“”
“[W]e kept hearing all this stuff ever since September 11th, you know, the Muslim street is going to explode in anger. Well, it finally did, and it was in Paris, not in the Middle East.”
“”
“The only reasons for these facilities are to subvert domestic and foreign law. And no one gives a shit. And it does not makes us safer to have a clandestine service indiscriminately detaining, abusing, and torturing people around the world in secret prisons.”
“”
“Some argue that since our actions are not as horrifying as Al Qaeda’s, we should not be concerned. When did Al Qaeda become any type of standard by which we measure the morality of the United States? We are America, and our actions should be held to a higher standard, the ideals expressed in documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.”
Capt. Ian Fishback, 82nd Airborne
“”
“If I had a nickel for every No. 2 and No. 3 they’ve arrested or killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, I’d be a millionaire.”
“”
“I think it puts into question all of the Homeland Security and Northern Command planning for the last four years, because if we can’t respond faster than this to an event we saw coming across the Gulf for days, then why do we think we’re prepared to respond to a nuclear or biological attack?”
“”
“You are a very small man. And like other small men who act as you have acted, you have a Napoleonic complex and a need to compensate for what you lack. Little person, big bomb.”
“”
“As the investigation progressed, it became obvious that the bomber’s intention was to kill and maim as many innocent people as possible, including children of all ages who were enjoying a Friday night concert in Centennial Park. There were no religious, political or environmental issues involved with placing the bomb in a large crowd of innocent bystanders. The placing of the bomb was a gross act of cowardice by a contemptible domestic terrorist.”
“”
“As a Christian, I realize that forgiveness will come. But, for now, this is about you and addressing the damage that you caused to life, property, and to the reputation of our great country. You based your actions on some sort of religious belief that I find sick, twisted and demonic. I will always be haunted by the memory of Ms. Hawthorne in a pool of blood, as well as the sight of her daughter, Fallon, crying out for her mother while lying in pain because shrapnel had ripped through her body, exposing flesh, blood and bone.”
“”
“I get to go on being a part of society. I get to laugh out loud and have others laugh with me. I get to speak up and be heard and I will! I will trump your evilness with kindness and love for the remainder of my days.”
“”
“The original al Qaeda are hiding in the mountains, not a technologically very well-equipped place. Iraq is an urban combat zone. Technology is a big part of that. I don’t know how to distinguish the Internet now from the military campaign in general in Iraq.”
“”
“You don’t have to be Muslim, or poor, or an extremist, to feel the romantic pull of terrorism. You can be a middle-class American and a lapsed Catholic whose grandmother happened to come from Donegal.”
“”
“I am not being profiled because of racism but rather because Islamist fanatics have declared war on my society. They are the dark power that leads me to an experience in which my individuality is corroded. This is tragic; but it strengthens my resolve to support the war that seeks to destroy terrorism.”
“”
“Al-Qaeda does not exist in Pakistan any more.”
“”
“Consider the narrative of Saddam. There were basically three options. One, do business with him. That equals propping up un-Islamic tyrants. Two, use sanctions against him. That equals murdering Muslim children. And three, topple him. Ditto plus. All options, bar none, are added to the Grievance.”
“”
“If it is the plight of the Palestinians that drives them, why, every time it looks as if Israel and Palestine are making progress, does the same ideology perpetrate an outrage that turns hope back into despair? If it is Afghanistan that motivates them, why blow up innocent Afghans on their way to their first-ever election? If it is Iraq that motivates them, why is the same ideology killing Iraqis by terror in defiance of an elected Iraqi government? What was 11 September 2001 the reprisal for?”
“”
“I can understand, but never accept, suicide bombing in Iraq or Israel as part of a nationalist struggle. But when a British Muslim citizen, nurtured by that society, just indiscriminately blows up his neighbors and leaves behind a baby and pregnant wife, to me he has to be in the grip of a dangerous cult or preacher — dangerous to his faith community and to the world.”
“”
“We seem to have pulled off the rare feat of breeding suicide bombers determined to attack the very society that incubated them; and the question is why. Why does America import its suicide bombers, while we produce our own?”
“”
“Yesterday I read the categorical ‘invading Iraq clearly made us a target’ from someone who continued, ‘it diverted our attention and resources from the very people that we should have been fighting — al-Qaeda’, but who just after 9/11 argued that if the US starts bombing Afghanistan, young Muslims will almost certainly rally behind the Taleban and Osama bin Laden in a new jihad. In other words Iraq diverted our resources away from something they shouldn’t have been dedicated to in the first place, because that first thing would lead to a new jihad.”
“”
“The idea that al-Qaeda was no threat until we created it does not stand the slightest scrutiny of events in the 1990s — from the first attack on the World Trade Centre in 1993, to the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000 and, of course, the September 11 atrocity a year later. And no one seriously thinks that only America was in their sights. The ideology of Islamism doesn’t stop at the superpower’s borders; its ambitions sweep through Europe; indeed that is where it is breeding so many of its jihadists.”
“”
“The British are responsible for destroying the caliphate system. They are the ones who created the Palestinian problem. They are the ones who created the Kashmiri problem. They are the ones who put the arms embargo on the Muslims of Bosnia so that 2 million Muslims were killed.”
Osama bin Laden, circa 2000
“”
“[S]orry, old chaps, you are dealing with an enemy that does not want anything specific, and cannot be talked back into reason through anger management or round-table discussions. Or, rather, this enemy does want something specific: to take full control of your lives, dictate every single move you make round the clock and, if you dare resist, he will feel it his divine duty to kill you.”
“”
“American TV — particularly the all-news cable guys — is constantly hyping things up with talk of the potential for further attacks, while the BBC was trying to calm things down and reassure viewers that things were under control. As a psychiatrist, I have no doubt about the harmful effects of the former vs. the helpful effects of what I saw happening on the BBC.”
“”
“This should make us all realise that the perpetrators of these crimes do not believe that any life has value: Christian or Muslim, Jew or Hindu, Buddhist or Sikh. They value no race either. Rather, they revel only in the indiscriminate killing of the innocent, and thus we are all their victims.”
“”
“At King’s Cross the professionalism and control of the emergency services was impressive, and the mood was one of calm, as if they’d managed to suck the terror out of terrorism.”
“”
“Once he comes to reconcile where that devil exists in his mind, he’s going to realize all along that that devil was him.”
Pat Rudolph, Eric’s mother
“”
“The death march of homicidal zombies in Iraq is trying to push us toward accepting the idea that acts of unrestrained violence against other human beings is now a normal part of politics. It is not normal. Any civilized person should want to resist the normalization of civilian killing as a political act — whether in Iraq, Spain, Indonesia or Kashmir.”
“”
“When people like myself say American values must be emulated and America is a bastion of freedom, we get Guantanamo Bay thrown in our faces. When we talk about the America of Jefferson and Hamilton, people back home say to us: ‘That is not the America we are dealing with. We are dealing with the America of imprisonment without trial.’”
“”
“The truth hurts. But Eric Robert Rudolph, the man who had no apologies to make when he was pleading guilty to bombing women’s clinics, gay nightclubs and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, is the ideological cousin to Randall Terry, the so-called ‘spokesman’ for the Schindler family and the media darling of the Terri Schiavo debacle of three weeks ago.”
“”
“Inasmuch as Osama bin Laden and his organization defend terrorism as legal and try to base it on the Quran ... they are committing the crime of ‘istihlal’ and thus become apostates that should not be considered Muslims or treated as such.”
“”
“If we’re exporting detainees for the express purpose that they be tortured under interrogation by another regime, it’s a terrible idea. Any short-term gain that might come out of it won’t be worth the long-term ill impression created by it. We’re promoting democracy across the region, and you can’t have torture by a dictatorial government. You just can’t do it. If you’re an idealist and you believe in democracy, it’s bad policy. It’s hypocritical, and it will blow up in your face.”
“”
“Because Muslims have strayed from moderation, we are now suffering from this dangerous phenomenon of branding people infidels and inciting Muslims to rise against their leaders to cause instability. The reason for this is a delinquent and void interpretation of Islam based on ignorance ... faith does not mean killing Muslims or non-Muslims who live among us, it does not mean shedding blood, terrorizing or sending body parts flying.”
“”
“Bin Laden knows nothing about Iraq; he is an extremist who lives in caves. He lost 75 percent of his support in Iraq by making everyone who votes in elections an infidel.”
“”
“What is more comforting to the terrorists around the world: the failure to pass the 9/11 legislation because we lacked ‘a majority of the majority,’ or putting aside partisan politics to enact tough new legislation with America’s security foremost in mind?”
“”
“Later, I learned that the Rotterdam police had destroyed a street mural featuring the words, ‘Thou shalt not kill,’ a picture of an angel, and the date of Mr. van Gogh’s murder because the leader of a nearby mosque reportedly considered it racist.”
“”
“Even the most liberal society is illiberal when it is a question of survival. The Dutch see those who dream of Europe under a revived caliphate as a threat to their way of life [...] Not even the most tolerant people on earth can tolerate the Islamists.”
“”
“Bin Laden’s remarks show how poorly he understands America and Americans. His words will have no influence on the election or American policy. After all, if we won’t listen to our friends and allies’ advice we certainly aren’t going to listen to his.”
“”
“Elsewhere, Bin Laden has vowed to bankrupt the US. Given Bush’s prescription drug plan and Kerry’s proposed ‘reforms,’ all we can say is, back of the line, buddy.”
“”
“These experts said Bin Laden appeared to be intensifying his campaign to ‘re-brand’ himself in the minds of Muslims worldwide, and become known more as a political voice than a global terrorist.”
Josh Meyer, LA Times
“”
“Al Qaeda ... no longer exerts centralized control over a network of operational cells. It has rather become the inspirational hub of a global movement, fomenting terrorism that it neither funds nor directs. Internal government assessments describe this change with a disquieting metaphor: They say jihadist terrorism is metastasizing.’”
“”
“It is we who have not succeeded in giving their existence value and meaning, and have not made life better for them than death. We have incited them to die for the sake of Allah, and have not taught them how to live for the sake of Allah. How long will we make life hell for our young people?”
“”
“I don’t know if it’s distance, or just the passing of time, but I notice how muted the sorrow is. There’s a passivity, a lack of passion to the observances. I knew it would come, in the same way that a friend told me quite presciently that day back in 2001 that ‘this is all going to be political debates someday’ and, well, someday’s already here.”
“”
“I am angry at the same time that the political fringes in America are taking over this election. I’m mad because they are distracting us from the real enemy, the one who struck that day, the one who killed those 2,727 whose names are being read right now, the one who turned America into his battleground; they are making us forget the real war. I’m mad because they are distracting us from the real work we should be about in this democracy. I’m mad because they are turning into America into their battleground, too.”
“”
“What do a Russian ten year old, a poor black farmer in Darfur, an elderly pensioner in Israel, a stockbroker in New York, and a U.N. aid worker in Afghanistan have in common? In the last three years, they have all died in similar ways: Unarmed and civilian, they were murdered by a common cowardly method fueled by a fascist ideology.”
“”
“Why don’t you meet Osama bin Laden, invite him to Brussels or the White House and engage in talks, ask him what he wants and give it to him so he leaves you in peace? Why don’t you do that? You find it possible to set some limitations in your dealings with these bastards, so why should we talk to people who are child-killers?”
“”
“Self-cure starts with self-realisation and confession. We should then run after our terrorist sons, in the full knowledge that they are the sour grapes of a deformed culture.”
“”
“We showed weakness, and weak people are beaten.”
“”
“I remember a couple of days after September 11 writing in some column or other that weepy candlelight vigils were a cop-out: the issue wasn’t whether you were sad about the dead people but whether you wanted to do something about it. Three years on, that’s still the difference. We can all get upset about dead children, but unless you’re giving honest thought to what was responsible for the slaughter your tasteful elegies are no use.”
“”
“We can’t call those who take schoolchildren as hostages our own. We cannot tolerate in our midst those who abduct journalists, murder civilians, explode buses; we cannot accept them as related to us, whatever the sufferings they claim to justify their criminal deeds. These are the people who have smeared Islam and stained its image. We cannot clear our names unless we own up to the shameful fact that terrorism has become an Islamic enterprise; an almost exclusive monopoly, implemented by Muslim men and women.”
“”
“The real metaphor for the terrorist war on civilization is not wide-bodied aircraft crashing into the twin towers. It is mortars firing from the courtyard of the Imam Ali Shrine by men who don’t even sandbag their positions, secure in the knowledge that they can slay men too decent to fire back.”
“”
“The UN imposes all sorts of penalties on all those who contradict its religion. It issues documents and statements that openly contradict Islamic belief, such as the International Declaration for Human Rights, considering all religions are equal, and considering that the destruction of the [Bamiyan Buddha] statues constitutes a crime.”
“”
“Al-Qa’ida had sought right from the start to foster confrontation between the United States and the Islamic World. I recall Shaykh Usama Bin Ladin telling us: We as an organization cannot continue with the qualitative operations. So we have to draw the United States into a confrontation with all the Islamic peoples.”
“”
“Two recent studies ... state that the American public is not psychologically prepared for the next attack. Part of this responsibility belongs to the press, part to government leaders and part to the American public. This fact should surprise no one. We are in new territory. Leaders do not want to frighten the public, particularly in an election year when it could make the incumbents look incompetent, and the population would rather not think the unthinkable.”
“”
“Unless the new man has control over the whole intelligence budget of government, you simply have added a new layer of bureaucracy and set it up to fail. Every past proposal ... has foundered on the refusal of the Pentagon to give up an inch of control of its own intelligence spending.”
“”
“Anyone can seek a ruling from his favorite sheikh in Mecca. In the old days, one sought a fatwa from the sheikh who had the best knowledge. Now it is sought from the one with the best Web site.”
“”
“The real problem of Spain for Al Qaeda is that we are a neighbor of Arab countries — Morocco and Algeria — and we are a model of economy, democracy, and secularism. We support the transformation and Westernization of the Middle East. We defend the transition of Morocco from a monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. We are allies of the enemies of Al Qaeda in the Arab world. This point is not clearly understood by the Spanish people. We are a menace to Al Qaeda just because of who we are.”
“”
“You know, when members of both houses go home for this recess, the folks back home are going to say: ‘Why are you home? Why aren’t you in Washington dealing with the recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission?’ I’ve already heard this in a few conversations with people back in Connecticut, who said: ‘Get this done quickly. It’s our safety and well-being at stake.’”
“”
“No longer is it going to be a sleepy quiet August around here. The American people expect us to act. This is a bipartisan commission that unanimously agreed on some very important recommendations. We need to respond to that, and we do not have the luxury of waiting months.”
“”
“So do not blame us for what will happen and we apologize to you in advance if you are among those killed.”
“”
“We will know that we have established the predicate for waging an effective intelligence war when the next time something goes wrong, it is corrected quickly, but without an orgy of groveling self-abuse. Unfortunately, by then George Tenet will likely be a distant memory indeed.”
“”
“I was in New York on 9-11 when the towers came down. I lived 14 blocks from the twin towers. And when they came down, I thought that the world had ended. And I remember walking around in a daze for weeks. And mayor Guliani had said to the city, ‘You’ve got to get back to normal. We’ve got to show that things can change and get back to what they were.’ And one day I was coming out of my building, and on my stoop, was a man who was crouched over, and he appeared to be in deep thought. And as I got closer to him I realized, he was playing with himself. And that’s when I thought, ‘You know what, we’re gonna be OK.’”
“”
“[The Geneva Convention] basically states you gotta treat all war prisoners with a shred of humanitarian dignity or you can’t call yourself a fair and civilized Christian superpower, and if you don’t follow those basic rules you are, in essence, no different from the terrorists and the dictators you claim to abhor and you are bombing the crap out of.”
“”
“It is a mistake to see the debate on how to deal with terrorism along antiquated political lines. Partisan politics have played a role, but for the most part the battle to do what is necessary to win this war has freely crossed traditional party boundaries. One’s beliefs about tax policy and social benefits have little to do with how to deal with the terrorist threat being generated in the Islamic world.”
“”
“We can be certain that Zionism is behind everything.”
Prince Abdullah, on attacks in Saudi Arabia
“”
“[Bin Laden] tried to make a peace deal. When terrorism happens, you will only have yourselves to blame.”
“”
“We tell Kim Jong-Il that if he so much as glances in the direction of anyone remotely associated with Osama bin Laden, including the Pakistani ISI or the ‘government’ of Saudi Arabia, we will make his country look like a jamboree of Osirak reenactors.”
“”
“We don’t make a distinction between civilians and non-civilians, innocents and non-innocents. Only between Muslims and unbelievers. And the life of an unbeliever has no value. It has no sanctity.”
“”
“Someday someone will die and the public will not understand why we were not more effective and throwing every resource we had at certain problems.”
New York FBI Agent, in an e-mail to FBI headquarters, Aug. 29, 2001
“”
“Al-Qa’ida does not wage wars similar to other wars ... Al-Qa’ida is completely willing to sustain the war for many years ... The war will be won by the side which will be able to bear the pain longer.”
“”
“It has been a few days, and I am still not sleeping well. I’m not afraid exactly, but scenes from that day come to me. For our mental health, the doctors at the hospital told us not to watch the television or listen to the radio for a few days. To tell you the truth, this thing just happened, and I have not really been able to think much about it. This is good. It’s just best not to think about something that has no explanation. Why think about a question that has no answer?”
“”
“Listening to the 9/11 hearings, it sounded as if commissioners would have been happy if someone in an intelligence agency had sent Osama bin Laden an exploding cigar or found someone to put prussic acid in his shoes, whereas in 1975 or ‘76, that was looked at with horror.”
“”
“The very genuine grievances suffered by Palestinians seem to have nurtured an illogical expectation that both sides are bound to different rules of war, that somehow, if a Palestinian leader calls for young men to blow themselves up among Israeli civilians, a retaliation in kind against that leader is unacceptable [...] Yassin and Hamas declared war on Israel, an obviously stronger adversary, and they got war in return. Did they really expect a lawsuit instead?”
“”
“Fifty years from now the ludicrous accusations of individual culpability being tossed around this week will be remembered for only one reason: that such self-serving theatrics delayed the time when we came together as a nation to more fully prepare for the worse terrorist onslaughts that are still ahead of us.”
“”
“Your government failed you. Those entrusted with protecting you failed you. And I failed you. We tried hard, but that doesn’t matter, because we failed. And for that failure, I would ask, once all the facts are out, for your understanding and for your forgiveness.”
“”
“Leaving aside this issue, everybody says they are in favour of co-ordination but nobody is in favour of being co-ordinated. The reflex of interior ministers is to jealously protect their powers on the national level even though the fight against terrorism is a global one. I don’t know how much will change after March 11.”
“”
“Can we dialogue with those who desire only our death and nothing but our death? Dialogue about what? The manner in which we will be assassinated?”
“”
“We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you.”
Hussein Massawi, Hezbollah
“”
“Al Qaeda’s declaration of jihad had, as its first demand, the withdrawal of American troops from Saudi Arabia. Osama bin Laden does not seem to have noticed, but the troops are gone -- yet the jihad continues. The reasons come and go, the violence endures.”
“”
“These are people [Pakistan’s ISI] who’ve done nothing but covert operations: One, screw India. Two, deceive America. Three, expand Pakistan’s influence in the Islamic community. And, four, continue to spread nuclear technology. Musharraf is trying to put out the fire with the help of the people who started the fire.”
“”
“We can pack up and leave and look for another land, just like what has happened in so many lands of jihad. Our enemy is growing stronger day after day, and its intelligence information increases. By God, this is suffocation!”
“”
“We continue to strike at America and we expect that our next blow will cause the collapse of the situation (in Saudi Arabia) due to vengeful response, the first result of which will be the direct occupation of the oil sources and America’s entrance (into Saudi Arabia) with the aim of changing the situation from its foundations.”
“”
“If two gay guys want to get married, it’s none of my business. I could care less. More power to them. I’m happy when people fall in love. But if some idiot foreign terrorist wants to blow up their wedding to make a political statement, I would rather kill him before he can do it, or have my country kill him before he can do it, instead of having him do it and punishing him after the fact. If that makes me a right-wing fanatic, I will bask in that assignation.”
“”
“They think America is the same country that withdrew from regions where it incurred heavy casualties, such as Vietnam, Beirut in 1982, and Somalia. They refuse to see the recent history of the US in Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and in the war to liberate Kuwait. Americans weren’t fazed by suicide bombings. Trucks laden with deadly bombs and driven by suicide bombers failed to scare them. Instead, such attempts have steeled their resolve to accomplish their mission in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places.”
“”
“If you walk away from Iraq, the jihadis will follow you wherever you go. You may think you’ve left them behind, but they will pursue you.”
Singapore Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew
“”
“What we need is an implicit understanding that despite our disagreements we are on the same side. Because we are on the same side. Murderous fanatics are trying to kill us. Save the talk of ‘enemies’ and ‘evil’ for them.”
“”
“There remain exponentially more questions than answers concerning Saddam Hussein’s relationship to al Qaeda. Among them, it is a mere matter of detail to know why a native Iraqi, thanks to a contact in the Iraqi embassy, was in a position to escort two September 11 hijackers to a critical planning meeting, or why he possessed contact information for Osama bin Laden’s ‘best friend.’ But the overarching fact -- that Saddam and al Qaeda had a relationship -- can no longer be seriously disputed.”
“”
“Bin Laden’s terrorist attacks are completely against Islam, completely contrary to the conventions of jihad and without any justification whatsoever. His grievances, whatever they may be, cannot be addressed by acts of injustice and violence against innocent people in America.”
“”
“Part of the problem is the investment we’ve made in the idea that the Americans had it coming, or at least are only making the problem worse by fighting back. This makes it even more difficult to swallow that we too are targets. The implications are too shattering for our worldview, so we take the easy way out, and downplay the danger. The terrorists will be more than willing to allow us this illusion - up to the very moment they strike.”
“”
“It is not the American war machine that should be of the utmost concern to Muslims. What threatens the future of Islam, in fact its very survival, is American democracy.”
“”
“Whoever did this is pure evil. The UN, an assassination in front of Imam Ali’s shrine. You wonder what will come next. If you ask me I think it will be media.”
“”
“But nowadays the phrase never again is met with sneers: of course again. And again and again, as often as possible. Fascists in thrall to a death-god, again. Creed-addled men who shrug at the death of babies, again. Poison-fed people who pass out candy to celebrate the murder of Jews, again. Never again has become please, not tomorrow.”
“”
“Martyrdom is the only way in which a man can become famous without ability.”
George Bernard Shaw
“”
“Religiously inspired terrorism is a worldwide phenomenon, and every major world religion has people who have appropriated the label of their religion in order to legitimize their violence.”
“”
“Australians, Americans, whatever - they are all white people.”
Ali Imron, Bali bomb-maker
“”
“When the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, told the United Nations that Iraq posed a threat in part because of its links to terrorist groups he was ridiculed. It was just a desperate ploy, said the cynics, to draw a link between Saddam and September 11. So much for the cynics. It is clear now that militant Islamic terrorist mercenaries have been pouring into Iraq for some time, ready for a showdown.”
“”
“Which brings us to post-war aim II: no more State Secrets, when it comes to the Saudis. Three thousand of us were murdered by 15 Saudis, and they were aiming for 30,000 or more. The relationship is sick, no matter what short-term benefits Bush & Co. wrangled out of their Riyadh pals in the buildup toward war. When the cease-fire is signed, I want to hear a Ten-Point program for the de-Saudization of our foreign policy, either from Bush or whatever Democrat recognizes the opportunity ... and more importantly, the responsibility.”
“”
“Al Qaeda pledged a global battle without borders, and it’s getting one.”
“”
“Note to Atta et al, no doubt dogpaddling in hell and bobbing in sulferous feces for nail-studded raisins: a lovely day in September reminds me that I’m alive, and you’re not.”
“”
“For all their grievances against America, there have been no Cuban, Vietnamese or Serbian suicide bombers bringing death to our shores, and their people haven’t been celebrating in the streets at the sight of American blood.”
Fred Siegel
“”
“The people who did this to us are monsters; the people who cheered them have hate-sickened minds. One reason they can cheer is that they know we would never do to them what their heroes did to us, even though we could, a thousand times worse. They know that when we hunt down the monsters, we will try hard not to harm the innocent. Those are the handcuffs we willingly wear, because for all our flaws, we are a decent people.”
Dave Barry
“”
“Many of us were covered in white soot with fleshy circles around our eyes and mouths. Even hardened New York cops asked me whether I was there; how bad it was; was I OK? The farther uptown we got, the more we stood out. Some people looked a bit frightened. Some, classic New Yorkers, looked away. Many offered sympathy and help. ‘You sure you’re OK?’ some nice stranger asked. ‘I just look like a ghost,’ I said, still shaking off the white dust. ‘Better to look like one than be one.’ “
“”
“September 10 was the last day I took my freedoms for granted, the last day I looked at planes flying low above my house with awe instead of fear, the last day that a beautiful fall morning with a clear blue sky would not evoke desperate memories.”
“”
“I have lived long enough to see good repeatedly win over evil, although at a much higher cost than need have been paid. This time we have already paid the price of victory. It remains for us to win it.”
Robert Strausz-Hupe
“”
“Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats.”
H.L. Mencken
“”
“On Sept. 10 of last year my daughter and I went to the funeral of a neighbor we both loved greatly. We rushed home so I could go to the hospital, where my closest friend had just had serious surgery. Someone else took the cat to the vet after we discovered that he was poisoned and was near death. That night, as my daughter got ready for bed I said to her, without the slightest hint of hyperbole, ‘Don’t worry, honey. We’ll never again have a day as bad as this one.’ “
“”
“The other morning I was watching TV when a friend walked by and asked, ‘What’s the latest?’ ‘Death,’ I said. ‘Terror. War. Unresolvable global hatred and violence and misery.’ My friend said, ‘So, nothing’s new?’ “
“”
“The fact that the Pittsburgh plane was filled with normal Americans, businessmen with wives and kids – let’s face it: yuppies – and not with the political science department of a typically left-wing university is the difference between a White House that’s still standing and a smoldering ruin on Pennsylvania Avenue.”
Rob Long
“”
“I’m sticking with ‘suicide bomber.’ Reason: suicide is a sin in Islam, and the pliant mullahs have come up with all sorts of theological contortions to explain why the bombers are not committing suicide, but are dying in jihad as martyrs. I won’t concede that. They’re committing suicide. They’re committing a sin. And they’re going to Hell.”
James Lileks
“”
“We have to love our enemies, I know. But before last year I never saw how hard that could be. And that -- as much as I can’t stand to admit that I could ever feel this way -- is why I hate Al Qaeda.”
“”
“Everyone seems to want a war on terror, but no-one wants any battles to be fought in it. We’re evidently going to win it by sitting on our fat asses and being morally superior. This will so impress our enemies that they will cease to attack us out of respect.”
“”
“Citizens who associate themselves with the military arm of the enemy government, and with its aid, guidance and direction enter this country bent on hostile acts, are enemy belligerents.”
Supreme Court, 1942
“”
“The warblogger world is more diverse than it appears, but it has one unifying meme: Never again. This used to be the oath of the Jews, but it’s shared now by millions who saw the towers tumble.”
“”
“It was inevitable, I suppose, that sooner or later terrorism would become bad performance art.”
“”
“Let those who say that we must understand the reasons for terrorism, come with me to the thousands of funerals we’re having in New York City - thousands - and explain those insane maniacal reasons to the children who will grow up without fathers and mothers and to the parents who have had their children ripped from them for no reason at all.”
“”
“Fighting terrorism is like being a goalkeeper. You can make a hundred brilliant saves but the only shot that people remember is the one that gets past you.”
Paul Wilkinson
“”
“No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices.”
Edward R. Murrow
“”
“I think it is well also for the man in the street to realise that there is no power on earth that can protect him from being bombed. Whatever people may tell him, the bomber will always get through, and it is very easy to understand that, if you realise the area of space.”
Stanley Baldwin, Nov. 10, 1932
“”
“I can give vent to my emotions. I’ve been doing a lot of crying over the murder of thousands of my fellow citizens. I could not do that if I were at CNN.”
“”
“That’s why I live out here in the mountains with a flag on my porch and loud Wagner music blaring out of my speakers. I feel lucky, and I have plenty of ammunition. That is God’s will, they say, and that is also why I shoot into the darkness at anything that moves. Sooner or later, I will hit something Evil, and feel no Guilt. It might be Osama Bin Laden. Who knows?”
“”
“If the hijackers had been able to imagine themselves into the thoughts and feelings of the passengers, they would have been unable to proceed. It is hard to be cruel once you permit yourself to enter the mind of your victim. Imagining what it is like to be someone other than yourself is at the core of our humanity. It is the essence of compassion, and it is the beginning of morality.”
“”
“Miraculously, the first set we played was full of uplift. But I really spun out for the second set, I couldn’t find my footing, and my wife said I was doing all this playing in the upper register. And I could only respond that I was thinking about those high floors.”
Charles Lloyd, jazz saxophonist
“”
“For all their grievances against America, there have been no Cuban, Vietnamese or Serbian suicide bombers bringing death to our shores, and their people haven’t been celebrating in the streets at the sight of American blood.”
“”
“As the tragedy unfolded over the span of 18 minutes that separated the two crashes, and over the following 47 minutes before the first tower collapsed, who knows how many scores of cameras--professional and amateur alike--were trained on the unbelievable sight? Relative to our technologically sophisticated world of instant communications, the terrorist assault took an eternity. Untold numbers of images were made while millions of television viewers watched in real time. Dozens of first-rate photographs of exactly the same subject were published almost simultaneously.”
“”
“The people who did this to us are monsters; the people who cheered them have hate-sickened minds. One reason they can cheer is that they know we would never do to them what their heroes did to us, even though we could, a thousand times worse. They know that when we hunt down the monsters, we will try hard not to harm the innocent. Those are the handcuffs we willingly wear, because for all our flaws, we are a decent people.”
“”
“Unless you were standing in New York City or in Somerset, Pa., I don’t think the full impact is going to sink in for a while. Television is a filter. You are not really seeing this.”
“”
“We are all running from that turmoil. That is why we seek refuge in the U.S. And now we see the same thing happening here. If this thing does not have an end to it, this can destroy us all.”
“”
“This incident is a pretty severe test of character; not everyone will pass it. Some will use it as a chance to lecture and point fingers, others will use it as an excuse to indulge their own frustrations and aimless rage with explosions of bigotry and hatred.”
“”
“These hijackings are manifestations of satanic consciousness. I see no point in pretending spiritual love by showing tolerance for them. Evil is not tolerant of Good. Good cannot excuse evil in the name of spirituality. We must sternly oppose sin, while at the same time always wishing good to all sinners. It would be undharmic, which is to say unrighteous, to do nothing: It would show nothing but spinelessness.”
“”
“You don’t have to be in New York to be a New Yorker this week. You don’t have to be in the Lower 48 to feel your heart buried in the rubble of Manhattan. You do not have to be an American to be part of the struggle to come.”
“”
“They were able to do it in part because our airport security is pathetic. But mainly they were able to do it because we are an open and trusting society that simply is not set up to cope with evil men, right here among us, who want to kill as many Americans as they can.”
“”
“You can be sure of one thing: if the threat of islamic terrorism isn’t defeated, we will lose our liberties in the name of security.”
“”
“Self-defense is not retribution. The day we impose a dictatorial theocracy, strip women of the most basic human rights, dynamite the art of other religions, train our children to hate Jews, and give aid, comfort and money to a man who exults in the deaths of innocent people, then we’re down at the Taliban’s level.”
“”
“We won’t be making war against our enemies because they are evil and we are good. We will be making war against these people because they are killing Americans and our allies, and we have to make them stop.”
“”
“The latest count is that there are about six-thousand people confirmed dead or missing. That number is sure to grow. So the next time you think “I’m sick of this”, it might be a good exercise to count the next six-thousand people you see.”
“”
“I hold on to the anger; I turn it on the lathe, hold it up to the light, test its point. Because the moment I put it down I will lose all composure, and there will be no end to the tears.”
“”
“There are clear indications that the U.S. public and officials are suddenly aware of the Israeli situation. Potentially, it’s a very fundamental shift, with the U.S. taking the lead rather than staying neutral and acting cautiously.”
“”
“I’ve never been so happy in my life as when I heard the news. The Americans are responsible for everything. ‘The friend of your enemy is your enemy,’ I am against killing of innocent civilians, but the Americans are bad. This is good for us, the Palestinians.”
“”
“When I walked out of the subway, I went into reportorial autopilot. I know this now because I am looking at my notes as if I had never seen them before.”
“”
“The world must not be cowed by terrorists. Neither the terrorists who hijacked planes and killed those innocent people, nor those who threatened to shoot or maim women and girls who do not dress in a particular way.”
Robert Blackwill, US ambassador to India
“”
“These people try to hide. They won’t be able to hide forever. They think their harbors are safe, but they won’t be safe forever. One has to say it’s not just simply a matter of capturing people and holding them accountable, but removing the sanctuaries, removing the support systems, ending states who sponsor terrorism.”
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz
“”
“The planners, already having committed substantial resources to the World Trade Center and Pentagon strikes -- and knowing it would be difficult to reinforce them for some time - surely put some thought toward expanding terrorist forces in the United States to include a second or even third team. Given the already high number of people involved, the security risks of a large operation had already been incurred. The use of additional teams, particularly teams with limited knowledge of each other, might not cost or risk much more ... The goal of a multi-phased operation would be to maintain psychological pressure on the United States -- keeping the population and government off balance -- and to retaliate for inevitable American counterstrikes. Such strikes would not have to be as sophisticated or complex as the Sept. 11 attacks. Most important, they would not and should not be self-liquidating attacks in which the operatives would be destroyed in a single spectacular strike. Rather, these operations should be both effective and repeatable by the same team, at least until it was captured.”
“”
“There is a model available from Israel’s operations following the Munich Olympic massacre in 1972. Although a number of Arab countries clearly supported the attackers, Israel did not attack those countries directly ... Rather, Israel accepted the amorphous nature of the attackers but nevertheless imposed on them a corporate identity - accepting them as an entity and holding the entire entity responsible, including all individuals regardless of what they knew, when they knew it or what they did. Israel launched a global attack on the entity, using its intelligence services and covert forces. The primary goal was destroying the operating capacity of what Israelis called ‘terrorist groups’ through killing key operatives and members of the command and control system. They did not strike in response to any particular act, nor did they constrain their actions by legalities.”
“”
“We do not differentiate between those dressed in military uniforms and civilians; they are all targets in this fatwah.”
Osama bin Laden
“”
“We have to fight the terrorists as if there were no rules, and preserve our open society as if there were no terrorists. It won’t be easy.”
“”
“If you can operate a lap-top computer, you can fly a modern jet. Taking control of it and pointing it at a target only requires basic, rudimentary skills.”
Jim Buckley, airline flight instructor
“”
“I could teach my 12-year-old daughter to do it on a [computer] flight simulator. The act of guiding the planes into a stationary target would be a simple task for any private pilot.”
Michael Maya Charles, an airline captain
“”
“When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible in our force. When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice. I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my people, as you, I think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble with dread of the future.”
“”
“In June I wrote a column about the fact that a few cell-phone threats from Osama bin Laden had prompted President Bush to withdraw the F.B.I. from Yemen, a U.S. Marine contingent from Jordan and the U.S. Fifth Fleet from its home base in the Persian Gulf. This U.S. retreat was noticed all over the region, but it did not merit a headline in any major U.S. paper. That must have encouraged the terrorists. Forget about our civilians, we didn’t even want to risk our soldiers to face their threats.”
“”
“We’re all gonna die, but three of us are going to do something. I love you honey.”
Tom Burnett, calling from Flight 93, just before it crashed in Pa.
“”
“All of a sudden there were people screaming. I saw people jumping out of the building. Their arms were flailing. I stopped taking pictures and started crying.”
Michael Walters, freelance photographer
“”
“Retaliation, when it comes, will have to be as coolly calculated and well targeted as Tuesday’s attack. The memory of our dead deserves no less.”
“”
“Yesterday was our Pearl Harbor. Our generational wake-up call. Our bloody moment of shattered self-complacency. It’s time to grow up, get real, and finally grasp, like generations before us, that freedom is not free.”
“”
“We of a certain age have become so accustomed to affluence and security that we pay heed to the doings in the Middle East only when we have to pay 10 cents more for the gallons we need to fill up the SUVs we would never think of taking off-road. We of a certain age awoke Tuesday to behold something so utterly strange to us that all our antecedents, all our points of reference, were rendered null and void. What we saw wasn’t like anything. What we saw was new and real and horrifying.”
“”
“We’re hearing a lot from veterans and recent discharges who want to get back into active service. Pilots for Delta who were Marine Corps fighter pilots. People like that. Phones are ringing off the hook.”
Maj. Earnest Williams III, CO, USMC recruiting in Atlanta
“”
“American Muslims, who unequivocally condemned today’s terrorist attacks on our nation, call on you to alert fellow citizens to the fact that now is a time for all of us to stand together in the face of this heinous crime. It is not the time for speculative accusations and stereotypical generalizations that can only serve to harm the innocent and to endanger our society and its civil liberties.”
Letter to Pres. Bush, from a coalition of Islamic groups
“”
“We do not yet have a target, nor an identified enemy. But we do now have a purpose worth dying for. Weep for innocence gone. Resolve at whatever the cost to those now living that our children and grandchildren will abide in a world where terrorists do not hijack innocents to cause the death of innocents. This generation has never known what it would value more dearly than life itself. After Tuesday, we do.”
“”
“The moral highground bares our throat to the wolves. The moral highground binds us to the pillory. It’s not rhetoric, folks - it’s simple fact. Without a viable deterrent, we are swimming bloody and naked among the sharks. They will eat at leasure.”
“”
“In the old days, we’d be getting faxed from three or four different groups, each one saying ‘We did it.’ But when you’re fighting a war, the objective is to inflict casualties. You don’t need to say it was you.”
Michele Zanini
“”
“This is totally wrong. I’m talking according to my faith. I’m a practicing Muslim. Allah says in the Koran that anyone who kills an innocent is like someone who kills all of humanity ... The word Islam, in Arabic, means peace.”
Frej Halim
“”
“This is the horrifying reality that Israel has been dealing with; when the monsters create the rules, how can you avoid taking on some of their attributes in the battle?”
“”
“Our heart is with the US. Our hearts are with their families. America has paid a very high price, but America remains the only country that can save the world from this ... Everybody who is engaged in terror is endangering humanity.”
Shimon Peres
“”
“This is a price you pay for a weak response to the Lockerbie bombing, a weak response to the first World Trade Center bombing, a weak response to the bombing of the USS Cole, a weak response to the Africa embassy bombings. We’ve allowed Osama bin Laden to go on with life, to be protected by the Taliban in Afghanistan.”
“”
“It’s not just a crime against the American people, it’s not just a crime against the American civilisation. It’s a crime against the very foundations of all our humanity.”
Mary McAleese, Irish President


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