Blogs: The Skeptics
New Paper Argues for Immediate, Practical Cuts in Military Spending
Washington Post Defines Worst Fears Down
Let’s review the record of the bomb maker who is labeled our “worst fear.” His organization has made no discernible progress towards its murky political objectives—though its Islamist protectors have gained territory amid a power vacuum. He has never produced mass violence nor apparently come close, and his most successful act of terrorism was to help his brother blow himself up. His next-best effort resulted in a severe crotch burn for the bomber, who survived, talked to U.S. authorities for months and is serving a life sentence.
That is “success” only under an exceedingly capacious definition. Bin Laden and his acolytes are being grandiose when they talk about bankrupting us. But their boasts show that “terrorism” remains a good label for their misbegotten efforts. They sustain their endeavors by imagining that violence, by generating fear and cost, will cause their enemy to fold and to accommodate their goals. By hyping their menace, we help them cling to that fantasy.