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.

- tom moody 7-05-2005 10:14 pm

Judging by results, Afghanistan hasn't been such a good thing. Especially the part about Osama getting away. Perhaps NATO can make something good of the situation. Iraq appears to be too far gone for anyone to prevent greater disaster. It has "former Yugoslavia" written all over it.
- mark 7-05-2005 11:01 pm

It seemed like for about 2 seconds people were talking about Afghanistan being a quagmire--that the Soviets had initial victories but then got bogged down and eventually lost. There was nothing treasonous or wimpy about such speculation, 9/11 or no 9/11. But then the Cheneyites rushed in, the Taliban fled (to fight another day), Bush and Rumsfeld got their TV victory moment, and suddenly every liberal said how "of course" that's what we should have done. I've had many conversations where people say "Afghanistan is one thing..." and I have to butt in and be a jerk and say, "Actually I didn't support the invasion of that country, either..." And always get weird looks.
- tom moody 7-05-2005 11:13 pm

A friend, who is former Marine sniper, said a full scale invasion was the wrong approach to get al Qaeda in Afghanistan. He was right. The Taliban was/is pretty fucked up, but, gosh, they seemed okay to St. Ronnie.
- mark 7-06-2005 5:09 am

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