9/11 should mean nothing
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The War on Terror is a miserable failure. The problem it was supposed to address, according to the White House, was Islamofascist terrorism. The proximate cause of that terrorism was that "they hate us," and the root cause of that hatred was supposedly "our freedoms."
OK. Here we are, five years in, and last year there were three and a half times the number of terror attacks worldwide than in 2001. "They" -- the Islamic world at large -- didn't hate us before we launched the war (at least a majority didn't), but they sure do now. And, to top it off, we've had to accept fewer freedoms because of that "war." Most of all, we're losing because, with an assist from our Commander-in-Chief, we're still terrified -- Al Qaeda's mission is accomplished.
Intelligence, on the other hand, seems to work pretty well. I did a review of media reports for an article I'm writing and found that governments have claimed to have foiled at least 37 major attacks against Western targets since 1999.
But the best evidence that competent intelligence and law enforcement, handled by responsible adults, is the best defense against terrorism may have been the devastating attacks of 9/11 themselves. After all, they never should have happened.