[…] I also told him: if you happen to find a roach at night in your kitchen, that means there’s at least one roach in your house. But if you find one at high noon in your living-room you can be sure your house’s roach-infested.
That’s one of the meanings of 9/11. That you cannot be safe in Darfur or Beirut, in the Phillipines or Indonesia, that’s a problem. But if you can be murdered by Islamic terrorists while you’re on the top floor of the WTC, then that’s not a problem anymore. That’s much bigger. The progressive idea was to turn, for instance, Beirut into NY. If that’s not being accomplished, this is bad enough. But when people start turning NY into Beirut, we’re definitely moving backwards. And fast.
An attack that manages to ground all US and most of the world’s air traffic and close down the stock markets around the planet is something qualitatively different from a bomb in an Ulster pub. Human life is fragile, so is democracy, the world economy, globalization etc. The US can absorb U$ 1 trillion in damages. The rest of the world cannot. The US can survive a nuke in Manhattan. Brazil can survive a nuke in Sao Paulo. But Brazil cannot survive a nuke in Manhattan. What most of the world’s anti-Americans fail to understand is that whatever harms deeply the US harms us even more. Were Africa to suddenly disappear, it wouldn’t make much of a change in the life of New Yorkers. Were NY to disappear, Africa would go along.
So, this is what I have to say for those who think that Americans have overreacted to 9/11. Actually they have under-reacted. One more attack on America and Latin America will be condemned to a further hundred years of solitude and misery.
That’s Nelson Ascher in an interesting article explaining why he won’t be voting for Bush.