the terrorists have won, without lobbing another shot

I suggest we haven't had another terrorist attack within our borders in these five years precisely because it hasn't been necessary.

Bush has managed to exactly fulfill the objectives of the last one. To begin with, it's now official: He's murdered more Americans in Iraq alone than the terrorists murdered in the destruction of the World Trade Center (and not all of those were American citizens).

This administration has also destroyed America's ability to do anything but think about, or rather pretend to think about, the threat of another strike, and it has succeeded in destroying whatever sympathy or support the world had extended to a wounded nation immediately after September 11, 2001.

Even absent this regime's record of abysmal incompetence, ordinary and extraordinary domestic imperatives which demand political attention have been forgotten or deliberately ignored largely because of our fear of terrorism and the manipulation of those fears. The same factors have caused us to casually abandon most of the fundamental liberties which were once our boast and the envy of much of the world.

Because we are tied down in a totally misconceived and disastrous adventure in the Middle East the world's only remaining "superpower" is virtually helpless to impact events elsewhere, especially since we have also managed to isolate ourselves diplomatically.

Finally, because our domestic political process has been so corrupted by fear, simple timidity, opportunism, greed and cynicism we are arguably in an economic decline from which we may not recover even if we somehow manage to shift political personnel between now and 2008. We are intellectually and morally bankrupt.

Only because the worst may be yet to come, I won't say the terrorist victory is already complete. But I'll wager they've been smiling for five years.

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Published on September 11, 2006 12:28 AM.

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