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May 5, 2011
[ObL] For 10 Years, Osama bin Laden Filled A Gap Left By The Soviet Union. Who Will Be The Baddie Now? … Adam Curtis On The Death Of ObL … ‘With Bin Laden’s death maybe the spell is broken. It does feel that we are at the end of a way of looking at the world that makes no real sense any longer. But the big question is where will the next story come from? And who will be the next baddie?’ [via Feeling Listless]
May 2, 2011
[obl] Osama bin Laden: It Took Years To Find Him But Just Minutes To Kill Him‘The trail that led the CIA to Osama bin Laden began with his most trusted courier. It had taken the CIA years to discover first his name and then the home where he was hiding the al-Qaida leader. But it took only 40 minutes on Sunday for US special forces to kill both the courier and Bin Laden.’
June 4, 2007
[books] Sci-fi writers join war on Terror‘”We’re well-qualified nuts,” says Jerry Pournelle, co-author of the best sellers Footfall and Lucifer’s Hammer and dozens of other books. […] During a coffee break at the conference, Walker, Bear and Andrews started talking about the government’s bomb-sniffing dogs. Within minutes, they had conjured up a doggie brain-scanning skullcap that could tell agents what kind of explosive material a dog had picked up.’
September 28, 2006
[911] The Hopeless Stupidity of 9/11 Conspiracies‘To me, the 9/11 Truth movement is, itself, a classic example of the pathology of George Bush’s America. Bush has presided over a country that has become hopelessly divided into insoluble, paranoid tribes, one of which happens to be Bush’s own government. All of these tribes have things in common; they’re insular movements that construct their own reality by cherry-picking the evidence they like from the vast information marketplace, violently disbelieve in the humanity of those outside their ranks, and lavishly praise their own movement mediocrities as great thinkers and achievers. There are as many Thomas Paines in the 9/11 Truth movement as there are Isaac Newtons among the Intelligent Design crowd.’
September 26, 2006
[911] Meet the No Planers — The New Statesman visits with David Shayler who has become one of the the UK’s prominent 9/11 conspiracy theorists. [thanks Phil] …

‘These 9/11 truth campaigners merely add a supposedly scientific gloss to already existing conspiracy theories, trying to make the ridiculous seem respectable. In the process, they actually do a disservice to “historical truth”. History gets reduced to a mysterious force beyond our control, and politics – real politics – is imagined to be the preserve of unknown, faceless puppet-masters whom we can never hope to influence. And the rest of us are reduced to the status of helpless spectators, searching amid the rubble of 9/11 and the aftermath of 7/7 for signs of truth and meaning.’

September 11, 2006
[911] The Hunt … Declan Walsh searches for Osama bin Laden‘To find Osama bin Laden, try Peshawar’s smugglers’ bazaar on the road to the Khyber Pass. Walk past the small mountains of almonds and lemongrass and green tea. Turn at the stacks of duty-free TVs and cheap cosmetics. Stop at the stalls with the topless women. Down a cramped alley, bearded shopkeepers squeezed behind tiny counters offer a fine selection of fanciful sex products. “Delay sprays” carry the promise of lingering pleasure. For the discerning lover there is Lovely Curves, a product that claims to be a “bust-developing cream”. If all else fails, there is plenty of knock-off Viagra at knock-down prices. Worry not about the quality: “Made is Germany” (sic) reads the label.’
September 7, 2006
[911] Unity — Zefrank on 9/11. ‘With no particular thought in my head I started crying…’
January 12, 2006
[comics] 911 in Comic Books — webpage looking at how comic books portrayed 911. Includes the black covered issue of Spider-Man which has Doctor Doom shedding a tear… [via Metafilter]

DOOM! BY HIS EMOTIONS BETRAYED! TERROR IN A TEARDROP!

October 3, 2005
[comics] Page 227 from A History of Violence — a scan from John Wagner’s and Vince Locke’s comic from 1997. ‘… there does seem to be an elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about, in regards to the source material.’
May 24, 2004
[iraq] The Reporter Who’s The Talk Of The Town — a profile of Seymour Hersh … ‘Thanks to Hersh, what amounts to an alternative history of the “war on terror” has unfolded. He has reported, inter alia, on the bungled efforts to catch Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, on the flaws in the legal case against Zacarias Moussaoui (the alleged “20th hijacker” of 11 September) and on the business dealings of the neo-conservative super-hawk Richard Perle. That report led to Perle’s resignation as chairman of the Pentagon’s influential Defence Policy Board, and to angry mutterings from Perle that he would sue. Nothing happened.’
November 15, 2003
[911] Operation Holy Tuesday — insight into the planning behind 9-11 … ‘The prisoner no longer recalls precisely when he heard these words and in which of the many hideouts in the mountains bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, this single sentence uttered by Osama Bin Laden has burned itself into his memory, this decisive sentence, spoken in a soft and silky voice, that would ultimately become a death sentence for about 3,000 people: “Why do you use an ax when you can use a bulldozer?”‘ [via Metafilter]
September 11, 2003
[9/11] The Falling Man — long, moving essay by Tom Junod about the photo of a man jumping from the World Trade Center on 9/11 [Article in Plain Text] …

‘Some people who look at the picture see stoicism, willpower, a portrait of resignation; others see something else — something discordant and therefore terrible: freedom. There is something almost rebellious in the man’s posture, as though once faced with the inevitability of death, he decided to get on with it; as though he were a missile, a spear, bent on attaining his own end.’

‘…the only certainty we have is the certainty we had at the start: At fifteen seconds after 9:41 a.m., on September 11, 2001, a photographer named Richard Drew took a picture of a man falling through the sky — falling through time as well as through space. The picture went all around the world, and then disappeared, as if we willed it away. One of the most famous photographs in human history became an unmarked grave, and the man buried inside its frame — the Falling Man — became the Unknown Soldier in a war whose end we have not yet seen. Richard Drew’s photograph is all we know of him, and yet all we know of him becomes a measure of what we know of ourselves.’

January 6, 2003
[comics] Who Cares? — Jack Chick on 9/11 … [via Metafilter]



‘Bob, now I know that Allah doesn’t really love me or even care about any Muslim. But Jesus, the Son of God, does. That’s why I must chose Jesus.’
October 16, 2002
[terrorism] Don’t blame The West — Clive James on the events in Bali and the reaction in Australia … Australia’s pundits on 9-11: ‘Imperialist America was not only treating the helpless Middle East as its personal property, it had racist Australia for its lackey. No wonder al-Qaida was angry. On Christmas Eve, in the Melbourne Age, another pundit, Michael Leunig, called for a national prayer for Osama bin Laden on Christmas Day. “It’s a family day,” Leunig explained, “and Osama’s our relative.” It is not recorded whether the aforesaid Osama, sitting cross-legged beside his Christmas tree somewhere under Afghanistan, offered up a prayer for Michael. He might have done: after all, they were on first-name terms.’ [Related: We should try to love bin Laden, for Christ’s sake by Michael Leunig]
September 27, 2002
[911] Failsafe — intriguing article about Flight 93 contrasting the events on board with American Defense Policy … ‘It may be worth taking note of the fact that the hijackers themselves correctly foresaw that the threat to their mission would come from the passengers and not from a military source external to the plane. The terrorists left behind them multiple copies of a manual, five pages in Arabic. The manual does not tell the terrorists what to do if an F-15 or F-16 approaches the planes they have seized. It instead gives elaborate instruction on what to do if passengers offer resistance. We should not ordinarily let ourselves be schooled by terrorists. But terrorists who seek to carry out a mission successfully have to know what the greatest threat to their mission will be.’ [via Red Rock Eater Digest]
September 11, 2002
[911] A View From The Patriotic Left — Christopher Hitchens looks back on 911 … [via Junius]

‘It is important to realize at the outset that a victory for those forces, of which bin Ladenism is only the most extreme, is in two senses of the word impossible. Impossible, obviously, from a moral point of view and from the viewpoint of survival. It has taken us a long time to evolve a society that, however imperfectly, respects political pluralism and religious diversity and the emancipation of the sexual life. A society that attempts to employ the objective standards of scientific inquiry and that has brought us the Hubble telescope and the unraveling of the chain of DNA. Clearly, there can be no compromise between this and the ravings of those who study dreams and are deluded by wild prophecies and who regard women as chattel and unbelievers as sacrificial animals. For them, the achievements of science are nothing, while the theft of weapons of mass destruction counts as a holy task. Their degradation is bottomless’

[911] What has changed in New York? Everything. And Also Nothing — a journalist walks through Manhattan …

‘Strozier has been mapping Manhattan according to “zones of sadness”. South of Chambers Street, you could make out the people jumping, “and the only question is how that transforms you. Not whether you’re traumatised”. South of 14th, you could see everything – except individual human beings. And on the Upper West Side, “you probably saw it on TV. But you had to live with the smell. People are deeply confused about that, unless they’re very psychologically alert to their feelings. But everybody knows what the smell was. Today, the victims are literally in the lungs of people in New York”. Because of wind patterns, though, the smell never made it to the Upper East Side. “The richest, most elitist area in New York, and it was never touched. And within a few weeks, the most important thing for them was whether they could get a reservation at a five-star restaurant.”‘

August 18, 2002
[war] The Search for Osama bin Laden‘CIA officials have highly reliable reports that al-Qaeda’s leader managed to cross into northwest Pakistan and is hiding in or near the city of Peshawar, where he commands the loyalty of local tribes and is protected by thousands of armed men. Bin Laden has managed to elude capture by one of the largest concentrations of special-operations forces, airpower and satellite surveillance ever mustered. Blunders at the U.S. command level, lack of coordination between coalition partners, poor intelligence and the unreliability or outright treachery of local allies have contributed to the failure, which now threatens to unleash civil war in Pakistan as al-Qaeda gears up for another attack on the United States.’ [via Robot Wisdom]
August 14, 2002
[911] The Mystery of Flight 93 — The Independent’s view on the unanswered questions and conspriracy theories surfacing about Flight 93‘Everything is speculation — that is the problem with the story of Flight 93. And unless the US government reveals more of what it knows, provides a detailed account of the last 10 minutes in the life of Flight 93 and the 44 people who were aboard, there will not only be scope but sound reasons for the conspiracy theorists to continue to speculate as to what really happened in those last few minutes before the plane plunged into the earth; to cast doubts on the soft-focus legend that the traumatised American public has seized upon so gratefully.’ [Related: Mefi on Flight 93]
August 4, 2002
[comics] State of the Art: Frank Miller — Jimmy Palmiotti interviews Frank Miller about Dark Knight 2 amongst other things …

‘JP: What about comics is driving you nuts right now?

FM: “Crying Fireman” comics. Golly, we all got plenty emotional after 9/11, and a lot of us did some plenty emotional work. But at least we knew when to stop. Now Marvel seems to have turned it into a goddamn cottage industry. Ghoulish. Shameful. It reminds me of the old saw that every American tragedy winds up turning into a farce.’

July 29, 2002
[911] Reach for the Sky — Salman Rushdie on 911 and what should happen on the site of the WTC … ‘At Ground Zero that November day, the hollow air seemed to gather and shape itself into those huge lost forms and soar upwards towards the memory of billowing fire. “That was where it happened,” I kept reminding myself, “not down here, but up there.” I tried to identify cubes of empty space “up there” that might correspond to the exact locations of the twin crimes, wanting, a little crazily, to repossess those spaces by the pure force of seeing. An aeroplane passed overhead and made me wince.’
May 29, 2002
[aftermath] The Battle For Ground Zero — what happens next in NYC … ‘…very tall skyscrapers are out of fashion these days, isn’t there still an impulse, he asks, to see something tall and triumphant at the site? So what about, say, a 70-story office tower with a sculptural steel lattice at the top that climbs to the 110-story height of the original Twin Towers? And what if it becomes more delicate as it rises, suggesting spirits released into the sky? Then again, where will you find a developer willing to pay for 40 stories of unprofitable frosting on his cake?’
April 18, 2002
[911] Jerry Pournelle’s reaction to 911 The Black September War

Kinda Biblical: ‘There shall be monuments, perpetual, large enough to be seen from the air, from space: monuments of desolation in each of those cities. A million square feet; let the company commanders measure each building before flattening it. Let it be recorded. And let salt be sown where those places stood. Let their refugees go where they will. And if that requires the Army fight its way into those places, then the devil take the hindmost. We have no lack of volunteers.’

Then Sci-Fi: ‘…build our monuments, but then put solar power receiving stations on them, and give about 800 megawatts of power to each of the cities in which we built those. The more I think on it, the more it grows on me. Of course I have been for building space solar power satellites without this incentive: to build SSPS will required a fleet of reusable space ships, and if we have those we automatically have Thor (non-nuclear orbital precision bombardment: tungsten telephone poles that can hit any target at about 15,000 fps velocity with an accuracy of about 10 feet CEP)’
March 28, 2002
[war] American Crusade 2001 Trading Cards‘World affairs today can sure be confusing!’ [via Follow Me Here]


March 17, 2002
[911] Six Months that Changed a Year — an “absolute atrocity” special by Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci … Highlights include: ‘Julie Burchill: How I liberated Kandahar with the news that Tony Parsons is a bastard.’ [Update: Post on Metafilter]
March 10, 2002
[stats] 795,763 tonnes of building rubble — War on Terrorism statistics … ‘US planes have dropped 328,000 blankets, 3.4 million pounds of wheat and 2.5 million daily rations into Afghanistan. Ten thousand tonnes of bombs have fallen on Afghanistan since 11 September, half of what fell on London in the Blitz.’ [Related: Observer War On Terrorism Section]
[war] Does bin Laden matter anymore? … does the Pentagon care about ObL? ‘ Try as he may, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld cannot seem to shake the dreaded “OBL” question – even coming from his wife, Joyce. “Every once in a while … as I get up about 5 o’clock and get ready to take a shower and head for the office, she says, ‘Don, where is he?’ ” Mr. Rumsfeld told a military gathering last week. “I tell her that if I want to bring up Osama bin Laden, I’ll wake her up and bring it up myself,” he quipped.’ [via Red Rock Eater]
March 7, 2002
[911] America more serious? You must be joking — Christopher Hitchens on America after 911 … ‘”Can we be funny?” the hosts of Saturday Night Live asked Rudy Giuliani when they nervously invited him on to the set a few nights after the immolation of the World Trade Centre. “Why start now?” was his mordant reply and, with that, frivolity resumed her reign.’
February 28, 2002
[war] Bin Laden’s private life revealed amid rubble‘Osama bin Laden’s underpants were hanging up to dry in the bathroom of his house outside Jalalabad. They were striped grey and black cotton boxers, with a label reading Angelo Petrico, a size XXL large for such a lean-looking man.’ [via Blogadoon]
February 26, 2002
[books] Snort Story — interview with Elizabeth Wurtzel … ‘Wurtzel was in New York on 11 September, and her apartment is close enough to the World Trade Centre that her windows blew in. But she remained in bed until the second plane hit – in spite of the frantic ringing of the phone – and to this day seems oddly calm about the whole experience. She told a Canadian journalist: “My main thought was: what a pain in the ass. I felt everyone was overreacting. People were going on about it. That part really annoyed me.” When I asked her how she felt about the attack, she said: “Hmm, I’m trying to remember. I was numb for quite a while. I was preoccupied with trying to get my cat out of my apartment. I treated it like a natural disaster not Armageddon.”‘
January 31, 2002
[911] David Icke on 911 …
  • Alice in Wonderland and the WTC Disaster‘The predictability of the ritualistic, emotionless, reptilian mind can be seen in the news management that has followed this U.S. disaster. Look at what always happens in these circumstances and you will see that the blueprint is the same in almost every case. Before the event happens the fall-guy or “patsy” is already set up to take the blame, thus steering the public mind away from dangerous speculation and onto a pre-ordained target. After the Kennedy assassination it was Lee Harvey Oswald; after Oklahoma it was Timothy McVeigh; now it is Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden, deeply misguided as he may be, is no more responsible for what happened this week than I am.’
  • How it is possible to orchestrate and mastermind a terrorist attack without the terrorists themselves even knowing who is really behind it?‘The Illuminati do not represent a “side” or a “faction”. They CREATE the “sides” and the “factions” and they use them to manipulate the game of divide and rule and centralisation of global power. They operate within the Islamic world as they operate within the “western world”. So as the bigger pyramids envelope the smaller pyramids you reach a point in the structure where the same force is manipulating and organising the horrors in America while also manipulating and organising the RESPONSE to those horrors through their puppets such as Bush, Cheney, Powell, and Blair.’

[911] The Perfect Soldier — profile of Mohamed Atta. [via Douze Lunes]

‘In November, on a blustery cold day in northern Germany, a young woman in Hamburg, the former girlfriend and now wife of one of Atta’s old roommates, talked about an image she couldn’t get out of her head. She said when the bombs started falling in Afghanistan, she would sit in front of her television, staring in disbelief, unable to comprehend that the bombs were in a very real sense put in motion by her husband’s old roommate. Watching the explosions, she would try to match them, the war, everything that has gone on in the world since Sept. 11, to her memory of the slight young man padding around his student apartment in his shower shoes. It didn’t fit. She would ask herself: All of this because of Mohamed? It’s impossible, she said. Not little Mohamed in his blue flip-flops.’

January 22, 2002
[911] A Dream in Ruins — interview with Leslie Robertson – one of the designers of the World Trade Center‘He had agreed 18 months earlier to speak at a meeting of the National Council of Structural Engineers in New Hampshire in early October and went ahead with the engagement. He was astonished later to see a report of the meeting in the Wall Street Journal. Robertson was asked: “Is there anything you wish you had done differently in the design of the building?” Instead of answering, he wept. “I guess I thought I was a sturdier person than I am,” he says now. “The thing that keeps you awake at night is the people in the building. Pretty much every night.”‘
January 20, 2002
[politics] Hey, I’m Doing My Best — Christopher Hitchens on George Bush’s first year … ‘The moral and political universe turns on the axis of 11 September. And that date is a day that Bush would no doubt like to have back again. Unlike any of his predecessors in a time of disaster, he was actually live on camera when the news hit. We saw him squatting on a small chair in a Florida schoolroom, smirking condescendingly at a junior class, when his chief of staff came hurrying in. And then we saw him no more, as the stupid doomsday routines of ‘national security’ hid him. The official excuse for this – that he had been overruled by his guards – was more panicky and pathetic than the reality. So the Mayor of New York became leader of the free world for a whole week.’
January 16, 2002
[911] A Blind Spot Called Iraq — review of a book which analyses if Saddam Hussein is behind the attacks on America … ‘Mylroie’s conclusion, reached by relentless forensic analysis of a huge array of human and documentary sources, is that the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing did not, as the Clinton administration claimed at the time, signal the emergence of a ‘new kind of terrorism’ by ‘loose networks’ of Muslim extremists.Instead, it was the first skirmish in ‘a new kind of war’ – sponsored, like old-style wars, by a hostile state, Iraq. Planned as the world’s worst terrorist attack, in which one of the towers would have collapsed into the other amid a cloud of cyanide, the plot’s Iraqi directors simply made use of a little Islamist muscle, stooges who were meant to be caught, in order to conceal its real origin.’
January 3, 2002
[9/11] What Did They Know and When Did They Know It? … excellent resource for conspiracy theorists… a long list of 9-11 related stories.
January 1, 2002
[9/11] Is bin Laden the Lord of the Rings?‘All that stands between us and this implacable darkness is a small band of ordinary guys doing extraordinary deeds in their unconventional hit-and-run style. Always vastly outnumbered, they never lose a battle and hardly ever a single life. Are they really that good? Or is it just because they embody the cosmic principle of goodness? Their devotion to honor, decency, and each other is exemplary. And they invite us to come back to the theater next Christmas to see them defend the oh-so-white city, where we all hope to live peacefully ever after. If you have seen the movie and followed the war news, you can no doubt extend the list of parallels.’ [via Wood s Lot]
December 31, 2001
[blogs] If I remember one weblog post from 2001 it’ll be this one…

Metafilter Posting on 911


[by Matt Haughey on Metafilter]
December 29, 2001
[911 comment] History is back with a capital H — Naomi Klien on the End of History and ObL … ‘It’s an idea we’ve heard from many quarters since September 11, a return of the great narrative: chosen men, evil empires, master plans, and great battles. All are ferociously back in style. The Bible, the Koran, The Clash of Civilizations, Lord of the Rings – all of them suddenly playing out “in these days, in our times.” This grand redemption narrative is our most persistent myth, and it has a dangerous flip side. When a few men decide to live their myths, to be larger than life, it can’t help but have an impact on all the lives that unfold in regular sizes. People suddenly look insignificant by comparison, easy to sacrifice in the name of some greater purpose. When the Berlin Wall fell, it was supposed to have buried this epic narrative in its rubble. This was capitalism’s decisive victory. Ideology is dead, let’s go shopping.’ [via Wood s Lot]
December 28, 2001
[comment] Is Bin Laden a Pisces – or is he Cancer?‘So far there has been comparitively little debate about the fact that all the world’s astrologers appear to have missed any auspices pointing towards cataclysmic events and vast numbers of dead on a day which, it seems to be generally agreed, changed the course of history. While the security services were immediately condemned for their ignorance, the reputation of astrologers, who have no need of Arabic, bravery or subterfuge to interpret their celestial hints, has escaped intact, not even faintly stained by this awesome demonstration of occult incompetence. While the astrologers’ failure will not surprise anyone acquainted with the essential idiocy of their occupation, or deter the millions who rushed out to buy the predictions of Nostradamus after September 11, you might think it would lead to a little self-examination among practitioners. Not a bit.’
December 27, 2001
[911] All change? … Has the world changed in the wake of September 11th? ‘The question is, did that day cut a line through history? Were the days that came before it, as Blake Morrison wrote in the Guardian later that week, “the last week of the world as it was”? In other words, will it be a day like September 3 1939, or August 4 1914: all change, and no going back. Or a day like June 28 1914, when a Serbian nationalist knocked off the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Franz Ferdinand, and for a month Vienna and Berlin debated what to do? Or merely a day like April 12 1912, when the Titanic went down, 1,500 dead? Many people, especially writers and other preachers, chose to see the last as a massive symbol of hubris, God or fate teaching over-confident “western civilisation” a lesson, rather than as – the true case – a marine accident which changed nothing other than safety regulations for ships and the career of Leonardo DiCaprio.’
December 23, 2001
[wtc] Only Love and then Oblivion — Ian McEwan on 911 … ‘If the hijackers had been able to imagine themselves into the thoughts and feelings of the passengers, they would have been unable to proceed. It is hard to be cruel once you permit yourself to enter the mind of your victim. Imagining what it is like to be someone other than yourself is at the core of our humanity. It is the essence of compassion, and it is the beginning of morality. The hijackers used fanatical certainty, misplaced religious faith, and dehumanising hatred to purge themselves of the human instinct for empathy. Among their crimes was a failure of the imagination.’
[2001] The Observer reviews 2001‘On 10 September, 2001, the front page of London’s Evening Standard was filled with the news that Kate Winslet had denied canoodling with someone somewhere. On that same day, the headline in the New York Daily News was “Kips Bay Tenants Say: We’ve Got Killer Mold”.’
[war] Suddenly, he was gone — Where in the world is Osama bin Laden? ‘Getting information about bin Laden’s movements is not difficult. Getting reliable information is the problem. ‘There’s one [report] every day, or many every day. It’s like Elvis sightings,’ said one exasperated US intelligence official.’
December 22, 2001
[comment] In the ruins of the future — Don DeLillo on 911. ‘Technology is our fate, our truth. It is what we mean when we call ourselves the only superpower on the planet. The materials and methods we devise make it possible for us to claim our future. We don’t have to depend on God or the prophets or other astonishments. We are the astonishment. The miracle is what we ourselves produce, the systems and networks that change the way we live and think. But whatever great skeins of technology lie ahead, ever more complex, connective, precise, micro-fractional, the future has yielded, for now, to medieval expedience, to the old slow furies of cut-throat religion. Kill the enemy and pluck out his heart.’
December 17, 2001
[war] Bin Laden trail goes cold‘Commander Zeman insisted the ground forces attacking al-Qaida had located the terrorist overlord’s cave. When asked what it looked like, he replied: “It looked like a cave.”‘
December 16, 2001
[war] Al-Qaeda loses itself in dream world — brief look at the “dream world” of a terrorist network. ‘… the dreams of bin Laden’s followers are more rooted in a perverted surrealism than the study of Islamic history or tradition. While the surrealists used dreams to enrich reality, the fundamentalists pursue their dreams to abandon it altogether. For bin Laden and company the reality of the modern world is a chaos where soccer, aircraft, skyscrapers, moonlight deserts and pilots converge. They reject it to build a new ontological structure, this time made of bits of modernity and antiquity, nature and artifice; magical realism and a fascination with gadgetry.’
December 15, 2001
[distraction] Osama Smoking Gun Video — the latest translations … ‘UBL: Phil’s nowhere to be seen and Peggy’s left to run the Queen Vic Over Christmas.’ [via Metafilter]
December 13, 2001
[nyc] Tom Wolfe on the City of Change‘The case could be made that any post-9/11 federal appropriations to prop up business in New York should go first to the places where you can get Chilean sea bass with a Georgia plum marmalade glaze on a bed of mashed Hayman potatoes laced with leeks, broccoli rabe and emulsion of braised Vidalia onions infused with Marsala vinegar.’ [via Robot Wisdom]
December 12, 2001
[war] Broken al-Qaida driven from their last fortress — Another report from Rory McCarthy… this time from Tora Bora. ‘To one side lay a large sheet of American metal marked “Dispenser and bomb, aircraft CBU 87B/B”, the casing for the cluster bomb unit which levelled this ridgeline. A handful of desperate mojahedin soldiers scavenged for scraps of metal among the dozens of unexploded, yellow, cylindrical anti-personnel bomblets scattered across the hillside. On a second sheet of green metal casing nearby an American soldier named Gary had scribbled his own brief marking before loading the cluster bomb into the hold of one of the B-52s. “For those whose dreams were taken,” he wrote, “here are a few nightmares. This is gonna shine like a diamond in a goat’s ass”.’

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