So it's five years later, it still sucks and we're all gonna die and everything's changed. Forget the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, forget the mistakes and calumnies of the Bush adminstration and the childish statements of the Democratic candidates. Forget that Bush was didn't pay attention to Islamic terrorism for the eight months he was in office or that Clinton, Bush pere and Reagan didn't do all that much over the preceeding 20 years even while hundreds of Americans were murdered by Hezbollah, Libya and Al Quaeda. Forget the right wing wingnuts and left wing moonbats. Forget all the crap that makes you and me partisans for whatever side we prefer to be on (but let's admit we are where we are by choice and not reasoned argument). Forget all the peripheral crap that we give voice to on a daily basis and remember what happened.
Remember that almost three thousand people were murdered by a handful of men driven by a deep rage and religious zealousness. Remember that we are faced with an homicidal enemy driven by non-negotiable positions and a hatred of the West and the Jews that is boundless and unappeasable. We are indeed in the midst of a clash of civilizations and we need to figure out what to do because we clearly haven't.
When four planes were hijacked on a beautiful late summer morning the US had only done one thing truly wrong. We hadn't taken the murderous hatred of the facet of Islam represented by Al Quaeda seriously. For that failure thousands died.