From Chris Suellentrop "The Opinionator:"
April 27, 2007, 9:54 am
Los Angeles Times columnist Rosa Brooks advances an argument that is usually verboten among mainstream opinion-slingers:
“The 9/11 attacks were appalling and tragic, but they did not threaten the survival of the nation,” Brooks writes. “The year 2001 aside, total deaths (not just of Americans) caused by international terrorism worldwide have never exceeded — or even approached — 2,000 a year. Sept. 11 was an outlier: On 9/11, a group of brutal, extremist Islamic thugs got very lucky.”
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Of course, 3,000 dead is 3,000 too many. But keep it in perspective. As a nation, we have survived far worse. We lost more than 100,000 Americans in World War I, more than 400,000 in World War II, 37,000 in Korea, 58,000 in Vietnam — all without allowing our national character to turn into quivering jelly.
Every year, we also lose millions of Americans to preventable accidents and disease. We’re more likely to die on the road than as a result of Al Qaeda’s machinations. Annually, we lose some 43,000 people to auto accidents. For the grieving families, that’s 43,000 deaths too many. But, although we surely could reduce auto fatalities if we chose to make it our top national priority, the Bush administration has yet to announce a “War on Highway Deaths.”