An encouraging assessment of what has been done so far. From a New York Post editorial :
Osama’s goals have been to sow death and destruction in the name of his own sick religion. But things haven’t been working out so well.
The 9/11 attack was intended principally to provoke a swift, indiscriminate American military response so terrible it would provoke the Muslim masses to rise against moderate Islamic governments in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.
That, in turn, would have allowed al Qaeda — then enjoying the patronage of Afghanistan’s Taliban government — to extend itself into newly radicalized regions of the Mideast and beyond.
But while America’s response was swift, it was disciplined, targeted and extraordinarily effective.
There were no uprisings.
No governments fell, except two; the Taliban and Saddam Hussein’s.
And while it is true that Osama remains free — however temporarily — it is also true that he’s also now the world’s most famous homeless person.
* Individual al Qaeda-linked cells throughout the world have no central base to which to turn for aid.
* Training camps are closed.
* Funding sources have dried up.
* The medieval regime that offered him succor is itself gone. Afghanistan just held its first democratic elections.
* Iraq is moving toward free elections — doubtless to Osama’s chagrin.
Clearly, yesterday’s tape was meant to influence Tuesday’s U.S. election — much as al Qaeda caused Spain to show yellow in the War on Terror — though it remains that it was only a tape.
There was no Madrid-like terror bombing in America, but you can bet your last dollar that Osama and his bloody-handed henchmen wouldn’t hesitate to attempt one if they thought for even a moment that they could get away with it.
Indeed, they’ve failed to pull off any such strike on U.S. soil since 9/11.
Thank President Bush — and the U.S. military — for that.
Someday Osama will be rotting behind bars next to, say, Saddam Hussein — unless he’s killed first….
Clearly Osama’s little lecture yesterday was meant to dampen George Bush’s electoral prospects; in that sense, it betrayed a truly fundamental misunderstanding of the United States.
If 9/11 didn’t make Americans flinch, it’s not likely that an appearance by Osama on a TV channel best known for its videos of beheadings and other gruesome events will do anything more than stiffen the nation’s spine.
Again, for the record: If Osama could have carried out an act of terror, he would have carried out an act of terror.
He can’t — and that speaks to the fundamental success of the War on Terror.
Read it all. I think the Post is certainly right about Osama between 9/11 and now. Right after 9/11 he boasted that many more planes would soon be falling out of the skies. They didn’t. But of course, we’re not quite out of the woods yet. Eight years passed between the first WTC bombing and the one that brought down the Towers. The ideology that breeds Islamic terrorists is still alive and well. Until it is combatted forcefully, this conflict will continue.