I was reading the interview with respect and enthusiasm until I came to the sentence “The operation on September 11, detestable though it was, was brilliantly executed: complex, well imagined, and amazingly well conducted.” It seems to me that any high school basketball coach, if he were as crazy as a bedbug and had $100 million and a team convinced the cause was worth dying for, could have pulled off the atrocity. If the purpose of the attack was only to make a statement, it is hard to see how the adverb brilliantly or any other of the high-powered words applies. It accomplished nothing except to give George Bush increased ratings, which was hardly the intent. The utter devastation of the two buildings must have surprised Bin Laden. There is no evidence that he anticipated such success. The same technique did not destroy the Pentagon.
It is time somebody considers 9/11 rationally. If we think that terrorism, as Peters implies, requires intelligence and expert planning, we arc not going to get very far in an effort to avoid it. Instead of taking out leaders we don’t like, let’s give some thought to reality. “War” is not an appropriate response to dealing with the crazies.