Only now it's six years, not five, and I'm still a displaced worker numbered among the "working poor".
People wonder why I support the war in Iraq? Because in Iraq we are shooting terrorists, that's why, and I like that just fine.
Besides that, though, it has kept the attentions of Al Qaeda away from making attacks in the United States; they're spending so much effort and capital on trying to make us give up in Iraq, they haven't had the time or the energy to mess with us on our home soil.
It's a lot easier to screw with Iraq, anyway.
I expect that we will see more attacks here in the US--I think it's inevitable, since we don't control our borders and all our security measures are only protecting against the last attacks--but I don't know if we'll see them before next year at the earliest. Al Qaeda may try to influence the American elections much the same way they influenced the elections in Spain, one year; and sad to say they could easily pull off that kind of attack here.
There are all kinds of attacks, in fact, that we're not guarded against at all, and although individually they might be pinpricks, in aggregate--with just the level of strategy they showed on 9/11/01--they could be devastating.
One guy could drive a truck bomb into a refinery and set it off. Bingo: gas prices go up, and the bigger the refinery, the worse it'll be for us. Take out a pipeline and you cut off an entire region. Do a "USS Cole-style" attack on a supertanker in a major sea port. Plant bombs in subways--big ones, so that you cause a tunnel collapse or two. (These guys should be able to get high explosives, or make it, if need be.)
I'm not even worried about giving terrorists "ideas", because if they haven't already thought of crap like this (and worse!) they're not worthy of the 72 virgins they expect in the afterlife. (Hell, a few suicide/homicide bombers would really make a mess of life in the US, and I'm certain they've thought about that too.)
Any reasonably savvy terrorist would realize, however, the danger in making too spectacular an attack on US soil while George Bush is in the White House. I don't think they expected the shitstorm that came down on them after 9/11/01; I think they expected us to lob a few random cruise missiles, and arrest some unimportant operatives. George Bush appeared weak.
But then, afterwards, the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq--and a concerted effort to root out all islamic terrorists wherever they may hide. I can imagine Al Qaeda VIPs saying to each other, "OMGWTFBBQ!" as they cowered in bunkers and caves.
(That image gives me a grim smile.)
But it hasn't lasted, and with the Democrats investing heavily in the failure of our efforts in Iraq, Al Qaeda has hopes of wearing us down and getting us to go home, leaving a power vacuum in Iraq for them to move into.
And if we do that, all we will have done is move "Afghanistan" to "Iraq", and there'll be many more attacks on the US. Iraq is not Vietnam; if we "go home" the conflict in Iraq might stop, but the war that the islamic terrorists have waged on us since 1979 will not.
Iran--under a president who was involved in the first real attack on America in this decades-long war, the seizing of the US Embassy in Tehran--is making nuclear bombs. People who think Iran is just going to keep its nukes to itself, just so it can be taken seriously in international politics, are deluding themselves. Iran will give terrorists (the ones it likes, anyway) nuclear weapons, and those weapons will be used--against Israel, and against the United States.
Well, that's how it goes, I guess.