(Image by Bob Gorrell)

"This holiday season, as we laugh and eat and shop and enjoy friends and family, our soldiers are in Afghanistan risking everything for us. Some of them wonít come back. The rest will never be the same. Every one of them volunteered. They think weíre worth it. Letís prove them right."
        - Scott Adams, Dilbert Newsletter.

"Now more than ever we need film. The forces of darkness, ignorance and hate so horribly busy of late may not be defeated by something so apparently trivial as cinema but stories freely told by free filmmakers enrage them, so all of you out there donít stop, donít ever stop. Every story you tell... strikes a blow for freedom at home and around the world"
        - Stephen Fry, host of the 2001 British Academy Awards

"It never fails to amaze me that I won the greatest lottery in the history of the world; I was born and raised in America, as a lifelong American citizen. No Roman emperor, no Persian Shah, no Mongol Khan, no Russian Czar ever enjoyed the kind of freedom and good fortune that I have been privileged to enjoy all of my life, all thanks to my geographic location, and to the fact that I have for a lifetime been the proud owner of an American passport, and American citizenship."
        - Pejman Yousefzadeh, first generation Iranian-American.


"Ireland is not neutral in the fight against international terrorism."
     - Brian Cowen, Minister for Foreign Affairs

"Most of the Irish media outlets are now almost totally anti-American and anti-Israeli. In recent days only the Sunday Independent and the Sunday Times seem ready to defend the self-evident truth that America is the linchpin of liberal democracy, that history and the Holocaust entitle Israel to a special place in the heart of all civilised people, and that the Western democratic system which includes Israel is not just one more multicultural construct among many, but a superior form of government that goes back to the Greeks, and that it is as worth defending to the death against Islamic fundamentalism as it was against Hitler's or Stalin's fascism."
     - Eoghan Harris, "To be Neutral is to be Naked", "The Sunday Times"

"Did the British government respond to the IRA's attack on Docklands a few years ago by bombing Dublin, she asked? Would anyone have felt such a response was justified?
Was Michigan bombed for being the home of the Michigan militia following the destruction of the FBI headquarters in Oklahoma by Timothy McVeigh?
Had the embassy bombings not been treated as a crime, had they instead been viewed as something more akin to acts of war, had the Bin Laden network been pursued much more vigorously before now, the September 11 atrocity might never have happened.
If morality is supposed to be a guide to practical action, and it leads instead into a dead-end, then morality has collapsed into moralism. Even if it is not the intention, the main effect of such moralism is to make the advice-giver feel good about himself. It allows him to feel morally superior to those charged with devising and implementing policies that actually work."
     - David Quinn, "The Sunday Times"

"Another claim was that the atrocity showed how useless President George Bush's missile defence initiative is, because it could have offered no defence. This is irrelevent, on a par with telling a man to throw out his smoke detector because it did not defend his home against burglary."
     - David Quinn, "The Sunday Times"

"Thank God for Joe Jacob, the man who finally revealed that we haven't got a real plan to cope with Sellafield going boom. Nor have we for dealing with a direct hit by a 30 megaton nuclear missile on Dublin. Nor for a comet strike or the tectonic plates shifting beneath us and swallowing our island whole. And if a 100-foot tidal wave were to hit us, there would be little opposition from the Department of the Environment.
That's why we should all show such sympathy to poor Joe Jacob, a man of such overpowering integrity that he is unable to convincingly tell the lie that this country has a workable plan to cope with nuclear disaster."
     - Kevin Myers, "The Irish Times"

"Ambiguities are gone. There is no room for the sneaking regard. There is no point thinking about political formulae or clever diplomatic manoeuvres. All the old rhetoric of sovereignty and war and imperialism has been blown asunder. Now, there is just one question: what does a democratic society do when a murder gang declares all-out war on its most basic principles? Such people present democracy with a ferocious challenge. An elected government cannot, in the familiar jargon, 'address the causes' of their discontent. It cannot send go-betweens to search out the opportunities for constructive dialogue... All it can do is find the killers, lock them up and break their organisation with all the speed, efficiency and ruthlessness it can muster."
     - Fintan O'Toole, "The Irish Times", on the Omagh Bombing. Compare and contrast to reaction to September 11.

God Bless America : In the light of the American celebration of Thanksgiving, the Irish Independent expresses the ties of blood and gratitude that bind America and Ireland. (II, 23/11/01)  _

Retribution Is Coming : Retired US diplomat George Dempsey argues that Ireland must build on its magnificent response and avoid her usual self-righteous posturing. (II, 16/9/01) _

No Place For Neutrals :  Ireland cannot be neutral in the struggle against international terrorism. (II, 24/9/01) _


"The terrorist is waging war against the US, and we are confronting him not to enforce our laws against him but to defeat the security threat he represents. Our body politic is not attempting to discipline an errant member; it is protecting itself from an external threat to its own safety.
A foreign terrorist's status is not altered by his capture. By raising his hands, he cannot transform himself into a domestic criminal defendant. Nor does the fact that a terrorist is apprehended after successfully infiltrating the US - itself a form of invasion - in any way change his status or transform his actions into a purely domestic criminal matter.
The terrorist's physical location is constitutionally irrelevant. Nothing in our constitution or laws accords such unlawful belligerents rights beyond a military trial. An army ranger need not read a captured terrorist his Miranda rights."
     - William Barr, former US Attorney-General, "Washington Post"

"Within a matter of weeks, it may be illegal to have certain kinds of feelings. Or, at least, to encourage other people to have them. The Home Secretary's proposal to make incitement to religious hatred an indictable offence is not, strictly speaking, the first thought crime to be introduced into British law. We already have a statute prohibiting incitement to racial hatred, which is also intended to ban opinions and attitudes as opposed to acts.
...And why confine yourself to banning "incitement" to hatred, rather than outlawing the expression of the pure emotion? Why will it be illegal to imply that Muslims should be hated, but not an offence, presumably, simply to say that you personally hate them? Is it like the difference between owning a bit of cannabis for your own use and selling it - a distinction that Mr Blunkett also plans to enshrine in law?"
     - Janet Daly, "The Daily Telegraph"


Take Blood of the Vikings, the new historical series. Here, surely, is a timely parable for current events? Well, it would be, except it isn't altogether obvious who is standing in for whom. Are we the peace-loving Christian monks, arbitrarily murdered because of our capitalist culture by weird, barbaric heathens who want nothing more than to die in battle, after which they'll be wafted to a glorious heaven by naked virgins to feast and fornicate for eternity? Or are we the Vikings, using a contemporarily high-tech fleet to inflict hit-and-run attacks on a lot of religious fanatics who want forcibly to convert the world? It's confusing.
        - AA Gill, "The London Times", looking for metaphors to these trobled times

You are immediately transported to a better place where a man doesn't have to fly around the world forming alliances with total strangers in order to get a few dingbats out of his face. He doesn't have to go on television, and hold press conferences, and tell lies.
     - Declan Lynch reviews Chisum in the light of September 11, "Irish Independent"

"There once was a man named Osama,
Who suffered a serious Trauma
When his father said,
'Son, I screw camels for fun,
And you really resemble your mama.' "
     - Andrew Sullivan

Washington DC : Speaking via closed circuit television from the Oval Office Monday, President Bush made a direct plea to Osama bin Laden to form a nation the U.S. can attack. "Whether you take over an existing nation like Afghanistan or create a new breakaway republic called, say, Osamastan, the important thing is that you establish an identifiable nation-state with an army, a capital, and clearly defined borders," Bush said. "Maybe you could also sign some quick treaties to definitively establish who your allies are." The president then pledged $600 million to bin Laden for the construction of a state-of-the-art defense headquarters that the U.S. can bomb.
        - U.S. Urges Bin Laden To Form Nation It Can Attack, ""

New York: In the two weeks since terrorists crashed hijacked planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon, American life has come to resemble a bad Jerry Bruckheimer-produced action/disaster movie, shellshocked citizens reported Tuesday. "If the world were going to suddenly turn into a movie without warning, I wish it would have been one of those boring, talky Merchant-Ivory ones instead. I hate those movies, but I sure wish we were living in one right now."
        - American Life Turns Into Bad Jerry Bruckheimer Movie, "The Onion"

"Disturbed by ruthless terrorist attacks and raging war, the crew of the starship Enterprise, which has been stealthily orbiting Earth since August, is reportedly torn over whether to violate Star Fleet's Prime Directive and intervene in Earth affairs, or gather for drinks in the forward observation lounge and watch the planet go to shit."
        - Enterprise Crew Split Over Prime Directive, ""

London : The Prime Minister's office spoke to herdofsheep today, firm that this was not a war against Islam, though Islam was anyway a 'piece of shit religion'.
"This is not about Christians against Muslims," a Blair aide said. "But Islam is a fucked up kind of thing anyway."
America and Britain have been keen to avoid accusations that the war was a repeat crusade against the Islamic faith. "This is good against evil, not against Islam," a Washington source told herdofsheep. "But I mean, hey, while we're on the subject, Islam is pretty damned evil if you ask me." The Arab world continued to suspect British and American motives. "This is not a war against Islam, absolutely not, but it would be pretty cool to have one," herdofsheep's Republican Party contact told us.
     - HerdOfSheep.Com

America Under Attack : The Onion takes a typically perceptive and irreverent look at possible US TV schedules in the wake of the attacks. (, 27/9/01)  _

Keep an eye on the hoaxes that surfaced after the attack, with CSICOP.


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