Must Read Essay-Sums Up My Feelings [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Must Read Essay-Sums Up My Feelings

09-13-2001, 02:33 AM
This was posted on, the official bandsite of the band Weezer. This letter was essay was written by's webmaster's brother.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001
Some New Kind Of Pearl Harbor (by Mike, Karl's brother in law)

"You all know the story by now. Many thousands of people, perhaps tens of thousands, lie rotting under tons of concrete and steel, and I cannot imagine what it would be like to have a loved one missing at this hour.

My heart goes out especially to the rescue teams who raced to their deaths this morning, and to their colleagues, who will spend the next many weeks searching among their remains beneath the late summer sun. I believe that the task of dismantling that pile will prove to be the single worst job on this planet.

Things will never be the same.

This morning [9/11] I awoke in a world where you just couldn't take a jetliner full of people and throw it like a child's toy at the biggest skyscraper around. I never really thought that the White House or a Yankee Stadium could, quite credibly, be destroyed in the coming weeks or months.

This is not terrorism any more. What happened today was no different than if a foreign airforce had bombed New York and strafed the people on the streets. It is, without exaggeration, war.

This is a Pearl Harbor of sorts, but probably not the sort that most people imagine. We are not at war with a nation or even a civilian population, we are at war with what probably amounts to no more than a few thousand men, unusual men who have the capability to carry their fight at a national level. Until today we could dismiss them as criminals and terrorists, tactical players of small parts on the world stage. This morning they became strategic players. I believe we are going to have a hell of a time wrapping our minds around this, but these [expletive deleted] are now no different than a medium-sized country in their ability to project power.

We can't bomb their factories, dismantle their air defenses, destroy their troops and go home. Their power is no less formidable but it is not comprised of factories and troops, contained by borders or even led by public figures. The classic model of war, and of victory in war, simply does not apply.

They can really hurt us, and they will probably continue to do so, and we may never be able to put a stop to it. Ask the Israelis how long a war like this might last.

Ask if they remember a day that everything changed forever.

I always try to look at both sides of things, especially when they [upset me]. On our side, I can predict that we will soon slap Afghanistan around for harboring our attackers, and that we might have some luck in tracking and killing some of those who were directly involved. Beyond that, I have no idea what to do and quite frankly I'm eager to see what the professionals can come up with.

On their side, I have to believe that they must really hate us, and hate us much more than any of us would ever have guessed. This was such an evil, hurtful action, of such great scale an involving so many suicidal participants... is madness really so common and so easy to focus? What else could this be, but hatred?

The Idiot Parade will start soon. The usual suspects will climb from their holes, dust off their suits, and try to explain to us how wiretaps are a good idea now, how too much freedom is a dangerous thing that really needs to have some limits on it. Others will describe how we should broker for peace by offering concessions.

Remember that we are strong because we are free and unbowed, especially when threatened. Let the mice return to their little holes and be done with them.

My call? We are really in an honest-to-god war, even if it doesn't look like one. Deal with it.

On an international level we should do everything in our power - not proportional things, or accepted things, but every thing - to hurt our enemies, to harass them, to frighten their allies and bring fear to any who would help them. We should not hesitate to torture or kill foreign nationals who dare come too close to them, who rally support for them, who trade with them or supply them. We should make them pariahs and we should stop at nothing to drive them into the sea. And we should consider it a source of national pride.

We shot a lot of [...] Germans and Japanese without so much as a search warrant, and don't imagine that we didn't kill am awful lot of innocent people who were just standing around in the wrong place while we were at it. War is ugly and unfair, an incredible, irrational waste of everything precious, and we just had one dropped in our laps, from 110 stories up. History will remember our response. Let's give them something they will never forget.

09-13-2001, 06:49 AM
I shouldn't go there but: here's my take on this point of view, and it's voicing...

I agree with much of it, but I don't feel comfortable with much of it either - for the same reasons some people did not feel comfortable with my initial, viceral reactions. I think we all had visceral not-so-pretty reactions, if not we ought to have our pulse checked. But it's how we act that counts, it's our right to be vocal.

But I take exception to a few things being implied here, even though I know these guys are just young fun-seekers stopping the smoke and music for a somber moment, and not to downplay the good points made...

IMHO terrorism is much worse than war, he implies the reverse. This is by far the most deadly attack on American soil in history, and targeted at civilians at peacetime not soldiers. War is easy compared to this - we would have already been countering if we knew what/who to shoot at.

This brings me to my other objection, two uglies doesn't make a right, and we are anything, we should be right. I wasn't alive during the times referred to (shooting without warrants) but the ugly actions of the past would only bring us down as a nation and as a people IMHO.

This crisis will definitely bring us closer together as a nation by trivializing some of the differences, like bi-partisan beliefs. Unfortunately it will also expose some of the ugliness that lives in our society, and it's our ability to avoid that ugliness that makes us superior to the enemy, and defines the very fabric of the resolve that makes America so great.