Letter: Afghanistan column ignores key fact

Deborah Daniels, in her column on Afghanistan, ignores an important fact [“Leaving Afghanistan after 20 years is concerning, ignores an important fact,” Sept. 17]. Neoconservatives Paul Wolfowitz, Robert Kagan and Bill Kristol formulated a new foreign policy in the 1990s called “global benign hegemony” to set the stage for war in the Middle East that “required” U.S. military intervention to keep the “peace.”

The Republican majority passed, and President Clinton signed, the Iraq Liberation Act, establishing “regime change” as U.S. policy.

We all know that the invasion of Iraq was based on the lie that Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

As for Afghanistan, the U.S. should have viewed the attack as necessitating a global criminal investigation, not war. If any country should have been invaded, it was Saudi Arabia that, over decades, has spent billions spreading the radical Islamic ideology of Wahhabism, including funding extremist groups. Fifteen of the 19 terrorists involved on 9/11 were Saudis. No Afghanis took part.

Now the neocons are back, continuing the drumbeat for war as the massive U.S. military budget and regressive tax policy hollow out the country financially.

The result? Half the population can’t make ends meet financially and amounts of tax-dollar expenditures only raise concern when earmarked for infrastructure and people here.

—Grant Smith

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