Recently President Barack Obama has moved to increase troop numbers to fight the "real" war on terror against the Taliban in Afghanistan. A total of more than 21,000 additional soldiers are intended to be deployed. Mr Obama has also put the word on his European allies to send additional forces to fight against the insurgency. So far, the UK has agreed to send an additional 1,700.
Although many commentators have seen the war in Iraq as an unnecessary sideshow, the war in Afghanistan is equally unnecessary. The claim that we are over there fighting the Taliban to stop the terrorists is misleading. At present Western forces are being sent over there to be killed for highly dubious reasons. We are needlessly wasting the lives of our troops.
There are 4 fundamental reasons why the official rationale of fighting the Taliban supporters of Al Qaeda/Bin Laden does not fly.
1. The Taliban were not, and are not, uncompromising hardcore supporters of Osama Bin Laden. In fact, the Taliban actually offered to hand over Bin Laden before and after the attacks of September 11. Arrangements were made to have Bin Laden killed. However, these negotiations appeared to have been botched from the Western side of the equation.
2. Following on from the first point, there is also a distinction between the fundamentalist rulers of Afghanistan and the Al Qaeda criminal organisation. The real target should have been an international criminal organisation, not an entire country. The two groups are not synonymous with each other.
3. There is no evidence linking Bin Laden to the September 11 attacks -- which is part of the reason why the Taliban never handed over Bin Laden after 911. For all those individuals whose countries are fighting in Afghanistan for reasons relating to 911 you should note that the post attack video tape confessions of the Al Qaeda leader have all been exposed as fakes. Furthermore the "confessions" of other suspects in the 911 attacks have been shown to be unreliable and cannot be used in court because they were gained under torture. Because of these facts the FBI has not included the 911 crime on Bin Laden's entry at their "Most Wanted" webpage. Osama Bin Laden is wanted for the bombings of the two US embassies in Africa, not for the 911 attacks.
4. Bin Laden has been dead since at least early 2002 and there is no real Al Qaeda danger other than the fake threats conjured up by Western Intelligence services designed to prolong the military industrial complex's War on Terror. We in the West are fighting against Taliban resistance levelled against foreign occupiers and the puppet government in Kabul.
There is NO REASON for Western forces to be fighting in Afghanistan other than to prop up a puppet regime and protect human rights in areas under coalition control. If we are going to stay over there to protect human rights then it's all or nothing. The question is whether such an action is worth the lives of our soldiers.
Point of fact: we are NOT actually over there fighting verses an Al Qaeda menace which is what the intelligence chiefs will say. These people know better and are lying to the public.
Way back in late 2001 there wasn't any justifiable reason to invade the country and there is still little reason to be over there now. Admitting past errors would be a good start in making preparations to leave. Plans for a negotiated peace need to be enacted immediately. At present we are seeing the continuation of a cruel fiction, the War on Terror, that is needlessly killing more and more soldiers and civilians alike. The war in Afghanistan must end.
[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, March 29th, 2009.]