Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Gentlemen, we must avoid a mine-shaft gap 

Oh, come on -- lets not get hysterical here. In this Calgary Sun column, Roy Clancy quotes a counter-terrorism expert as saying that international terrorism 'is maybe the biggest threat ever posed to humanity' and going on to say how terrorism is even worse than the Cold War.
What garbage! I guess its not surprising that a counter-terrorism expert would think his own job is the most important job ever, but the media have to have some balance here -- terrorists are an intractable problem, but there is no way that the scale of the terrorist threat is comparable to the danger humanity faced for 50 years of blowing millions and millions of people off the face of the earth and causing an environmental catastrophe for hundreds of years to come.
What worries me is where such ideas lead. If terrorism is "the greatest threat ever" than is it going to be suggested that they be stopped with the worst weapons ever, like small-scale tactical nukes? And suddenly then we find ourselves in Strangelove territory, where fear magnifies to the point of hysteria, and the unthinkable starts to appear logica and sane.

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