Good Signs

The President’s Afghan deployment announcement has elicited some long needed critical views on the use of military power. During the initial stages of the Afghan conflict, the images of 9/11 and the thought that a military incursion could wipe out al Qaeda was in most people’s minds. Soon our attention was diverted to Iraq where the argument fell along the lines of “the commander in chief cannot be wrong” to “the commander in chief is lying”. Through out most of the Iraq invasion and occupation, arguments raged around “whether it was a mistake to be there” rather than “what exactly is the reason we are there and does military force have a chance of achieving it”?

With Afghanistan we have a very clear connection with 9/11 and the open operation of Islamic extremists whose views of the world are totally incompatible with non-extremists. Yet the proper question is whether infusing 30,000 more troops is a wise and necessary step.

President Obama raised the question of affordability in his speech. At long last someone has spoken that any war costs money. Money that could (and probably should) go for other purposes. So, are we spending our money wisely?

In order to better consider this notion, we must question the fundamental assumption that chasing al Qaeda (or the Taliban) in Afghanistan (or Pakistan) will eliminate Islamic extremists. Many people are now coming forward with the idea that Islamic extremists are like a uncontrolled virus that can spread where ever it wants.

Islam is like all other religions in that at its core it is a business. If those who study and teach its theology did not profit from this activity, I assure you they would not do this line of work.  Some Islamic teachers have found extremism as a good business.  The “al Qaeda” brand of Islam  is particularly valuable and attracts a lot of volunteers (who work for food, clothing, and hope) and a lot of money (from sources who in tern have other “get even” agendas).

Think about Afghanistan and Pakistan. Where does the Taliban get its weapons and money to buy munitions, food, and other supplies?

The most opposite views to President Obama’s decision say there should be no war on terror. Rather we should call al Qaeda and any other Islamic extremists what they are. Common thugs and criminals. It follows directly form this assumption that control of this menace is an International and local police effort, joined in a coordinated manner. Like pirates, Islamic extremists need to be seen as incompatible with modern society and prevented form accessing any parts. That means no travel, no trade, no financial connections. When these groups renounce their extremist behavior, a different approach should be offered.

Explore posts in the same categories: Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Pakistan, Politics, Republican Party

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