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Six Rather Unusual Propositions about Terrorism

This article argues that the industry of terrorism, perpetrated by politicians and authors (as well as the public) actually does more damage to the US than the terrorists themselves.  It points out that the fear generated by this industry and the over-reaction to actual attacks costs more to the American economy than is necessary.  2001 aside, Mueller points out that more people fewer people have died within the US as a result of international terrorism than have drowned in toilets, in addition the measures the requiring people to spend an extra half an hour in airports alone costs the US economy $15 billion a year.  Mueller states that not doing anything at all in response to terrorist attacks, or at least not over-reacting is by far and away the most sensible course of action as 'our way of life' is under more threat from ourselves than terrorists.  Whilst Mueller's reasoning seems far more sensible than the hyperbole he correctly de-bunks it would be fair to suggest that his hypothesis should be expanded to include the social dimensions to shocking incidents (for instance compare the over re-action to the Anthrax scare to that of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales) as the psychology of communal fear is something that he does not deal with in enough depth.  That said, his argument is an important and necessary counter to the majority of papers submitted that unthinkingly talk up the potential of (or silently accept the premise of very likey) lethal risk.

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