"Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself -- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror ..."
-- Franklin Roosevelt, 1933
Javier Marías describes Spain after the Madrid bombings in New York Times.
Here in Spain, we don't feel as if we are at war, because we aren't. And neither are the inhabitants of the United States, however vociferously many Americans may insist that they are. War is something else entirely. No semi-normal life can be led while a war is going on. The Madrilenians who lived through the siege of their city from 1936 to 1939 know that very well. The survivors of the daily bombardments of London during the Second World War know it, too. And those Americans who participated in that war know it also.
But there is no war against terrorism. There can be no such thing against an enemy that remains dormant most of the time and is almost never visible. It's simply another of life's inevitable troubles, and all we can do as we continue to combat it is repeat Cervantes's famous phrase, "Paciencia y barajar": "Have patience, and keep shuffling the cards."
(via Fred Wilson)