- The Washington Times - Friday, August 11, 2006

Nobles: British law-enforcement and intelligence officials, for saving the world from the horrors of another September 11.

As they say, it was a close-run thing. Had British intelligence and police officials acted a day or two later, it is likely that the Islamofascists would have succeeded in taking out as many as 10 commercial jets over the Atlantic. A London newspaper reported yesterday that the terrorists had set Aug. 16 as the day they would execute their plot.

It is now known that a major break in the eight-month British investigation came when an undercover agent managed to infiltrate the U.K.-based terrorist group, which Pakistani officials have said may have ties to al Qaeda. British intelligence acted, and within hours early Thursday morning 24 suspects were arrested across Britain. By yesterday, as many as 40 suspects had been taken into custody across Europe and in Pakistan.

Of course Britain’s success in thwarting this plot and future ones depends on the help of intelligence services around the world. The terror threat is global, and so too must be the civilized world’s response to it.

For now a grateful nation and world thanks Great Britain, especially this week’s Nobles.

Knaves: Stars, Stripes and Skates, a fund-raising organization, for publishing a children’s book about September 11 to make it a “happy” event.

There are certain historical events that defy all attempts to make them “happy.” September 11 is surely one of them. But that was point behind the Stars, Stripes and Skates’ effort to make “a happy 9/11 commemorative event” for children with its publication of a booklet full of trivia questions and math problems all centered around one of the most unhappy days in American history.

The booklet, which will be distributed to schools in the Northeast, also includes a connect-the-dots exercise that shows New York’s old skyline — the one with the World Trade Center still in it — according to the New York Sun. A math equation asks children to add 9, 1 and 1 to see that it equals eleven. Apparently, this is what the booklet’s authors had in mind when they said wanted to make September 11 “fun.”

The unanswered question is why it needs to be fun or happy at all. Young children indeed will not understand September 11 and all it represents. But isn’t it important for children to learn that some things in life can’t be understood; that there are evils in the world so horrible they defy even an adult’s ability to comprehend them?

Of all events, September 11 should not be sugarcoated, even for children. For trying to do so, Stars, Stripes and Skates is the Knave of the week.

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