Whew, that was a close one. We suffered a big attack and were in mortal danger for a while, but we are safe now. Thank God, the war on terror is over. There are no Islamic extremists. Homeland security is not an issue. The only problem in Iraq is how to get out.
Wait, this is news to you? Then you didn't watch the Democratic debate Thursday. Or maybe you did watch, but since those unpleasant topics were completely or mostly ignored, you assumed the war was over and went to bed believing peace is at hand and Santa Claus is busy making toys at the North Pole.
A New York Times language tracker tells the tale. Neither "homeland security" nor "war on terror" were mentioned. Osama Bin Laden was a no-show and Al Qaeda got one mention. "Terrorism" got three, two of them by audience members asking questions, as did "extremists," with two of those in a single answer by Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. On the other hand, "health" got 45 mentions and "education" 20.
Threats from Iran were discussed, as was the crisis in Pakistan. But beyond the insufficient answers about those troubled nation states, answers best summed up by Clinton's promise of "aggressive diplomacy," whatever that means, the debate never touched the major development that even old Europe is taking seriously. The rise of backpack bombers and homegrown terror cells is a menace our allies are addressing and we are ignoring.
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