“In 2001 when the US and its allies invaded Afghanistan in retaliation for the 9/11 terror attacks …” So begins Sandip Roy’s August 25th report on “Women of Afghanistan” on National Public Radio. We invaded in retaliation for the 9/11 terror attacks. Of course, it seems logical and almost like common sense; they attacked and we invaded. There’s just one problem; no Afghans attacked us. Neither the citizens, nor the government of Afghanistan played any part in the 9/11 attacks. The US has never said otherwise. And yet we invaded, and have occupied, Afghanistan for 20 years.
Our reason for going to war was that the Taliban refused to hand over bin Laden. Actually, the Taliban asked for some evidence of bin Laden’s participation in 9/11 before handing him over. We had none; there is no evidence. The FBI never charged bin Laden with any crime. There was no warrant issued for his arrest because there was no evidence linking him to 9/11.
In fact, bin Laden denied repeatedly that he had anything to do with 9/11:
“In a statement issued to the Arabic satellite channel Al Jazeera, based in Qatar, bin Laden said, “The U.S. government has consistently blamed me for being behind every occasion its enemies attack it. I would like to assure the world that I did not plan the recent attacks, which seems to have been planned by people for personal reasons,” bin Laden’s statement said (as reported by CNN in 2001). We might have been able to question him about it but the person purported to be Osama bin Laden was killed in his home in Pakistan by Navy SEALS and the body dumped into the ocean at night.
Twenty years later we are no further along. “A Taliban spokesperson has claimed there is no evidence that the late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks against the United States. Zabihullah Mujahid made the claim during an interview with NBC Nightly News. There is no evidence. Even after 20 years of war, we have no proof he was involved,” (Newsweek, September 2021)
So, not only is Afghanistan not implicated in 9/11, it can’t even be established that Osama bin Laden was involved. No matter that bin Laden wasn’t ever found in Afghanistan and likely wasn’t there within weeks of our invading. We made war on the people and country of Afghanistan for the next 20 years.
And we invaded Iraq because Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.