Ever since Sept. 11, I have been of a contrarian. I never felt that the date had changed anything other than our own misguided perception of our own safety. A perception I did not share then. Now I read that my views are shared by, at least some of, those who study the area in depth.
The threat from Islamic terrorism is no larger now than it was before Sept. 11, 2001. Islamic societies the world over are in turmoil and will continue for years to produce small numbers of dedicated killers, whom we must stop. U.S. and allied intelligence do a good job at that; these efforts, however, will never succeed in neutralizing every terrorist, everywhere.
Why are these views so starkly at odds with what the Bush administration has said since the beginning of the “Global War on Terror”? This administration has heard what it has wished to hear, pressured the intelligence community to verify preconceptions, undermined or sidetracked opposing voices, and both instituted and been victim of procedures that guaranteed that the slightest terrorist threat reporting would receive disproportionate weight — thereby comforting the administration’s preconceptions and policy inclinations.
We must not delude ourselves about the nature of the terrorist threat to our country. We must not take fright at the specter our leaders have exaggerated. In fact, we must see jihadists for the small, lethal, disjointed and miserable opponents that they are.
We can never make America safe from attacks of this nature. If you want to believe otherwise, just spend some time studying the history of terrorism in Israel. Walls, gates, armed soldiers in the streets in a much smaller area than the USA and still they live with the constant knowledge that at any moment the peace can be shattered.
It is not just the Islamic world where terrorism has been used. We have had our own home bred terrorists. We will again. It is a fact we must come to terms with…