This comes from friends Dick & Lois Carpenter in Spokane, Washington:
(color & italics, mine . . . Tim Arensmeier)
I've been hearing a lot of talk
about "bombing Afghanistan
back to the Stone Age." Ron 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 (the US)
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 bin Laden are
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
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
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?
their infrastructure? Cut them off from medicine and health care?
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
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
Web posted: September
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