Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Dirty Bomb on New Years is leading with a story that the major fear on New Year's was a dirty bomb going off in Times Square, which is related to my early post about New Year's in Time Square. Eventually one of these things are going to get through our countermeasures - even if our countermeasures are foolproof (which they are not), there will come a point when somebody is lax guarding the defensive measures. At that point, what happens? What happens if a second one goes off? At some point, we may become desensitized to large scale casualties. Obviously, this would have effects that would reverberate much more than 9/11 to our foreign policy, our economy, the way we live out our lives.

In terms of our foreign policy though, it is not clear to me how a series of events worse than 9/11 would change the we conduct it. On one hand, our isolationist tendencies might dramatically increase, which is of course what the point behind these attacks are. On the other hand, large scale attacks would not only enrage us, but desensitize us to the possibility of grand amounts of bloodshed, causing the public to be much less risk averse with respect to wars abroad. Any thoughts?

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