is the enemy.
Osama (or Usama) bin Laden. Click on the link for FBI description. President Bush said "dead or alive," dead will do quite well as far as I'm concerned.
is the enemy.
Our country just got done apologizing (and paying compensation) for interning loyal Japanese-Americans in 1941. Once was more than enough, haven't we learned?
The United States has no quarrel with the Afghan people
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.
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.
[My comment: exterminating the Taliban would be a favor to the Afghan people.See Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) for how the Taliban treats women.]
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.
[I'm not sure I agree with this. Pakistan is more or less our ally, and we can air-drop weapons, food, and medical supplies to Afghans who hate the Taliban. When they rebel we can support them with aircraft and helicopter gunships.]
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?
Gun Control Supporters (Million Mom March, Handgun Control Inc.): where do you stand?
Million Mom March president Mary Leigh Blek told the following whopper at the United Nations a while ago:
MARY LEIGH BLEK, Million Mom March: "The gun lobby has been talking for 40 minutes. During that time, 40 people have died from the use of small arms and light weapons in this country. That figure, not the statement of those representatives, is further proof that this country is at war."No, Ms. Blek, our country was not at war then, but it is now. Gun control supporters: are you going to line up with the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93, who at least tried to fight back against their killers? Or are you going to help the enemies of the United States by disarming your fellow citizens and turning our streets into free-for-all killing zones for any monster who decides to follow up on the events of September 11?
I know you would not knowingly help the enemies of the United States; the scum who perpetrated the terrorism have no friends in this country. You might do so through misguided actions. For example, during the Second World War, a stranger who asked when a certain ship could be a Nazi spy who would then tell a waiting U-boat. That's why Second World War posters said, "Loose lips sink ships."
Think about the subhumans who perpetrated the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. They thought nothing of hijacking airplanes full of unarmed men, women, and children, and then flying those airplanes into buildings full of more civilians. Do you think that anyone like them, e.g. sleeper agents in the United States, would have any qualms about walking into a school, hospital, church, synagogue, nursing home, office, or shopping mall, and opening fire? If you agitate for disarmament of your fellow citizens you will make that monster's job all that much easier.
The heroes on Flight 93 didn't survive, although their courageous actions
may well have saved others on the ground. That armed citizen with the
CCW (Carry Concealed Weapon) permit might be tomorrow's hero when some
monster starts shooting (or knifing, or bombing). Do
you want to be responsible for disarming the hero/heroine?
American Medical Association*
Center to Prevent Handgun Violence
Doctors Against Handgun Injury
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Violence Policy Center
Union of American Hebrew Congregations
* President Richard Corlin
Senator Hillary bin Clinton (D-NY)
Mayor Richard bin Daley (D-IL)
Senator Thomas bin Daschle (D)
Governor Gray bin Davis (D-CA)
Senator Dianne bin Feinstein (D-CA)
Senator Teddy bin Kennedy (D-MA)
Senator Joseph bin Lieberman (D-CT)
Senator Charles bin Schumer (D-NY)
The Stentorian's politics page