Anne Applebaum, still scared:
From her essay
in the Washington Post:
... it's not exaggerating at all to say that the events of the past week -- and the wildly divergent international news coverage that accompanied them -- illustrate a profound transformation that has taken place, slowly and quietly, over the past several years. Call it post-post-Sept. 11, or maybe just a return to status quo ante: Either way, it's pretty clear that that brief moment of consensus -- those very few years when the world's most powerful governments all believed that the world's worst problem was international terrorism -- has now passed.
The world's attention has wandered away from international terrorism -- and so, if I may say, has ours.
It's not hard to explain why: Time has passed -- more than five years now.
Despite the terrorist attacks in Britain and Spain, the absence of another attack on the scale of the World Trade Center has meant that the world's attention is no longer singularly focused and that the perceived need for international unity has diminished.
Well, that's what the evidence shows
. That the terrorist threat was limited in scope. It was always overestimated, mostly because of one, unique, exploitation of a vulnerability (taking over airplanes) allowed a small group to wreak havoc in a spectacular way. Bush and others took advantage of that perception (and amplified it) in order to further their own political and policy goals.
Terrorist use fear to achieve polical or ideological ends. For example: Osama bin Laden, George Bush, or Rudy Giuliani.