From day one, the disastrous and costly two-decade mishap in Afghanistan has been driven by national electoral politics. Now that the Taliban have driven the United States out, the math has changed for American politicians, who would benefit from focusing on the real threats facing the country.
TOWNSHEND, VT – Now that so many sad truths about Afghanistan are being told out loud, even in the mainstream media – let me add one more: the war, from start to finish, was political, no not in Afghanistan but in the United States.
Afghanistan has always been a side spectacle. According to the official account, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were launched from American soil, by people trained in Florida. Most of the named authors were Saudis. Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden had established his base in Afghanistan after leaving Sudan; soon he went to Pakistan, where he remained for the rest of his life. Afghan Taliban leaders have not been accused of being involved in the September 11 attacks.
But the 2001 invasion was swift and apparently decisive. And so he saved the tainted presidency of George W. Bush, who was faltering at that time from a defection (by James Jeffords of Vermont) that had cost Republican control of the Senate. Bush’s approval soared to 90%, then steadily declined, although two more increases – after the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the capture of Saddam Hussein in December – barely made it through. the 2004 elections.
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