[unrev-II] [Fwd: Very thought provoking (and damned scary!)]

From: Henry K van Eyken (vaneyken@sympatico.ca)
Date: Tue Sep 18 2001 - 20:17:02 PDT

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    Forwarded by a friend of mine.. This is very thought provoking.

    Dear Friends,

            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 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,

            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


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