But the larger goal seems to show that a relatively small number of ragtag extremists can immobilize and make a quivering fool out of the U.S.
As the pro-military Stratfor Global Intelligence report succinctly puts it, "The purpose of terrorism in its purest form is to create a sense of insecurity among a public. It succeeds when fear moves a system to the point where it can no longer function. This magnifies the strength of the terrorist by causing the public to see the failure of the system as the result of the power of the terrorist. "
No group is of more assistance to the terrorists in creating this mindset of helpless hysteria than the GOP. The Republican leadership has a synergistic relationship with terrorism. It can't survive without the terrorists, because it has no tenable governing program except to wither taxes down for the rich, Wall Street and corporations until they pay none: that's about it. So, it needs the terrorists (after all, Bush did nothing to prevent 9/11, even though he was warned about likely impending Al Qaeda hijackings and he didn't pursue Osama bin Laden either) to create the same numbing, paralyzed chaos that the terrorists themselves want to achieve.
It should be noted that we terrorize the shit out of millions of people right back what with bombing, invading, and occupying countries that didn't have much to do with 9/11. The difference is that it makes them angry at us, as it should, and their leaders seem to have no interest in making them afraid.
Remember, anger directed at us redirects those people's anger away from their own mostly totalitarian and oppressive governments. It's win-win for terrorists and despots.
And for the Military Industrial Complex's bottom line. By doing a pretty good job of pussifying this country, which really doesn't have anything to be afraid of, into a state of permanent war, the GOP, even out of power but possessed of its Mighty Wurlitzer, has largely succeeded in its Masters' agenda.
The GOP has no shame of course, but Americans who fall for this shit oughta be ashamed of themselves.
If we lived in a confident, politically mature society, we would be able to see that tabloid hysterics and direct-mail posturing will do nothing to defeat Al Qaeda. We would understand why President Obama prefers to engage Islam in dialogue rather than demonize a billion Muslims. We would realize that even as we endeavor to destroy a nihilistic enemy that perverts faith, we ought to maintain our composure, our values and, at the very least, our capacity for honest debate. But that would require an opposition loyal to something bigger than itself.
Fat chance as long as there's big money in politics to turn up the volume on a failed ideology.