Readers React: Have the 17 years we’ve fought an expensive war on terror been worth it?

Seventeen years after Sept. 11, al-Qaida may be stronger than ever
An Al Qaeda fighter in Aleppo, Syria, in 2014.
(Khader Ibrahim / Pacific Press / TNS)

To the editor: So here we are, 17 years after one of the darkest days in our nation’s history, and apparently even the assassination of Osama bin Laden hasn’t lessened the threat posed by Al Qaeda.

After this length of time, is trying to protect ourselves from terrorist attacks a futile attempt at a false sense of security? Another good question: What has President Trump done that has been more effective than the actions of his predecessors?

So far, all I’ve seen is a travel ban targeting countries other than those that our intelligence agencies have identified as the origin of Al Qaeda.

Perhaps it would be more productive to shift federal funds to programs that benefit our population — such fighting homelessness, poverty and hunger — and just take our chances with terrorism. If we show that we have compassion for those who are not well-off, it might placate some of the factions who hate us so much.


Who knows?

Kymberleigh Richards, Van Nuys


To the editor: The continuing threats from Al Qaeda in spite of the efforts of the United States and other Western democracies amid the disaster in Syria brings to mind President Obama’s “red line in the sand” and the failure of his administration to respond to the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons.


John Greenleaf Whittier said it best: “For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.’ ”

Louis H. Nevell, Los Angeles

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