Huffpost Politics
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Rep. Alan Grayson Headshot

The Longest War

Posted: Updated:

Today, the war in Afghanistan becomes America's longest war. Longer than the war in Vietnam. Longer than the Korean War.

It took America two years to end World War I, and bring peace to the world. World War II was a little harder; that took us 3½ years to finish off.

The war in Afghanistan is over eight years old. And we're sending in more troops. We're not getting out. We getting deeper in.

Would you like to know why? It's not hard to find the answers. Just read the transcript of Osama Bin Laden's 2004 speech - right here.

Bin Laden's strategy was -- and is -- painfully simple: to repeat his victory in Afghanistan against Russia, by driving us into bankruptcy. As he put it, he wanted to use his "experience in using guerrilla warfare and the war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers, as we, alongside the mujahidin, bled Russia for 10 years, until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat." In other words, he just wants to go two-for-two.

And, as Bin Laden noted, it is equally simple to get us into that trap. As he said, it is "easy for us to provoke and bait this administration. All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaida, in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies."

It turns out that Bin Laden has a keen grasp of the federal budget: "As for the size of the economic deficit, it has reached record astronomical numbers estimated to total more than a trillion dollars. And even more dangerous and bitter for America is that the mujahidin recently forced Bush to resort to emergency funds to continue the fight in Afghanistan and Iraq, which is evidence of the success of the bleed-until-bankruptcy plan . . . ."

But Bin Laden felt that he needed to share the credit for the success of his plan -- share it with the Bush White House. "Rather, the policy of the White House that demands the opening of war fronts to keep busy their various corporations -- whether they be working in the field of arms or oil or reconstruction -- has helped al-Qaida to achieve these enormous results." why did the Bush White House do so? Because Bin Laden saw the Bush Administration as his partner in the destruction of America's economy: "It is true that this shows that al-Qaida has gained, but on the other hand, it shows that the Bush administration has also gained, something of which anyone who looks at the size of the contracts acquired by the shady Bush administration-linked mega-corporations, like Halliburton and its kind, will be convinced."

The new "war front" to which Bin Laden referred in 2004 was, of course, Iraq. As he put it: "So the war went ahead, the death toll rose, the American economy bled, and Bush became embroiled in the swamps of Iraq . . . ."

And at all times, Bin Laden's essential strategy has remained the same. Not, as so many think, to launch more attacks on American soil, but rather to make us destroy ourselves: "we are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy . . . ."

Listen to Bin Laden summing up his strategy: "the real loser is ... you. It is the American people and their economy . . . ."

How strange. It turns out that America's chief military strategist for the past decade is Osama Bin Laden himself. We've been doing exactly what he has wanted us to do: spend staggering sums on the military, until the American economy is bled dry.

But it doesn't have to be that we. We are a democracy. We can choose peace.

I have voted against Bin Laden's strategy to destroy America, and I will continue to do so. But I've done more than that. I have introduced a bill called The War is Making You Poor Act, HR 5353.

This bill requires that the war be funded by the Pentagon's base budget - "only" $549 billion. And it uses the resulting savings to eliminate federal income taxes on your first $35,000 of income - yours and every American's. It also reduces the deficit.

Bin Laden told us how he would destroy us. And we're following his instructions, to a "t." How absurd is that?

No more. We have to make our so-called "leaders" listen to us. If we are to survive.

That's what we're going to do, together. Sign our petition, and show your support for HR 5353. Ask your friends to do the same. Let's stop the war, before it stops all of us.

"They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore." Isaiah 2:4

Register To Vote