As we stop to pause and reflect upon the significance if this day, please reflect on the points offered in this article by Rubin. We have such a long way to go in educating the populace and its leaders on what we are really fighting. KGS
Ten Years After September 11: Who’s Really Winning the War On Terrorism
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!”
–Francis Scott Key, “Star-Spangled Banner”
By Barry Rubin
Ten years after September 11, when the very phrase “war on terrorism” is barred from U.S. government usage by the president, we are told that the United States has won or is already victorious. After all, there has been no major attack on U.S. soil in a decade and al-Qaida is weaker with many of its leaders, including Usama bin Ladin, dead.
“Where is that band”? According to the official line, pretty much destroyed. We won, perhaps except for a few “lone wolves.” But before the victory parades are held, let’s understand this: The war on terrorism, like that phrase itself, has been largely defined out of existence, not won.
Let’s be clear. Al-Qaida attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon to achieve several goals:
–To become the leader in a worldwide jihad.
–To persuade Muslims that America is weak and can be defeated.
–To stir far more Muslims to jihad, that is a Holy War that today can be defined as an Islamist revolution.
–To mobilize forces in order to challenge and eventually to overthrow all of the existing regimes in the Sunni Muslim areas, replacing Arab nationalism in many of those countries with Islamism as the main ideological force.
I would suggest that al-Qaida’s September 11 attacks largely succeeded in three of those four goals. Only in the first did it fail, and for a very good reason. Precisely because it carried out the attacks, al-Qaida became the main target for U.S. efforts and repression by leaders in Muslim-majority countries. Consequently, it has suffered greatly from losses.
By the same token, however, other Islamist forces have largely been left alone by the West or faced far less pressure. Such groups include the Muslim Brotherhood groups, Hamas, Hizballah, and the pro-Islamist regimes in Syria and Iran. In fact, Islamist groups and Islamism as an ideology have advanced impressively, especially in the last few years.