Thursday, September 11, 2008


Tonight, on the seventh anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 9-11-2001, MSNBC ran the NBC coverage of the events in real time beginning at 11 PM Eastern Time (US). It may still be running for all I know. I couldn't watch any more.

On the morning of 9-11-2001 I was in a Red Hat classroom at their old location in Durham taking a prep class for certification. Instead of learning the inner workings of Red Hat Linux we all ended up watching the events unfolding on TV. I remember watching the second plane crash into the tower, the buildings collapsing, and so on. Watching it again seven years later I ran through the whole gamut of emotions again: the horror, the sense of loss, and the overwhelming anger at those who did this.

In the past week we read and heard reports of a U.S. strike at a Taliban stronghold inside the South Waziristan region of Pakistan. The attack has drawn sharp criticism from the Pakistani government which has vowed to defend Pakistani sovereignty. Our so-called allies in France and Germany have also criticized the U.S. military action.

The Pakistanis, in promising to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of their country are, in effect, threatening to turn their arms on U.S. and NATO forces fighting the Taliban and al-Qaeda. I seem to remember Senator Barack Obama warning during one of the Democratic primary debates that Pakistan would become a major problem for the U.S. He took some flack for his comments if I remember correctly. He seems prescient about now.

My feelings on this are clear. If the Pakistanis choose to harbor and even defend Taliban and al-Qaeda forces they are, in effect, changing sides in the war. They may find themselves at war with the United States. I, despite my normally left-leaning politics, am with the conservatives on this issue. That is one war I would wholeheartedly support. I also would not care one little bit if the French and Germans were upset about it.

Tonight's coverage of 9-11 was a stark reminder of why we are at war in that part of the world. More Americans were killed on that day than in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. My main criticism of the Bush administration actions is that they have not fully and forcefully prosecuted that war and brought it to a successful conclusion.

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