Extremely Abridged History Lesson of Why we Invaded Afghanistan as Opposed to Pakistan
After the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, the US had no incentive to be involved there anymore (remember we used this war as a proxy war against the USSR). So we turned our influence/power in the region over to the Pakistani intelligence agency (the ISI), and left the Mujahideen groups to split and war between themselves.
The ISI found this power vacuum rather… convenient. They became buddies with the Taliban and its warlords (for trade route purposes), and helped them during the Afghan Civil War. With the aid of the ISI (and financial aid from Saudi Arabia), the Taliban took over most of the country by 1996.
The new Taliban regime initially rejected bin Laden’s al-Qaeda (after both Sudan and Saudi Arabia had banished them), but eventually warmed up to the thought of being their friend. When they inevitably became allies, the Taliban allowed al-Qaeda to have shelter within their borders, and integrated the terroristic organization into their military.
At this point, the Taliban assigned al-Qaeda to train 055 Brigade, which was a strong part of the Taliban’s military (made up mostly of Soviet-Afghan war geurilla veterans). This brigade was in fact used for al-Qaeda’s terrorist activities (such as the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassy).
Needless to say, they were really good friends. Al-Qaeda was practically a dependent arm of the Taliban regime. Pakistan only ever set up this alliance, albeit they remained friendly with both organizations from the 1980’s. But Pakistan only supported al-Qaeda after the 2001-present phase of the War in Afghanistan commenced.
Invading the Taliban was the correct choice, not Pakistan (as good-gollymissmolly would suggest).
Though to be fair, the entire conflict was initially our fault in a multitude of ways:
1) The Cold War was an avoidable conflict, easily remediable by swift action immediately following World War II.
2) We (our CIA) funded and supplied the Afghans in the Soviet-Afghan war through the ISI, thus creating weakened regimes, allowing for the power vacuum that inevitably assisted the Taliban just so we could say “HA!” to the Soviets.
3) The Taliban and al-Qaeda were/are also mainly composed of soldiers that we helped; Osama bin Laden was among these soldiers (under the alias of Tim Osman).
4) We continually involved ourselves elsewhere in the Middle-East (like in Kuwait or in the Iraq-Iran affair), escalating situations that in turn entangled the regimes all over the Arabian Peninsula, disturbing alliances/conflicts further.
Still, overthrowing the Taliban was necessary after they refused to hand over al-Qaeda following the September 11 attacks (even though the conflicts that 9/11 was contingent upon were our fault). Attacks on our soil should never go unchecked.
And I do respect their belief and their willingness to fight for it.
However, the fact of the matter is that American soldiers have not HAD to die for our freedom since World War II. And it’s disgusting that the government’s propaganda is able to convince millions of men and women that they have to.
Now now, that’s not true (referring to the part I bolded).
Our invasion of Afghanistan was warranted. Yes, in retrospect, it was a self-inflicted conflict. But we were still attacked, and we can’t let attacks on our soil go unchallenged. It’s good that we chased bin Laden to the ends of the Earth like we did.
Though you know me, I obviously agree with you for the most part. Korea, Vietnam, our involvements in Israel’s battles, Kuwait, Iraq, funding the Mujahideen and Saddam Hussein, etc. all were not necessary and were unwarranted. But I stand by the belief that the War in Afghanistan was a somewhat proper course of action (I say “somewhat” because it’s evident that we’ve been there longer than the circumstances necessitated).
1. The fifty-year-old Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is the core cause of Middle Eastern violence. It is wreaking tragedy on the region and creating increasingly dangerous destabilization for the entire globe.
2. American taxpayers, without being consulted, are giving Israel over $10 million dollars per day of their tax money - far more than to any other nation on earth. This enormous disbursement abroad of American money is rolled over year after year, and is often increased - without any debate whatsoever by our governmental representatives.
3. With this money the Israeli government is maintaining an occupation that has been decreed illegal according to the United States government and international law. This occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Golan Heights is engendering escalating violence, which is costing the lives of numerous innocent civilians, both Israeli and Palestinian.
4. A multitude of international observers and organizations - from the International Red Cross to UNICEF to Israeli nongovernmental organizations - have reported systemic and continuing violations by Israel of the Geneva Conventions. These violations create desperate reprisals by Palestinian resistance organizations, causing a tragic and growing cycle of violence that inflames the entire region.
5. In 1967 Israeli forces attacked an American naval ship, the USS Liberty, killing 34 American servicemen and injuring 172. Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer called this attack “an act of war against the United States of America.” For over 30 years the surviving crewmembers of the USS Liberty have long called for a thorough, honest, and open Congressional investigation of the attack that killed their crewmates and maimed many of them. To date, Congress has failed to give these American servicemen the respect of its attention.
6. In 2004 an Israeli military bulldozer crushed to death 23-year-old American Rachel Corrie, who was sitting on the ground in front of a Palestinian family home in an attempt to prevent it from being bulldozed. Rachel’s parents, Cindy and Craig Corrie, are asking that the United States investigate their daughter’s death by America’s close ally.
It is time for the United States to work toward peace between Israelis and Palestinians through the implementation of policies of rationality, morality, and practicality. It is time that American funding be contingent on adherence to international law and American principles. Only through justice and firm resolve will peace be achieved. It is unacceptable for Israel to take American money while disdaining American needs.
1. The United States must end all aid to Israel until it obeys international law. By doing this, Israel will finally take the road to peace that many of its citizens have long called for. In addition, the United States will demonstrate the principles of fairness and democracy that will begin to earn back the respect that our nation traditionally enjoyed in the region.
2. The United States Congress must immediately undertake a fair and thorough investigation of the USS Liberty. This will bring the justice these Americans deserve, and demonstrate to future American servicemen that they will not be abandoned.
3. The United States Congress must call for an immediate and open investigation of Rachel Corrie’s death. The Corries, and all Americans, have the right to learn the truth. When Daniel Pearl was killed in Pakistan, American investigators were there within days. Rachel Corrie deserves the same.
For many years, Israeli and Palestinian civilians have been living in tragic fear and violence. As the United States Congress sends more and more aid to Israel, Americans are becoming increasingly embroiled in this conflict and imperiled by its violence. Peace can only come through justice. It is time that America stand up for our principles of equality, inclusion, and fairness. It is time that American policies ensure the right of Israelis and Palestinians to exist in peace. By doing so, we will not only bring peace to this sacred land, we will bring it to our own as well.
Wow, for someone who “doesn’t want foreign intervention”, he seems to want a lot of “do what America wants or else”!
I would consider most of this post to be honest. Not all of it, mind you; some of it pushes for too much/is untrue.
But requesting that aid to Israel/other nations stop and that we actually investigate the USS Liberty’s sinking is pretty non-interventionist. If we were attacked, we ought to know by whom we were attacked. It’s not at all a pressing foreign policy.