- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 15, 2001

We have heard over and over that terrorism must not be allowed to bring our free society to a halt. So true. But anyone in doubt that this has to some degree already happened, need only take a trip by car through downtown Washington or attempt to follow previously made travel plans. What's more, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank have postponed their previously scheduled meetings in Washington. Officials are not certain when or if they will be rescheduled, according to the Associated Press.
Protestors may still come — perhaps with violent intent. Some of them represent groups vehemently opposed to capitalism, free trade and the evils of "globalization." You might even say that these are people who have a certain commonality with the terrorist mastermind of Tuesday's attacks. They are intensely — and sometimes violently — opposed to the United States and what it stands for.
According to a report by this newspaper's Jim Keary, "Police had anticipated violence at the two-day event," previously scheduled for Sept. 29-30, and were planning to erect a 9-foot-high fence and jersey walls around portions of downtown, the World Bank and IMF buildings, even the White House. The protests were expected to be even more severe than last year, especially from anarchist groups such as the Black Bloc — a group that set fire to entire city blocks in Canada and Italy, when previous IMF/World Bank meetings were held. To deal with this, the Metropolitan Police Department intended to deploy more than 6,000 officers — with help from neighboring jurisdictions, including even some from New York City.
Now all bets are off. It is probably true that two weeks are not enough time, given what's happened, to prepare adequately for a major event and attendant protests in the nation's capital. And we could — indeed should — find ourselves at war, literally, before the date that the meetings were scheduled. The last thing this country needs now is pandemonium in the streets of Washington.
This page has never been a particular friend of either the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund (IMF). However, there are times when their meetings carry huge symbolic significance. In that regard, it is a pity that those institutions are giving the forces of chaos another victory.


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