By William Katz
"The attempt to bring down an airliner approaching Detroit reminds us that 2009 saw a remarkable number of terror incidents in the United States. Most of them ended up as foiled plots. One, Fort Hood, was catastrophic. Had the bomb gone off on the airliner yesterday, as planned, it would have been the worst successful terror attack directed against Americans since 9-11.
And yet, terror attempts are now becoming so routine that Americans can actually get used to them, the way we adapted to crime waves in our cities during the last half century. Daniel Patrick Moynihan called it “defining deviancy down,” where we become accustomed to a more primitive way of life, and start accepting it as normal…the way things are. That would be a tragic mistake, and only leadership from the top can prevent us from slipping into that kind of complacency."