All our wars, of course, are justified as struggles for freedom. This goal deserves further discussion and understanding before we ask our young to die on its behalf. It is difficult to see what essential American freedom has been at risk during these longest wars, undertaken out of reflexive fear after the attacks of Sept. 11. Our insecurity enabled us to believe that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction or that the terrorists in Afghanistan were a threat to our way of life. We had been, in fact, well and truly terrorized and were determined to retaliate against somebody. From the point of view of those seeking to hold or achieve political power it was useful to stoke these fears. Richard Nixon was wrong about many things, but he was right when he said, "People react to fear, not love — they don't teach that in Sunday School, but it's true."