Foreign Affairs: There is no terrorist threat

The bad news is, only one-third of Americans think we’re winning the war on terror. The good news is, apparently terror doesn’t really exist.

Read it for yourselves — it’s only three pages long — and bear in mind: (a) Bush and Mueller claim they’ve disrupted several attacks since 9/11, not that their political opponents would lend any credence to that; (b) the author fails to explain why the situation here should be different than in Britain, where MI5 just broke up a blockbuster plot and is currently investigating “dozens” of others; (c) he thinks Muslims in the UK are “well integrated,” which is enough to call his credibility into question; (d) he cites the fact that terrorist attacks are ridiculously easy to pull off as proof that there are no terrorists here, then dismisses the kooks who were arrested this summer for allegedly planning to attack the Sears Tower and NYC train tunnels as harmless blowhards; (e) he thinks attacking Iran is one of the worst things we could do but he also acknowledges that Iran is capable of harming “American interests worldwide” — and doesn’t address the implications of what letting them have the bomb would mean for that capability; (e) he notes that “the lifetime chance of an American being killed by international terrorism is about one in 80,000 — about the same chance of being killed by a comet or a meteor” while completely overlooking the psychological and economic damage done by attacks. A well placed dirty bomb in Manhattan could conceivably kill absolutely no one while causing literally billions of dollars in damage and putting hundreds of thousands of people at risk of cancer.

There’s more, but like I say, read it for yourself.

A pair of Iranian political scientists apparently leaked details of the regime’s counterproposal on the nuclear program today. I remember when Condi Rice first announced that we were going to negotiate with them, but only on the limited issue of nukes; there would be no “grand bargain.” Well, according to the good professors, what Iran wants is … a grand bargain. And even so, only as a precondition for talks:

The US would have to lift decades-old sanctions against Iran and probably give assurances that it has no policy of regime change towards the Islamic republic to settle Iran’s nuclear dispute with the west, according to leaks of the Iranian response.

Iran is demanding firmer guarantees on trade and nuclear supplies, a tighter timetable for implementing agreements and clearer security pledges from the west before it decides whether to freeze its uranium enrichment programme and explore an offer of a new relationship.

European diplomats think it’s yet another stalling tactic; Merkel has already responded. Goldstein cites an Iranian report via MEMRI that Ahmadinejad will be announcing Iran’s “nuclear birth” within the next few days, which could be the “surprise” they were promising yesterday.

A former Israeli NSA says that if Ahmadinejad succeeds Khamenei as Supreme Leader, he’ll go Greg Stillson on Israel. Hard to believe the mullahs would elect a non-cleric to the top spot, particularly one whose unpopular at home and liable to threaten their own position of power by initiating a nuclear exchange. But then, I was never NSA of Israel.

A British think tank says Iran is the big winner of the U.S. war in Iraq. I can think of one other.