Jewish World Review Sept. 8, 2011 9 Elul 5771
Myth and Reality After 9/11
By Victor Davis Hanson
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Why did radical Islamic terrorists kill almost 3,000 Americans a decade ago?
Few still believe the old myth that prior U.S. foreign policy or support for
Moreover, thousands of Arabs have been killed recently, but by their own Libyan and Syrian governments, not Israeli Defense Forces. Al Qaeda still issues death threats to Americans even though its original pretexts for going to war -- such as U.S. troops stationed in
Instead, on this 10-year anniversary of 9/11, no one has yet refuted the general truth that bin Laden tried to hijack popular Arab discontent over endemic poverty and self-induced misery. In cynical Hitlerian fashion, al Qaeda's propagandists sought to blame the mess of the Arab Middle East on Jews and foreigners, rather than seeking to address homegrown corrupt kleptocracies, inefficient statism, indigenous tribalism, gender apartheid, and religious fundamentalism and intolerance.
Past Western appeasement of terrorism only convinced the manipulative bin Laden that he might kill Westerners without much fear of retaliation, as he presented himself to the
Another post-9/11 myth assured us that
But we know that theory is largely a fable for two reasons. From 2001 to 2008, almost every domestic and foreign security expert assured us that the next 9/11 was not a matter of "if," but only of "when." Yet 10 years later there has not been a single comparable terrorist attack, despite dozens of foiled efforts to shoot and blow up Americans. What happened?
The Patriot Act, renditions, tribunals, preventive detention, new bothersome security measures and the use of Predator drones have all weakened al Qaeda and have made it difficult to attack Americans at home. For all the acrimony over
And where now are the likes of
The truth is, they mostly dropped out of the news when
Obama also left mostly unchanged U.S. policy in
President Obama, unlike candidate Obama, understood that the past unpopular U.S. measures kept us safe for seven years, and so apparently had to be continued. He also guessed rightly that when he put his own brand on these once widely caricatured but necessary antiterrorism measures, the furor that had plagued the country from 2003 to 2008 would simply end in a whimper. And he was absolutely right on both counts.
Conservatives were once demonized for
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Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.
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