– The latest anthrax attacks — far from Washington, the media, and the mail — are calculated to scare us more, going after randon loners.
– The German aid workers tell the story of their frightening and strange captivity: eating worms, being put on display for gawking clerics who wanted to see their underwear… Times version. Original Stern version (in German). Headline: “We want to return to Kabul.”
– We all saw the pictures of the mob — and I do mean mob — rushing an Afghan theater to see the first movie there in years. We’ve all seen the pictures of people playing music again and looking lustily at pictures of show biz stars. But note that this is not our pop culture they’re craving (despite the constant accusation that our culture infects the world like smallpox). It’s Indian movies they love and Bollywood’s ecstatic, says the Times of India. The first movie to be released there “is inspired by the 1999 hijacking of the Indian Airlines Boeing and the villain resembles Osama bin Laden.”
– Rush on satellite dishes.
– An amazing critical deconstruction of the bin Laden recruitment-cum-MTV video by Julia Magnet in the Telegraph [via Little Green Footballs}: “Osama bin Laden [beats] us at our own media game. With devilish cunning, he has plugged into the MTV generation – and it’s clear he knows how to reach us. I have spent all day humming militant Islamic songs. And I am a Jewish twenty-something from New York.”
– The Taliban says we should have forgotten Sept. 11 by now. Meanwhile, Patrick Ruffini takes Mickey Kaus justly to task for predicting, on Sept. 12, that the media would have forgotten it by Thanksgiving (how absurd): “Media coverage of the 9/11 attack often emphasizes that it will be a ‘long time before America gets back to normal,’ etc. The opposite is likely to be closer to the truth — we’ll get back to normal all too quickly, in keeping with the tendency (often discussed in this space) for the population to process information much faster than in former, less wired times. (Don’t you feel as if you’ve lived about a month in the past two days?) I suspect the story will be off the evening news by Thanksgiving — a denial, in a warped way, of the attackers’ disruptive goal.” HA to both.
– I’ll see your $25 mil and raise you… The Taliban puts a $50 million bounty on Bush’s head.
– At least Hitler has the guts to shoot himself. Bin Laden orders his son and aides to off him if he’s trapped.
– CBS says the murdered journalists in Afghanistan had a big story: “Cutuli and Fuentes filed reports Monday about finding what they believed were capsules of deadly sarin nerve gas at an abandoned al-Qaida camp in the Jalalabad region. Fuentes’s story said he discovered a cardboard box with Russian labeling that said SARIN/V-Gas. His report said the box contained 300 vials of a yellowish liquid.”
– WSJ on murdered journalists: “The public’s voracious appetite for news and a severe shortage of experienced war correspondents have proved, once again, a dangerous mixture.”
– Times of London editorial on the journalists’ deaths: “The readers of this newspaper, and all others which employ similar individuals, have benefited from the reportage that can only be delivered by those willing to place themselves in peril. It is a strange war indeed where more journalists seem to have been killed than, so far, either American or British soldiers. Seven reporters have been killed inside Afghanistan so far…”
– Reporters for Newsday and Cox had close call.
– Maureen Dowd on the schizophrenia that is our president and our nation and our generation, when you get right down to it: “Many who came of age during the Vietnam War, wincing at America’s overweening military stance in the world, are now surprised to find themselves lustily rooting for the overwhelming display of force against the Taliban. Over the years the country’s ethos had gone from John Wayne to Jerry Springer, from gunfighter nation to anger-management nation, rugged frontier mentality to designer lifestyle mentality. Once we prided ourselves on being strong and silent. Then we got weak and chatty. And now we seem to be evolving to strong and chatty. We are pulverizing our enemies even as we try to show them a little compassion, crushing our foes even as we try to understand and address some of their grievances against us. We are functioning holding opposing ideas, new ones every day.”
– Time.com offers three eyewitness reports from Afghan fronts: The self-proclaimed mayor of Mazar-e Sharif “and his men have the city, but as they consolidated control, they massacred 100 Pakistani Taliban fighters who were trying to surrender–and then watched as 12 of their own mullahs, on a peace mission to the Taliban resisters, were executed while clutching their holy texts. In retaliation, the Alliance soldiers then slaughtered the rest of the resisters.”
– Quakers face dilemma on pacifism in The American Prospect [via WoodsLot]: “Maurice Boyd, a longtime meeting member, stands to speak. His voice sounds a little unsteady. ‘I find my Quaker peace testimony stretched to its limit right now.’ Boyd’s hands grip the back of the pew in front of him. ‘Quakers were able to resist joining the cry for vengeance in the twentieth century,’ he says. ‘But now here is Osama bin Laden and people like him, people who want to destroy us and all that we hold dear.’ He pauses and takes a breath. ‘I’m in a crisis of the soul. I don’t know how much further I can go along the road–the road of peaceful resistance. I can only ask you to hold me in the Light.’ ” I went to Quaker school and respect them greatly. I called myself a pacifist for most of my life. Now I call myself a former pacifist (and I crassly sell Former Pacifist T-shirts — here).
– Franklin Graham is sticking by his view of Islam as evil [via Relapsed Catholic]: “It wasn’t Methodists flying into those buildings, it wasn’t Lutherans,” said Graham. “It was an attack on this country by people of the Islamic faith.” But I don’t want to argue about that; too easy. I want to complain that Franklin Graham and his father are trotted out all the time as representatives of protestantism but the truth is that they are not mainstream. Just once, I want to see a Congregational minister from New York (my present brand) or a Presbyterian minister from Philadelphia (just so happens my sister is one) or a Methodist minister from Washington make it onto TV to represent us in the mainstream. More on Islam Online.
– Washington Post: Military wants homeland defense command: “Any extensive use of federal troops on U.S. soil would come despite a traditional aversion to — and legal limits on — the use of military forces for domestic law enforcement. But the Sept. 11 attacks and the Bush administration’s declared war on terrorism have blurred the distinction between foreign wars and domestic crimes and prompted a rethinking of the Pentagon’s command structure and force assignments.”
– Swiss group wants to reconstruct the Buddha statue blown up by the Taliban. The group, New7Wonders.org, says it will work with the Afghanistan Museum in Bubendorf, Switzerland, first build a 3-D computer model and then build a 1:10 study model.
– Italian company Space Cannon wants to turn the sky over the WTC into a light spectacle for Christmas (in German).