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As the US remembers 9/11 today:
Nation marks Sept. 11 anniversary – 9/11: Five Years Later – MSNBC.com
I can’t help but wonder about what could have been if the events that followed that fateful day were different?
Hindsight is always 20/20. The immediate action by President Bush to invade Afghanistan and crush the Taliban and Al Qaeda’s bases there was the only one that made any sense to me at the time. Invading Iraq was a big distraction that the US did not need – it took resources and manpower away from hunting the number 1 target who is Osama bin Laden, and from addressing the root causes of terrorism more effectively.
Currently, Iraq is a mess and the ties between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda has been disproved:
No Saddam, al-Qaida link found – Conflict in Iraq – MSNBC.com
That along with the fact that no WMDs have been discovered in Iraq have nullified the original reason for the invasion. Iraq is worse off than before – it is unstable with terrorists of both Sunni and Shite persuasions killing each other, innocent civilians and coalition forces. The current atmosphere does not improve security for the United States, far from it.
Could the US have done something different? I would have done the following if I was the President:
- Invade Afghanistan, crush the Taliban and the Al Qaeda bases there.
- Increase intelligence and surveillance efforts in the US and overseas. Blanket Pakistan and Afghanistan with eyes and ears. Use all the superior technology and manpower I have at my disposal. It would only be a matter of time before Osama bin Laden would have been found.
- Maintain monitoring of Iraq, Iran and Syria. Iraq and Iran may have aspirations to create and use WMDs but that would be at least a few years away. Isolate Syria even more from the international community. All these countries did not present a clear and present danger to the US then. Addressing them can and should wait, and not neccesarily with military action.
- Double the efforts in sorting out the existing mess of Israel vs. Palestine – the root of Islamic fanaticism against the US. That would have been better than to unite disparate militant groups around the planet by invading Iraq.
- Address the North Korea conundrum in cooperation with Japan, South Korea, China and Russia. Kim Jong Il is madder than Saddam Hussein *and* he already has nuclear bombs.
Think of all the possibilities if the money, brain power and military might were used more effectively than to invade Iraq to address what was a weak threat. Imagine if Al Gore was President. What would the world be like today? Whoever the next US President is, I would want him or her to be less gung-ho and more far-sighted.
Dominic Knight expressing similar sentiments.