It's been two weeks since the attacks, and no one is changing the subject. The volume of Fray postings is still exceptionally high, ranging from the latest numerology calculations, through a first-hand account of organizing crisis-counseling at the WTC, to passionate, knowledgeable arguments.
Subject: America's Role
Re: "Frame Game: Truth or Consequences"
From: Dilan Esper
Date: Wed Sep 19 9:12 p.m.PT
We have asserted the power, and the claim of right, to intervene militarily anywhere in the world to protect American interests, even if such interests are completely contrary to the values we claim to stand for. At the same time, we endeavor to deny any other country the right to hold Americans accountable in any way. That may be rational behavior. But it carries a huge cost—many people in the rest of the world, while envious of our way of life and our standard of living, resent our power. In fact, it is hard to conceive of what a country or group of people with a grievance against us, even a legitimate one, could do to stop us from asserting our will if the recognition of that grievance conflicted with our self-interests. Is it any wonder that some in the world turn to covertly supporting, or tacitly approving, terrorist activity?
[Find this post in full here.]
Subject: Slate's Role
Re: "Best of the Fray"
Date: Mon Sep 17 6:17 a.m. PT
I am glad Mickey Kaus, Jacob Weisberg, Robert Wright, etc., shared their opinions and feelings with the Slate audience. … They had the bravery to post what they did, knowing others would question their patriotism, their hearts, and their. ... I hope Slate writers keep writing their opinions and don't give into the attempt to shame them into only writing what is deemed politically correct for these times. Keep writing, keep informing, keep challenging.
Subject: Auden on Auden
Re: "Culturebox: Auden on Bin Laden"
From: Edward Mendelson, Literary Executor to W.H. Auden
Date: Sat Sep 22 6:33 a.m. PT
After Auden asked me to be his literary executor in 1972, I asked him what policy he wanted me to follow concerning "September 1, 1939." He answered: "I don't want it to be reprinted during my lifetime." I understood this to mean that he did not want to profit from a poem that he had rejected, but that he did not necessarily want it banished from posthumous editions of his poems. (As he said to someone else—and I'm paraphrasing from memory—"It may be a good poem, but I shouldn't have written it.") After his death, I included it in the Vintage Books edition of Auden's Selected Poems and in a volume of his work written in the 1930s, The English Auden. It remains in print in both those volumes.
Subject: The Importance of Oil
Re: "Ballot Box: Bad for the Jews?"
Date: Fri Sep 21 10:32 a.m. PT
The United States is involved in the politics of every single country in the Middle East, and has to be, because it is dependent on Middle Eastern oil and therefore has a vested interest in keeping that region stabilized. So let's hear no more … about how the United States is being bombed because it has a perverse interest in propping up Israel, or in defending Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The interest is real; but it's far from irrational, and it can't be walked away from.
One of the most popular posts this week was "An Open Letter to Osama Bin Laden" from Sadmira, a Muslim woman living in America, who said: "You do not stand for the Islam beliefs that I hold so dearly. You stand for a perversion of our faith."
Many Fraysters also wanted to comment on the "Flatfoot" suggestion of a cop on every flight—there were plenty of volunteers, but also some dissenting voices—and on the "History Lesson" on past wars in Afghanistan: Scroll down and read the Fray Notes.
LT's post, above, was part of an excellent discussion on the rights and obligations of the press, and particularly Slate, at a time like this—anyone who thinks the subject important should follow the thread. We were also glad that LT added, "I am all over the place since 9/11, but I do know that for every thought and feeling I've had (and many I haven't), there's been an answer or an echo on Slate or the Fray."