Sunday, June 27, 2004

Afghanistan and Iraq are mirror images....

Anyone who has forgotten that the American counterattack in the War on Terror began in Afghanistan probably believes the neighbor of Pakistan is settling into a peaceful democracy. This couldn't be less accurate.
Taliban fighters have kidnapped and killed 16 people in an Afghan province after finding them with voter registration cards for the country's September elections, officials said on Sunday
Don't forget what happened on Saturday:
A bomb on board a minibus carrying women to voter registration sites in eastern Nangarhar province near Pakistan, exploded killing two women. The blast has injured another 11 of the party, some critically

Of course with everything going on in Iraq, who has time to notice Afghanistan? I'm beginning to believe that Bush and Co. knew Afghanistan would be a quagmire, but honestly assumed Iraq would not. Invading Iraq was probably timed to create a diversion for the situation in Afghanistan, in addition to the obvious motives of securing oil reserves and obtaining a new base country in the Middle East.

Al Jazeera is reporting that terrorists are holding a U.S. Marine, threatening to execute him if Iraqi jails are not emptied. Al-Aribiya earlier showed a Pakistani prisoner threated with beheading.

Does anyone still believe we have "spread freedom and democracy" to these people? While it can certainly be said that both Afghanistan and Iraq suffered from depressed human rights protections, inhumane punishment and control methods, and presented threats to neighboring countries, these conditions do not seperate either nation from dozens of others.

Afghanistan was justified. Iraq remains not so. Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, and Sudan have far more connections to 9-11 and WMD than anyone in Iraq. Saddam's weapons program did not even come close to matching that of Iran or North Korea, both considered threats to the U.S. and its allies. 15 of the 19 highjackers were from Saudi Arabia. Sudan habored Osama himself for years.

Had the U.S. accepted and utilized the "Powell Doctrine" of overwhelming force in Afghanistan, and avoided a conflict in Iraq, we might still have seen 16 people killed for carrying voter cards. But, we would not be facing the pending execution of an American Marine. Turkish citizens would not have to watch three of their own meet the same fate. South Koreans would never have been gripped with the brutal fear of helplessness.

With the powerful Saddam still in charge, Al Qaeda might not yet have established a threatening presence in Iraq.

Nick Berg and Paul Johnson would never have been executed, and thousands of American soldiers, sailors, and Marines would never have been wounded in that nation. More than 800 American service members might still be alive today.

What have we given up for the current state of Iraq? These tragic deaths, our diplomatic standing, and billions and billions of dollars. Money which could have been spent securing Afghanistan for female poll workers and citizen voters, and providing our soldiers with the protective gear they are still lacking.

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