October 22, 2007

Sept 11: Not So Bad

Al Gore, you’re In great company:

MADRID, Spain (AP) – Nobel laureate Doris Lessing said the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States were “not that terrible” when compared to attacks by the IRA in Britain.

“September 11 was terrible, but if one goes back over the history of the IRA, what happened to the Americans wasn’t that terrible,” the Nobel Literature Prize winner told the leading Spanish daily El Pais.

“Some Americans will think I’m crazy. Many people died, two prominent buildings fell, but it was neither as terrible nor as extraordinary as they think. They’re a very naive people, or they pretend to be,” she said in an interview published Sunday.

Not extraordinary? Muslim extremism that marked true evil and ignited a treacherous war isn’t extraordinary? They sure know how to pick Nobel Prize winners.



  1. I think she’s pretty much correct. Comparatively, what happened to Americans on Sept. 11th was no worse than what happened to the British in their long conflict with the IRA, to what happens to Israelis and Palestinians even now, and to what happens to ordinary Iraqis as we speak.

    And compared to the Khmer Rouge, the Cultural Revolution, and the conflicts that have torn apart Africa, 9/11 was child’s play. That’s not to denigrate those who died – 9/11 was a tragedy – but it’s important to put it in perspective.

    Comment by Jamelle — October 22, 2007 @ 8:22 pm | Reply

  2. Yeah, I think she’s correct. Of course, the events from 11.09 were horrible, no one argue with that.
    But it’s not the most horrible terroristic act in the history. People died on large scale on many places on the World.
    But it was the first defeat on USA territory which made americans so scared. They realised no one is invisibleand untouchable. Well, that’s the way it is- we all had our defeats and victories. So it was kind of a lesson- that in our world we’are all connected- there’s no safe place and no one is special.
    I don’t say it in a bad way, I don’t intend to sound like this-every loss of human life is terrible. But I don’t think some are more terrible just because they happened in USA.

    Comment by denitsa — October 26, 2007 @ 6:48 am | Reply

  3. The commenters above me belong in North Korea.

    The United States is the one and only benign superpower in history — and the only one that’s ever gone to war not for its own sake, but to defend others from aggression and oppression. If 9/11 had killed only one man — if it had brought down nothing but a tar-paper shack — it still would have been the greatest atrocity of all time, because it was targeted at US.

    I floated from Vietnam to Hong Kong on a raft I built myself, so that I could eventually come here. I’m now a naturalized citizen and a businesswoman. Anyone who attacks this country, or justifies or minimizes in the slightest degree any harm done to it, is attacking ME.

    So there!

    Comment by Fetiche Nouvelle — October 26, 2007 @ 6:06 pm | Reply

  4. Yeah, sure, attacking you. My god, I cannot believe the stupidity of some people! Benign?? The U.S. is benign? As the Iraquis if they think the U.S. is benign. I admire you for your history, but most certainly not your level of intelligence.

    Comment by marcys — November 1, 2007 @ 10:43 pm | Reply

  5. “Marcys,” you are an idiot. If you’re an American, you don’t deserve to be. If you’re not, stay where you are; we certainly don’t want you here.

    Never before has there been a world-bestriding power like the U.S.: a non-colonial, non-imperial superpower, which has repeatedly gone to war for the benefit of other nations and, in Colin Powell’s words, asked for nothing from those other nations but places to bury our dead. Whatever faults you might find in America, you should thank God its leaders and people haven’t got the power lusts and expansionist agendas of the great powers of old, for there would be nothing that could stop them.

    The most irritating thing about the Left is its inability to recognize the virtues of the United States, simply because we WON’T sign on to a socialist / “progressive” scheme of world government that “guarantees” everyone freedom from ever being disagreed with, publicly funded abortions, and a cushy billet from cradle to grave. Maybe Americans have seen the results of your previous attempts at Utopia and decided against them. Maybe Americans are tired of being told about how “selfish” we are, even though our charitable efforts dwarf all the other countries of the world put together. Or maybe — just maybe — we’re sick of the whining of people who’d never lift a finger to do anything constructive or generous unless they were taxed or compelled to do it!

    Comment by Fetiche Nouvelle — November 3, 2007 @ 4:00 pm | Reply

  6. Your ignorance is astounding.

    Mexican-American War
    Spanish-American War
    Filipino-American War and subsequent occupation.
    Various incursions into South America and Haiti.
    Vietnam War
    Incursions into Grenada, Lebanon, Panama

    None of these conflicts were fought for the “benefit of other nations,” they were fought to protect the interests – usually economic – of the United States. That’s not necessarily a bad or good thing, but is the truth. Acknowledging the truth doesn’t mean you aren’t “recognizing the virtues of the United States,” it means that you’re approaching your country and your government like an adult. It means that you realize your country isn’t perfect.

    Mindless obedience to authority isn’t patriotism.

    Comment by Jamelle — November 4, 2007 @ 11:55 am | Reply

  7. Fetiche,

    No, you’re an idiot. I only say this because you obviously have no idea what “benign” actually means. Either that or you’re willfully ignorant. I’d say either case is just as likely.

    How can you say the United States is a non-imperial power and keep a straight face? Who knows, maybe you’re cracking up while typing that bullshit. I would guess it’s more a case of you having no grasp on history as the rest of the world knows it.

    You’re a caricature. Anyone with a dissenting opinion doesn’t deserve to be American? Where’s your beloved freedom in that stance?


    Comment by arsebundren — November 16, 2007 @ 11:49 pm | Reply

  8. I would actually agree, insofar as the IRA attacks were more protracted and there were more of them. They were calculated to engender terror.

    Of course, when I consider that it was a direct consequence of the centuries-long cultural and ethnic cleansing perpetrated by the English against the Irish during the lengthy occupation of the latter by the former, then my sympathy evaporates utterly. At least the Americans weren’t occupying Moslem land and killing Moslem people.

    Comment by Der Wolfanwalt — November 22, 2007 @ 2:32 pm | Reply

  9. Incidentally, the idea that the US “has repeatedly gone to war for the benefit of other nations and, in Colin Powell’s words, asked for nothing from those other nations but places to bury our dead” is not entirely true. The UK just finished paying back loans to the US that dated to WWII this year.

    Having said that, the US does also play a role in policing the world. It is not entirely an imperialist culture.

    Comment by Michael — December 28, 2007 @ 8:53 am | Reply

  10. I live in the south, in georgia, and I never really cared that so many strangers up north were killed. I tried to care though. The TV said to care. I’m supposed to care. But who were those people even? I don’t even know people who knew others who died that day. I’ve never really understood why it was so important. I thought the Iraq War was going to turn into a big event, too, but it turned out to be nothing. All the media does is promote a bunch of crap that never really amounts to anything.

    Comment by Matthew Dickinson — March 16, 2008 @ 4:05 am | Reply

  11. I also spent several years wasting my time reading about conspiracy theories. How did Building 7 fall since it didn’t sustain any substantial damage, how could the BBC report on it before it happened if they didn’t know in advance, etc. But now I think about this and I wonder why I even cared in the first place. Whoever did it, they are criminals and should be prosecuted as mass-murderers. What else could they be? Whether they’re Jewish-Americans, Israelis, Muslims or what, I don’t see what the racial, ethnic or spiritual identity matters. A criminal should just be found out, through a process of detection and police work, and then tried in a court, and if found guilty then he should be punished for whatever the sentence reads. In the case of the people who were principally responsible for 9/11 — death. But other than this, that a terrible crime was committed, I do not get the political and social significance of that day. The Al Queda group, whoever they are, supposedly they’re waging a war on the west and America, but how can they stand a chance when we’ve got nuclear bombs, space weapons, biological and chemical warfare, etc? I don’t understand what there is to fear. Yes, a handful of them could occasionally blow up crowded sections of our major cities, but who wants to live in a city anyway? Jerks usually. I don’t personally feel much fear in regard to terrorists even on the rare occasion that I get on a plane. I figure it’s just statistically unlikely, like dying at Six Flags, getting eaten by a shark, etc.

    Comment by Matthew Dickinson — March 16, 2008 @ 4:12 am | Reply

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