Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Sep/11

7

Death by Commission

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Amy Zegart,  a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, warns in the Los Angeles Times today that the U.S. sure as heck better not ratchet down its massive anti-terrorism efforts and its still-lingering fear rhetoric:

The fight is nowhere close to being won, and America’s most perilous times may lie ahead.

Among her evidence for the ongoing, even escalating, nature of the threat, especially from weapons of mass destruction:

In 1995, a Japanese cult released sarin nerve gas in the Tokyo subway, killing 12 people and injuring thousands. It was the first WMD terrorist attack in modern history, and it sparked a wave of

Wait for it . . . “Copy cat attacks?”  “Successful efforts by anti-American terrorist groups to develop stockpiles of sarin gas?”  No: the Tokyo subway attack “sparked a wave of presidential terrorism commissions years before Bin Laden became a household name.”  

There’s more: a group of terrorism experts in 2005 mostly did not believe that “the odds of a nuclear attack on the U.S. were negligible.”   Even if “not negligible” means: requiring never-wavering massive expenditures on “homeland security” throughout the land and reactionary airport screening protocols, these are presumably some of the same experts who predicted in 2005 that there would be a biological attack on the U.S. by 2010.

 

7 comments

  • Polichinello · September 7, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Twelve people. Two morons, a Chevrolet Caprice and a hunting rifle did more damage.

  • Matt Foss · September 8, 2011 at 12:14 am

    I recall a particular bit of trivia about the Tokyo attack from the course on WMD that I took in college: far more people were injured in the resulting panicked stampede than were injured by the toxin.

    I think our esteemed administrators need to remember that the goal of a terrorist isn’t to kill the enemy, but rather to trigger them to behave irrationally and harm themselves.

  • CJColucci · September 8, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    No matter what we do, someone is going to get through sometime and do something to somebody. Prudent measures, probably expensive and intrusive, to make it very hard for this to happen will never be 100% effective. Just as some failure is inevitable, it is equally inevitable that there will be shreiks from the bedwetter caucus demanding ever-increasing expense and intrusion.

  • JC Penny · September 9, 2011 at 2:04 am

    Saw an interesting chart the other day — I work in DoD. The “risk” chart actually indicated that no threat and extensive security was the only way to achieve Green. We’ve lost it.

    The problem is that we have lost the ability to attack violence with violence. That’s what the enemy understands. They have won the commentary and the US is but a Nero fiddling away.

    Perhaps the next global power will understand the reality of physical power being eternally more effective than emotionmal power.

  • Mark · September 9, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    “The problem is that we have lost the ability to attack violence with violence.”

    Seriously, WTF are you talking about? Are there more wars you’d like to see started, more people tortured, and more “collateral damage” incurred? Do you have some kind of “Final Solution” in mind or what?

  • Acilius · September 9, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    @Mark: I don’t know what JC Penny means either, but I don’t think it’s reasonable to jump from what s/he has said here to “more wars you’d like to see started, more people tortured, and more “collateral damage” incurred,” much less a “Final Solution.”

  • secularsquare · September 9, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Although a text from the Old Testament, one of the “prayer promises” most widely quoted among Christians is 2 Chron. 7:14–”If My people, who are called by My name shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

    That makes it sound like God’s problem is with the Christians. If they would get THEIR act together, perhaps we infidels will no longer have to share in the afflictions brought about by their god because of their unfaithfulness.

    Thanks alot, Christians.

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