The person most responsible for the attacks on the US is still at large, and his trail is stone cold.
Afghanistan, the nation we 'defeated' over 4 years ago is now more dangerous for western troops than Iraq.
Al Qaida has evolved from a single terrorist group to an ideology that is inspiring wack jobs world wide.
Iraq is so unstable that a day when less that 50 people are killed by various military means is considered a peaceful one.
Bush has now admitted that Saddam had nothing to do with Al Qaida and it's attack on the US. Cheney has admitted that the administration did nothing to plan for an insurgency yet they both say that they would do it all again. They continue to blame those who point out their almost countless mistakes claiming that critics, and not the administration's own incompetence is helping the enemy.
The real tragedy is, in 2002 Afghanistan may have been a nation that could have been fundamentally changed. The people had suffered for over a generation, Civil war, war lords, a narco economy, a theocracy had all washed over their land. They were ripe to try anything that showed real promise.
But, we decided to try to change them on the cheap. We didn't commit the forces needed to bring stability and make the various war lords impotent. We didn't infuse the capital necessary to show real improvements to the people of the land, we didn't even hang around long enough to capture the leaders of the very group we were at war with.
The last five years have presented the us with a series of gross failures. Failures that have weakened us militarily, diplomatic, economically, and most frighteningly of all, weakened our very liberty. Today, while our nation reflects on out losses, the one that hurts us most are our lost opportunities.
We could have worked on developing our democratic state in Afghanistan, but made the choice to put it on the back burner. We could have focused on capturing Bin Laden, instead of forgetting about him. We could have focused on containing Saddam, rather than removing him, an act that has radically increased the power of Iran, and effectively neutered us.
The number of other, better paths we could have taken are almost countless.
Today, I will not only think about the losses of September 11, 2001, but of all the other losses that have resulted from the panicked and foolish reactions of the people who are currently leading our land.
9-11 Iraq Afghanistan