It is pretty obvious that we are now reaping the consequences of having supported the al Qaeda and the Taliban resistance to Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Throw in the fact that 16 of the 19 9/11 attackers came from authoritarian regimes supported by us (15 Saudis and 1 Egyptian) and it becomes pretty clear that our subversive operations sowed the seeds that have produced our current insurgent whirlwinds.
Look at what we are now doing over there and think to the future:
IRAQ — of which we boast having trained a military force of 300,000 and growing looks to be falling into three parts.Â To the north the Kurds want independence so that they can establish Kurdistan.Â This project is not exactly endorsed by the Turks who earlier declined to let us send our troops into Iraq via Turkey.Â As the Kurds gain, we lose the support of one of our few remaining Islamic allies.Â Needless to say the Sunnis in central Iraq love us not, as we have driven them out of power, probably left them bereft of economic support (oil),Â and subject to full scale retaliation from the dominant Shia who in turn are naturally allying themselves with their fellow Shias in Iran.
AFGHANISTAN is obviously a lost cause, with the Taliban making their comeback.
PAKISTAN: The Taliban derive mainly from the Pashtuns, the only one of the five tribal groups (different in each case for Afghanistan and Pakistan), shared with Pakistan.Â Noting that tribal link, let us not forget that Musharraf, whom we have routinely undermined by in his faceÂ support of Indian nuclear efforts, threats of dire consequences for his lack of fealty to us, has allowed Pakistan’s major nuclear honcho to share his sophistication in building atomic bombs with North Korea, Libya, Iran, and whoever else has been willing to pay the tab.Â General Musharraf — who only gained dictatorial power with a military coup — is but a bullet or bomb away from death.Â When he departs the scene one way or another, we should not be surprised to find him replaced by Islamists who love us not.
The bottom line here is that we have made a disastrous mess over there with our various ventures into regime change.Â Regimes certainly are changing, but not towards the type of (corporate free enterprise) democracy predicted by Bush/Rumsfeld!Â We have blown it and set the stage for the next round of wars (‘nuculer’ or whatever) to be faced by our younger generation — they should have voted when they had the chance.Â And hopefully if they do now, we can elect representatives who will negotiate with Iran, North Korea, and whomever else it takes to bring the peace that all the world deserves — before the fundies, Christian and/or Muslim, manage to stage their much vaunted suicidal Armageddon!
“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)
Ed KentÂ 718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]