Monday, June 28, 2010

A Terrible Rationale for Pulling Out of Afghanistan

The Seattle Times has an absolutely terrible editorial piece arguing that the United States is "running out" of reasons to stay in Afghanistan. Their article is an terrible laughingstock that besmirches not only the US-NATO effort there but also the memories of nearly 3,000 people murdered by jihadists who trained and planned from the Taliban's sanctuary.

A quote:
The United States was not attacked by Afghanistan, but by a band of terrorists trained at a private camp there. The NATO occupation is based on the assumption that if the Taliban return to power, they will invite al-Qaida to set up another camp.
So it's okay that the Taliban willingly allowed al Qaeda and related groups base themselves in their territory and iron out the logistics for the September 11th atrocities? We need to remember one quote about Afghanistan's role in the attacks:

“We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.” That was President Bush speaking in September 2001-- I think he had the right perspective.
Another gem from the editorial:

First is that Afghanistan would be "vulnerable to a civil war that would suck in the local powers including Iran, Pakistan, India and Russia." In other words, if America gets out of the killing zone other countries will go in, therefore America should stay in. And that makes no sense.

Let's not remember that when the Soviets left in February 1989 Afghanistan fell into a civil war that did not (ostensibly) settle until 1995 when the Taliban and their al Qaeda allies took Kabul. From that point until 2001 the organization trained 70,000 mujahadin to fight both inside and out of the region. Many of those veterans helped coordinate or carry out the September 11th, Madrid, Bali, and other attacks.

These same veterans helped set up al Qaeda networks in Iraq after the 2003 invasion, leading to the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians and thousands of US, Allied, and Iraqi forces.

If the US and its Allies leave and the Taliban take over, who would be its only choices for allies? Russia? No. China? No. The most logical allies would be terrorist organizations and the Pakistani ISI.

Not to be too campy, but those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.
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