Some generalized comments - food for thought and something of a filter that I use to judge candidates for office (there, that keeps it almost on-topic ; -):
- Defending our borders is best done as far away from our borders as possible - that's one of the lessons that is difficult for many to understand (including a whole bunch of politicians).
- This country has never been truly an 'isolationist' nation, hell we fought the war of 1812 for free trade, we took on the Barbary pirates for that reason also. We have intervened more often than most people recognize. We will continue to do so, regardless of what politicians say, as long as we are attached to this planet. (A very good book to understand the first two points is, "Imperial Grunts", by Robert Kaplan).
- 9/11 wasn't about defeating America. The complete lack of follow-up strikes is the first clue as to what it really was. It was a recruiting tool for al Queda (and extraordinarily effective). That's why so many jihadis have been found and eliminated in Iraq. The problem al Queda is currently having in Iraq (which they label as the most important battle in global jihad at the moment) is our anti-recruiting poster for wannabe jihadis, us plinking jihadis.
- There are a finite number of jihadis under arms and there are a finite number of jihadis in waiting. Kill them when they're young and they don't spawn. That should be evident when you look at how tough it is to find suitable recruits for Special Operations soldiers. There are only a small number of people that fit the profile and can do the job.
- There is good and evil. And if you think there is no evil go back and look, view the video, of what happened to Daniel Pearl.
- The jihadis hate us because they don't rule the world and we, and sometimes we alone, stand between them and that goal. Their beliefs posit that god has left them in charge and we should be be obedient to them. (Any 'religious' belief that claims they can bring 'paradise-on-earth' should be avoided like the plague, that includes the Gaian's (and their fellow travelers), communism and most religious fundamentalism).
- Treat people as individuals, not as members of groups, and you'll be surprised at the goodness most people can exhibit.