Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Farflung National Defense

In his speech with Hamid Karzai the other day Obama once again repeated the “core objective -- the reason we went to war in the first place” in Afghanistan and, emulating his predecessor, told us for the 20th time that the end point “is now within reach.” That goal is, “ensuring that al Qaeda can never again use Afghanistan to launch attacks against our country.”

Quickly now, all together, how many times has al Qaeda “launched an attack against our country” from Afghanistan?

If you answered “zero,” you win a gold star. The attack on 9/11 was launched from Logan Airport in Boston. Even if you change the phrasing to his normal rhetoric of “using Afghanistan to plan attacks against our country,” it doesn't work, because the 9/11 attack was planned in Hamburg, Germany. Training doesn’t work either, because training for that attack was done in Florida and Southern California.

Afghanistan only entered the picture because Osaka bin Laden was there. He was gone from there within a few weeks, and we have stayed for eleven years. Obama called Afghanistan the “smart war,” six years into it, because terrorists cannot plan attacks anywhere except in Afghanistan, and so if we control every part of that country then they cannot plan attacks at all.

And yet, after eleven years, they are still planning attacks, and we are still on the very edge of success in stopping them by firing Hellfire missiles in Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Mali, and even the Philippines; all nations where terrorists cannot plan attacks against our country because that’s why we are occupying Afghanistan.

There is logic there somewhere I suppose. Isn’t there?

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