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Posted: 9/17/2001 1:59:19 AM EDT
From a forwarded email: ------- Original Message -------- 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. -Gary T. 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 Bin 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: 9/17/2001 1:59:58 AM EDT
(continued) 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? Tamim Ansary
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 2:55:42 AM EDT
I agree completely with the main assertion of this message. My only disagreement is with the perpetrators. I don't think Bin Laden acted alone. I think he had help from Saddam Hussein and other militant fundamentalist Islamic groups.
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 3:59:00 AM EDT
The problem is that your friend doesn't offer up any solution to the problem. Are we supposed to simply throw up our hands? He's wrong about Pakistan, its starting to look like Pakistan is going to cooperate even though doing so will be politically difficult for their leaders. I also disagree with your friend's statment that the Taliban is not the Afghan Government, currently it appears that Taliban IS the Afghan Government, official or not. He's right about one thing, I'm thinking 'Hitler' right now. Remember what we did to the Germans in WWII? I don't want to see any more killing that the next person does, but the time for talking is over. Personally, I don't care whether or not Taliban turns over Bin Laden or not, they, and other terrorists organizations must be destroyed as a group. No single person can wreak this havoc alone, Bin Laden had help. So steel yourself, my friend, for the sights of bombed out "baby food" factories - oh wait, whats that in the basement? A Bin Laden bunker? One thing is certain, to paraphrase your friend, "something will be done about these monsters".
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 10:42:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/17/2001 10:49:20 AM EDT by Hoople]
What's the deal with this e-mail from a supposed ex-Afghani? This is the 4th time I've seen it, is it some kind of chain letter that every Oprah watching,squeamish member is gonna repost or what? We get the idea fellas, you're concerned about all the poor Afghani civilians. Now how about worrying a little more about the Americans who are going to put their lives on the line so you can spread drivel like this all over the net. The Afghanis are starting to sound remarkably like the German citizenry during WWII- "What could we do,we didn't agree but they had the power". We found out that wasn't exactly true now, was it? I'm not advocating slaughtering the civilian population, and neither is our government. Civilian casualties (sometimes heavy) are an unfortunate part of war (see London, Leningrad,Dresden,Nagasaki,et al) so why the sudden love fest for the civilians in Afghanistan?
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 10:46:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Hoople: What's the deal with this e-mail from a supposed ex-Afghani? This is the 4th time I've seen it, is it some kind of chain letter that every Oprah watching,squeamish member is gonna repost or what? We get the idea fellas, you're concerned about all the poor Afgani civilians. Now how about worrying a little more about the Americans who are going to put their lives on the line so you can spread drivel like this all over the net. The Afganis are starting to sound remarkably like the German citizenry during WWII- "What could we do,we didn't agree but they had the power". We found out that wasn't exactly true now, was it? I'm not advocating slaughtering the civilian population, and neither is our government. Civilian casualties (sometimes heavy) are an unfortunate part of war (see London, Leningrad,Dresden,Nagasaki,et al) so why the sudden love fest for the civilians in Afganistan?
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Amen. Aviator [img]www.dredgeearthfirst.com/aviator.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 10:53:11 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Aviator:
Originally Posted By Hoople: What's the deal with this e-mail from a supposed ex-Afghani? This is the 4th time I've seen it, is it some kind of chain letter that every Oprah watching,squeamish member is gonna repost or what? We get the idea fellas, you're concerned about all the poor Afgani civilians. Now how about worrying a little more about the Americans who are going to put their lives on the line so you can spread drivel like this all over the net. The Afganis are starting to sound remarkably like the German citizenry during WWII- "What could we do,we didn't agree but they had the power". We found out that wasn't exactly true now, was it? I'm not advocating slaughtering the civilian population, and neither is our government. Civilian casualties (sometimes heavy) are an unfortunate part of war (see London, Leningrad,Dresden,Nagasaki,et al) so why the sudden love fest for the civilians in Afganistan?
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Amen. Aviator [img]www.dredgeearthfirst.com/aviator.gif[/img]
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Double Amen! Tyler
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 10:55:35 AM EDT
It is not a love fest, but a point of view from someone who used to live there, unlike those here who think they know everything yet have never even set foot in the country.
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 11:03:35 AM EDT
Did you do any research into the writer of this letter? Or did you,like others, just forward it? We're gonna start seeing a lot of propaganda from both sides, I just am disappointed how easily some are duped into spreading it blindly.
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 11:16:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/17/2001 11:16:10 AM EDT by garandman]
Originally Posted By Hoople: Now how about worrying a little more about the Americans who are going to put their lives on the line so you can spread drivel like this all over the net.
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Originally Posted By Imbroglio: 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. Let's pull our heads out of the sand. [size=4] What's actually on the table is Americans dying.[/size=4] 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. . [size=4]]We're flirting with a world war between Islam and the West.[/size=4] 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. He's probably wrong, in the end the west would win, whatever that would mean, but the war would last for years and [size=4] millions would die, not just theirs but ours. [/size=4]Who has the belly for that? Bin Laden does. Anyone else?
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Dontcha just hate illiteracy??? Fricken [size=4] READ [/size=4] people. Dead Americans was EXACTLY the point.[rolleyes]
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 11:19:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Imbroglio: ...But the Taliban and Bin 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...
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I agree with the message, but I'm not so sure I believe with statements like this. And no, I haven't stepped foot in Afghanistan, but from my understanding of history, I fail to believe that a "cult of ignorant psychotics" could just walk in and take over a country without substantial support from the people. We're talking about a people who's history is one war after another. These people have fought to drive out invaders from much more advanced and organized nations, Russia being the most recent. Do all Afghanis support the Taliban? Of course not, but I can not help but believe that they have very substantial support from a large portion of the population, allowing them to have 'conquered' and to still control 90% of the nation.
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 11:35:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/17/2001 5:28:34 PM EDT by Hoople]
Oh now I get it Garandman, it's because you're worried about American casualties (millions, I love how you just pick out a # like that). Americans will die. Afghanis will die. What I have a problem with is you and your ilk claiming that this is gonna turn into some kind of holy war of east vs west. All we keep hearing is how the majority of Muslims are peace loving and totally abhor violence. These can't be the same people who are suddenly going to rise up and kill millions of Americans, can it? Fight our way through Pakistan? Hmm, I guess their government is lying to us about using their territory. I'm sure a literate guy like yourself has some inside information about how they are going to ambush our troops. Probably got the info through an anonymous e-mail too. Get over it, this is the same whiney rhetoric we heard before the Gulf War from the same Arab sympathizers.
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 11:48:07 AM EDT
Hoople - Well, I don't ascribe to EVERYTHING the writer said. I just remember how we wimpered out of Viet Nam. A few similarities / differences are worth noting here - 1. The impetus for for us to fight this war is greater than for Viet Nam. They ATTACKED us. 2. The Taliban have a greater impetus to fight. Die fighting the infidel, and you go to Paradise. (which I believe in their beliefs is not only "god" but lots of naked babes. I'm not kidding.) 3. More widespread access to media. The media was the MAIN catalyst to turn sentiment against the Viet Nam war, so a greater danger exists today. 4. 'Nam was jungle fighting. This war will be the same - fighting an enemy that can dissappear into thin air, and has the support of the local populace. I'm NOT saying we shouldn't fight this war. I'm just saying it has the potential to make "Nam look like a kindergarten school yard argument, if not done correctly. Think "black wall times four or five." And I don't want to see America start something it doens't have the stomach to finish, so AGAIN we look like the buffons we did while backing out of 'Nam. That's all.
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 11:58:38 AM EDT
Imroglio reading salon.com again? That's were it was e-published. hehehe LIBERAL
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 12:02:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/17/2001 12:05:29 PM EDT by Hoople]
What local populace is going to side with the terrorists? All the Afghani apologists are saying the Taliban are ruling the country by force, is it true or not? Because if it's true we have nothing to worry about, the local populace will rise up and assist us. If in fact you're right, well then the original reason I jumped into this thread is correct, we need to stop posting these chain e-mails culling sympathy for the "civilians" of Afghanistan.
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 12:04:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By shooter69: Imroglio reading salon.com again? That's were it was e-published. hehehe LIBERAL
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This shit is probably posted on every leftist board in the country.
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 12:09:13 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Hoople: What local populace is going to side with the terrorists?
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You may be familiar with the saying "In any war, the FIRST casualty is the truth." While Afghanis are possbily being help against their will, the war against the Taliban MOST DEFINITELY has the potential to knock Arab fence sitters onto Usama's side of the fence. You don't actually think the Arabs will have widespread access to the US version of what is happening on the war front, and whu the US is justified in attacking the Taliban, do you??? Largely, the general populace will hear two messages - 1. The Westerners have attacked us, and 2. If you die fighting against them, you go to a place of unimagined wealth, pleasures unknown, and eternal happiness. To blindly rush headlong into a war wuth such an enemy is not wise. That is NOT patriotism. It is suicide. And we'll see Viet Nam repeated - five fold. That's all I am saying, without regard to what anyone else is saying, the writer of the email / article included.
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 12:20:07 PM EDT
But I thought the population was "starved,exhausted,hurt,incapacitated,sufferi­ng" according to the e-mail author. These are the people are going to suddenly rise up and kick our military's ass,huh? You said I was illiterate, so please I need a literate genius like yourself to explain this all to stupid me. I keep reading the "fricken" thing as you wanted, but I just can't understand it.
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 12:23:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Hoople: But I thought the population was "starved,exhausted,hurt,incapacitated,sufferi­ng" according to the e-mail author. These are the people are going to suddenly rise up and kick our military's ass,huh? You said I was illiterate, so please I need a literate genius like yourself to explain this all to stupid me. I keep reading the "fricken" thing as you wanted, but I just can't understand it.
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Allright, but ONLY because I like you [BD] The Afghanis are being held against their will. The ENTIRE REST of the Muslim world has the potential to side with bin Laden, if we don't play our cards right. That seemed pretty clear from the article to me. But then, I WAS an English minor in college. [}:D]
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 12:35:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/17/2001 12:38:07 PM EDT by Hoople]
I give up. It must have been a [b]very[/b] minor in English. You're not making any sense. My 4 y/o wants me to jump in the pool with him and I can't think of a good reason not to right now.
Link Posted: 9/17/2001 12:42:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/17/2001 12:51:35 PM EDT by garandman]
Originally Posted By Hoople: I give up. It must have been a [b]very[/b] minor in English. You're not making any sense. My 4 y/o wants me to jump in the pool with him and I can't think of a good reason not to right now.
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Oooh, that was evil. Sorry. I minored in English, but majored in sarcasm. I am anass. Peace, bro.
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