Letters to the Editor: The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were about U.S. imperialism, not terrorism
To the editor: The real reason why the United States entered into its 20-year war in Afghanistan is actually quite clear. (“The U.S. war in Afghanistan is over — but the war on terror continues,” Sept. 3)
Hours after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld held a meeting to discuss the appropriate U.S. response. Notes taken by someone at the meeting say Rumsfeld told the participants to “judge whether good enough hit [Saddam Hussein] ... go massive ... sweep it all up. Things related and not.”
This was what the hard-liner imperialists had been looking for, a new Pearl Harbor that would justify attacking Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan — you know, “things related and not.”
Since 9/11, that’s pretty much what the U.S. has done, and none of it has turned out as the imperialists had hoped. If today’s journalists and pundits were paying more attention to the fact that we had no legitimate basis for waging war in Afghanistan in the first place, the debacle of our exit could be viewed by the American people in the correct context.
That is, the American people might realize that the tragedy still playing out in Afghanistan is the fault of the U.S. government, not the people of Afghanistan, no matter how unsavory those now in control of that country may be.
Jim Lafferty, Los Angeles
To the editor: We need to remember the degree to which the George W. Bush administration took its eyes off the ball with its ill-advised decision to invade Iraq.
In your recent timeline on the war in Afghanistan, the entry for May 1, 2003 — the date President Bush declared major combat operations in Iraq had ended in front of the “Mission Accomplished” banner — states that “some U.S. troops would remain [in Iraq] through 2011.”
That totally soft-pedals the degree to which the war raged on those years, with more than 3,900 U.S. military personnel and hundreds of billions of dollars lost during that time. Then there was that slight distraction of Islamic State that arose thereafter, another development directly related to the invasion of Iraq that further preoccupied us.
Only God knows what Afghanistan would be like today if in 2003 we had focused our attention and spent our treasure on the country that harbored Osama bin Laden.
Lloyd Handler, Los Angeles
To the editor: No one seems to be commenting on the most serious travesty President Biden committed with all his mistakes on Afghanistan. His actions resulted in the wholesale giveaway of the entire country to those butchers who foisted 9/11 on the United States.
This giveaway is arguably criminal and tantamount to surrendering Germany or Japan to the enemies of the United States after World War II.
It seems the word “accountability” has lost all meaning in the English language. We will all have to pay a price for this sooner than any thinking person can imagine.
George Callas, Hemet
A cure for the common opinion
Get thought-provoking perspectives with our weekly newsletter.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.