A terrorist attack is just that – it spreads terror. It is no real threat to the State. It cannot kill that many people. Even the terrible attacks on the twin towers was minor damage and loss of life compared to the devastation of wars – such as in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Terrorism is intended to create fear and panic out of all proportion to its actual threat and that’s precisely what it did.
The objectives of the terror attacks was to undermine the West, split up alliances and weaken their power.
That is what it succeeded in doing. It threw the West into a panic and created knee-jerk responses.
The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were painted as attacks on Islam.
It generated a fear of Islam and immigrants in general among the American and British people and empowered racists and xenophobes.
It spread fear and created a siege mentality.
The result was a rise in right-wing populism resulting in inept government and protective, isolationist policies against the threats from outsiders.
This resulted in the election of Trump, the absurdity of Brexit and the election of Johnson.
Around the world other far-right populist leaders were elected – Modi, Erdogan, Orban and Bolsonaro. They all fed off racism, the fear of Muslim terrorism, outsiders and threats from outside. They all provided simplistic black and white answers that were mere tokens doomed to fail. They fed off slogans – Build that Wall, Make America Great Again, World-Beating and Oven-Ready, slogans that seemed full of promise but with not the slightest chance of delivering solutions to complex problems.
The whole world swung to the right with barriers, splintering of alliances and walls.
The EU was weakened.
NATO was weakened.
The UN was weakened.
America and the UK were greatly weakened and ignobly kicked out of Afghanistan.
The Taliban and Al Qaeda were rampant.
The Arab Spring was crushed.
The whole western alliance and all it stands for was dealt a hefty blow and has not recovered.
The wars in the Middle East have proved a great recruiting ground for terrorists and extreme, fanatical Islam.
The West is considerably weakened and an extreme version of Islam is much stronger.
As far as Osama Bin Laden would have been concerned – job done!