IMAGINE THAT on 9/11, six hours after the assault on the twin towers and the Pentagon, terrorists had carried out a second wave of attacks on the United States, taking an additional 3,000 lives. Imagine that six hours after that, there had been yet another wave. Now imagine that the attacks had continued, every six hours, for another four years, until nearly 20 million Americans were dead. This is roughly what the Soviet Union suffered during World War II, and contemplating these numbers may help put in perspective what the United States has so far experienced during the war against terrorism.
It also raises several questions. Has the American reaction to the attacks in fact been a massive overreaction? Is the widespread belief that 9/11 plunged us into one of the deadliest struggles of our time simply wrong? If we did overreact, why did we do so? Does history provide any insight?
Certainly, if we look at nothing but our enemies' objectives, it is hard to see any indication of an overreaction. The people who attacked us in 2001 are indeed hate-filled fanatics who would like nothing better than to destroy this country. But desire is not the same thing as capacity, and although Islamist extremists can certainly do huge amounts of harm around the world, it is quite different to suggest that they can threaten the existence of the United States..They can do huge harm to the world but they don't threaten the US?
Source: LA Times
David A. Bell, a professor of history at Johns Hopkins University and a contributing editor for the New Republic, is the author of "The First Total War: Napoleon's Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It."
So we have to wait until the terrorist have the capacity for doing real harm before acting.3,000 lives on 9/11 was no big deal but on TV weekly there are hours of the names of soldiers killed fighting the war or terrorism scrolling by as a bell tolls. The second set of deaths is bad because we shouldn't be fighting this needless war on terrorism.
To the liberal 2008 president candidate:
If you were fooled into supporting the war in Iraq by a president that you consider a really dim bulb, how will you deal with the dangerous people in the world when you are president? Those people wouldn't lie to you would they?
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