President Obama has announced how the U.S. will begin to stand down in Afghanistan and allow the Afghan forces to take up the fight. Now that Osama Bin Laden is dead, the war is over for the United States. We should withdraw from Afghanistan and end it now. Although I did not expect us to get Bin Laden, I have expected President Obama to withdraw from both Iraq and Afghanistan prior to the election cycle of 2012. The death of Bin Laden is a great reason and excuse to execute what I believe was a priority of President Obama during his first term of office. The problem is that this is not the end of the war.
Osama Bin Laden believed himself to be a soldier of Islam. (Although I do not think of him as having been a ‘soldier’, strictly speaking, he was a soldier of Islam) He believed that Islam is a sovereign entity and acted upon it. He believed in ‘occupied’ Muslim land and Muslim ‘waters’. Notice how no nation would accept his body. Even Iran wanted nothing to do with his body, except for insisting that the body be treated in Muslim tradition. Bin Laden had no real nationality except for an Islamic caliphate. He believed in the national entity of Islamic government and was an Islamic nationalist. This belief is by no means uncommon, although he was more extreme than many and had plenty of resources to be able to act upon those beliefs. This is where the war begins. Take Iraq for example.
The U.S. invasion of Iraq was resisted by not only the Iraqi military/population. After the fall of the Iraqi government, Iraq became ‘occupied’ Muslim land. Therefore, those who believed in Islamic sovereignty fought the United States ‘occupation’. Bin Laden’s forces were actually a minority of those that were deployed against our military. I am not referring to nationalist Iraqis. I consider Sadr to be one of those who fought for Islam, not Iraq. Sadr was an Imam who fielded his own militia to repel the ‘occupiers’ of Muslim lands. The army of Islam was mobilized, much the same as those armies of the Middle Ages had been, and how Islam has historically fielded its armies. Another case in point: Israel.
Arabs don’t really care about the Palestinians by themselves. Otherwise, they would accept the Palestinians within their own countries. They do not because they want to use them to fight the ‘occupiers’ of Muslim lands. In other words, Israel is ‘occupying’ land that Islam had controlled in the past. This is why no peace can be found without the destruction of Israel. A problem here is that even if the land that Israel is on does revert to Muslim control, the war will not be over.
By withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States is not challenging the sovereignty of Islam. Because so many believe in Islam as a national entity, they will continue to wage war against us. The war will only move on to other places where Islamic nationalism conflicts with modern nation-states.