Remember the TV commercial where a man is walking down a dark city street and nervously glances back at two shadowy figures? The tension builds until the figures step into the light and reveal themselves as Boy Scouts, leaving the man visibly relieved (and a little embarrassed) that he'd completely misjudged the situation. Then the Boy Scouts beat the crap out of him and steal his wallet.
Okay, I made up that last part, because mental editing of TV commercials is what separates us from lower forms of life, such as Karl Rove. But these days, walking down the street in fear seems a fitting metaphor for the times we live in, because at any moment a bunch of Boy Scouts could run up and beat the crap out of us. Although, again, that's just a metaphor, so it won't actually be Boy Scouts. They could be dressed like Boy Scouts, but then it would be a disguise and not a metaphor, so it's probably not relevant. But let's just move on.
IT'S A SCARY TIME. It seems like every rogue nation in the world (except Iraq) is developing nuclear weapons. The countries without nukes already have chemical and biological weapons (though fortunately none have been found in Iraq). And at last count, there were hundreds of al Qaeda operatives living secretly in our country (though probably none of them are from Iraq). Not to mention the fact that global terrorist networks are being financed by shadowy figures all over the Middle East (except in Iraq).