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Do You Know Afghanistan?

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Headlined to H2 11/19/09

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Did you know:

"[In Afghanistan], Taliban attacks are up; deadly roadside bombs or IEDs are fast on the rise (a 350% jump since 2007); U.S. deaths are at a record high and the numbers of wounded are rising rapidly; European allies are ever less willing to send more troops; and Taliban raids in the capital, Kabul, are on the increase."-- Tom Engelhardt, author of The End of Victory Culture, tomdispatch.com, 11/1/09

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Did you know that we didn't need to invade Afghanistan to get Osama Bin Laden?

"The Taliban's ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef...said the Taliban would detain bin Laden and try him under Islamic law if the United States makes a formal request and presents them with evidence." (you know--what was once known as "probable cause" in the pre-Bush world)--CNN, 10/7/01

Okay--No trial in Afghanistan--How about a neutral third country?

""Haji Abdul Kabir - the third most powerful figure in the ruling Taliban regime--told reporters that the Taliban would require evidence that Bin Laden was behind the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US, but added: 'we would be ready to hand him over to a third country'".--The Guardian, 10/14/01

There they go again--insisting on evidence. Don't they understand? That is not the way things work in Bu$hWorld:

"We know he's guilty. Turn him over."--George W. Bush, explaining the finer points of the American judicial system, The Washington Post, 10/29/01

Unsurprisingly, the Bush Administration rejected all offers to have Osama bin Laden arrested and tried. George W. Bush came into office determined to be a "war President", and he was not going to let a bunch of Islamic fundamentalists spoil his big chance by arresting his "boogie man" and beheading him in the public square.

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Did you know that al Qaida doesn't have to be in Afghanistan to plot against us? Much of the planning for the 9/11 attacks was done in Germany, and the terrorists attended flight school in the good old USA. Have we bombed those training facilities yet?

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Did you know that the Taliban in Afghanistan outlawed the production of opium in 2000?

"U.N. drug control officers say the Taleban religious militia has virtually wiped out opium production in Afghanistan since banning poppy cultivation in July. A 12-member team from the U.N. Drug Control Program spent two weeks searching most of the nation's largest opium-producing areas and found so few poppies that they do not expect any opium to come out of Afghanistan this year."-- St. Petersburg Times, 2/16/01

Then came Operation "Enduring Freedom", George W. Bush's ill-advised invasion of Afghanistan. Since then, poppy production has flourished. In 2000, the year before the Taliban virtually eliminated poppy cultivation, Afghanistan accounted for 75% of the world's opium poppy production. Today, after eight years of occupation by US and NATO forces, Afghanistan accounts for 92 percent of the world's production (U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, 11/21/09).

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Mick Youther is an American citizen, an independent voter, a veteran, a parent, a Christian, a scientist, a writer, and all-around nice guy who has been aroused from a comfortable apathy by the high crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush Administration.
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