After 9/11, we entered the Age of the Unthinkable. Seared into our collective consciousness is that the Twin Towers could and did fall. So could the U.S. Capitol, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Superdome. Our children know that which we as children never before imagined -- passenger planes may become guided missiles, and skyscrapers may turn into smoking, twisted rubble. This age of Islamic jihad against the West has indeed expanded our consciousness.
Or has it? Did these previously unthinkable acts of violence and mass murder sharpen our thinking, make us vigilant and more protective of our constitutional liberties under attack?
There was a time when I actually thought this was so. Re-reading my first column written after 9/11 today, one dozen 9/11s later, I find that it forecasts a new era of black and white, good and evil -- a new relationship with countries that were "with us or against us." I guess I have always been a lousy prognosticator. Still, that was the message coming out of the Bush White House early on.