Perspective from an Afghan-American columnistgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread
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 (email@example.com), September 21, 2001
Thank you, JOJ. I wish every American could read that and take heed.
-- Laura (LadybugWrangler@hotmail.com), September 21, 2001.
I just saw a CNN presents special "Behind the Veil" about a female Afghan-American who got permission to enter Afghanistan awhile back and secretly filmed alot of crap. I was aghast at the things she filmed: women being shot in the head, men being hanged, single women having to beg in order to feed their starving children because the Taleban will not let women work, a woman having to feed her 7 children moldy bread because she had no money nor food and no way to get it. People there seemed genuinely afraid and there seemed little they could do about it. There was an underground organization of women called RAWA (Revoluntonary Association of the Women of Afghanistan or something like that) who were doing alot of underground things like setting up a secret school for girls and underground "beauty" parlors where women could use makeup and stuff. What I saw was absolutely terrorism of a whole nation of people who could not fight back. The Taleban don't merely "support" terrorism, they seem TO BE terrorists themselves.
-- Lisa (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 23, 2001.
Small point Lisa but I think you will find the brave woman who visited Afghanistan is an 'Anglo-Afghan'. "Beneath the Veil" was shown on UK Channel 4 some several weeks ago.
-- john hill (email@example.com), September 24, 2001.