Global terrorism is extreme both in its lack of realistic goals and in its cynical exploitation of the vulnerability of complex systems.
Each murder is one too many.
What was new was the symbolic force of the targets struck. The attackers did not just physically cause the highest buildings in Manhattan to collapse; they also destroyed an icon in the household imagery of the American nation.
Disappointment over nationalistic authoritarian regimes may have contributed to the fact that today religion offers a new and subjectively more convincing language for old political orientations.
The uncertainty of the danger belongs to the essence of terrorism.
If the September 11 terror attack is supposed to constitute a caesura in world history, it must be able to stand comparison to other events of world historical impact.
From a moral point of view, there is no excuse for terrorist acts, regardless of the motive or the situation under which they are carried out.
The state is in danger of falling into disrepute due to the evidence of its inadequate resources.
Since our complex societies are highly susceptible to interferences and accidents, they certainly offer ideal opportunities for a prompt disruption of normal activities.
After September 11, the European governments have completely failed. They are incapable of seeing beyond their own national scope of interests.
A threatened nation can react to uncertain dangers solely through administrative channels, to the truly embarrassing situation of perhaps overreacting.
Partisans fight on familiar territory with professed political objectives to conquer power. This is what distinguishes them from terrorists.
I cannot imagine a context that would some day, in some manner, make the monstrous crime of September 11 an understandable or comprehensible political act.
Perhaps at a later point important developments will be traced back to September 11. But for now we do not know which of the many scenarios will actually hold in the future.
Today's Islamic fundamentalism is also a cover for political motifs. We should not overlook the political motifs we encounter in forms of religious fanaticism.
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