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911 for 9/11

It's been 10 years.

The replacement towers are not yet built, although what was once called the Freedom Tower is now rising, floor by floor. Osama Bin Laden is dead. And another attack on United States soil (or air space) has not occurred.

All is not well. We're still paying too much for misguided wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that seem more the result of a need to throw one's weight around than to surgically eliminate the cause of death of 9/11. See: Death of Bin Laden.

We've learned now how to maintain separate data centers, in different parts of the country. That way, fund operations will be uninterrupted. We've also learned to watch payments in cash of $10,000 or more, closely. You know that from the Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001. You know this as the Patriot Act. Or maybe the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

But, say what you will, the price we pay in scrutiny, head to toe, in airports everywhere has paid off. The funding of black budget intelligence agencies and initiatives have paid off. By whatever means of national and international cooperation, the good guys have gained the upper hand on the bad guys.

This is helpful to regaining our economic footing, which in turn will help fund performance over the next 10 years.Ths nation has unfortunately backed itself into a financial corner in the interim by (a) letting debt product "structuring" get out of hand; (b) putting the rescue in the hands of the federal government; (c) not forcing the industry that caused the problem in the first place produce a meaningful restructuring of itself; (d) not holding its executives to account, if they didn't; and (e) continuing to overextend itself in the hopes of generating an economic recovery.

This would be much more manageable, without the huge expenditures on the war against terrorism on the ground in the Middle East.

Arguably, the greatest thing President Obama could do on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks is to set a date certain in this calendar year for the withdrawal of U.S. and allied forces from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Let's now concentrate on making our economy healthy. As that happens, we can again help other economies get healthy as well.

Which will take the air out of terrorism in the long run.