Letter to a Democratic Party forum:
Enough already about what a threat Afghanistan was or is to us. Everyone is treating that as the one piece of what Bush and Cheney did which is beyond question, but it's horse-ticky, like the rest of their lies.
Did you know that George Bush Jr. when he was in college was a fanatic player of Risk, the Parker Brothers "Game of World Domination"? And that he was notorious for changing the rules when he was losing? That might give some clue to the mentality of the man who allowed 9/11 to happen and then ordered the invasion of Afghanistan.
The Taliban government of Afghanistan, like most CIA-sponsored regimes, was pretty disagreeable from the point of view of a progressive, but the facts are that it did not organize or support any terrorist act against the US, and there was not one Afghani involved in any of them. Bin Laden and supporters had a training camp in Afghanistan - in territory over which the government had only loose control and involving a few hundred people.
The US demanded that Bin Laden and his supporters be arrested and turned over. The Afghan government did what any self-respecting government that valued its independence would do. They asked that the universal standard of protocol in criminal cases be followed: a presentation of evidence and a formal request for extradition. The Bush government branded this failure to obey - and obey quickly - as defiance and impudence, and responded by ordering an invasion. Our corporate media pulled one of its periodic crescendos of "manufactured outrage", and practically our entire Congress pissed all over themselves to be first in line to support it.
The fact that when US forces had Bin laden surrounded and cornered they let him get away is good evidence that the invasion of Afghanistan was never about catching him.
The map I saw yesterday of where US forces are concentrated in Afghanistan casts further doubt on the official line that "fighting terrorism" is the real mission in Afghanistan. The fighting is mostly south and east of Kabul, but nearly half the US forces are in the desert in the south-western provence. There are reliable reports that they have been supplied with large numbers of main battle tanks (useless against the Taliban.) From there it is a straight shot to Teheran - 700 miles or so of desert to the west, with no mountain ranges, rivers or major fields of sand dunes in the way, just one relatively small ridge to cross.
The whole thing stinks of imperialism, one giant Risk game with nuclear-armed players, and with our own towns and cities as hostages.
Our job, as I see it, is to get the American people to demand an end to these foreign wars, and to demand it so strongly that our Democratic representatives and administration will have to give in to it to keep us pacified. The Democrats can then take credit for it, and an energized people will turn out to reelect them.
That dynamic. around this and a range of other issues, can keep the Democrats in power in 2010 and 2012. Without that, the working people will stay home again, as happened in 1994.
So, paradoxically, to save the Obama Administration we (the people) have to unleash our rage at what he's doing, and take it to "the street". Our Rep. Jim McGovern, Rep. Mike Capuano and other representatives from Massachusetts clearly understand this. Pres. Obama has given us many signals that he does too. But we - the people, with the leadership of Democrats who get this - have to make it happen.
Electing Capuano to the Senate on Tuesday will help.