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Excellent discussion Melo, and I found myself agreeing with the argument up to this point:

Ending Iraq seems pretty good no doubt but amerika's forces are still recovering from Iraq they aren't ready for a new one. However much Obama may think he can sell the idea of peace through pulling outta Iraq and starting a whole new massacre in Afghanistan, I doubt amerikan voters have thought it through.

The author seems to forget the trauma to the American psyche that was caused by the intentional mass murders that took place on 9/11 (the numbers could easily have been much worse - up to 50,000).  

In my mind there is a distinct difference between a group setting out to deliberately murder as many innocent persons as possible to achieve a political purpose and a war conducted by a nation and fought under the international rules of war.  BTW, I'm not referring to Iraq, which is a travesty regardless of the outcome, that had nothing whatsoever to do with the events of 9/11; and I am not defending that war or the criminal actions of those in the American Government related to it or the "war on terror." My point is that terrorist actions are rightly seen as equally criminal in nature and the perpetrators should be pursued and treated as criminals.

With those thoughts in mind it is fallacious to equate war and terrorist actions except when those participating in war commit violations (crimes) of the rules of war.

While I vigorously opposed the administration's entry into Iraq as totally unjustified, I just as strongly believed that something had to be done about Afghanistan's Taliban run government and its support for the Al Qaeda criminals. Now that Al Qaeda appears to have been rejected by the Iraqi people, the organization has again turned to the Taliban and Afghanistan.  Does this foreshadow a wholesale massacre of Afghan citizens by US/NATO troops. I certainly hope not and I do not believe it to be a necessary result.

However, one cannot expect the American and European peoples to stand idly by while Al Qaeda plots and carries out another series of attacks on civilian targets, and it is unlikely that they will. I reject the argument that left alone Al Qaeda will just go away and kill no more or that 9/11 was a one-time event never to be repeated.  Should alternatives to military action be considered, absolutely. Is it possible to reconcile the Taliban or Al Qaeda's positions with those of the "West", maybe.  All avenues should be explored, but we cannot afford to just do nothing.


I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Mon Sep 8th, 2008 at 01:10:13 PM EST
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