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  • Mary Kate McKinley
    This was sent to the ArtsEdge list & is very enlightening. -Mary Kate! This was written by Tamim Ansary, an Afghani-American writer. Here is his take on
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 16, 2001
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      This was sent to the ArtsEdge list & is very enlightening. -Mary Kate!


      This was written by Tamim Ansary, an Afghani-American writer. Here is his
      take on Afghanistan and the whole mess we are in.

      >>>>>>

      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 Afghanista! n. 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 wi! ! th 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 east 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 ag! ainst
      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 want! s. 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?
    • Margaret K. Barton
      I was touched by your e-mail. The evil that destoryed the area around the World Trade Tower was not the Afghani people. Ben Laden and the network of other
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 16, 2001
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        I was touched by your e-mail. The evil that destoryed the area around
        the World Trade Tower was not the Afghani people. Ben Laden and the network
        of other terrorists are the main target and they are spread all over the
        middle east, North Africa, and SE Asia. Ben Laden is a religious zealot who
        has found followers amongst the Taliban. I wonder about the other group
        that is battling in Afganistan. Are these the remants of the communist
        government? Are they people who respect laws and human rights? I would back
        these people in a second if they were decent people. We already made the
        mistake of backing Ben Laden during the war with the Russians.
        Pakistan has a nuclear bomb and I worry that it is not secure. Too much
        of Pakistan is controlled by religous zealots. If Pakistan can not be
        trusted then India could be drawn in and that would be very dangerous. The
        Russian Replics have said publically they would not co operate in any
        operations against Afghanistan, but do the Russians always do what they
        say???
        Meg
      • Ken Rohrer
        Interestingly enough, these repressive people ban most forms of art and forbid much of the freedoms we enjoy. People who don t value life can t value the arts
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 17, 2001
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          Interestingly enough, these repressive people ban most
          forms of art and forbid much of the freedoms we enjoy.
          People who don't value life can't value the arts
          because life is all about art. Its no coincidence that
          artists are imprisoned in communist countries.
          Ken
          --- "Margaret K. Barton" <megbarton@...> wrote:
          > I was touched by your e-mail. The evil that
          > destoryed the area around
          > the World Trade Tower was not the Afghani people.
          > Ben Laden and the network
          > of other terrorists are the main target and they are
          > spread all over the
          > middle east, North Africa, and SE Asia. Ben Laden is
          > a religious zealot who
          > has found followers amongst the Taliban. I wonder
          > about the other group
          > that is battling in Afganistan. Are these the
          > remants of the communist
          > government? Are they people who respect laws and
          > human rights? I would back
          > these people in a second if they were decent people.
          > We already made the
          > mistake of backing Ben Laden during the war with the
          > Russians.
          > Pakistan has a nuclear bomb and I worry that it
          > is not secure. Too much
          > of Pakistan is controlled by religous zealots. If
          > Pakistan can not be
          > trusted then India could be drawn in and that would
          > be very dangerous. The
          > Russian Replics have said publically they would not
          > co operate in any
          > operations against Afghanistan, but do the Russians
          > always do what they
          > say???
          > Meg
          >
          >


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