Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Why they fight: It's the U.S. government's Mideast actions -- not the American people's way of life -- that has inflamed Islam against us

Why They Are At War With Us
(The American Conservative) -- by Patrick J. Buchanan

...It was Osama bin Laden himself, in his declaration of war in 1998, published in London, who gave al-Qaida’s reasons for war:

First, the U.S. military presence on the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia. Second, U.S. sanctions causing terrible suffering among the Iraqi people. Third, U.S. support for Israel’s dispossession of the Palestinians. “All these crimes and sins committed by the Americans are a clear declaration of war on God, his Messenger and Muslims,” said Osama...

Nothing justifies the massacre of Sept. 11. But these are the political goals behind the 9/11 attack, and this is why Islamists fare well in elections in the Middle East. Tens of millions of Muslims, who may despise terrorism, identify with the causes for which Osama declared war — liberation of Muslim peoples from pro-American autocrats and Israeli occupiers.

Americans are being killed for the reasons Osama said we should be killed — not because of who we are, but because of where we are and what we do.

Consider. America lost 4,000 soldiers in six years in Iraq, with 30,000 wounded. Yet not one American of the 125,000 soldiers in Iraq was killed in December. Why not? Because we no longer conduct raids, patrol streets, kick down doors and pat down suspects. We have ended our combat operations, withdrawn to desert bases and seem anxious to go home. When we stopped fighting and killing them, they stopped fighting and killing us.

Most Americans today appear content to let Shia and Sunni, Arab and Kurd decide the future of Iraq. And if they cannot settle their quarrels without a civil-sectarian war, why should their war be our war?

According to Gen. Barry McCaffrey, we must now prepare for 300 to 500 dead and wounded every month in Afghanistan by summer.

Why are the Taliban killing our soldiers? Because we threw them out of power, took over their country and imposed the Hamid Karzai regime, and our troops, some 100,000 by fall, are the force preventing them from recapturing their country. We will bleed in Afghanistan as long as we are in Afghanistan.

But if, as Obama said, “we are at war with al-Qaeda,” why are we fighting Taliban when al-Qaeda is in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and North Africa?

Hamas has used terrorism, but not against us. Hezbollah has used terrorism, but not against us since the bombing of the Marine barracks, a quarter-century ago. And our Marines were attacked in Lebanon because we were in Lebanon, intervening in their civil-sectarian war. Had the Marines not been sent into the midst of that war, they would not have been targeted.

When Ronald Reagan withdrew them, the attacks stopped...MORE...LINK

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