We help the terrorists and the drug cartels do exactly what they want.
Technically, Osama bin laden himself stated 9/11 was to wake up the american people, commit an act so harsh towards actual Americans that they would ask "why me?" and research the situation. Eventually finding out that they had been attacked because of their countries foreign policy in the middle east. Removing American military bases from Saudi Arabia and cutting off support to regimes like Israel.
This as we know, did not happen. Most Americans didn't even bother to ask why it happened and just assumed it was all about religion and backed retaliation. Americas presence is bigger than it ever was in the middle east, and Israel still gets funded billions in military aid.
The Terrorists have not won. Their goal wasn't for you to get patted down in an airport ffs. The goal wasn't even to "terrorise" you into living in constant fear where the word terrorist comes from. Their goal was to get you to rise up against your own government to make sure this never happened again.
So no, the terrorists lost, the american people lost, the only winner is the actual US government who got more control, both over it's own people and the people of the middle east.
This whole "The terrorist won" talk every time the government crosses the line cheapens the actual complexity of the situation, and proves that people have no idea what the fuck went on and why in the first place.
Edit: For those interested here are some Osama Bin Laden quotes after 9/11. Stating his goals and his reasons. These are all in his videos that he released, but the American media cherry picked just the quotes that promised another attack, rather than the reason behind them. He even moans of this.
Osama mocking Bushes 'They attack us because they are jealous of our freedom' line:
- "Before I begin, I say to you that security is an indispensable pillar of human life and that free men do not forfeit their security, contrary to Bush's claim that we hate freedom. If so, then let him explain to us why we don't strike for example - Sweden? And we know that freedom-haters don't possess defiant spirits like those of the 19 hijackers. No, we fight because we are free men who don't sleep under oppression. We want to restore freedom to our nation, just as you lay waste to our nation. " - Osama Bin Laden.
Again reaffirming that 911 was get the Americans to question its route cause:
- "No one except a dumb thief plays with the security of others and then makes himself believe he will be secure. Whereas thinking people, when disaster strikes, make it their priority to look for its causes, in order to prevent it happening again." - Osama Bin Laden
Osama getting pissed that the majority of Americans are still ignorant about the reasons, stating he is "amazed at you":
- "But I am amazed at you. Even though we are in the fourth year after the events of September 11th, Bush is still engaged in distortion, deception and hiding from you the real causes. And thus, the reasons are still there for a repeat of what occurred." - Osama Bin Laden
Probably the most insightful statement into Osamas psyche, is the reason he became an anti-American terrorist in the first place.
"I say to you, God knows that it had never occurred to us to strike the towers. But after it became unbearable and we witnessed the oppression and tyranny of the American/Israeli coalition against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, it came to my mind.
The events that affected my soul in a direct way started in 1982 when America permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon and the American Sixth Fleet helped them in that. This bombardment began and many were killed and injured and others were terrorised and displaced.
I couldn't forget those moving scenes, blood and severed limbs, women and children sprawled everywhere. Houses destroyed along with their occupants and high rises demolished over their residents, rockets raining down on our home without mercy.
The situation was like a crocodile meeting a helpless child, powerless except for his screams. Does the crocodile understand a conversation that doesn't include a weapon? And the whole world saw and heard but it didn't respond.
In those difficult moments many hard-to-describe ideas bubbled in my soul, but in the end they produced an intense feeling of rejection of tyranny, and gave birth to a strong resolve to punish the oppressors.
And as I looked at those demolished towers in Lebanon, it entered my mind that we should punish the oppressor in kind and that we should destroy towers in America in order that they taste some of what we tasted and so that they be deterred from killing our women and children.
And that day, it was confirmed to me that oppression and the intentional killing of innocent women and children is a deliberate American policy. Destruction is freedom and democracy, while resistance is terrorism and intolerance." - Osama Bin Laden.
His acceptance as 'the villian' so to speak, his acceptance of being labelled a terrorist:
- "So with these images and their like as their background, the events of September 11th came as a reply to those great wrongs, should a man be blamed for defending his sanctuary? Is defending oneself and punishing the aggressor in kind, objectionable terrorism? If it is such, then it is unavoidable for us." - Osama Bin Laden
In response to Bush invading Afghanistan and now Iraq, Osama while explaining what happened to the soviets says he'll retaliate by bankrupting America
- "So we are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. Rather, the policy of the White House that demands the opening of war fronts to keep busy their various corporations - whether they be working in the field of arms or oil or reconstruction - has helped al-Qaida to achieve these enormous results." - Osama Bin Laden, 2004
Explaining to the American people that they are the real losers:
- "...but on the other hand, it shows that the Bush administration has also gained, something of which anyone who looks at the size of the contracts acquired by the shady Bush administration-linked mega-corporations, like Halliburton and its kind, will be convinced. And it all shows that the real loser is ... you." - Osama Bin Laden
Rambling about Americas dealing in the middle east again as the reason 'your allies in palestine' is Israel:
- "Be aware that it is the nation who punishes the weak man when he causes the killing of one of its citizens for money, while letting the powerful one get off, when he causes the killing of more than 1000 of its sons, also for money. And the same goes for your allies in Palestine. They terrorise the women and children, and kill and capture the men as they lie sleeping with their families on the mattresses, that you may recall that for every action, there is a reaction." - Osama Bin Laden
Again reaffirms that he wants the American people to hold the government responsible for their policy in the middle east, directly linking it to 911.
- "Among the most important of what I read in them was some prose in their gestures before the collapse, where they say: "How mistaken we were to have allowed the White House to implement its aggressive foreign policies against the weak without supervision." It is as if they were telling you, the people of America: "Hold to account those who have caused us to be killed, and happy is he who learns from others' mistakes." And among that which I read in their gestures is a verse of poetry. "Injustice chases its people, and how unhealthy the bed of tyranny." As has been said: "An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure."" - Osama Bin Laden.
And a very simple warning from him:
- "In conclusion, I tell you in truth, that your security is not in the hands of Kerry, nor Bush, nor al-Qaida. No. Your security is in your own hands." - Osama Bin Laden
edit2: I've been away from the computer. Here is the source in it's full transcript.
There is some idiot below who has stated that I have picked and chosen quotes to emphaisise my own views. He's been upvoted over 1000 times. He doesn't seem to realise it's all from the same source, the "Letter to the American people 2004". I also never attempted to "justify" him or turn him into some sort of "freedom fighter". These words did not come out of my mouth, they came out of yours.
Edit3: In /r/bestof IridescentBeef is getting upvotes bizarrely countering what I have I said by using other quotes that say the exact same thing. I replied to him here as he is the highest rated comment. I would like to point out to IridescentBeef and others below that I have not tried to "justify his actions" or "make him out to be some sort of freedom fighter". Those are words that you have put into my mouth without any reason or context. I made a simple post explaining Osamas beef with America - over supporting Israel with military aid and support, and Saudi Arabian military bases. People asked for quotes, so I gave them quotes. If this seems to be making him out as a freedom fighter or justifying his actions then that says more about you than it does about me, because I never said those things. Sometimes things are hard to read, don't then make up opinions and project them onto people that never said them.