Perspective from an Afgan American columnist : LUSENET : A Village Commons : One Thread

>Subject: Afghanistan

I just received this perspective from someone from Afghanistan which I think is worth sharing.

> [This commentary comes from Tamim Ansary, a writer and columnist in San Francisco, who comes from Afghanistan. ]

> > > 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. > > 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 >

-- jumpoff joe (, September 21, 2001


Joe, I posted this in it's entirety three days ago here. This appears to have been edited as well as missing breaks, etc.

-- Gary in Indiana (, September 22, 2001.

well, I guess I must not have seen it. What should I do now?


-- jumpoff joe (, September 22, 2001.

Don't worry, be happy. LOL! No biggy, don't sweat it.

-- Sojourner (notime4@summer.spam), September 23, 2001.

Thanks, Sojourner; I'm happy, but I AM a bit worried...


-- jumpoff joe (, September 24, 2001.

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