Category: Anti-Terrorism

A War on Terrorism
by Richard R. Tryon

Is Frankfort, MI pop 1,750 a qualified 'grass roots'place to start movement to abandon Afghanistan to its neighbors, as a problem we can't solve?

The audience heard a state department veteran explain why we can't fix it and left the idea that we should let others do something else to those we tried to help.

Afghanistan Part II

Commentary and Perspective following Ted Curran presentation to Frankfort public of 6-15-11

The masterful presentation by Ted Curran, my friend, neighbor and often tennis partner was clearly appreciated by those in attendance at the Frankfort Library on 6-15-11. Using notes, a map of Afghanistan, Ted spoke in ways that showed the impact of his many years in the U.S. Dept of State.
After making a semi-promise to not engage in putting forth policy suggestion ideas, he ended up with more than one that seems to be the inevitable consequence when one tries to speak in a non-partisan way but canít resist forming conclusions as he goes along. Sort of like President Obama getting into the fray in Libya by advising the world that he thinks it is time for Gadaffi to resign, but only wants to interfere to save lives of some undefined array of Ďrebelsí in the East that have chosen to resist the Gadaffi government by meeting its force by shooting back! Now the President is about to violate his work around the law with footwork claiming to be an exception to the intent of Congress when it passed the War Powers Act to give the President a limited power to ignore the Constitutional rule that only Congress can declare war!

So it was that we heard a history of Afghanistan and its ancient heritage from those who have lived or passed through that mountainous part of the world. We discovered that the State Department gave Ted roles to play in his tour of duty about 40 years ago in Afghanistan and that in general he could portray certain characteristics of different parts or regions of the country. The tribes of the North are a bit different than those from the South. Combined with the weak economy and the modern history that included a brutal invasion by 100,000 Russian soldiers with barbaric treatment of the native population, the picture to the natives is clear. The ancient desire by the indigenous people to not like foreign intervention is especially understandable in Afghanistan.

On the other hand, the aftermath of the Russian defeat, helped by U.S. money and arms to such stalwart leaders of the opposition as Osama bin Laden, we set the stage for a future control by the religious leaders of Islam known as the Taliban. Curran did not choose to dwell on its connection to Al Qaida, or on the Talibanís role in abetting bin Laden, when he left the Sudan and migrated to set up many terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. Bin Laden did this while plotting or helping the many attacks on U.S. interests and embassies, ships, and buildings, including one of the World Trade Towers in NYC 8 years before the major success of 9/11/01. His appreciation of those doing what Muslims call Jihad or Holy War was publicly showcased as support, when in fact it was at his direction.

Like Chamberlain of England in 1938, the U.S. State Dept must always try to think in ways to avoid war and submit rationalizations to effectively bring peace at any price! It is very good at doing analysis to show why no clear pathway exists that can be expected to please all viewers or participants. Hence the chaos, corruption, and poverty of Afghanistan and its dependence on the poppy as the source of the best income possible, albeit very little to the grower, makes it a place not to our liking. It is not able to support the need to import other things needed for a subsistence level of living for the people, without supporting the poppy industry. Nonetheless, it seems to be one of several ways to encourage extra foreign aid help from the foreigners who are otherwise not wanted!

The conclusion ultimately put forth by Curran was that it would be best for the U.S. to withdraw its entire presence after spending many billions of dollars and a lot more lives in the last several years than in the preceding years since the 2001 fast success at minimal cost that drove the Taliban out of control of Afghanistan while attention was focused on containing and eliminating a great and fearful WMD called Saddam Hussein! To now follow the General Petraeus policy of staying on to protect the southern Kandahar region from a return of Taliban excesses and frightfully brutal treatment of women is a mistake. To re-enable others to reopen Al Qaida training camps to help teach terrorists how to smuggle atomic weapons into the U.S. seems to present a poor reason to pull out now. In short, the War against Terror is not over just because we choose to run away from the battlefield and desert those who do appreciate our foreign intervention! Perhaps more of these are women than men for reasons rather obvious to those who like the male dominant culture of Islam.

Our President, well versed in Islam from years of not just training but living in it, has tried hard to bring the U.S. down to the level of poverty known in all of the world of Islam except parts flooded with Oil profits via the oligopoly called OPEC. His efforts to become an international leader of the greatest stature in history could expand his career in teaching beyond what he accomplished before becoming a community organizer or advocate for those willing to follow his efforts to bring money into poor communities.

We are now facing a political and economic showdown in a global circumstance of enormous consequence. It has been important for President Obama to look like a global leader, bent on giving the rest of the world to see him as one not out to subdue but to help, while convincing his U.S. base that he is very much able to solve its economic problems via Keynesian economic theory that was debunked when invented, proven to be wrong by its failure where followed, and now being tried again. If we vote to put Obama back in charge of a pliant House of Representatives that passes laws sent over by the White House without reading them, we can complete the transition to socialism in a Godless rule by Secular Humanists that will not stand up to the attacks of Jihadists, but treat them as criminals for violating human rights, not as warriors seeking martyrdom by suicidal efforts to wipe out those who dare speak out against their interpretation of what Mohammed found to work so well for him and many of his successors.

It is therefore my conclusion that we might not want to give the problem of Afghanistan to its nearest neighbors, as Curran suggested. He mentioned that the Pakistanis certainly had an interest because of the Pashtun tribal area that sits on both sides of the artificial border. Yes, the Taliban is keyed there now and has been since the quick chapter in the fall of 2001 that drove them out of Afghanistan before our State Dept knew what was happening. Would they help the women in Kandahar when we leave? Would they prohibit restoring the terror training camps? I canít think of a reason why.

How about asking the neighbors to the East in China to solve the problem. Genghis Kahn is not around now, but the Chinese are good at solving people problems. Ask any of the surviving relatives of the millions who died in the Great Leap or the Cultural Revolution and one will find out how effective starvation is to beating a troubled people. Would the Russians on the North or any of its former Islamic partners help? Not too likely and they have no resources or desire to be driven out again!

Ah, how about asking the Iranians along the biggest border of Afghanistan to help? Ted Curran must not have had experience with that source back in his days in Kabul. Maybe current political and religious leaders of Iran can come to save the women and the poppy industry of Afghanistan?

No, we will not win a War on Terror by running away from it. Nor will we avoid losing it as a by-product of leaving. We need to invest in creative ways to build a different economy in Afghanistan, but it will be hard to replace the poppy growing trade. Why? The Mafia finds it to be too profitable to give up. As long as Heroin is illegal, the Mafia does very well. Make it cheap and legal and the users will stop killing innocents to steal the money needed to pay the Mafia! Besides, the Mafia is very generous to the politicians who keep the police away often with corrupting payoffs.

As much as I too dislike sending our military into dangerous places, it will remain as an essential that if our liberty and freedom is to endure, we must be prepared to out-perform the evil enemies who only respect and avoid trying to destroy us when we fight back or worse anticipate and stop attacks before they happen. Terrorism is not just a small or large criminal crime, it is the tool of those who have a political or a religious passion to control, and rule with a plan that must always die of its own dead weight. But, we canít afford to live under their rule, as did the Russian people for 70 years before the collapse that showed it to be an idea that canít work. We canít allow another such experiment to subdue the greatest social experiment in Godís world created by those we need to honor soon on the 4th of July!

More to come.

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