by Robert Field
I underestimated and questioned the hysteria following 9/11 and made the expensive mistake of so underestimating its effect that I blew $50,000 in launching the hitherto successful “Diamond Men” movie in over twenty theaters in the NYC region a few weeks later.
When I sought to promote the movie by handing out flyers in Manhattan the weeks before our openings, the people showed, unlike elsewhere before 9/11, no interest and walked about as though in a daze.
I noted that we lost as many people nationally in traffic accidents that year as we did at the World Trade Buildings. Experienced good leadership requires seeing things at the time in perspective, not twenty years later. I was sixty-four.
To the younger generation and others, this was Pearl Harbor in 1941. No Second World War needed to follow 9/11, perpetrated by terrorists funded with Saudi money. But we launched a smaller version anyway.
I questioned both at the time, Iraq because the “weapons of mass destruction” had not been found by the UN inspector who pleaded for more time, and because of Iraq’s non-involvement in 9/11; and Afghanistan due to the topography of the so-called country which consisted largely of a group of isolated tribes who often didn’t even know their neighboring villages due to terrain obstacles.
I had a plastic topographical map of the world showing Afghanistan as its most mountainous region and kept on wondering whether anyone in charge had ever taken note and considered its implications (as well as the experience of other invaders).
The terrorists didn’t change the world. We did.