September 15, 2001 

Today Dineen and I attended a funeral service for a woman I had never met. As I looked around the room, I saw the devastation of her family, her friends, and her co-workers. Mourners spoke of the lives she touched and changed forever. The husband she left behind wept, and I wondered if he could ever recover.

My sadness and my anger deepened with every moment we were there.

On Wednesday, I was afraid that our government would respond with a symbolic gesture, a token bombing of aspirin factories and empty training camps. But I am relived to hear that our leaders are as angry as they should be. They realize that we are at war - and that we have been at war since 1993 or earlier, even if we never realized it. Our enemies have been warring against us with every bomb they detonate within our borders, and every battleship they bomb in port or elsewhere. Only now that the devastation has been so horrific have we chosen to act as if we are at war.

What lies ahead cannot be regarded as a "response." It will not be justice, nor will it be revenge. It will be, and must be, a resolve to eliminate those who have the will and the ability to strike us like happened on September 11. As Henry Kissinger said this week, we must destroy the system used to wage war against us. As Colin Powell said, we must tear them out branch and root. Whether it was Osama bin Laden, Iraq, or some other group does not matter. We must adopt the policy of the ancient Romans who sought to end the Punic Wars against Carthage. They knew that to protect their citizens, Carthage had to be destroyed- Cartago delenda est. The Romans invaded Carthage, tore the city down, and sowed its fields with salt, so that their enemy could never rise up again to strike them. America faces the same task today.

Our actions should come not from anger, but from coolly rational resolve to never again be victims. We should seek not justice, but the elimination of threats against us. Finally, our nation appears prepared to carry this out. W

 September 13, 2001 

An eyewitness account of the destruction: like an orb photo essay W

Recycled LinkBookmark: - hoax debunking. (Link via Matt.) W

While reading news of the tragedy at work, I quickly realized that my work computer didn't have the necessary cookie to opt out of the X-10 pop-up ads. So here is the URL again to shut the ads down, effectively forever:

Powell pledges to rip out terrorism "branch and root."

As the country talked of war, Powell moved well beyond his pledge Tuesday to bring the attackers to justice. "It's going after and dealing with the sources of support that they have, whether that source of support might come from a host country or other organizations that provide them," Powell told reporters. "We have to make sure that we go after terrorism and get it by its branch and root."

We won't be bombing aspirin factories this time. We cannot repeat the poll-driven mistakes of the past. W

 September 12, 2001 

If you're planning to display a flag, here are some guidelines on how to display it properly:

When the flag is displayed in a manner other than by being flown from a staff, it should be displayed flat, whether indoors or out. When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag's own right, that is, to the observer's left. When displayed in a window it should be displayed in the same way, that is with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street.

Displaying the "union," or blue field, to the observer's left looks wrong, so most people flip it, but in fact it is correct. W

For the first time in its history, NATO may be ready to invoke Article V of the NATO Charter. NATO was originally created as a defensive alliance. Article V states that the member nations of NATO will treat an armed attack against one as an armed attack against all:

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

It was originally meant to deter a Soviet invasion; now it means that NATO regards the perpetrators of Tuesday's bloodshed as a common enemy of war. I don't think I'm being alarmist when I suggest that this is very likely the beginning of World War III. W

Two years ago, bin Laden made a vow to kill Americans. America has yet to make a reciprocal vow. W

Driving into downtown D.C. today, I saw military police vehicles, Hum-Vee's, parked about every two or three blocks or so. I know why they're there; if up to me, I would have approved their deployment; but even so, it is chilling and disheartening that they must be there. W

Among the dead: Washington attorney Karen Kincaid, a partner at Dineen's firm, who was on board the Dulles - Los Angeles flight that crashed into the Pentagon. She was remembered by her friends both as an up-and-coming star and one of the nicest human beings they knew. W

 September 11, 2001 

Ted Olson, Solicitor General of the United States, lost his wife today: Barbara Olson Called from Plane During Takeover. It seems the hijackers were using "knife-like" devices, which makes sense - ceramic or plastic would be pretty easy to get through a metal detector, I imagine. W

Here's a retrospective on everything2: The 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center:

Our firm was on the 96th floor of tower one (the northern one, with the big antenna on top). We were all sitting at our desks typing away, when there was a very loud yet muffled BOOM. The building shook, enough to knock things off the edges of a desk, and the lights dimmed briefly.
As I sat at my desk, thinking wtf?, I watched half the company run to the windows. Apparently in everyone's minds the only thing that could produce such a boom-and-shake was a plane hitting the building. (This is not entirely unprecedented, btw, since the Empire State Building was hit by a plane in the 1940s.) So lots of people run to the windows and look down, expecting to see, well, half a plane sticking out of one of the floors.

The author left the World Trade Center shortly after that. W

Before the building collapsed, this news report chilled me:

A person who answered the phone on the trading floor at interdealer-broker Cantor Fitzgerald, located near the top of the World Trade Center, said: "We're f***ing dying," then hung up. There was screaming and yelling in the background. A follow up call was not answered.

The perpetrators can rest assured - follow up calls will be answered soon. W

Dineen and I both left work early this afternoon, after the initial crush of public servants had oozed out the clogged arties of the city. Now that we're home, we've been catching up on e-mail and voice messages, assuring our friends and relatives that we are fine. But It's still pretty hard to take right now. Even seeing the pictures, I can't believe that the World Trade Center, and the thousands of people who were there for work this morning, are gone. Even though I saw the smoke pouring out of the Pentagon as we drove across the river, I can't believe that terrorists could hijack a plane and ram it into the command center of our nation's defenses.

Now comes the hard part - how we react. If we take any actions that restrict our essential freedoms, we have lost.

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

As we respond, we must preserve that which separates American from all other nations.

What is most sickening to me is the images I see today on TV - not of destruction, but of sub-humans in other nations who celebrate the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians. They dance, they cheer, they wave their flags. Their God does not celebrate death, and by doing so themselves, these not-humans embrace evil. The world condemns them, and so will God. Even if retaliation never arrives - and it will - they are already dead for celebrating evil.  W

Oh my god.

I've tried calling Mom to let her know we're ok, but the phone lines are jammed.

Mom: we're ok.

Everything below this line is before everything changed.

------------------------------- W

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