– Former head of Saudi

– Former head of Saudi intelligence says bin Laden was a “nice guy” who changed: “I saw radical changes in his personality as he changed from a calm, peaceful and gentle man interested in helping Muslims into a person who believed that he would be able to amass and command an army to liberate Kuwait. It revealed his arrogance and his haughtiness.”

– If we try to run this war the way we run the country — by polls — we’re in trouble. Did Britain worry about that in World War II? Russia? Us?

Interview with Harvard’s Samuel (Clash of Civilizations) Huntington. [Via Bushwacker]

– Thanks to TV and Osama, Islam discovers the power of PR: a call for an Islamic media network from Iran.

– Bush says bin Laden is out to get nukes. And Netanyahu says on Fox that if terrorists get nukes, New York is the target.

8 weeks after: Generation 9/11…

8 weeks after: Generation 9/11…
I cannot think of one event on one day that so changed the future. World War II broke out over years and its implications did as well. But Sept. 11 immediately changed life and lately I’ve been wondering how it will change the future for my children. Newsweek’s cover calls them Generation 9/11. What will this mean to them:

– They will have to be more insecure and probably depressed. Watch for a return of depressing poets and philosophers. Here come Plath and Satre.

– Time will tell whether religion will see a resurgence. On the first weekend after 9/11, churches and temples around here were jammed; on the second Sunday after, they weren’t. Still, I think people — especially young people — will be seeking new meaning.

– There is bound to be a new respect for — actually, craving for — authority. We all want somebody to be in charge and beat these criminals. Where my generation (I’m a young child of the ’60s) questioned all authority; this generation, I think, will embrace it as the WWII generation did. They will become our own parents.

– Patriotism is back with vigor and with no apology. Here, too, our children will be like our parents.

– Watch for the magazine stories about the latest return of the family. Families will at least try to come closer together, to recognize that they, together, are what matters. I see it all around New York: people spending more time with their kids and that will be good if it lasts.

– You might think that this event might lead to ethnic distrust but I’m not so sure. My kids go to school with Muslims and Hindus, with people from Asia and Arabia and South America and even France. I think that will have greater impact than the evil of a few people on one day in September.

Yes, Sept. 11 changed our world but it changed our children’s world more.

– We will need some comic relief and now we’re going to get it with Geraldo Rivera going to FoxNews. He’s not as pretty as Ashleigh Banfield but he’ll be a kick to watch, guaranteed. I’ll watch him. The quotes begin with Geraldo on his ability to run on the battlefield: “I’m very fit. I still box. I don’t smoke. I’d like to find a reporter who can outdistance me. I have a 31-inch waist, a 42-inch chest. I’m still real butch. Courage has never been my problem.” [Via Romenesko]

– The New York Times has had a spectacular series about small, meaningful objects from 9/11. Read last week’s first: about a pair of handcuffs used to dig the last two survivors out of Ground Zero. Then read today’s about the paramedic’s uniform on the man who made that rescue. Previous weeks: A photograph in the rubble. And a great, dramatic tale of a squeegee that was a key to life.

Germany to contribute 3,900 troops (in German).

– Anthrax hoaxters to be flogged.

– Russian germ warriors warn:

– Russian germ warriors warn: Start vaccinating against smallpox now.

Christian Science Monitor looks for the voices of moderate Islam; can’t find many.

Iranians celebrate the anniversary of taking our embassy workers hostage. Iranian official: “Although we condemn the September 11 terror attack on America,

the event proved that America’s might is rickety and illusory.”

– Tough journalistic duty in Pakistan [via Romenesko]. And Arab cab drivers in Arabia are just like Arab cab drivers in New York, says Paknews [via Moonfarmer].

– They arrested this guy with knives and mace at the airport… and then released him… even though he lists the same address as a material witness to 9/11. [via Marshall]

– Post on Pravda says bin Laden’s videos foretell his next targets and this guy says the UN General Assembly is next.

Odd night — colored by

Odd night — colored by our odd new world — on TV tonight as giants battle giants with enough big shows to give a person with a remote control carpel tunnel syndrome: The World Series finale on Fox vs. the Emmys on CBS vs. The Uprising about the Warsaw Ghetto on NBC vs. the end of Band of Brothers on HBO. The Emmys are pathetic and ridiculous; they never were much more (I’m a former TV critic and once had to care about them) but this year, after the show’s delays and the snubbing of New York’s firemen and the many moments of actors making asses of themselves recently, the Emmys are simply as meaningless as the stars they celebrate. Watching a network Holocaust movie is too much to bear now that we are in the midst of another worldwide battle against evil and so we see the the battle against Hitler was not the last. Same problem with Band of Brothers; that was not the war to end all wars. So I can’t help being drawn to the World Series even if I don’t like baseball; who can resist the honest suspense and emotions of America’s game?

– More details on the anthrax search leading to a Trenton apartment.

– Good news: Bin Laden is finally pissing off Arab leaders.

– Attributed to Ken Kesey [via Blowback]: “We have a secret advantage: we don’t fight our battle out of Hate. Anger, yes, if we have to, but anger is enough.”

– Many want Britain to give us the Millenium Dome to cover Ground Zero. Find symbolism where you may.

– $1 million donated to Ground Zero rescue dogs. Oy.

– Now this gives me confidence in the feds: The Washington Post reports on the FBI’s strategy of detaining suspicious Arab males under any pretense it can find. Profiling? You bet! This is not the time for political correctness. This is the time for protection.

– Brits dub him “Spin Laden.”

Die Zeit (in German): Arab papers are filled with schadenfreude and antiamericanism.

– Great piece in the

– Great piece in the Sunday Times of London on the Jihad Encyclopedia of bin Laden with volumes of exact instruction on how to wage terror: where to place bombs on suspension bridges… how to poison medicine so there is no security…. how to poison frozen food… how to target symbols (e.g., the Statue of Liberty) and infrastructure (e.g., nuclear plants) and people….

– Surprise, surprise: In a Times poll, British Muslims are against us. So much for the idea of moderate Muslims…

– But real Brits support our war.

– 80% of Turks oppose sending their troops to fight for us.

Maureen Dowd (a star columnist in this war) on the need to bring together a Manhattan Project against terror: “We’re sophisticated; they’re crude. We’re millennial; they’re medieval. We ride B-52’s; they ride horses. And yet they’re outmaneuvering us.”

– The U.S. smallpox plan takes shape.

– Details of the hijackers’ logistics from the NY Times.

– The NY Times reports today that the FBI is stumped by the anthrax attacks and they ask US for help. This does not inspire confidence. It inspires fear. And it seems like a piss-poor criminal strategy: letting the bad guys know that they’re getting away with it. Watch Columbo, damnit: You should try to shake the criminals and let them think you’re breathing down their necks; that’s when they crack and do something stupid. Arrrgh.

– Anthrax raid in New Jersey. Man taken into custody on immigration issues. Another sign that this is not a domestic right-wing thing.

– More NJ anthrax: They found anthrax in the office mail bin of the civilian who got anthrax in NJ. Pick your bad news: Either civilians are now getting anthrax letters. Or — more likely — her mail was “cross-contaminated” with the mail in the Trenton post office, which means that any mail in any of the many contaminated post offices that was then sent to any of us is now suspect. Says the Washington Post: “This could sharply increase the number of people at risk.”

– More worries: ventilation systems are vulnerable, says Thompson.