Last week's foiling of a terrorist plot does not mean we should relax our vigilance

The idea that our world is just as dangerous as it was before Sept. 11, 2001, was both bolstered and refuted by events last Thursday.

Nothing, obviously, has changed in the minds of terrorists who want to inflict harm on U.S. and British citizens. What's different is our readiness. This time, the plot was foiled before people were placed in danger. That's reason for celebration, not recrimination.

It is disappointing to see politicians use the terrorist plot for partisan purposes.

Instead of scoring political points, our leaders ought to be assuring Americans that they are looking ahead to the next potential threat. Like a bacteria that mutates in response to stronger and stronger antibiotics, terrorists will adapt their deadly strategies. Intelligence - in all senses of the word - is required to anticipate and to intervene.

Along the lines of prevention, we see no reason not to ban all liquids from carry-on baggage. If we are willing to send soldiers overseas as part of the struggle against terrorism, surely Americans would be happy to forego carrying a bottle of shampoo or other liquid into the passenger compartment of an airplane.

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