If it wasn’t official before, it is now – we are barely more secure today than we were on September 10, 2001, and because of the threat posed by al-Qaeda look-alikes and home-grown al-Qaeda inspired groups, we may actually be less safe today than we were 7 years ago. And the price tag for all of this illusionary security? 3900 coalition soldiers, airmen, seamen, and marines dead. A minimum of 26,695 U.S. soldiers, airmen, seamen, and marines injured. An estimated $443,920,000,000 at about 10 AM MST today. An estimated 655,000 Iraqis, ~2.5% of the population of Iraq, dead as of last October.
And now al-Qaeda is planning on exporting terror from Iraq to the rest of the world, especially the United States. Last week, a reporter asked President Bush in a press conference about the National Intelligence Estimate’s supposed conclusion that al-Qaeda was as strong as it was on 9/11. His response: al-Qaeda is weaker today than it would have been otherwise had we not stomped on them and driven them out of Afghanistan after 9/11.
Well, no shit.
We might have been able to do more against al-Qaeda than we have if President Bush hadn’t focused almost exclusively on the military. Our diplomatic position is nearly useless due to Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and our “pre-emptive war” strategies. Our economy is being saddled with national debt at an alarming rate. And our cultural “soft power” has been squandered to the point that Russia, China, and other human rights violators can laugh at us.
President Bush squandered our national authority with his foolish and narrow-minded “military only” approach to combating terrorists and has made the United States, and indeed the rest of the world, less safe in the process.