Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wait A Minute War

Like many other Americans, I listened to Mr. Obama explain why he has (finally) made a decision about what to do with Afghanistan. It wasn't much of a speech but it did point out that we don't know much about our enemy. We know so little it is embarassing. Let's get a few things corrected.

America (President Bush) did NOT start the current war in Iraq. Saddam Hussein waved the white flag in 1991 and said he wanted peace. He promised to end Iraq's support of terrorists and to cooperate with weapons inspectors sent to verify the extent of his military capability. For 12 long years he violated his promises. He defied the U.N., flew military aircraft in the (agreed on) no-fly zone, and continued to threaten his neighbors. Saddam Hussein's actions caused the first Gulf war to be re-opened. 

The population of Afghanistan is about 13 million. The Taliban organization has approximately 25 to 30 thousand members. The Taliban controlled Afghanistan until we removed them from power. When they were in control the Taliban harbored and supported the Al-Qaida terrorist organization. At the time they were forced out of Afghanistan, Al Qaida had only 200 or 300 members. The Taliban moved to a mountainous region of Pakistan together with the Al Qaida terrorists, which is where they are located now.

Al Qaida is believed to be responsible for training and supporting the terrorists that attacked the World Trade Center on 9/11. It's leader and provider of finances is Osama bin Laden, and most important, it has an unknown number of terrorist cells that are largely independent but definitely operating under the Al Qaida banner all over the globe. It appears to be a loose confederation using the same methods to indoctrinate and train terrorists. Their key characteristic is their willingness to kill infidels by committing suicide - all in the name of THE PEACEFUL RELIGION OF ISLAM.

America has had miltary forces in Afghanistan for over 8 years and they still don't have a reliable government, a legal system, an adequate source of medical care, and a police or military able to enforce the law and defend the people.  The country is so backward, so deep in poverty, and the people are so different, that 5 more years of American presence will not change their circumstances or their future.

To restore American honor we need to destroy Al Qaida including it's leadership. To prevent the Taliban from returning to Afghanistan and to prevent them from harboring terrorists in the future, America must reduce their power. If we have to destroy the Taliban organization in order to eliminate the Al Qaida terrorists, so be it. By my count that is still only TWO objectives.

As of yesterday we plan to send 30,000 more troops to reinforce the 10,000 we already have in place. Great Britain is promising another 8,000, and assorted other countries are promising another 5,000. By my count we will have over 53,000 military personnel there to fight about 25,000 Taliban-Al Qaida Muslims. Our troops have more powerful weapons by a factor of 10 times. I would call that an OVERWHELMING FORCE and they should be able to WIN. 

Okay . . . but what are we winning? Afghanistan will remain a backward, poppy growing, destitute and cruel country. The Taliban (perhaps be a different name) wil start up again to control the money from the drug trade. Osama bin Laden is only unique because he has access to money. Otherwise, he's just another brain dead terrorist. Al Qaida or some organization like it, will rise again. We have lost a lot of blood and treasure for what?

Wouldn't it make more sense to simply pull out. Leave Afghanistan to sort their own problems. Provide some humanitarian aid for a while. Put a large dollar prize on the head of Osama bin Laden and may the assassin retire in riches.


Rain said...

The big question would be why did the Bush administration arrange for Osama to escape from Tora Bora? What possible motive other than an excuse to invade Iraq which otherwise the American people would never agree to do. They lied their way into that war while letting Osama go and the question in all of this is why? We could have killed Hussein if we had wanted but we didn't want that either. We wanted to invade Iraq but why?

The Grey Geezer . . . . . . . said...

Rain . . . Enough with the Bush-Cheney conspiracy stuff. It never happened. (1) Osama escaped because someone was stupid. (2) Iraq threatened to disrupt our oil supply and to attack Israel. Either was sufficient to cause the war. (3) If anyone lied it was the intelligence communitee who agreed Iraq's WMD existed. (4) Once Saddam was toppled, his government disbursed, and his military rendered powerless, we should have pulled out. (5) The really stupid "war" is being transferred to Afghanistan and Pakistan by your favorite politician.


Rain said...

First of all, tora bora did happen. They believed he was there and they let the warlords catch him or so they claimed. Read up on it yourself. Only an extreme right wing blogger would deny it happened. It's not conspiracy talk that it happened. The conspiracy comes into why it happened and my opinion is they didn't want Osama captured just yet.

As for Iraq, we had gone quite a few years without attacking them. Bush the first weakened them to a point they were no risk to us (and how we got into the first situation is even more questionable with us telling Saddam it'd be okay to attack Kuwait. Maybe an irresponsible underling but still strange. To go to war with Iraq Bush lied or was lied to. If you like lies as a reason for going to war tell me how you'd feel if it was Obama doing the lying. IF there was a good reason to invade Iraq and stay there (where we still are) why did they have to lie to do it. No WMDs and no nukes. They said he hid them and told the American people where except there were none there and it was all wrong (at the least) which they admit also

Obama is following in the footsteps of right wingers on Afghanistan and I don't like it either. I think, like Bush, he's trusting the wrong people.

Pakistan is more of a problem given they have nukes (no need to lie about that one) and are at risk with an unstable government; but what can we really do about it?

I have no favorite politicians. I voted for Obama but given the options, I still think it was the right vote!

The Grey Geezer . . . . . . . said...

Hi Rain . . . Yeah. Tora Bora happened. They seem to think bin Laden simply walked toward Pakistan and disappeared. Our military had been working with some locals to find the guy. They changed sides. Probably some money was involved. Our military blundered big time by not blocking the exits from Tora Bora. They try to blame the Pakistani troops that were supposed to do so. It doesn't wash. Our on the ground military obviously bungled. I don't know why you believe Bush and Cheney arranged the bin Laden escape so there must be a conspiracy. That's a lot of baloney. The only administration person who commented before it happened was, of all people, Don Rumsfeld, who told a newsperson; "It's a long border and a very complicated area to try to seal, and there's just simply no way you can put a perfect cork in the bottle".