From The Australian Editorial, September 09, 2006:
Five years on, the war on terror is as real as ever
ON September 11, 2001 .... the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, where hijacked planes were flown into the heart of US commerce and confidence, killing more than 3000 people, changed things forever.
Despite some revisionist wishful thinking, the 9/11 attacks remain the defining moment of the past half century. The repercussions continue to reverberate around the globe. The world's most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden, remains at large, still boasting and taunting his pursuers. Further attacks have been successfully mounted in London, Madrid, Indonesia and elsewhere, while others have been thwarted. The world has been forced to tighten its defences in anticipation of worse to come. The very notion of suicide attacks confounds security planners who fear terrorist groups will make good their threat to access, and use, a nuclear bomb.
Al-Qa'ida's motivation, often misunderstood in the West, is to reclaim a historical dominance. .... Bin Laden's ultimate aim is to revive an Islamic caliphate, restoring, among other things, the lands of Spain and Portugal that were fully reconquered from the Moors in 1492.
.... the West is involved in a long and deadly struggle, a war on terror that cannot be wished away. Naysayers in Australia who play down the threat of terrorism against this country's citizens are ignoring the facts. Al-Qa'ida was already reaching into the region to target Australians as the planes slammed into the World Trade Centre....
....Some continue to doubt the war on terror, preferring instead to believe the US has brought the conflict on itself. But those who, sometimes secretly, cheer al-Qa'ida from the sidelines misunderstand the threat......
......On the anniversary of September 11, there is cause to reflect on the scope of the challenge at hand. There remains a need for vigilance and understanding that the fight is real and that a false sense of security can breed deadly consequences.