Knock on Wood


The forthcoming issue of Foreign Affairs has a piece from Ohio State professor John Mueller that I'm almost afraid to link to.Here's the hook: Mueller says "almost no terrorists exist in the United States and few have the means or the inclination to strike from abroad."

Although it remains heretical to say so, the evidence so far suggests that fears of the omnipotent terrorist -- reminiscent of those inspired by images of the 20-foot-tall Japanese after Pearl Harbor or the 20-foot-tall Communists at various points in the Cold War (particularly after Sputnik) -- may have been overblown, the threat presented within the United States by al Qaeda greatly exaggerated. The massive and expensive homeland security apparatus erected since 9/11 may be persecuting some, spying on many, inconveniencing most, and taxing all to defend the United States against an enemy that scarcely exists.
OK, OK: Here's the link.Looks like the American public isn't so sure:
As the five-year anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks approaches, nearly three-fourths of those responding to a CNN poll said they believe Osama bin Laden is planning another significant attack against the United States.Seventy-four percent of the 1,033 adult Americans polled said they believe an attack is being planned, according to the poll conducted by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of CNN.
However, many don't think much of bin Laden's chances:
In results released Wednesday, 44 percent said they believe he will not succeed. The other 30 percent said the attack would be successful.
UPDATE: I'd recommend making sure you get the address for Foreign Affairs right. It's, NOT .com. Let's just say the .com link is not safe for work.-- Dan Dupont
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