Let's go back to 9/11 - the worst of terrorism. Osama bin Laden told us why. He said the U.S. support for Israel was a crusade or holy war against Islam. Osama made so much trouble in his native Saudi Arabia that he was expelled to Sudan. And making trouble there, he went to Afghanistan to train terrorists. Osama told us again and again of his cause for terrorism. He helped blow up our Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, but we didn't listen.
After we went into Kuwait, he blew up our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, but we didn't listen. He then blew up the U.S.S. Cole, but we didn't listen. Finally, when he blew up the World Trade Towers and Pentagon, we listened. We knew immediately where to go after the culprit. But we dissembled as to his cause of the terrorism, saying that the Muslim world was jealous of our freedoms. And to obscure the cause, we lashed out at the world. President Bush characterized 9/11 as a War on Terror, telling the world you're either "for us or against us."
Terror is not a war but a tactic, a strategy. We don't call World War II the Blitzkrieg War, and the terrorism in other countries, like Indonesia, is for different reasons. Five years ago, I traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan with Senator Ted Stevens, the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, and Senator John Warner, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee.
Our first stop was Jordan where we had a two hour conference with King Abdullah. As we stood to leave, the King asked Stevens and Warner to get on President Bush to settle the Israel-Palestinian conflict. At our stop in Kuwait, the Emir pleaded the importance of settling the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Again, after a two-hour conference in Pakistan with President Musharraf, as we stood to leave, he urged: "Settle the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and 85 per cent of the terrorism in the world will disappear."
The world knows our support of Israel is the cause of terrorism against the United States. But politicians in Washington can't acknowledge this. To confirm Osama's cause would have AIPAC coming down on your head as being anti-Semitic. But I can state it because I am pro-Semitic, pro-Israel, and have a thirty-eight year voting record to prove it. Washington politicians and the media continue to engage in the charade of a War on Terror.
Making believe that there is a War on Terror, we act like Afghanistan is our enemy. Afghanistan has never been the enemy of the United States. Osama bin Laden and the terrorists that trained there and trained to fly in the United States were from Saudi Arabia. On 9/11, we listed Al Qaeda in forty-five countries. While there is no War on Terror, potential terrorists are everywhere. The alleged terrorist recently arrested for trying to blow up New York has been a citizen of the United States for at least ten years.
We can't just "willy nilly" make war against a country that has terrorists. Afghanistan was our ally in Charlie Wilson's War when we ousted the Russians. We learned then that Afghans didn't like foreigners. Osama bin Laden's case against us is that the United States has a jihad against Islam. Invading Kuwait, invading Iraq, with military bases in Oman and Bahrain, with the U. S. Navy in the Persian Gulf, invading and making war in Afghanistan for eight years, and droning civilians in Pakistan, we prove Obama's case. After eight years, we are creating as much terrorism in Afghanistan as we are eliminating it. And we wonder why we're losing.
President Obama faces another Vietnam. I know. I hear the same concerns, the same frustrations, the same arguments. I was a bitter-ender. Making the motion in the Appropriations Committee for the last $500 million for the war in Vietnam, I argued that we couldn't let all those GIs die in vain. It took me some time to learn that more people are willing to die for a government different than democracy. I have been to Hanoi, visited John McCain's prison. The people are happy. I walked around the city unguarded at night, which I wouldn't dare do in Washington. Today, we have the friendliest of relations with Vietnam.
After eight years, the superpower is losing the war in Afghanistan. General McChrystal says to win we must stop killing civilians, train the people that are beating us, and nation-build by teaching warlords to like democracy and grow wheat instead of poppies. This in a country 90% illiterate, with a corrupt government, where they teach the youngsters in the Madrasah schools that we are the infidel. And in a Muslim country, where more important than freedom and democracy is tribe and religion. McChrystal could be successful and the next year there could be terrorists back in Afghanistan just like they are today in the United States. We've got to get serious about the cause of terrorism against us. We've got to make a more concerted effort for peace in the Mideast.
After ten years in Vietnam, a country of 16 million, 575 thousand GIs weren't enough to Vietnamize Vietnam. In Afghanistan, a country of 31 million, 40 thousand more troops will not be enough to Afghanize Afghanistan. I know the President has said that Afghanistan was a war of necessity. It's tough to acknowledge this mistake. But, if 40 thousand more troops are put there to fight, they are too few. If they are put there to die, they're too many.
P.S. to Axelrod: If he continues the war, he'll look weak. Stop the war. Stop creating terrorism.
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