COMMENTS LEADING UP TO
THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN
We received the following anonymous Email. It contains a fascinating description
of the situation in Afghanistan, as interpreted by an Afghani-American writer
who lives in the U.S. He writes with
amazing clarity. He may even be accurate.
Dear G.T. 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.
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
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, and 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?
Copyright © 2002 by the author.
Originally posted: 2001-SEP-19
Latest update: 2001-SEP-28