Tuesday, 11 September 2001 : "marc fisher"
Evocative column from Marc Fisher: Coddled No More: A Stunned Silence on the Streets
We have lived a very safe and coddled life in this country. And now we are like the rest of the world.
I called my friend Daniel Benjamin, who was director for transnational threats at the National Security Council in the Clinton administration. ... he said this day's events had all the markings of an assault by the forces of Osama bin Laden ... "They have been seeking to create a sort of Tet offensive phenomenon of lots of attacks at one time to show they can coordinate attacks better than any other terrorist operation before ... They've done that today. This is a very impressive performance."
It seemed this morning that our government, our country were totally clueless, but Benjamin said that's precisely the impression that terrorists want to make, and it's not entirely the case.
"Terrorism is a bizarre game in which when the bad guys score one, it looks like they're winning the game," he said. "Attacks have been foiled in recent years. And there have been arrests that stopped incipient attacks."
People shared phones, radios, cars, stories. We didn't know what to do except to keep on doing. We just didn't know anything but to be afraid, and that's the purpose and the mission of terrorism.
As I wrote to a friend this morning, "We're updating our sites, as it's the only thing we can think of to do." There's no clear benefit to packing up and driving west to the wilds of Virginia, but I have a greater-than-zero impulse to do just that.
Is it over? And who could possibly answer that for sure?
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