Excellent muse, Rod. Dead on, in my opinion.
Rod Welch wrote:
> The piece you submitted prepared by Aamim Ansary (see below) offers
> analysis, but does not propose a strategy, except for US ground troops
> to enter
> Afghanistan and round up Ben Laden. He indicates this requires
> Pakistan, and suggests such an effort could generalize and spread
> pitting all of Islam against Western cultures. Nobody wants that, yet
> we want
> to take effective action, and certainly must avoid being frozen into
> inaction by
> scary scenarios noted in your subject title.
> Amim's argument against indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets is
> persuasive. It is conceivable that a threat could arise that
> justifies such
> action, but that is not the situation at hand. Others have observed
> Clinton's cruise missile attacks did little more than rearrange some
> So, we can eliminate mass bombings and lobbing cruise missiles as the
> response this time around.
> A more refined strategy may be taking shape. World leaders across
> cultures have
> condemned terrorism, and opinion is coalescing in a way that may
> isolate Ben
> Laden and others involved in the recent conflagration, including
> governments and ex-officio rulers, as seems to be the case in
> Perhaps a mixed allied force that includes US troops, along with those
> Islamic countries, including Pakistan, can enter Afghanistan to
> liberate it from
> Cutting off funding, supplies and escape to friendly soil may be
> possible. We
> are already in Turkey. Pakistan is reported to have closed it
> borders. The
> Russians have pledge support to the West. Iran, also, has voiced
> support for
> the West. If Ben Laden flees to Iraq, that would signal the world its
> time to
> finish the prior expedition.
> The Russians fared poorly in Afghanistan because the US and others
> supplied the
> opposition. At this time, it appears the Russians are siding with the
> US. As
> the Bush/Powell diplomacy gathers steam, induced in part by promises
> of aid and
> other things we don't want to know about at this time, the ability for
> terrorists would be critically reduced to maneuver and offer
> opposition to a new government that could be put in place by the
> similar to what was done for Japan following WWII.
> One reason Islamic leadership, along with a good share of Islamic
> could be persuaded to accept a composite force to "aid" Afghanistan,
> is that
> many of them have been the target of terrorism. As in the West, Islam
> is not
> entirely a monolith, i.e., of one mind, blindly following Ben Laden.
> The events
> of the past week offer an opportunity to galvanize widespread fear and
> into a condominium of diplomacy and resolve that could make military
> successful for everyone.
> My feeling is we really want Ben Laden alive, or at least his top
> people, in
> order to debrief them. It seems most likely that some state
> sponsorship is
> involved, and, if so, that very much needs to be addressed. This is
> the time to
> do it while popular opinion in the US in particular is open to being
> This lust for revenge will not last. Very soon we will begin hearing
> prescription drug benefits, lock boxes, the environment, and fairness,
> Just musing.
> Henry K van Eyken wrote:
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> > Subject: Very thought provoking (and damned scary!)
> > Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 21:05:53 -0400
> > From: "Douglas Burns" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > To: "Andrew & Pierrette Balfour" <email@example.com>,
> > "Monty Berger" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
> > "Stephen Burns" <email@example.com>,
> > "Angela Burns" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
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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
> > I know in this life. When he writes, I read. When he talks, I
> > 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
> > to the Stone Age." Ronn Owens, on KGO Talk Radio today, allowed that
> > this would mean killing innocent people, people who had nothing to
> > 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
> > thought about the issues being raised especially hard because I am
> > 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
> > 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
> > for the atrocity in New York. I agree that something must be done
> > those monsters. But the Taliban and Ben Laden are not Afghanistan.
> > They're not even the government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a
> > 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
> > of Afghanistan" think "the Jews in the concentration camps." It's
> > only that the Afghan people had nothing to do with this atrocity.
> > were the first victims of the perpetrators. They would exult if
> > 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,
> > food. There are millions of widows. And the Taliban has been burying
> > these widows alive in mass graves. The soil is littered with land
> > 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
> > 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.
> > the Afghans suffer? They're already suffering. Level their houses?
> > 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.
> > bombs would only stir the rubble of earlier bombs. Would they at
> > get the Taliban? Not likely. In today's Afghanistan, only the
> > 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
> > Kabul and dropping bombs wouldn't really be a strike against the
> > criminals who did this horrific thing. Actually it would only be
> > common cause with the Taliban-by raping once again the people
> > 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
> > 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
> > 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
> > heads out of the sand. What's actually on the table is Americans
> > And not just because some Americans would die fighting their way
> > Afghanistan to Bin Laden's hideout. It's much bigger than that
> > Because to get any troops to Afghanistan, we'd have to go through
> > Pakistan. Would they let us? Not likely. The conquest of Pakistan
> > have to be first. Will other Muslim nations just stand by? You see
> > I'm going.
> > We're flirting with a world war between Islam and the West.
> > guess what: that's Bin Laden's program. That's exactly what he
> > That's why he did this. Read his speeches and statements. It's all
> > there. He really believes Islam would beat the west. It might seem
> > ridiculous, but he figures if he can polarize the world into Islam
> > 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,
> > even better from Bin Laden's point of view. He's probably wrong, in
> > end the west would win, whatever that would mean, but the War would
> > for years and millions would die, not just theirs but ours. Who has
> > belly for that? Bin Laden does. Anyone else?
> > Tamim Ansary
> > >PEACE,
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