9/11 Then and Now: Terror, Militarism, War, and Fear

Rami G Khouri writes for Al Jazeera:

We do not know how many have been killed or injured in the dozen countries across the Middle East and South Asia where the so-called 'global war on terror' continues unabated, writes Khouri [Getty]Terrorism is a terrible thing, but it is made even more terrible and tragic when people and governments fail to react to it intelligently and allow it to perpetuate itself and expand – which is precisely what is happening today, 15 years after the 9/11 attacks by al-Qaeda against the United States.

I was in Boston on September 11, 2001, and I find myself in Boston again this week. As I watch the public’s mood here, I see a very bizarre combination of militaristic triumphalism, political perplexity, and slightly hysterical fears about new terror attacks; nearly 50 percent of Americans tell pollsters today they worry about terror attacks in the US.

No wonder, then, that the balance sheet of events since 2001 is mostly negative and frightening for the whole world.

A review of American actions against terrorism since 9/11 registers one very big achievement: No major terror attack by al-Qaeda or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) against the US mainland has occurred since 2001, due to significantly enhanced anti-terror measures in the US and globally.

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