Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Is terrorism a valid threat?

There's a study making the rounds that will impact our daily lives. If not, it should!

All I've found is this .PDF file. It's titled "A False Sense of Insecurity?"

How does the risk of terrorism measure up against everyday dangers?

Skipping to the conclusion:

CONCLUSION
The policy perspective toward terrorism I suggest may not be more valid than other ones, and no one knows, of course, how the problem will play out in future years. However, the
policy advanced here seems to me a sound and sensible one, and for there to be a really coherent policy discussion, it should be part of the mix.

Deep concern about extreme events is not necessarily unreasonable or harmful. Thus, efforts to confront terrorism and reduce its incidence and destructiveness are justified. But
hysteria is hardly required. As always, there are uncertainties and risks out there, and plenty of dangers and threats. But none are existential. The sky, as it happens, is unlikely to fall anytime soon.

There are at least two significant reasons this study is of almost critical import. Firstly, the liberal/left have already started selectively quoting from it as further proof that The Administration has used terrorism is a tool to diminish our freedoms without need.

But the most important element is that the author is simply right!

The whole Global War on Terror thing has been a puzzle to me since I first heard it. GWOT has served to de-focus reality in some politically correct attempt to cover up what needed (and needs) to be done.

Shane's post here wonderfully states his (and mine, as well) case, and yet he uses 'terror' as a label for the threat. Just so there's no confusion - I agree with every word without reservation - save that one.

Terror IS a threat, not unlike lightening or drunk drivers, but it most certainly NOT the main threat facing us as a country and a civilization. In terms of war it's only a tactic.

In this case it prevents focusing on the broader scope of the threat. It saddens me that our government keeps waving a red flag about terror, while seemingly being prepared to ignore the threat of Islamic imperialism and/or a nuclear Iran. We can hope that their seeming disinterest is feigned in some way, but hope won't keep the Islamic wolf from the door.

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