We now know that bin Laden’s terrorists had been planning their outrages for years. The propagation of their mad, bad ideology — decency forbids calling it a religion — had been taking place before our eyes. We were just too blind to see it. In short, the world had never ceased to be dangerous. But the West had ceased to be vigilant. Surely that is the most important lesson of this tragedy, and we must learn it if our civilisation is to survive.

Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World (2002)

Share with your friends

More from Margaret Thatcher

It is always important in matters of high politics to know what you do not know. Those who think they know, but are mistaken, and act upon their mistakes, are the most dangerous people to have in charge.

Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World (2002)

Never believe that technology alone will allow America to prevail as a superpower.

Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World (2002)

I came to office with one deliberate intent: to change Britain from a dependent to a self-reliant society — from a give-it-to-me, to a do-it-yourself nation. A get-up-and-go, instead of a sit-back-and-wait-for-it Britain.

Speech to Small Business Bureau Conference (8 February, 1984)

A man may climb Everest for himself, but at the summit he plants his country’s flag.

Speech to a Conservative Party Conference (14 October, 1988)

Defeat—I do not recognise the meaning of the word!

The Battle for the Falklands by Max Hastings and Simon Jenkins