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Monday, February 17, 2003

How scared should we be?

In the Times' Week in Review section yesterday, Gregg Easterbrook went back over the subject he covered more thoroughly in the New Republic shortly after 9/11: When it comes to weapons of mass destruction, there's a huge difference between chemical and biological weapons on the one hand and nuclear weapons on the other. Americans, led by their government, are almost wildly overreacting to the danger of a terrorist attack using chemical or biological agents. In fact, a regular old bomb — like the one Timothy McVeigh used in Oklahoma City — would kill a lot more of us than sarin, VX, or anthrax.

Easterbrook's earlier article appeared in the November 5, 2001, issue of the New Republic. Also related: William Saletan examined the real danger of a radioactive "dirty bomb" — panic. See also Bill Keller's frightening article "Nuclear Nightmares" in the New York Times Magazine (5.26.02).

Update 5.30.06: Expired links deleted.

Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 17 February 2003 at 6:14 PM

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