There is no Al Quaida.
I mean, if there was a big, scary, SPECTRE-like, terrorist organisation lurking in the shadows waiting to get us, it would have managed another hit against the US mainland in the years since 9/11.
There are terrorists, sure- but they're not centrally organised or well-armed or particularly smart. They're capable of one-off attacks on soft targets- as in Madrid and London.
Consider that last- aborted- attack on the London underground. One of the guys- the one the Italians are holding- has said the bombs were never meant to go off. I don't know whether he's lying or telling the truth, but either way his gang were a Mickey Mouse outfit.
I don't want to down-play the danger. There have been bombs and there will be more bombs, but this isn't World War III. We're not up against a Big Enemy, we're up against a scattered bunch of stupid, idealistic young men, all fired up by the same stupid, fascistic ideology.
It's one for the police, not the military.
But the lie about Al Quaida, complicated by further lies about WMDs and the politics of the Middle East, has landed us in an illegal and unwinnable war that is simply stengthening the stupid, fascistic ideology that inspires the stupid, idealistic young men.