I see the "war on terrorism" as a nebulous concept, much like the "war on drugs" or the "war on poverty." It really accomplishes nothing, but it makes us feel better if we declare "war" on something. I am not saying that there is not a real threat, but think about it. The way in which we are conducting this "war" is pretty lame.
What is the end-game? Does anybody think that - like drugs or poverty - terrorism will ever completely go away? There are muslims - over 1 billion of them - in just about every country in the world. Assuming that we killed each and every one of them, do you really think that will be the end of it? There will always be somebody to take their place; nature abhors a vacuum.
So, if we want to minimize the threat and impact of terrorist activities, there are much better and more efficient ways to do it. Iraq was and is a joke. Give it another ten to twenty years and it will return to being another tribal shithole in need of another strong-arm dictator like Saddam to keep them all in check, and we will have wasted over a trillion dollars and a few thousand lives of our military brothers and sisters for, well, nothing. Yeah, sure, Iraq was a minor logistical player in the overall scheme of things, but if we want to nullify the financial support for terrorist activities - cut off the head of the snake, so to speak - given by various nations we would be much better off going after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and maybe a few others. But we don't and won't - and I think we all know why - so we're not really that serious.
And Afghanistan, please. OK, we went there originally to try to get Osama. Personally, I think he may be long since dead, but announcing that to the world would would not give us much of a leg to stand on in remaining there. As long as the illusion of him still being the grand mastermind is perpetuated, we grant ourselves license to stay as long as we feel is necessary. But why are we still there? Afghanistan is barely out of the stone age. They cannot directly, as a nation, export much of anything. So, what is the real threat from that country?
The Taliban are nothing more than medieval overlords, draconian drug peddlers of poppy production. The money generated from opium poppy production is used to fund training and deployment of terrorist activity around the world, so why are we not targeting poppy fields and spraying them with napalm on a daily basis?
Labels: Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East Affairs, Military, Personal Ramblings, Terrorism