Best Defense

Firing missiles into Yemen—and no one in the U.S. seems to care much, even me

But I suppose we can get used to anything, even acts of war.

A destroyed vehicle is pictured in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah on October 13, 2016.
The US military directly targeted Yemen's Huthi rebels for the first time, hitting radar sites controlled by the insurgents after US warships came under missile attacks twice in four days. / AFP / STRINGER        (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
A destroyed vehicle is pictured in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah on October 13, 2016. The US military directly targeted Yemen's Huthi rebels for the first time, hitting radar sites controlled by the insurgents after US warships came under missile attacks twice in four days. / AFP / STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

Why is that?

I can remember when this sort of thing — launching the weapons of war into a foreign country — was a big story, back before 9/11. When I was a reporter, this kind of thing would be instant front-page news, big headlines, a blizzard of stories assigned about who the shooters were, who were these people we were attacking, how it had come to this.

But I suppose we can get used to anything, even acts of war. Nowadays it seems kind of humdrum.

And by the way: By calling it “9/11,” without a year, did we somehow assign to the event a kind of timelessness? Is that the logo of “forever war”?

Photo credit: STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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