Thursday :: Dec 6, 2007

Afghanistan just doesn't matter


by Turkana

A refresher course: we were attacked, on September 11, 2001, by Al Qaeda terrorists. Their leader was a guy named Osama bin Laden. They were the bad guys. They were the guys we needed to bring to justice. They had been protected and enabled by the medievalist Taliban regime, in Afghanistan. Bringing the Taliban to justice also would have been a good thing.

But Bush's criminal incompetence allowed bin Laden to escape. Bush's criminal incompetence led him to neglect Afghanistan and turn to Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with the September 11 attacks; and that neglect allowed the Taliban to escape. Now, Al Qaeda is growing stronger. Now, the Taliban have prevailed. Some say the war in Afghanistan is lost. You would think someone would want to do something about that.

In October, the New York Times reported:

The Marine Corps is pressing to remove its forces from Iraq and to send marines instead to Afghanistan, to take over the leading role in combat there, according to senior military and Pentagon officials.

The idea by the Marine Corps commandant would effectively leave the Iraq war in the hands of the Army while giving the Marines a prominent new role in Afghanistan, under overall NATO command.

The suggestion was raised in a session last week convened by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and regional war-fighting commanders. While still under review, its supporters, including some in the Army, argue that a realignment could allow the Army and Marines each to operate more efficiently in sustaining troop levels for two wars that have put a strain on their forces.

As described by officials who had been briefed on the closed-door discussion, the idea represents the first tangible new thinking to emerge since the White House last month endorsed a plan to begin gradual troop withdrawals from Iraq, but also signals that American forces likely will be in Iraq for years to come.

It's not just that they want to get out of the hell that Bush has created in Iraq, it's that they want to fight the people who actually had something to do with the September 11 terrorist attacks. But Bush never cared about the actual September 11 perpetrators. Even though he, himself, has admitted Iraq had nothing to do with the September 11 terrorist attacks, his administration immediately responded to those attacks by formulating plans to attack Iraq. That lunatic lack of priorities remains.

The New York Times is now reporting:

Senior Pentagon and military officials said Wednesday that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates had decided against a proposal to shift Marine Corps forces from Iraq to take the lead in American operations in Afghanistan.

Mr. Gates told top Marine Corps officials and his senior aides that the situation in western Iraq, where the Marines now operate in Anbar Province, remained too volatile to contemplate such a significant change in how the ground combat mission in Iraq is shared by the Army and the Marine Corps.

That broad message was underscored by Mr. Gates on Wednesday as he made his sixth visit to Iraq as defense secretary.

During an evening news conference, Mr. Gates said the mission facing American, Iraqi and allied forces was to “work together not only to sustain the momentum of recent months, but to build on it.”

It was never about September 11. It was never about terrorism. It was never about making America safer. And whatever it was about, it still is about. And to Bush, that whatever remains more important than September 11, terrorism, or making America safer.


Turkana :: 11:36 AM :: Comments (8) :: Digg It!