Hitchens on the war
: For the past week, the Globe has been running a rather dull and forgettable series to mark the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. (Any series that has an installment entitled “Fear and Children” loses Hub Blog.) But, ah, today the series finally hits its stride with a terrific essay by Christopher Hitchens
, entitled "It's A Good Time for War." (Now there's a title that grabs attention.) A Hitchens excerpt:
“In order to get my own emotions out of the way, I should say briefly that on that day (Sept. 11) I shared the general register of feeling, from disgust to rage, but was also aware of something that would not quite disclose itself. It only became fully evident quite late that evening. And to my surprise (and pleasure), it was exhilaration. I am not particularly a war lover, and on the occasions when I have seen warfare as a traveling writer, I have tended to shudder. But here was a direct, unmistakable confrontation between everything I loved and everything I hated. On one side, the ethics of the multicultural, the secular, the skeptical, and the cosmopolitan. (Those are the ones I love, by the way.) On the other, the arid monochrome of dull and vicious theocratic fascism. I am prepared for this war to go on for a very long time. I will never become tired of waging it, because it is a fight over essentials. And because it is so interesting
Hitchens has been on a roll since Sept. 11, with fresh and vibrant insights into the essence of what the war is about. Get a cup of coffee. Light 'em if you got 'em. Read. Enjoy.
Globe series, Part II -- Petty politics
: The Globe has another winner in today's series, this one a self-serving, but highly illuminating, piece by Virginia Buckingham
, the head of Massport on Sept. 11. It says so much about Boston politics -- its pettiness, its nastiness, its second-rate hack nature. The article makes you cringe to think how Gov. Swift and Mayor Menino would have reacted had airliners taken out the Hancock and Prudential towers on Sept. 11. Three bright spots: Senators Kennedy and Kerry, and Attorney General Tom Reilly, were class acts during the crisis.
Globe series, Part III -- 'the bin Laden family airlift'
: Buckingham relays this fascinating piece of history:
“ ... We experienced another surreal moment: the bin Laden family airlift. My staff was told that a private jet was arriving at Logan from Saudi Arabia to pick up 14 members of Osama bin Laden's family living in the Boston area. ‘Does the FBI know?’ staffers wondered. ‘Does the State Department know? Why are they letting these people go? Have they questioned them?’ This was ridiculous. But our power to stop their arrival or departure was limited. Under federal law, an airport operator is not allowed to restrict the movement of an individual flight or a class of aircraft without going through a byzantine regulatory process that had, to date, never succeeded. So bravado would have to do in the place of true authority. Kinton said: ‘Tell the tower that plane is not coming in here until somebody in Washington tells us it's OK.’ He then repeatedly called the FBI and the State Department throughout the night. Each time the answer was the same: ‘Let them leave.’ On September 19, under the cover of darkness, they did.”
Hmmmmm. Hub Blog has a feeling the Blogosphere will find this one quite interesting.