Thoughts Following 9/11

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10-12-2001:    In tonight's Science News, I've included links to some Arab news sources. Dr. Eyad El Sarraj' Bombs and Madness.gives a picture of the Arab-Israeli conflict as seen from the Palestinian side.  One fact is indisputable: not everyone in Palestine is happy. (I'm also contaminated with the notion that violence generally begets violence. Peaceful solutions are to be preferred. In his science fiction epic, "Foundation", Isaac Asimov has "Salvor Hardin" say that "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent".)
    The goal ascribed to Osama bin Laden, although his goals are alleged to have escalated over time, is that of founding a pan-Arabic nation in the Middle East. Of course, if he were successful, then once such a state were formed, it would have an existence of its own, and like other human institutions, would evolve over time. The Roman Republic evolved into the Roman Empire. The early Christian church evolved into the church of the Renaissance. The Muslim church progressed from its simple, 7th-century roots to the highest Western civilization of the Middle Ages. If Mr. bin Laden were to succeed, I should think that his creation would soon loosen its corset. Theocracies have been attempted throughout history, and throughout history, they've been replaced by more secular domains.