The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

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.

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