Saturday, July 14, 2007

Another one comes around:

Steve Chapman writes in Reason online: (emp add)
Instead of being the opening blitz of a "long, global war," 9/11 was a freak event that may never be replicated. In a real war, such as the ones we are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, many people die, week in and week out. But John Mueller, a national security professor at Ohio State University, notes that in a typical year, no more than a few hundred people are killed worldwide in attacks by al Qaeda and similar groups outside of war zones.

That's too many, but it's not a danger on the order of Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union or even Saddam Hussein. It's more like organized crime—an ongoing problem demanding unceasing vigilance, a malady that can be contained but never eliminated.

By framing the fight as a global war, we have helped Osama bin Laden and hurt ourselves. Had we treated him and his confederates as the moral equivalent of international drug lords or sex traffickers, the organization might not have the romantic image it has acquired.

[...] The 9/11 attack was a crisis that has largely passed, but no one in Washington wants to admit it. It's politically safer to depict the danger as undiminished no matter how long we go without an attack. But someday, we will look back and ask if we were acting out of sensible caution or unfounded panic.
It will takes decades for this (that al Qaeda's 9/11 attack was not a sign of strength) to be come the established view. But it's good to see it beginning to take hold.


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