When terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, no one knew exactly what the future would hold.
However, writer Hunter S. Thompson turned out to be amazingly prescient.
Shortly after the tragedy, the famed gonzo journalist wrote an essay for ESPN.com where he laid out his thoughts on what could happen in this new era.
Sixteen years later, his remarks are still chillingly accurate:
“Boom! Boom! Just like that. The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country.
“Make no mistake about it: We are At War now ― with somebody ― and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives. It will be a Religious War, a sort of Christian Jihad, fueled by religious hatred and led by merciless fanatics on both sides. It will be guerilla warfare on a global scale, with no front lines and no identifiable enemy.”
Thompson wrote that the United States is “going to punish somebody for this attack, but just who or what will be blown to smithereens for it is hard to say.”
“Maybe Afghanistan, maybe Pakistan or Iraq, or possibly all three at once. Who knows? Not even the Generals in what remains of the Pentagon or the New York papers calling for WAR seem to know who did it or where to look for them.”
Thompson, who died in 2005 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, also laid out how then-President George W. Bush would react to the attack and how his decisions would affect the lives of everyday Americans.
“This is going to be a very expensive war, and Victory is not guaranteed ― for anyone, and certainly not for anyone as baffled as George W. Bush. All he knows is that his father started the war a long time ago, and that he, the goofy child-President, has been chosen by Fate and the global Oil industry to finish it Now.
“He will declare a National Security Emergency and clamp down Hard on Everybody, no matter where they live or why. If the guilty won’t hold up their hands and confess, he and the Generals will ferret them out by force. Good luck. He is in for a profoundly difficult job ― armed as he is with no credible Military Intelligence, no witnesses and only the ghost of Bin Laden to blame for the tragedy.”