On November 4, Remember 9/11 - by Jeffrey Goldberg
The next president must do one thing, and one thing only, if he is to be judged a success: He must prevent Al Qaeda, or a Qaeda imitator, from gaining control of a nuclear device and detonating it in America. Everything else — Fannie Mae, health care reform, energy independence, the budget shortfall in Wasilla, Alaska — is commentary. The nuclear destruction of Lower Manhattan, or downtown Washington, would cause the deaths of thousands, or hundreds of thousands; a catastrophic depression; the reversal of globalization; a permanent climate of fear in the West; and the comprehensive repudiation of America’s culture of civil liberties.
Many proliferation experts I have spoken to judge the chance of such a detonation to be as high as 50 percent in the next 10 years. I am an optimist, so I put the chance at 10 percent to 20 percent. . . .
I recommend reading the article in full. I don't think Goldberg has either an Obama or a McCain axe to grind. He has his doubts about both of them. But I think his assessment of what should be THE issue of this election is right on. And I personally think John McCain is much more likely to prevent the unthinkable than Barack Obama.
Reading Goldberg's opening sentence, I also couldn't help thinking about our current president. George W. Bush has succeeded in doing that one thing Goldberg says the next president must do--namely, keeping us safe since 9/11. Yet it seems he does not get much credit for that these days, and I think that is a national embarrassment. I hope in time history will remember to thank the 43rd president for his oversight of our security during these dark and dangerous days.