Sometime in the 90s an unhappy rich guy in Saudi Arabia assembled his followers and said something like this:
We have few men and little money.
But we are smart and resourceful.
With careful planning and committment to our plan -- we will change the world.
And so he did.
He flew airplanes into the World Trade Center.
We responded just as he predicted. We attacked Afghanistan and Iraq causing loss of life on a significant scale. We spent enough of our credibility and money to seriously diminish our ability to influence the world for a long time to come.
Meanwhile, we now realize that we are the pawn in the war Osama bin Laden was really fighting -- between moderate and extreme factions of Islam. Say what you will about Osama bin Laden but it does appear that he is a smart guy who is committed his cause. A formidable opponent even thought we spend more on defense than all of the other nations combined.
We should never forget 9/11. For the innocent people we lost there. And for the way were drawn in to a fight we did not understand, and had no hope of ever winning. Time Magazine has a good piece on this today. I hope we can follow through and withdraw.