We're the Ones Who Need To Go Home
Regarding Geoff Cutler’s column “Will al-Qaida go Home?” (July 3), I don’t see it the same way. He begins by thanking our troops for keeping us safely nestled in our homes from radical Islamic militants. But by now it should be clear they never had the capacity to launch a large- scale attack on the homeland.
While 9/11 was effective and devastating, in retrospect it was a one-shot plot that resulted in sending us off to the Middle East, guns blazing, ensnaring ourselves in what many call a fiasco. And I believe that’s how history will tell the story, similar to our exploits in Vietnam.
So I’m not at all uncomfortable about leaving Iraq and Afghanistan as soon as possible. I don’t think we’ve accomplished anything besides enriching the military industrial complex and wasting an enormous amount of national treasure in terms of lives and resources. I believe history will also confirm that we stirred up those countries without sufficient commitment to long-term plans for their stabilization.
Cutler’s comparison of the nature of Hitler’s threat in World War II and Churchill’s heroic response is not analogous to what led to our invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Germany was a powerful, unified nation under Hitler that was highly organized and industrialized but an old-fashioned enemy that gave the allies a chance to stand toe-to-toe to fight them and win. I think a better, although still not foolproof, comparison would be the North Vietnamese Communist guerilla army faction, the Vietcong.
But even in that case, it was pretty clear when we pulled out without a victory that other than an ultimate face-to-face nuclear warfare with Russia, the Communists wouldn’t be invading our homeland either.
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