There is hardly a modern progressive thinker that didn't burn - verbally or literally - an effigy of President George W. Bush, so despised for so many years by the left in America and without. Of course, the war in Afghanistan is one of the cornerstones of that courthouse of progressive judgement.
But here comes no other than WaPo, with a revealing article on the mind(s) of the Al Qaeda's best an finest. Khalid Sheik Mohammed, one of the 9/11 masterminds - what better horse mouth do you need to make up your opinion?*
Today, some on both the left and the right argue that al-Qaeda wanted to draw us into a quagmire in Afghanistan — and now the Islamic State wants to do the same in Iraq and Syria. KSM said this is dead wrong. Far from trying to draw us in, KSM said that al-Qaeda expected the United States to respond to 9/11 as we had the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut — when, KSM told Mitchell, the United States “turned tail and ran.” He also said he thought we would treat 9/11 as a law enforcement matter, just as we had the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the USS Cole in Yemen — arresting some operatives and firing a few missiles into empty tents, but otherwise leaving him free to plan the next attack.If this doesn't prove the merit of the quick draw and massive response, nothing would.
“Then he looked at me and said, ‘How was I supposed to know that cowboy George Bush would announce he wanted us ‘dead or alive’ and then invade Afghanistan to hunt us down?’” Mitchell writes. “KSM explained that if the United States had treated 9/11 like a law enforcement matter, he would have had time to launch a second wave of attacks.” He was not able to do so because al-Qaeda was stunned “by the ferocity and swiftness of George W. Bush’s response.”
But, you might ask, what is the sense of talking about this now? I would say that now, more than ever, the necessity of opposing the (natural) tendency of USA to withdraw from the world's areas of mayhem and strife, is vital. After eight years of gradual and quite open withdrawal, led by a Democratic POTUS, the newly elected Republican one is more than eager to continue and even speed up the process. Including the talk about leaving NATO and, as a result, forsaking Europe to any and all external threats, and there is more than just one (Putin).
While it is true that Europe became too lazy, too fat and greedy, too used to the protection of the American umbrella and unwilling to pony up even the money (it is budgeting to) for its own defense, the move Trump broadly hints about will be disastrous in the long term. You just have to read what KSM says:
KSM explained that large-scale attacks such as 9/11 were “nice, but not necessary” and that a series of “low-tech attacks could bring down America the same way ‘enough disease-infected fleas can fell an elephant.’ ” KSM “said jihadi-minded brothers would immigrate into the United States” and “wrap themselves in America’s rights and laws” until they were strong enough to rise up and attack us. “He said the brothers would relentlessly continue their attacks and the American people would eventually become so tired, so frightened, and so weary of war that they would just want it to end.”And from the author of the article:
“Eventually,” KSM said, “America will expose her neck for us to slaughter.”
KSM was right. For the past eight years, our leaders have told us that we are weary of war and need to focus on “nation building at home.” We have been defeating ourselves by quitting — just as KSM predicted.Surely KSM was right, it is hard to argue this point.
The only remark to KSM's speech above: you might have noticed that he talks about America only and that Europe isn't mentioned. Sadly, we know why, don't we?
(*) Not that I expect that many progressive thinkers will change their minds, being usually too far away from mundane and boring things like mere facts. Still it is worth trying.