Afghanistan is still at war. The same article reports that one of its many warlords seems to have signed on to operate as a branch of the Islamic State; meanwhile the U.S.-backed Afghan government is in talks with the resurgent Taliban that Omar once headed.
In October 2001, ten percent of us in this country didn't think we should be bombing and invading Afghanistan, despite our grief about the 9/11 attacks. In the most recent poll I can find, from December 2013, 66 percent of us say the Afghanistan war was "not worth it."
Looking back on 2001, we should remember how ill-served we were in the men who exercised executive power in Washington that unhappy autumn. After the 9/11 attacks, there was some back and forth with elements of the Taliban about handing over bin Laden for trial. Mullah Omar was adamant about safeguarding bin Laden:
On the other hand, Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil, Taliban’s last foreign minister, told Al Jazeera there had been some communication:
According to the Guardian on October 14, 2001, President George W. Bush wasn't having any of it:
Bush and his men would be judge and jury, overriding any procedures or protocols. Not for them, cultivating international legitimacy. We and the Afghans are still paying for this arrogant hubris.
It's obvious, but still worth mentioning, that the opponents of the P5+1 agreement to restrict an Iranian nuclear bomb program are the same cowboys who couldn't take a few weeks to negotiate for a handover of bin Laden for trial, somewhere, in some court. Maybe it would never have happened, but they sure weren't about to find out. They thought they could impose their fantasies on the whole world. They have failed miserably and will continue to fail. Their greatest fear is that there might be another way.
A Wayback machine post is about something I've dug into that is tangential to E.P.'s new book project.