The second reason why some bloggers have gotten pessimistic, I think, is the recent wave of terror alerts relating to everything from apartment buildings to scuba divers. Presumably these alerts are intended to point up the foolishness of Democrats who try to criticize the Administration for not having issued enough alerts prior to Sept. 11. As such they seem pretty effective to me. But I guess what makes people nervous is the obvious impossibility of defending all of the places where terrorists could strike– every building, every public place and every piece of infrastructure is a potential target, and even in a state given over to nothing but security, it would be impossible to protect them all–combined with the improbability of uncovering all plots before they can be carried out. Here, pessimism is justified in that there will almost certainly be successful attacks in the future, some of which are likely to exceed Sept. 11 in magnitude. But this is no surprise. The fact is there have been a number of successful attacks in the past–the 1993 World Trade Center bombing killed several people; the embassy bombings, the Beirut truck bombing, the attack on the Cole killed far more. President Bush has said repeatedly that the only way to defend against terrorism is to go find the terrorists where they live and kill them (or, as the Administration euphemistically puts it, “bring them to justice”). So far we seem to be doing a pretty good job of that.
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