Monday, January 17, 2005
In my ceaseless efforts to discover how liberals think, I have a great advantage: I live in Manhattan, where everybody is liberal, so opportunities for fieldwork are boundless. Over the holidays, I discovered that a relatively new argument about terror is becoming popular: the next terrorist attack on America, if it comes, will likely be minor and tolerable. I was assured that a dirty bomb is the most likely weapon, and that it would probably do no more damage than an industrial accident. So not to worry. The real problems are fear, panic and violations of civil liberties--not terror. We had a fair amount of fear-is-the-real-enemy rhetoric during the presidential campaign, combined with almost airy dismissals of the terrorist threat here.