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The Triumph of Fear

PARIS – In May 1981, Pope John Paul II survived an assassination attempt. Thirty years later, Osama bin Laden was killed by United States Special Forces. But, looking at the world now, one could easily conclude that the inspirational leader whose credo was Franklin Roosevelt’s injunction to fear only “fear itself” has lost, and that the fanatic who wanted fear to dominate the world of the “infidels” has prevailed.

Today, fear is ubiquitous, and the bombings at the Boston Marathon must be understood in that context, for the attack both highlights and deepens our pervasive sense of insecurity.