11 September 2013

On this 9/11 anniversary, are the terrorists winning?

After al-Qaeda attacked the U.S. on 9/11, George W. Bush told us that it was because "they hate our freedoms".

That wasn't the real reason for the attacks. But still, it feels as if the terrorists have won - or that we have lost.

From the Bush administration's imposition of indefinite detention without charge or trial, which continues today under Obama, to the PATRIOT Act and the expansion of government secrecy and warrantless spying, our freedoms have indeed been curtailed. Little old ladies cannot even board an airplane without being subjected to excessive and humiliating security procedures.

Despite all these additional "security" measures, and even though Osama bin Laden now sleeps with the fishes, many Americans don't feel much safer than we did before 9/11.

Furthermore, our continued presence and influence in the Middle East, and indeed our continued threats to expand that presence and influence (see Syria), will only serve to feed the true root causes of anti-US terrorist sentiments. Because, in fact, those are the true root causes.

And so, in fact, it's lose-lose for all.

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