I saw this excerpt over on Andrew Sullivan's blog and wanted to repost it here:
On 9/11, Al Qaeda had no expectation of a traditional military victory against the United States. The point of the attack was economic -- to draw the U.S. into expensive and protracted foreign wars that would deplete our resources and destabilize our government. By invading Iraq, George Bush became the happy idiot to assist Al Qaeda in this goal. Now, Sarah Palin and John McCain take the leaders of Al Qaeda at their word when they say Iraq is the major front in the war on terror.
Neither consider the possibility that Al Qaeda wants Iraq to be the major front because it furthers their goal of weakening the U.S. while inflicting minimal damage on their operations.
Seven years after 9/11, we are seeing Al Qaeda's long-term goal being realized: the destabilization and economic collapse of the United States. Even as it's happening, the people who supported it all along want to continue facilitating our own long-term disintegration by clinging to simplistic concepts of traditional military victory and defeat. In this sense, they are possibly the most myopic, least strategic thinkers in the history of this nation.
As Gary Shandling said, with this approach, our only hope of killing Osama Bin Laden is that he'll laugh himself to death.
It is mind boggling how strategically stupid it was to invade Iraq, for so many reasons, the least of which is economic. Meanwhile, the powers that be have no long-term plan for Afghanistan, and are lacking strategic insight there, too. Our problem in Afghanistan is that there are millions of recruits in neighboring Pakistan that are all too willing to cross the border to fight the Americans. The only way you can slow that down is to improve the image of America. Bombing targets in Pakistan and killing civilians is a pretty bad way to do that.