Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Dismantle another Bush legacy---leave Afghanistan

There was never a reason to go into Afghanistan in the first place. Afghanistan was the product of revenge pure and simple. The idea that it was just about getting Osama bin Laden is laughable considering that we invaded the country and overthrew its government, then captured anyone we thought was Al Qaeda, tortured them at Bagram, then sent them to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. We rammed it through NATO to give it an air of legitimacy, but it remained a case of kicking ass in response to 9/11. Theoretically, it could have been a police action, and it could have been focused on apprehending Osama bin Laden and prosecuting those people responsible for 9/11, but that would have required some thought and planning, as well as more limited aims, and none of that happened. On top of it, the Afghanistan focus turned attention away from the people in Germany who were involved in 9/11 in a way that was greater than the top rungs of Al Qaeda. To pay attention to them, with the goal of bringing them to justice by putting them on trial, would have required thought as well and a willingness to obey norms of international conduct that we threw out the window after 9/11 happened.

So amidst all of the hand wringing about "Losing Afghanistan" going on in the media right now I suggest that we just cut our losses and get the hell out of there.

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