In President Obama’s acceptance of his Nobel Peace Prize, he defended the use of military force on humanitarian grounds, to preserve peace. He spoke of a “just war.” I remember a “just war.” It was to stop Hitler and his genocidal takeover of Europe.
The war in Afghanistan is nothing like that. A bunch of criminals are hiding out in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan. They destroyed two of our buildings in NYC because of a long history of events. Upset with our support of Israel, el Qaeda had attacked us before. Osama bin Laden was responsible for the bombings of the American Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In response to those bombings, U.S. missiles destroyed, what was described by the Pentagon as, an extensive el Qaeda terrorist training complex near Kabul. When 9/11 occurred, bin Laden had been under scrutiny dating back to the Clinton years.
The government of Afghanistan was run by the Taliban, at that time, with much upheaval between the mujahidine, the war lords, and a major drought that had been gripping western and central Asia. While the Taliban did not actively support bin Laden, they greatly tolerated them as fellow Muslims. They did not feel inclined to give him up to the Western Infidels with a long history of supporting Muslim oppression in Israel. Because the Taliban refused to give up bin Laden, we invaded Afghanistan. The Taliban is not synonymous with el Qaeda. It is more like “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” sort of thing. Most of the people we are fighting want peace, they want to be left alone, they don’t want such a harsh, conservative religious group, like the Taliban, but the only alternative is a corrupt government supported by a bunch of foreigners, namely us. We are the aggressor as we pursue the elusive Osama bin Laden.
As for beating the insurgency, it won’t happen. We need to remember our history. Would we ever have stopped fighting, to kick the British out? I doubt it. Were we a threat to Great Britain? Not really, we just wanted them to leave and let us govern ourselves. As I have said before, one can fight terrorism with bullets but the war cannot be won with bullets, not ever. To defeat terrorism one must attack the root causes, like hunger, oppression, and ignorance. Hence, the use of military force ‘on humanitarian grounds’ to preserve peace is oxy-moronic. More than that, it is simply moronic.