In a typically odd piece of analysis, Stanley Kurtz tries to knock down the Mueller Thesis by pointing to a bunch of evidence that al-Qaeda’s leadership would like to mount many additional attacks against the American homeland. This is presumably the case, but so what? Assessments of threats need to be capability-based. You see this all the time from the right, however, which has become increasingly invested, both politically and emotionally, and maintaining a constant state of panic and hysteria.

Portraits of the looming menace of “Islamofascism” are routinely drawn with reference to to the alleged movement’s alleged goals, with these goals, in turn, defined quite vaguely. It’s good to have some sense of that stuff, of course, but it’s much more crucial to know which things might realistically occur. The latter, typically, is much less fear-inducing than the former.