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Posted: 9/16/2001 7:44:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/16/2001 7:45:49 PM EDT by KBaker]
(An e-mail I received from a relative in the State Department) Dear Friends, The following was sent to me by my friend Tamim Ansary. Tamim is an Afghani-American writer. He is also one of the most brilliant people I know in this life. When he writes, I read. When he talks, I listen. Here is his take on Afghanistan and the whole mess we are in. Dear Gary and whoever else is on this email thread: I've been hearing a lot of talk about "bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age." Ronn Owens, on KGO Talk Radio today, allowed that this would mean killing innocent people, people who had nothing to do with this atrocity, but "we're at war, we have to accept collateral damage. What else can we do?" Minutes later I heard some TV pundit discussing whether we "have the belly to do what must be done." And I thought about the issues being raised especially hard because I am from Afghanistan, and even though I've lived here for 35 years I've never lost track of what's going on there. So I want to tell anyone who will listen how it all looks from where I'm standing. I speak as one who hates the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden. There is no doubt in my mind that these people were responsible for the atrocity in New York. I agree that something must be done about those monsters. But the Taliban and Ben Laden are not Afghanistan. They're not even the government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of ignorant psychotics who took over Afghanistan in 1997. Bin Laden is a political criminal with a plan. When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When you think Bin Laden, think Hitler. And when you think "the people of Afghanistan" think "the Jews in the concentration camps." It's not only that the Afghan people had nothing to do with this atrocity. They were the first victims of the perpetrators. They would exult if someone would come in there, take out the Taliban and clear out the rats nest of international thugs holed up in their country. Some say, why don't the Afghans rise up and overthrow the Taliban? The answer is, they're starved, exhausted, hurt, incapacitated, suffering. A few years ago, the United Nations estimated that there are 500,000 disabled orphans in Afghanistan--a country with no economy, no food. There are millions of widows. And the Taliban has been burying these widows alive in mass graves. The soil is littered with land mines, the farms were all destroyed by the Soviets. These are a few of the reasons why the Afghan people have not overthrown the Taliban.
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 7:45:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/16/2001 7:47:02 PM EDT by KBaker]
cont'd: We come now to the question of bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age. Trouble is, that's been done. The Soviets took care of it already. Make the Afghans suffer? They're already suffering. Level their houses? Done. Turn their schools into piles of rubble? Done. Eradicate their hospitals? Done. Destroy their infrastructure? Cut them off from medicine and health care? Too late. Someone already did all that. New bombs would only stir the rubble of earlier bombs. Would they at least get the Taliban? Not likely. In today's Afghanistan, only the Taliban eat, only they have the means to move around. They'd slip away and hide. Maybe the bombs would get some of those disabled orphans, they don't move too fast, they don't even have wheelchairs. But flying over Kabul and dropping bombs wouldn't really be a strike against the criminals who did this horrific thing. Actually it would only be making common cause with the Taliban--by raping once again the people they've been raping all this time So what else is there? What can be done, then? Let me now speak with true fear and trembling. The only way to get Bin Laden is to go in there with ground troops. When people speak of "having the belly to do what needs to be done" they're thinking in terms of having the belly to kill as many as needed. Having the belly to overcome any moral qualms about killing innocent people. Let's pull our heads out of the sand. What's actually on the table is Americans dying. And not just because some Americans would die fighting their way through Afghanistan to Bin Laden's hideout. It's much bigger than that folks. Because to get any troops to Afghanistan, we'd have to go through Pakistan. Would they let us? Not likely. The conquest of Pakistan would have to be first. Will other Muslim nations just stand by? You see where I'm going. We're flirting with a world war between Islam and the West. And guess what: that's Bin Laden's program. That's exactly what he wants. That's why he did this. Read his speeches and statements. It's all right there. He really believes Islam would beat the west. It might seem ridiculous, but he figures if he can polarize the world into Islam and the West, he's got a billion soldiers. If the west wreaks a holocaust in those lands, that's a billion people with nothing left to lose, that's even better from Bin Laden's point of view. He's probably wrong, in the end the west would win, whatever that would mean, but the war would last for years and millions would die, not just theirs but ours. Who has the belly for that? Bin Laden does. Anyone else?
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 7:52:32 PM EDT
Wow, does this ever bring up some points. It could really ugly in that kind of situation.
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 7:57:13 PM EDT
Well said and persuasive, KBaker. But what about Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya. There are large numbers of supporters even in such "friendly" nations as Egypt, Saudi Arabia. Many palestinian supporters of terrorism. Whatever their reasons they declared themselves the enemy. Now if everyone except the government in Afganistan were on our side the Taliban government wouldn't have lasted a month. Same goes for the other nations listed above. If we actually go to war they will have their chance to choose.
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 7:57:52 PM EDT
There simply must be a way to punish Bin Laden good and proper without causing more untold misery on a people that have already suffered the equivalent of several world wars within the space of 22 years! The writer makes good sense and I hope someone, somewhere is listening to him or others like him! Eric The(PutAPriceOnHisHeadHighEnoughThatHisMamaWo­uldTurnHimIn!)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 8:03:27 PM EDT
WOW! I guess this information is nothing new but it was written in a manner we really have not thought about very much lately perhapse due to our anger and desire for revenge. All I have to say is lets take our time and think this through and do it right the first time. Lets not waste more lives (ours and innocent civilians) than necessary.
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 8:17:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/16/2001 8:20:37 PM EDT by Sweep]
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 8:24:06 PM EDT
... sounds to me like we have a recruitable inside mole.
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 8:44:59 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 5:25:48 AM EDT
drjarhead wrote: Well said and persuasive, KBaker. But what about Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya. There are large numbers of supporters even in such "friendly" nations as Egypt, Saudi Arabia.
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True. And the message points out that indiscriminate bombing will only serve to drive the citizens of these countries into the radicals arms. [i]Indiscriminate[/i] bombing has been called for by a number of posters on this board.
Paul wrote: Gosh, gee, he's so right - we'll just take a hardy apology and let bygones be bygones. It was a mistake that anyone could have made. NOT!
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And your point? Did anyone say anywhere "let bygones be bygones"?? Understand, this will be unlike any war ever fought. It's not against an enemy government. It's not even against the whole of a people living in a single geographic area (unless we make the mistake of assuming that would be an effective strategy - remember, Russia tried that one already). It's a war against a very small number of very dedicated (and quite nuts by our way of thinking) people. That means that in order for us to "win", we have to be very careful in choosing our targets and how we take them out. There has been very little in history more destructive than a religious war. If we attack the middle east indiscriminately, that's what we'll get. If you [b]want[/b] that, I suggest you need to get your head examined. You might be a suitable candidate to be a suicide bomber for Jesus.
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 5:39:22 AM EDT
It's sounding to me like the best thing to do is to go into Afghanistan and start building infrastructure and take over government. At this point, we have very few who can infiltrate. Perhaps infrastructure would attract those who can, allowing us to send out death squads in the night. I think this is going to be a war best fought by Green Beret types. Win over the masses and use covert ops to assasinate our enemies.
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 5:42:05 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Garmentless: It's sounding to me like the best thing to do is to go into Afghanistan and start building infrastructure and take over government. At this point, we have very few who can infiltrate. Perhaps infrastructure would attract those who can, allowing us to send out death squads in the night. I think this is going to be a war best fought by Green Beret types. Win over the masses and use covert ops to assasinate our enemies.
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Yup. See [url]http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?id=52628&page=1[/url]
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 5:59:48 AM EDT
Thanks for the post Kbaker. It helps to give us a better perspective of what we are actually facing. I think Garmentless is probably on the right track. I have been very impressed with the quality and integrity of the people with whom our President has surrounded himself. I trust they will make the best choices available to them.
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 6:08:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/17/2001 6:08:31 AM EDT by Striker]
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 6:23:26 AM EDT
Thus missing the entire point of the post....
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 6:24:51 AM EDT
I'm sorry but I couldn't get past this statement. "When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When you think Bin Laden, think Hitler. And when you think "the people of Afghanistan" think "the Jews in the concentration camps." If all the Afghani's were in concentration camps or being disarmed I might agree. Instead they are no different than the German nationals, who most claim that they didn't know about Hitlers atrosities. I say nukem till they glow if they don't turn over Bin Laden by this Friday.
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 6:43:48 AM EDT
Letter is starting to sound like an internet chain letter. I hope it does not weaken the Americans resolve for action. Aviator
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 6:56:27 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Garmentless: It's sounding to me like the best thing to do is to go into Afghanistan and start building infrastructure and take over government. .... Win over the masses and use covert ops to assasinate our enemies.
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This is NOT a flame for Garmentless. Could someone please cite any examples of when we were able to "Win over the masses" For decades the U.S. has poured billions of dollars in food and direct aid into every hell hole with a problem. Next time you see a news story on TV about starving refugees/children/disaster victims please note the bags of flour and rice being off loaded have a big U.S.A. on them. So where are these "Masses" that we fed and doctored now? Are they rising up to defend the U.S.A.? I don't see 'em. Do you? Did we win any "hearts and minds"? One definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. This "Win the hearts and minds" thing didn't work in Vietnam and I don't know when if ever it has worked. What seems to have worked (ref Japan and Germany) is to smash the country, kill all the trouble makers, give them a blueprint for freedom, rebuild the country, put training wheels on their new government, and send them on their way saying "Good luck, and we'll be keeping an eye on you". Problem is that this only works if you are dealing with COUNTRIES in opposition. What we're up against here is a MOVEMENT, worse yet it's a religous movement supported at least on the sly by a number of different countries. Here's a prediction. We (the U.S.A.) will not be able to beat this problem directly. Sure, we can pick off the occasional thug, but that's too little and will always be too late. What will fix this problem is twisting the tail of the countries that harbor and support these cretins. The Mujahideen squating under a $10 tent in the burning wasteland banging two rocks together has little to lose, and Paradise with 18 virgin wives to gain. It's the govenment wonk sitting in his airconditioned office living off the fat of the land that is susceptable to applied leverage. If that means leveling his office then so be it.
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 6:59:29 AM EDT
It does sound like the reality of the situation to me. Check out some independent sources too. One of several I looked at was Sam Sloan. He's been there, and his web page gives a good description of conditions there. I think he kinda goofy (he's a Democrat), but his info is good and without axes to grind. [url]http://www.best.com/users/~samsloan/escape.htm[/url]
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 7:04:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By TrickyVic: The Mujahideen squating under a $10 tent in the burning wasteland banging two rocks together has little to lose, and Paradise with 18 virgin wives to gain. It's the govenment wonk sitting in his airconditioned office living off the fat of the land that is susceptable to applied leverage. If that means leveling his office then so be it.
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LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 7:14:24 AM EDT
Yes, it's going to be a bitch. Not neccessarily taking out the Taliban and Ben Ladin, but finding ourselves in the midst of a new crusade against radical Islam on many fronts. But what choice do we have? For any nation to allow what happend on the 11th to go unanswered by war would equal surrendering to those who did it. Yes this is probably falling right into Ben Ladin's plans, on one hand. On the other, most Islamic nations do not agree with him and after the Gulf War, are not all that fired up to piss us off. He's soon to be a man and group that won't be able to find a rock to hide under.
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 7:15:57 AM EDT
Good points, Vic. And a lot of things to keep in mind as we go about this. I think one good model for what we need is the Green Berets in Vietnam among the Hmong. Light on the Charity, heavy on the organization and training of friends. Show them how to be successful, moderate their disagreements, let them take over when we are done.
What seems to have worked (ref Japan and Germany) is to smash the country, kill all the trouble makers, give them a blueprint for freedom, rebuild the country, put training wheels on their new government, and send them on their way saying "Good luck, and we'll be keeping an eye on you".
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I totally agree, except, the country is "smashed" already. Sam Sloan describes the poverty there well. But he was there before the war with the Soviets. How much worse is it now? It can't be better. Kick whoever's ass we need to in order to build a Gov't run by us in Afghanistan. That would eliminate an important hiding/rallying place of the roaches. We need a pool of people who can infiltrate all those others countries you mention. Giving the Afghanis some stability would do that. These, along with our current allies, would help us with the targeting of the scattered enemies. We are on the same page.
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 9:01:59 AM EDT
Sloan's travelogue is a good read. There is a scary part though and that is the culture of Afghanistan forbids the populace from turning over a fugitive to the police. So forget any cooperation from the locals when the special operations forces go in looking for bin Laden.
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 9:08:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 9:21:34 AM EDT
Good Post. High Performance Tactical Gear! [url]www.Lightfighter.com[/url]
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 6:19:30 PM EDT
Hmmm. This stupid letter has been posted in several places, including our own Imbroglio. Sounds like another ubran legend in the making. Another ploy to keep us from taking any action. Norm
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 6:44:26 PM EDT
you know at this point it really doesn't freakin matter. the american people are screaming for blood and this is what they will get. i think i am probably screaming the loudest. no i don't think crippled orphans should be killed. our forces will not target the innocent but there will be mistakes. WAR IS HELL not a damn walk in the park.
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 7:46:56 PM EDT
I liked the letter. It brought me to tears...hold on I got to blow my nose. OK, now I'm ready...WHERE THE FUCK IS THAT RED BUTTON TO FIRE ALL THE NUKES ? Do YOU know WHY we are here (and the Bible would'n tell you) ? BECAUSE long time ago WE KILLED all the NEANDERTHALS !!! If we want to be here 10,000 years in the future we HAVE to kill all that threaten OUR existance.
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