The War Against Terrorism: Why Does America Want a Repeat of 9-11?
Do These Pictures RIng a Bell, Folks?
Terrorism is Alive and Well Yet We Pretend That It Isn't
I LISTENED to President Obama's speech this evening, June 21, 2011, almost 10 years after Osama bin Laden's attack on America and a month after he finally saw justice at our hands for doing it. I am saddened that the political exigencies of the day drove the President to announce a premature, in my opinion as well as those of his military leaders, draw down of NATO and U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan; the time is not ripe yet, not for another 18 months or so. It seems a bit oxymoronic (is this a pun?) for the President to say in one breath: "We have put al-Qaeda on the path to defeat, and we will not relent until the job is done." while in the next breath announce a troop reduction that General Petraeus, the most successful general to-date in the Middle East wars, is dead set against because it gets in the way of "getting the job done."
In the aftermath of the President's speech, the news presented the viewpoints of several citizens; those views were virtually unanimous in one respect, he didn't do enough, he should have brought more, if not all, troops home; bin Laden is dead, so why are we still there; we have our own problems. I want to scream! I want to take these people and lock them all up in a theater for a few days and run movies of 9/11, twenty-four hours a day until they get a clue! Just because Osama is dead folks, doesn't mean terrorism is dead; the the terrorists are mad as hell at us and would just love to have a sequel to 9/11. What about that is hard to understand and remember??
If you are having a hard time understanding this right now, just focus on those pictures above and imagine the 3000 plus people that perished in the hell created by the terrorists who took advantage of the complacency that you want to fall back into a mere 10 years after those pictures were taken. A complacency that has been a hallmark of America's many failures as a Nation in the past and is about to again. All you will do is get a bunch more innocent Americans killed in the next terrorist attack launched from Afghanistan. Please explain to me why, after we have spilled so much American blood and spent so much American treasure to get al-Qaeda out of Afghanistan, that you want to leave the job undone and let him back in again? I just don't understand your logic; help me understand it.
Osama bin Laden
Why Do I Say Afghanistan Again?
BECAUSE the Afghan government and people are not ready to go it alone yet and the Taliban and al Qaeda are still strong enough to come back and reestablish themselves. Why aren't they ready, Hell, we have been there for almost ten years already, what is wrong with them?? Wellll, you will need to ask President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld that question; they were the ones who decided to abandon President Karzai and the Afghan people in 2002 in favor of starting the war with Saddam Hussein.
I was working in or around the Pentagon from 1988 to 2008 as a civil servant for the Air Force; part of the time in the area of Readiness. (If fact, I was put on active duty during the first Iraq war while I was in the Army National Guard. I almost volunteered to go over to Kuwait to get a second campaign ribbon to go along with my service in Vietnam, now isn't that esoteric, I decided against it but wouldn't have anyway because the war was over too soon.) I was well aware of what our military was capable of handling and it wasn't what our National Military Strategy called for, not by a long shot. By 2000, we were a hollow force, to use a phrase that was popular then; we had enough, this is unclassified now, combat and support ground forces to conduct one war the size of Iraq and a holding action in separate locations. Our Air Force and Navy, but not Marines, were in much better shape. In the 2000 budget, Congress and the President grudgingly began increasing the size of the defense budget, but, the damage had been done.
With this knowledge, President Bush, after defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan and driving them and al-Qaeda into neighboring Pakistan, broke several major strategic miltary rules even 2nd luitinents know not to break; 1) don't split your forces when you aren't forced to and 2) when you have the enemy on the run, chase them into the ground. Gereral Custer, of Little Big Horn fame broke the first rule and look what happened to him. Every Union Army general until General Grant broke the second rule and the North damn near lost the Civil War as a result! President Bush broke both rules. If President Bush had focused on Afghanistan and concentrated America's diplomatic and military resources there instead of Iraq, chances are pretty good we wouldn't be there today.
Instead, America abandoned the Afghans in 2002 just like it abandoned the Afghans in 1992 after President Reagan used them as a proxy to fight the Soviet Union. This abandonment ultimately led to the Taliban take-over of Afghanistan and the safe-haven they provided to al Qaeda. These weren't the only times America got peoples hopes up only to let self-interest lead to the deaths of many innocent non-American lives; there was the:
- 1993 - President Clinton abandonment of Samolia UN relief operation begun by President H. W. Bush after the "Blackhawk Down" incident.
- 1991 - President H. W. Bush encouraged Shiites to rise up against Saddam Hussein only to pull the rug out from under them when they needed support
- 1986 -Presidents Reagan and Bush leaving Russia to flounder after Collapse of the Soviet Union
- 1961 - President Kennedy's halting of President Eisenhower's Bay of Pigs operation against Cuba shortly after it kicked off leaving many Cuban rebels to suffer at the hands of Castro
Afghanistan has never really been a stable country, ever! It is a sad thing to say, one of its most stable, cohesive periods was under Taliban rule. Afghanistan historically has been a tribal culture that doesn't take very well to central authority, sort of like our anti-federalist in America, when you think about it. What is needed to protect America from another 9/11 is just the opposite, a stable, pro-Western country with a viable, functioning central government.
Can anybody truthfully say that is what they have now? Can anybody truthfully say that is what they will have if we pull up stakes and leave now? By your comments, how many of you truly believe that if we leave now, the Taliban won't take over again? By your comments, how many of you truly believe that if we leave now, that al-Qaeda won't set up shop again in Afghanistan? By your comments, how many of you truly believe that if we leave now, that al Qaeda won't start planning the death of America from Afghan soil again?
I, for one, absolutely believe all of those things, if we leave now and I would rather that not happen; but that is just me.
And here it is so many years later and we still haven't learned are lesson. Donald Trump, the president, has announced an agreement with the Taliban in Afghanistan that is intended to let America withdraw its troops from there. They have been there for 10 years now fighting a poorly led war where America does not have the political will to do it right. Nevertheless, it has been 10 years where al Qaeda and the Taliban couldn't regroup enough to threaten America again. That is in danger of ending.
Earlier, Trump withdrew from the fight in Syria, hanging our allies, the Kurds, out to dry and be murdered by their enemies, the Turks. At the same time he handed the keys to our Syrian bases over to Assad, the Russians, and the Iranians. Syria is now a fertile breeding ground for terrorists bent on attacking America.
Earlier still, Trump withdrew from the Iranian Nuclear Deal with was successfully preventing Iran from building and fielding a nuclear bomb. In addition, he thought he could force them back to the negotiating table by reinstalling crushing sanctions on Iraq. Well, they haven't come back to the table, but they now are stockpiling uranium and have started up their bomb making program.
Because Trump assassinated an admittedly very bad man (think Hussein), he was the 2nd or 3rd ranking person in the Iranian government. In retaliation, which isn't over, Iraq bombed an Iraqi air base where American troops were stationed. Over 100 American troops sustained severe traumatic brain injury (which Trump has called minor headaches). Iran is one of the largest backer of international terrorism and American became less safe as a result.
We never learn.
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© 2011 Scott Belford