Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan, Justin Raimondo

Justin Raimondo reviews colleague Scott Horton’s new book on Afghanistan. From Raimondo at

After 16 years of writing about it, I thought I knew a lot about the war in Afghanistan, but Scott Horton’s new book, Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan, showed me how much I didn’t know – and that’s quite a bit.

Did you know that the Taliban tried desperately to surrender, offering to turn over Osama bin Laden to the country of Washington’s choice – but that George W. Bush would have none of it? I didn’t.

Sit down for this one: Even before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Taliban tasked their Foreign Minister, one Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, to warn us that an attack on US soil was coming. Muttawakil’s journey to deliver the warning to the US embassy in Pershawar, Pakistan, in July of 2001, was to no avail. The Americans weren’t interested.

Although I had some idea of the extent of al-Qaeda’s operations in the Balkans in the 1990s, during the Bosnia war, I had no idea that 9/11 ringleader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed fought on “our” side – the Bosnian side – in that war. Nor did I realize the extent of US support for al-Qaeda during the Clinton administration in other areas of the world, such as Chechnya, and even the Western-most provinces of China. Horton gives us a comprehensive – and little noted – account.

It’s hard to shock me, but I did a double-take when I read that “for political reasons, the U.S. decided to blame the [1996] Khobar [Towers] attack on ‘Iranian-backed Saudi Hezbollah,’ thus letting the guilty” – al-Qaeda – “escape blame.” Nineteen US Air Force personnel were killed in that attack, along with one Saudi. Then Secretary of Defense William Perry now says he believes al-Qaeda was the perpetrator: bin Laden himself took credit for the attack. Yet the Saudi propaganda machine, in collaboration with their Washington allies, still perpetuate the myth of Iranian involvement.

So how did the “blind Sheikh,” Omar Abdel Rahman, leader of Egypt’s Islamic Jihad outfit, who masterminded the first attack on the World Trade Center, in 1993, even get into the country when he was a known terrorist? The CIA – “who considered him an old friend from the 1980s” — made sure he got a visa. Does Ann Coulter know about this?

To continue reading: Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan


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