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SLF 999
17th Sep 2001, 13:46
I read the reports on the US planning a military retaliation for the atrocities inflicted upon them, and I understand completely where they are coming from.

My grave concern is that although all the fingers are being pointed at Bin Laden, where is the proof ?. If it was him or his organisation then of course go after him, but please let it be proven first.
But what if its not ?

This is too important not only to America but also to the whole world to get it wrong

I appreciate that I may be flamed for this viewpoint, but all Im advocating is restraint until there is no doubt about guilt.

tony draper
17th Sep 2001, 14:19
Why do people keep saying this,if that bastard was sat on his skinny arse in the desert and had nothing whatsoever to do with Tuesdays event, he already has had one go at the WTC,also numerous other outrages.
You can argue that he should have been sent to his paradise long ago.

SLF 999
17th Sep 2001, 15:04
Tony, much as I agree with the sentiment of yor reply, I for one just want to make sure that the right people are brought to justice for this, if it turns out its Bin Laden then great if not then he is a legitimate target for another operation for his previous history.
Perhaps Im mistaken and Im willing to be corrected, but I read somewhere recently that the Germans and others have serious doubts that it was the work of Bin Laden, who else is in the frame for it I have no idea.

Golden Monkey
17th Sep 2001, 15:05
Yeah, I agree with Draper on the Bin Laden argument, current events aside he's proven accountable for many atrocities over the last decade or so, and is a popular rallying point for extremists. Although I'm not convinced that he actually IS as influential a character in the Middle East as we seem to think he is. If they do determine to nail him then it's him they should nail. Send in the SAS.

Alas I fear the impending 28,000 tonnes of high explosive that is going to fall on goats, rocky hillside, and thousands of innocent civilians in Afghanistan is neither a) going to diminish the terrorist threat, b) kill anyone responsible for the carnage in America, including Bin Laden - who could be a long way from Afghanistan right now - or c) Do us any favours in purseding the world that ours the cause of Good over Evil. It's a shame the Taleban are lining their citizens up for a beating seemingly in order to score a political point.

It would be interesting to see how the West were to react if they just handed him over, and I hope they do.

Who would we bomb then?

Token Bird
17th Sep 2001, 16:36
I'm interested to know why the US haven't gone after him before. Tony says that we should get him even if he wasn't responsible for last Tuesday because he has committed awful atrocities before. Fair enough, so why haven't we? If he turns out to be the one responsible for Tuesday, then what is it about Tuesday that has got everyone baying for blood? Is it merely that the body count was higher than his previous attacks? If so, that sounds like we're putting a value on a human life. It's basically like saying to terrorist 'You can kill a certain number of innocents and we'll let you get away with it, but if you kill more than X people, we'll come get ya'. Worrying,

TB

radeng
17th Sep 2001, 17:59
As it seems unlikely that bin Laden alone is responsible, the probability is that there are a number of people that need dealing with. Just as cutting off one head of the Hydra led to two growing, it's necessary to get them all more or less simultaneously. I doubt very much if very many of those responsible for the organisation of this atrocity are in Afghanistan, so restraint until they all (or a majority of them) have been identified would seem wise. It would also minimise 'collateral' damage. (Incidentally, would the hi-jackers have regarded the deaths of the airliner occupants as 'collateral damage'? - more likely, they didn't care)

Unfortunately, over the years, terrorist tactics have paid off - Haganah, Irgun, EOKA, Mau-mau etc. OAS is one of the few that didn't.....is there a lesson there?

Velvet
17th Sep 2001, 20:11
Token Bird, Osama Bin Laden has already been attributed as responsible for the previous WTC attack, murder of 19 US soldiers in Saudi in 1996, the East African Embassy attacks (5000 wounded and 220 killed)in 1998.

In Oct 2000 two organisations calling itself the Islamic Deterrence Forces and Mohammed's Army claimed responsibility for the ramming of the USS Cole by a boat full of explosive (17 sailors killed and 39 injured) in Oct 2000. That too was reportedly suicide bombers as two men were seen to be in the attack vessel. At that time Clinton vowed to hunt down the terrorists and bring them to justice. The IDF and MA both predicted more attacks against the American enemy of Islam.

With a price of $5 million on his head, no-one has yet given him up. Will they be more successful this time - who knows, for money is not their ultimate aim. It would appear also that he sought to profit financially from the misery he imposed.

However, the aim should be to find also the ones who did this, if he did not.

The suggestion is that Islamist dissident Osama Bin Laden or some of his supporters may have tried to profit from stock trading by engaging in 'short selling' of stocks likely to be affected by the atrocities. Selling short allows investors to bet that a stock will decline in value. The sectors in the spotlight include reinsurance, airlines and armaments.

Whether he was responsible for this massacre or not, he is already condemned for previous murders and should be brought to justice. The problem is, can we, can anyone other than the Taleban apprehend him with any degree of success - and I don't think the Taleban are in a co-operative mood at the moment.

It is a sad irony that he has in the past been funded by American money when he fought the Russians in Afghan, and trained in security matters by the CIA.

It will be a difficult path for the leaders of the western world who want to see someone, anyone pay for this act, on the one hand but on the other are unable to use conventional military responses to an almost invisible enemy. One who may be amongst their own people.


However, a further ray of hope in the Middle East conflict - it is reported that:

The Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has said he has ordered Palestinians to abide by a ceasefire with Israel.
In a message to the Israeli people that coincided with the Jewish New Year, he stated: "I have given strict orders for a total ceasefire and I hope the Israeli Government will respond to this call for peace and will decide to cease firing."

The open letter was released by his office less than 24 hours after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had called on Mr Arafat to announce a truce.

Let us pray this does not die aborning.

[ 17 September 2001: Message edited by: Velvet ]

Token Bird
17th Sep 2001, 21:25
Velvet,

Not quite sure why you directed the above at me. Doesn't seem to have any relation to my post,

TB

tony draper
17th Sep 2001, 21:49
I think one of the reasons people like that still go free is the constraints placed on governments by our own legal systems,ie, articles in various papers today about numerous organisation having offices in London they move around do there fund raising and their banking business under the protection and freedoms
they enjoy under our legal sytem.
Another reason could be that the intelligence services make use of these people themselves to gain information on other organisations of perhaps a more immediate threat.
This has to stop
I think the gloves are off now.
PS its ironic that at the end of the cold war, our primary intelligence services like Mi5 Mi6, were at a loss as to what their roll would be, and were desperatly trying to get into the war against drugs to justify their existence, well they have a roll now.

[ 17 September 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

[ 17 September 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

JetAgeHobo
18th Sep 2001, 04:01
Just one thing to remember. In the early hours of the Oklahoma City bombing, same story, middle east terrorists was passed around. Turned out to be some redneck with a truck full.

All fingers point to a wide spread well funded terrorist organization, but think about it, how much did it really cost to pull this off dollars wise. I'm guessing a mil, mil and a half tops. Any self respecting terrorist organization can come up with that.

My point, Georgie boy, make damn sure you got the right guy, 'cause if you nail the wrong one, we're gonna be screwed beyond belief.

Cypher
18th Sep 2001, 12:06
From an Afghani American

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 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 deeply hates the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden. My
hatred comes from first hand experience.

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.

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”? Too late.
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 would not 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. (since disproved….but does not change the sentiment of the message) 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 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?

Unfortunately, Bin Laden does. Anyone else?

In Peace,

Tamim Ansary

_____________________________________________

Hmmm food for thought... :(

Lord Lucan
18th Sep 2001, 12:19
And let me see........

This Bin Laden guy, where was he trained? Ah, trained by the CIA. Well well!

Same as that other CIA friend that the world went to war about, Sadam!

And I remember yet other CIA guy, Noriaga that so many innocent civilians had to be "accidently" murdered, when it was finally decided to "arrest" him by invading Panama.

Seems to me thet the place to start off this "war on terrorism" might be the CIA and US foreign office!

I'd rather
18th Sep 2001, 14:25
Great post, Tamim.

Difficult to know how to follow it, except to say that I pray that the US government (and our government) really think about what they are doing and the long-term ramifications of their actions.

To me, loss of further innocent lives cannot be dismissed as "collateral damage". Any loss of life in Afghanistan would be just as tragic, just as unjust as what took place last Tuesday.

The people of Afghanistan did not ask to be put in this position. They, for the most part, do not support the Taliban, or bin Laden, or terrorism. The Taliban has no mandate to govern the Afghan people, no authority to put them in peril and I believe the west has therefore no moral justification for attacking them. To do so would only sow more hatred.

An intelligent solution needs to be found and I don't think it's beyond us. I think we can find a way to target the individuals/groups of individuals actually responsible, rather than killing thousands of innocents along the way, who, face it, do not deserve to die any more than you or me.

OK, flame me for being too idealistic. But I believe that this is our time to demonstrate how far we've come, what thousands of years of human learning have produced: now is the time to demonstrate our intelligence, diplomacy and humanity. With all that going for us, surely we can overcome the evil that has been done and make the world a safer place for all of us?

Celtic Emerald
18th Sep 2001, 15:35
Unbelievable as it may seem I know someone who knows someone who knew the Bin Laden family back when Osama Bin Laden was a medical student (didn't qualify actually,). From what I hear she hadn't a bad word to say about him. What changed him into the "monster" that he is today?

At one time he fought for the Mugahdin, funded by the Americans against the Russians where he funded the war by providing equipment from his family construction business to build roads, hospitals & shelters (maybe thats got something to do with the Talebin returning favours in protecting him now). He like Hitler survived a bomb landing near him (failed to explode I think). He like Hitler felt this was some kind of calling from God. Incidentally who funded Saddam Hussein, yes right again America (they seem to have a habit of backing the wrong horse). Now the fact that they gave the fundamentalists arms & their blessings to reek havoc on the Commies is coming back to haunt them.

After the Afghan war Bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia. What did he witness but the injustice reeked on the Palestinians by the Israeli's, the sanctions on Iraq, the continuous treatment of the civilised west of Arabs as second class citizens. Horror of horror it's reckoned 250,000 innocent children die annually in Iraq due to sanctions in imposed by the USA but it never causes uproar after all their "only" Arabs & Arabs know that many people view them in this way which further fuels resentment.

Is not the tears of a Palestininan man thrown out of his homeland, sees his house bulldozed or who loses his wife and children, or the tears of an Iraqi man who may have not agreed with Saddam but was forcibly drafted to the frontline in the Gulf war to be vaporised by American weapons in sanitised killing ( they kill rats that way) or the tears of an Iraqi (you can count in the poor Afghans there too) who loses his family through weekly bombing raids or seeing his children starve equal or as sad as the tears of an American.

No I don't for one second justify violence or what happened in any situation, (evil is evil whether it emanates from a western regime/man or an Arab regime/man) but until western nations start to accord that Arab people the same feelings & rights & respect their culture as different yes but with many positive points as western people there will never be peace.

Every culture thinks there superior, even the Eskimos do, they used to have some derogatary term for white men such was their notion of superiority above us & yes many Arab nations prefer their culture to what the west has to offer surprise surprise. Less drugs, crime, rape for starters. No not for one second would I like to live under a Muslim regime, I'm a thoroughly emancipated western women but I still respect their right to think & live differently, many westerners don't.

If Americans weant to beat terrorism I hope they remember that if they adopt the wrong approach that the Muslim religion has more followers than Christianity & even though they might kill off the present day terrorists there are generations coming up who are only ready to take their place should tyhey continue to fuel the resentment of the Arab world. It is easier to win people around to your way of understanding by peaceful means than the bomb & the bullet which if used unnessarily & excessively will only deepen resentment & harden attitides though with Presidents Bushes gung ho, wild west cowboy style ("We want Bin Laden dead or alive" & continuous talk of war) of talking I'm beginning to get worried already how far this situation might escalate :eek:

Emerald

[ 18 September 2001: Message edited by: Celtic Emerald ]

[ 18 September 2001: Message edited by: Celtic Emerald ]

Binoculars
18th Sep 2001, 17:03
Pax; cheap shot. I thought better of you.

Cypher, wonderful post. I am having enormous difficulty coming to terms with all this, and it's always easy to look for the closest simple "solution" which will have the support of everybody who feels frustrated. In short, let's bomb the crap out of them. Bruce Willis and Arnie Schwarzenegger would have known what to do, because they learnt from John Wayne, and Bruce and Arnie will ensure that today's backward baseball cap wearing youths grow up with the same simplistic solutions.

Does anybody who advocates bombing Afghanistan off the face of the earth honestly think that the dreaded Bin Laden is still there? Do any of you really think that no matter how many bombs you drop, you will REALLY achieve anything except the warm inner glow you get from peeing your pants?

I'd rather
18th Sep 2001, 19:32
I'm not sure what your point is, Pax D, or how the quote you posted adds anything to this discussion.

Evil should not be met with evil. The west should not just lash out - for all the reasons stated by people on this thread and others.

Is what you have posted intended to be an argument in support of blind vengeance? If so, I'm surprised, given the quality of your other postings on Pprune (please accept my genuine apologies if that's not what you're intending - as I said, I'm a bit confused by your post).

HugMonster
19th Sep 2001, 06:35
I see from more than one source that (surprise, surprise) the SAS and US Special Forces are already on the ground there. Not sure about the USSF guys, but the SAS certainly know the territory from past encounters, and I would have thought that using them to the full would be our best method of getting OBL out and in front of a Jury. I can't see that a carpet-bombing attack is likely to do much. We're not going to hurt the Taliban much that way, we're going to be lucky in the extreme to get Bin Laden, and all else we'll do is kill a lot of innocents and upset the rest of the Muslim world, even if they are currently horrified at what was done in the USA last week.

Paterbrat
20th Sep 2001, 02:07
Binoculars you really are getting a bit worried that the US might actualy start doing something. Would that get you 'peeing in your pants' to quote your own most attractive phrase. You don't seem at all enthusiastic about a bit of tit for tat. Pity because I do think you might just be a bit dissapointed in the next few days because you see, I think, along with most of the rest of the world, that the terrorist element, some of whom has been hiding out training and generaly having free rein in Afghanistan, may just be sent a message that their play time is over. Bin Ladin declared War on the USA some time ago `and has been killing and maiming for long enough. He is a man who has removed himself from the norms of civilisation and derserves to be either aprehended and bought to justice for what he has already done or failing that dealt out what he has so freely dealt out to thousands of innocent bystanders.
Death! May it happen soon carried out by those he has so freely attacked and reviled and whose patience and forbearence may just have expired

Binoculars
20th Sep 2001, 08:18
Paterbrat:

While it's true I may not be quite as hawkish as you, if you think I am approaching this from a pacifist point of view you have misunderstood me. A nice clean strike to remove the world of this madman and his cronies would raise no objection from me. I agree that war has been declared and turning the other cheek is not an option. It is even reasonable to expect a certain amount of what is quaintly called collateral damage.

My point was simply that a massive bombing campaign using the scattergun approach would not only most likely fail but would involve enormous casualties among innocent citizens. Evil Bin Laden may be, but he's no fool. He has survived the last decade despite the best efforts of Western intelligence, he has spent millions building mountain shelters, and he isn't going to be standing out in the open with a target painted on him.

Binoculars
21st Sep 2001, 14:39
And again, Paterbrat:

Since Conky Joe has started another thread based on the words by Tamim Ansary which Cypher originally posted here, I re-read them and was struck once again by their devastating truth and simplicity.

While I was at it I also re-read your last post to me and I realized belatedly that you either had not read Tamim's words, or that you had chosen to ignore them totally. I regret I didn't pick that up before; like so many of us I was too concerned with getting my own point across.

May I humbly suggest you and others who want Afghanistan to become a human-free zone read Cypher's post (again?) then having digested it try to defend your point of view.

Cheers.

Paterbrat
26th Sep 2001, 15:56
Bino's, I had not in fact read that particular post though I will do so. My particular stance is that all humans of whatever colour class or creed deserve the same courtesies and appropriate behaviour exhibited towards them that any reasonable person would expect exhibited towards him or herself. I have indeed advocated action against Afghanistan. I do differentiate between the Taliban and those who support and agree with them and those who do not. I have also voiced the sentiment that the massive ammounts of aid of various kinds that have flooded for many years into Afghanistan may have had the unfortunate side effect of freeing many to continue the persuit of more aggressive activities than simply trying to live and work supporting their families in peace and harmoney. I do indeed advocate the active sanctioning of the present regime and if that does not , as it appears not to have done, a more direct action that will result in the changing of that regime and the surrender of those who are guilty of the previous acts that engendered the UN demands for their extradition quite apart from the latest outrages they are very strongly suspected of carrying out. The massive bombing of the entire country does not fit that requirement nor do I think that that is what will be done. There will however be of neccessity be military action because historicaly it has been established that Afghanistan is a culture where such action is probably the only one that will have any chance of achieving those objectives. Historicaly it is also true that this is indeed a course of action that is perilous for all concerned.
The fact remains that the whole world has been destabalised by a comparitively small group or groups of people who imbued with envy and profound hatred are waging a war which has been openly declared. They use indiscriminate killing and terror, they utilise every safeguard that has been carefully cultivated to protect the various citizens around the world in the civilisations that have evolved. They utilise extreme violence and it is a sad fact of life that that the only interaction that they understand and respond to.
By all means talk to them and if that works then it will have been by far the best solution, but when reason and debate fail what is left? To submit to their twisted logic and accept their terms or to attempt to protect what has been so painfully won and such great cost by so many who gave their lives in the time it has taken to reach the stage we are at now. Is civilisation we know now perfect. I doubt it ever will be but also ask yourself this, why is it that out of all the civilised countries in the whole world are there only two or three that recognise the state of Afghanistan today. Afghanistan and Bin Ladin are but the tip of an iceberg but a journey has to be started at some finite and defined point. America has chosen to lead and that is the point at which they are starting, we either support their ideals, or we support the other side. Choose now for the time for action is near, the actions of the 11th have had such a profound impact that the world has little choice, ignore the danger and we all risk catastrophe and chaos.
I give you small example of chaos in action. The killing field's of Cambodia, the rampaging of the Interhamwe in Barundi, the 5th Brigade in Southern Zimbabwe, the rule of Idi Imin, Bokasa, Baby Doc, The Serbian "cleansing", the camps at Dachau and other locations that held the 'final' solution. History is filled with the results of the ultra violent regimes who have risen to power, it is they who now are attempting to do so again, the Taliban is one such regime and they forment and hold within a poisonous culture which if allowed to breed will spread throughout the world. Fanatacism extreme hate and envy are their trademarks and they are ready to spread it if they can. It should be contained and neutralised, that is what I advocate.

[ 26 September 2001: Message edited by: Paterbrat ]