Feeling reassured about the death of Osama bin Laden but bracing for a possible retaliation attack on U.S. soil? More than half of the American public say we’re safer in the aftermath, but almost two-thirds appear to anticipate the worst.
“Fifty-four percent believe bin Laden’s death will make the U.S. safer from terrorism, nearly double the 28 percent who fear it will make it less safe,” says Gallup poll analyst Lydia Saad. “Despite this optimism about the broad impact of bin Laden’s death on U.S. national security, more Americans believe an act of terrorism is imminent than have said so at any time since the start of the Iraq war in 2003. Overall, 62 percent think an act of terrorism is either ‘very’ or ‘somewhat likely’ to occur in the U.S. in the next several weeks, with 17 percent considering it very likely.” But the fight against al-Qaeda is not over, and it is far from our only enemy. September 11 thrust the United States into a generation-long conflict: It is our Thirty Years’, perhaps our Hundred Years’ War,” says a National Review editorial.
“Bin Laden’s death is a welcome antidote to self-hatred and funk. America remembers its own and defends itself. She goes not abroad, as John Quincy Adams once said, in search of monsters to destroy. But when they come in search of us, we will destroy them — one by one by one.” before the caterwauling set in. Economists now are spinning the bin Laden death as well. The National Inflation Institute, for example, says the war on terrorism will bankrupt the U.S., pointing out that a spare group of Navy SEALs caught bin Laden rather than an army. The interest group fears that the bin Laden victory will prompt more military spending.
“We hate to say it, but if the U.S. experiences hyperinflation within the next few years, it will be what bin Laden wanted. If the incomes and savings of Americans no longer have enough purchasing power to put food on the table and heat homes, many more Americans will die from hyperinflation than were killed on 9/11,” the organization says.
“The macroeconomic effects of bin Laden’s death are likely to be minor. They might provide a slight distraction and a temporary boost to spending, consumer confidence, investor confidence, and the like, but that is about it,” observes Independent Institute Research fellow Art Carden.