Since you already got the one-day Salon pass to view that excellent James Woods interview (you did, didn’t you?), you might as well read this piece, too: Are we safer now? Writer Eric Boehlert wades into some murky territory and emerges with a mixed result: some experts loudly assert that yes, the Iraq war has made the US significantly safer from al Qaeda-style terror. Another batch of experts asserts just as loudly that no, we’ve been distracted and have squandered vast amounts of money and attention on a side issue, leaving us more vulnerable, not less.
I don’t expect this piece to change anyone’s mind. There’s enough ambiguity there for either side to be able to shore up its position against outside assault. But it’s an interesting question, one that will go to the heart of the national referendum on George Bush’s leadership we’ll be having next year.
Those who take their informed-citizen duties really seriously might also want to hold their noses and dive into the extremely deep pool of facts in this recent New Yorker piece by Jane Mayer: The search for Osama. It includes some interesting speculation on just what’s going on these days with the hunt for that other evildoer, the one to whose name Bush seems to have developed an accute allergic reaction in the last year or so, judging by his unwillingness to actually speak it in public.