Video: 102 minutes that changed America

A thread for your ruminations, pegged to must-see viewing on the History Channel tonight. I hate writing about 9/11 because it leaves me even more unequal to the task than usual, so rather than waste your time let me send you to the NYT for its scoop on Bush having finally greenlit Special Ops raids on Al Qaeda bases in Pakistan. It’s paying off:

According to two American officials briefed on the raid, it involved more than two dozen members of the Navy Seals who spent several hours on the ground and killed about two dozen suspected Qaeda fighters in what now appeared to have been a planned attack against militants who had been conducting attacks against an American forward operating base across the border in Afghanistan.

Supported by an AC-130 gunship, the Special Operations forces were whisked away by helicopters after completing the mission.

Why risk a backlash in Pakistan this way instead of letting the hometown team handle it? Because: (a) the Pakistani government has no intention of fighting the Taliban or AQ no matter how much money we throw at them, a fact worth bearing in mind the next time Obama talks up his plan to win them over with a massive increase in non-military foreign aid; and (b) according to Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen (as well as Michael Yon), we’re almost out of time in Afghanistan. The cost of not acting now exceeds the cost of brief incursions across the border, even though it risks destabilizing a nuclear state. Ponder that as a metric of how dire the situation is.

If you’re not inclined to read the whole Times piece, read the last few paragraphs at least for a reminder of how filthy and duplicitous Pakistani intelligence is. As for the video below, all nine clips are worth watching but the one from Gateway Plaza is especially surreal. This old PBS footage is my own personal requisite 9/11 viewing (especially part three), but I doubt it’ll evoke the same feeling for people who don’t live in the city. For those who do, bring a handkerchief. Click the image to watch.

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