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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Sunday, January 03, 2010


Americans are at far greater risk of being killed in accidents or by viruses than by acts of terrorism. In 2008, more than 37,300 Americans perished on the nation's highways, according to government data. Even before H1N1, a similar number of people died each year from the seasonal flu. Terrorism is a real and potentially consequential danger. But the greatest threat isn't posed by the direct harm terrorists could inflict; it comes from what we do to ourselves when we are spooked. It is how we react -- or more precisely, how we overreact -- to the threat of terrorism that makes it an appealing tool for our adversaries.


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