A decade after the 9/11 attacks, the dust from that horrible day has mostly settled, literally if not quite figuratively. Builders are rushing madly to complete construction of the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center, a giant middle finger flipped in the face of Al Qaeda and other wannabe slayers of modernity. Earlier this year, President Barack Obama signed the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act, which is designed to provide medical and mental-health treatments to first responders and survivors of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
Osama bin Laden, the moneybags and mastermind behind it all, is dead, shot to death in what must be the grimmest-looking million-dollar compound in all of Pakistan. He is now resting comfortably on the floor of the Indian Ocean, the senselessness of his grand scheme plainly evident. How the 9/11 attacks might have led to a minimizing of U.S. involvement in the Muslim world or helped to reestablish a jihadist Caliphate is beyond comprehending. As the anti-authoritarian character of the Arab Spring suggests, Al Qaeda and its brand of Islamism was the weak horse all along; the group’s most successful act of violence merely delayed its trip to the glue factory of history.
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