But a 21st century occupation is conducted via military bases and extra-territorial privileges, by free trade agreements and dispensations for certain corporations. The high walls of the bases and the hum of the drones is enough to distort the fine sentiments in Obama's phrase.
A few days after 9/11, elements in the Taliban reached out to the US. They wanted political cover to turn over Osama Bin Laden,
he Bush administration decided to snub them.
In mid-October, the Taliban's no. 3, Haji Abdul Kabir told reporters. "We would be ready to hand [Bin Laden] over to a third country" if the bombing ended.
This is when the Afghan war was lost: not at Tora Bora but at a press conference at Jalalabad.
If the US had taken the Taliban up on this offer, Bin Laden would have been in custody in a third country and tried in an international court. Instead, the US backed one group of nasty warlords (the Northern Alliance) against the Taliban,