This article is rather long, but very interesting reading. It compares the Spanish response to terrorist attacks on their soil with the US response to 9/11.
For the Spanish, the response was police work, intelligence agencies, arrest, trial (now complete), and prison for the guilty. An estimated cost of about $6 billion in total for the entire process, and one police officer died.
For the US, it was launching a "War on Terror", invasion of two nations, 4,000 troops dead, about 50,000 troop seriously injured (many with arms and legs amputated), an estimated 1 million Iraqis dead, 5 million Iraqis made homeless, 2.3 million Iraqis living in neighboring countries as refugess, a direct increase in terrorism globally, ignoring the United Nations, and a total cost of around 1 trillion dollars, give or take a few hundred billion.
What a difference it makes if you have a President who obeys the law instead of manipulating it for the benefit of big business and oil companies.
A 9/11 “What If…?”
By Peter Dyer
September 11, 2008
What if we had never gone to war? What if, after the shocking crimes of September 11, 2001, the United States had pursued a different course?
What if all the blood which has been spilled in the name of justice still flowed in living veins; all the American, Iraqi and other lives shattered were still whole; all the homes destroyed or lost still standing, still occupied by families who never harmed us?
We have spent monumental treasure and energy on two wars. What if, instead, we had invested a fraction of that in a determined, unrelenting effort to bring Osama bin Laden to justice in a fair and transparent trial in a court of law?
Of course, we'll never know.
When we were confronted with the most heinous series of terrorist acts in our history Americans overwhelmingly lined up behind President Bush's call for a "Global War on Terror."
We can only speculate on what might have been the result of a different course of action, guided by a fundamentally different vision.
For two reasons, though, such speculation would not be entirely baseless:
One week after the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan, the Taliban presented us with an opportunity to investigate the possibility of a peaceful, legal resolution to the crimes of 9/11.
On Oct. 14, 2001, Afghanistan's deputy prime minister, Haji Abdul Kabir, announced that if the United States stopped the bombing and produced evidence of bin Laden's guilt, "we would be ready to hand him over to a third country" for trial.
President Bush, determined to launch and pursue the "war on terror," refused even to discuss, much less investigate this possibility.
A Different Course
Exactly 30 months after 9/11 there was another catastrophic terrorist attack in another country: Spain. On March 11, 2004, 191 people in Madrid were killed and over 1,800 injured when 10 backpack bombs exploded on four morning rush-hour commuter trains.
As with 9/11, "11-M" was the most devastating series of terrorist acts in Spanish history. But Spain chose the path the U.S. rejected.
The Spanish government addressed the crimes of 11-M with the tools, techniques and resources of law enforcement. There was an investigation, arrests, a trial, and appeals.
Continue reading the article here: Consortiumnews.com