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Selected Articles

After Sep 11:
The limits of remembrance

By David Rieff

Into the forbidden zone
By William T. Vollmann


By Julie Otsuka

The wasting end
By Bonnie Nadzam


The sandhill cranes of Nebraska
By Billy Collins

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Extra info for Harper's (August 2011)

Example text

He was right, but when people are so committed to looking away from human transience, trying to stare for just a bit longer surely is in order. The stark reality is that in the very long run nothing will be remembered. This may be an unpalatable truth, but it still needs acknowledging. This is not to say that on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks—which, after all, will be one of the historical high-water marks in the remembrance of the event—those who participate should forswear entirely the comforting illusion that we will always remember those who died.

When I pressed him on whether he felt his informant had ultimately flushed out a terrorist, he hedged. “Well, you’re not going to get me to say he was absolutely guilty,” he told me. Still, Pikus insisted that the FBI had to pursue the sting REPORT 41 6/28/11 10:53 AM against Aref. ” I n August 2004, Aref was arrested on his way home from evening prayers at the Central Avenue mosque. Hossain was plucked from his car by heavily armed agents. Later that same night the FBI conducted searches of both men’s homes and of the mosque, where they wore sterile white booties over their shoes out of respect for Islamic custom.

And while right-wing radicals and white supremacists have been given less attention, the Homeland Security apparatus has been wielded in full force against others deemed enemies of the state, particularly those who undermine the interests of Congress’s chief lobbyists. The expanding category of national-­s ecurity t h re at s i nclu de s a n i m a l- a nd REPORT 43 6/28/11 10:53 AM environmental-rights activists as well as left-leaning political protesters, whether antiglobalist, anticapitalist, or antiwar.

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