On 1 December 2009 US President Barack Obama announced in a speech to cadets at the West Point Military Academy that he was authorizing the sending of 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan.
In justifying the “surge” in troops, Obama said, inter alia:
- “I am convinced that our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is the epicenter of the violent extremism practiced by al Qaeda. It is from here that we were attacked on 9/11.
- It is important to recall why America and our allies were compelled to fight a war in Afghanistan in the first place. We did not ask for this fight. On September 11, 2001, 19 men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3000 people.”
Speaking from Washington on 1 December 2009 the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd spoke in support of the US President’s plans. Australia, he said, “takes its alliance with the US very seriously. That’s why we have been with America for a long time in Afghanistan and why we will be with America for the long haul.”
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This article will suggest that the official rationale for the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan is false. It involves a rewriting and/or ignoring of history on the part of the participants. It shows the same cavalier disregard for international law that was apparent in Iraq.