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From the desk of the bastard Editor

The world shook, the ground jumped and every rational being who heard the news heard the small chiming of fear.

Whether that chiming will turn to a blaring alarm, a panicky furore is yet to be seen. Everything is different now. America has been struck, cruelly and awesomely. Never in history has such an even occurred, the ramifications are almost too much to comprehend. On our news pages we do our best to recount for you the events of Tuesday September 11, 2001.

Experts will rush to proclaim that America was naive, that it was unprepared, that they invited this attack through some lack of vigilance. Nonsense, this attack beggars the imagination. No government with a shred of probity could have protected against such an organized assault without ripping up any notion of civil rights. Whoever is right, the idyll is over. The America of tomorrow and next week will be a slavering beast, nations like Syria, Afghanistan and Iran who have supported and protected terrorist actions are staring down a gun barrel. The most violent hawks of yesterday will seem as gentle doves today. America is no longer an island of calm in a sea of despair, the woes of urban terrorism that South Africa, Northern Ireland, Israel, and Chechnya have been visited upon a people known best for the pervasive influence of their music, movies and television.

Make no mistake, this is the most rare of events. A tragedy so huge as to outstrip the powers of mere journalists. Ridiculous fools chatter aimlessly about total nonsense because the years of built up faux-tragic events have them unable to look at the word with anything less than a marketing spin eye. I heard Faith Hill’s song from the Pearl Harbour Soundtrack on the radio between news broadcasts this morning, and Michael Enright said on CBC radio that “the only commentator worthy of this event is Dante himself, staring into the jaws of hell.” On the anniversary of the Camp David accord, five commercial planes are hijacked. Two slammed into and levelled the World Trade Centre twin towers, in NY state, one into the Pentagon, in Virginia, one into the mountains near Camp David in Maryland (The President’s retreat). Fifth plane nobody’s saying. The human cost incalculable, five full crashed jets alone would be a catastrophe, but with thousands of souls working in the World Trade Centre and a huge chunk of the largest building in the world in flames the death toll will rival the worst natural disasters and anything outside of war.

The United States Army and National Guard are patrolling, and radical Palestinian organization takes and then denies responsibility. Jesus Christ, when you realize most of these flights were headed for California from east coast the savage calculation that more fuel means more fire is almost too sick to grasp. All the airlines shut down, all the airports sealed up tighter than a duck ass, in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, plus the unprecedented talk of sealing the border, which as far as I can figure hasn’t happened since the war of 1812. Will this cause a blind savage backlash and national fear, or will it finally bring home the awful consequences of American chauvinism in world affairs? Will Americans stop to think that the kind of awful hate that it takes to launch an attack like this must come from somewhere and must be addressed at the same time as you send the wrath of god down on the heads of the perpetrators, and those who supported them.

Our Prime Minister cleared the crap out of his brain to issue an eloquent statement about the cowardice of this act that actually stirred me momentarily. But it signals the coming tone, the willful blindness to the other side of things, and even if you don’t agree with it you cannot ignore that the use of terrorism is viewed by many as a legitimate expression of political will by people who think they are oppressed. Let us not forget that history can be kind to former terrorists, like the esteemed Nelson Mandela who Ryerson intends to bestow an honourary degree for his incredible life… which included the laudable use of force to end Apartheid.

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