Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Osama Bin Laden Is Dead - It's Time To Begin Our Withdrawal From Afghanistan

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Taliban refused to turn over Osama Bin Laden to the United States. By doing so, they became his allies, and we went to war in Afghanistan. Although it became necessary to remove the Taliban in the process of chasing Bin Laden, we gradually lost our focus on the primary mission. It should never have been about anything but capturing or killing Osama Bin Laden and those who planned and executed the 9/11 attacks.

Instead, we became involved in nation-building, trying to bring a primitive country from the dark ages to modern times with only a handful of soldiers. Our leaders ignored the traditions of corruption, tribes, drugs, and religion, believing in their intellectually superior minds that we could wave our hands and create a Jeffersonian democracy.

As usual, our troops have performed magnificently. Because the Taliban was chased into the mountains with their tails between their legs, the Afghan people have had a chance to enjoy the fruits of our warriors' efforts. Few of them have embraced us or our ideals. They remain a primitive people for the most part, and they despise foreign occupation - regardless of the reason.

The president of Afghanistan is working against us and continuing the culture of corruption in his country. He wants to work with the Taliban to bring them into the government - kind of like letting the fox into the hen house. When - not if - that happens, the Taliban will only wait until we are gone before they try to return Afghanistan to its brutal past.

Whether we leave today or twenty years from now, the Afghan people - like their Iraqi counterparts - will determine the future of their country. Maintaining their culture of corruption is not worth another American life.

The sacrifices of our troops in Afghanistan ultimately resulted in the death of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. Almost all the Al Qaeda planners of 9/11 are dead or locked up. The few that remain can still be taken out with accurate intelligence and professional special operations forces. We have accomplished our primary mission in Afghanistan, and we have been victorious. It's time to bring the troops home.

On our way out of Afghanistan, the last soldier to board an airplane should turn to the Afghans with one final message:

"Do what you will with your own country; but if you attack us again, we will destroy you. Any questions?"

Charles M. Grist

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