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By Staff | Sep 30, 2011

Sen. John Kyle threatened to quit the deficit reduction super committee if they cut the military budget further.

In other words, he’s another Republican with something else that he won’t compromise.

Al-Qaeda was never going to seriously challenge this country militarily. The terrorist acts of 9/11 were meant to alter our behavior to motivate us to do something that they wanted us to do. They intended to cause us to react and act in a manner that would achieve some strategic advantage for our enemies.

Today, every item carried on commercial flights is examined, we flinch at every suspicious move/rumor made coming to our attention, our financial stability is being tested, public confidence in government and the economy is shaken to the core, we have had our Treasury drained, our credit rating downgraded and our military shows signs of a decade use of wear and tear both physically and mentally.

When someone locks himself in the bathroom of a commercial flight, F-16’s appear off the wing. When there is an unconfirmed threat of a truck bomb terrorist plot on the anniversary of 9/11, how much was spent reacting to it?

Did we respond militarily as they expected? Was the Iraq war part of their plan or a bonus that surprised them with the opportunity? In a good trail ambush one positions claymore mines so that each blast drives the survivors to the next planted IUD, herding them with explosives where they want them to go.

Have they run out of ammunition? Are they all dead? I’m not convinced that the war on terrorism has been won. How are we all getting along together as a nation? Has the stress become too much so that we are too divided to govern ourselves effectively?

Republicans and Democrats in Washington appear to loath each other more than they love the country. Freedom of religion is no longer fully tolerated.

I heard the speeches from public officials on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 reassuring us that “we have stood up to the test the terrorists have thrown at us, we prevailed, tracked them down, killed our enemies, making us safe. We have protected our values, freedom and democracy.”

Have we?

Or did the terrorist acts of 9/11 get us to react in a manner that weakened us and we are more unsteady on our feet today than anytime in recent history?

Bid Laden is dead. So are the other terrorists who flew the planes into buildings on 9/11. They willingly sacrificed their lives like suicide bombers to bleed us, break us and to turn us on ourselves.

I listened, but I didn’t hear anyone give that speech on 9/11. Which assessment of history is the more accurate? When do we stop altering our behavior in response to what they cause us to do?

Over the past decade, our intelligence services and special forces have grown into the roll of effectively killing terrorists no matter where they hide. Some make the claim that we have effectively run Al-Qaeda into the ground. I hope so, but what the terrorists always intended is that we would break our treasury doing it.

Look how fragile our economy is. They baited us and no matter how smug and arrogant Dick Cheney likes to portray himself, he took the bait. Deficits didn’t matter according to Cheney, which is exactly what I expect Bid Laden hoped that he would say.

Pre-9/11 budget officials projected surpluses that would have eliminated the federal debt over the course of a decade. Post 9/11, instead, added $6.1 trillion to debt, pushing it above $14 trillion. We have the best military in the world today, but who won the war on terrorism will not be measured only by the outcome in remote battlefields, or the absence of another attack on American soil until our vigilance wanes, but in the answer to the question:

“Who achieved their objectives in the war on terrorism?”

Can we call the condition that we find ourselves in today a victory?

I think Sen. Kyle is a great patriot, but I am not sure that he understands the question or that he has the right answers.

One problem with the war on terrorism is that to most it was never treated as a war. Three percent of the U.S. population participated directly in it and the rest were told to take tax cuts and go out shopping while putting a magnetic sign expressing support for the troops on their car as our contribution to the war effort.

I have mentioned that in order to deflate our deficit everything needs to be on the table and everyone needs to contribute with nothing held sacrosanct the military too, because it is our financial weakness that makes us vulnerable today.

Only when this country’s economy is booming with confidence again will we really be able to claim victory.

David Kruse is president of CommStock Investments Inc., author and producer of The CommStock Report, an ag commentary and market analysis available daily by radio and by subscription on DTN/FarmDayta and the Internet.

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