I just received this from my friend and it is a very sobering article. I hope everyone will read this and pass it on.
Prof. Frederick Tung
Visiting Professor of Law
University of California
Hastings College of the Law
(415) 565-4637; (415) 565-4865 (fax)
>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
>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
>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
>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
>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
>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,
>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
>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
>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?