AUG. 22, 2014 -- I had been in the U.S. Senate for 34 years before we went to war in Afghanistan; had received all the defense briefings and had never heard the word "Taliban."
Al Qaeda and Taliban were all over Afghanistan. Actually, Osama Bin Laden
from Saudi Arabia had trained his Saudi compatriots on the Afghan border
with Pakistan and he escaped through Tora Bora to Pakistan. We never should
have gone to war against Afghanistan. Afghanistan was no threat to our
security and the Afghans were very grateful for the U.S. ridding the Russians
in Charlie Wilson's War. In George Crile's book "Charlie Wilson's
War", the words Al Qaeda or Taliban never appear. My point is that
we have become accustomed to giving dignity and form to everyone that
disagrees with us calling them "terrorists" and giving them
special names like "Taliban."
Emirs in Saudi Arabia finance Sunni's everywhere. They finance the Sunni
resistance to Maliki and the Sunni militants in Syria. They expected us
to automatically back them in Syria but President Obama wisely couldn't
find someone to support and manage the outcome so he kept the U.S. out
of Syria. Now comes the "ISIS" - a State that we never heard
of two months ago. The ISIS is no State. It's just a bunch of Sunni militants.
Fortunately the New York Times tells it like it is. The NY Times headlines
(8/5/14) "Iraq Agrees to Help Kurds Battle Sunni Extremists"
and again (8/12/14) the NY Times headlines "Pentagon Says Airstrikes
Have Slowed but Not Stopped Sunni Militants". There you have it.
The Pentagon game exposed.
Our leadership in Washington doesn't understand the change. Nuclear weaponry has checkmated the military. We can't puff and blow militarily. Today, we must engage. China, Russia, and even little North Korea have nuclear. Engaging in military conflicts must be avoided because they threaten a nuclear exchange.
Similarly, everyone is tired of war. That's what Europeans see in Ukraine. The European Union has always followed the United States lead but they are tired of war and see no reason for the U.S.'s extension of NATO into the Ukraine. They want to support us and be friends with Russia - consequently the hesitation. The Pentagon is always searching for a threat to the security of the United States. Now, my TV blares; "The ISIS State is determined to attack the United States." Baloney! There is no ISIS State. It's only the Pentagon's make believe. It's only a bunch of Sunni militants that were financed by Saudi Arabia, practicing the extremes of Wahhabism to eliminate any infidel not a Muslim. We've got to sober up; stop playing games and get realistic in Washington.
Senator Hollings of South Carolina served 38 years in the United States Senate, and for many years was Chairman of the Commerce, Space, Science & Transportation Committee. He is the author of Making Government Work (University of South Carolina Press, 2008).
© 2014, Ernest F. Hollings. All rights reserved. Contact us for republication permission.
About Fritz Hollings
Receive commentary via The Huffington Post
The Hollings legacy
Read the new book