The al Qaeda terrorists are not restricted by geography, so it is naïve for us to talk about defeating them in Afghanistan or denying them a safe haven there. Experts warn that even if American forces managed to secure Afghanistan, anti-U.S. terrorists could easily take up headquarters in nations like Yemen, Somalia or in Afghanistan's next door neighbor, Pakistan (where al Qaeda has apparently been operating for years).
More sobering is the fact that, since the U.S-led invasion in 2001, al Qaeda has mutated from an organization into a deadly political philosophy embraced by anti-Western militants around the world. Some of the terrible results: Terrorists with no direct link to al Qaeda bombed commuter trains in Madrid, Spain in 2004, killing 191 people.
A year later, four British nationals exploded suicide bombs in the London underground and on a double-decker bus. A second series of bombings in the underground was thwarted two weeks later.
In 2006, British officials foiled a plot by al Qaeda sympathizers to murder thousands by smuggling liquid explosives onto 10 planes flying out of London's Heathrow airport.
These tragedies occurred in spite of the massive American military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq. U.S. troop deployments have had no preventive effect on terrorist plots hatched inside the United States either.
In 2007, the FBI nabbed six Muslim extremists who were scheming to use automatic weapons, grenade launchers and explosives to murder American soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey. The would-be terrorists were legal U.S. residents of Macedonian, Jordanian, Palestinian and Turkish descent who had lived most of their lives here.
In May of this year, three American citizens and one Haitian immigrant were arrested in New York for allegedly plotting to bomb two synagogues and shoot down Air National Guard planes with anti-aircraft weapons. Federal authorities say the suspected ring leader, James Cromitie, told an FBI informant that he was connected a jihadist group in Pakistan called to Jaish-e-Muhammad.
Denver airport shuttle driver Najibullah Zazi, a legal Afghan immigrant who's lived in our country for 10 years, was indicted in September for allegedly conspiring with at least three other men to bomb unspecified U.S. targets.
And, of course, the Fort Hood killer, Nidal Hasan, is a major in the United States Army.
Obviously, having American soldiers in Afghanistan has not made our nation safe from the threat terrorism. So, sending tens of thousands more brave American men and women to kill and die on Afghan soil is pointless. Our best defense against terrorism is to expand the intelligence gathering and law enforcement efforts which discovered the evil plans listed above. President Obama should freeze further deployments and begin the process of pulling our people out of there.
Thanks for listening. I'm Cameron Turner and that's my two cents. THINK! IT AIN'T ILLEGAL...YET!
Read more "Turner's Two Cents" on www.UrbanThoughtCollective.com, and www.PasadenaJournal.com. In Los Angeles, watch Cameron Turner on "The Filter with Fred Roggin" selected weeknights at 7:30 on KNBC's digital companion station, NBC Plus (available on your local cable system).