- Send in the Marines: hundreds land.
– Time correspondent’s Thanksgiving dinner with the Taliban: “With a few colleagues, I spent my Thanksgiving meal squatting on the floor of an Afghan passport office, talking to Taliban fighters about miracles and Judgement Day…. I leave thinking that maybe this evening wasn’t very different from the original Thanksgiving: people from two warring cultures sharing a meal together and realizing, briefly, that we’re not so different after all.”
– The Ames anthrax strain — the one used in every attack — was not as widely distributed as first thought, says the Washington Post: “In following the trail, investigators have had to face the possibility that Ames may have slipped through an informal network of scientists to Iraq, which sought the strain from a British biodefense institute in 1988 but whose application was rejected because of concerns that it would be used to manufacture biological weapons.”
– Leahy says the anthrax letter sent to his office could have killed 100,000 people.
– Calling John Wayne: The Telegraph says bin Laden is now on horseback. The touches of cinematic drama are getting too good. The camp where he last allegedly hid out is called Tora Bora (Tora! Bora!). In earlier stories, he was reported to walk surrounded by a score of tall bodyguards. We come across the results of white board brainstorming sessions (hey, let’s put anthrax in balloon!).
– From Al-Ahram: “Don’t hold your collective breath, comrades. There’ll be no Vietnam in Afghanistan,” says columnist Hani Shukrallah, “Kandahar is no Stalingrad…. So this particular party is, for all practical purposes, over. And we might as well admit it; it’s been very neatly done.” But don’t get giddy hawks; this is no compliment. “So let’s not fool ourselves. This war was never about ‘eradicating terrorism,’ ” he says; it’s about trampling on rights and bolstering power and making money. “On both sides of the battle lines in this war of civilisations, however,,” he conclused, “democracy is being put to the slaughter.”
– In the ’90s, we called this validation: The Greens go to war: After an emotional appeal by Joschka Fischer, the German party votes to support troop deployment in our war. Thus the liberal/Green coalition and government avoid collapse — but that’s not why this is a big deal. It’s a millenial thing: If Fischer, a major ’60s radical, and if his Greens, the most politically correct liberal party there is, can support this war, then we all us American children of the ’60s should feel OK about turning into hawks lately.
– More on this from Thomas Nephew, who actually speaks German (I barely fake it) and knows what’s going on.
– The FAZ.net story in English.
– Via Relapsed Catholic, a Washington Post Charles Krauthammer column (relevant to the post on religion, below): “Imagine if 19 murderous Christian fundamentalists hijacked four airplanes over Saudi Arabia and, in the name of God, crashed them into the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, destroying the holy Kaaba and killing thousands of innocent Muslim pilgrims. Could anyone doubt that the entire Christian world — clergy and theologians, leaders and lay folk — would rise as one to denounce the act? Yankee Stadium could not hold the trainloads of priests and preachers, reverends and rectors — why, even rabbis would demand entry — that would descend upon a mass service of atonement, shame, ostracism and excommunication. The pope himself would rend his garments at this blasphemous betrayal of Christ. And yet after Sept. 11, where were the Muslim theologians and clergy, the imams and mullahs, rising around the world to declare that Sept. 11 was a crime against Islam? Where were the fatwas against Osama bin Laden? The voices of high religious authority have been scandalously still.”