Fear led us to the assumption that all "bad" (ie, those not like us) regimes should be "changed". It led us to assume that a barely literate hick with a knack for sending people for lethal injection, hanging, drawing and quartering, or however they kill people in Texas is the greatest president since FDR. I'm not a huge fan of Bush, but I think he did the only reasonable thing he could do, under the circumstances, in regards to War. His is not a plan that will get him re-elected. His "war on terror" won't end with him. He won't have the glory of being there at the end of it. He knows that.
I make no excuses for my country's ostrich-like ability to assume that terrorism could never happen to us. For years we ignored (and to a great degree, still ignore) Israel, Northern Ireland and many other hot spots as places where "those things happen". When it happened here, we were in a heavy state of shock (still are) and an even greater sense of anger (still are). I know people who died in those towers. They don't deserve to be dead. This pisses me off. I can pretty well venture to guess that it pisses my entire country off. We thought we were safe. When the illusion of safety is removed from you that quickly, you get upset. I don't know about the rest of the country, but we New Yorkers never stopped being angry. Really, I can't speak for anyone but me when I say...I wanted someone (or someones) to pay. I wanted to hurt them as much as they hurt me. I wanted revenge. I wanted the deaths of 3,000 people to MEAN something. Mr. Bush, while not perhaps the best at giving speeches or acting half-way intelligent, seemed to want that too. That, I think, is the main reason he's still the president. I think some of the world ought to be able to "get" that. I don't know that everyone can. That's ok.
The world can accuse us of war-mongering, of attacking without provocation, even of going after the WMD that we, ourselves gave to Iraq not so very long ago. All of it is true. As I said, I hate politics. This is not political. This is about grief, anger, vulnerability and our reactions to it. We've only started dealing with what the rest of the world has dealt with for years. There is really no difference between us, now. The only difference is the response. We respond as we have been because we can. We are big, we are tough, we think we can solve the problem by blowing it up. I don't know that anyone else would do it so very differently, if they had the means. This is no accusation. I'm not trying to justify anything here. I'm just stating truths as I see them. Feel free to disagree. It's still, last time I checked, a free country.