SMART Letter #61
Other People's Words
October 5, 2001

!@#$%^&*()!@#$%^&*()!@#$%^&*()!@#$%^&*()!@#$%^&*()!@#$%^&*() ------------------------------------------------------------ SMART Letter #61 -- October 5, 2001 Copyright 2001 by David S. Isenberg -- "ask questions first, shoot later" -- -- 1-888-isen-com ------------------------------------------------------------ !@#$%^&*()!@#$%^&*()!@#$%^&*()!@#$%^&*()!@#$%^&*()!@#$%^&*() CONTENTS > A note from David I > Quotes of Note > John Arquilla: How to Fight a Network > Edward N. Luttwak: Saudi Arabia's Terrorists > Salman Rushdie: Start Making Friends > Phil Agre: What September 11 Doesn't Change > Bob Barr: Don't Dismantle Constitutional Safeguards > David Obey: Dangerous Times for Democracy > Colin Powell: Evidence *won't* Persuade Court > Riaz Mohammad Khan: Evidence *will* Persuade Court > Jim Muir: Crushed Beneath the Rubble > Clay Shirky: Why the U.S. is Targeted > Ari Fleischer Can't Tolerate Intolerance > Smart Remarks from SMART People > Don Roszel, former United Pilot > Einar Flyndal gives a European perspective > A former AT&T colleague is having deja vu > Ronald Marks on institutional incompetence > Stan Hanks on plastic forks and civil liberties > A brief history of Wars Against Concepts > Conferences on my Calendar > Copyright Notice, Administrivia ------- So it's war, is it? Maybe the First Casualty is alive buried in the rubble, waiting for rescuers. I can't think about telecom yet, and I'm finding it hard to write at all. I'll let the words of others do the talking for now. -- David I ------- Quote of Note: John Arquilla "It takes a tank to fight a tank. It takes a network to fight a network . . . How do you attack a trust structure -- which is what a network is? You're not going to do this with Tomahawk missiles or strategic bombardment." John Arquilla of the Rand Corporation, quoted by Joel Garreau in "Disconnect the Dots", Washington Post, September 17, 2001, dyn/articles/A41015-2001Sep16.html ------- Quote of Note: Edward N. Luttwak "[Saudi Arabia's] schools and mosques have been hospitable to anti-Western extremists . . . but in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, whose perpetrators included Saudi citizens, it would be imprudent to overlook this connection any longer. It would be futile to hunt down one Osama bin Laden while America's ally is nurturing many more." Edward N. Luttwak, "New Fears, New Alliances", on the op-ed page of the New York Times, 10/2/01. ------- Quote of Note: Salman Rushdie "Now that wise American heads appear to have understood that it would be wrong to bomb the impoverished, oppressed Afghan people in retaliation for their tyrannous masters' misdeeds, they might apply that wisdom, retrospectively, to what has been done to the impoverished, oppressed people of Iraq. It is time to stop making enemies and start making friends." "Fighting the Forces of Invisibility" by Salman Rushdie on The Washington Post op-ed page, October 2, 2001. ------- Quote of Note: Phil Agre "People keep saying that the world has changed completely since September 11th, but when I checked the [U.S.] Constitution it hadn't changed at all." Phil Agre in Red Rock Eater, September 30, 2001, ------- Quote of Note: Bob Barr "Before we begin dismantling constitutionally protected safeguards and diminishing fundamental rights to privacy, we should first examine why last week's attacks occurred. Our immediate reaction to such unspeakable criminal activity must not be to expand law enforcement's investigative authority, but to examine how and why execution of current law was not successful. Let us not rush into a vast expansion of government power in a misguided attempt to protect freedom. In doing so, we will inevitably erode the very freedoms we seek to protect." U.S. Reptesentative Bob Barr (R-GA) in letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft ------- Quote of Note: David Obey "The most dangerous time for any democracy is at times of crisis . . . Asking even the most innocent and basic questions is seen as being nonsupportive." U.S. Representative David Obey (D-WI) quoted in the Washington Post, September 17, 2001 -- 2001Sep16.html [Innocent question: "Where's the evidence?" -- David I] ------- Quote of Note: Colin Powell "Let's not see [the allegation that Osama bin Laden and/or his network Al Qaeda was involved in the September 11 crimes] in terms of one that is going to trial in a court . . . it is not a question of us trying to persuade a court." U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in October 2 press conference, quoted in the New York Times, October 3, 2001. ------- Quote of Note: Riaz Mohammad Khan "The material [linking bin Laden to September 11 atrocities] that was provided by the American side . . . certainly provides sufficient basis for indictment in a court of law." Pakistan foreign office spokesman Riaz Mohammad Khan quoted on, October 4, 2001 -- tan.evidence/ ------- Quote of Note: Jim Muir "The man standing beside me in the crowd was sobbing his heart out. Along with dozens of other people, his wife and children lay crushed beneath the rubble of the collapsed building we were looking at. "It had been brought down quite scientifically by two big explosions [in 1982]. The multi-story apartment block was demolished because somebody thought Yasser Arafat was there. He wasn't." From "Explaining Arab Anger", by Jim Muir, long-time BBC middle east correspondent, September 19, 2001 in /newsid_1552000/1552900.stm [In the post-September-11 world, perhaps the people of the United States will have more empathy for the pain of civilian casualties elsewhere -- David I] ------- Quote of Note: Clay Shirky " We are not being unfairly targeted here, as if this was all some sort of misunderstanding. We are being targeted because we do exactly what they say we do. We are freedom loving, secular, democratic creators of a society where people are allowed to do as they like to an extent unheard of in the history of the world. That is so completely corrosive of any attempt to corral a populace into a single way of living that we are hated by everyone for whom cultural stasis is more important than freedom." Clay Shirky [] on nettime, September 21, 2001 ------- Quote of Note: Ari Fleischer "This government will not tolerate any such intolerance . . . To the degree there is a tiny minority, this government will get them." U.S. White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer at a press briefing, September 18, 2001. [When I heard this live, on the radio, I laughed out loud. I thought I heard Fleischer say, "We'll get 'em," not "This government will get them," as the official White House transcript has it. -- David I] ------- Smart Remarks from SMART People Don Roszel [] writes: "[From a Clear Blue Sky -- SMART Letter #60 is] a wonderful response to the jingoism we are all vulnerable to. "Since September 11, I have been filled with feelings of sorrow, anger and vengeance. All along, I have wished that the need for vengeance will fade. It is, gradually. This SMART Letter has helped hasten its demise. I still have a ways to go, mind you. But I'm getting there. "Coping with sorrow has been another matter. In a former life, I worked for United Airlines. Jason Dahl, the captain of the airplane that crashed in Pennsylvania was based in San Francisco during my tenure as Chief Pilot of the San Francisco base. "When my father died a year ago, someone sent me a proverb that said words to the effect that, "Happiness shared is happiness doubled, while sorrow shared is sorrow halved." I've thought of those words frequently since 9/11. If you haven't seen it, here is a link to a web site on which are posted pictures from around the world - of people everywhere sharing our sorrow. It too has helped me cope." --- Einar Flyndal [] writes: "I was at a hotel in the old capital of Holland, Delft, [on September 11] when the US was struck by the (technologically speaking) very simple crash. US- Americans were crying in the lobby. And it was of course not difficult to share their feelings. "I spent the night in front of the TV. Two channels were of particular interest: CNN and BBC World. The perspective was amazingly different: CNN's perspectives were: 'What happened?' - running the same surreal crash shots over and over again - and 'What will the president do?' BBC World was showing each new film of the crashes, but in between, ever more background stuff, like the splendid interview with the editor of Al Qoud, a Saudi Arabian newspaper. His important statement was: 'There may be many groups that could have organized such an attack. The most central topic for the US now must be to understand why there are so many groups that could have motives for doing it.' "Let me add this: some Norwegian university professors have proposed Bush for the Nobel Peace prize - on the condition that he manages to meet this challenge of terrorism without triggering a war, but manages to solve this with peaceful means. "The world is waiting for the US president to master this situation without proving to the Muslim world that crusades mean horror and terror from the Westerners/Crusaders/Franks (note: same word and concept in Arab!). That was what they learned 800 years back, when the local reporter wrote back to the Pope: "Our men put the children on sticks and roast them, and eat them when they are ready grilled." (Amin Malouf: _The crusades, as the Arabs saw them_) "Up in the high North, we also want to continue with our silent sailing with the fishing rod in the back of the boat . . . ------- A former AT&T colleague writes: "Since the May morning in 1940 when the German planes appeared in the sky over The Hague and dropped bombs I have thought of war every day. "All of this [post-September-11 activity] is far too familiar. "Quite a few years ago I said that the good thing about being old was that I would not be around when things got really bad. I seem to have been wrong." --- Ronald Marks [] writes: "If there's one thing you inveigh against better than most, it's blind stupidity. So much pain in this world takes its source from institutional incompetence, but no one has made the point with such disarming clarity . . . Nothing I've read for a very long while penetrated to my core the way your words did [in From a Clear Blue Sky -- SMART Letter #60]." --- Stan Hanks [] writes: "A group with which I was involved in the early-to-mid '80s war-gamed "how to take over a jetliner with a plastic fork and use it as a weapon". Yeah. Back then. Not much is different today except (1) Tom Clancy actually used this as a story line and (2) oh yeah, someone else did too... "And I worry a *lot* about civil liberties and right to privacy. I have already seen a surge in [interest in] securing critical infrastructure. People seem willing to put individual rights on hold to "make it happen". I'm not sure, but isn't that sort of the first step towards a police state?? And even though the 'net is supposed to be the ultimate guardian of freedom, what happens when it's the snare that's being set for the opposition?" [Or maybe the Internet would snare anybody who's against whatever the Government is for -- as in, "If you're not with us, you're against us." (Not me, Mr. Ashcroft, I think *every* thing you're doing is JUST FINE, sir.) -- David I] ------- A Brief History of Wars Against Concepts War on Poverty -- Poverty 1, U.S. 0 War on Cancer -- Cancer 1, U.S. 0 War on Crime -- Crime 1, U.S. 0 War on Drugs -- Drugs 1, U.S. 0 ------- CONFERENCES ON MY CALENDAR RESCHEDULED -- NEW LOCATION & DATE: November 4-6, 2001. San Francisco, CA. Telecosm. Latest word is that I will be moderating a panel on the morning of November 6. Telecosm will be much different than last year, probably quieter, perhaps more thoughtful, and certainly different. For information, see POSTPONED -- NEW DATE TBD: Sarasota FL. Gilder Fellers technology investor's conference. Gilder and other notables will be there. I'll be Moderator. In other words, I'll be trying to get the participants to hold down the hype, jargon, positioning and techno-babble so the individual investors in the audience will understand. Some might argue that this'd be like the pot calling the kettle . . . For information, contact Joel Srodes []. ------- COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Redistribution of this document, or any part of it, is permitted for non-commercial purposes, provided that the two lines below are reproduced with it: Copyright 2001 by David S. Isenberg -- -- 1-888-isen-com ------- [There are two ways to join the SMART List, which gets you the SMART Letter by email, weeks before it goes up on the web site. The PREFERRED METHOD is to click on and supply the info as indicated. 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