As Americans are gradually discovering, the 8-year occupation of Afghanistan is about opposing the Taliban’s attempt to regain political power, not about capturing or killing Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.
Thus, the occupation is about empire. That’s the way empires operate — placing their people into positions of power in foreign countries. The idea is that if Afghan president Karzai or some other U.S. puppet remains in power, Americans can feel safe and secure knowing that Afghanistan is “pro-U.S.” If the Taliban regains power, Americans will supposedly need to feel insecure because an “anti-U.S.” regime will be in power, one that supposedly could provide sanctuary for terrorists, such as al-Qaeda.
This is all very dangerous and destructive imperial nonsense. It’s involving the United States in the middle of a civil war, much like the case with Vietnam. In the process of taking sides in such a war, the U.S. military continues killing multitudes of Afghani people, including those who are not even actively engaged in the civil war, such as wedding parties.
Those killings are not a good thing as far as Americans are concerned. Of course, if any of the victims ever retaliates against the U.S. with a terrorist attack, U.S. officials will undoubtedly announce that the attack was motivated by hatred for America’s freedom and values, not out of anger because, say, a daughter or wife was killed by an American bomb.
The U.S. government has never produced one iota of evidence that the Taliban conspired with Osama bin Laden to commit the 9/11 attacks. The Bush administration decided to attack the Taliban regime for one reason: the Taliban refused to comply with Bush’s orders to arrest bin Laden and turn him over to the U.S. government.
That’s it! That’s the reason the U.S. government went after the Taliban. If the Taliban had complied with the order, they would still be in power today.
Why didn’t the Taliban comply with the order? Well, for one, there was no extradition agreement with the U.S. Second, the Taliban did express a willingness to deliver bin Laden to an independent tribunal, something that Bush was unwilling to consider.
Yet, Bush himself, along with his successor Barack Obama, have themselves been unwilling to deliver an accused terrorist to Venezuela for trial. The man’s name is Jose Posada Carriles The case is actually much more egregious than the case against the Taliban because there is an extradition agreement between Venezuela and the U.S.
What is the U.S. government’s reason for denying Venezuela’s request for extradition? They say that they’re afraid that Venezuela might torture Posada, who has previous ties to the CIA.
Would the Taliban have been unreasonable in assuming that the CIA would have tortured bin Laden?
Let’s not forget also that the war against Afghanistan and subsequent occupation have been illegal under our form of government, whose Constitution requires a congressional declaration of war against another nation state as a condition for waging war against it, something that Bush did not secure.
What about the case that the U.S. government is killing al-Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan? That’s ludicrous. They’ve been dropping bombs now for more than 8 years. That’s more than enough time to kill all the al-Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan. Indeed, how many al-Qaeda terrorists could there be left to kill in Afghanistan? Isn’t it possible that the occupation itself is producing new anti-U.S. terrorists every day?
Moreover, how important really is a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan for al-Qaeda terrorists? Aren’t there plenty of other countries whose regimes are anti-U.S. for al-Qaeda terrorists to hold meetings and planning sessions? North Korea, Iran, and Venezuela come to mind. But what’s the likelihood of an anti-U.S. regime, including one controlled by the Taliban, risking war with the U.S. by conspiring with some terrorist gang to commit a criminal act in the United States?
Why do al-Qaeda terrorists need Afghanistan to hold their meetings? What prevents them from meeting in some hotel room in any country in the Middle East or, for that matter, anywhere in the world? In fact, didn’t some of the 9/11 terrorists have meetings in Germany?
Eight years is plenty time to kill all the al-Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan. Sure, it’s true that they still haven’t gotten bin Laden but what are the chances that he didn’t skedaddle out of Afghanistan a long time ago? The U.S. has no business being involved in the civil war in Afghanistan. All that the occupation of Afghanistan is accomplishing is producing more potential terrorists for the United States. After 8 years, it’s time to exit Afghanistan. Enough is enough.