Charles Krauthammer issues an emphatic rebuttal to what he calls the "new conventional wisdom" about 9/11—that the US overreacted and brought upon itself a ruinous decade of war and financial misery. "Rubbish," he writes in the Washington Post. Al-Qaeda is on the brink of failure and Osama bin Laden was reduced to a "pathetic old recluse," all thanks to "the massive and unrelenting American war on terror, a systematic worldwide campaign carried out with increasing sophistication, efficiency, and lethality."
Remember, he writes, the US never suffered a second attack. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been a vital part of this, as has "the other great achievement of the decade: the defensive anti-terror apparatus" built by Bush and carried on by Obama. "It kept us safe—the warrantless wiretaps, the Patriot Act, extraordinary rendition, preventive detention, and, yes, Guantanamo." Our financial mess, meanwhile, is the fault of lousy fiscal and regulatory policy, not 9/11, he writes. Instead of denigrating our 9/11 response, we should be celebrating it as a "historic achievement." (For a collection of other takes on whether the US overreacted, see the Wall Street Journal.)