Today is the 1,346th day since September 11, 2001.

That’s the same number of days between the attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) and V-J Day (August 24, 1945), which signaled the end of World War II.

Caluculated Risk, posting at Angry Bear, writes that this milestone provides:
the opportunity to compare the effectiveness of America's responses to both crises. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, America came together, and with determination, shared sacrifice, and the effective and focused leadership of FDR, George C. Marshall, and many others, America and her allies were victorious.

After the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, America once again came together. However, within months of 9/11, the Bush Administration lost focus and never clearly defined a winnable GWOT [Global War on Terror]. Monty Python comedian Terry Jones quipped: "With most wars, you can say you've won when the other side is either all dead or surrenders. But how is terrorism going to surrender? It's hard for abstract nouns to surrender."

A more serious critique came from Dr. Jeffrey Record, of the U.S. Army's War College who wrote: "... most of the GWOT's declared objectives ... are unrealistic and condemn the United States to a hopeless quest for absolute security. As such, the GWOT's goals are also politically, fiscally, and militarily unsustainable ... The GWOT as it has so far been defined and conducted is strategically unfocused, promises much more than it can deliver, and threatens to dissipate scarce U.S. military and other means over too many ends. It violates the fundamental strategic principles of discrimination and concentration."
Read the rest; it’s really good. CR ends the piece by asking, “It took 1,346 days to win WWII. 1,346 days after 9/11, what have we accomplished?”

Ultimately, I suppose the answer to the question depends on one's perspective regarding the administration's ultimate goals. In terms of truly fighting a Global War on Terror, we have accomplished, seemingly, the polar opposite of our intent; our intervention and quick desertion of Afghanistan has left the country in chaos, riddled with violence and drug trafficking; our endeavor in Iraq has served only to fan the flames of hatred among many Muslims toward American imperialism. In terms of the administration exploiting the terrorist attack on American soil to further the neo-con vision of a powerful, centralized federal government with weakened civil liberties and strengthened laws for government secrecy and stealth intervention into private citizens’ lives, plus a Middle Eastern American outpost for the procurement of oil, much indeed has been accomplished.

CR’s critique of what has happened since 9/11 is spot-on, and an unfortunate reminder of how vastly different a man George Bush is from FDR, how far short of greatness he truly is, in spite of his shallow emulation of a great American leader.

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