J.R. Dunn concludes pessimistically a must-read, and highly intelligent, article at the American Thinker:
The first point to understand concerning future Jihadi plans for the U.S. is that the Bush Doctrine is dead, insofar as it involves preemption of terrorist threats. It will remain in formal effect for the balance of Bush’s second term, and may be activated in a campaign against the Iranian nuclear program. But when George W. Bush leaves office, it will be a dead letter. Politics no longer ends at the water’s edge, and relentless attacks by the political opposition, along with unbridled media criticism, have rendered the concept radioactive. No candidate of either party will dare lay claim to it after the current administration leaves office.
The second point is that most of the defensive programs put into place following 9/11 are also under threat. Many of them, including the Patriot Act, telecommunications surveillance, and the domestic nuclear-detection program, will be abandoned by a new administration, and the rest will be emasculated.
That is all the opening that the Jihadis will need.
It’s necessary to point out — it never seems to arise in public debate – that the U.S. has been safe for the past five years solely because of active security efforts. There is no other reason — not laziness on the part of the Jihadis, not the bravery of New York Times reporters, not the guardianship of the UN. American efforts have been successful both overseas in disrupting Jihadi plans at the source (it’s difficult to put a bomb together when you’re being chased by a Predator drone) and here in the United States. Some of the stories — the Lackawanna, Portland, and Lodi cells, “dirty bomber” Jose Padilla, and the Republican convention bombers, are known to the public, and some of us have seen things that strongly suggest that others have been picked up in secret. Jihadi groups in the U.S. have either been broken up, forced underground, or have fled the country completely.
Yet at the same time, every security program introduced during the period was greeted with protest in the media, in Congress, and among the intelligentsia….