On 9/11 Anniversary, La Opinión Looks Beyond Osama bin Laden

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On the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, an editorial in Spanish-language newspaper La Opinión argues that the killing of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the attack that left more than 3,000 dead, was "the most spectacular accomplishment in fighting terrorism for President Barack Obama's administration." Yet this is just one part of an aggressive U.S. policy the Obama administration has maintained for four years, editors write.

Obama continued and intensified the path started during the George W. Bush administration, editors write, and focused on the search for terrorist leaders by combining military, intelligence, diplomatic and financial resources. In particular, the United States has used unmanned aircrafts, or drones, in its strategy to dismantle terrorist networks in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Editors write that they are concerned that the president himself makes the final decision on the target and timing of these drone attacks -- a power over life and death that they say should not fall on just one person. The repeated use of radio-controlled airplanes, they add, "has opened a Pandora's Box about what a sterile war might mean when the attacker risks nothing by striking via remote control."

Nevertheless, editors write, Obama's policy has inoculated the Democrats against the usual GOP criticism of being weak on defense. The fact that the issue of security and the Afghanistan war were not mentioned in Mitt Romney's speech at the Republican National Convention, editors note, is a sign that security has become a strong point of this administration.

If the question is: Are we safer than four years ago?, editors write, the answer is yes when it comes to terrorism -- although the threat remains of Iran developing a nuclear weapon and its support for extremist groups.

Terrorists who want to attack American targets will always exist, editors write, but at least now they can no longer easily count on networks that help them fulfill their intentions. "And that," the editorial concludes, "is a huge step forward."