Naomi Klein makes a compelling case that neglect of public services in the U.S. makes terrorists' goals easier to achieve.
It has become fashionable to wryly observe that the terrorists use the West's technologies as weapons against itself: planes, e-mail, cellphones. But as fears of bioterrorism mount, it could well turn out that their best weapons are the rips and holes in the United States' public infrastructure.
Is this because there was no time to prepare for the attacks? Hardly. The U.S. has openly recognized the threat of biological attacks since the Persian Gulf war, and Bill Clinton renewed calls to protect the nation from bioterror after the 1998 embassy bombings in East Africa. And yet shockingly little has been done.
The reason is simple: Preparing for biological warfare would have required a ceasefire in America's older, less dramatic war -- the one against the public sphere. It didn't happen. Here are some snapshots from the front lines.