There was a great article in the N Y Times about our future in Afghanistan and our “War on Terror.” I have extrapolated data from that article as I believe it relates to us. Since this war is taking our resources that we badly need at home, we need to take a closer look. At a later date I would like to look more closely at our “War on Drugs.”
War, as I understand it, is a physical dispute between two apparently irreconcilable belief systems. In Afghanistan we have the Taliban. These people are archconservative Muslims. They can be likened to the devout, born again evangelists in this country. These people want to control the government and the people and establish a theocracy in the country. Also in the country are some people who are really angry at Americans for our support of Israel and the Western multinational oil companies. They call themselves Al Qaeda.
Because one considers that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” the Taliban offers safe haven to Al Qaeda. It must be understood that the Taliban is not particularly interested in exporting their fight to this country. They may someday, but their goal is to centered around establishing Sharia and control of Afghanistan.
It seems that we are bent upon driving out the Taliban and letting the “democratic government” take over these areas. Supposedly this democratic government would be our friend and be less than hospitable to Al Qaeda. This, then, presupposes a valid, viable democratic government with whom this country has excellent relations.
Well, we do not have that. We don’t have anything like that, as evidenced by the article yesterday.
Two senior Afghan officials were showing President Hamid Karzai the evidence of the spectacular rocket attack on a nationwide peace conference earlier this month when Mr. Karzai told them that he believed the Taliban were not responsible…
Mr. Karzai suggested in the meeting that it might have been the Americans who carried it out.
“Karzai told me that he can’t trust the Americans to fix the situation here,” said a Western diplomat in Kabul, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “He believes they stole his legitimacy during the elections last year. (independent monitors determined that nearly one million ballots had been stolen on Mr. Karzai’s behalf.) And then they said publicly that they were going to leave.”
Mr. Karzai has been pressing to strike his own deal with the Taliban and the country’s archrival, Pakistan, the Taliban’s longtime supporter.
Are we prepared to take on the elected government as it aligns itself with the Taliban? While we think about this, I would like to interject some more items that I came by yesterday while listening to NPR. We have 7,000 drones that are controlled by the CIA and the military. We have no idea how many missions these drones have flown but we are told that they have “taken out” twenty Al Qaeda leaders. More importantly, they have killed many civilians. They have targeted weddings, women, children, etc. Many of the targets are fed to us by the Taliban. Those strikes help them recruit more people to their “side.”
Karzai is right. We cannot win this fight. Imagine Afghans, in this country, trying to root out the “Born Again Evangelists.” All that Americans want to do is find a job and provide for their family. There are no jobs, but the Evangelists are recruiting to their insurgency to kick out the Afghans and to establish a theocracy that would establish their religion in this country and allow them to teach Creationism in the schools, get rid of abortionists, homosexuality, and who knows what else. Every time the Afghans kill civilians, they create more people willing to kill Afghans.
So, what are we doing over there? What ultimately do we want to accomplish? Ultimately we want to stop terrorist attacks. To do that we first, and foremost, must stop creating new terrorists. Second, we have to examine the terrorist’s complaints from their point of view. Is their any validity to their complaints? We can eliminate 90% of those complaints simply by pulling the military out of Afghanistan. That leaves Israel
That is a bigger nut than I am prepared to crack at this time, but what I have tried to show above is that we have no justification for fighting over there. We have justification for being there to root out Al Qaeda, but we won’t do it with bullets. We will do it by helping the Afghans improve their country. If we help them with water and sewage systems, energy creation, hospitals, and schools, we will make friends, not enemies. But we have to work with the valid government. Right now, there isn’t one.