Thursday, December 3, 2009

The 9/11 of 1859

History, as always, holds the keys to the future.

Two days after President Obama announced that he was sending 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan, Tony Horwitz draws a fascinating parallel in the New York Times between Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the architect of 9/11 (and as such, one of the instigators of this war) and John Brown, the American anti-slavery terrorist who was hanged on this day in 1859, 18 months before the outbreak of the civil war.

Brown's lesson on the cause and effect of violence is more poignant and striking than ever.

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