After 9/11, the only justification we had to go into Aghanistan was to destroy Osama bin Laden and his followers at their base camp, then leave. The Afghan Taliban allowed the terrorists to stay there but had no interest in launching attacks on the United States. They were strictly local and practiced the brutality of Islam on Afghan citizens, especially the women.
But George Bush had no intention of invading Afghanistan, even after the 9/11 attack. And when he finally did invade, he allowed bin Laden and crew to escape. With al Qaeda safely in Pakistan, Bush could then focus on invading Iraq, saying that bin Laden was no longer important.
On 9/11, an irritable George Bush wanted his counter-terrorism adviser, the CIA and FBI to find evidence that Iraq was involved in the attack, although Iraq had nothing to do with it.
Bush knew that Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda were planning to attack the United States from the beginning of his first term but refused to have a meeting of the National Security Council until a week before September 11. He turned down all efforts by Richard Clarke, his White House counter-terrorism adviser, to address the threat. Members of his administration also refused to talk about bin Laden. The reason. They all had Iraq on their minds. But why ignore the real threat?
Mickey Herskowitz, George Bush’s first biographer, relates the plan that presidential candidate Bush would follow if he were elected president:
“One of the keys to being seen as a great president is to be seen as a commander-in-chief. My father had all this capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it….If I had a chance to invade…If I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it. I’m going to get everything passed that I want passed and I’m going to have a successful presidency.” (Translation: My goal is to manipulate events so that I can build my resume and go down in history as a great world leader.)
Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, who was fired by Bush for policy differences on taxes, later provided interviews and 19,000 documents for author David Suskind’s book, “The Price of Loyalty.”
According to O’Neill: “From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go.” That was the number one topic “10 days after the inauguration-eight months before Sept. 11.”
O’Neill, a member of the National Security Council, said the meetings were “…all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The President saying, Go find me a way to do this.”
“One of the classified memos at a meeting included a ‘Plan for post-Saddam Iraq.’ Suskind said, “…they discussed an occupation of Iraq in January and February of 2001.
One topic of interest was allocating Iraq’s oil wealth. A Pentagon document from March 5, 2001 dealt with ‘Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts,’ with maps for future exploration.
Richard Clarke told Lesley Stahl on 60 minutes (March 19, 2004) that Bush ignored al-Qaeda before 9/11 and wanted to attack Iraq after al-Qaeda hit the United States.
He said that, “…White House officials were tepid in their response when he urged them months before Sept.11, to meet to discuss what he saw as a severe threat from al-Qaeda.” [Bush] ignored terrorism for months, when maybe we could have done something to stop 9/11. Maybe. We’ll never know.”
When Bush returned to the White House, he and others met to discuss what actions to take. Clarke thought that would be strikes against bin Laden and al-Qaeda but the focus was on Iraq.
“Rumsfeld was saying that we needed to bomb Iraq. And we all said…no,no. Al-Qaeda is in Afghanistan. We need to bomb Afghanistan. And Rumsfeld said there aren’t any good targets in Afghanistan. And there are lots of targets in Iraq.
“I said, Well, there are lots of good targets in lots of places, but Iraq had nothing to do with it.”
“I think they wanted to believe that there was a connection, but the CIA was sitting there, the FBI was sitting there, I was sitting there saying we’ve looked at the issue for years. For years we’ve looked and there’s just no connection.”
“The President dragged me into a room with a couple of other people, shut the door and said, ‘I want you to find whether Iraq did this.’ Now he never said, ‘Make it up.’ “But the entire conversation left me in absolutely no doubt that George Bush wanted me to come back with a report that said Iraq did this.” (09/12/01)
“I said, Mr. President. We’ve done this before. We’ve been looking at this. We looked at it with an open mind. There’s no connection.
‘He came back at me and said, ‘Iraq! Saddam! Find out if there’s a connection.’ And in a very intimidating way. I mean that we should come back with that answer. We wrote a report.”
“We sent it up to the president and it got bounced back by the National Security Advisor or deputy. It got bounced and sent back saying, ‘Wrong answer…do it again.'”
Bush didn’t get the report he wanted and he attacked Afghanistan on October 7, 2001. By December of 2001, bin Laden and several hundred of his men were cornered in caves in the mountains of Tora Bora. American commanders on the ground asked for reinforcements to block al-Qaeda’s escape to Pakistan.
“The decision not to deploy American forces to go after bin Laden or block his escape route was made by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his top commander, General Tommy Franks…
“Rumsfeld said at the time that he was concerned that too many U.S. troops in Afghanistan would create an anti-American backlash and fuel a widespread insurgency.”
So he let them get away. Just like that, when he could have captured the whole bunch, wrapped things up and gone home. Rumsfeld never wanted to go into Afghanistan. But his statement just doesn’t make sense. He didn’t want to make a bad impression on the Afghanis so he moderated the battle plan.
George Bush in a press conference a few months later:
“As I say, we hadn’t heard much from him (Osama bin Laden). And I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s at the center of any command structure. And, you know, again, I don’t know where he is.
“I’ll repeat what I said: I am truly not concerned about him…” March 13, 2002. (And he never was, even when he was repeatedly warned about an impending attack on America. But 9/11 did allow him that Pearl Harbor moment, giving him the support of Americans for the invasion of Iraq.)
Afghanistan was now on the backburner, mission not accomplished. Now it was Iraq’s turn.
The reason we needed to invade Iraq was because they had “weapons of mass destruction, links to Al Qaeda” or we wanted to promote democracy or prevent “the domino theory of the Middle East.” Russ Baker, June 20, 2005. (Take your pick.)
The question now is, was the “surge” a success? A lot of not so acceptable things are going on in Iraq. Things such as “cleansing” of Christians by expulsion or killing in Iraq, al-Qaeda in Iraq, diminished but still active, and sharia a growing concern. Visit this site, scroll down to “Was the Surge a Success. The answer in three parts.”
There is a big problem when any nation goes to war against a Muslim state or a nation that consists primarily of Muslim citizens. When you attack a Muslim, you are attacking a member of the Umma, the community of Muslims globally. When that occurs, every Muslim has a duty to support their brother. An example is the Fort Hood massacre by Major Nidal Malik Hasan, who opposed our attacks on two Muslim nations.
We have had a number of these individual jihadists, who, after having a religious awakening, decided to go out and kill an infidel for Allah. This phenomenon will continue, as will the Muslim resistance to invasions of Muslim lands by the unbelievers.
If our troops wiped out every Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, there would be more brothers to take up the slack. They might be small in number but they will take out as many invaders as they can while enroute to paradise. You are dealing with a religion that is “destined” to control the world under sharia (Islamic law). Allah is on their side and there is no compromise with unbelief.
For those who think that Islam is a peaceful religion, you would be wrong. Muhammad, founder of Islam , set the standard for Muslim men. The hadiths, the words and deeds of Muhammad, are to be emulated by the Muslim faithful.
Some of Muhammad’s deeds include: assassinating his critics, violent jihad against unbelievers, beheading around 900 Jewish men and boys after a battle. In the process, his jihad wiped out most of the Jewish population in the area. After killing the 900 captives, Muhammad divided up their possessions, including women and children. Muhammad chose a beautiful Jewish woman, whose father, husband and brother had just been beheaded. And the prophet set the standard for marriage when he consumated his marriage to Aisha when she was 9 years old. And that is a sample of what Islam is about.
Of course, you never heard that history from our leaders. Their propaganda is that Islam is a peaceful religion and it was hijacked by radicals. Not so. They are simply the imams and true believers, those who participate in the religion and keep it alive and growing. Without them, Islam would perish. There is no moderate Islam.
The fact is that life would be a nightmare in a world ruled by an Islamic theocracy, a true House of Horrors, sanctioned by Allah. The best thing we can do is treat Islam as the threat that it is and not encourage the massive growth of a population that does not make America secure. The evidence: Take a look at what’s happened to Europe. The Muslim population is constantly committing violence against Europeans and declaring that Europe will be Islamic one day, under sharia (Islamic law).
Have we learned our lesson about getting bogged down in some Muslim hell hole? “U.S. troops will stay in Afghanistan longer than expected: Obama,” The Nation, June 25, 2010. (Evidently not.)
Also see this article, “No Peace for Israel-Ever,” that cuts to the core of the dispute.