One year later: heed Churchill's words
September 11 came out of a clear blue sky. A "severe clear" was the air traffic controllers' evocative description of the skies over Manhattan a year ago.September 11 came out of a clear blue sky. A "severe clear" was the air traffic controllers' evocative description of the skies over Manhattan a year ago.
If the attack that marked the beginning of a new world was shocking and unexpected, there has been an inevitability about the logic of world affairs since then.
The world has moved in one direction since then - and it has not been towards peace.
September 11 claimed nearly 3,000 lives. Unknown numbers, certainly in the thousands, have died in Afghanistan in the year since.
Now the world is waiting for the other shoe to drop. The next war — the one with Iraq.
The attacks of 9-11 were unique in American history and they naturally prompted a powerful response.
Flags, patriotic tattoos, anger and fear all combined in a war fever unknown to all except those old enough to remember Pearl Harbour.
There was a desire for revenge against the attackers and a need to feel secure again.
"Whatever it takes" was the feeling on the streets and for the White House and the American military that meant pretty much a blank cheque.
Any word of caution or dissent has been taken as unpatriotic and shouted down.
The white heat of anger and fear has now cooled a bit. Polls in the United States show that enthusiasm for war with Iraq is falling. If the United States has to go it alone, only about a third of the American public now say they should attack Iraq.