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From Cold War To Code Red, The Aura of Fear

We are back where we started. Something bad is definitely going to happen.

"What a scary mode of fatalism we are in," writes Victor Davis Hanson, the classicist and military historian at the Hoover Institution.

Now: Police patrol a Metro car in August after a security alert. (Sarah L. Voisin -- The Washington Post)

So what are we going to do about it? What's the big-stick deterrent against terror? What's the threat of massive post-facto misery we could rain down on someone, somewhere?

Hanson's got an idea. We'll call it the war-on-terror version of MAD. Or the TFD strategy -- Targeted For Destruction.

Before another attack happens, the United States would issue a long list of military bases, power plants, communications and assorted infrastructure facilities and then destroy them in any country found to have aided or sheltered the terrorists, says Hanson, writing in the July issue of National Review. His strategy ignores the fact that terrorists don't necessarily need states to operate.

Hanson calls this "the awful nature of real war" and says the world should "shudder at the very thought of it . . . and stop looking at 'war against terror' as some sort of parlor game."

There is fear among us, for sure, like a nasty rash you just want to scratch till it bleeds.

We must be wary, says Flynn, quoting a general he knows, that "the real damage is what we will do to ourselves. . . . When we have a sense of generalized vulnerability, and when politicians play on our fears, that's when the real harm can be done."

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