chapter  11
Inflating terrorism
ByJOHN MUELLER
Pages 18

Homeland Security czar Michael Chertoff has proclaimed the “struggle” against terrorism to be a “significant existential” one – carefully differentiating it, apparently, from all those insignificant existential struggles we have waged in the past (Harris and Taylor 2008). Meanwhile, the New York Times editorial board assured us on April 23, 2008, that “the fight against al-Qaeda is the central battle for this generation,” and Senator John McCain more expansively, and repeatedly, labels it the “transcendental challenge of the twenty-first century.” Meanwhile Democrats routinely insist that the terrorist menace has been energized and much heightened by the Republicans’ misguided war in Iraq.