Educating Europe: As Bush lands

Educating Europe
: As Bush lands in Germany, David Warren educates Europe on American determination:

I am struck both by the number of web readers I have in New York, and by what they write to me. On Sept. 11th, at least 20 million people could actually see the smoke and debris uttering from the former WTC with their own eyes. It is now written into each of their souls. I have yet to hear from even one of them who is not willing, in reply to further such attacks from the same family of terrorist fanatics, to take out every single Islamic regime, whether “radical” or “moderate”. I don’t think we in Canada, let alone those in Europe, fully appreciate the “commitment” there. That e.g. the moment the U.S. enters Iraq, Hillary Clinton will cry: “Get ‘im!”

: Just heard on NBC news that the target of the Pennsylvania jet was the White House.

Remember that bin Laden goes after targets he misses until he gets them.

The administration should warn itself.

Batteries included
: I’m nominated as sexiest male blogger. Vote early. Vote often. (on the right-hand column.)

Gray beards are very sexy. Ignore the picture of me on the site. Character acting, you know.

: So I stopped by Bryant Park to see David Blaine standing atop a 90-foot tower with no ropes, no nets, for 36 hours before he jumps off in the dying embers of prime time tonight.

It’s New York.

Everybody’s trying very hard to be blase. (Or maybe watching a guy standing there is just boring). Some folks are standing around looking up. The chairs in the park are all turned to the tower where Blaine is statueing. Many are trying to read papers. There are plenty of factotums behind the barricades who are trying to act all rock-show important with their IDs and walkie-talkies and dress blacks. Just another day in New York.

But then it hit me: What if he does, God forbid, fall?

The last thing New York needs is another person falling to his death. The poll he’s standing on even looks like a pillar of the World Trade Center.

I’ve seen enough of that for a lifetime, for eternity. I could not bear seeing it again. The chills came back.

And so, you see, that is what life in New York is really like these days. We find our distractions where we may (and you have to work hard to distract a New Yorker). But even so, even in an absurd event such as this, everything points back to Then.

Does this remind you of Then? Where were you Then? Are you OK since Then? You can’t escape Then.

: In the greatest tradition of tabloids, the New York Post tells New Yorkers to keep a stiff upper lip and stiff middle finger aimed at the terrorist threats against our city.

New York stood, stout-hearted, when the Twin Towers fell.

Ah, but now comes word from Washington – from the FBI itself – meant to send New Yorkers scuttering headlong into hiding.

To fear fear itself.

Threats against New York City have been made by terrorists, says the FBI.

No specifics, apart from the usual suspects – the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and so on.

But run anyway – run and hide!

Hadn’t FBI Director Robert Mueller already warned all of America that additional terrorist violence is “inevitable.”

“We will not be able to stop it!” exclaimed the director.

Mr. Director! Please!

There is a war on.

That’s defeatist talk – and defeatism is not the American way.

It most certainly is not the New York way.

New Yorkers don’t hide!…

Go away, Mr. Mueller.

Come back when you have something useful to say – or don’t come back at all.

New Yorkers aren’t afraid.

Not of fear.

Not of anything.

Well, we talk a good game.

Lileks and Layne both write about New York, wondering what it’s like to live there these days.

It’s OK — until we get a reminder of what it’s really like, until we see a shrine at a firehouse, as Lileks did; until we read yet more profiles of victims in Times; until we see the pictures of Ground Zero on the TV most every night; until we get another warning and threat and, no matter how stupid or cynical or absurd the warnings are, we have to take it seriously; it happened here.

So the impact is still real. I wanted to take my kids into the city this weekend. Probably won’t now. I get sweaty palms on the PATH train. I walk faster past the Empire State Building.

But I’ll get past it. I’m going to wander by Bryant Park and see David Blaine standing on a ten-story pole with, according to Howard, lots of beautiful babes at the base.

Fight absurdity with absurdity. That’s the New York way.

American knowhow
: Atta cased the World Trade Center days before the attack so he could use his American-made global positioning system to bring them down.