Thursday, December 03, 2009

Why bush Really Invaded Afghanistan

I want justice... there's an old poster out West, I recall, that said, "Wanted, Dead or Alive" ~ George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States (1/20/2001 to 1/20/2009) referring to the 9/11 attacks "prime suspect" Osama bin Laden on 9/17/2001.

The US military bombed and invaded Afghanistan because that is where Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda were located - "guests" of the Taliban Regime which refused to hand him over to the US for prosecution. There isn't much more to the narrative, as far as most people are concerned. Most people will acknowledge that there is some controversy surrounding the decision to invade Iraq, with some calling it a "war of choice" (you can place me firmly in that camp).

However, contrary to the conventional wisdom that Afghanistan was the "good war" (wisdom that our current president agrees with), I believe the evidence strongly suggests that Afghanistan was another "war of choice". If you recall, before the US invaded Afghanistan bush contacted the Taliban and demanded that they turn over bin Laden, implying that the bombing and invasion wouldn't happen if they complied.

The fact is that Taliban did offer to give up bin Laden. Negotiations between the US and the Taliban had been ongoing for 3 years prior to the 9/11/2001 attacks. Unfortunately President Clinton was unable to close the deal. He did, however, put together an "aggressive plan to take the fight to Al-Qaeda".

But bush rejected the Clinton administration's claim that bin Laden and Al-Qaeda were a serious threat. bush said, "I didn't feel a sense of urgency" (as reported by Bob Woodward in his book "Bush at War", 2002). So he tossed the Clinton administration plan and handed off responsibility for formulating a new strategy to VP Cheney. Cheney's counter terrorism task force never met.

Fast forward to the aftermath of the (preventable) attacks of 9/11. With virtually the entire world backing him, bush submitted an ultimatum to the "rulers" of Afghanistan, the country which was "harboring" bin Laden (the words in quotes are in quotes because Afghanistan was not then and is not now actually a country, but rather a collection of independent tribes and villages).

bush demanded, "We know he's guilty, turn him over". The Taliban, not wanting to be bombed or invaded, offered to take bin Laden into custody and send him to a neutral third country for trial. bush "summarily rejected" the offer.

Under the "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists" (a joint resolution passed by the United States Congress on 9/18/2001), bush was granted "the authority to use all necessary and appropriate force against those whom he determined planned, authorized, committed or aided the September 11th attacks, or who harbored said persons or groups".

After the Taliban offered to turn over bin Laden they were no longer "harboring" him, and thus the invasion was not necessary or appropriate. It was at this point that, instead of issuing an ultimatum, negotiations should have begun (or been renewed). A deadline could have been attached, but, IMO simply rejecting the offer outright was a violation of the resolution.

It is human nature to be offended when presented with an ultimatum when you're expecting an offer of negotiation. Saving face is important in Muslim culture, and that they responded negatively to bush's demands shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone in the administration. Any idiot could have deduced that they'd be insulted when they were informed that they would not be allowed to save face, but instead were expected to submit to a humiliating and embarrassing capitulation.

This is why, in my opinion, bush refused to listen to the Taliban's offer. He deliberately insulted them to short circuit negotiations, which would allow him to proceed with an invasion. What we heard from the bush administration was "this is not a negotiation", and that the Taliban needed to "act to meet all of the president's demands now". Why give in to your adversary's demands when they've made it clear they're going to attack anyway?, which is what the bush administration signaled they were going to do by rejecting all offers of negotiation.

The logical conclusion is that bush had decided in advance that he was going to invade Afghanistan, and asking for the Taliban to give up bin Laden was a deceptive manipulation designed to make it appear as though his administration hadn't already decided to go to war.

Even though war with Afghanistan was not what bush actually desired. As noted by bush's official biographer, Mickey Herskowitz, bush was "thinking about invading Iraq in 1999", and that, if he had the chance to invade he would not "waste it". But because it was common knowledge that bin Laden was in Afghanistan and not Iraq, the American public wouldn't accept a war with Iraq... initially.

Case in point, Chief counter-terrorism adviser Richard Clarke, thought Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was joking when "as early as the day after the attacks, Rumsfeld was pushing for retaliatory strikes on Iraq, even though Al-Qaeda was based in Afghanistan".

It was unavoidable; the path to war with Iraq went though Afghanistan. So bush bullied and insulted the Taliban into NOT giving up bin Laden, even though they were desperate to do so (to avoid being bombed). However, a war with Iraq would not be saleable if bin Laden was to actually be captured. So, when US forces came close to catching him at Tora Bora, Rumsfeld sidelined "the vast array of American military power, from sniper teams to the most mobile divisions of the Marine Corps and the Army", and sent "fewer than 100 U.S. commandos, working with Afghan militias" to track down bin Laden. As a result bin Laden and compatriots "walked unmolested out of Tora Bora and disappeared into Pakistan's unregulated tribal area".

This information is from a 11/30/2009 Senate Foreign Relations Committee report, "Tora Bora Revisited: How We Failed to Get Bin Laden and Why It Matters Today". An article from the UK's Guardian, "Rumsfeld Let bin Laden Escape in 2001, says Senate Report" suggests that Rumsfled's "incompetence" is to blame. Even though the article title contains the word "let", implying that it was on purpose. Obviously this is because it's an article about how bin Laden "escaped", not an article accusing Rumsfeld of treason.

The Senate report does, however, conclude "unequivocally that in mid-December 2001, Mr. bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, were at the cave complex, where Mr. bin Laden had operated previously during the fight against Soviet forces". It also "suggests that a larger troop commitment to Afghanistan might have resulted in the demise not only of Mr. bin Laden and his deputy but also of Mullah Muhammad Omar, the leader of the Afghan Taliban. Mullah Omar, who also fled to Pakistan in 2001, has overseen the resurgence of the Taliban", but that "fewer than 100 American troops committed to the area were not enough to block his escape".

So we're to believe that Rumsfled's "incompetence" is to blame, even though this was his second term as Defense Secretary (he served under President Gerald Ford from 1975 to 1977)? Rumsfeld has plenty of experience, yet we were supposed to be worried about electing Barack Obama because of his lack of experience? This theory is completely unbelievable.

This explains why Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-New York), recently told MSNBC host David Shuster that the Bush administration "intentionally let bin Laden get away" in order to justify the Iraq war. When Schuster suggested, "That will strike a lot of people as crazy", Hinchey replied, "I don't think it'll strike a lot of people as crazy. I think it'll strike a lot of people as very accurate".

On 3/13/2002 (87 days after bin Laden "escaped") bush said, "So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him. And, again, I don't know where he is. I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him". Why wasn't bush concerned? bush wasn't concerned about bin Laden because he had escaped into Pakistan and was beyond our reach, and thus the possibility no longer existed that he might be captured, dead or alive, and foil bush's plans for invading Iraq.

Afghanistan Timeline
->10/07/2001: Afghanistan Invaded.
->12/16/2001: bin Laden escapes during the Battle of Tora Bora.
->03/13/2002: bush says, "I truly am not that concerned about him (bin Laden)".
->03/20/2003: Iraq Invaded.

Further Reading
[1] Poll: Do you believe that the Bush/Cheney Administration made a conscious decision to let bin Laden get away at Tora Bora? by R. Donald Snyder, Newsvine 11/30/2009.
[2] Rumsfeld Order Allowed bin Laden's Escape by Gabriel Winant, Salon 11/30/2009.

SWTD #33

15 comments:

  1. " I believe the evidence strongly suggests that Afghanistan was another "war of choice"."

    All wars are "wars of choice". No one ever has to fight back, you know.

    Besides, from your title, the fixation on Bush once again shows through. Bush was really a face in the crowd when it came to retaliating against the then Afghanistan government. An overwhelming majority in both houses of Congress voted for this, along with an overwhelming majority of Democrats. The margin was so great that even if Bush had vetoed it, the veto would have easily been overridden.

    As for the rest of it, you won't find any argument from me that "Rummie" was incompetant. He was no Eisenhower, no MacArthur.

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  2. Then why did bush ask the Taliban to turn over bin Laden? Isn't it stupid to ask someone for something and offer nothing in return?

    I was going on the assumption that what we were offering in return was to not attack, but you claim I'm wrong. Even if the Taliban had turned bin Laden over we'd have attacked anyway?

    Don't turn him over and we'll attack OR turn him over and we'll still attack? I bet that was a hard decison.

    The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, the bill that "justified" the invasion of Afghanistan, "granted the President the authority to use all necessary and appropriate force against those whom [the president] determined planned, authorized, committed or aided the September 11th attacks, or who harbored said persons or groups".

    The key phrase is "who harbored". bin Laden and al Qaeda were in Afghanistan, although Afghanistan was never much of a country, so I'm not sure how that amounts to "harboring". In any case, the Taliban DID offer to give up bin Laden. bush TURNED THEM DOWN.

    If he had accepted they would have no longer been "harboring" him. Provided they had followed though. But he never even gave them the chance. I bet if that had been put to a vote the Congress would have decided to give the Taliban an opportunity to turn over bin Laden.

    The invasion (or the Taliban's offer) was not, however, put to a vote. Despite your imaginary scenario in which bush vetos the invasion and Congress overrides him. THAT never happened.

    dmarks said... you won't find any argument from me that "Rummie" was incompetent.

    You will from me. He wasn't incompetent at all. He didn't send enough forces to capture bin Laden because he wanted him to get away. Mission accomplished. I fail to see how accomplishing your goal makes you incompetent. Maybe you need to look up the meaning of the word?
    .

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  3. "fail to see how accomplishing your goal makes you incompetent. Maybe you need to look up the meaning of the word?"

    I did. Incompetent does not mean "accomplishing some diabolocal goal that exists no where but in the minds of conspiracy theorists".

    By the way, toward the end of your post, you link to a poll. The page linked to is poorly cobbled together, like a fun blog post. But it looks like some sort of internet poll. Am I missing something and it an actual poll?

    I know it is entirely unrelated, but I'm tempted to ask you how many people shot JFK...

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  4. The poll is pretty self-explanatory I believe. The author discusses the conclusions reached by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in their report, "Tora Bora Revisited: How We Failed to Get Bin Laden and Why It Matters Today".

    The page does not in any way appear to me to be "poorly cobbled together". A majority of the respondents believe that "Bush/Cheney decided to let bin Laden get away at Tora Bora on purpose". Clearly you disagree. Why don't you just say so instead of making a nonsensical claim that the page is "poorly cobbled together"?

    BTW, I asked how you arrived at the conclusion that all of congress was hell bent on "retaliating against the then Afghanistan government", when the Congress was never given the chance to consider the Taliban's offer of surrendering bin Laden to face trial in a neutral third country?

    No idea? You're the one who made the claim. I'm guessing that you thought it sounded truthy enough.

    As for how many shooters were involved in the JKF assassination: I don't know.

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    Replies
    1. I expected Dennis would remove this comment, so as to hide the evidence of his lying. This is what he does when caught, which is what happened when I linked to this comment on another blog. The point being to point out the hypocrisy of Dennis using the invented word "Canardo" (to mean a person who lies) as a neologism, when he said (in the now deleted comment above that he avoids "trendy neologisms").

      I knew (when I linked to this comment) that Dennis would likely delete it. And he did. But I copied it down first... what follows is the complete and unedited original comment from Dennis. Submitted to this blog on 12/5/2009 and deleted on 7/24/2014 because I linked to it here.

      dmarks said [12/05/2009 7:13 AM]

      "The poll is pretty self-explanatory I believe"

      Yes, and nothing you said have contradicted what it looks like, and is: something like a blog post, with discussion from blog commenters. Not a poll at all, actually. My description of that page stands as accurate and not "nonsensible". It is no more authoritative than, say, some random page at Shaw's or Patrick M's blogs.

      "I asked how you arrived at the conclusion that all of congress was hell bent on "retaliating against the then Afghanistan government"

      I arrived at this conclusion from looking at the facts. About a time when Congress was strongly in favor of retaliating against the Taliban. It is not a hard conclusion to come to, because that is what happened.

      And turning Bin Laden over to be tried in a terrorist ("Sharia") court, or letting him loose (the so-called "neutral country") were and are clearly completly non-viable options.

      "No idea? You're the one who made the claim. I'm guessing that you thought it sounded truthy enough."

      I avoid trendy neologisms, as I said earlier. I care if it is true (actual definition), and do not make referens to Stephen Colbert's comedy as if it is factual. It's about as lame as someone, say, seriously using Limbaugh's "feminazi" word in discussion. Or.... as lame as someone mistaking a blog discussion with an actual poll.

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  6. From Dictonary.com: Poll: a sampling or collection of opinions on a subject, taken from either a selected or a random group of persons, as for the purpose of analysis.

    The poll (and it is a poll) I linked to allowed a random group of persons (people who visited the site) to respond to the question "Did Bush/Cheney decide to let bin Laden get away at Tora Bora on purpose"? I never claimed it had the authority of a Zogby poll (for instance). You said it was "poorly cobbled together", which is total BS.

    Why the hell should I have said something contradicting it being a blog post? That IS what it is. I NEVER claimed otherwise. I did NOT mistake it for an authorities poll (like Zogby). I didn't base any of my conclusions on it, I just linked to it at the end of my post because I thought it was interesting. I never claimed it proved anything.

    bush derived his authority to attack Afghanistan from the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists which does not mention the Taliban, bin Laden, or rejecting any "non-viable" (according to you) offer to turn him over. The Congress never voted on any of these things, so I have no idea how you reached the conclusion that "Congress was strongly in favor of retaliating against the Taliban". If you can provide a link to a news story that proves this point, please do.

    And what about bush saying, "give him up. We know he's guilty"? Does this not imply that if they had given him up (unconditionally) that we wouldn't have retaliated? Also, I fail to see how turning bin Laden over to a neutral third country is "letting him loose".

    "Truthiness" actually existed before Stephen Colbert used it... "truthiness already had a history in literature and appears in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) (as a derivation of truthy) and The Century Dictionary...". As such, it doesn't fit the definition of a "neologism". I used it because I think it accurately describes how you decide what the truth is.

    "feminazi", on the other hand, is an oxymoron. Feminism and Nazism have nothing to do with one another.

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  7. FUCK YOU AND THE DONKEY YOU RODE IN ON.

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  8. I'm waiting for you to be consistent and criticize President Obama for killing 1,000 Iraqis in that incident this past week.

    He did, by the standards you used earlier:

    1) You blamed Bush for all deaths in Iraq, no matter who caused them in reality. just because his troops were there.

    2) You place the death toll in Iraq during the Bush years at 1,000,000. Which is just about 10 times as much as the actual death toll.

    "Congress was strongly in favor of retaliating against the Taliban".

    Would numerous links from Democrats making statements to this effect be sufficient? I already pointed out that most Democrats voted to do this, as well as Republicans ("strongly in favor" as indicated by a significant majority vote in Congress).

    Thanks for the origin of "truthiness". I did not know it went that far back. However, regardless of where the word came from, it is irrelevant in this discussion. I always skip over that to look for what is actually true.

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  9. #1. No, not just because he was the commander in chief and "his" troops were present. Because he authorized the invasion. Barack Obama simply took over the job. He did NOT authorize the invasion of any country.

    Sorry, but I do not know what "incident" you're referring to. Also, Barack Obama may now be the commander in chief, but he did NOT authorize the illegal invasion of Iraq. That was done BEFORE he assumed office. I don't get why that's so difficult for you to understand.

    #2. You do not know what the "actual" death toll is. You're simply agreeing with a number you find truthy enough and dismissing a figure from a respected medical journal (the lancet) because... I don't know. Because you just don't like it, I guess.

    I asked if you could point me to a piece of legislation where the invasion of Afghanistan was specifically voted on. There isn't one, as far as I know.

    The "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists" doesn't mention OBL, Afghanistan or the Taliban... so I don't see how you could possibly "know" the majority of Congress was in favor of taking down the Taliban. Again, I'm guessing that it simply sounds truthy to you, so it MUST be accurate.

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  10. "Barack Obama simply took over the job. He did NOT authorize the invasion of any country."

    Which sort of proves my point. Your claims of US troops having killed people has nothing to do with US troops actually killing people. Earlier you said it was because the troops were in the area, and that made them guilty. Now you hang it on the equally-irrelevant "who invaded first". If we followed that, anyway, Clinton would be to blame for it all, since the Clinton's bombings of Saddam's terrorist facilities during his administration were technically an invasion.

    You also prove my point by conveniently shifting the case. Earlier, it was based on US troops merely being there. Now you based it on who started the invasion. Which makes even less sense because the Commander-in-Chief is in charge of the military. When Obama took over, he could have decided to pull the troops out. He could have had them all out of Iraq by the end of January. But no; he didn't. He kept them there. So anything to do with US troops in Iraq since the start of his administration is 100% his fault. Even (unless you have abandoned the "because the troops were there" reason) the bombings.

    "#2. You do not know what the "actual" death toll is. You're simply agreeing with a number you find truthy enough and dismissing a figure from a respected medical journal (the lancet) because... I don't know. Because you just don't like it, I guess."

    I do know the actual death toll. It's well known. Rock-solid figures.

    Again, I reject anything "truthy". I do know what the actual death toll is. No quotes needed around actual. Iraq Body Count provides the most accurate reading, because it's an actual death toll. I reject the Lancet body count, and it has nothing to do with truthiness, but everything to do with their flawed methodology.

    If "truthines" comes in here at all, perhaps it is an irrational and inconsistent hatred for George W. Bush which causes some people to ignore facts and buy into fringe kook "war criminal" theories that won't ever get anywhere because informed and consistent people reject them. The fabrications about Bush's "crimes" are truthy enough to those who really hate Bush just because he is not in their political party.

    I have proven the inconsistency of the Bush hatred before, when I pointed out the similar imaginary studies from the Clinton years that pegged Clinton as a war criminal who killed 1,000,000 Iraqis.

    "The "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists" doesn't mention OBL, Afghanistan or the Taliban"

    Thank for you naming it, yourself. You have overlooked the obvious. As in, who were the main terrorists of concern at the time it was passed? Do you honestly think that OBL and the Taliban, and the nation that hosted them, were not the main target of the bill? Go on, tell us who was. Barring them, perhaps Iraq? Saddam's Iraq was in fact one of the main places for terrorism. Let's see you answer that one.
    "so I don't see how you could possibly "know" the majority of Congress was in favor of taking down the Taliban. Again, I'm guessing that it simply sounds truthy to you, so it MUST be accurate."

    I know because of the actual vote. Cold hard facts.

    The concept and use of "truthy" only exists in your mind. Your use of the world only proves some sort of poor reading comprehension.

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  11. dmarks said... Earlier you said it was because the troops were in the area.

    Nope. Sorry, that doesn't ring any bells. Are you sure you didn't just imagine that was my reasoning? My argument has always been based on the fact that bush authorized the invasion.

    dmarks said... Clinton's bombings of Saddam's terrorist facilities during his administration were technically an invasion.

    First of all, I don't know what terrorist facilities of Saddam's you're referring to. Clinton, I believe, bombed some al Qaeda terrorist training camps in northern Iraq, but they didn't have anything to do with Saddam. Secondly bombing is bombing, invading is sending soldiers in, which did not happen under Clinton.

    dmarks said... He could have had them all out of Iraq by the end of January. But no; he didn't.

    I suppose he could have, but that wouldn't have been very responsible. There is an agreement in place and he's following it. After bush invaded I think Barack Obama has obligation to withdraw responsibly.

    dmarks said... Now you hang it on the equally irrelevant "who invaded first". If we followed that, anyway, Clinton would be to blame for it all... You also prove my point by conveniently shifting the case.

    I'm not "shifting" anything. That's something you just made up. And I think it's a pretty weak counter argument you've invented. I damn well do think it's relevant that bush authorized the invasion of two countries.

    I admit I don't like bush, but it's because he's a war criminal, not the other way around. What's up with your irrational and inconsistent love for George W. Bush? You must love him, as you keep comming up with these seriously twisted theories regarding why he isn't responsible for a damn thing he did in office. First it was Barack Obama's fault, and now it's Clinton's fault. Is it because they're Democrats?

    dmarks said... I do know the actual death toll. It's well known. Rock-solid figures.

    Yes, I agree that the Iraq Body Count figures are rock solid. All the bodies they counted as being dead are dead. The problem is they didn't count everyone. Things get messy in war and you can't always gather up all the bodies, line them up, and mark them off on a clipboard. That's where the Lancet comes in. As I pointed out earlier, they're peer-reviewed, and are using a scientifically proven methodology. And they are standing by their estimates. I suspect that the people trying to discredit them simply can't accept there is that much blood on US hands.

    dmarks said... You have overlooked the obvious. As in, who were the main terrorists of concern at the time it was passed? Do you honestly think that OBL and the Taliban, and the nation that hosted them, were not the main target of the bill?

    I asked you if the bill mentioned the Taliban, OBL, or if we would or would not consider offers of turning over anyone. You're tell me "no", but really "yes"? Sorry, I'm not buying that seriously flawed logic.

    dmarks said... I have proven the inconsistency of the Bush hatred before, when I pointed out the similar imaginary studies from the Clinton years that pegged Clinton as a war criminal who killed 1,000,000 Iraqis.

    Now it's not bush but Clinton who is responsible for the deaths of a million Iraqis?! And you linked to a study?! Again, your claims ring no bells.

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  12. dmarks said... The concept and use of "truthy" only exists in your mind. Your use of the word only proves some sort of poor reading comprehension.

    The concept exists in the minds of the previously mentioned dictionary editors as well. I stand by my use of it.

    Case in point, the Iraq Body Count figures. You know damn well that they are NOT counting each and every death. Just they ones they can verify.

    Even if you think the Lancent numbers are wrong, that does not mean the IBC numbers are "rock solid" by any stretch of the imagination. You just pulled that phrase out of thin air. Why? I'm guessing because it sounded truthy to you.

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Unfortunately comment moderation is necessary in order to screen out insanity from an idiot calling himself "Luke" of the "Words And Music" blog (a liar who has made bogus accusations that many others are stealing his posts) as well as homophobic hate from TOM of the blog "Stay A While" (actually the same person).