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One of the things the Rovunists do to discredit certain liberals is say "They opposed Afghanistan!"
"Afghanistan was good" is supposed to be the conventional wisdom but not everyone thinks invading that sovereign albeit crappily-run nation and destabilizing it further was any better of a response to 9/11 than "doing" Iraq. When the attacker is a shadowy group as opposed to a nation the only (still) relevant question was whether the severity of 9/11 justified the use of (internationally) extrajudicial means such as commando raids, or whether there were other ways to bag terrorists and pressure countries "harboring" them. Invading meant precisely this: Osama got away, and we now have troops permanently stationed in yet another damn country. Why is this good exactly?
Mine isn't really a "liberal" position, but rather a libertarian or paleoconservative one based on the idea that the US doesn't need military bases all over the world. For the cost of dropping daisy cutters on Afghanistan we could have increased vigilance at home--say, by actually reading airport passenger manifests--and been a lot safer. And perhaps it wasn't such a hot idea to let the incompetents who allowed 9/11 to happen be the ones to "go hunt down the terrorists." Instead of rallying around Bush and comparing him to Prince Hal, the wastrel who became a military leader, as the NY Daily News
did, we should have impeached him immediately for 9/11, then thrown out the remaining bums in '04, and let the next administration "go get the terrorists." Again, obviously, law enforcement would have to be extra-vigilant to prevent another domestic attack in the interim, but my sense in '01 was that Osama & Co. had given it their all and nothing else that horrendous was in offing. BushCo hasn't foiled any terrorist plots against the US on the scale of 9/11 because there haven't been any.