This via Huffington. A CNN poll seems to have found an inter­est­ing trend in American think­ing. According to the results, about 54% of Americans thnk it’s either “very” or “some­what” likely that an act of ter­ror­ism will occur in the US in the next few weeks — despite the fact that it’s been half a decade since the last one. (The “War on Terror” seems to have lit­tle to do with this; McVeigh did OK City in 1995, 6 years before the WTC. Whether we’re bomb­ing the shit out of the Middle East or not doesn’t seem to have any effect on the like­li­hood of domes­tic terrorism.)

It seems GOP fear­mon­ger­ing is still work­ing: Keep press­ing that panic but­ton, keep the peo­ple scared, keep the boogey­man ever-​​present. Terrorism in the US is about as plau­si­ble as poi­soned Halloween candy. We’re just not in that much danger.

On the flip­side, the sur­vey also found that about 2/​3 were not wor­ried they or any­one they knew wold per­son­ally be vic­tims of ter­ror­ism. This is a fairly high num­ber but it still isn’t all the way there. Statistically, assum­ing 300 mil­lion peo­ple in the US, you, I or any­one has about a 1/100,000 chance of being caught in a ter­ror­ist action. That’s about 0.001 per­cent. You’re con­sid­er­ably more likely to be killed in a crash on the drive home.

But the real killer is saved for the last graf, tra­di­tion­ally — in jour­nal­ism — the one most likely to be cut by edi­tors who are just look­ing for filler on a slow news day. “Liberal media” my ass:

Fifty-​​five per­cent of poll respon­dents said they believe the U.S.-led war in Iraq has made the coun­try less safe from ter­ror­ist attacks, and 59 per­cent said the war has made the world less safe from terrorism.

More than half of Americans, if the poll is rep­re­sen­ta­tive, are smarten­ing up. About god­damned time — though three years too late for Iraq.


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