Back in 2001, I wholeheartedly supported an invasion of Afghanistan. Going over there and killing the men who attacked America on 9/11 made a ton of sense to me.
I was sick of the talibanization of Islam; I had enough of a Saudi man running around Afghanistan and preaching a sermon of hatred against America; and I was done with tolerating a society that mistreated women and young children.
Bomb them out of the stone age, I said, and into a century where global citizens don’t accept this kind of religious and political insanity. You want to hijack a plane? We’ll hijack your stupid message of fear and make you rue the day you messed with the greatest country in the world.
In retrospect, I was so naive. It’s eight years later, and we haven’t made much progress.
- We attacked Osama bin Laden and the Taliban; however, any gains made against Al Qaeda were squandered away during the Bush administration when our elected officials were more focused on Iraq, WMDs, and Saddam Hussein.
- We opened up a second front in Iraq and yet totally failed to stifle the growth of radical Islam in the Middle East and beyond. In fact, it’s worse.
- In the aftermath of 9/11, we resorted to fear-mongering and colonial rule of our own citizenry. Innocent Americans citizens were monitored by our government, locked up in prisons without access to attorneys, and asked to take off our shoes at the airport.
In many ways, it’s still 2001 in our country —only we’re poorer, dumber, and more partisan than ever before.
So now it’s 2009, and the Sunday morning shows are discussing President Obama’s re-commitment to Afghanistan and the impending request for more troops. Pundits are referring to Afghanistan as a war of choice, and the discussions and debates on TV are as dumb as ever.
The fact that President Obama has to consider our country’s role in Afghanistan is yet another example of how our current government is left to clean up the messes of the last eight years. Thanks for nothing, George Bush.
In order to wake up from this post-9/11 national nightmare, we need to find Osama bin Laden, restore the rule of law to Afghanistan, and make it known that we won’t tolerate a country that harbors terrorists who plot against America.
No easy task, my friends.
Not that anyone asked me, but here are my suggestions for President Obama and his team as they think about our country’s responsibilities in the region over the next few years.
- Draw a line in the sand. Plot against America and take refuge in a foreign country? We’ll come after you, and you will regret it.
- When we’re not killing members of your terrorist cells, we’ll be installing pro-Western and pro-women leaders who treat your citizens & residents with respect.
- When we’re done with you, you’ll wish you had left America alone.
Is it too late to teach these terrorists the lessons that we should have taught them back in 2001? I hope not.
Obama must demonstrate that if you mess with America, you will regret it. He must clarify that our exit strategy is to annihilate your power-base, kill your anti-American leaders, and leave a pro-Western footprint in the Middle East and Asia. He must show that we won’t repeat the same mistakes we made during the past eight years.
If Obama can instill the fear of God into anyone who messes with America, and if we leave Afghanistan with a repaired infrastructure and a pathway towards modernization, we will teach the entire world an important lesson that should have been learned in 2001: never again.