If they wanted "unrest," they're idiots, because unrest wasn't doing nearly as much good as their freedom to commit acts of terror was.
What they wanted was for all of the world's Muslims to unite in war against "Christendom", and for Allah to intervene on the side of the Muslims, leading to the establishment of a number of Taliban-style sharia governments.
What they got was a loss of the one country on earth where the people were ruled as they believed Allah willed, most of their finances frozen, their international prestige weakened, and a secular government in Afghanistan.
Joe defends his position:
Small acts of terror weren't getting them that far. The Taliban was unpopular, not in control of chunks of their territory, and life was crummy. And there was always Pakistan friends to go to. Worth a shot for them to go for the gold.
Publius notes that what al-Qaida probably wanted was to draw the U.S. into a protracted battle for Afghanistan:
they knew their Afgan lair would be attacked in some way, and perhaps they thought it would be hamhanded, kill a lot of people to make more Muslims angry while achieving little, solidifying al Quaeda's legend, bleeding the U.S. so as to provoke a Vietnam-like crisis, and aggravating tensions with key Muslim states ... 8:00 a.m.
Thursday, Feb. 6, 2002
Bias in the defense of liberty: Unless handled very carefully, press bias discussions are dangerous soporifics. Jack Shafer has avoided the zzzzzz's, as one would expect. The_Slasher-8's post is a comprehensive torching of several points in the bias debate. The most eloquent passage deals with the Goldwater campaign and the necessity of bias. Here's a part:
[I]n 1964 this country had decided to do something about seeing black people get the shit beaten out of them on TV every night by racist cops. And so, in June, Everett Dirksen, the Republican Senate Majority Leader, who had stonewalled the civil rights bill alongside the racist Southern Democrats for months, caved in and threw his support to it.
And a month later, the Republican Party met in San Francisco and repudiated him …Goldwater DELIBERATELY chose to go after racist votes -- his exact words were "I'm going hunting where the ducks are."
The press mugged him for it, and it's kind of hard to see how they could not have. …
Career opportunities, the one that never knocked: As usual, each Dear Prudie letter has aroused its share of interesting posts, even the seemingly banal problem of Troubled, whose boyfriend seems to lack the old Protestant work ethic. Westonted (and Isonomist-) both suspect that the problem could be ADD. But Fraysters everywhere should take heart in Rudie_can-t_fail's attempted answer here:
Maybe your guy is just disillusioned by his career choice. For example, perhaps he wanted to be a hotshot 1st amendment and sundry personal and economic freedoms litigator and instead ended up representing public employees' unions and having a true flair for that was recruited by management and daily faced a legion of unappatizing claimants and only slightly less appetizing bureaucratic types who wish to direct your discoveryfileridulousmotionsandyetnevertake promisingcasestotrialsohespendshistimetyping snideanswerstoCoachReevesformerspou...
What was the question?
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.