The principal argument for continuing the 8-year occupation of Afghanistan is that if the Taliban regain power, they will provide a “sanctuary” for al-Qaeda. It is a fallacious rationale for the continued killing of Afghanis and the continued sacrifice of U.S. troops.
For one thing, if the U.S. Empire were to exit Afghanistan and Iraq and the rest of the Middle East, the al-Qaeda threat would become largely irrelevant.
Because the principal reason that al-Qaeda is attacking the United States is because the U.S. Empire has troops over in that part of the world and is killing, abusing, torturing, and humiliating people there. Once the U.S. Empire exits that part of the world, the principal justification for al-Qaeda’s terrorist attacks against the United States dissipates.
Sure, U.S. foreign aid to Israel, both financial and military, will continue to antagonize people in the Middle East. The ideal, of course, would be for the U.S. government to terminate foreign aid, which is nothing more than government-to-government welfare, to every country, including Israel.
But barring that, the likelihood that members of al-Qaeda or other Muslims will devote their lives trying to kill Americans simply because of foreign aid being provided to the Israeli government is small, especially when there are no U.S. troops available for targeting in that part of the world.
Contrary to what U.S. interventionists claim, the 9/11 terrorist attack didn’t come first. The U.S. Empire’s interventionist actions in the Middle East came first and the terrorist attacks on the United States came second. The 9/11 attacks, just like the 1993 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, were motivated by the anger and rage engendered in Middle Easterners by what the U.S. government had been doing in the Middle East prior to those attacks.
Consider (1) the many years of support provided to Saddam Hussein, including the furnishing to him of those infamous WMDs; (2) the Persian Gulf intervention, which killed countless Iraqis; (3) the Pentagon’s intentional destruction of Iraq’s water-and-sewage treatment plans with the intent of spreading infectious illnesses and diseases; (4) the brutal sanctions enforced against the Iraqi people for more than 10 years; (5) the callous and indifferent attitude that the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children from the sanctions were “worth it” ; (6) the deadly and illegal “no-fly zones” over Iraq; (7) the stationing of U.S. troops near Islamic holy lands; and (8) the unconditional financial and military aid to the Israeli government.
The invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, together with the massive death and destruction they have wrought, have been nothing more than continuations of the types of deadly and destructive interventions that produced the terrorist attacks both in 1993 and on 9/11.
By ending the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, and preferably foreign aid to Israel (and everywhere else), the fact that a Taliban regime might be willing to provide a “sanctuary” to al Qaeda becomes largely irrelevant give that the principal motive for committing terrorist acts against the United States will have been removed.
Conversely, by continuing the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the death and destruction that come with them, the threat of terrorist attacks against the United States becomes ongoing, regardless of whether potential terrorists are provided a formal “sanctuary” in Afghanistan or anywhere else.