Footnotes of an America United

And now the most compelling two minutes in television: the latest footnotes to the story of America's war on terrorism. 

 The FBI. is on the verge of making the first arrests inside this country directly linked to the September 11th atrocities, according to the "New York Post." The newspaper says the FBI.'s joint terrorism task force plans to round up between three and five suspects on charges of aiding and abetting the 19 September 11 hijackers.  The suspects have not been picked up so far, says the "Post," because investigators have had them under intense surveillance.  

A top Saudi Arabian official and member of the royal family wants Arabs who have been fighting for the Taliban to be allowed to go home instead of being detained or tried.  

U.S. officials have said that surrendering captured Taliban and al Qaeda fighters should not be released, since they would be free then to engage in further acts of terrorism.  But Saudi Defense and Aviation Minister, Prince Sultan, said in a prize ceremony in Riyadh on Monday that he hopes, "all people who are of Arab or Islamic origin in Afghanistan can return to their country of origin."

An editorial writer at New York's Newsday says he was, "really irked" by the sight of President Bush last week wearing the flight jacket of the 101st Airborne Division during a visit to Fort Campbell, Kentucky.  

"There he was," writes Alvin Bessent, "the chicken hawk in chief, wearing the screaming eagle patch of the division that fought and died in Vietnam."  

Bessent goes on to say that Mr. Bush, who served in the Texas air guard and Vice President Cheney, who did not serve, are "mouthing macho rhetoric in the struggle against terrorism.  Apparently, they're more willing to put young Americans in harm's way than they were to put themselves."

And Norman Mailer, the author and noted liberal, says he regrets the loss of life, but not the loss of the World Trade Center.  He told an audience in Amsterdam, "everything wrong with America led to the point where the country built that tower of Babel, which consequently had to be destroyed."  As for the terrorists, "what if the perpetrators were right and we were not?" he asked.