One year less one week, Friedman chimes in with an unapologetic perspective on 9/11.

I agree that moral (and geopolitical) relativism is simply not applicable to the event itself; anyone who says differently watched 9/11 on television.

However, much is relative in America’s response: our opportunistic and ineffectual military campaigns in the mid-east, our continued support of regimes with no legitimate interest in western values, and our botched and spun attempts to break the Al Qaeda network and kill Osama bin Laden.

Two weeks and even two months after 9/11, Bush deserved the benefit of the doubt as he made difficult military decisions with no precedent and no possible right answer. In retrospect, we should have been more aggressive, more willing to sacrifice American lives, and more restrictive and targeted in the scope of our efforts. We’ve left the mid-east hung in political turmoil yet have demonstrated little interest in helping it heal. One year later, we’ve squandered opportunity — squandered a mandate — to make a difference.