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From the November 2001 issue of World Press Review (VOL. 48, No. 11)

England: Into the Unknown

Kevin Myers, Daily Telegraph (conservative), London, September 12, 2001

The entire world crossed a terrible threshold. We departed from the realm of ordered events into the realm of chaos, where the laws of predictable consequence no longer apply. But a truly proportionate response, a hecatomb on a scale with Manhattan’s, is politically impossible for the United States, and certainly the wretched bones of Osama bin Laden and his apostles are no compensation. Yet the absence of such a “proportionate” response can be acclaimed as a victory for the perpetrators, and that too is politically impossible.

The United States must punish Islamic fundamentalists for last Tuesday’s unfathomable wickedness, but by doing so it could very well destabilize the very states in the Middle East upon which the world economy depends. For one of the geo-religious paradoxes of the planet is that the meridians of oil and Islam coincide, with virtually every state along those meridians being threatened by Islamic
militants.

Those who made a small Hiroshima of the World Trade Center are fully aware of this. They know that it is simply impossible for the United States to take serious action anywhere in those regions without possibly catastrophic and wholly unpredictable results. The main purpose of the Manhattan and Pentagon atrocities was not simply mass murder, though that, of course, was pleasing enough. It was to kill enough people so as to make retaliation absolutely inevitable.

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