I'm still reeling from the news of this morning's terrorist attack in London.
The images and reports pouring in on the news channels are horrible, of course. And the calm reactions of British officials and Londoners themselves are, well... I guess I'm heartened at the exemplary response of a civilized people to an act of such detestable barbarism.
But what I lament most about the London attack is the lesson it illustrates that I fear, in the emotion of the moment, will be missed by many people, especially our leaders:
Our strategy in the Global War on Terror has not worked. It is not working. It is not going to work.
The London attack clearly illuminates the lunacy behind the "we're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here," justification for the war in Iraq. If they can pull off a sophisticated, coordinated attack like that in London--perhaps the most counter-terrorism savvy city in the world--they can pull one off anywhere, including and especially damn near any city in the United States of America.
The argument that our Iraq incursion has deterred further attacks on US soil is pure Rovewellianism. For once, I agree with MSNBC's Ken Allard's line of thinking: bin Laden and his lieutenants have not ordered attacks in the US because to do so would be a disastrous strategic mistake. Another 9-11 would galvanize the American public and regain sympathy for us from the rest of the western world, completely undoing everything bin Laden has accomplished politically to date.
Hundreds of billions of dollars and who can count the casualties later, America is no safer than it was in September of 2001 and no closer to "victory" in the War on Terror. And yet...
Our misleaders will no doubt use the London attack to bolster its "stay the course" rhetoric, exhorting us to continue to support and fund a strategy that has, in my opinion, proven to be one of the most persistent failures in the history of human conflict.