October 13, 2004


A VERY EXCELLENT INTERNET publication entitled WomensWallStreet – the journal that bravely published Annie Jacobsen’s disturbing reports on airline-security failures – has begun a series that explores the costs imposed on the United States by the Islamic attacks of 9/11 and the subsequent War on (Islamic) Terror. The series began yesterday morning and will be continued tomorrow, October 14. Here is a key quote from the first installment:

Al Qaeda's total cost for the planning and execution of the 9/11 attack was reportedly between $400,000 to $500,000. Just half a million dollars worth of suicidal effort caused $30 billion in immediate damage. Then, it put in motion the ongoing expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars in this country alone, not counting the indirect costs to our economy from lost productivity, toppled investments, and a general sense of dread that percolates in the backs of people's minds and makes them think twice about spending the day at Disneyland.

While Wall Street Journal regulars will probably find the series too elementary to hold their interest, it is intended to provide laywomen (and laymen too!) with a basic understanding of the economic impact of 9/11. It is the first complete, non-technical presentation of the data I have seen anywhere, which alone makes it worthwhile, especially if you are on intellectual thin ice (as I often am) when the discussion turns to purely economic matters.

Indeed, while the target readership of WomensWallStreet is implicit in its name, I find the website a fountainhead of useful information – so much so I have become one of its growing number of male subscribers. A link to WWS and its new series is here.


BELMONT CLUB FEATURES ANOTHER of Wretchard’s insightful discussions of the war, “Only the Lonely,” this one touching on the presidential election and the curious suppression of a Mark Steyn column (by The Telegraph) but mostly focused – like Steyn’s column – on the reverberations of the Islamic terrorists’ kidnapping and butcher-knife beheading of British subject Kenneth Bigley. Here is Wretchard's bell-ringer:

Radical Islam is self-evidently at war with the West because their efforts are limited only by their capability. And the West is just as clearly not yet at war with radical Islam because its actions are still limited by its intent. Zarqawi sawed off Bigley's head simply because he could; America spares Fallujah from choice (boldface as in original).

Click here for the Belmont Club link. The censored Steyn column is available in full (thanks to Lucianne Goldberg) by going here. The ensuing discussion on Lucianne.com is especially interesting because of its speculation on the motives of Steyn’s editors. My own belief, apparently not shared by anyone else on the thread, is that Steyn’s column was killed to comply with British “hate-speech” laws that would prohibit any genuinely telling discussion of Islamic atrocities, though whether these laws are merely proposed or already enacted I don’t recall and didn’t have the time to check. In any case, such laws are already in effect in Canada, where they have been employed to sharply curtail freedom of speech, specifically both secular criticism of radical feminism and Christian Fundamentalist arguments against homosexuality. This is significant because a Kerry presidency would probably mean enactment of similar laws in the U.S., outlawing public discussion of any number of topics arising from negative facts or perceptions specific to religion, race, ideology and sexual preference: yet another reason to vote for George W. Bush.

Posted by Loren at October 13, 2004 05:11 AM