Olson kept her cool. In the hysteria and terror of hijackers herding
passengers to the rear of the plane, she retrieved her cell phone
and called her husband, Ted, the solicitor general of the United
States. She informed him that he had better call the FBI
the plane had been hijacked. According to reports, Barbara was still
on the phone with Ted when her plane plunged in a fiery explosion
directly into the Pentagon.
having her neck slit to warn the country of a terrorist attack.
She was a patriot to the very end.
This is not
to engage in the media's typical hallucinatory overstatement about
anyone who is the victim of a horrible tragedy. The furtive cell
phone call was an act of incredible daring and panache. If it were
not, we'd be hearing reports of a hundred more cell phone calls.
(Even people who swear to hate cell phones carry them for commercial
The last time
I saw Barbara in person was about three weeks ago. She generously
praised one of my recent columns and told me I had really found
my niche. Ted, she said, had taken to reading my columns aloud to
her over breakfast.
that to say three things about Barbara. First, she was really nice.
A lot of people on TV seem nice, but aren't. (And some who don't
seem nice, are.) But Barbara was always her charming, graceful,
vebullient self. "Nice" is an amazingly rare quality among writers.
In the opinion business, bitter, jealous hatred is the norm. Barbara
had reason to be secure.
was actually easy to imagine Ted reading political columns aloud
to Barbara at the breakfast table. Theirs was a relationship that
could only be cheaply imitated by Bill and Hillary the latter
being a subject of Barbara's appropriately biting bestseller, Hell
to Pay. Hillary claimed preposterously in the Talk magazine
interview that she discussed policy with Bill while cutting his
grapefruit in the morning. Ted and Barbara really did talk politics and
really did have breakfast together.
and Barbara" just like it's Fred and Ginger, and George and Gracie.
They were so perfect together, so obvious, that their friends were
as happy they were on their wedding day. This is more than the death
of a great person and patriotic American. It's a human amputation.
Barbara's compliment, I've been writing my columns for Ted and Barbara.
I'm always writing to someone in my head. Now I don't know who to
write to. Ted-and-Barbara were a good muse.
hearing that this beautiful light has been extinguished from the
world, only one other news flash broke beyond the numbingly omnipresent
horror of the entire day. That evening, CNN reported that bombs
were dropping in Afghanistan and then updated the report
to say they weren't our bombs.
have been ours. I want them to be ours.
This is no
time to be precious about locating the exact individuals directly
involved in this particular terrorist attack. Those responsible
include anyone anywhere in the world who smiled in response to the
annihilation of patriots like Barbara Olson.
We don't need
long investigations of the forensic evidence to determine with scientific
accuracy the person or persons who ordered this specific attack.
We don't need an "international coalition." We don't need a study
on "terrorism." We certainly didn't need a congressional resolution
condemning the attack this week.
has been invaded by a fanatical, murderous cult. And we welcome
them. We are so good and so pure we would never engage in discriminatory
racial or "religious" profiling.
want our country destroyed live here, work for our airlines, and
are submitted to the exact same airport shakedown as a lumberman
from Idaho. This would be like having the Wehrmacht immigrate to
America and work for our airlines during World War II. Except the
Wehrmacht was not so bloodthirsty.
"All of our
lives" don't need to change, as they keep prattling on TV. Every
single time there is a terrorist attack or a plane crashes
because of pilot error Americans allow their rights to be
contracted for no purpose whatsoever.
kabuki theater of magnetometers, asinine questions about whether
passengers "packed their own bags," and the hostile, lumpen mesomorphs
ripping open our luggage somehow allowed over a dozen armed hijackers
to board four American planes almost simultaneously on Bloody Tuesday.
(Did those fabulous security procedures stop a single hijacker anyplace
in America that day?)
apply the same laughably ineffective airport harassment to Suzy
Chapstick as to Muslim hijackers. It is preposterous to assume every
passenger is a potential crazed homicidal maniac. We know who the
homicidal maniacs are. They are the ones cheering and dancing right
invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.
We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler
and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed
civilians. That's war. And this is war.
Universal Press Syndicate