It seems that no matter how tight the security in Afghanistan, the Taliban manage to get through and set off their bombs.
On Tuesday, May 1, President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to the troops in Kabul. As commander in chief, it’s fitting that he make visits to the troops to support their sacrifices and let them know they are not forgotten.
The president no sooner touched ground when, in a retaliatory act marking the one-year anniversary of the elimination of Osama bin Laden, the fireworks started. Suicide bombers wearing burqas-the head-to-toe robes worn by Afghan women- started their attack in the capital city, simultaneously setting off car bombs on one of the main roadways.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed at least seven and wounded 17. It seems the Taliban is angry that President Obama had signed a pact with Afghan President Hamid Karzai to expand U.S.-Afghan relations beyond the American withdrawal of troops, which is scheduled to be completed in 2014.
“This was a message to Obama that those are not real Afghans that are signing documents about this county,” Mujahid said. “The real Afghan nation are those people that are not letting foreign invaders stay in this country or disrespect the dignity of our country.”
Once the American troops are out the door, how long will it be before the Taliban reclaims power in Afghanistan? We have spent over a decade’s time, billions of dollars and thousands of our soldiers’ lives trying to dismantle the militant, theocratic regime that harbored bin Laden and al-Qaeda prior to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
And yet, the Taliban continues to be a danger to our troops and a force to be reckoned with in Afghanistan. More troubling, they still have plenty of followers and sympathizers despite their previous, oppressive rule.
There were recent reports by the BBC that families are encouraging one son to join the newly-formed security forces and another to join the Taliban. By doing this, they believe they will be protected whichever way the country goes after the American troops are gone.
America did what it had to do after 9/11, and the fact that the Taliban remains viable in Afghanistan is reflective of a country that refuses to tolerate outside influence. The Afghans fought back the British in the 1840s, then the Soviets during the 1980s. We introduced democracy, but it remains under constant threat as a result of the continued support the Taliban receives.
With bin Laden buried in the Arabian Sea and al-Qaeda greatly diminished, our mission now is to get out of Afghanistan and boost our defense here at home. Let the Afghani people figure out what they want.
Perhaps the Taliban will reclaim Afghanistan; perhaps it won’t. Perhaps the people of that nation will remember the Taliban’s oppression and cruelty and spurn the regime’s comeback. But the choice between a democratic government and a brutal regime is theirs to make.
America has done its job, and now it’s time to bring our troops home to help safeguard this nation from any enemies foreign or domestic. Our mission must now be vigilance; the best defense, after all, is the best offense in the war on terror.