.
      2. the country housing the terrorist would be put in an - for them - unbeneficial position giving the western countries a good way to excess political pressure on them with a small, but larger than normal effect.

      People of america: let the your government know what you belive is right!!

      (This is a repost from a previous discussion, but it was to important.)
      • by Pollux ( 102520 ) <{ge.ten.atadet} {ta} {reteps}> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @05:43PM (#2281692) Journal
        This was our main subject in Psych class today at college, and our professor was especially worried about it.

        Our professor is an Egyptian and an active Muslim. She was especially worried because everyone here in America associates BinLaden with the Islamic faith. It's as far from the truth as possible. BinLaden calls himself a "Fundamentalist Muslim," but has been denounced by Muslims throughout the world. She made us understand (and everyone should understand this before they point fingers) is that Palestineans / Arabs / Egyptians / whatever race or religion of people in the Middle East does not support the terrorist view of "If you kill Americans, you get into the life beyond." She was praying that the people behind the attack wern't Muslims, because the traditional Muslim faiths don't condone killing others. Unfortunately for her and us, though, our only image of the Muslim faith is BinLaden carrying out his attacks in the name of religion. It puts such a heavy burden on her here in the United States, since no one understands the fundamentals of the Muslim faith.

        We should not go out on a witch hunt, because we are not sure yet who did it. But even more, people need to understand that these are INDIVIDUALS. They are INDIVIDUAL ACTS. They DO NOT represent any race of people, any religion of people, or any country of people.

        I just hope people can find a way to understand.
        • the people behind the attack wern't Muslims, because the traditional Muslim faiths don't condone killing others. Unfortunately for her and us, though, our only image of the Muslim faith is BinLaden carrying out his attacks in the name of religion.

          So, what are the muslim authorities doing to get rid of that image-breaking Ben Laden???
        • That's a nice thought, but it will never happen.

          Everybody is shocked at the moment, anger has not kicked in yet. When the smoke clears and the mangled bodies of civilians and fireman are pulled from the rubble the muslim world will be in a world of hurt.

          These terrorists have upped the stakes and have forced the world's most powerful military power into a corner. Over 10,000 Americans are DEAD. When 10,000 people die, pleas for compassion go unheard.

          America's revenge and reprisals will be swift, violent and devastating. May god have mercy on whoever is behind this, because we won't.

    • by elmegil ( 12001 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:32PM (#2280845) Homepage Journal
      Sorry bud, but all a paroxym of destruction will bring is more of the same. If decisive but massive killing actually stopped the other side, Israel would be as peaceful as Omaha by now.
    • by zuqif ( 234677 )
      Todays events are unprecedented, and I can't see what you're attempting by drawing comparisons with
      - movies
      - previous dea events

      I can't imagine how to even approach the hammer blow that must fall in retaliation, but I think we're all praying for something broader, bigger & more considered than that which you're suggesting.

      My question wrt repercussions is how this will knock onto civil-liberties in the traditional (non-tech) sense.

      fwiw, I'm not American, but my thoughts will remain with you all.
    • by aspillai ( 86002 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:40PM (#2280950) Homepage
      Of course repercussions are necessary. The question is what do we do? Do you think sending missiles to suspected rouge nations is a good idea? You claim that you need to protect democracy and the American way of life. Well, in your example you site the DEA. They were not democratic. Would you stand by your convictions if you were the one being imprisioned or worse yet killed based on suspecions? This reminds me of China or the Spanish Inquisition or any number of other undemocratic acts.

      So, what should be done? There are black boxes on those planes, if they survived. There must be intelligence reports from the CIA and other national security agencies. Two weeks or more to piece together what exactly happened, who was responsible and how they were able to do this without triggers being tripped everywhere. Then suitable punishment - if it's an act of war, then it must be. This is how America got involved with WW2 is it not.

      But to suggest that we just blindly give up our democratic freedom is to give these terrorists precisely what they want. I for one am not willing to do that. I'm all for deadly repercussions, but they need to be well thought out and well executed.
    • by ethereal ( 13958 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:40PM (#2280954) Journal
      When colombian drug dealers killed DEA agent, Kiki Camarena, the DEA broke down every suspected drug dealer's door with or without evidence of any crimes. The DEA fucked them up really good.

      ...I think we should consider the movie "The Siege" with Denzel Washington. In the movie, following three or four terrorist attacks the city of New York was brought to a standstill. They declared Marshall Law. This was the effect on one city.

      You must not have seen the rest of the movie [spoiler alert] - the whole point of it was that if you kick in doors everywhere, if you give up on the rule of law just because some degenerates refuse to live within it, if you allow some nut cases to goad you into creating the very environment of reprisal that they thrive on, you've given your enemy exactly what they want. The moral of The Siege was that even in times of crisis, tarring the innocent with the same brush as the guilty is the wrong thing to do, no matter how inspired towards ass-kicking we may be right now. Of course you leave potential terrorists living in fear, but at the expense of leaving everyone living in fear as well. In the long run, a civil society cannot continue along that path.

      I think the jury's still out on the intelligence angle, although the three-letter-agencies will have you believe otherwise. For all we know, what was lacking to prevent this tragedy was not Carnivore interdiction, but just a little more attention on the part of an airline gate agent in Boston or Newark. I would think that any terrorists capable of planning this action would be smart enough to not use any public or semi-public communications medium which might have a chance of being tapped. Don't believe anything you hear on this topic for the next couple of weeks, until we can really begin to get to the bottom of it.

      Yes, we need to change some things and prevent the reoccurrence of this kind of attack. But equally importantly we need to not allow terrorism to transform society into a warped vision of the very groups that hate us, just because of our fear and uncertainty. Democracy can triumph over terror, if only its own citizens give it the chance.

    • Madness (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Jeff Bell ( 88747 )

      As for the US's retaliation, I think it should be swift and decisive. I think there should be a battery of cruise missles launched at every known, suspected or rumored terrorist hangout, EVERYWHERE in the world.

      And if you upstairs neighbors happen to be the subject of one of those rumors, too bad. You'll just be another drug^H^H^H^H... er I mean terrorist related related death.

    • by t0sher ( 470052 )
      Firstly, I totally give out my heart to everyone affected by this. I've sat watching the TV all day in horror.

      One question (not trolling) I wonder what knowledge the US powers had on a possible strike this week? Granted, they wouldn't be able to do much about someone on a plane with a death wish, but I heard an interview with someone at Janes who suspected a hit this week.... maybe its just hearsay?

      Carnivore isn't anything to get worried about, in fact i've heard its pretty useless. Try getting hold of the summer copy of 2600 magazine (http://www.2600.com) because there is a good article on the system there, showing it would be next to useless to try to gain intelligence on terrorist acts. For example, unless a court order is granted they can only snoop To: and From: info. You might want to check out http://www.epic.org/privacy/carnivore/foia_documen ts.html [epic.org].

      Aside, as my comments probably got buried in the other stories, I totally agree with people trying to calm down the reactionist (although understandable) mood around here. Attacking all known terrorist locations will kill many more innocent people, prehaps for nothing. Then you are no better than the terrorists, only with a false badge of legitimacy pinned to your chests.

      As I said before though, I completely understand the feelings here. Its purely awful and evil. Just don't become hypocrites. And the people that are going around saying "bash the dot headers" etc make me SICK.

      Thanks for your time. I hope you don't consider me trolling.
    • As for the US's retaliation, I think it should be swift and decisive. I think there should be a battery of cruise missles launched at every known, suspected or rumored terrorist hangout, EVERYWHERE in the world. There are arguments to this that we should wait until we are sure who it is, that we should not retaliate at all because this will just perpetuate the hostilities.

      OK, here's the short checklist (in no particular order) on "Who do we bomb today?"

      • Palestina
        for being a mess in the first place
      • Izrael
        for the possibility that they want to escalate the war
      • Syria
        for being general trublemakers and helping Palestinians
      • Iraq
        for maybe Saddam did it
      • Lybia
        for Ghaddafi was in the plane business before
      • Japan
        for being general pain in the ass from WW2
      • Vietnam
        for someone just might not like the fact you killed his father
      • Kambodia
        for the same reason as Vietnam
      • Somalia
        for killing U.S. Marines over there
      • Iran
        for if they didn't like your shah, they didn't liked you
      • Afganistan
        for being in fundamentaly wrong religion
      • Yugoslavia/Serbia
        for threatening before and after the strikes you did there
      • Albania
        for being troublemakers in the two wars so far
      • Germany
        for demanding apology for bombing of their cities during WW2
      • Ireland
        since US didn't help them get rid of Brits
      • U.K.
        opposite from Ireland
      • North Korea
        for if they don't listen to our orders, they're capable of everything
      • Russia
        for they might just be proving what piece of crap NMD is
      • Bosnia and Herzegovina
        for they might still resent you not helping them 1992-1995
      • United States of America
        for knowingly allowing extremist groups to exist and thrive
      • Canada
        for someone over there might think you want them as a next federal state (and they're still with them Brits
      • P.R. of China
        for clearly opposing trading with renegade Taiwan R.O.C
      • Every other 1st world country
        for not locking up all suspected anti-globalisation activists
      • Every other 3rd world country
        for probably housing terrorist and generaly disliking USA

      Did I miss someone?

    • by chabotc ( 22496 ) <chabotc AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:52PM (#2281136) Homepage
      I am gonna post something that is gonna be very unpopulair i am sure, but still i am puzzled.

      You state in your email your shock at the loss of life, and the loss of freedom.

      Yet your way to solve this is to take more human lives (launch missles at every one suspected), and take away the freedom of everyone suspected.

      In no way can i rime these two arguments. Yes this is the worst thing i have seen on CNN ..ever? (i am not up close, i admit). However wasnt it the american founding fathers who said that freedom goes above all differences? This also means respecting the freedom of others.

      I accept that you feel the guilty need to be delt with, however shooting the world @ random won't make the situation any better. You would betray the very thing you fight for. Justice and Freedom.

      Also, don't forget before you claim the world will not be the same, that palastinians, people in ireland, south afrika, etc have suffered the same faith. Next time they are in the news, think back of this moment. This might be a unique opertunity to cherish freedom, not only for americans, but for humans.
    • When colombian drug dealers killed DEA agent, Kiki Camarena, the DEA broke down every suspected drug dealer's door with or without evidence of any crimes.

      That works against a group with a profit motive. That's not what's at work here. You do that with terrorists and you only feed their delusions. You nail the responsible parties with as little collateral damage as possible and you stand a decent chance of winning the war for the mindset of people (not necessarily governments or special interest groups). If that doesn't happen you spawn a new generation that looks upon the loss of 50k lives as "justifiable".

      We want swift retribution because it'll make us feel better..... momentarily.

      Question: would you be willing to trade your personal privacy for maybe some further measure of security from terrorists? Would you grant the people running Carnivore greater rights into your life in order to perhaps prevent more events like this?

      Carnivore can't sniff out an organization whose plans are made on the backside of the desert. I doubt they use the internet for anything more than propaganda. They don't plot attacks over cell phones. They're smart.

      The news agencies keep talking about how this had to be a sophisticated, well funded attack. No. It was well planned, but very low tech. No foreign investments in military equipment were needed. The coordination was set by the Airline schedules (probably why they didn't fly America West), not the atomic clock synchronized on their IBM built Linux watches.... Well funded? How much do airline tickets go for these days? Did they have to build bombs? No, Take off on a transcontinental passenger flight that departs near your target and you have more fuel than Timothy McVeigh would know what to do with. Very low tech. Very inexpensive (in terms of return on investment). Very well thought out.

      When we begin to live in fear, we have betrayed the principles of our very country.

      On this we agree.

      But what is obvious to me is that we must rise above this, we must not live in fear....

      I agree. That means that we don't sink to their level to the point that innocent lives in the scores of thousands are willingly sacrificed to make our point. That's not "rising above" this. We can't be willing to stoop to their level in terms of losing our humanity. If we do, we are worse than they are because we aren't as smart. This was planned with patience. Targets were chosen because of the massive losses in terms of human life, but also because they knew the symbolic and actual damages that would be done to our country.

      The trade center was a seat of commerce, literally and figuratively. They struck us in the pocketbook, literally and figuratively because we put so much stock in our economic prowess.

      The airlines (most people just see this as a tool, but I think it was a target as well) offered us a sense of connectedness that email and telephones can't give. We felt safe about our domestic flights and security was minimal when compared to international flights. This too was a strike at commerce since much of air travel is business related. Now all the overnight package delivery services are grounded as well. They struck us there because we felt safe.

      The pentagon is the seat of our military power. They struck us there because we take great pride in our military strength (not necessarily the same as our role as international policemen).

      We pride ourselves on being the strongest economically and militarily and believe that we are somehow safely insulated from this very sort of thing, and that is precisely where we were hit. Literally and figuratively.
  • by mach-5 ( 73873 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:22PM (#2280729) Homepage
    After a discussion with some co-workers, we agreed that the towers should be re-built, and in the some location as the former towers. Not only as a memorial to those who died, but also as a sign of this country's strength.

    Any other thoughts on this matter? Should the towers be rebuilt?
    • by Communomancer ( 8024 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:27PM (#2280788)
      Personally, I'd like to see three towers built in their place, with the middle one much taller than the other two. That way, it would look like a giant middle finger, directed straight at the fuckers who did this.

    • out of all the commotion this is the best idea I've heard all day. I do believe this would be the biggest "fuck you" that we could give to whoever was responsible for this.
    • Without a doubt.

      With utmost respect to the casualties, the USA is bigger than the lives lost today. As a sign of our strength we must rebuild the towers to show that we cannot be thwarted by terrorists.

      A memorial is also due course and I'm sure will come to pass but more than that what we owe those who died today is to find the people responsible and make sure something like this never happens again...
    • YES!

      And each tower should have one extra floor added as a memorial to those who died.

      And to show that while our enemies may strike, we will always bounce back better.

      -- michael
    • I am definitely for the rebuilding of the towers... Whatever they are replaced with should become an image of several things:

      Power. The power of our country, and it's ability to create superior technology.

      Remembrance. The new building should pay respects to those that died in this horrible incident.

      Perspective. We should not dwell on this for the rest of our lives...

      Peace. It needs to be a symbol of peace.

      Not sure how to get all that into a single building, but I am sure that it can be done.

    • the towers should be re-built

      Absolutely! The Democrat in me says we take all teh $$ Bush wants for missle defense and rebuild the towers since now its OBVIOUS missle defense is a folly. They will find a way to attack America. Sure a nuke would have flattened NY, not just the World Trade Center. But those billions could be spent on much better things, even just in a security arena.

      But the American in me says -> raise taxes, SS surplus, bonds, even a short term defecit. We need to show the world we will rebuild. We will NOT be cowed. And hte idea of a third tower in teh middle giving the bird to the terrorists - I love it :) It was one of the few times I smiled on this tagic day. And if we find the bastards that did this, let jail them and then toss them off the new WTC buildings into the rubble below :)

      I really hope we rebuild the buildings - bigger and better than ever. Tempting fate? Maybe - but its not like fanatics lack targets!

      May we find the bastards and wipe them out. God Bless America.

    • Absolutely.

      We could level the site and put up a memorial and a new park, but I feel that the best memorial will be a bigger Trade Center Complex, with two bigger towers, which will become a new symbol of American resiliance.

      I grew up in New York City, and I know a bit about the spirit of the city. Its people are all very resiliant, and will show the world that they can handle this tragedy. They will take time to mourn, of course, but after, they will have to go on with their lives. Their lives will be changed, for sure, but they will go on, because they can't live any other way.

    • by dolanh ( 64212 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:59PM (#2281214) Homepage Journal
      Just some sobering thoughts for a sobering situation.

      These days office space is in a glut. Who is going to fill those enormous towers (esp. given the state of our current economy, which isn't going to be improving any time soon in light of today's events)?

      More to the point, who is going to *want* to work in those buildings after what happened today?

      I agree that it's not necessarily a bad idea, especially as a way of bringing the country together, but these are one of a few realities that such a project would have to face.

      As a sidenote, shouldn't there be a way for the ground control to override the controls of a hijacked plane?

      • by dolanh ( 64212 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @07:19PM (#2282590) Homepage Journal
        Maybe I should clarify...

        "As a sidenote, shouldn't there be a way for the ground control to override the controls of a hijacked plane?"

        read: a hijacked plane. not *any* plane, but one that's already been hijacked. Reinforce the cockpit door and walls, add a system where the pilots could monitor the cabin via hidden video cameras, and where they could notify ground sources of their situation if necessary, and in case of breach, hand control of the aircraft over to ground control. However, this hand-off could only be initiated by the aircraft itself. The facial/fingerprint recognition is a good idea as well.

        This way a hijack would need to be two-pronged. It would have to attack the plane, but also take hte ground control. Exponentially harder to coordinate.

        As another poster already mentioned, 90% of the systems are already in place. Autopilot is used all the time during takeoff and landing.

        One other failsafe possibility. Install a safety mechanism to handover control of air traffic from one tower to another in case of attack. For those of you who never saw "pushing tin" or any documentaries on air traffic control, skilled terrorists could probably do 10x the damage they did today if they had targeted the towers at laguardia, newark, and JFK all at once, and directed the aircraft to fly into eachother.

        But i'm sure you've all seen Die Hard 2...
        • Instead of reinforcing the cockpit door, remove it and provide a separate entrance for the cockpit crew with a relatively thick bulkhead between the cockpit and the passenger cabin. If we make it impossible, under any circumstances, for passengers to get into the cockpit, we would prevent this sort of tragedy from happening again.
  • News Links (Score:5, Informative)

    by FFFish ( 7567 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:22PM (#2280731) Homepage
    From a site that seems to be working well:

    World Leaders react [theglobeandmail.com] -- "The following are reactions from around the world to the disasters at New York's World Trade Centre and the Pentagon."

    Related Links [theglobeandmail.com] -- US Gov't, US Military, NYC, Airlines, and Anti-Terrorism Resources.

    Who Dunnit [bbc.co.uk] -- the BBC "Within minutes of the horrific chain of events unfolding at the World Trade Center, information began emerging suggesting it was not a terrible accident but a terrorist attack."

    World Shock [bbc.co.uk] -- BBC "The attacks on New York and Washington have brought swift reactions of horror and condemnation from around the world."

    Notable quotable: "But Iraqi television played a patriotic song that begins "Down with America!" as it showed the World Trade Center's towers falling, The Associated Press news agency reported."

    America has made a permanent enemy of Iraq. I can't imagine how that will ever be changed. :-(

    Also worth noting that many mid-East leaders of all stripes and colours are denouncing this terrorist act.

    Don't paint all the mid-East with one brush. This terrorist attack was the action of a very, very small radical group that is roundly despised by many mid-East civilians.

    The more I watch this on television, the less real it becomes. Repetition = numb.
    • Don't paint all the mid-East with one brush.

      This is true, we need to prevent the kind of knee jerk reaction that created interment camps for the Japanese American.

      This terrorist attack was the action of a very, very small radical group that is roundly despised by many mid-East civilians

      Terrorist orginizations are global, Bin Laden(as an example) has a great many people in the origization he leads.

      At this time AFAIK, there has been no proof of whom is behind this terible and cowardly act.

      The mid east was the first reaction to the OK bombings.

    • http://kinya.com/view.html [kinya.com]

      Very black day around the world.
  • The fine line... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by digitac ( 24581 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:24PM (#2280748) Homepage
    How do we tell when we have crossed the line between 'Live and let live' and 'Kill or be killed'?

    If we retaliate, will it spawn more violence?

    If we fail to retaliate, do we invite more terrorism?

    • If we retaliate, will it spawn more violence?


      If we fail to retaliate, do we invite more terrorism?


      So which is worse? You tell me.

      Don't be scared -- that's what they want.

  • Evil is Evil (Score:5, Informative)

    by 5foot2 ( 24971 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:25PM (#2280753) Homepage
    My heart goes out to your friends families, and to you John. To all the people who have, or will lose someone do to this. I truely feel for you all.

    Lets not forget evil is evil and technology has nothing to do with that fact. It's just the means to an end for the evil.
  • by CritterNYC ( 190163 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:25PM (#2280761) Homepage
    I have heard first and second-hand accounts that the whole World Trade Center complex began evacuating after the 1st plane hit. A friend was on th 61st floor of tower 1, was asked to evacuate, was in the stairwell when the 2nd plane hit. He made it out ok. I just heard secondhand reports of people as high up as th 88th floor of tower 1 getting out ok. My friend's father (staying here tonight) was across the street in front of Deutsche Bank when the 2nd plane hit. He hid behind the big pillars holding up the balcony to avoid the debris and then got as far away from the towers as possible.

    Unfortunately, it looks like there were hundreds of people on the ground by the towers watching the fires burn, both when the 2nd plane hit... and when the 1st tower fell.

    I've been listing my friends who make it out safe on my website, as well as adding an information I get from 1st and 2nd hand accounts of people who were there. All said it was gruesome, even after just the 1st plane hit. Pictures and a live webcam are on my site. SOMEONE PLEASE MIRROR the terrorism and webcam subsite so I don't get Slashdotted.


    I will also be creating a site tonight to try and help people get in touch and find people affected by this. I will post more when I have it up.

    Best wishes for all everyone knows and loves to make it home safe.
    • Anyone with information on survivor rates, please post them!

      Any geeks in the Manhattan area could perhaps start collecting names and posting them. Perhaps Slashdot can sponsor a page to help collate the names.
  • Fortunately the folks I know in NYC are in different parts of LI. Have heard from them all. Before I got calls, however, it was kind of tense for a few hours.

    And don't worry about the cell phone. I leave mine at home half the time, or leave it under the front seat of my car, or someplace else. It is always on, and the batteries spend more time without a charge than with.

  • Notes for the day... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ron Harwood ( 136613 ) <<ac.xunil> <ta> <rdoowrah>> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:26PM (#2280771) Homepage Journal
    It's International Peace Day [un.org] and the anniversary of the start of the 1978 Camp David Peace Accord talks...

    It's ironic and sad...
    • anniversary of the start of the 1978 Camp David Peace Accord talks...

      It's ironic and sad...

      It's almost certianly NOT ironic, or unintentional. Remember, Camp David was a target as well.

      And thanks to all who flamed Katz for his drivel, saving me the bother and profanity.

  • :( (Score:3, Insightful)

    by garcia ( 6573 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:27PM (#2280783)
    The skyline in May when I brought my gf to see Ellis Island. This is a sad sad day. To think that our children will not see the skyline [lazylightning.org] as we once did :(

    I am not a believer in war and I am not a believer in the loss of lives at any cost. I am trying to understand the necessity of this but I can't.

  • especially the line about

    First of all I just want to say PLEASE GIVE BLOOD IF YOU CAN. It doesn't matter where in the states you are, it matters. To use a misplaced quote, 'Just do it'.

    Secondly, I express my deepest sorrows and condolences to anyone that has lost or had a loved one or friend injured in this attack. I does not need to be said how reproachful such a thing is.

    But to bring this back to a Slashdot discussion, I feel that this will mean that there will be quite a restriction on some civil liberties as a result of this. I have no idea what they will be but they can't be good. The only thing that I can picture at this time (I'm quite numb after this day so forgive me if I don't express myself rationally, and I've had a couple of beers so that might explain my spelling). Anyway the only thing that I can see are Soviet style travel restrictions. I don't know what else they can do. Well I do remember being in France years ago when police would stand on the corner with automatic weapons. However, this would not have helped prevent what happened today. But with the conservites in the whitehouse, who knows what will happen. But you know, I don't think it would matter if the Dems were in the WH either at this point. Unfortunately something symbolic will have to be done. But will it be the right thing?

    Sorry for the disconnected nature of this comment.

    One more thing: Where are the Clintons? NY is Hillary's state after all.

    Peace to all

  • by psychalgia ( 457201 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:28PM (#2280798) Homepage
    she lives at wagner edu, a short distance from the WTC buildings:

    I can't even begin to explain how I feel. Dana woke me up this
    morning telling me to look out my window. I couldn't believe what I
    saw. After standing amazed for a while, I saw the world trade center
    collapse. Amazing. It's like a disaster movie, I still can't
    believe it's happening.

    The entire floor is bonding and finding support from each other.
    Classes have been cancelled today, and probably tomorrow. There are
    buses going to local hospitals with blood donors. Many people have
    family that worked at the World Trade Center, and it's hard to get

    It's so strange to look out at the skyline... the smoke is starting
    to clear a bit, but how is it NY without those buildings?

    Thank you all for your support, I will keep trying to call, but the
    lines are really busy. "

  • by Angreallabeau ( 263172 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:29PM (#2280810) Homepage
    My name is Ryan Peterson and I live in Victoria, BC, Canada. I just wanted to let every American know that this has hit Canada hard. My entire office is in shocked and you have our good thoughts and prayers. As your neighbor, I know we will do anything you ask of us. Right now, all I can do is pray for you all.

    I know I can honestly say - that my entire nation is grieving for your loss.

    My thoughts and Prayers to you all.


    -Ryan Peterson
    Victoria, BC, Canada
  • by manuellabor2 ( 520763 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:29PM (#2280813)
    i have composed a buisness directory from a cached copy of http://www.onisland.com/wtc/bizdir/ and put it on my host here's the 583K HTML file (not recommended) http://janitor61.home.mindspring.com/list/bdir.htm here's a 24K ZIP file (recommended) http://janitor61.home.mindspring.com/list/bdir.zip mindspring will have my head for this my apologies if this has been posted in another form
  • Technology? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FTL ( 112112 ) <slashdot@neil.fraser.n a m e> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:30PM (#2280817) Homepage
    > Technology turns planes into weapons

    What technology? Guy walks into a plane, shoots pilots, and turns the yoke. These events could have happened at any time since the towers were first constructed 30 years ago. What is this rant about technology for?

  • Please. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by michaelo ( 224201 )
    Please don't get rassistic of all this. Please notice that this isn't an act of "the Palestinians" or something like this.

    This is the act of a bunch of mad people. Even if the percantage of mad persons might be higher in some peoples - it wasn't a people who did this.
    Please keep that in mind.
    • Please notice that this isn't an act of "the Palestinians" or something like this

      No, but notice that "the Palestinians" are dancing in the streets in joy. Kill them.

      Remember Amalek.


  • Bad timing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by autocracy ( 192714 ) <slashdot2007NO@SPAMstoryinmemo.com> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:30PM (#2280820) Homepage
    I'll go to the point of responding somewhat to the article in saying that it sounds much like somebody read Debt of Honor and put a spin on it when they did this.

    As for the rest, I'd think that now would be a good time to not post articles from JonKatz. Quite frankly his comments are usually rimshot, especially now. And it's not his right to comment that I'm complainin about - everyone has that right here. It's his right to be front page material. Slashdot has its ups, the prior 3 articles fitting there, and it has its downs - and this one is way down there. JonKatz (whether you be a person or an alternate account for some other name on the site), please read your articles before you think to put them on the site, and make sure that they both make sense, and have a point rather than are just there - and in some cases just there and insensitive.

  • by Yanna ( 188771 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:30PM (#2280826) Homepage
    This [shunn.net] website is meant for everyone who is caught in NYC and need to communicate their families/ friends that they are alive and ok.

    It is said that cell phones are unusable, so people can post their names to make a list of survivors.

  • Surely if the WTC has been hit twice they have a way of defending the pentagon. I know missiles seems almost as awful but what if it had been the whitehouse?
  • And yet... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by krmt ( 91422 ) <therefrmhere@yahoo . c om> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:31PM (#2280832) Homepage
    And yet it's still the people that matter, not the technology. We all know that, and despite this being a site for nerds, this is stuff that Matters. I don't know anyone in New York, and I'm all the way out here in California, but every five minutes I feel like I'm going to break out in tears just from what I've heard and read. I am scared, saddened, and humbled by this today.

    This isn't Armageddon. That sounds too much like the stupid movie and it cheapens the fact that someone somewhere is responsible for this. This is the real thing, and it's not about the planes or the black boxes or the television. It's about the people, because that's what Matters.
  • by Forkenhoppen ( 16574 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:31PM (#2280833)
    Google [google.com]'s front page now contains links to a few major news sites, along with links to their own mirrors of those sites. If you're trying to access a given news organization's reports on recent events, I suggest checking Google for a mirrored link.
  • After I found out just how bad the disaster was, I was afraid of stepping outside, for fear that going about my normal life would be somehow disrespectful. But we needed food (and I, for the fifth time in my life, needed some alcohol) so I decided to go to the bank and to the store.

    Here, in Portland, OR every one seems pretty normal. People are talking about it, and of course everyone is upset, but it seems like people are not going into hysterics. People seem to be going about their daily lives. I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

    the only thing that is really different is...no planes in the sky

    • Hello fellow Portlander.

      Its a good thing. We can't cower, or they win.

      we must also be sure we don't let our rights get taken away in the name of 'anti-terrorism'

      but for the immediate, find out when the Red-Cross wants you to give blood, and do so.

      I felt the same way when I left for work this morning, the best I could think to do was wear black, and put my flag at half-staff.

  • War (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FortKnox ( 169099 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:32PM (#2280846) Homepage Journal
    As you've probably read in the other articles (and which will eventually bleed into this article) is how people are shunning others comparing this to Pearl Harbor and war.

    I am going to agree with Jon, here (gasp!). This is how War is played in the twenty-first century. No one has the power to have a conventional war with the US, so it must result in terrorism and guerilla warfare. Its not pretty, but this is how war has evolved.

    Your first reaction is to use our strength to fight back, but as the days start to come between present and this tragedy, you'll find out how terrorist cells work.

    Their is very little communication between the cells, and the cells are very sparcely located. Result? Very difficult to find everyone in the organization, and very difficult to march an army in to win the war.

    We are at the beginning of a difficult war. Please don't get me wrong, I'd like to see each of these cowardly terrorist recieve slow and painful deaths, but we must be smart, rational, and alert to win.
  • Retaliation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by B. Samedi ( 48894 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:33PM (#2280853)
    We should strike back. That is not in question. But we should strike back against the proper targets. We should not just attack everything we consider a terrorist because we are going to hit the wrong targets. Then when that happens we simply make another enemy. But we shouldn't be talking attack at the moment. Let that wait till tomorrow. Today we should mourn and gather our dead.
  • by Ghoser777 ( 113623 ) <fahrenba AT mac DOT com> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:33PM (#2280861) Homepage
    When Pearl Harbor was bombed, we knew who to retailiate against. There was a target we could single out and mobilize against. Here we don't know who attacked us, or how we would retaliate. It's like swatting a fly in an open field; there may not be a lot of flies, but because they are so hard to pinpoint, or even hit (since they can move freely), swatting even some of the flies is probabalistic at best.

    I hope Bush has a good plan, because I have no idea what I would do in his shoes (except for maybe go back to Washington and make a comforting speech).

  • wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland@NOSpAm.yahoo.com> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:33PM (#2280867) Homepage Journal
    Technology turns planes into weapons.

    Wrong. People turn planes into weapons.
  • People went from amazement to shock, to anger. To put the Television on and see those kids and adults jumping around for joy that someone had struck such a blow. He we were standing on the Hudson thinking how awful it was, watching the towers fall and seeing someone else on the other side of the world jumping for joy.

    I really hope that we as a nation take the correct next step, what has happend is horrible but what could come because of it chills me to the bones. On one side I want to strike back, on the other I am scared straigh shitless of what will come from the actions that are sure to follow. Our world has changed, I mean mine and everyone else. Because where you want to see it or not this is going to have an impact on all of us, not just the US. Get ready, because someone is poking the sleeping giant and I fear what will happen.

    WTC pictures from the Hudson [mesmerism.net]
  • by JimTheta ( 115513 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:36PM (#2280904) Homepage

    Step off the drama, Katz. You haven't said anything particularly important or notable here; it's just the same "Pearl Harbor" hype that the established news outlets are pushing. That might work for the TV masses, but it's not appropriate here.

    If you can't post substance, then please don't post. I just get the impression that you only posted because you've got this delusion of yourself as an insightful person who has insightful things to say, and you thought there would be a hole here if your name could not be found.

    This article was not insightful. It was a rehash of every other "insightful" thing that has already been on the news today.


    (I know I'm gonna get troll-modded for this, but I need to say it. At least I used my real name, instead of AC'ing it, like so many others.)

  • by feed_me_cereal ( 452042 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:36PM (#2280907)

    I fear somthing worse than random beatings of asian-americans by intolerant morons screaming "give us back our pilot" as we experienced when a US spyplane crashed in china. Everyone must make a pledge to not only be rational today, not only be rational for months, but to defend rationalism, wherever you see it diminished. There will be a wave of racism and search for scapegoats like we've never seen. Make sure this enourmous tragedy doesn't get any worse. Do not prejudge any race or person as "terroist", and be sure not to tolerate anyone who does, before they actually have been convicted. Remember, the american way is under attack. Protect it. Don't give in to witch-hunts. The only call for blood we should worry about right now is the one from the red cross!

  • A new war (Score:2, Insightful)

    Let us all hope this is not the start of a new war because it will be a war that no one will ever win.

    I think this should be the end to violence. we do not need violence in our world, today has been yet an other proof of that, unfortionaly not the first such day.

    This has lead to nothing but suffering, and any retaliation will lead to nothing but suffering and the prospect of further retaliation.

    This is a tragedy no one can retaliate our way out of.

    I don't know who did this, and frankly i don't care that much, I know what i need to know about the people who did this. I will never be like them.

  • by -=OmegaMan=- ( 151970 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:37PM (#2280919)
    You high?

    How is this *remotely* a case of "technology" turning planes into weapons? It seems more to be fanatics turning planes into weapons.

    And fanatics are nothing new.
  • Not Pearl Harbor (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Fideaux! ( 44069 )
    I think that Daniel Schorr on NPR said it the best, "Pearl Harbor had a return address, Japan."

    Even if Bin Laden did do this, whom do we attack? Where do we send the troops?

    Pearl Harbor was clear cut. There was an enemy, and we knew were they were. It brought the horror of WWII home to America, and motivated and inspired the greatest wartime mobilization in history.

    This attack and the reprecussions will certainly lean towards fear, confusion and sadly, isolation.

    This is really a terrifying end to the American Century.

  • by Oestergaard ( 3005 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:40PM (#2280957) Homepage

    It this your new Perl Harbour, or is it Nagasaki and Hiroshima coming back to haunt you ?

    While the events today are of course a perverse display of violence aimed at civilians, no one should be ignorant of the fact that the U.S. themselves are not exactly virgin in the field of hitting very large amounts of civilians with no prior warning what so ever.

    Another thing: There is a lot of sentiment that this is Islamic terrorists, or the like. Remember Timothy Mc. Vein ? The press was blowing that one up as a mid-east terrorist attack, until *investigation* reveiled it was in fact a genuine misguided U.S. citizen.

    Think people. Don't get carried away in anger with a blind wish for vengence.

  • Cambridge/Boston Update

    - Both the AA and UA planes that hit the WTC came from Boston Logan and bound for LA

    - 56 and 81 passengers per plane

    - AA's family response number is 1-800-245-0999, UA's number is 1-800-932-8555

    - The pilot and crew of one of the planes were from the Boston area

    - Both planes stayed overnight in Logan airport the night before

    - Families of passengers can go to the Hyatt where an emergency center is being set up

    - CTO and co-founder of Akamai on one plane

    - Donate blood at Beth Israel, or 25 Stuart St, or other centers. Appointments not needed, but expect long lines. Don't hesitate to give tomorrow or later this week.

    - Cellular 911 seeing major congestion problems, PLEASE DON'T USE CELLULAR 911 UNLESS ABOSOLUTELY NECCESARY

    - Logan Airport was surprised about the incident - claims to have known anything only after crash

    - Tall buildings evacuated, including Hancock and Prudential

    - Federal employees sent home

    - Most non-critical city employees sent home

    - Many colleges closing

    - Most schools, including after-school programs, not closed

    - T rides for free, extra capacity hauled out to accomidate people going home

    - Northeast Amtrack shut down, including Boston-DC

    - 9th district primary elections going on as scheduled

    - MIT not cancelling classes, but attendance is optional, cars not allowed to enter inside campus, vigil at 5pm in front of Student Center

    - No major police presense or activities (yet)

    - Otherwise a nice day, sunny and a good wind. Perfect day for sailing if I weren't feeling so bad. People crying and running around the corridors. Quiet everywhere. Please don't rush to conclusions and bomb anybody until somebody takes claim and it can be substantiated. Note that Taliban, Hamas, DFLP, Jihad, and Arafat have explicitely denied involvement.

  • by sportal ( 145003 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:48PM (#2281061)
    Here are some more World Trade Center Photos. http://www.nycwireless.net/Images/wtc2/ [nycwireless.net]

    #1467 - 1472 were taken before the second tower collapsed.
    #1473 - 1474 is the National Guard deployed on Lexington Ave.
    #1775 - 1746 are people trying to get out of Manhattan waiting at a bus stop.
    #1477 - 1490 is lower Manhattan at 3pm.
    #1491 - 1496 is two blocks from the world trade center at 3pm.
    #1497 is a fire boat on the Hudson river.
    #1499 - 1503 is the world trade center an surrounding buildings
    #1505 is a fire truck damaged by the collapse 2 blocks away from the WTC.
    #1507 - 1510 is the WTC.
    #1511 - 1512 is a neighboring building.
    #1513 - 1515 is the surrounding area to the WTC.

    Everyone is free to forward these pictures, and use them without permission. Mirrors are welcome. --Terry

  • For an excellent and moving piece - you may catch flak for your writings from all sorts of people, even myself aat times. But you and the rest of the /. team have done a great job today in filling a void left when the news sites crumbled.

    As a fellow American - I thank you.

  • by nweaver ( 113078 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @04:56PM (#2281182) Homepage

    In the early aftermath of the heinous attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, there is much speculation that this attack had to be the work of a significant, organized organization. Although we desire to believe that this attack required a large group, one that we could potentially retaliate against, an attack of this magnitude requires only a few individuals and a very small amount of preparation.

    It only takes a couple of armed individuals to commandeer a plane in the air once they get a weapon aboard, while a few minutes thought outside an airport checkpoint will reveal a half dozen methods a terrorist could use. Once the terrorists gain control over the plane, it is again straightforward for the terrorists to conduct a controlled crash: readily available flight simulation programs are very powerful, capable of providing the necessary training for a targeted crash.

    Thus, a dozen reasonably intelligent zealots, willing to die for their cause, could easily prepare, train, plan, and execute an attack on this scale in under a week. What will we do if it turns out that it was a small group? What will we do if there is nobody left to blame?

  • by martyb ( 196687 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @05:01PM (#2281244)

    First off, my heartfelt condolences to those who have lost family, friends, and loved ones in this tragedy.

    I met with a number of friends at lunch. Some had loved ones who they had been unable to reach to see if they were okay.
    I felt powerless over what had happened, and indeed there is nothing anyone can do to change what has already happened. But, I did what I could, today. I offered a shoulder to cry on. I encouraged them to have hope, to know that not knowing does not mean the worst. That there is already a tremendous pulling together of support. Calls for blood donations, people reaching out to friends they hadn't talked with for a long while, and countless other acts across the country and the world where people offer support to one another.

    This tragedy can become a rallying point, an opportunity to show the world what we are made of here in the US of A. The Oklahoma bombing, the flooding of the Mississippi River, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes. We are a people that has a long history of reaching out to help.

    A proverb I've liked: "If I cannot do great things, then I will do small things in great ways." (Don't know who wrote it, sorry.) Each person who lends a hand, a shoulder, a caring heart does something tangible. And all of those seemingly small acts, when taken together, can show the world, and ourselves, that we are greater, MUCH greater, than these attacks.

  • Foreign Policy 2.0 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zen Mastuh ( 456254 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @05:14PM (#2281385)

    It is universally accepted that today's events are tragic. Thousands of innocent people were killed and the suffering will encircle their family, friends, and others. Our nation is living in fear.

    If this turns out to be the work of a Palestinian terrorist organization (and not a decorated U.S. military veteran), most Americans will rally for retaliation with the full support of our allies. This is also tragic, for we smite Jesus of Nazareth, Ghandi, and all other prophets who have tried to save us from our hatred and anger. At the same time, we commit an act that--in their hearts--must be avenged. The cycle of violence will continue, destroying more innocent lives.

    If we can all learn a lesson today, I hope it is this: that all "leaders" assume responsibility for their actions and stop this millenia-long practice of littering the ground with the bodies of their followers. The time has come to upgrade our foreign policy. When political leaders disagree, let them face off in pistol duels.

  • Ghandi said, (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Moray_Reef ( 75398 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @05:55PM (#2281823) Homepage
    'An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.'

    M.K. Ghandi

    This following is only a sig.
  • by ChaoticCoyote ( 195677 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @05:59PM (#2281890) Homepage

    Suicide is a violation of Islamic law as defined by the Koran. These terrorists are not representative of Islam. As Tom Clancy put it on CNN just now -- they *are* fools.

    Do you realize what kind of hell on Earth you are advocating when you ignorantly lump people into illogical categories? Such limited "thinking" is the root of sectarian violence around the world, people being murdered simply because they are atached to an artificial label: Protestant or Catholic, Jew or Arab, Black or White.

    Those of you who declare "jihad" on all of Islam -- you are no better than the animals who murdered the innocent this morning. Go crawl back in your hole, while the rest of us look for light at the end of the tunnel...

  • Children (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Xouba ( 456926 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @06:37PM (#2282280) Homepage
    >psychologists are showing up at school bus stops to deal
    >with kids whose parents aren't coming home.

    My god.

    I didn't realize the tragedy of this all until I read this. I was feeling
    quite sorry for all the dead, but the real tragedy is for the still living.
    Just imagine you're a 5-10 old kid. Imagine what would mean to you. It
    hurts just to try.

    Who's the one to tell these kids why their parents are late today?

    I think I just couldn't.

    who just yesterday thought that life was not so bad.

  • At least the aftermath of Pearl Harbor was easy to grasp and propose solutions for: Japanese national forces attacked American national assets, so the US government sent forces to pound Japan into submission. But we do not have a common enemy to unify against and revile. We do not have an island or a country at which to direct our anger and our weapons.

    We weren't attacked by a known enemy. It is more like being mugged and beaten in broad daylight, and not even getting a look at the bastard. And to top it, everyone around you acts as though they didn't see a thing. And this is on a previoiusly unimaginable scale.

    So what do we do? Years of painstaking detective work resulting in a trial in the Hague? Anticlimactic and unsatisfying. Nuke the entire Middle East into one big godforsaken glass parking lot? Very satisfying. And it would probably solve the question of Jerusalem by making it uninhabitable for tens of thousands of years. But its a stupid, knee-jerk idea. Don't forget all the cries of "Islamic fundamentalist terrorism" immediately after OKC. Invasion and occupation? Volleys of cruise missles? Impractical and expensive, not to mention where and against who?

    Right now it would be a relief to go down to the recruiting office and say "I wanna go kill me some fuckin' (insert demographic), sir" But all I could do was drop off a pint at the bloodbank and stare at Peter Jennings and the Talking Head Band all day.

    btw, i do not mean to criticize Jon Katz, just the comparison to Pearl Harbor. He's not the first or only one to mention it - he just gave me an opening to bring it up. I sincerely hope he (and all concerned) finds his people alive and well.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"