"We are all Americans.
We say this as a tribute to the people to whom we owe our freedom."
- Le Monde, France
"Your loss we count
as our loss. Your struggle we take as our struggle."
- Tony Blair, Prime Minister of Great Britain.
"The World Bank now
estimates that the shock suffered by the international economy as a result
of September 11 will have the following effects on poorer societies: 40,000
children worldwide will likely die from disease and malnutrition and 10
million people will fall below the bank's extreme poverty line of $1 dollar
a day or less as a result of slower economic growth."
- Christopher Hitchens
Image by Peter Brookes of The Times of London. The Slate also hosts an archive of political cartoons from around the world about the attack.
"America has been attacked
not for what it has done wrong, but for what it has done right, and for
being the hope of the entire world."
- The Jerusalem Post
"An idea has grown
that terrorism could hobble American power, prompting either withdrawal
into Washington isolationism or violent over-reaction. This has come about
because the United States, in its support for Israel and elsewhere, has
so often seemed to stand so very nearly alone. America’s foes do
not always recognise it, but the US has ever been pacific to a fault. It
is a giant that seeks to go about its busines undisturbed. Only in great
national emergencies is it stirred. It is stirred now."
- The Times of London
"These had been the
first shots of a far more dangerous war between the civilised liberal democracies
and Islamic fundamentalists who are not bound by the morality of the Enlightenment,
let alone the soft thoughts and manicured hands of our progressive liberals.
This was no political act. Murder had grabbed artists, mothers, children
and firemen by the throat and left indelible bruises on concepts such as
commerce, multi-culturalism and democracy."
- John Drennan, "Irish Independent"
"The bombers of Manhattan
represent fascism with an Islamic face, and there's no point in any euphemism
about it. What they abominate about 'The West', to put it in a phrase,
is not what Western liberals don't like and can't defend about their own
system, but what they do like about it and must defend: its emancipated
women, its scientific inquiry, its separation of religion from the state."
- Christopher Hitchens
is a self-confessed threat to the values not merely of the US but also
of the European Enlightenment: to the preference for life over death, to
peace, rationality, science and the humane treatment of our fellow men,
not to mention fellow women. It is a reassertion of blind, cruel faith
- Samuel Brittan, "The Financial Times"
"Religious hate, religious
motivation, was the primary thing. The world is getting more and more out
of reach of simple people who have only religion. And the more they depend
on religion, which of course solves nothing, the more the world gets out
- VS Naipaul, winner, Nobel Prize for Literature
"The tragedy of human
history lies in the enormous potential for destruction in rare acts of
evil, not in the high frequency of evil people. Complex systems can only
be built step by step by step, whereas destruction requires but an instant.
Thus in what I like to call the Great Asymmetry: every spectacular incident
of evil will be balanced by 10,000 acts of kindness, too often unnoted
and invisible as the 'ordinary' effects of a vast majority."
- Stephen Jay Gould
"The terrorists, who
wanted 300 million victims, instead are going to get 300 million heroes."
- Clint Eastwood
"America did not change
on September 11. It only became more itself."
- Robert Kagan
In the US on September
11th we witnessed the handiwork of terrorists who have mastered the judo-fighter's
trick of using his opponents strengths against him.
- John Waters, "The Irish Times"
"It is doubtful if
anything less than the total destruction of Israel and the United States,
and possibly of the entire Western way of life, would satisfy the Bin Ladens
of this world and their fanatical followers."
- Mary Harney, Deputy Prime Minister
The Clash of Civilizations : In an uncannily prescient essay in 1993, the Harvard analyst Samuel P. Huntington predicted the present conflict.
Religion's Misguded Missiles : Professor Richard Dawkins assesses the motivations which lead to suicide attacks. (Dawkins, 15/9/01) _
The British government released this damning evidence of the guilt of Osama Bin Laden in the weeks after the attack.
"These terrorists kill
not merely to end lives, but to disrupt and end a way of life. With every
atrocity, they hope that America grows fearful, retreating from the world
and forsaking our friends. They stand against us, because we stand in their
We are not deceived by their pretenses to piety. We have seen their kind before. They are the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions, by abandoning every value except the will to power, they follow in the path of fascism, and Nazism, and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way, to where it ends: in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies.
Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.
Great harm has been done to us. But in our grief and anger, we have found our mission, and our moment. Freedom and fear are at war. Our nation, this generation, will lift the dark threat of violence from our people. Our grief has turned to anger and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done."
- George W Bush
"Our goal is to vanquish
terrorism, not reduce it, not change its operations, not temporarily subdue
it, but vanquish it. All other concerns are secondary. It is a difficult,
demanding task we have undertaken. We must expect and prepare for our enemies
to strike us again before they are vanquished. Some of this war will be
fought at home. And the casualties that we will suffer may again include
civilians. We must keep our nerve at all costs. We should use no more force
than necessary, but no less than necessary. Fighting this war in half measures
will only give our enemies time and opportunity to strike us again. We
must change and change permanently the mindset of terrorists, those who
give them sanctuary and support, and those parts of Islamic populations
who believe the terrorist conceit that they will ultimately prevail in
a conflict with the West, that America has not the stomach to wage a relentless,
long term, and, at times, ruthless war to destroy them."
- Senator John McCain
"In the face of today's
new threat, the only way to pursue peace is to pursue those who threaten
it. We did not ask for this mission, but we will fulfill it."
- George W Bush
"We cannot know every
turn this battle will take. Yet we know our cause is just and our
ultimate victory is assured. We will, no doubt, face new challenges.
But we have our marching orders: My fellow Americans, let's roll."
- George W Bush
"I'm sure the Americans
will behave in a targeted yet lethal fashion."
- John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia
"Well. If one looks
down from outer space on earth, you find a couple of handfuls of countries
that are generally like thinking, and they tend to be in Western Europe
and North America. They have freer political systems, and freer economic
systems, and tend not to covet the land or property or lives of other nations.
So there's a natural affinity between our country, and your country, and our European allies. That being the case, one always would prefer that when you're engaged in something difficult, that the interests and goals and values would be shared by other like-thinking countries. And that tends to be the case.
It is not always the case, and it may not always be the case because one country is wrong. It may also not be the case because other countries are wrong. It may also be simply a matter of timing. Gosh. After living 70 years, I'm not surprised to find that there are people that differ on these questions. They differ among themselves, as well as between continents. And I no longer find it surprising."
- Donald Rumsfeld
"Let me come back to
that Axis of Evil speech. When President Reagan said that the Soviet Union
was an Evil Empire, everyone got all a-twitter. All of the elites in the
world. They thought, "Oh, my goodness gracious. Isn't that something. This
president of the United States really doesn't get it, and he doesn't realise
how important it is to have good relationships with Russia" and whoever
happened to be the head of that time.
On the other hand, the people of Russia and the Russian republics, I think probably had a very different view of that. The people who'd been in the gulags. The people that weren't allowed to vote freely, and weren't allowed to practice their religion freely, and the people of neighbouring countries that were being repressed, and the people on neighbouring continents that felt that the Soviet Union was trying to expand its empire in their direction, they had quite a different view of it.
And that tended not to be carried in the press, or carried in the television of the world. Let's take North Korea. I've got to think of what's classified and what's not classified. But let's just, for the sake of argument, say there are tens and tens and tens and tens and tens and tens of thousands of Koreans, political prisoners, in prison camps. Camps, more than a handful of camps, that are the size of cities. That are being starved. Why are Korean people trying to get out of North Korea into China? It is a regime that is vicious. It's developing weapons of mass destruction. It is selling them all across the globe.
Now, if someone can come up with a better adjective than "evil," fine. But to turn your head and pretend that's not going on is wrong. And not only is it wrong, it is unhelpful if one cares at all about all those human beings."
- Donald Rumsfeld
"I believe that forgiving
them is God's function. Our job is simply to arrange the meeting."
- General Norman Schwartzkopf (attributed quote)
"The United Nations,
an organization of the world's governments, ought to be the perfect forum
for the fight against terrorism, a scourge that ultimately threatens them
all. Yet the United Nations has been - and will continue to be - excluded
from the fight against terrorism simply because everyone knows the United
Nations has no ability to deal with security issues of any kind."
- Anne Applebaum, "The Slate"
"George W Bush and
Tony Blair are the elected leaders of the two oldest democracies. Their
two countries share an unimpeachable commitment to liberty. Neither country
was infected with the totalitarian virus, red or brown, which accelerated
the decline of the European continent in the twentieth century."
- Le Monde, France.
"When faced by such
an enemy the hawks are the true peacemakers."
- The Times of London
"Suppose I had come
last year on the same day as this year - September 10. Suppose I had said
to you: there is a terrorist network called al-Qaida. It operates out of
Afghanistan. It has carried out several attacks and we believe it is planning
more. It has been condemned by the UN in the strongest terms. Unless it
is stopped, the threat will grow. And so I want to take action to prevent
Your response and probably that of most people would have been very similar to the response of some of you yesterday on Iraq. There would have been few takers for dealing with it and probably none for taking military action of any description."
- Tony Blair
opposed to surprise and sensation, is the Western way of warfare. It is
deeply injurious to the Oriental style and rhetoric of war-making. Oriental
war-makers, today terrorists, expect ambushes and raids to destabilise
their opponents, allowing them to win further victories by horrifying outrages
at a later stage. Westerners have learned, by harsh experience, that the
proper response is not to take fright but to marshal their forces, to launch
massive retaliation and to persist relentlessly until the raiders have
either been eliminated or so cowed by the violence inflicted that they
relapse into inactivity.
News of the first strikes against Afghanistan indicate that a tested Western response to Islamic aggression is now well under way... September 11 was a declaration of war. October 7 was the declaration of a counter-offensive. The counter-offensive will prevail
- John Keegan, "This War of Civilizations", "The Daily Telegraph"
Just remember: Bin
Laden was not lost in the wastes of Afghanistan; he was lost in the wasted
years of the 1990s.
- David Frum, "National Review"
To War or Not : Eminent historian Sir Michael Howard assesses the dilemmas faced by America and Britain in declaring 'war' on terror. (Howard, 31/10/01) _
One Year On : The Times of London assessed the impact on the world of the events of September 11, and the consequences of the responses to it. (LT, 11/09/02)
"I am advising a man
on how to best employ light infantry and horse cavalry in the attack against
Taliban T-55s tanks... mortars, artillery, personnel carriers and machine
guns - a tactic which I think became outdated with the introduction of
the Gatling gun. The Mujahadeen have done this every day we have been on
the ground. We have witnessed the horse cavalry bounding overwatch from
spur to spur to attack Taliban strong points, the last several kilometers
under mortar and artillery."
- Paul Wolfowitz, Dep. US Sec. of Defense reading a Special Forces situation report
"I swear, I have seen
parachute drop orders that included saddles, bridles and horsefeed."
- Donald Rumsfeld
"This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and a just sentence. It is a righteous sentence. Let me explain this to you. We are not afraid of any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is all too much war talk here. And I say that to everyone with the utmost respect. Here in this court where we deal with individuals as individuals, and care for individuals as individuals, as human beings we reach out for justice. You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier gives you far too much stature. Whether it is the officers of government who do it or your attorney who does it, or that happens to be your view, you are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not treat with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice... See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United States of America. That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag still stands for freedom. You know it always will. Custody, Mr. Officer. Stand him down."
- Judge William Young sentences "shoe-bomber" Richard Reid
"This is the great challenge of our time, the storm in which we fly. History is once again witnessing a great clash. This is not a clash of civilizations. The civilization of Islam, with its humane traditions of learning and tolerance, has no place for this violent sect of killers and aspiring tyrants. This is not a clash of religions. The faith of Islam teaches moral responsibility that enobles men and women, and forbids the shedding of innocent blood. Instead, this is a clash of political visions. In the terrorists' vision of the world, the Middle East must fall under the rule of radical governments, moderate Arab states must be overthrown, nonbelievers must be expelled from Muslim lands, and the harshest practice of extremist rule must be universally enforced. In this vision, books are burned, terrorists are sheltered, women are whipped, and children are schooled in hatred and murder and suicide. Our vision is completely different. We believe that every person has a right to think and pray and live in obedience to God and conscience, not in frightened submission to despots. We believe that societies find their greatness by encouraging the creative gifts of their people, not in controlling their lives and feeding their resentments. And we have confidence that people share this vision of dignity and freedom in every culture because liberty is not the invention of Western culture, liberty is the deepest need and hope of all humanity."
- President George W. Bush, speech at a USAF Graduation Ceremony, 2 June 2003
"There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. These are things we don't know we don't know. "
- Donald Rumsfeld, Pentagon briefing on 10 March 2003
"America learned the hard way: it's the world of September 10th that's really crazy."
- Mark Steyn, "A Hopeful Ending", from "Face of the Tiger"
# ON THE HOME FRONT
September 11 has cast
a long shadow, and the reactions to it on the home front have been many
and varied. A wave of long-felt anti-americanism
has reared its ugly head, alongside the usual dissenting
voices. In Ireland, we try to reconcile
our neutrality with our close relationship to America.
The television, print and electronic media try to figure out what they should be doing in these troubled times.
These reactions though, are nothing new - from the echoes of the past we see the same wisdom and the same fears.
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