In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, then President Bush and his national security team looked at the options for attacking Afghanistan, the home of the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the attacks. There were no good plans in the Pentagon. And, for good reason, the United States national security apparatus had made a decision during the Reagan Administration that putting United States boots on the ground there was not a viable option.
The country needed it, so we did it. Then Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's "limited" war with the United States sending operatives to help the so called Northern Alliance against the Taliban was ordered. The search for Bin Laden was ordered. Frankly, it had to be that way. The American people demanded it. American honor demanded it.
Now, American honor demands leaving that God forsaken land that has taken down world powers before. It is complicated. It is difficult, but in the end we have no business having boots on the ground there anymore.
When the forces of the United States first overthrew the Taliban, the United States was supported by the world and viewed as liberators. The Taliban's harsh regime was replaced by an American backed government that allowed things like girls going to school and other measures accepted by world standards.
But, the United States stayed. We told the world we wanted to get Bin Laden for what he did to us. That seemed reasonable. We increased our military footprint, under two Presidents, both Bush and Obama, and our presence in the lives of people who are literally on the other side of the world.
Then, we found and killed Bin Laden in Pakistan, not Afghanistan. That started the feeling of Afghans about just what the United States was up to. But, we got the bad guy. Then the United States did not leave. Instead, the United States remained in Afghanistan, in force. That was the start of the problem we faced in credibility, not only with the Islamic world but with the entire world.
The people of Afghanistan are used to someone with power lording over them. When a people have spent most of their lives submitted to a powerful military entity, the Taliban, then is liberated by a stronger power who does not leave, then feelings develop that one oppressor has simply been replaced by another.
Add to those feelings of the past few weeks and the last few days. A incredibly stupid General ordered Korans burnt because a few prisoners passed notes in them. Then, a rogue United States Army Sergeant walked off post and killed civilians, including 9 children. Then that rogue Sergeant tried to burn the bodies.
That rogue Sergeant is a despicable human being and a disgrace to the United States and to the United States Army. His heinous actions have sullied the honor of the United States and the Army and the service and sacrifice of all those who have honorably served. If General George Patton was alive, Patton would shoot him on sight.
That said, no apology from various Generals, Secretary of Defense Panetta or President Obama will do in this case. The United States needs to leave the business of Afghanistan to the people of Afghanistan. If what rises up there decides to mess with our people again, we hit them. But, the United States is not an occupier, not an empire. The act of stupid Generals and rogue Sergeants can not happen if we are not occupying someone else's country.
The Navy Seals took care of the guy who masterminded the attacks of September 11th, 2001. The United States made it clear to the world, that we will relentlessly hunt down and bring to justice anyone who attacks us so. Now is the time for us to pull out of Afghanistan and show the world we are not angry occupiers of other nations.
If we stay in Afghanistan, it will get worse there. The people there will not trust us and they will plot against us. Already rumors are there that it was more than just one rogue soldier who did the killing of civilians. We stay there, and we play into the hands of the Islamic extremists who try to portray us as against God, occupiers, evil, etc. Further, we seem like like the bully on the block to the rest of the world instead of the keeper of the peace.
So, for the honor of the service of our military people, and for the honor of this country, and for the future security of the United States, I urge President Obama to remove United States forces from Afghanistan now.