the talking dog
September 2001 Postings
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The Left-Leaning Dog Says:
The Rabid Dog Says:
September 26, 2001.
As I write on the eve of the Jewish Day
of Atonement, your LLD wonders what crimes
against the universe he has committed to find
himself locked in his battle of wits with the RD
over the mundane question of the
"consequences to the United States if the
State of Israel were to cease to exist-
Your RD has, however, in his inimitable
mocking tone, actually demonstrated the import
and significance of this discussion. Renewing
the Zionism is Racism debate is the first step
toward the attempted marginalization of the
Jewish people (and, of course, the now
democratic and free state populated and run by
was no accident that the marginalization and
dehumanization of the Jews in 1933-1939 Germany
was the necessary first step before mass murder.
Your RD makes light of Yasser Arafat's,
and Saddam Hussein's, possibly O(U?)sama bin
Laden's and probably Hosni Mubarak's fondest
dream: the destruction of the Jewish state. How
would it impact the United States?
If the United States were in any way
instrumental in that process, or failed to use
all of its moral, financial, diplomatic and
military force to stop it-- then the moral basis
of our existence as a nation will end-- and we
might as well be France.
Of course, the RD will doubtless find
THAT funny too.
September 25, 2001.
Despite questions as to your LLD's,
manliness -- or as I like to think of them, the
cheap shots of a smug, self-satisfied Rabid Dog
know: the pussy), yesterday your LLD, together
with our unseen editor, visited the site of
(What follows is standard solipsism about
my observations- you may wish to jump to the
this point, the closest available vantage point
is an obstructed view from about a block away:
but one can still see awful, twisted, devastated
burning smell (which was visited upon Brooklyn
with a vengeance a week ago) is greatly reduced
apparently - but is still omnipresent.
The scene- of blocked streets, fenced in,
surrounded by police and fatigue-wearing
national guardsmen- remains surreal.
‘Nuff said, I suppose.
besides unwarranted cheap ad hominen
shots at your LLD -- the RD tried to make light
of recent tragedies in Israel by noting that
Israel had not suffered 6 or 7 thousand
casualties at the hands of terrorists.
Of course, Israel HAS suffered dozens- if
not hundreds- of casualties THIS year - not to
mention previous years-- and Israel is 1/50 the
size of this country!
In context, 120 Israelis represents a
similar proportion of casualties as 6000 in the
much larger United States.
That, certainly, IS a number close to
ACTUAL Israeli casualties (as if this subject
were appropriate for the smug dismissiveness of
the RD in the first place!).
Interestingly, the uniqueness of an
attack on the WTC resulted in casualties of
almost 2,600 FOREIGN NATIONALS.
While only further demonstrating the
horror and indiscriminateness of this outrage,
in this gruesome calculus set up by the RD, it
further reduces the "national impact"
to the United States which now appears to have
"only" lost about 4000 of its citizens
(and its two largest office buildings)-- not to
mention, the illusion that its largest cities
are actually defended.
course, your LLD -- unlike your RD or
apparently, our national government - has a
definitive response to these outrages-
calculated to rid the world of these terrorists,
and reduce to near zero the chance of further
response does NOT include selling out the United
States' greatest friend and ally in the world --
a State nurtured into being with the help of our
greatest 20th century president (Harry Truman)--
the State of Israel.
Several sources - such as
Kaus, for example, are asserting that
somehow - Neville Chamberlain is the British
prime minister we should now be emulating, and
calculating a plan to
sell out the Israelis!
(This would seem to be in sympathy with
the views of the RD-- though he is welcome to
Note, of course, that Osama (Usama?
He' IS just like Qadaffi! ) bin Laden
hates Israel (and indeed, like most of the Arab
world, Jews in general).
Assuming that he alone - and not with the
logistical, financial, tactical, intelligence
and "moral" support of Saddam Hussein
- was responsible for these atrocities, then
that tells us that the current Israel-
Palestinian intifada is absolutely irrelevant!
"evidence" being gathered by our law
enforcement shows that the terrorists were in
this country FOR YEARS -- years before the
current breakdown in the so-called Mid-East
peace process-- planning this very attack!
It might go back to the USS Cole, or to
the embassy bombings, or Khobar Towers-- but
these bastards were here planning this for a
their reasons -- when this shit was first being
planned, Barak was in power- and it looked like
the Palestinians were going to get everything
they wanted at the negotiating table (before
Arafat still found away to TURN DOWN an
Palestinian state with sovereignty over
the entire West Bank and Gaza with Jerusalem as
its capital and Israel reduced to its 1948
Blaming the Israelis for this (as opposed to OURSELVES- who financially prop up the corrupt Egyptian and Saudi regimes-- which spawned virtually ALL of the hijackers, at least by nationality) is counter-factual. Most importantly, it is morally reprehensible: we should NEVER give in to the demands of terrorists (to the extent we can figure out what the particular demands of these particular maniacs are) -- and REWARD their evil.
So let me say this about Israel and the evil movement to resurrect the "Zionism is racism" sloganeering: if supporting the sole bastion of freedom and democratic values in the Middle East constitutes racism, then call me a racist -- I will bear that title proudly.
September 23, 2001.
Let me take this brief opportunity to I
to start railing my anger at the effete and
the BBC was harping at the "sloppy
FBI" for "releasing the names of the
hijackers" (unlike the "sensible
British and their official secrets acts -- which
"protect privacy" -- other than the
right to hound and chase royal celebrities to
their deaths while trying to photograph them
naked, I suppose) -- evidently, some of the
hijackers stole Saudi national's identities (can
you believe that?
those bastards!) and the REAL Muammar ben
ibn Saddam-Jew-hater, or whatever his name is --
is alive and well in Morocco and is pissed at
having been "dragged through the mud by the
To the BBC -- who specialize in asserting
the moral equivalence of Palestinian maniacs
murdering crowds of unarmed civilians with
Israel's retaliating bulldozing of empty
buildings - that's a story!
The STORY is that this convenient
identity theft -- with real authentic looking
(because they are real!) Saudi passports and
identity papers- proves almost without doubt
that these bastards were doubtless aided by
"a state" -- probably even the
sadistic SAUDI government -- a so-called
"moderate" state-- who, whether our
friend or not (not being the answer), we have
American troops on site to defend. As well as, of course -- the REAL state behind this...
another story you won't find reported in the
European press (the smarmy and hypocritical
European left makes your LLD sick -- even if he
IS an LLD) -- check out The
New Republic for an article by former CLINTON CIA director
Woolsey on the strong possibility that the
perpetrator of the original WTC bombing in 1993
was none other than our old friend (and first
TRULY worthy adversary of this nation since Ho
Chi Minh), Saddam Hussein, who, via ingenious
identity thefts (see above), placed one of his
agents in the role of "master
terrorist" Ramzi Youssef.
Saddam, who, unlike even the psychopathic
Taliban-- is (aside from the Palestinians) the
only world figure to OFFICIALLY applaud the WTC
bombing- has proven over and over again- after
playing the more powerful Ayatollah Khomeini's
Iran and the Untied States and its original Gulf
War coalition to draws-- that he is a formidable
force for evil.
Of course, while there is no picture of
any of the hijackers talking to bin Laden- but
there IS a picture of at least one of them
speaking directly to the head of IRAQI
intelligence (which seems a whole lot smarter
than American intelligence these days, doesn't
that and Saddam almost certainly just arranged
to blow up the World Trade Center, and the
Pentagon, and will probably get away with it,
unless the president plans on (I HOPE he is!)
simply using bin Laden and the Afghans as a
misdirection and correcting his father's
mistake- by ACTUALLY removing Saddam from Iraq,
and preferably, from the planet (over Saudi and
Sure, bin Laden is a menace and it is
unquestionably necessary that HE be removed from
the planet as well (preferably violently -- the
only way the Arab world seems to understand--
and he will NOT become a martyr in a region
where martyrs are famously a dime a dozen)-- but
removing him and leaving Saddam almost
guarantees further domestic civilian
casualties-- not to mention the senseless and
endless suffering of the Iraqi people.
Sanctions having caused that: Saddam has.
will see. Our LAST president, who our current president seems to
worship as a role model (his chief adviser being
a TV NEWSWOMAN, for God's sake) has put us in
our current position with endless short-term,
politically expedient pandering (like launching
missiles at medicine factories and mud huts in
response to the Embassy bombings-- like the
events of 9/11/2001 -- ACTS OF WAR AGAINST THE
UNITED STATES!) instead of the hard stuff-- like
a ground war in Iraq.
I hope our current president- unlike our
last TWO presidents (yes, I MEAN 41) is up to
the job that needs to be done.
God bless you all, and God Bless the
United States of America.
September 21, 2001.
Today, your LLD finally surveyed the
economic wreckage that is mid-town Manhattan (he
still hasn't had the heart yet to visit
downtown; that wrenching moment is set for
Monday morning, when the pursuit of justice will
take him to the courthouse 4 blocks from ground
zero) with your esteemed invisible editor (even
more mysterious than the mystery man, or should
I say, the Godless pussy.)
Hey America-- flags are nice.
If you give a hoot about this country--
leave your flags and ribbons at home and get
your tails into the City of New York
(pretend you're not really scared for
your lives) and spend some damned money!
You can get a great table now!
You can see just about any show you
want-- there are great seats (as long as you
don't want to see The Producers or The
man of mystery - who, like the terrorists
themselves, chooses to remain nameless and
faceless, like a good lemming, joins in the 95%
approval rating of our president, and gives him
high marks on his speech.
Of course, as our invisible editor notes-
just because a C- speech is GOOD for George
Walker Bush does not mean it is a good speech
for an America that needs an A at minimum, if
not A+; the Clintonian "personal
flourishes" are not welcome at a time when
substance is needed over style.
But then, the Bush presidency has been
the triumph of Clintonianism over substance, at
least so far.
(Actually- for a TRUE hagiography of our
still untested, though no one will argue, not
very articulate- president, I direct you to www.andrewsullivan.com
- the right man for the job.)
Whether our president is up to the job
remains to be seen.
I hope he is.
I hope I am proven wrong.
(I am -- occasionally).
Your LLD voted for Al Gore, and would
obviously be much more comforted if Al Gore- or
John McCain- both with more worthy records of
service to this nation than our current
president whose resume consists of "being
41's son, then handed baseball team,
governorship, and presidency" - were now in
now, of course, no one- and certainly no one
capable of decisive action- appears to be in
charge of our country (the
"reasonable" and "cautious"
Colin Powell- the man who is largely responsible
for Saddam Hussein still being alive- and
keeping Iraq a menace to all civilized peoples-
is hardly confidence inspiring as he talks of
"coalitions" consisting of our
enemies-- i.e. Arab states- because a moderate
Arab state is about as oxymoronic as military
intelligence of Congressional ethics -- to
The crappy speech highlights that.
Frankly, I want specifics.
I want better than trivializing
"homeland security" by creating a
"cabinet level White House Czar"--
which should damned well already be the most
important – hell -- the ONLY -- job of the
Department of Defense -- which has been a
cabinet level department since 1789.
I want our enemies named.
I want names besides the cryptic bin
Laden -- if he even really exists as a real,
independent entity (other than as a creature of
central casting for the bogeyman of state
sponsored terrorism by countries (or groups) we
actually fund and refuse to put on the list of
"terrorist states"-- Egypt, Saudi
Arabia, the Palestinian Authority-- or states we
officially acknowledge as terrorist sponsors--
Iraq, Iran, Libya).
I went names besides the crazy, yet, when
you get right down to it, pathetic,
Ten days after the most horrific act in
the sorry history of terrorism inflicted
civilian casualties on this country over double
those of the MILITARY casualties inflicted at
Pearl Harbor -- I want our president to explain
to me why New York continues to burn-- while
Baghdad, Tripoli and Damascus, and Gaza and Nablus, and even Kabul, continue to laugh.
the coming war -- if it is to be anything more
than the Clintonian spectacle for domestic
consumption that your LLD thinks is all that
will be waged by the "cautious" Bush
administration and its (save Wolfowitz)
uninspiring national security team-- has got to
be vicious, nasty, lengthy, and once and for
all, ridding the world of the REAL ROOT CAUSE of
the current round of terrorism that plagues us:
despotic Arab states, who have
transformed the energy that should be directed
at their own reform instead into insane and
vitriolic levels of anti-Semitism and hatred of
the United States -- as well as also directly
financed, harbored, encouraged- and cheered at
the handiwork of- terrorists.
LLD acknowledges that the United States is
probably too squeamish -- too weak, at its soul
-- to do the expensive, bloody and time
consuming (we may have to occupy the Arab states
FOREVER) work necessary to ACTUALLY WIN the
"war on terrorism".
Too much bloodshed (unfortunately, of course, more innocent American civilians
will die if we DON'T do this-- but that's the
way it is). Too many military casualties.
Too much loss of oil-related profits.
THAT is why your LLD believes the only
viable SECOND option is simply to get out of
that region altogether-- put a fence around
Israel -- the only democracy in the region-- to
which the world has a moral obligation after the
Holocaust-- even as the world makes an Orwellian
mockery of everything that is good with the
"Zionism is racism" mantra invented by
the very Arab despots whose states we should be
committed to destroying-- and quarantine the
rest of the bastards.
Hey- as far as oil goes-- if the price of
oil actually included all of its costs-- if the
price of money and blood spent prosecuting the
Gulf War and maintaining a standing army all
over the middle east (heck - all over the world-
though not, of course, on the East Coast of our
"homeland") and a navy to keep the
lanes clear for supertankers-- renewable
energy sources would be so unbelievably cost
September 20, 2001.
Our president has addressed a joint
session of Congress (Gentlemen-- we've got to
protect our phony baloney jobs!
Lieberman-- I didn't get a harrumph out
of you). The
upshot: a series of the same types of reasonable
demands on Afghanistan that reminds one of those
we imposed on Serbia before bombing it.
I love the reasonableness of our
Oh-- and we get a national office of
Homeland Security at the Cabinet Level.
will it get the same funding as the
ministry of silly walks -- or the Drug Czar?
LLD understands the anger of an angry nation.
He too is angry-- along with grief
stricken-- at the loss of 6,000 souls--
including his client the unfortunate fireman.
He is angry about watching the trajectory
of an airplane crashing into a building that
killed so many-- which, but for the temporary
structural integrity of the South Tower of the
World Trade Center, would have left your LLD a
He is angry that the destruction has --
aside from giving him the lifelong horror about
having to live with the sound of planes hitting
the neighboring WTC and exploding, being close
enough to watch poor souls jumping to their
deaths, or the tears of fellow escapees on the
Manhattan Bridge watching the fall of the mighty
him temporarily on the dole.
Your LLD is mad too.
having listened to our president, who, frankly,
allowed our national defense and intelligence
services to be asleep in the first place (as he
contemplated gutting them and decimating their
morale in the interest of funding an absurdly
regressive tax cut), now proposes a war on an
unnamed enemy (except, perhaps, strategically
untenable AFGHANISTAN!) -- the only thing we
know for certain is that Americans--
I suppose MORE Americans -- will die in
ground combat-- somewhere.
As to our enemies:
No names, of course (except panderingly,
individual names-- a la Bill Clinton). No mention of, say, Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian
Authority, the world's currently most active
terrorists, or its supporters in Damascus and
Cairo (Egypt- home of several of the hijackers!)
, or Saddam Hussein and Iraqi intelligence
(whose chief is seen in a photograph with the
September 19, 2001:
Your LLD took a jog halfway over the
Brooklyn Bridge – and, cliché
notwithstanding, the New York skyline is missing
something – even if many people, LLD included,
always thought the WTC twin towers to be somehow
aesthetically lacking in their own right.
Still, I guess the skyline is now in a
"missing man" formation -- over 5,000
But speaking of missing man formations --
hear it for America's airlines: having
demonstrated their business acumen through a
combination of brilliant management, fabulous
foresight and strategic employee overpayments
and underpayments (such as to security staff -
insanely a function assigned to the
profit-driven airlines themselves - resulting in
you-know-what last Tuesday!), now deliberately
overreact to a coming fiasco of their own
creation – and ask for a massive corporate
welfare infusion -- which, "lockbox"
and "tax cut for the rich" be damned
-- is being promised to them!!!
I guess its too much to note that the
airlines cutback will help solve a great number
of problems: global warming, (dangerously)
overcrowded skies and overworked air traffic
Needless to say, high speed rail in the
United States is evidently one of those jokes
(another being "military intelligence”,
as demonstrated last week).
Warren Buffett once quipped that if he
were at Kitty Hawk in 1903, he would have shot
Orville down -- as a service to investors.
And to the taxpayers, evidently!
Well, perhaps your LLD's employer -- who included your LLD in its "temporary layoffs while the office is off limits because it was a block from the World Trade Center" -- will figure out a way to get on line for its share of governmental largesse; your LLD will just have to settle for $405 per week from the State's Labor Department.
Happy Rosh Hashanah Greetings from Brooklyn: Gateway to Ground Zero
September 18, 2001.
Its now one week after "the
day" your left leaning dog got to
work a little early to prepare for a
trial that day that now seems less important
than it did that day, early enough to look over
his left shoulder at the WTC out the window
after a sonic boom, airplane whine, and giant
popping sound, which followed by a shower of
glass and paper, and a few minutes later, bodies
falling, and a few minutes later, another boom
and pop, followed by even greater fireworks,
followed by a convoluted escape on foot.
As your LLD was that close to the events
of 9/11 (1 city block, or perhaps a couple of
hundred yards across air), it should come as no
surprise that his office appears to be one of
the casualties; we've been confined to our
neighborhood in Brooklyn since -- your not
normally phobic LLD just can't bring himself to
drive over bridges even now even to see his
family at the Jewish New Year.
So we end up reflecting: to the backdrop
of round the clock news coverage (being LLD, a
lot of that coming from, naturally, National
The human implications are unfathomable: people at one degree of separation are gone. The geopolitical implications to follow. Unfortunately, the only logical national response to this (no, not an absurd "war on terrorism" which will doubtless kill the wrong people and further radicalize the nuts, even if it makes the people who voted for Bush feel better): (1) a radical national energy conservation program with a goal of self-sufficiency (which would include development of ALL domestic energy sources, including the disturbance of a few caribou), (2) careful control of our borders, including the denial of all visas, if not termination of diplomatic relations, with most Arab Middle Eastern countries, and, obviously, (3) European and Israeli style security measures, which would, presumably, make short-distance air travel sufficiently untenable so that we might develop faster trains. Of course, these actions are precisely what will NOT happen because, last November, nearly half of this country decided to forget RECENT history-- that the very forces -- my God, the very same people -- that (largely, though obviously not exclusively) put us in this fiasco (i.e. a war fought in the Persian Gulf in the name of cheaper gasoline, followed by a ten year energy bacchanalia here) have been restored to the throne, and will doubtless act in their parochial and, perhaps, regional interests -- and not in the national interest. Any general voice of optimism will be welcomed!!!
28, 2001. Freddy Ferrer's going
for broke. Knowing he'll never get enough
of the white vote to beat Green in the run-off,
he's attempting to boost the turnout of his
Giuiliani-hating black and Latino base by giving
the finger to Rudy's perfectly reasonable
proposal to extent his term for a few months.
It's a trick he learned from the
(now forgotten) Vieques controversy -- even
after Bush agreed to stop the bombing on a
reasonable schedule, he roused the crowds by
demanding it be stopped right NOW.
It's probably his only hope, but it probably won't succeed. I don't doubt it will bring out his supporters, but it will also outrage the 40% of Democratic voters who said they would change their vote in favor of Rudy if he ran. Ultimately, Green will be the main beneficiary of the strategy. Having accepted Rudy's proposal, Green will come out looking much more palatable than he truly is. Voters may well carry their newfound affection for him (as the anti-Ferrer) into the general election, leaving the lackluster Bloomberg in the dust.
There's an outside chance that Ferrer will win the run-off, though, in which case Mike prevails in the general election. In fact, a Ferrer win might even give Rudy four more years, since there would likely be a groundswell for the complete repeal of term limits.
September 27, 2001. I have scoured the United States Constitution in vain for any support for the LLD's contention that the "moral basis of our existence of a nation" is the preservation of a Middle Eastern Jewish state. Much of the document seems devoted to matters implicating the nation's domestic welfare. To the extent it deals with religion at all, it seems to say that the government isn't supposed to support or discourage any particular sect. Judaism, like Christianity, Islam, Scientology and every other religion, is an incoherent, false, mystical, sky-god crackpot baby-talk ideology that perpetuates itself through early-childhood brainwashing. The preservation of a group of people based on their adherence to such an ideology can be the moral basis of nothing.
Moving on the the much more important and relevant issue of this City's upcoming election, the LLD once again exalts false and abstract principles of ideology over the general welfare. I don't think anyone in their right mind doubts that Rudy is the man most experienced and qualified to rebuild and protect New York City. At a minimum, we know that what he has done over the past two weeks (not to mention the past eight years) demonstrates his competence. What have Ferrer (Sharpton) and Green (Dinkins) done or proven? Does anybody have the SLIGHTEST idea as to what they would do? Did either one offer the slightest inkling as to their plans as to security and rebuilding during the two weeks leading up to Tuesday's primary? The idea that flipping a coin on Election Day this November for one of those two will lead to a better New York is just insanity.
The only argument I have heard against permitting Rudy back on the ballot is that it would be "anti-democratic" (despite the foregone conclusion that he is the people's overwhelming choice and would be re-elected in a landslide). The premise of the argument is that the people voted for term limit laws in 1993 and 1996 and that their will must be respected. Putting aside the fact that the laws themselves are anti-democratic (and were crammed down our throats through false advertising sponsored by a millionaire cosmetics heir), there is nothing anti-democratic about repealing the laws. The law allows the the state legislature to repeal them, and the state legislature was elected by the people.
September 26, 2001. Looks like your RD was just 3 or 4 percentage points off the mark in his prediction of a total Ferrer-Sharpton primary victory. However, having failed to achieve the necessary threshold, Fernando is of course doomed in the run-off. That being the case, my forecast of an easy Bloomberg/Giuliani victory is out the window, or at least tottering on the ledge. In New York politics, a self-made millionaire with substantial business experience like Bloomberg will always lose to a dilettante with inherited wealth like Green.
A Bloomberg/Giuliani mayoralty is still possible, though. The outcome is entirely in Giuliani's hands. The safest course would be for him to preserve his rehabilitated legacy by simply retiring a hero. If he does that, and just sits back without endorsing or actively campaigning for Bloomberg, Green will romp.
If Rudy enters the fray, however, either by supporting Bloomberg or offering his own candidacy, Green will face a serious problem. Green could never survive a direct public debate with Giuliani. Green can offer a lot of "fresh ideas" for the reconstruction, a lot of ten and fifteen-point plans, but they'll just look like a lot of cheap gimmicks given his complete lack of meaningful public service. In contrast, everything Giuliani says will have instant credibility in view of his proven track record over the past eight years and during the present crisis. Green will look ridiculous attacking Giuliani's proposals, particularly if he does it in his usually mouthy, obnoxious, know-it-all style.
I think Giuliani's hate for Green is sufficient to propel him back into the arena. So my prediction stands: Bloomberg for Mayor.
September 25, 2001. One of the self-evident principles that America is built upon is that all men are created equal. In other words, a life in heavily populated California is exactly equal to a life in sparsely populated Alaska. The value of a life is not adjusted in proportion to the percentage of the population that the victim represents.
With this principle in mind, I can confidently declare that 6,000 American lives are fully equal to 6,000 Israeli lives. Not 10 Israeli lives, not 100 Israeli lives, not 5,999 Israeli lives. So the "gruesome calculus" (actually, it's only multiplication and division) belongs to the LLD, who assigns values to individuals according to their nationality. Under his theory, the new American priority should be deploying traffic cops to the Vatican, where a single fatality is equivalent to 319,000 American lives.
Israel has suffered approximately 20,000 casualties TOTAL since 1948--and that includes both civilian AND military deaths. The interests of 275,000,000 Americans simply do not lie in protecting Israel from a few crazed bomb-throwers. As to Israel being our "greatest friend and ally," I defy the LLD to explain how America would be harmed if that country were to disappear overnight.
My prediction for today's New York City primary and the upcoming general election is as follows:
(1) Ferrer will win the democratic primary without a run-off, because only his supporters are hard-core Giuliani haters. The remaining three candidates will lose a significant portion of their support to Giuliani write-in vote.
(2) Bloomberg will win the Republican primary, with either nobody buying or having heard of Badillo's promise to give his slot up to Giuliani.
(3) A terrified electorate will raise an outcry against the candidates they selected for the general election, calling upon the Legislature to repeal term limits so Giuliani can stay on.
(4) The Republicans will make some deal with Giuliani to have a significant role in the Bloomberg administration, thus insuring a Republican mayor and avoiding the problems that a term limits repeal would raise.
Hence, our next Mayor: Michael Bloomberg.
September 24, 2001. Unlike the LLD, your courageous mystery man was back in Manhattan the Saturday night after the tragedy, and returned to work near ground zero last Monday, the first day the area was open. Since I've already surveyed (and photographed) the damage, the LLD can spare himself further underpants-wetting by continuing to cower back in Brooklyn.
Because I write this column to communicate truth rather than prove my courage, the mundane particulars of my identity are irrelevant. Moreover, I don't see why the LLD associates, in this context, the publication of my name (which would mean nothing to anybody anyway) with bravery. In any event, I invite the LLD to further demonstrate his heroism by posting his home address, phone, social security and credit card numbers on this site.
The LLD believes that the WTC terrorists were "nameless and faceless" cowards? Men who died for their beliefs, and whose names and photographs have been published ad nauseum since the attack? Yes, their beliefs -- like all theological beliefs -- were insane, delusional and irrational, but the truth of the beliefs has no bearing on the courage of the men who held them.
Despite the LLD's insistence, I never said I approved of President Bush. All I said was that I could find no fault with his proposed course of action. Of course he's nothing but a puppet mouthing (and stumbling over) whatever words are placed in front of him. Nor did I express an opinion over whether he'll be able to make good on his promises to eliminate the terrorists. But it's clear that the administration has a fairly good idea as to who was most directly responsible for the attack-- Bin Laden and the Taliban -- and will pursue them vigorously.
I'm not sure why the LLD believes it is America's obligation to include all Arab states as targets for retaliation. Egypt, Saudi Arabia etc. have not attacked the United States. Whatever terrorism they have sponsored has been against Israel, not America, and as I have noted the total casualties in Israel over the last 50 years have been trivial compared to the American ones this past September 11. America's obligation is to its 275 million citizens, not to the fewer than 6 million residents of Israel. And neither America, nor the world, owes any greater moral obligation to Israel than it does to the descendants of the other 50 million persons killed in World War II.
The campaign to combat terrorism has been dubbed "Operation
Yes, "infinite," as in
never-ending, everlasting, and eternal.
maybe not that long.
Apparently, infinity has been discounted
from forever to about three days.
According to today's New York Post,
"the name of the war will be changed, out
of concern that 'Operation Infinite Justice'
might offend Muslims, who believe only Allah can
grant infinite justice" (emphasis
Officials have not yet agreed upon a new
about "Operation Just Enough Justice to
And why not shroud the troops with veils
and mount them on camels?
first prayer of the ceremony for last week's Day
of Remembrance and Prayer was offered by a
President Bush had a few more Imams on
hand last night as he praised the "good and
peaceful" teachings of Islam, and
contrasted them with the "discarded
lies" which fill "history's unmarked
all for tolerance and freedom of belief.
I also understand that the majority of
American Muslims are harmless and law-abiding,
and deserve protection from unprovoked attacks
by their fellow citizens.
But it's another thing altogether for the
leader of a secular state to make pronouncements
as to the truth and goodness of Islam.
religions, it is a collection of false,
delusional and arbitrary assertions regarding
the need for humans to submit themselves to
desires of an imaginary, all-powerful deity in
order to be rewarded in a non-existent
It was the hijackers' literal observance
of that sort of belief that is responsible for
last week's disaster.
And while Bush condemned the oppression
of women, television censorship, and
unreasonable beard-grooming rules, his
implication that only Muslims of the Taliban and
al Qaeda stripe now condone such practices is
being said, as much as I tried, I could find
little fault in the President's proposed course
He's targeting bin Laden, his network,
and the Taliban leadership -- those most
directly responsible for the recent devastation.
I don't see what else he can do.
He didn't say anything, as the LLD
suggests, about killing innocent Afghan
civilians, and virtually no American would feel
any vindication from that kind of spectacle.
yes, we do need a "war on terrorism."
The LLD's idea that we should just
withdraw from the world, lock our doors and hide
in the basement is insanity.
First, so what if the American presence
in the Middle East offends some deranged Muslim
We have the right to pursue our business
anywhere in the world.
Second, it is our mere existence, our way
of life, that offends the fundamentalist
Muslims, so retreating into our shell wouldn't
prevent an eventual attack.
And what does LLD mean by saying that we
could "further radicalize the nuts?"
They knocked down the fucking Twin
logic reminds me of the scene in the movie Life
of Brian where an old man who is about to be
stoned for uttering the word "Jehovah"
repeats it again, and is cautioned that
"you are only making things worse for
His reply: "HOW could it be WORSE?
Jehovah! Jehovah! Jehovah!"
Finally, I don't see what purpose would have been served by naming Saddam by name in the speech, absent any stronger evidence than they've got -- the generalized threat against all terrorist-sponsoring states is sufficient for now. And as for Yasser Arafat and the Palestinians, it's not clear to me what threat they pose to American lives. Have they killed 6,000 Americans in the last 50 years? Or even 6,000 civilians? Or even 6,000 people?
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