In February, 1968, the Vietnamese communists launched the Tet Offensive, attacking everywhere in South Vietnam simultaneously with every single Viet Cong soldier at once. Tactically, it was the greatest military failure of all time. Virtually all of them were killed, and they accomplished nothing. Strategically, it was the beginning of the communists winning that war. (Sure that's the Classics Illustrated version, it's late.)
This whole 9/11 thing is starting to look somewhat similar to me. The attack itself was an act of great initiative, like the Tet Offensive, and what is the situation after ten years? We have spent ourselves into the ground, chasing around the world like a cat on fire, with almost nothing to show for it except a reputation for torture, the enmity of a billion Muslims, an exhausted military, and a dangerously depleted economy. Who won that one?