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Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Returning to the scene of the crime
Donald Rumsfeld was recently in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, near the Qala-i-Janghi prison fortress where hundreds of POW's were killed two years ago. The WSWS has the details.

While largely forgotten and less expensive in terms of American lives and dollars, and having had more international support, the Afghan war was just as criminal as the Iraq war. W's statement that he makes no distinction between terrorists and those who "harbor" them was a crock from the start, for several reasons. Pretty clearly, there was at least one other nation with much stronger ties to the 9/11 terrorists than Afghanistan: Saudi Arabia. Also, these people had been "harbored" in the US for several months (including in the rogue state of Florida), and were being "harbored" in Germany before that. Furthermore, I doubt that the Taliban could have expelled Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda if they had wanted to. (I ranted in detail about this back in September.) Furthermore, the invasion of Afghanistan, like that of Iraq, was already on the Pentagon's drawing board before 9/11.

The administration and the media presented attacking and invading Afghanistan as an either/or proposition. Either we bomb the poorest country in the world even further back into the stone age, or else the terrorists have won. There were many possible responses to 9/11 aside from invading Afghanistan and doing nothing. Actually finding out what happened on 9/11 and why would have been a good start. Two bad wars and tens of thousands of deaths later and that still hasn't been done.