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Editorial: America must strive for victory over terror

Last Modified: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 7:52 PM Today marks the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. That tragic day resulted in nearly 3,000 Americans dead from the coordinated terrorist strikes on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., by hijacked passenger jets. A fourth hijacked jet crashed in Pennsylvania when passengers attempted to take back control.

Offshoots of that day have reverberated in Afghanistan and Iraq, resulting in the loss of thousands more American lives.

The Middle East is still the major battleground for Islamic terrorism and uprisings against the authoritarian secular governments in Egypt, Libya and Syria.

Unfortunately, for Americans, major terrorist attacks occurred this past year in Boston and, exactly one year ago today, the coordinated assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The attack on Boston was carried out by two Islamic terrorists who were legal immigrants with ties to an Islamic terrorist organization. One of the terrorists was killed in a shootout with police, and the other was arrested after a massive manhunt and is now awaiting trial. The investigation is continuing.

The coordinated assault at Benghazi left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens. While the investigation is continuing, that attack has revealed the inherent weakness of the Obama administration’s policy of treating terrorism as a law enforcement issue.

After a yearlong investigation of the Benghazi attack, no one is under arrest and no one has been brought to justice for the attack.

The Boston attack also showed the shortcomings of relying on U.S. intelligence agencies and domestic law enforcement agencies in preventing such attacks. The bombers left huge red flags flying about their plot, and the FBI even briefly investigated one of the terrorists, and cleared him before the bombing.

The same can be said of the Fort Hood massacre of 2009, which the Army still refuses to even call a terrorist attack, in spite of the fact the attacker had clear ties to international terrorism and was himself an open and outspoken Islamic radical. That mass murderer was only recently tried, convicted and sentenced to death.

While there have been successes in the war on terrorism, such as the 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden, founder of al-Qaida, and the targeting of many other terrorist leaders, the tactics being employed by our government seem to be failing.

Events of the past year show our homeland is still vulnerable to major attacks; our overseas assets are still vulnerable; and, after 12 long years, nothing our government has done has been effective in destroying this major evil of our time.

On this 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the American people must be resolved for a long-term struggle, and continue pressing the government for policies that will eventually achieve victory over terrorism.

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This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.

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