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Wednesday, September 25, 2002


I just sent the following letter to the Boston Globe after reading Elaine Scarry's excellent piece Failsafe!:

Congratulations on having the bravery to publish Elaine Scarry's "Failsafe". She is right to point out that distributed threats require distributed countermeasures. She is right to point out that centralized defense of the U.S. massively failed us. She is right to point out that the founders of the U.S. envisioned citizens, not standing armies, as the backbone of the nation's defense.

After all that argument and build-up, it is only unfortunate that she stopped short of the logical conclusion: that to prevent future hijackings, the logical course is to arm the passengers.

The extension to other situations involving crime, terrorism, and politics (insofar as the three are distinguishable at all) is left as an exercise for the reader.

posted by Eric at 12:44 AM