National solidarity in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and public support for the invasion of Afghanistan showed that we had the will as well as the means. This led many nations around the world to begin cooperating with American efforts to disrupt the international flows of money and terrorists that made international terrorist networks so dangerous.
But now the national unity behind that progress has been replaced by national disunity produced by irresponsible election-year rhetoric that has signaled to foreign governments -- especially those of our enemies -- that the United States is far less capable of decisive action now than it was two years ago.
Countries like Iran and North Korea are now threatening to go nuclear, which means that in a few years terrorists may be able to go nuclear with their help. But too many politicians care only about what will get them elected this year.
The purpose of the 9/11 Commission was supposedly to find out what happened on 9/11. Having such a Commission reporting its findings during an election year would have been a questionable arrangement, even without the mission creep that has led the Commission into policy pronouncements.
This Commission will not be around to be held accountable for the actual consequences of its recommendations. These consequences will include election-year haste in search of a quick fix solution that can easily turn out to be a dangerous illusion.