The September 11 attacks were attacks not just on America but on a set of values, on a way of life that we share. The World Trade Center was very deliberately chosen by the terrorists as a symbol—a place where people of different nationalities came to work together in peace and tolerance.
After September 11, Osama bin Laden proved extremely difficult to find. I remember months after the attacks, and months after we’d defeated the Taliban, pacing up and down in frustration at meetings with advisers, trying to work out why it was so hard to locate him and get him. At times we came very, very close, but ultimately to no avail.
However long it’s taken, the fact is that someone who set about deliberately killing large numbers of innocent people was finally brought to justice. It is a fantastic achievement and crucially important as a message, and as a lesson, and as a method of deterrence, for other terrorists.
Perhaps just as important, the world now knows that America is prepared to act when it’s necessary—and prepared to act with strength, dedication, and a commitment to justice.
Tony Blair is founder of the Breaking the Climate Deadlock Initiative and was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom between 1997 and 2007. Visit tonyblairoffice.org.