Americans are in a tumultuous mood this 20th anniversary of 9/11, partly because of the disastrous return of President Biden, who finds the Taliban put us back in charge of Afghanistan. Was the entire war on terror a failure? The question is understandable, but as we remember the victims and heroes of that fateful day, it is also worth noting what has been achieved.
Start with the fact that America hasn’t had a comparable attack on the homeland since 9/11. As stated in the 9/11 Commission report, the jihadists were at war with us for years, but we refused to recognize it. At the time there was every reason to believe that our lack of alertness made us vulnerable to more such attacks, especially when envelopes of anthrax from an unknown source began arriving in mailboxes a week later.