US should end operations In Afghanistan

President Barack Obama announcing Osama bin Laden’s death affirmed that “justice has been done.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton similarly declared that “justice had been served.”

His execution by a Navy SEAL team had nothing to do with justice. It had been decided in advance that he was to be killed under circumstances in which he could not have been captured and brought before a court of law on charges related to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Behind this decision, the administration made determination to prevent the long history of bin Laden’s relations with the U.S. government agencies from being opened up to public review. This relationship began the CIA’s arming and funding of the mujahideen Islamist guerrillas fighting Soviet troops in Afghanistan – whom President Reagan described as “the moral equivalent of our founding fathers.”

Osama, the son of a wealthy businessman in Saudi Arabia, played a key role in recruiting and training Arab volunteers for the CIA-backed mujahideen, who ultimately gave rise to the Taliban. Al Qaeda was established in that period, with the aid and arms from the CIA.

This collaboration did not end with the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, or with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Bin Laden and al Qaeda once again served as assets of the U.S. military intelligence complex in the wars that tore apart Yugoslavia, first in Bosnia and then, at the end of the 1990s, in Kosovo.

The history of this long and intimate relationship between an individual protrayed as America’s deadliest enemy and U.S. intelligence agencies is systematically covered up.

What is striking about Washington’s response to the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, is there was never a logical explanation why, when 15 of the 19 accused hijackers were citizens of Saudi Arabia, that country has remained immune from any retribution. Not one hijacker came from either Afghanistan or Iraq, yet both countries would shortly be engulfed in violence and death.

Now that Osama bin Laden has been summarily executed, we should declare victory and bring the troops home.

– John O’Neill, Bay Village

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Volume 3, Issue 11, Posted 3:20 PM, 06.01.2011