My September 11 2001

On this particular day I was doing some consultant work at the now-defunct NATO military base in Keflavķk Iceland setting up and configuring IT systems.  Although the base was officially designated a NATO base, in reality it was primarily a US venture - as long as the Soviets were considered a threat the base was also considered an essential part of the North Atlantic defense line (after all, the whole Glasnost thing and the decomissioning of the Soviet Union might have been a cunning Russian bluff to get NATO to lower its guard).

We arrived shortly before the 1st plane hit the north tower and started working as normal - it wasn't until the 2nd plane hit the south tower that we felt the atmosphere around the base sinking to subzero levels as the realization that this wasn't just a random accident sunk in.

When the 3rd plane hit the Pentagon all non-military personnel were ordered to leave the premises immediately and this caused a mass exodus of cars through the checkpoint gates - which in itself was a small autonomous logistic feat as there must have been at least a couple of thousand people inside the base at that time.

The feeling I took with me from the Keflavķk base that day was that nobody knew the extent of what was happening and that people were angry at being helpless to act and terrified that there would be more to come.

Fear is a powerful motivator and its cousins are Anger and Terror - but if you allow Fear to control your society because of Anger then you have already lost the war and Terror has won.


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Ingólfur Arnar Stangeland

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Ingólfur Arnar Stangeland
Ingólfur Arnar Stangeland

Íslendingur og Svíi áður í útlegð í Stokkhólmi en nú í Reykjavík.

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