It seems that the Taliban have caved, and the USA’s bombing strategy was a brilliant success. To the best of our knowledge, not one US or British soldier lost his/her life in combat fighting the Taliban. And that is a very good thing.
It brought a genuine smile to my lips to see women take off their burkhas. Regrettable, the hijabs seemed to have stayed. And the men shave off their mandatory beards, while all revelers danced to the sounds of music that was once forbidden by the Taliban. These are all very good things.
But; does any of this diminish Islamic fundamentalism? Does any of this deal with the “real” culprits behind terrorism? Does this in fact change anything other than the balance of power in a region that has already despised the Northern Alliance, as much as, and perhaps even more than the Taliban?
Will this victory close down the religious schools in countries like Pakistan, that turn out hundreds of thousands of anti-West and anti-Jewish fanatics?
Pakistan hates the Northern Alliance, and will not easily accept them as rulers of the country sharing such a strategic border. And I doubt very much if the Northern Alliance will be all that willing, or quick to want to share power.
But that is of very little interest to me. What does interest me is how this victory over a backward people is going to change the forces that are responsible for terrorism.
What does the USA do right now? Are they and the British going to hang around Afghanistan in perpetuity to guarantee that the Taliban, or Taliban clones don’t return?
How long will it take for the Afghan people to tell the West to hit the road? After-all, what can the West do in Afghanistan now that the Taliban seem to be gone?
And now that the Taliban are gone, will the Afghan people have the same enthusiasm to hunt down and capture Bin Laden? And what happens if Bin Laden makes it to another country, such as Sudan? Does the USA start bombing the hell out of them if they refuse to turn him over?
If (when) they get Bin Laden. Are the Americans willing to put him on trial and take the chance of inflaming the whole Moslem world at what would be a tremendous spectacle? Or will the USA make certain that he never makes it to trial alive? This too would invite enormous repercussions from the Moslem and Arab world.
Don’t get me wrong. I am pleased that the military mission was such an extraordinary success. So far. But as I have written in the past. It was the wrong mission and the wrong target.
The important states which support terrorism have not been touched. And until they are made accountable for their activities, nothing will have changed. Except for one very big thing. How does the USA get the hell out of Dodge before Americans do start dying?