Afghanistan and the NIE
Bruce McQuain asks, “Where was Afghanistan in the NIE?”
Afghanistan was just as much an invasion of a Muslim country as was Iraq. And in the case of Afghanistan, it was a Muslim country being run precisely as the jihadists think the world should be run.
What could be a more perfect “cause celebre” than that?
It’s an interesting question that never really occured to me before.
Jonah Goldberg bolsters the thesis as well:
Today, Democrats tout their support of that “good” war as proof they aren’t soft on terrorism. Fair enough, I suppose. But guess what? That war made us less safe too – if the measure of such things is “creating more terrorists.” A Gallup poll taken in nine Muslim nations in February 2002 found that more than three-fourths of respondents considered the liberation of Afghanistan unjustifiable. A mere 9 percent supported U.S. actions. That goes for famously moderate Turkey, where opposition to the U.S. ran three to one, and in Pakistan, where a mere one in 20 respondents took the American side.
In other words, before Iraq became the cause celebre of jihadists, Afghanistan was. Does that mean we shouldn’t have toppled the Taliban?
Going back further, it’s conventional wisdom that we helped “create” Osama bin Laden, or his Taliban and mujahedin comrades, when we supported the Afghan resistance to the Soviet Union. So we shouldn’t have done that either?
It is simultaneously true that our actions help motivate the terrorists and that our inactions motivate the terrorists. In the famous words of Cap Weinberger vis-a-vis arms control with the Soviets, “We build, they build. We stop, they build.”
Had we not gone into Iraq, would there still be a major Islamist terrorist threat? Of course.