As time goes on, it appears that the terror war hawks may be right, the War on Terror does represent an existential threat to America in away that the Nazis or Communists never did -- although not in the way that the terror war hawks may mean.
As this recent discussion before the Supreme Court illustrates, certain basic liberties are under assault -- even from those we might hope would know better. Obama administartion lawyers argued that the government could criminalize filing "friend of the court briefs" in support of an oragnization that the government has deemed "terrorist. Even those with dim imaginations should have little trouble imaging the likely consequences of this sort of power.
Bin Laden's attack on New York on 9/11 was a stunning success from his point of view -- and not merely because of the immediate damage and loss of life. No, the real fruits of his strategy ripened later courtesy of our own reactions to his attack. The economic damage alone of our security measures and wars dwarfs the damage done to New York. And even more important over the long term, we did grievous damage to our liberty and our moral authority with torture, our detention policy, the PATRIOT (sic) Act, warrantless wiretapping and the eorion of principl and rule of law needed to enact and implement all of that.
Osama Bin Laden and AlQaeda have done more real, lasting damage to us than Hitler and Tojo did.