Global News: September 2006 Archives

Karate and war

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You need to read Dan Paden's latest entry, Karate Ni Sente Nashi. The phrase means, "There is no first attack in karate," but it's a phrase that is easily misunderstood. Dan uses an anecdote about two karate brown belts to illustrate what it means to recognize and respond to the first attack, whether in self-defense or national defense.

It's been on my mind all day, but I'm only just now getting the chance to sit down and collect my thoughts about the events of September 11, 2001.

Hot Air has clips of CNN's coverage from the morning of 9/11. There's something about seeing a repeat of the live news coverage -- it strips away the 20/20 hindsight and lets us remember the confusion and shock of the moment.

The third clip on that page deserves your attention, especially if you've been hearing the wild claim that no plane hit the Pentagon. It features a phone interview with a pilot who had a view of the Pentagon crash from his high-rise Arlington apartment building. Later in the same clip, CNN reporter Jamie McIntyre describes the debris on the scene. These are contemporaneous eyewitness accounts of the crash and its aftermath.

I watched the beginning of ABC's "The Path to 9/11" last night, up through the explosion of Ramzi Yousef's lab in Manila. Very powerful, very well organized and presented -- it reminded me of Ron Howard's Apollo 13 in that regard. I don't normally get riled up watching TV -- it's a "cool" medium, after all -- but the opening sequence showing the terrorists checking in for their flights and going through security made my blood boil.

I can't be the only Oklahoman who was struck by several things in the section about the 1993 World Trade Center bombing: the rented Ryder truck, the type of explosive used, and the central clue, the discovery of a bit of the frame showing the vehicle identification number of the otherwise vaporized truck. The Oklahoma City bombers also filled a rented Ryder truck with a fertiliser and fuel oil bomb, and it was a piece of the axle that allowed law enforcement to track the truck back to a rental location in Junction City, Kansas.

Two years ago I wrote about one of the victims of the 9/11 attack, Jayesh Shah. Jay was a native of India, but he and his younger brother Niloy went to Memorial High School and then on to the University of Tulsa. I met the Shah brothers through Hal O'Halloran's "Sports Night" talk show on KXXO 1300, sometime around 1979 or 1980. They were fierce competitors in Hal's weekly trivia contests. I remember Jay as the quieter of the two, but he had a mischievous streak. In the late '80s, post-college, the two brothers made a number of trips with others in our circle of friends to play blackjack in Las Vegas. Both brothers wound up in Houston with their families, working for Amoco. I'd see them on holiday visits to Tulsa.

When I heard that the World Trade Center towers had been hit and then that they had collapsed, I had no idea that I knew anyone who might have been in there. It was only later that day that I learned that six months earlier, Jay had left Houston to take an executive position with a division of Cantor Fitzgerald. His office was in the north tower, on the 103rd floor. Niloy had tried to call Jay as usual that morning, but hadn't been able to reach him. Niloy and family left Houston for to New York as quickly as they could and began days of searching for Jay, hoping that somehow he had made it out. I remember scanning survivor's lists online and the moment of false hope when someone with the same name turned up on one of them -- but it wasn't him. (Here is a note that was sent out sometime around September 20, 2001, about the status of the search for Jayesh and plans for a prayer service.)

As part of a worldwide effort to remember the victims of the attack as individuals, not just a number, nearly 3,000 bloggers are each remembering one of them. Judge William of Right Indignation has posted this rememberance of Jayesh Shah.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Global News category from September 2006.

Global News: August 2006 is the previous archive.

Global News: November 2006 is the next archive.

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