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June 23, 2004

No Fear Here

Read this pretty good article at Harpers on fear; "A Run on Terror" An excerpt; In the unlikely event that a terrorist organization did manage to steal or, more likely, build a nuclear weapon, smuggle it into the United States, and detonate it near a major population center, the predicted casualty rate starts at 10,000 and climbs, in some estimates, to as high as 250,000. This would be a singular crime. But it would be a horror not unlike many that this nation has faced before and many that this nation will face again, terrorists or no terrorists. The country would go on, just as it did after the influenza epidemic of 1918 (600,000 deaths) or during the current AIDS epidemic (500,000 deaths and counting). Attorney General John Ashcroft has called terrorists ?those who would destroy America,? but a successful nuclear attack would not destroy America. It would not even come close. Let's all just think about this for a minute and try to decide if we should be afraid, every day, of what the terrorists might do. Should we be more afraid of automobile accidents, which kill 40,000 Americans every year?