Saturday, September 5, 2009

NATO, America, Afghanistan, Common Sense and Congress

"The more things change, the more they stay the same."1

Remember yesterday's news? When NATO aircraft bombed fuel trucks hijacked by the Taliban? (September 4, 2009) And it looked like quite a few civilians got killed? Probably? It'll be harder sorting this out, because by the time a German military unit attached to NATO arrived, the bodies had been carried away.

My guess is that civilians actually were killed: and that "NATO" aircraft really were involved.

"The more things change, the more they stay the same."

Today, it's America that killed all those people.
"...Key Senate Democrats signaled Friday that any push by the White House to send more troops to Afghanistan is likely to hit resistance. And their unease was fueled by another bombing, that left as many as 70 dead, including civilians who were killed when the U.S. blew up tanker trucks hijacked by the Taliban...."
(AP) [emphasis mine]
I think it's very likely that "the U.S. blew up tanker trucks" and that NATO dropped bombs on the hijackers. NATO is 28 independent countries, including Germany and the United States.

American aircraft, American pilots, working with NATO to keep Afghanistan from enduring more years of Taliban rule. That sounds complicated. It's so much easier to say "the U.S. blew up tanker trucks".

"The more things change, the more they stay the same."

Two years ago, America was 'going it alone, 'unilaterally' involved in Iraq - along with over two dozen other countries. (August 9, 2007)

Today, it looks like the current Administration is looking at taking action in Afghanistan: instead of politely allowing the Taliban to re-take the country. If successful, putting Afghanistan on its feet will benefit Afghanistan.

It wouldn't be exactly an altruistic act, though. Under the Taliban, Afghanistan was a base of operations for Al Qaeda:2 making it easier for Al Qaeda to plan and carry out the 9/11 attacks. Most Americans, I think, would just as soon not see hijacked airliners running into buildings again.

"The more things change, the more they stay the same."

It's nice to want peace, love, and understanding. Unhappily, not everybody has quite that nice a view of the world.

These days, outfits like Al Qaeda and the Taliban seem downright determined to get peace on their terms; love for their rules;, and understanding that anyone deviating from their preferences will die; established around the world.

As I've written before, war isn't nice: but sometimes it's better than the alternative.

Also as I've written before: "Congress must decide who to protect Americans from". (August 5, 2007)

Somewhat-related posts: In the news:
1 Some people say, "The more things change, the more they remain the same." Or, say it in French. ("Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.") The French novelist Alphonse Karr wrote it down (Famous Quotations & Authors), but my guess is that the proverb goes back further than that.


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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.