My theory of our recent wars–as I said at the time they started–is that after the 9/11 attacks, America was so enraged that we had to strike back. We invaded Afghanistan, seizing control of the country in weeks. But that was not enough. We still needed to strike somebody. So we attacked our old enemy Saddam Hussein and invaded Iraq. It wasn’t that we thought he was involved in 9/11. But we felt the need to fight. I’m not saying this feeling wasn’t justified or that there weren’t objective reasons to conduct a war on terrorism. But I contend that the need for revenge–or justice–was the primary factor. After awhile, as wars will, they bogged us down, not so much in the combat phase as in the nation building phase, with the constant and maddening guerrilla warfare. Now that Osama bin Laden is dead, can we finally close the books, emotionally at least, on 9/11? Yes, terrorism will remain a problem and there will likely be jihadists who will pull something to try to avenge bin Laden. But can we finally have closure for 9/11? Will this help us end those other wars?
Closure for 9/11?
About Gene Veith
Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.