Since our complex societies are highly susceptible to interferences and accidents, they certainly offer ideal opportunities for a prompt disruption of normal activities.
If the September 11 terror attack is supposed to constitute a caesura in world history, it must be able to stand comparison to other events of world historical impact.
The misery in war-torn Afghanistan is reminiscent of images from the Thirty Years' War.
Disappointment over nationalistic authoritarian regimes may have contributed to the fact that today religion offers a new and subjectively more convincing language for old political orientations.
Instead of the international police action we had hoped for during the war in Kosovo, there are wars again - conducted with state-of-the-art technology, but still in the old style.
Perhaps September 11 could be called the first historic world event in the strictest sense: the impact, the explosion, the slow collapse - a gruesome reality literally took place in front of a global public.