It takes a while to go through the 9/11 Commission Report, but it is worth reading. There are many important points that can be taken away from it (including my earlier post on what really might have prevented the 9/11 attacks). I personally think the only blame that should be assigned is directly to the terrorists and their masters who perpetrated the attacks, but that doesn't mean that actions (or, more importantly, lack of action) on the part of certain Clinton Administration officials was in the national interest. The take-away point though, is the following, From the 9/11 Commission Report:
"As we mentioned in chapter 2, Usama Bin Ladin and other Islamist terrorist leaders draw on a long tradition of extreme intolerance within one stream of Islam (a minority tradition), from at least Ibn Taimiyyah, through the founders of Wahhabism, through the Muslim Brotherhood, to Sayyid Qutb. That stream is motivated by religion and does not distinguish politics from religion, thus distorting both. It is further fed by grievances stressed by Bin Ladin and widely felt throughout the Muslim world—against the U.S. military presence in the Middle East, policies perceived as anti-Arab and anti-Muslim, and support of Israel. Bin Ladin and Islamist terrorists mean exactly what they say: to them America is the font of all evil, the “head of the snake,” and it must be converted or destroyed.
It is not a position with which Americans can bargain or negotiate. With it there is no common ground—not even respect for life—on which to begin a dialogue. It can only be destroyed or utterly isolated. "
As the Democratic National Convention begins its deliberations next week, let's see if anybody in the Democratic Party (let alone John Kerry or John Edwards) has any kind of inkling about what this implications of this conclusion are. I have serious doubts.
UPDATE: Here's a searchable 9/11 Report!