My very good friend David Ignatius has a very good column in today's WaPo, about a more realistic approach to the Global War on Terror. It is based on a new book by Marc Sageman, a former CIA officer (whom I also know and like), which argues that is long past time for the U.S. to take a less panicky, emotional, and fraidy-cat approach to the threat of terrorism -- OK, fraidy-cat is my term, not his -- and think more calmly about how to defend ourselves. As Ignatius puts it:
The heart of Sageman's message is that we have been scaring ourselves into exaggerating the terrorism threat -- and then by our unwise actions in Iraq making the problem worse. He attacks head-on the central thesis of the Bush administration, echoed increasingly by Republican presidential candidate John McCain, that, as McCain's Web site puts it, the United States is facing "a dangerous, relentless enemy in the War against Islamic Extremists" spawned by al-Qaeda.
If by chance you would be interested in hearing Sageman (and many others) quoted at length to this same effect a year and a half ago, in, ummm, a lengthy cover story in the Atlantic Monthly, with our free archives now all you have to do is click!