Why the Taliban loves George W. Bush (and Dick Cheney)

The Taliban probably say a prayer or two for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney every day. Since the terrible events of 9-11 America invaded two countries: Afghanistan, the country once ruled by the Taliban and whose leaders gave sanctuary to Osama bin Laden, and Iraq, the country that had nothing to do with 9-11 and never attacked America in its history.

It’s been eight years since 9-11. While the Taliban did suffer some initial setbacks in Afghanistan when America invaded in late 2001 they were never defeated. And today they control several areas of Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan. We initially invaded Afghanistan with 1,300 troops and that level has risen to about 60,000 today. In 2003 we invaded Iraq with thousands more than the initial Afghanistan incursion and currently have close to 125,000 soldiers still there. Unfortunately the Taliban are still extremely dangerous, and flexing their muscles more than ever in Pakistan, thanks to Bush and Cheney’s unnecessary war in Iraq.

W. and Dick (both draft-dodgers by the way) obviously didn’t care about seeking justice or doing the right thing. They were more concerned with making profits and giving a no-bid $10 billion contract to Cheney’s former company, Halliburton, so it could get its hands on Iraqi oil fields. Other friends of the administration, like the private security firm Blackwater, got close to $1 billion in Iraq-war related contracts.

And speaking of Blackwater, in the wake of having six former employees facing manslaughter charges for the shooting deaths of 17 civilians in Baghdad, the company changed its name to Xe (pronounced like the letter Z). That sure makes everything better.

Meanwhile as Bush’s second term wound down he signed off on the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the Iraqi government. This treaty determines several things, including a three-year deadline for U.S. troops to leave Iraq. Its most-troubling clause, and further proof of how Iraq, regardless of what the right-wingers claim, is not our ally, states that U.S. forces based inside Iraq will not attack any of Iraq’s neighbors (see Deal on Iraq Withdrawal Poses a Pentagon Challenge – Time Magazine 11-18-08).

So why did W. sign off on the SOFA? Simple. He invaded Iraq for all the wrong reasons. And by agreeing not to attack Iraq’s neighbors he really tied the hands of our forces in Iraq and this only further proves what a mistake the war is. But W., cocky on the outside, incredibly insecure on the inside, also had to show America and the world what a tough, strong, “decider” leader he was. Oh yeah, and then there’s the billions of dollars of war-related contracts his friends and campaign contributors got.

Iraq, by demanding and getting us to not attack its neighbors, is obviously more concerned with protecting its new best friend, Iran, than showing any gratitude toward us. By putting the Shiites in power in Iraq with our invasion the Iraqis are now allied with their Shiite brethren in Iran, a truly frightening thought. Remember the first Persian Gulf War? The Saudi Royal Family practically begged Poppy Bush not to get rid of Saddam Hussein because they knew the balance of power in the region would be tipped toward a Shiite-based Iraq-Iran alliance, which is exactly what W. created with his war.

The Pakistani Army, or actually the non-Taliban elements of the Pakistani Army, is now engaging the Taliban in fighting in Pakistan. But Bush and Cheney had to have their Iraq war, and now we’re in for a hell of a lot more warfare for years to come.

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