The inestimable Charles Krauthammer nails another one. No we did not go crazy after 9/11 and create our own self-perpetuating climate of fear.
There was a terrorist threat before Al Qaeda, and there will still be one after it, but make no mistake — AQ is dying, and we killed it.
Al-Qaeda, uninvited, came out to fight us in Iraq, and it was not just defeated but humiliated. The local population — Arab, Muslim, Sunni, under the supposed heel of the invader — joined the infidel and rose up against the jihadi in its midst. It was a singular defeat from which al-Qaeda never recovered.
We have achieved successes that are more impressive the more you know about the problem. And that in itself is a huge problem–to those who know nothing, it appears we have wasted lives, time, and money with little to show for it.
9/11 was our Pearl Harbor. This time, however, the enemy had no home address. No Tokyo. Which is why today’s war could not be wrapped up in a mere four years. It was unconventional war by an unconventional enemy embedded within a worldwide religious community. Yet in a decade, we largely disarmed and defeated it, and developed the means to continue to pursue its remnants at rapidly decreasing cost. That is a historic achievement.
Read the whole thing.