If September 11th 2001 had happened when the Soviet Union was still around would we have gone on to invade
Afghanistan and Iraq?
I'm uncertain because we would know that the Soviets would fund and support whoever we tried to invade. This is especially so if (even more
hypothetically) Afghanistan was still a captured part of the Soviet Union and the terrorists who did 9/11 had merely come from within it (without
So what would we have done?
I agree with George Bush’s policy of regime change but I assure you it is almost the only part of his entire war on terror strategy I applaud.
During the Cold War we backed friendly governments. Often they were dictatorships but they were friendly governments nonetheless. Sometimes this was
because other friendly political alternatives weren’t much different. At other times it was because democracy threatened to see communism or extreme
socialism win; just as today it offers the same room today to religious extremism.
Because The Cold War is over The White House was obviously right to realise this no longer means an automatic nuclear holocaust when you invade (most
parts) of the world. But
they have thought: “Out of the box
comes the military”.
Sadly the enemy we are fighting draws analogies with some of the weird monsters you sometimes see in science fiction movies. As the more firepower
you chuck at it (even with our most sophisticated weapons) the bigger in size this monster grows.
Our enemy tries to die with
religion but never for
it. There is no chapter in the Korean that says “you must commit suicide at some
point in your life.”
Hence dying with the enemy is firstly about achieving some political goal. In our case its “dying in retaliation to the suffering others (or more
specifically you) have traced to us The West.”
And to be fair our Western governments have caused a lot of suffering over the decades and years right up to today’s conflicts in Afghanistan and
Iraq. Using our weaponry vindicates our enemy’s fury and that is why (despite the damages) our enemy grows AND spreads.
Hence like the Cold War today’s war devalues the meaningfulness of the grand total balance of armaments.
“The Moron of Washington” (and his Trash Administration) may have thought “mutually assured elimination” was dead; but mutually assured
destruction is alive and well. I think that the wars in the last few years prove they have underestimated this too much, for too long (in fact ever
Regime Change Liberal1984 Style…
The Ideal Dictatorship
2. Pro Western
3. And Secular
Secular is very important as it is through the tolerance of ideas within peoples heads, and the encouragement of (academic) education that
Fundamentalism can (to all practical purposes) be eradicated.
Only under sustained Secularism can we have the conditions for a democracy. And if those conditions come it will be easy to make it happen; by aiding
gradual pressures for regimes to change. After all it was gradual social pressure for change that caused the aristocracy in Britain to gradually
Saddam is a man with all 3 of those values (through his pro-western relations were damaged ever since the re-unification of Kuwait).
However even after we’ve executed Saddam there will still be other people like him. The Ba’thists movement is first and foremost those three
values (and dates back to the early 1950’s). Like any movement it cannot be shot and there are still those who believe in it. I believe we should be
encouraging those values and not challenging them with democracy. After all the very fact democracy can reject those values is to my mind confirmation
that a country (or region) is not yet ready for it. Currently Iraq is on course to demonstrating that not only is it too violent and divided for
democracy, but that many
of its peoples lack the right values for it to be pro-us anyway.
Here we could have simply funded the Northern Alliance
If we had only given them enough weapons and money these people who been fighting the Taliban for years could ether have caused the Taliban to accept
our terms; or if we didn’t like that then just wipe them out.
If we had gone for the wipe-out option the next challenge would be to find out who else supports the likes of Osma Bin Laden. Then to negotiate with
them; and if that doesn’t work out find some enemies for them and wipe them out too.
It would be bloody but under my option they’re wouldn’t be the need to put a single in the country.
And I agree that airpower has its place. The great thing about it is that you don’t give anybody any weapons that they may one day be used against
you. Yet with it, you can still change the course of entire battles on the ground.
We could have found a single source within say the Northern Alliance who we would then support above all others. If that didn’t work then it
wouldn’t be very difficult to bring them down in an unstable place like Afghanistan.
The invasion option sucks because as well as hyping up the terrorist threat you also loose lots of troops. (Almost more than 9/11 when include
Afghanistan, not to mention the terrible injuries). Our “occupying” physical presence in these countries is just not good.
So Instead: Conquer some territory but only before you’ve worked out someone good to give it to almost immediately. As I keep saying to suggest it
could be anything other than a regional democracy in place like Afghanistan is almost the biggest symptom that whoever you’ve chosen is a joke.
I don’t think it would have made much difference whether the Taliban had supported Osama Bin Laden or not. I think he could still have come from
Afghanistan even if they were against them, and we had, had even less to do with them.
However I agree that the fact they supported him, and he did 9/11 meant that (as almost a matter of foreign policy) someone had to die. I mean how
could you say no to outraged American public afterwards? Well I suppose you could tell them the Taliban’s changed its mind; but the Taliban didn’t
do that, so we really had no option.
Using our own stable democracies as an example lets see how they would sustain my style of war on terror….
1. How many troops would you have to kill to equal the political impact of assonating Tony Blair?
2. How many skyscrapers would you need to destroy to equal bombing the Labour party conference?
3. Which has the greatest political effect: Spending several hundred million dollars to drop a nuclear bomb on London (with parliament devastated)? Or
spending (perhaps) half that much on a successful military coup?
So you see if our own democracies can’t sustain one or two hundred traitors armed with a few hundred million dollars then nothing can. This strategy
is surely cheaper than the nuclear bomb, politically more earth shattering, and in comparison kills almost no one.
Ok ATS do you think we need to go “back to basics” and try a more traditional approach? Do you think we should be aiming more for regime change
[edit on 090705 by Liberal1984]