The cause of 9/11?: Some historians have said that US misadventures in the Middle East have sewn the seeds of destruction. For example, and there are many of them, the US rid Iran of Mosadeq, a democratically elected leader because he wanted to nationalize Iranian oil and the US put the Shah in as his replacement. He was hated and overthrown hence the Ayatola Khomnei and radical Islam a true adversary and threat.
There are many instances of the US propping up corrupt governments such as Pakistan's Musharaf because that part of the world has our and everyone else's life blood...oil. We have bobbed and weaved a curious pattern. Some have suggested that 9/11 was a reaction to that i.e. an anger simmering for decades. It is a precarious balance of power and without being directly involved in state department politics it is hard to assess the true realities. I simply, often, admittedly do not know.
I am now reassessing my own opinion. In one of my opinions I talk about a path not taken which is sometimes irremediable. I do not know if this country MUST do what I think the President is going to tell us it must. I do not now really know. The President is entrusted with the awesome task of protecting the country which means all of our lives. I want to hear, of course, what he says Tuesday night addressing this life and death policy issue. I would not want to stand in his shoes and have such dominion over who shall live and who shall not.
Perhaps, there is no other way of protecting this nation AND MOST IMPORTANTLY the nuclear arms of Pakistan. THAT is the true worry as I see it. If the Taliban were to take over Afghanistan again they could have access to Pakistan's nukes as Pakistan is utterly fragmented since Musharaf stepped down, Bhutto was assassinated and her husband Zadari took over but is steeped in legal trouble.
It's a mess, upon a mess upon a mess which is why General Colin Powell said if you break it (meaning Iraq) you own it. The invasion of Iraq has destabilized the entire region. I suspect the President wants to keep a lid on a potential Vesuvian eruption in Pakistan and also keep Afghanistan from harboring Al Qaeda training grounds once again.
Monday morning quarterbacking is easy but I do it anyway. If I had the power to turn back the clock I would never want Iraq invaded as they posed a buffer power which hated Iran. I would as we almost did get bin laden in Tora Bora...we had him and it was stopped. Why? My suspicion based on no known fact is that Iraq was Bush's baby and he wanted it at all costs. Why again? There are many theories but suffice it to say he did.
Right in the beginning of the invasion of Afghanistan we rid it of the Taliban and had Bin Laden cornered in Tora Bora. Then he hid in the torturous region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. That ball was dropped to invade Iraq. To say that was bad policy is an understatement but what to do when we have to play the ball where it lies is the hardest decision of all.
Sometimes, existentially, there truly is no way out.