This summary of the State Department Report on Global Terrorism offers some useful background information—in particular, numbers—mixed with ax-grinding. A difficulty understanding the current situation is the murky nature of terrorism and the difficulty of assessing how serious a threat it really is to the United States. What do you do when you’re attacked by someone who won’t identify himself? Is terrorism in the West an annoyance or a major threat? Was September 11 a one-time anomaly or a sign of things to come? Some aspects of the picture suggest a calmer view than most of us have been inclined toward lately, but I am writing this 3 miles from where the World Trade Center once stood and it’s hard to discount other possibilities in view of what’s actually happened.