On September 12, 2001, Time magazine, in a special issue devoted to the Qaeda attacks of the previous day, published a column by one of its most prominent contributors at the time, Lance Morrow. The column was headlined, "The Case for Rage and Retribution." The subtitle read: "What's needed is a unified, unifying, Pearl Harbor sort of purple American fury—a ruthless indignation that doesn't leak away in a week or two."
Morrow's core argument:
Let America explore the rich reciprocal possibilities of the fatwa. A policy of focused brutality does not come easily to a self-conscious, self-indulgent, contradictory, diverse, humane nation with a short attention span. America needs to relearn a lost discipline, self-confident relentlessness—and to relearn why human nature has equipped us all with a weapon (abhorred in decent peacetime societies) called hatred.
I don't recall reading this essay when it first appeared, though I bought a copy of the special issue as a keepsake—a keepsake I recently discovered in my basement. I opened the magazine to the Morrow essay and was shortly appalled, though, of course, in the days following the 9/11 attacks, I remember being more than sufficiently upset, in the Morrow manner. Even today, if I concentrate my mind on images of innocent people throwing themselves from the Twin Towers, I can easily induce anger.