That’s the amount of time it took to get from “We have to bomb them to bring them the gift of democracy and secular liberalism. Islam wants to limit the rights of women and LGBT, and sharia law.”
“Do they make a Christian version of sharia? Limiting the rights of women and LGBT sounds great, actually. Democracy isn’t good, secularism is bad.”
We used to joke “If you do X, the terrorists win” which was making light of how people used to talk after 9/11. Turns out the real X was “If you allow your fears and prejudices to become power cudgels for billionaire-bought politicians, you’ll literally sell your democracy out to the obscenely rich, who’ll strike a bargain with fascism and your nation will begin to eat itself from the inside — then the terrorists win.”
Hard to imagine handing a more thorough victory to “the terrorists” than “initializing the implosion of the American empire.” 9/11 may have just been a crack in an already rickety dam, but it was sufficient.