February 26, 2003

Historical Amnesia Watch Jonathan Schell

Historical Amnesia Watch

Jonathan Schell (who just after 9/11 had solid reportage on the felling of the Towers from his apartment location 8 blocks north of Ground Zero) now treats us to such mediocrity in (where else?) the pages of The Nation:

"When terrorists attacked the Pentagon and knocked down the World Trade Center on September 11, everyone marveled that nineteen men had coordinated their actions for evil with such efficiency. On February 15, 10 million coordinated their actions for good. February 15 was the people's answer to September 11."

Schell, like many breathless writers in likely spots like the Guardian or the Nation, is clearly very excited by the February 15th protests. I witnessed the one at Hyde Park and described it, in what I think were judicious tones, in this blog. The crowds were well behaved, sincere, many of the individuals were evocative of a middle Britannia fearful of the ramifications of a march to war. Dissent in a democracy--even when accompanied by a good dollop of moronic instincts--is welcome. But let's be clear. As oft-stated, we can assume with some conviction that the greatest threat in the 21st Century will come from the intersection of rogue states with WMD capability and transnational terror groups. We are on the cusp of a worrisome era of proliferation. The U.S., as the only state with the requisite power and sound instinct to lead, must draw the line with countries like Iraq and North Korea now to stem this potential tide of proliferation.

Saddam, in particular, has already shown his willingness to link up with terror groups like Abu Nidal's (and, more likely than not, with al-Qaeda). And as we all know, of course, he has shown no compunction in using WMD on his very on citizenry.

Given all this, Schell would have us equate protestors that are supporting irresponsible policies that will increase the likelihood of another (more massive) 9/11 occurring as the "good" counterpoint to the "evil" represented by the 19 hijackers on 9/11? How very wrong.

Schell should know better. He himself wrote shortly after 9/11 that: "It would be disrespectful of the dead to in any way minimize the catastrophe that has overtaken New York. Yet at the same time we must keep room in our minds for the fact that it could have been worse. To lose two huge buildings and the people in them is one thing; to lose all of Manhattan--or much, much more--is another. The emptiness in the sky can spread. We have been warned."

And now some have forgotten.

Posted by Gregory at February 26, 2003 10:09 PM
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