But of course the whole premise for going to war in the first place was that we were going after terrorists who struck us in the 9/11 attacks, although I think Bush W. cleverly morphed all that into a war on “TERRRR”, as he pronounced it. Indeed he had been predisposed to go into Iraq before 9/11, for various reasons, to include the fact (I guess it’s fact) that Sadam Hussein had plotted to kill his daddy (the same daddy who at one time supported Hussein), Hussein’s continued violations of the no-fly zone, and maybe most important of all the fact he would not cooperate with weapons inspections — I think that last point has been lost — not that I would be making a case retroactively for going into Iraq. And those inspections were under the auspices of the UN, an organization that does the U.S. little good most of the time, but which is a convenient flag to hide behind when we want to do something. Strangely, the UN did not decide to go into Iraq, but Bush took it upon himself to unilaterally make that decision.
And I should have mentioned the neo conservative doctrine of gaining hegemony in the Middle East by doing such things as going into Iraq, as outlined in their progress for a new century paper, or whatever it was called. Bush W. apparently followed that , especially the part that flat out said we needed another Pearl Harbor to wake up the public. Bush got just that with 9/11.
I hate to rehash the history as a kind of backgrounder for this post, but I guess I have to remind the casual reader that virtually all of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudi Arabians (Saudi Arabia is supposed to be our ally), and they staged their attack from Afghanistan with the protection of the Taliban who ran that nation at the time (and still do run most of it).
As far as I have read so far, Iraq had no direct and maybe no indirect role in 9/11, but I will bet you that 99 percent of the blind supporters of Bush’s War on TERRR wholeheartedly believe that the attack came from Iraq.
Bush of course did send troops into Afghanistan first and for a awhile it seemed as if the U.S. was making progress, but inexplicablyy just as reports indicate we were closing in on Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of 9/11, we pulled back and eventually put a much stronger effort into the routing out of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and an occupation of the country and a strong dose of nation building — all with questionable results.
And now we are mired deep in the morass of Afghanistan, a place where outside invaders over the centuries, to include the British, and more recently the Soviets, met their doom.
I heard an Afghanistan expert on the radio the other day. What I got out of it is that the whole thing is hopeless and that if policy makers would just read their history a little better they might make wiser decisions.
Lyndon Johnson inherited Vietnam. His own taped phone conversations prove that he knew it was hopeless from the git go, but he did not want to be blamed for losing Vietnam — even though he hated to stay. So he poured more troops in and the casualties mounted until the American public had had enough with a lost cause, one that was questionable from the beginning.
Afghanistan is not Vietnam. While Vietnam (or the old North Vietnam) never attacked us on our soil, and may not have even fired on those patrol boats in the Gulf of Tonkin ( and why would you sacrifice thousands of American lives for shooting at patrol boats in the first place? ), we were attacked on 9/11 by terrorists who had staged in Afghanistan, and that nation refused to hand over Osama Bin Laden and cohorts.
Nonetheless, President Barack Obama inherited Afghanistan and has indicated he thinks we could have already had victory (not sure what that is) if Bush had not pulled back and took his eye off the ball.
Obama may truly believe that Afghanistan is a necessary fight, but he also knows what would happen if he were to withdraw — the political implications of what would be seen as surrender would doom his presidency.
And I myself realize too that if we are fighting Al Qaeda or whatever you want to call the terrorist enemies (who by the way may not all be allied), the fight can know no boundaries.
We already have accepted that we have to strike in Pakistan, to where Osama Bin Laden et al have thought to withdrawn. And now there is a clamor from the lets you and him fight crowd to go into Yemen and rout out terrorists (we are already reportedly unofficially striking there).
On top of all this we have a guy get on an airliner at Detroit even though he was on some terrorist list homeland security has (fat lot of good that does) and darn near blows it up.
And Al Qaeda (or whoever) brainwashed or at least successfully recruited an American Army major who shot up army personnel at Ft. Hood in Texas.
I begrudgingly agree to some extent that we are in a worldwide war against terror as Bush W. outlined, but I fear we will spread ourselves too thin and expend too much treasure in the process.
You would almost think the terrorists have us where they want us.