– Times of India says Northern Alliance troops enter Kabul … already.
– Brief but vivid report from the front in the London Times: “…The general, his wooden right leg stuck out stiffly before him, turned and waved on a group held in reserve behind him. In no time nearly 100 Mujahidin, screaming and yelling with jubilation, raced forward to the breach in the line. ‘See you at the gates of Kabul,’ one turned back and shouted…. As the tanks and men poured through, the roadside images were fittingly bleak: a one-legged Mujahidin hopping desperately to keep up with his comrades; a wounded soldier kneeling immobile in the dirt, where his friends had left him, a spreading scarlet stain seeping through the fingers clutching his belly; Taleban dead being mauled and looted; prisoners being slapped and abused; two soldiers praying. It was not glorious, nor was it unusually ugly. It was no more, no less, than a spectre of men in war.”
– Tony Blair lectures and sermonizes on his doctrine of “international community” in the Times:”One illusion has been shattered by September 11 ó that we can have the good life in the West irrespective of the state of the rest of the world. Once chaos and strife have got a grip on a region or a country, trouble will soon be exported.” And in the Telegraph: “…self-interest for a nation and the interests of the broader community are no longer in conflict. There are few problems from which we remain immune. In the war against terrorism the moralists and realists are partners, not antagonists.” I’m no isolationist but I also don’t buy this hook to sinker. We Westerners cannot solve the world’s problems and too often, when we try, we’re treated like the tech department at a company: everything’s our fault; it’s our machines; it’s our way. Yes, we have to be responsible; we have to be world citizens (yes, globalization is the natural direction of things); we have to help where we can. But it’s up to the Mideast to solve Mideast problems; we cannot do it for them (and will fail trying); we can only help. Though I’ve been in the Tony Blair fan club lately, I hope he doesn’t get carried away with this role he cast himself in as the wise man on the mountain.
– Nice observation from Ken Layne today re Ian Fleming and James Bond: “Fleming invented a new villian, an international terrorist organization called SPECTRE. This outfit existed outside of the USSR/USA battle, because he feared his Cold War stories wouldn’t age so well. Did little Bin Laden grow up reading the Fleming books, or seeing the 1960s Bond movies?”
– The Sun calls our plane crash site Ground Zero 2.
– How tragedy affects the stars: Paul McCartney sees crash from his Concorde window.
– It is at once reassuring and frightening to hear F-16s woosh overhead in New York moments after the American Airlines jet crashed near JFK.
– Ashleigh Banfield comes back from Pakistan and she’s on the air this morning on MSBNC from the jet crash site. What a newshound.!