Everyone's favorite sorta-hard-to-pigeonhole-Indian-American-IndianAmerican Fareed Zakaria has taken to the the airwaves and blogwaves this week to tell us that the United States overreacted to 9-11. Here's a sample of what he's peddling:
Nine years after 9/11, can anyone doubt that Al Qaeda is simply not that deadly a threat? Since that gruesome day in 2001, once governments everywhere began serious countermeasures, Osama bin Laden’s terror network has been unable to launch a single major attack on high-value targets in the United States and Europe. While it has inspired a few much smaller attacks by local jihadis, it has been unable to execute a single one itself. Today, Al Qaeda’s best hope is to find a troubled young man who has been radicalized over the Internet, and teach him to stuff his underwear with explosives.
Far be it from me to argue with Newsweek Magazine's designated arbiter of all that is centrist and just in international affairs, but isn't there just a tad bit of a logic-bomb in Zakaria's thinking? Could it be that Al Qadea is simply not that deadly a threat BECAUSE of the "over"reaction of the US and its allies? Reminds me of the annual New York Times story decrying "filling prisons even as the crime rate drops", as if there is no correlation.
Does any rationally thinking person believe that Osama Bin Laden and the boys believed that they would pull off the big attack on September 11 and then spend the next 9 years hiding in holes? No--they saw it as the opening salvo in a civilizational war they were bound and determined to win, one that would include many more attacks in the US on scales both grand and modest. But that hasn't happened. And it hasn't happened because we "over" reacted.
More "over"reaction, please.