NEW YORK TIMES
March 28, 2004
Awaking To A Dream
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
I have a confession to make: I am the foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times and I didn’t listen to one second of the 9/11 hearings and I didn’t read one story in the paper about them. Not one second. Not one story. Lord knows, it’s not out of indifference to 9/11. It’s because I made up my mind about that event a long time ago: It was not a failure of intelligence, it was a failure of imagination.
We could have had perfect intelligence on all the key pieces of 9/11, but the fact is we lacked for the very best of reasons people with evil enough imaginations to put those pieces together and realise that 19 young men were going to hijack four airplanes for suicide attacks against our national symbols and kill as many innocent civilians as they could, for no stated reason at all.
Imagination is on my mind a lot these days, because it seems to me that the only people with imagination in the world right now are the bad guys. As my friend, the Middle East analyst Stephen P. Cohen, says, “That is the characteristic of our time all the imagination is in the hands of the evildoers.” I am so hungry for a positive surprise. I am so hungry to hear a politician, a statesman, a business leader surprise me in a good way. It has been so long.
I want to wake up and read that Justice Antonin Scalia has recused himself from ruling on the case involving Cheney’s energy task force when it comes before the Supreme Court not because Scalia did anything illegal in duck hunting with the VP, but because our Supreme Court is so sacred, so vital to what makes our society special its rule of law that he wouldn’t want to do anything that might have even a whiff of impropriety.
Copyright 2004, The New York Times Company
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