The New Reign of Terror: The Politics of Defining Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism

Abstract
“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” So begins Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. While he was writing about London and Paris during the turbulent times associated with the rise of the British Industrial Revolution and the French Political Revolution, these lines express the current sentiments of many Americans. Before 11 September 2001, many people thought we were living in the best of times. Baby boomers were relishing in the prospects that through inheritance they would be the beneficiaries of the greatest transfer of wealth in United States history. After 11 September, even more citizens were psychologically shattered when they realized that the terrorist strikes showed that the United States, the most powerful nation on Earth, is still quite vulnerable.
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