FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
As our country prepares to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, there's no doubt we were forever changed on that sunny Tuesday morning in September 2001.
One of Osama bin Laden's biggest victories was to make millions of Americans afraid.
So afraid that most of us stopped questioning our government – whether it meant launching unnecessary wars, removing some of our civil liberties, eroding constitutional rights, ignoring international treaties like the Geneva Conventions or torturing detainees.
So afraid that intrusive government security, especially invasive pat-downs and X-rays at airports, became the norm.
So afraid that we let politicians manipulate our fear to win elections and use Americans' deaths to advance their own agendas.
So afraid that in the name of national security, we've allowed the ill-defined wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to drag on. Thousands of lives and trillions of dollars gone. Along with our once dominant position as the world's biggest superpower.
Bin Laden is, fortunately, dead and gone now, but not before accomplishing much of what he set out to do on 9/11.
On Thursday, a USA Today/Gallup Poll shows almost 1 in 5 Americans say the terrorists have won. Have they? Or have we defeated ourselves?
How much of the way our life has changed in the last 10 years is a result of that single act of terrorism on 9/11, and how much of it is because we allowed ourselves to succumb to our fears and in the process surrender much of what we have always been most proud?
Here’s my question to you: Ten years after 9/11, did the terrorists win?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Richard in Kansas:
Let's see: we’ve spent billions of borrowed dollars on security, invaded two countries at a cost of thousands of American lives and trillions of borrowed dollars with nothing to show for it, squandered any sympathy or good will the world felt for us, gone from being admired around the world to being loathed for our heavy-handed tactics, and we’ve seen the rise of right wing extremism here at home. Yeah I'd say that’s a good day's work for any nineteen men.
Bob in Orlando:
Jack, The terrorists did not win and here's why: We still have our democracy. Throughout our nation's history, our blood has been shed for the sake of freedom whether it be from the Revolutionary War to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Our country is somewhat safer now and the one thing that has stood the test of time is our resolve. Our democracy gets stronger once confronted by any foe. The fact is that we have these cowards on the run. We took the blow (9/11) and continue to move forward.
Yuri in Florida:
I get patted down every time I fly. Having a repaired knee filled with screws and metal plates does not help. A few months ago as I was patted down, I was looking all around me and saw a team of TSA agents pat down a crippled lady in a wheel chair. And right across a breastfeeding mother was getting the pat down. Her baby was patted down too.
Stephen on Facebook:
We lost. We are still afraid. We are broke. Our status in the world is slipping quickly, as is every metric of health and happiness.
Jerry in Huntington Beach, California:
Yes, bin Laden won the war. He put the leaders of this country in a fear-frenzy and they panicked and overreacted. Trillions of dollars and thousands of lives have been wasted with no guarantee that some group of terrorists cannot attack us any time. The war on terror, like the war on drugs, is really a war on the fabric of America.