I repeat: We won’t know

I repeat: We won’t know when the next terrorist attack happens. We will be confused and we will suspect any violent act or accident anywhere. Silence is their strategy. It will spook us. Now we have people in panic everywhere (Ananova headlines: Letter containing suspicious substance closes US building … Mystery substance on subway was ‘perfume’ … ‘Anthrax outbreak could be worst UK disaster’).

I’m among them. Thanks to inhaling crushed building on Sept. 11, I now have pneumonia… and I sure hope passenger M. Atta wasn’t carrying an extra vial of anthrax.

Ken Layne‘s advice: “If they’re prescribing antibiotics to you, might as well get some Cipro.”

Ananova is terribly impressive: it covers the news well, does it fast, and packages it smartly. A great online news source.

More blogrolling: After the attack began and you saw all the green screens and blobs and the same wire reports everywhere, there wasn’t much else to say or hear … until the bloggers started talking, bringing perspective and smarts in less time and less space than most columnists or TV pundits. My favorites:

– Nick Denton introduced me to blogs years ago. He’s a master of the form, quiet until he has something smart to say. Take today: Nick on bin Laden as a “maphead” who’s still trying to compensate for losing Muslim turf 500 years ago. I disagree with his last line, but that’s what makes the Web great.


Israel’s occupation of Palestine? US troops in Saudi Arabia? No, what Osama resents is the loss of Andalucia, of Spain, 500 years ago. In fact, the loss of any Arab or moslem territory, no matter how long ago. Check this out, in his own words. “Let the whole world know that we shall never accept that the tragedy of Andalucia would be repeated in Palestine. We cannot accept that Palestine will become Jewish.”

Now I get him. Osama is a classic irredentist: obsessed by the decline of his nation, defining its power by territorial expanse. I bet you he is a maphead. Poring over old maps showing Islam stretching from the Indian Ocean to the Pyrenees, his heart aching at the loss of Granada and Cordova.

And, since we’re all asking the question, what will assuage his anger? What do we have to do to stop him hating the West with such a vengeance?

Well, obviously, make the Israelis hand over the West Bank, that goes without saying. Israel proper too while they’re at it. Zanzibar, and the East African coast. Spain’s Costa del Sol. Hold on, didn’t the Arabs get as far as southwestern France once. And the Moslem Turks were at the gates of Vienna. So Osama’s basic line seems to be: imperialism is fine, so long as its our imperialism. Which is pretty much the US line.

Matt Welch took some time off to deal with rats (real or metaphoric, I’m not sure) but I’m glad he’s back, deflating the hot air from dogmatic liberals who blindly can’t see that we’re right and the other side is dead, evil wrong and that’s just that.

Ken Layne also took time off to work on a book but blogging is heroin; you can’t just give it up. So I’m glad that he, too, is back. After passengers tackled a nut invading their plane’s cockpit: “The rules have changed, whether you’re a terrorist or a crazed retard. Try to get control of a plane, and it’s very likely you’ll be killed by your fellow passengers. If you’re lucky, they’ll just beat the hell out of you.”

– The master media blogger, Jim Romensko, has great stuff today on Dan Rather’s hissy fit on the air last night.

– Nobody beats Drudge for the fastest links on the planet.

– Scripting News is an odd mix of tech and terrorism but it’s quick and pithy. Today: “Chicago Tribune: ‘The flight attendant said ‘Get him,’ and, damn it, everyone went up and got him.’ ”

Andrew Sullivan may be a kneejerk Clinton hater and sometimes just a jerk but he’s provocative nonetheless.

Rossi makes it all personal without making it self-indulgent.