It's a dicey question, but consider this: a military superpower engages a desperate and religiously motivated army in a remote desert nation. They spend years attempting to crush this insurgency only to be driven into economic ruin. Does it sound familiar? It happened to the Soviet Union after facing the CIA-backed mujahideen fighters and Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The question America perhaps should be asking itself is: Are we next?
On September 11th, 2001 America faced the worst terrorist attack in its history — but the stated target of al Qaeda that day wasn’t America’s military might, it was the economy itself. Osama bin Laden declared in December 2001, “If their [the American] economy is destroyed, they will be busy with their own affairs rather than enslaving weak peoples. It is very important to concentrate on hitting the US economy through all possible means.” I hate to wonder, but has bin Laden achieved that goal?
Here's why one might think so: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the second quarter of 2008 saw nearly 300,000 workers get laid off as the national unemployment rate reached a two year high of five percent (seven percent in California and Ohio). The total outstanding public debt is 9.5 trillion dollars and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which stated in its second quarter report is “suffering a malaise not seen since the Carter Administration, the US Stock market staggered by accelerating inflation and a stagnant economy."
Of course, the US is facing more challenges than just these. To see how those could point to a bin Laden victory,
The housing crisis and rising fuel costs are a huge part of America's economic woes — but no one in their right mind would blame bin Laden for those problems, right? Though, if the US wasn't spending $720 million dollars per day and driving the debt to unprecedented highs, would the value of the US dollar still be so weak?
Regardless of your opinion of the war in Iraq or in Afghanistan, do you think Osama bin Laden is achieving his stated objective from his November 2004 videotape: “We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy." Or will the economy rebound enough to pay for the war and the deficit?