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Sept 11 — Five Years Later: Is the War Won? September 12, 2006

Posted by chuckwh in News and politics.
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The occasional hysterical shrieks of the successors to Osama bin Laden notwithstanding, it seems to me that perhaps there really was no war to begin with, that Osama was nothing more than a criminal, and not the leader of the downtrodden Muslim masses he claimed to be.

The tragic events of 9/11 unleashed a massive reaction on the part of the Gore Administration, leading, first, to a swift and decisive military operation in Afghanistan resulting in Osama’s apparent death (we don’t have a body, but we haven’t heard from Osama in four years), then to a massive revitalization program aimed, first, at Afghanistan and the western provinces of Pakistan, and, later, the impoverished populations in other parts of the Middle East.

Gore’s risky Bill of Hope, which was designed as sort of a Marshall Plan for the Mideast, has resulted in new regimes and a new ally in Iraq, a Palestinian state, and an open city named Jerusalem, which is now governed by the Abrahamic Council, a Jewish, Muslim and Christian coalition of elected city officials who are at least staying out of the headlines.

The Bill of Hope was risky because it funnelled money through mostly Islamic channels, with strict guidelines on how the money should be spent. The risk was that the money would either fall into corrupt hands or be used to spread education Wahhabi-style, which was what helped lead some of bin Laden’s followers into his hands in the first place.

Now that the program seems to be a success (Afghanistan, led by the rapid growth of Lashkar Gah in Hemand province, is crawling out of its once-constant position near the top of world poverty levels, and Iraq and Palestine are investor darlings), one wonders if the war is over.

True, there have been a few isolated attacks attributed to Al Queda in the world, but not since late 2004.

As I wind up my vacation in Oregon it’s nice to contemplate that 9-11, as awful as it was, wasn’t the beginning of a war like so many of us had assumed. And that, if it was, the right way to attack the enemy was to cut out the core of what caused it in the first place. Much of that has been accomplished, even if there is some work to be done.

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