Pain remains. Fears linger. America is not what it was prior to 9/11. Americans are not what they were before the terrorist strike of 9/11. The dastardly attack on the USA on 9/11 not only took a heavy toll of life and property; it took a heavier toll in respect of a wounded psyche. Today, America feels threatened and Americans live in fear. 11 years after the Al Qaeda strike in the USA, Americans should have faith in themselves, in their capacity and ability to hedge any enemy attack on its soil but fear lurks. Eleven years of absence of any significant terrorist strike should encourage them to have faith that America is secure. Yet most Americans feel insecure.

The last one year has brought about significant successes in America’s war against terror. Not only has America prevented any terrorist attack on its soil, it has broken the back of Al Qaeda by eliminating the most dreaded Osama bin Laden in a daring operation by US Navy Seals in Pakistani territory. US forces have also eliminated some of the top Al Qaeda leadership, including the dreaded Ilyas Kashmiri and the powerful Atiyah Abdul Rahman, the terrorist organization’s second-in-command who is believed to have been a trusted lieutenant of the slain Osama bin Laden.

No doubt, America has lost many of its brave sons and daughters in its battle against terror. In terms of money, America has spent trillions to win the war against terror that is 11 years old since 9/11. But the end is not in sight yet which means America will be required to engage itself and continue to fight until it vanquishes the enemy or admit its incapacity to win and surrender.

America is in a catch 22 situation. US President has declared he will withdraw US troops from Afghanistan in 2012, leaving behind a token presence of a few thousand troops only. How will that help either in the US fight against terror or Afghanistan government the US helped prop is anybody’s guess. On a seeming note, withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan without decimating the enemy appears to be a collapse of US policy of fight against terror. So many precious lives lost and so much drain on exchequer and the end result is humiliation for the nation. Is America ready for that?

I find Americans overly worried about security of the nation. America should have confidence that it is secure. But, often, the signals are wrong. The emphasis on “a secure America” and on the need to “secure borders” has not always driven the American government in the right direction. Many of the fears of the Federal and State governments have been more imaginary than real and the resultant panic has forced them to take steps which are not always in the right direction.

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On the solemn occasion of the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 whereas we all must salute the heroes of 9/11 and pay homage to the martyrs, we must also tell ourselves that we are not weak, that we have nothing and nobody to fear and that we can always overcome. Only then shall we be able to enjoy our liberty which we prize so much and which is a way of life with us. God bless America!

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