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.
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