Quarterly: What Victory Means

America's opportunities after September 11 exceed its risks; here is a guide to seizing them.

Issue: Winter 2001-2002

THE CONGRESS and people of the United States have given President Bush an unambiguous mandate both to punish the authors of the crimes of September 11 and to root out and destroy organized terrorism throughout the world. While the risk involved in fulfilling that mandate is great, the opportunity thus created is even greater. Ever since 1941, when Franklin D. Roosevelt pledged that America would avoid appeasement (in January), and when he promised that "this form of treachery will never again endanger us" (after Pearl Harbor), no country has dared to attack the United States overtly. Many applaud, more or less audibly, when the United States suffers any setback, but no state chooses to confront the United States directly. Indeed, all now unctuously proclaim their innocence of the events of September 11.

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