IMAGINE THAT on 9/11, six hours after the assault on the twin towers and the Pentagon, terrorists had carried out a second wave of attacks on the United States, taking an additional 3,000 lives. Imagine that six hours after that, there had been yet another wave. Now imagine that the attacks had continued, every six hours, for another four years, until nearly 20 million Americans were dead. This is roughly what the Soviet Union suffered during World War II, and contemplating these numbers may help put in perspective what the United States has so far experienced during the war against terrorism.It also raises several questions. Has the American reaction to the attacks in fact been a massive overreaction? Is the widespread belief that 9/11 plunged us into one of the deadliest struggles of our time simply wrong? If we did overreact, why did we do so? Does history provide any insight?
This won’t play well with the “clash of civilizations” crew, but it raises several good points. Did we overreact? Of course we did, since we’ve spent billions upon billions of dollars- dollars we don’t actually have- to fight two wars against nations that didn’t attack us on 9/11, while the person who supposedly ordered the “surprise” attack walks around free. We inflamed anti-American feelings globally, squandered whatever goodwill the attacks brought us, and increased the level of terrorism world-wide. Not to mention the pillaging of our national identity, taking us from a nation under the rule of law to a nation under the rule of one- a tyranny.
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