Bruce Schneier lays out the proper perspective on "Terror". His piece is a must read.
It's nice to see deep comprehension put so well. And I will go a step further. Imagine, if you will, the day after 9/11, rather than rush to weak conclusions and hasty actions, we just went about our business, acting as if nothing significant had transpired other than an unfortuate "accident" that now had to be cleaned up. I know I'm stretching things to the extreme here, but I want to make a point. If we had acted like this, what would the "terrorists" have achieved? Right. Absolutely Nothing. Yes, they managed to kill a number of people and knock down a few buildings, but that's just a tactic, not their strategy. Their strategy is to instill fear and foolish, costly behavior. Sadly, we have allowed them to achieve their goals.
But knowing is half the battle! At least now we can set a new course: "Courage, gentlemen."