Many opponnents of the War on Iraq think that the War on Afghanistan stands in sharp contrast to the former. I've always been skeptical of that position. I recall that, just before the invasion, the Taliban offered to turn over bin Laden to the US if the Bush administration would give it (them? Is Taliban singular or plural?) evidence tying bin Laden to 9/11. That seemed a perfectly reasonable position to me, and I worried that it was more the possibility of oil pipelines than any danger posed by the Taliban that led Bush to ignore the offer.
Now Eric Margolis, who has extensive experience reporting in the region, confirms my suspicions. An excerpt:
"Pakistan’s efforts to make the Bush Administration understand it was supporting Taliban to maintain order in Afghanistan, keep the Russian-backed Afghan Communist Party in check, and to block Indian and Iranian influence there, fell on deaf ears.
"So was ISI’s insistence that Taliban had no knowledge or part in the 9/11 attacks, and bore no ill will towards the United States. Quite the contrary, many Taliban commanders were originally armed, financed, and trained by CIA in the 1980’s. But enraged Americans were demanding revenge for 9/11. They wanted targets, not explanations."
Read the rest here.