The terrorists have won. Even if ISIS is exterminated, they have won. There will be others. One criterion for American defeat is this: Is the TSA still routinely assaulting airplane travelers? If terrorism becomes a non-problem, then these assaults will cease and we can get back to the days before November 19, 2001 when the TSA was founded. The TSA will become a memory.
There are other criteria that also suggest American defeat. Is the national security spying apparatus still spying on Americans? Is the Fourth Amendment all but dead? Do Border Patrol agents still enjoy un-constitutional police powers within the 100-mile zone of a border?
As long as these measures are in place, the terrorists have won.
Is the U.S. still bombing terrorists in one country after another? Is the U.S. still at odds with countries it labels as terrorist? Is it still favoring Israel and antagonistic toward Israel’s foes? As long as these policies endure, the terrorists have won.
Defeat is a bitter pill to swallow for the U.S. government. Ungodly expenditures of money to defeat terrorism instead have resulted in American defeat by the preceding criteria.
Body counts are not victory. Victory will be when America doesn’t continue to make terrorist enemies, when the TSA is gone, when the FBI isn’t entrapping potential bombers, when domestic shooters and mass murderers do not take ISIS as their inspiration, and when the domestic police state and domestic spying are dismantled. Until then, bin Laden has won. One can die and still win. One can kill enemies and still lose.
The U.S. government created its terrorist enemies by its improper intrusions into their countries. That doesn’t make terrorism right, but neither does terrorism make these intrusions right.
The U.S. government can only obtain victory of Americans, which will include a sense that life has returned to a peaceful norm, by withdrawing from its meddling and war-making in foreign lands. Paradoxically, this will be defeat for the government, but it is what spells victory for the American people.11:50 am on March 8, 2017 Email Michael S. Rozeff