There are times when I think we need a spash of cold water to our (Americans) collective face. Without historical and international awareness, our politics have a simplicity that can only be described as brain-damage; the commemoration of 9-11 is one of the best examples. The decapitation of Al Qaeda and repeated killings of its other leaders is a positive thing, sure; worth every drone strike. However, they're not a simple nemesis born to fight our defining features ("they hate our freedom" and other rubbish - laughable); they're a mad dog that we fed, trained, and used as a tool, that's come back to bite us. The proxy war against the Soviet Union is why we did that, and our self-serving foreign policy over decades (something I see as generally bad) combines with our cultural imperialism (something I see as generally good) to make people living in many parts of the world easily inspired to militancy by the groups that descended from those we encouraged as tools. America has encouraged terrorism of the very sort it faced on 9-11. The only difference is that it made it home (and not for the first time).
So we put down our own mad dog. Great. Let's try not to make more mistakes that will come back to bite us in the fading years of our dominance. Let's try to learn the right lessons from these years and wars, and let our foreign policy include more empathy for humans outside our borders without giving up on our values and principles.