An Afghani perspective & a US perspective


Jan Slakov

Thank you to the three people who sent me the first article!

I include the second because it is good to laugh a bit in the midst of all
this. Things really are quite ludicrous in some ways.

all the best, Jan
From: "Howard Breen" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: an Afghani perspective
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2001 13:59:22 -0700

This letter from Tamin Ansary, an Afghani, provides an extremely
important perspective on the current situation. 

Dear Friends,

Yesterday I heard a lot of talk about "bombing Afghanistan back to the
Stone Age." Ronn Owens, on KGO Talk Radio 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," and he asked,
"What else can we do? What is your suggestion?"  Minutes later I heard a
TV pundit discussing whether we "have the belly to do what must be done."

And I thought about these issues 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 been going on over there. So I want to share a few
thoughts with anyone who will listen.

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 fervently wish to see those monsters punished.

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 captured Afghanistan in 1997 and have been holding the country in
bondage ever since. Bin Laden is a political criminal with a master
When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When you think Bin Laden, think
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
They would love for someone to eliminate the Taliban and clear out the
rats nest of international thugs holed up in their country. I guarantee

Some say, if that's the case, why don't the Afghans rise up and
overthrow the Taliban themselves? The answer is, they're starved, exhausted,
damaged, and incapacitated.  A few years ago, the United Nations
estimated that there are 500,000 disabled orphans in Afghanistan-a country
with no economy, no food.  Millions of Afghans are widows of the
approximately two
million men killed during the war with the Soviets. And the Taliban has been
executing these women for being women and have buried some of their
opponents alive in mass graves.  The soil of Afghanistan is littered
with land mines and almost all the farms have been destroyed . The
Afghan people have tried to
overthrow the Taliban. They haven't been able to.

We come now to the question of bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone
Age. Trouble with that scheme is, it's already been done. The Soviets took
care of it .  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?  There is no
infrastructure.  Cut them off from medicine and health care?  Too late.
Someone already did all that.

New bombs would only land in 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. (They have already, I hear.)  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 be making common cause with the Taliban-by raping once
again the people they've been raping all this time.

So what else 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. I think that when people speak of "having the belly to do what
needs to be done" many of them are thinking in terms of having the belly
to kill as many as needed.  They are thinking about overcoming moral
qualms about killing innocent people. But it's the belly to die not kill
that's actually on the table.  Americans will die in a land war to get
Bin Laden.  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. 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. The invasion approach is a flirtation with global war between
Islam and the West.

And that is Bin Laden's program. That's exactly what he wants and why he
did this thing.  Read his speeches and statements. It's all right there.

AT the moment, of course, "Islam" as such does not exist. There are
Muslims and there are Muslim countries, but no such political entity as
Islam.  Bin Laden believes that if he can get a war started, he can
constitute this entity and he'd be running it.  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 Muslim lands, that's a billion people
with nothing left to lose, even better from Bin Laden's point of view.
He's probably wrong about winning, in the end the west would probably
overcome-whatever that would mean in such a war; but the war would last
for years and millions would die, not just theirs but ours. Who has the
belly for that?  Bin Laden yes, but anyone else?

I don't have a solution. But I do believe that suffering and poverty are
the soil in which terrorism grows. Bin Laden and his cohorts want to
bait us into creating more such soil, so they and their kind can flourish. We
can't let him do that. That's my humble opinion.

Tamim Ansary
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2001 15:00:49 -0700
From: frank scott <•••@••.•••>
Subject: fwd: new laws

Subject: Ten proposed new laws for this crisis

1.  To buy an American flag, you must present proof you have voted at
once in the last three elections (yes, local and state elections count).

2.  To display an American flag in any form, you must present proof of

3. To wave an American flag in public, you must be able to name at least
of the following:
   A.  Your Senator
   B.  Your Representative
   C.  Your President ("George Bush" does not count; ambiguous)

4.  To sell any product with an American flag on it, you must answer the

following question:
   The Bill of Rights is part of:  the Constitution; the Magna Carta;
Declaration of Independence.

5.  Those heard singing patriotic songs in public may be asked to show
voter registration cards.

6.  To be permitted to scream "Nuke Afghanistan," you must be able to
correctly locate Afghanistan on a map or globe.

7.  To be permitted to scream "Arabs go home," you must list and
locate ten Arab homelands.

8.  Those who wish to express opinions about Arabs and Arab-Americans
must pass the following test:
   A.  Those who follow the religion of Islam are called:
        Moslems   Muslins  Fanatics
   B.  The holy book of Islam is called:
        The Koran   The Koram   The Bible
   C.  In Arabic, God is called:
        Ali   Allah   Jehovah

9.  Priority for purchase of American flags will be given to those whose
ancestors lived on American soil the longest.  When all American Indians
who wish to display the red, white and blue are satisfied, other applicants
will be accepted.

10.   A call for war on any radio talk-show will be construed as a
public declaration of willingness to enlist in the US Army; callers will have
24 hours to complete the paperwork.