Maggie Gallagher

Why doesn't President Bush try to take more public (and political) credit for three years without a single terrorist attack on U.S. soil? Iraq is now the front line of the war on terror: Some of our soldiers are still dying, but our citizens here at home are not.

I suspect the answer is twofold. Terrorist attacks are taking place elsewhere around the world, in Europe and, of course, within Iraq on a daily basis. To brag to fellow Americans in an election season about the relative safety here might appear to our allies and to Iraqis to be gloating: Are we really that callous or indifferent to the price being paid elsewhere in the war on terror?

But there is a second, and even more important reason for what Bush does not say: This president knows in his gut that, in spite of everything he has done or could do, a second terrorist attack may happen here at any time.

Our current sense of relative safety is, in fact, an illusion, a precious, unexpected and ultimately fragile gift, for which many of us thank God, of course, but also President George W. Bush. Enjoy it while we can.

Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.