Barron’s Alan Abelson comes forth with the reason why the terrorists have not attacked the USA since 9/11.
They didn’t have to:
Thanks to his vigilance, this nation was spared a terrorist attack after 9/11. And so it was, for which we are all profoundly grateful. And only the most vehement Bush-basher would sniff that the real reason for the absence of an attack was that Mr. Bush did such a thorough number on the country all by himself that the terrorists figured, why bother?
No argument that he is leaving an economy in absolutely awful shape. Our budget deficit is ballooning toward the trillion-dollar mark and isn’t likely to stop there. We are mired in the worst recession since the grandaddy of them all in the ’30s; its end is by no means in sight. The stock market after crashing 35% to 40% last year (depending on which bourse you follow) has started off ’09 on the wrong foot, not an auspicious omen for the year as a whole.
Unemployment is pressing remorselessly higher, housing is a wreck, industrial production is contracting at the wickedest rate in 35 years, the retail business is in the dumps almost across the board. Detroit is about as near to running on empty as you can get without grinding to a halt. There is a whiff of deflation in the air.
Not all of this, obviously, is Mr. Bush’s fault. But it happened on his watch. Not the kind of stuff, we are afraid, that shining legacies are made of.
Tough stuff — and while its not all that far from the truth politically, it is not the full picture regarding the grim reality of National Defense and asymmetric warfare.
The less snarky answer for why we have suffered no further attacks is quite simply, they haven’t tried — yet.
The history of al-Quada is of increasingly spectacular attempts at mayhem and murder. Its going to take them a long time to outdo 9/11. We should have no doubt they are working hard on the next nuclear/biological/chemical assault. Until they can have a body count higher than September 11th, they will lay in wait — and keep working.
Parade of the Basket Cases
Barrons JANUARY 17, 2009