Bin Laden Dead - War Was Not the Answer

A lot of people will make the point today that we should leave Afghanistan as soon as possible now that our top goal of going over there has been accomplished. This comes, ironically, eight years to the day after President Bush declared Mission Accomplished in regard to Iraq -- and can anyone remind me what that mission was?

We declared two wars to target Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. They were in Afghanistan and Iraq. We killed bin Laden in Pakistan.

The idea that Iraq had anything to do with Osama bin Laden and the attacks against this country was comical and tragic at the same time. Now that we have killed bin Laden in Pakistan, can we ask the incredibly wrong neo-cons what Iraq had to do with 9/11 again? And will they apologize for leading us into Iraq when it turns out we were right, the enemy was many countries away?

But that's obvious, though it will not be mentioned enough today. So, let's talk about Afghanistan. Yes, we did chase bin Laden from there initially -- about ten years ago. But since then we have been fighting a senseless war with the Taliban and God knows who else, when we knew or suspected that bin Laden was in Pakistan. So, what did all of those nearly pointless campaigns in different parts of Afghanistan accomplish when Osama bin Laden was sitting in a house in the suburbs of Pakistan's capital?

Bottom line -- endless war didn't work. In the end, we found the man who authorized the attacks on 9/11 through good intelligence work and killed him with a very small, targeted strike with our best trained forces. We didn't use an army battalion or a surge or huge ground troops backed up by Abrams tanks. It was a surgical strike pulled off by a small unit. Imagine if we had invaded Pakistan instead to accomplish our objective (they were only nominally cooperating with us -- he was sitting right outside their capital). How little sense would that have made? Just about as much sense as the other wars made -- not much at all.

War is the wrong strategy when fighting terrorism. Whether it was our tactical strike against an Al Qaeda leader in Somalia or this tactical strike in Pakistan, it's obvious what the much better strategy is compared to big, lumbering, incredibly costly and casualty heavy wars that we have started in the past. I hope we learn from our mistakes and our successes.

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Bin Laden Dead - War Was Not the Answer

A lot of people will make the point today that we should leave Afghanistan as soon as possible now that our top goal of going over there has been accomplished. This comes, ironically, eight years to the day after President Bush declared Mission Accomplished in regard to Iraq -- and can anyone remind me what that mission was?

We declared two wars to target Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. They were in Afghanistan and Iraq. We killed bin Laden in Pakistan.

The idea that Iraq had anything to do with Osama bin Laden and the attacks against this country was comical and tragic at the same time. Now that we have killed bin Laden in Pakistan, can we ask the incredibly wrong neo-cons what Iraq had to do with 9/11 again? And will they apologize for leading us into Iraq when it turns out we were right, the enemy was many countries away?

But that's obvious, though it will not be mentioned enough today. So, let's talk about Afghanistan. Yes, we did chase bin Laden from there initially -- about ten years ago. But since then we have been fighting a senseless war with the Taliban and God knows who else, when we knew or suspected that bin Laden was in Pakistan. So, what did all of those nearly pointless campaigns in different parts of Afghanistan accomplish when Osama bin Laden was sitting in a house in the suburbs of Pakistan's capital?

Bottom line -- endless war didn't work. In the end, we found the man who authorized the attacks on 9/11 through good intelligence work and killed him with a very small, targeted strike with our best trained forces. We didn't use an army battalion or a surge or huge ground troops backed up by Abrams tanks. It was a surgical strike pulled off by a small unit. Imagine if we had invaded Pakistan instead to accomplish our objective (they were only nominally cooperating with us -- he was sitting right outside their capital). How little sense would that have made? Just about as much sense as the other wars made -- not much at all.

War is the wrong strategy when fighting terrorism. Whether it was our tactical strike against an Al Qaeda leader in Somalia or this tactical strike in Pakistan, it's obvious what the much better strategy is compared to big, lumbering, incredibly costly and casualty heavy wars that we have started in the past. I hope we learn from our mistakes and our successes.

Watch The Young Turks Here

"Like" The Young Turks on Facebook Here

 

 

"What Can We Do?"

I've made no secret here of the fact that I supported Clinton, and that Obama has yet to gain my confidence; regardless, I believe that the best hope for our nation lies in Democratic control of the government, because we're in a hell of a mess.  And yesterday, that was the theme of one diary to which I posted some comments; the diarist ended by posing the question "what can we do?".  

My intent is to answer that question, and I started by proposing some of "my" answers in one comment.  But first, I need to work through a bit of my own political - or perhaps social - belief system.

The diarist was suggesting that we're in such a financial mess that no one - Obama included - might be able to get us out of the mess without sacrificing some of the things progressives believe in, including what the diarist referred to as "entitlement programs".

I made three comments in that diary, two of them relevant to this one:  the one mentioned above, which I'll get to, but in my first comment, I expressed some dismay at the idea that a self-described progressive seemed to have "bought in" on the Republican meme/talking point of "entitlement" programs.  The diarist actually used the words "entitlement spending spiraling out of control", particularly with regard to things like Medicare.

There's more...

When You're Neck-Deep in a Hole You Should Probably Stop Digging

Yep.  We're kind of boned.  I suspect we'll be well and truly boned shortly.

The dollar's in the crapper.  Oil is flirting with $150 a barrel.  We're fighting two wars at the moment and either we or a close ally will probably strike Iran by the end of the year.  We have entitlement spending spiralling out of control (and both parties are to blame for that, thank you very much Medicare prescription drug "addition").  We are long on demand for mass transit but short on infrastructure.

We're really in some trouble here.  I think we need to soberly assess what we need, what we want, and what we can afford.

There's more...

Questions about John McCain's speech w/the greatest poll ever

Redacted until I return

Diaries

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