Fortress mentality

Now is the time to warn ourselves of the dangers of impregnability. True, as a country we have been violated in a most brutal way, and we’ll have to make sure that we are safe in the future. And yet the way we are going about securing our safety, especially after September 11, is deeply flawed. Rather than make us think more deeply about whether we should spend $60 billion on missile defense when the weapons used against us were box cutters and knives, we are rushing ahead with the project. American lives have been lost, and the temples of the two gods we most like to serve—wealth and power—have been destroyed or damaged. Yet instead of keeping its cool, our government seems to be losing its head in a frantic attempt not to appear impotent and incompetent.


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