In reply to Solomon2, thank you for your comment. I take your point, it’s a good one. Unfortunately it’s beside the point that I was making. By “Better go home ...” I meant it’s better to do that than make more enemies by fighting wars, killing people and making everyone hate you.
If the USA is truly liberating, and [as you say] “interacting and helping the locals, encouraging them to join the anti-jehadist campaign, and leaving them when they are comfortable with us departing – not before”, then I totally agree with you, that’s definitely the right way to go. It’d be great and that’s what the world dreams of and wishes the USA would do.
I feel that in the 1980s the USA really did help the Mujahideen liberate Afghanistan from Soviet military occupation by sending stingers etc., and I applaud it. I felt so grateful, at the time, personally, because as I said Afghanistan has been one of my favourite hangouts since 1965 and I strongly oppose what the Soviets did there.
Had the USA then moved in and followed up, helping out with rebuilding the country and facilitating development, then I suspect the Afghans would have welcomed it and the USA with open arms. Instead it was, indeed, abandoned, and in the USA-less vacuum the over-armed Mujahideen parties were left to slug it out between themselves and Najibullah. In the process the entire city of Kabul and whatever good the Soviets had done was destroyed, leaving the country totally exhausted and ripe for the Taliban to move in from 1994-97 and establish their kind of peace.
So the USA missed an opportunity. The Taleban took power by default and were later conned into giving sanctuary to Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda, leading to 9/11.
Had the USA done what you suggest and filled the post-Soviet vacuum with such a positive role as you portray then I’m dead sure they’d have been welcomed in to help rebuild, the Taleban would have stayed in the Pakistani Madrassas, Al Qaeda would have stayed in Africa, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO 9/11, Afghanistan would have been just as happy as the post-war British to host you and cooperate as a grateful client state and probably the world would be a far safer and happier place to live in than it is today.
Unfortunately this is not what happened and on the contrary invading countries to beat up on them on false pretences (e.g. WMD) and killing huge numbers of people just makes more enemies and I still say it’s better to go home and stay there than do that.
But no use crying over spilt milk. I guess Obama’s got the smarts to fix this humungous neocon-generated mess with effective long term solutions. I have faith in him and the USA to learn from mistakes and get it right in the end.
Good luck guys.
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