“Are We Safer?”

Well, I don't know. I don't think anyone does for sure -- which ought to be a striking realization after the billions and billions spent, eh? After the millions of hours and millions of inconveniences suffered at the hands of our airline security "protectors," eh? After the war-deaths of 3,000 or so really, really good people and thousands of serious injuries suffered by the same sorts of good people who happen to be soldiers.

If you're up to it, and care to challenge what you think you might know, spend the 10 or 15 minutes necessary to John Mueller's essay over at CATO Unbound.

(link: Balko)

Comments

  1. Lute Nikoley says:

    Only one problem with that scenario, true as it may be. If just one of YOUR loved is murdered by a terrorist, you will want to kill every single one of them on the globe.

  2. Which applies to all sorts of things.

    No guarantees in life, and it's high time that people mature to the point of understanding that and realizing that no amount of money or government plans will change it.

    The "war on terror," as it's being "fought" has more parallels to the "war on drugs" than I can even contemplate.

    Wars cannot be fought for the purpose of changing behavior, primarily. It's a small side-effect in some instances, but the primary purpose is to kill a whole lot of people; to render the enemy utterly powerless (which is why it ought not be undertaken lightly, and when it is, it's done right and swift and decisive.

    Such a task may be somewhat applicable to Afghanistan and Iraq, though I'm increasingly having my doubts, but is wholly inapplicable to domestic America.

  3. John T. Kennedy says:

    I think there's a huge mistake here:

    astronomer Alan Harris has calculated that, at present rates and including the disaster of 9/11 in the consideration, the chances any individual resident of the globe will be killed by an international terrorist over the course of an 80-year lifetime is about 1 in 80,000, about the same likelihood of being killed over the same interval from the impact on the Earth of an especially ill-directed asteroid or comet.

    As I read that we can expect over 50,000 living today to die from comets and asteroids. Seems way too high.

    That said, much of the rest of the article is quite sensible.

    It's clear to me that since 9/11 the U.S. government has done more harm to Americans
    to Americans than terrorists were ever likely to do.

    I'm more likely to be killed by errant drug warriors than Al Qaeda.

  4. John T. Kennedy says:

    Lute,

    "Only one problem with that scenario, true as it may be. If just one of YOUR loved is murdered by a terrorist, you will want to kill every single one of them on the globe."

    I assure you that would never occur to me. It would be fine with me if all terrorists were dead but I can't conceive of that project getting very significant in my hierarchy of values. Slightly higher than the eradication of all evil perhaps, but not much.