Smallville’s opening tonight reminded me

Smallville‘s opening tonight reminded me all too much of Sept. 11: fire from the sky and people running from huge clouds of dust and debris. I’m not suggesting they should have changed it; we’re tougher than that. Just another eerie moment.

Vox pop on pox: Check out NJ.com’s terror forum to see what the people are saying.

– Canada passes stronger antiterrorism laws than we probably would.

– Did we lose the war already? Was there an invasion? MSNBC in Arabic.

– Nice Flash map of Afghanistan on Washington Post (click on War Zone Explorer):pick a region and add in roads, missiles, etc.

– NY Times gives the feds a deserved lashing for their handling of the anthrax attack. I repeat: The FBI is messing up and Rudy should take over.

– A story of Taliban defections from one teahouse in Afghanistan.

– You are not allowed to laugh: “Suspicious substance was a loved one’s ashes.” [Via Drudge]

– New word (to me) from the Middle East Times: “Islamophobic.”

– Also new (to me) from the National Post: “Asymmetrical war — the act of fighting with lesser weapons, like the other guy’s jets and infected soil.

– New word from Drudge: “Anthraxophobia.”

– Gives one a moment’s pause: Germany’s Der Spiegel does a Flash graphic counting how many foreigners are where there.

– Getaloada the latest pronouncements from Iran and note the item yesterday (below) on the clash of civilizations as you read it: ” ‘The civilization whose standard bearer is the United States today, is presenting a warmonger facade coupled with injustice, arrogance, and irrational behavior, and that is the lasting impression that the mankind will have of the real identity of that civilization, which is, despite their claim, an incompetent image,’ said Ayatollah Khamenei. He said that the mankind has still not forgotten the memory of the time when the Islamic civilization conquered Iran and Rome (a few decades after the advent of Islam), concluding that due to the humane and just approach of the conqueror Muslims at the time, many Iranians and Romans converted to Islam, and that is the best guarantee for the lasting life of this civilization.”

Now a child gets Anthrax!

Now a child gets Anthrax!

A very smart (and very long) piece from the Sunday Times of London by Harvard’s Samuel P. Huntington argues that we are entering a new era of war in the world. First came wars of power among princes, up through World War I. Then came wars (including cold wars) of ideology and economics. Now we face wars of civilizations: essential differences in religion, culture, history, ethnicity, outlook — gulfs that are harder to bridge (you can switch, he argues, from communist to capitalist a helluva lot easier than you can switch from Jewish to Muslim). This is the extension of the never-ending battles in the Middle East and also the extension of the various wars in Yugoslavia and its successors. And, yes, as the world comes closer together, there is more opportunity for conflict.

Note, too, this from John le CarrÈ’s piece (below) on Osama bin Laden’s male ego: “The stylised television footage and photographs of Bin Laden suggest a man of homoerotic narcissism, and maybe we can draw a grain of hope from that. Posing with a Kalashnikov, attending a wedding or consulting a sacred text, he radiates with every self-adoring gesture an actor’s awareness of the lens. He has height, beauty, grace, intelligence and magnetism, all great attributes unless you’re the world’s hottest fugitive and on the run, in which case they’re liabilities hard to disguise. But greater than all of them, to my jaded eye, is his barely containable male vanity, his appetite for self-drama and his closet passion for the limelight. And just possibly this trait will be his downfall, seducing him into a final dramatic act of self-destruction, produced, directed, scripted and acted to death by Osama Bin Laden himself.”

– Sighted in Jersey City (aka Terror Town): Man in full Muslim mufti dashing by on rollerblades. Assimilation begins here.

– Next step in assimiliation: American Muslims want to elect a president by 2020, says Pravda.

Prediction: Cocaine will lose its

Prediction: Cocaine will lose its luster, thanks to anthrax. Who wants to go snorting powder from a stranger into your lungs?

An amazing piece of writing — though ultimately unconvincing, even troubling — by John le CarrÈ in the Sunday Times of London: “By the accepted rules of terrorist engagement, of course, the war is long lost. By us. What victory can we possibly achieve that matches the defeats we have already suffered, let alone the defeats that lie ahead? ‘Terror is theatre,’ a soft-spoken Palestinian firebrand told me in Beirut in 1982….” What le CarrÈ is really lamenting is that no one listened to him at the close of the cold war by tranforming the world with his rendition of the Marshall Plan: lots of food and friendliness. He regrets that he can’t whine about Kyoto or bad British health care without seeming like a crackpot liberal, disloyal to our loyal Mr. Blair. He is sad that he can’t still call Putin a war criminal. This man who understands strange alliances of necessity better than most any writer ever — this man who defined the cold war in literature — now oddly has a very hard time understanding the requirements of today’s alliances against evil. He sees too much gray, too little black and white. But this is not a world colored in cold-war, post-war Berlin gray. This is a world colored in black evil and white good. This is a Hitler world, not a Kruschev world. This is a war that requires victory, not a draw. This is not a war that le CarrÈ understands.

– Guardian: Some say the anthrax starts with Iraq.

Instapundit via Ken Layne says anthrax is “total flop as a terrorist attack: a few people exposed and one death.” I disagree. If the point is to destabilize and generally freak our your enemy, it’s working quite well.

Judith Miller’s first-person story on her NY Times anthrax scare.

Rudy’s next job: It’s obvious

Rudy’s next job: It’s obvious that as soon as he leaves New York’s City Hall, Rudolph Guliani should be the Attorney General. He needs to get in there and clean up the FBI and Justice Department (see yesterday’s post below on how they are endangering our lives). Rudy can do that. And he is a great prosecutor. Move the nominally effective political eccentric John Ashcroft over to another job where he can hold prayer breakfasts until lunch and let’s get a pro in the job! We need Rudy!

– Good piece on the Palestinian bind from Al-Ahram.

– Terrorists cased DisneyWorld, Disneyland, Sears Tower, Mall of America.

Debka: “Bin Laden and his fundamentalists regard the US media as the foremost propagators of the American way of life and a pillar of democratic US government. While possessing the computer technology for disrupting publication and broadcasts, Al Qaeda evidently rates biological warfare far more effective as a weapon of fear against American society.”

– Blogrolling: Thanks for nice links from Matt Welch, Dave, and Marc Brown.

Enraged: Our screw-up FBI and

Enraged: Our screw-up FBI and Justice Department are now not just messing with the big cases they screw up; they are messing with our lives. These idiots knew that there was an attack on the media in Florida and then in New York and they didn’t warn media companies. They said on Friday that the attack on NBC was not connected to the attack on American Media. Bull! Anthrax is the connection. Duh. Now add the fact that the letters to NBC and the NY Times came from Florida. Double duh. They said — in a press conference Friday with the knucklehead head of the New York FBI office — that they didn’t warn media companies because they didn’t know until today that the NBC case was anthrax. Don’t buy it. Why did the doctor treating Brokaw’s assistant just happen to prescribe the one antiobiotic associated with anthrax: Cithro? The NBC victim has been in treatment for more than 10 days and all that time, no other media companies, no other poor, underpaid schmucks in media mailrooms have been warned. Damn the FBI! They waste their time putting out nonspecific, panic-inducing, unhelpful warnings like last night’s “Skyfall” alert (below) but when they have a specific and helpful warning to give — i.e., that media companies are being targeted by the first attack of biochemical warfare in America — they don’t say a damned word. Stupid and dangerous, that’s our FBI and Justice Department. Am I being oversensitive because this is my industry? You bet your sweet ass I am!

Now read the New York Times account the morning after and it’s even more appalling: The FBI did not test anything until TWO WEEKS after they received reports of the NBC incident. They did not interview the victim. They did not notify the city. The only reason these idiots found out that this was anthrax was because the doctor was smart enough to be suspicious — even though being suspicious is supposed to be the FBI’s job. Frigging, dangerous idiots.

– Richard Gere says we should love terrorists out of sympathy for “the negativity of this karma.” He is such a frigging doofus.

– Trump wants a parachute.

Wimpy rap reporters.

– Good idea: Stun guns for pilots.