Monday, September 10, 2012

What Is There Left To Say

What is there left to say about 9/11? I guess I will find out tomorrow.  Another 9/11 anniversary, another one where the status of Al Qaeda is not entirely clear.  Yes, they lost Osama Bin Laden and a bushful of number 3's over the year, but they may have gained some real territory in Mali, that Assad is doing what he can to recruit people to the cause of extremism with his violence against his own people and so on.

I will find out tomorrow as I am doing a bit of TV and radio in Ottawa.  I think we (the westerners) are now pretty close to the end of the war in Afghanistan, which will continue after we leave.  It is no longer news in the US except when it is omitted from Romney's speech, as the real politics about it is mostly over, just as Canada lost interest long before 2011 when the end became clear.  The media follow the big fights, but when the fight among the parties is resolved--with enddates--they have less to cover.  So, they move on.

I am more confused and frustrated about the Afghanistan war now more than ever.  It was surely necessary to invade to destroy as much of Al Qaeda as necessary and displace the Taliban.  After that, too many mistakes.  I am still reading  Rajiv Chandrasekaran'sbook, Little America, but it is endlessly depressing about how hard it has been to operate in Afghanistan and how confused the Americans are about pretty much everything (including the Canadians). 

So, what will I say tomorrow?  That a war on terror cannot be fought or ended, since it is a war against a tactic that heaps of folks use.  No, the war should have been just on AQ.  Indeed, making a broader conflict encouraged some folks to name their opponents terrorists and justified repression. 

What else?  I don't know.  I will report back tomorrow morning.

Thinking of those who lost so much that day and those who lost as much since.

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