Quote-o-rama: Black September

September 11th, 2001

On Sept. 11, 2001, in the worst act of terrorism committed on U.S. soil, two hijacked jetliners crashed into New York's World Trade Center, causing the twin towers to fall and killing more than 2,800 people; a commandeered jetliner smashed into the Pentagon, claiming 189 victims; and a fourth plane with 44 passengers and crew crashed in western Pennsylvania as the passengers apparently fought with the hijackers.

"The temptation on any anniversary is to just look back. But on Dec. 7,
 1942, the country did not just look back on the sunken Arizona. It looked
 forward to the destruction of Japan."
						-Charles Krauthammer


"At this point, military pessimists have a track record we can evaluate.
 They were wrong about the Gulf War, which they said was unwinnable
 without 10,000 American casualties, a fracturing of the anti-Saddam
 coalition, a rising of the Arab Street, and so on. They were wrong to
 forecast failure of various kinds in Bosnia and Kosovo. Now they've
 misjudged what the greatest military force the world has ever seen could
 do on the medieval battlefield of Afghanistan. Like a stopped clock, the
 naysayers and what-iffers will be right someday. Until then, I'm giving
 victory the benefit of the doubt."
					-Jacob Weisberg

"The Taliban has collapsed and been replaced by a plausible coalition
 government. This occurred with extraordinary speed and only a handful of
 American casualties, thanks to the remarkably effective use of air power
 and local military proxies. This victory has provoked neither additional
 terrorist attacks against the United States, nor a new wave of
 anti-American sentiment in the Islamic world, nor the collapse of the
 Pakistani government, nor a fragmentation of the anti-terrorism
 coalition. Humanitarian relief is beginning to flow into Afghanistan
 again. We are winning, not just relative to 'expectations' but in
 absolute terms."
					-Jacob Weisberg

"We all have to change. The world's poor cannot be led by people like Mr.
 bin Laden who think they can find their redemption in our destruction.
 But the world's rich cannot be led by people who play to our shortsighted
 selfishness, and pretend that we can forever claim for ourselves what we
 do not for others."
					-Bill Clinton

"It might last another week, James. Or a month. Or a year. Hell, it might
 last forever, if you let it. So don't let it. Look, you can wallow in the
 grief, or you can make up your mind to pull yourself together and get on
 with your life. And getting on with your life is in no way disrespectful
 to the men who died trying to rescue people from the World Trade Center.
 I mean, why do you think firefighters risk their lives saving other
 people's lives? They do it so the people they rescue can live long,
 productive, eventful lives filled with joy, plays, movies, sex, and fun.
 Firefighters don't risk their lives so that we can lock ourselves away in
 our apartments and mourn for all eternity when they die in the line of
					-Dan Savage

"New York's mayor, Rudy Giuliani, has asked all Americans to defy the
 terrorists by returning to normal and getting back to work as quickly as
 possible. So here's a sentence I never thought I'd write: I'd like to
 dedicate this back-to-abnormal installment of Savage Love to Mayor Rudy
 Giuliani. While I once could be counted among those who loathed New York
 City's controversial-art-demagoging, ferret-owner-bashing,
 sex-industry-persecuting mayor, I now stand proudly with those who would
 like to see Giuliani serve another term - preferably George W. Bush's
					-Dan Savage

"This nation is peaceful, but fierce when stirred to anger. This conflict
 was begun on the timing and terms of others. It will end in a way, and in 
 an hour, of our choosing."
					-President George W. Bush

"Now, more than ever, the Internet must be wielded along with other media
 to cast bright lights on all who would destroy freedom in the world."
					-Vinton Cerf

"You see, the steel in us is not always readily apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom understood by people who don't know us well. On this day, the family's bickering is put on hold. "As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn, and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that we cherish. "So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that's the case, consider the message received. And take this message in exchange: You don't know my people. You don't know what we're capable of. You don't know what you just started. "But you're about to learn." -Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald

"I have found some comfort in knowing that so many around the world share
 this sorrow." 
					-Kim Lang, New Hampshire 

"For many weeks, there will be no other story."
					-Howard Kurtz, Washington Post

"It was a day in Washington that people compared to the day President
 Kennedy was assassinated, or when Pearl Harbor was bombed. America has
 lost its innocence many times, but this was a day to discover all over
 again that the country still had something left to lose."
					Washington Post staff writers

"This shows us that whatever we were doing should be history, and that we 
 need to start all over again. We're much too late in recognizing that the
 nature of war has changed dramatically.... Today, we looked like we were
 operating in the 19th century."
					-Eleanor Holmes Norton,
					 Washington DC Delegate

"The simple truth is that the only reason a nuclear bomb didn't detonate
 yesterday in New York and Washington is that the murderers don't yet have
					-Joel Achenbach

"This is going to be a dividing point in history. If they still teach
 history 100 years from now, children will still be readong about this
 day. We haven't seen such destruction on our own soil since the Civil
					-David McCullough,
					 historian and author

"If you're south of Canal Street, get out. Just walk north."
					-NY mayor Rudolph Giuliani,
					 around 10:30 AM EST

"Even pleasantries sound odd in this context, don't they?"
					-Robert Kaiser, Washington Post

"Cuba laments and expresses its profound sadness for the loss of so many
 innocent lives and expresses our absolute rejection of acts of terrorism,
 wherever they may come from."
					-Felipe Perez Roque,
					 Cuban Foreign Minister 

"This incident in the United States is extremely cowardly and is beyond 
 what any words can describe."
					-Junichiro Koizumi,
					 Japanese Prime Minister

"The fight against terrorism is an international struggle of the free 
 world against the forces of darkness." 
					-Ariel Sharon,
					 Israeli Prime Minister

"It is impossible to fully comprehend the evil that would have conjured up 
 such a cowardly and depraved assault upon thousands of innocent people." 
					-Jean Chretien,
					 Canadian Prime Minister

"This is not only an attack on the United States but an attack on the
 civilised world."
					-Gerhard Schroeder,
					 German Chancellor

"Such an inhuman act must not go unpunished." 
					-Vladimir Putin, Russian President

"This is an event of such horrifying, unimaginable proportions that I
 believe it is one where shock grows with time rather than diminishes." 
					-Jack Straw,
					 British Foreign Secretary

"A lot of innocent people were killed by an evil force and we're going to
 stand together against it until justice is done, accountability is had,"
					-former President Bill Clinton

"We have been attacked like we haven't since Pearl Harbor." 
					-Admiral Robert Natter,
					commander of US Atlantic fleet

President Bush's address to the nation, 8:30 PM EST:

Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes or in their offices -- secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers. Moms and dads. Friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining. Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature, and we responded with the best of America, with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could. Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government's emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it's prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington, D.C., to help with local rescue efforts. Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks. The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business as well. The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I've directed the full resources for our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them. I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance. America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world and we stand together to win the war against terrorism. Tonight I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me." This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world. Thank you. Good night and God bless America.

Page by: Paul M. M. Jacobus (paul@otd.com)
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