A little history, for the benefit of Newt Gingrich and the other bigots, political opportunists and know-nothing nasties who yawp so loudly about things they know nothing about. If you check the photo files carefully, you will find pictures of Taliban mullahs being welcomed at the Democratic-controlled Capitol and George Bush’s Austin State House during the Clinton Administration. Even then the Taliban were ethnically cleansing and slaughtering their way across Afghanistan with the assistance of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, but oil runs thicker than blood in American politics, and the powerful U.S.-based energy company, Unocal, was calling the shots; they wanted to sign a lucrative pipeline deal with Taliban, damn the innocent Afghans who stood in the way, and politicos in both parties lined up and saluted.
During the Afghans’ struggle against the Soviet Union, which many credit with bringing down the entire Soviet system, we promised the mujahedin that we would guarantee a stable, peaceful Afghanistan after the war, and help rebuild the country’s shattered infrastructure. As soon as the fighting was over we let the Saudis and Pakistanis mount a proxy invasion of the country and set up a system of terrorist training camps that eventually spawned the 9/11 conspiracy. Ironic, indeed.
Flash forward to November, 2001: After the U.S. intervened in Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11 and while anti-Taliban Afghans aided by American advisors and aircraft swept across the country, more than a thousand al-Qaeda members, Taliban commanders and their Pakistani Army mentors holed up in the northern city of Kunduz. American Special Forces troops and their Afghan allies closed in for the kill. At the last minute they received a mysterious order directly from Washington, telling them to pull back and allow the Pakistanis to airlift the entire enemy force to safety in Pakistan.
These same terrorists, ethnic cleansers and killers were soon orchestrating the Taliban’s renaissance, that is now costing the lives of hundreds of American and Allied soldiers and thousands of innocent Afghans.
Fast forward to the present: Saudi-funded Sunni extremist groups continue to murder Shi’as, Sufis, Ahmais and other moderate Moslems in Pakistan, and suicide bombers, car bombers and assassins trained in Pakistan carry on their terrorist campaign in Afghanistan; yet we continue to pour billions of dollars of military aid into both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. We have a whole lot more to worry about than a mosque that isn’t a mosque, and isn’t at Ground Zero.