Examiner Editorial: Defeating terror for seven years

Exactly seven years after Sept. 11,  2001, the war against jihadist terrorists has been an unappreciated success. Nobody should take that success for granted. In those seven years, despite numerous plans and several attempts by terrorists to replicate or even surpass that horrendous day, they have not succeeded a single time on U.S. soil.

No body count of innocents. No successful biological or chemical attacks. No airports, bridges, buildings or trains blown up. Nothing. President George W. Bush’s strategy has succeeded far beyond what the experts predicted would be the case in the weeks following the horrors at the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the rural field where Flight 93 crashed near Shanksville, Pa.

The cynics, however, shout that we lost our focus on terrorism by invading Iraq. They are dead wrong. If the war and reconstruction of Iraq were really a dangerous diversion from the war on terrorism, as so many liberal politicians and commentators say, then why have Americans been so safe in our homeland? Why haven’t any “dirty nukes” exploded? Could it be that the effort in Iraq, as messy as it has been, has undercut the terrorists by sucking a host of them into Iraq only to die there, as die they should?

A huge proportion of those terrorists died in Anbar province, where they once enjoyed their greatest apparent successes. When U.S. forces handed control of security in Anbar to the Iraqis on Sept. 1, the occasion merited far more attention than it received here in a nation justifiably distracted by Hurricane Gustav and the political conventions. That the former terrorist haven is now a remarkably safe haven is a breathtaking achievement, considering how bad things were before Bush’s “surge” was announced just 20 months ago.

It was in Anbar that bloodthirsty terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi set up shop, and where he operated when Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s chief deputy, sent a 2005 letter to Zarqawi calling him the “spearhead of jihad.” There is no better authority than Zawahiri for identifying Iraq as the front line of the terrorists’ efforts. But the spearhead, Zarqawi, now is broken, crushed and buried.

We have been safe in these United States for seven years not because we are lucky, but because we took the fight to our enemies. Iraq has been an essential part of that fight. And we’re winning.

editorialsOpinion

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Ali Jamalian, whose life was disrupted in the wake of being charged with possession decades ago, now heads up Sunset Connect, a cannabis manufacturing company. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Green Rush: Cannabis equity program elevates unexpected entrepreneurs

‘It’s a form of reparations for those of us who were ruined by cannabis arrest’

The Giants and Dodgers face each other again following a May series the Dodgers swept; Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux caught stealing by Giants second baseman Donovan Solano at Oracle Park on May 23 is pictured. 
Chris Victorio/
Special to The Examiner
Giants vs. Dodgers: What you need to know before this week’s huge series

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner That grinding noise you’ll hear… Continue reading

San Francisco supervisors approved zoning changes that will allow a chain grocery store to occupy the bottom floor of the 555 Fulton St. condo building. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Trader Joe’s approved for Hayes Valley, bringing long-awaited grocery store

New Seasons Market canceled plans at 555 Fulton St. citing construction delays

Shek-Woon Ng, 107, who retired at 99 from his acupuncture practice in San Francisco’s Chinatown, got a COVID-19 vaccination in June. <ins>(Courtesy Sky Link TV)</ins>
Lesson from a 107-year-old man who is now fully vaccinated

One in four seniors in S.F.’s Chinatown have not been inoculated

Most Read