Mourning In America

A New York Democrat on politics, journalism, and the Mets

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Friday, December 19, 2003
My New Favorite Architecture Critic Check out's take on the new Freedom Tower:
By 2008, drunken bridge-and-tunnelers will be able to figure out which way is downtown again.

Today, architects Daniel Libeskind and David Childs announced the design of the pretty, shimmering "Here's the PATH train" marker to be built on the site of the World Trade Center. In the battle of the bastard building-builders, looks like Libeskind scored the win, as the plans most resemble his early schemes for the building.

Named the 'Freedom Tower,' the world's tallest building will be completed in 2008, and will be solely occupied by businesses involved in the production of freedom.

Hasn't NYC Suffered Enough? This from the AP: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen to Attend NYU

Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Drafts at the White House? Today's NY Times Op-Ed page features two unlikely commentators pointing out that the Emperor has no Clothes.

First, Bruce Hoffman of the RAND Corporation -- the hub of the military-industrial complex itself! -- points out that, contrary to the Bush administration's frequent claims, Iraq is not the center of the War on Terror. Worse, by continuing to deceive ourselves (through the flypaper theory) that we're engaging the terrorists on our own terms, we might actually be playing into Al Qaeda's hands.

But there's a better chance that Osama bin Laden is the one setting a trap. He and his fellow jihadists didn't drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan by taking the fight to an organized enemy on a battlefield of its choosing. In fact, the idea that Al Qaeda wanted to make Iraq the central battlefield of jihad was first suggested by Al Qaeda itself...

If there are Qaeda warriors in Iraq, they are likely cannon fodder rather than battle-hardened mujahedeen ... While America has been tied down in Iraq, the international terrorist network has been busy elsewhere. The various attacks undertaken by Qaeda and its affiliates since the occupation began have taken place in countries that are longstanding sources of Osama bin Laden's enmity

The second article has fewer life-and-death consequences, but it no less surprising, as William Safire takes on the administration for trying to keep the records from Dick Cheney's energy task force meetings secret. Safire hurls the harshest of all conservative epithets: He says the move is something the Clintons might try!