I always think that one of the purposes of this type of attack is to show – or to galvanize – the moral bankruptcy of the regime and the society. To show that when it is provoked it will lash out with cruel, disproportionate, insane violence; to show that it is not a legitimate or safe place for marginalized groups by provoking violence on the bodies of the marginalized. If we lived in a better world, or even in Norway, people would respond by refusing to lash out, by acting with magnanimity and greatness. But all that ever happens is that we see that both the terrorists and the regime are violent and morally bankrupt.
It’s an epistemological crime, it’s intended to produce despair. Mass killings like this are the non-stae mirror of the prison camp, because they’re intended to break down people’s ordinary humanity.
”If bin Laden takes over and becomes king of Saudi Arabia, he’d turn off the tap,” said Roger Diwan, a managing director of the Petroleum Finance Company, a consulting firm in Washington. ”He said at one point that he wants oil to be $144 a barrel” — about six times what it sells for now.
That was written in 2001. Things are really going bin Laden’s way, it seems. I wonder how different things would be if we had taken a more measured, thoughtful approach in our response to the attacks of September 11; say, if Al Gore had been elected. When I imagine such a scenario, it makes me realize how every decision has consequences, that caring about politics isn’t a waste of time.
(Thanks to Austinist for the link.)
His mission was to photograph each of the nation’s 50 state capitol buildings and dispatch a postcard from each city, using postage stamps from a childhood collection. Each postcard would be mailed to the next state on his journey, where he would pick it up, continuing until he had gone full circle back to Indiana.But there was a problem. On a flight from Sacramento, Calif., to Honolulu, Mr. Fazel described his project to a fellow passenger. He later discovered that she had reported him as suspicious — perhaps to the pilot or the Transportation Security Administration — and taken a picture of him as he slept.
Maybe it was because he was vaguely foreign looking, he reasoned, and his photographic endeavor seemed menacing in a post-9/11 landscape. He also had a three-day growth of beard, he recalled. And, although Mr. Fazel grew up mostly in the United States and is an American citizen, there was his Iranian name.
In his view that woman’s report began a chain reaction, turning him into a person of interest for officials from local law enforcement agencies on up to the F.B.I. On a stop in Annapolis, Md., for example, he was interrogated about his activities and read his Miranda rights. Today, he said, his name lingers on what he thinks of simply as the “the list.” He doesn’t know where it originated or who controls it. He believes it has prevented him from receiving a visa to India and caused him be questioned at the border of Poland, both of which he had visited in the past. He said he has been interrogated the last four times he has entered the United States.