The terrorist attacks of 2001 were met with a lot of patriotic chest-beating and calls for vengeance. The immediate aftereffects of these events were that people sold their stocks and refused to fly. The stock market crashed, and airlines went out of business. Gun sales, that most sensitive indicator of American fears, skyrocketed. We were, in short, well and fully terrorized. Not long afterward the people of Washington were thrown into a panic by the D.C. snipers. Against the statistical unlikelihood that any one person would become a target, people were zig-zagging across parking lots and crouching while they pumped gas. Our trifecta of terror was complete with the anthrax attacks that had many avoiding their mail boxes and stocking up on Cipro. Then, of course, we initiated two trillion-dollar wars in South Asia, which have not made us feel notably safer. That these wars were fought by a thin sliver of youthful volunteers while the rest of us sacrificed nothing did not do much for the heroic credentials of the larger society.