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CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: The 9/11 ‘Overreaction’? Nonsense – National Review Online

September 9, 2011

The 9/11 ‘Overreaction’? Nonsense

America’s current demoralization is not a result of the War on Terror.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER

SEPTEMBER 9, 2011 12:00 A.M.

The new conventional wisdom on 9/11: We have created a decade of fear. We overreacted to 9/11 — al-Qaeda turned out to be a paper tiger; there never was a second attack — thereby bankrupting the country, destroying our morale, and sending us into national decline.

The secretary of defense says that al-Qaeda is on the verge of strategic defeat. True. But why? Al-Qaeda did not spontaneously combust. Yet, in a decade, Osama bin Laden went from the emir of radical Islam — jihadi hero after whom babies were named all over the Muslim world — to pathetic old recluse, almost incommunicado, watching shades of himself on a cheap TV in a bare room.

What turned the strong horse into the weak horse? Precisely the massive and unrelenting American War on Terror, a systematic worldwide campaign carried out with increasing sophistication, efficiency, and lethality — now so cheaply denigrated as an “overreaction.”

First came the Afghan campaign, once so universally supported that Democrats for years complained that President Bush was not investing enough blood and treasure there. Now, it is reduced to a talking point as one of the “two wars” that bankrupted us. Yet Afghanistan was utterly indispensable in defeating the jihadis then and now. We think of Pakistan as the terrorist sanctuary. We fail to see that Afghanistan is our sanctuary, the base from which we have freedom of action to strike Jihad Central in Pakistan and the border regions.

Iraq, too, was decisive, though not in the way we intended. We no more chose it to be the central campaign in the crushing of al-Qaeda than Eisenhower chose the Battle of the Bulge as the locus for the final destruction of the German war machine.

via The 9/11 ‘Overreaction’? Nonsense – Charles Krauthammer – National Review Online.

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