On this momentous date, when we commemorate both the attack on the Twin Towers twelve years ago and General Pinochet’s coup d’état of 1973 in Chile (yes, indeed: him that ‘brought Democracy to Chile’ in the Iron Lady’s immortal words), it is perhaps a useful thing to remind ourselves that not all evil actually has a purpose. Or, in the words of the inimitable Hector Hugh Munro:
Spayley had grasped the fact that people will do things from a sense of duty which they would never attempt as a pleasure. There are thousands of respectable middle-class men who, if you found them unexpectedly in a Turkish bath, would explain in all sincerity that a doctor had ordered them to take Turkish baths; if you told them in return that you went there because you liked it, they would stare in pained wonder at the frivolity of your motive. In the same way, whenever a massacre of Armenians is reported from Asia Minor, every one assumes that it has been carried out "under orders" from somewhere or another; no one seems to think that there are people who might like to kill their neighbours now and then.
[Saki: ‘Filboid Studge, the story of a mouse that helped’.]