Weekly Review — October 4, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Christian martyr, 1855]

A Christian martyr.

Two American citizens, Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, were killed by a CIA drone in Yemen. Awlaki, a cleric whose speeches purportedly inspired young Muslim radicals, had been added to the CIAâ??s list of terrorist targets in early 2010. According to the U.S. government, Awlaki, who has never been tried or convicted of a crime in the United States, directed several failed terrorist plots. Khan, who edited a jihadi magazine, was never an official U.S. target. “Make no mistake,” said President Barack Obama, “this is further proof that Al Qaeda and its affiliates will find no safe haven anywhere in the world.”The HillNew York Times“They criticized us for â??overreactingâ?? to the events of 9/11,” said former vice president Dick Cheney. “Now they clearly had moved in the direction of taking robust action. . . . I think the president owes everybody an apology, frankly.”The HillEarlier in the week, Calgarians chanted “Donâ??t harbor war criminals” outside a hotel where Cheney was scheduled to speak.CTV NewsAntigovernment protests continued in Yemen, and at least eleven protesters were killed in Syria.Washington PostIn Manchester, 20,000 marched in protest of British austerity plans; in Lisbon, tens of thousands rallied against Portuguese austerity measures; in Athens, protesters blocked the entrance to Greeceâ??s finance ministry in an effort to stall talks on civil-service wage cuts; and in New York City, more than 700 protesters were arrested during demonstrations against Wall Street greed.The GuardianReutersReutersWall Street JournalWashington PostA survey found that 85 percent of American adults believe they can make a difference.Christian Science Monitor

Newly released documents revealed that the FBIâ??s terror watchlist includes people who have been acquitted of terrorist acts, and the bureau arrested Rezwan Ferdaus, a 26-year-old Northeastern University graduate, for plotting to attack the Pentagon and Capitol building with three model planes, one of which he had purchased using money given to him by an undercover agent.Sydney Morning HeraldWashington PostKing Abdullah declared that Saudi women, who require permission from a male guardian in order to travel, work, marry, be admitted to hospitals, or live independently, could be granted the right to vote and run in elections. Saudi officials set a trial date for Najalaa Harriri, who is accused of violating the countryâ??s ban on women driving, and an Italian court overturned the murder convictions of American college student Amanda Knox and her co-defendant, Raffaele Sollecito, and ordered them freed after nearly four years in prison.BusinessweekNew York TimesRaymond Davis, a CIA contractor who shot two men in Lahore, Pakistan, and was released after the U.S. government paid the menâ??s families more than $2 million, was arrested south of Denver for fighting over a parking space at an Einstein Bagel.MSNBCIn Alabama, an inmate sued a correctional facility for the right to read the book “Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II,” which prison officials had deemed a “security threat,” and postal workers were stealing more mail than last year.New York TimesHouston Chronicle

A toilet exploded in a federal building in Washington, injuring at least one employee, and House Republicans introduced legislation to get rid of the dollar bill, while Senate Republicans introduced legislation to save it. “At a time when the government needs to be looking to save every dollar,” said the head of the Dollar Coin Alliance, “we canâ??t continue to play the same Washington game of serving narrow special interests with half-measure legislation.”Washington PostThe HillCongress voted to continue funding the federal government for the next six weeks.Christian Science MonitorD.C. police issued a press release in response to tweets by the satiric newspaper “The Onion” that claimed members of the 112th Congress had taken a class of schoolchildren hostage. “Conditions at the U.S. Capitol are currently normal,” the release said.New York TimesScientists found that Twitter users expressed the most happiness between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Sundays, but conceded that their analysis software wasnâ??t sophisticated enough to detect sarcasm.New York TimesFacebook launched a political action committee; a study found that at least 200,000 Britons have been scammed by someone they met through a dating website; and more than half of all U.S. teenagers reported having been bullied online.New York TimesBBCCNNIn England, 46-year-old Mark Bradford tracked down and choked a 13-year-old who had killed him in the video game “Call of Duty: Black Ops.” “Iâ??d been playing the whole day and he was baiting me and baiting me and just would not shut up,” said Bradford. “Iâ??ve seen him since and apologized. Weâ??ve played online too. Heâ??s actually a decent kid.”IGN

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In February 1947, Harper’s Magazine published Henry L. Stimson’s “The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb.” As secretary of war, Stimson had served as the chief military adviser to President Truman, and recommended the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The terms of his unrepentant apologia, an excerpt of which appears on page 35, are now familiar to us: the risk of a dud made a demonstration too risky; the human cost of a land invasion would be too high; nothing short of the bomb’s awesome lethality would compel Japan to surrender. The bomb was the only option. Seventy years later, we find his reasoning unconvincing. Entirely aside from the destruction of the blasts themselves, the decision thrust the world irrevocably into a high-stakes arms race — in which, as Stimson took care to warn, the technology would proliferate, evolve, and quite possibly lead to the end of modern civilization. The first half of that forecast has long since come to pass, and the second feels as plausible as ever. Increasingly, the atmosphere seems to reflect the anxious days of the Cold War, albeit with more juvenile insults and more colorful threats. Terms once consigned to the history books — “madman theory,” “brinkmanship” — have returned to the news cycle with frightening regularity. In the pages that follow, seven writers and experts survey the current nuclear landscape. Our hope is to call attention to the bomb’s ever-present menace and point our way toward a world in which it finally ceases to exist.

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But the exercise of labor is the worker’s own life-activity, the manifestation of his own life. . . . He works in order to live. He does not even reckon labor as part of his life, it is rather a sacrifice of his life.

— Karl Marx

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To look at him, Sweet Macho was a beautiful horse, lean and strong with muscles that twitched beneath his shining black coat. A former racehorse, he carried himself with ceremony, prancing the field behind our house as though it were the winner’s circle. When he approached us that day at the edge of the yard, his eyes shone with what might’ve looked like intelligence but was actually a form of insanity. Not that there was any telling our mother’s boyfriend this — he fancied himself a cowboy.

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What We Think About When We Think About Soccer, by Simon Critchley. Penguin Books. 224 pages. $20.

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Tostão, No. 9, and Pelé, No. 10, celebrate Carlos Alberto’s final goal for Brazil in the World Cup final against Italy on June 21, 1970, Mexico City © Heidtmann/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

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