It’s time to start calling

It’s time to start calling this….

WORLD WAR III

By any definition, the fight against terrorism is turning into a world war.

First factor: The major powers are engaged — the U.S. and Britain now; soon, Germany, France, and other NATO countries will be be sending troops. Russia and China are taking part, in their ways. Many other countries are involved: Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkey….

Second factor: This is a war being fought on many fronts. It’s not just about hunting down one war criminal and his cult. Every Muslin/nonMuslim battleline is now drawn: The Arab world hopes that now is the time for the creation of a Palestinian state; Israel — under pressure from us — was reluctantly getting ready to go along; then terrorists met their agenda of agitating and avoiding peace with an assassination this week; now Sharon decrees that the Arafat era is over and he’s ready to fight. This is war. Meanwhile, India fears that we’re going to ally so closely with with Pakistan that it will affect its endless skirmish with Pakisatn Kashmir and so they launch attacks; this comes after terrorists launch their own attacks in India. This, too, is war. Indonesia threatens to flair up. Sri Lanka and the Philippines are not far behind. At the same time, Russia wants to mop up Chechnya and China is dueling with its Muslim minority. There are ever-present terrorist threats in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. And in the background, Iraq and Iran are dying to pick a fight with the West.

This is a world war.

But, of course, this will be nothing like the other world wars. This will be fought not in trenches or — in the longrun — from the air. This will be fought from inside countries. For the first time, the enemy is not apparent; it hides in caves and cheap New Jersey apartments and practices a strategy of silence. The enemy is among us. We are living in the battlefield. And that, by the way, is why the FBI’s performance during the anthrax attack is so disturbing, for we are depending on law enforcement (and, God forbid, the Post Office), not armed forces, to defend us at home and they are not prepared.

The President is right when he warns us that this will take time. This is a world war.

Trenton’s day in infamy.

– NY Post calls Congress

– NY Post calls Congress “Wimps.” On the one hand, I can sympathize with these “wimps,” turning into one myself. On the other hand, the symbolism of shutting down the Capitol is too virulent today; they should have decided to hold committee meetings in local hotels or TGIFridays; they should have said they were keeping moving with business as usual in spite of the fright. They should have asked themselves: “What would Rudy do?”

– Bin Laden’s mom. His dad. His shrink.

– Geologist reads the rocks behind bin Laden in his video; says he knows where the culprit is.

– Dan Rather as Churchill… From the CNN caption: “Anchor Dan Rather says ‘our biggest problem is not anthrax,’ but fear.”

NY Times joins the Post (and me and half the country) complaining about the government’s uncoordinated response to anthrax. The LA Times jumps on the pile.

Three Mile Island receives “credible threat.”

Putin is said to tell Russians not to come to the U.S. because of terrorist attacks; Gorbachev cancels speaking tour.

– One down: Report says one bin Laden crony killed.

Times of London big graphic on anthrax.

Who’s Who of terrorist groups around the world from the Independent.

So far, they’ve hit (1)

So far, they’ve hit (1) business, (2) the military, (3) media, (4) government. What’s next? We shudder to imagine. Entertainment? Commerce?

– Anthrax info: CDCJAMAHHSWebMD CBS HealthwatchDr. Koop

– Washington Post: More justified criticism of the government’s handling of the anthrax attack.

– So the FBI said they didn’t see a connection until now. But the letters made reference to 9/11 and said “Death to Israel” and “Allah is Great.” Bozos.

– Today’s ridiculous anthrax scares: incense and tampons.

Iron your mail to kill anthrax? DEBUNKED.

– First, smoke alarms. Then carbon monoxide alarms. Now, in Jane’s, chem-bio detectors.

Maureen Dowd wigs out. I don’t blame her. So am I.

– Iranian radio says our troops are in Afghanistan [via Times of India].

– WWIII will be “between the West and the rest of the world,” says the security chief of Indonesia.

– Today’s idiotic overreaction: Robert Altman says that moviemakers (of which he is one) inspired the massive violence of 9/11 and they should be ashamed of themselves. What a crock from the old coot. The people who did this hate and decry American culture; they didn’t grow up watching it; they’re foreigners! And besides: I thought Nashville as an overrated bore.

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.