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A Corrective That Goes Too Far?

Written in response to Mueller (2005) this paper points out that whilst Mueller's poking of fun at the industry of fear is long overdue, several of his arguments need revision.  For instance whilst annually more people do die from car accidents than from terrorism, the same is also true in comparison to murder rates and we would grieve a loved one more if they were murdered, than hit by a car.  Byman points out that intent has always been important in our emotional and response and decision making and the intent behind terrorists attacks must be taken into account when considering the size of the response.  Byman feels that the 'War on Terror' is not going well, especially in relation the invasion of Iraq and that Mueller's reasoning on this point is flawed.  Finally, Byman also questions the extent to which policy makers can influence public levels of fear, and feels that Mueller over-states their abilities on this point.

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