Re: The Afghan war logsJul 27th, 2010
So was Afghanistan an unprovoked Invasion by the US & NATO?
The so called friendly fire incident was clarified in other news orgs st the same time that you posted it was a Blue on Blue.
Should slow down a tad.
Hope you don't fuk that way. Humor and meant as such - Not to be construed as insulting.
Q: How western targets did the Taliban attack before we entered Afghanistan and attacked them?
Our only justification for attacking the Taliban was that some of the people allegedly involved in the events of 9/11 were hiding in Taliban controlled territory. At the time the US and their allies including Canada invaded Afghanistan, no one had been convicted in a court of law anywhere for the events of 9/11. By our legal standards everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
So yes our attack against the Taliban was unprovoked and unjustified. We should have at least convicted the people in a court of law first, instead of demanding the Taliban hand over people who are innocent until proven guilty.
I would agree that the people allegedly involved in the events of 9/11 are legitimate targets, but the Taliban were not our enemies until we attacked them. We should have engaged Taliban leaders diplomatically and treated them with tact and respect for their culture and customs. Instead our leaders arrogantly underestimated their resolve and resourcefulness. We threatened them and gave ultimatums.
I'm not suggesting we should have made friends with the Taliban. On the contrary we should have been borderline hostile with them for hosting the criminals behind the events of 9/11. In fact if I remember correctly, the Taliban immediately condemned 9/11 when it happened. They claimed not to believe that OBL was involved. I believe they even offered to extradite 9/11 criminals in their jurisdiction, provided they were proven guilty first. Like us, the Taliban also believe people are innocent until proven guilty. Their burden of proof is more lax, and their punishments are more severe, but fundamentally they have the same concept of innocent until proven guilty.
We should have exploited their offer to cooperate and worked to find a diplomatic solution to the many problems we shared regarding their "guests". We should have started criminal proceedings against the people involved in absentia and played for time. Instead we gave them an ultimatum. Remember Bush's statement? Your either with us or with the terrorists. As per their laws and customs, they told us to kiss off and sided with their guests. They had no choice and I doubt the Bush adminstration cared how many innocent camel jockeys would be killed in the cross fire.
What few people outside of this area understand is how honor bound these people are to protect their "guests". Taliban must fight to the death to protect guests from harm, even unwelcome or unwanted guests, which is likely how they viewed OBL and his entourage. Attacking the Taliban to get at their guests unnecessarily limited our options. We should have used Taliban culture and customs to our advantage. In their culture an unwelcome guest is honor bound to leave voluntarily. Instead of bombing the Taliban, we should have sealed their borders and waited patiently. While waiting we should have gradually cranked up the pressure by blocking the flow of arms into the Taliban's area of control. Don't forget the Taliban were at war with the Afghanistan Northern Alliance. If necessary, we should have gradually started arming their adversaries until the Taliban and their honor bound guests got the message. Eventually (within weeks to months), the Taliban's unwelcome guest would have "voluntarily" left Taliban territory. By which time, we would have used our overwhelming military advatage to capture them as they left, with few casualties and no war with the Taliban. This whole mess could have been resolved within a year and OBL and cadre would either be dead or rotting in prison. The Taliban would have gone back to their war with the Alliance and we wouldn't be having this pleasant online chat about screw ups and missed opportunities.
In case I'm not making myself clear, my point is that we made the Taliban our enemy when we attacked them, not the other way around. Its possible that eventually our dispute with the Taliban regarding their guests may have come to war, but its also possible war with the Taliban could have been avoided. Diplomacy was never Bush's strong suit.
Unlike our politicians, the Taliban understand patience. They will never give up and the sooner our leaders understand this, the sooner this conflict with them will be resolved. We will never be able to impose our will on these people. Involving the Taliban in our dispute with the people of 9/11 was a strategic mistake. We forced the Taliban to take the side of the people allegedly involved in the events of 9/11 and now we paying for it.
The future of this conflict doesn't look good. Canada will pull out of Afghanistan in 2011. Casualties will increase over time and eventually the rest of NATO will pull out too, leaving the US and their mercenaries. Western leaders will try to pass responsibility over to the Afghan army/police, but I doubt the Afghans will be able to keep a lid on the violence and eventually their civil war will spread throughout the region.
In the end, western powers will fail to impose their will, customs and culture on these people, which should never have been our objective. The objective should have been apprehending the people allegedly responsible for 9/11 and bringing them justice. Our short sighted politicians will successfully convince their supporters that the Afghanistan government failed and that they are blameless. Many gullible people will believe them.
Afghanistan will continue to be a failed state for the forseeable future with or without Canada's involvement.
The real battle is in Pakistan now anyway. What happens in Afghanistan is almost inconsequential. Pakistan is in a simmering civil war. The corrupt incompentent government could be overthrown from within at any moment. The best we can hope to achieve is to stop the Taliban and their allies from taking over the Pakistan military, secret service and eventually the country. I predict that within a few years, Pakistan and their nuclear arsenal will be controlled by elements sympathetic to Iran, if that hasn't happened already. Next will be Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which I understand was the motivation for 9/11. We have been outplayed by a guy in a cave somewhere.
BTW, that's not a wish but an prediction based on observations of past and current events.
I think the best thing that will come out of this is the understanding that Pakistan is pretty much officially supporting the Taliban. We (as in 'the West') should really avoid much dealings with Pakistan.
Now we have a better idea who is our enemy. This war doesn't have anything to do with 9/11 anymore. Now its about Pakistan....