Here are some thoughts from an Afghan woman who has lived in
the U.S. for more than 35 years. Food for
Yesterday, I heard a lot of talk about "bombing Afghanistan back
to the Stone Age." Ron 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 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 love for someone to eliminate the Taliban and clear
out the rats nest of international thugs
holed up in their country. I guarantee it. 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
A few years ago, the United Nations estimated that there
were 500,000 disabled orphans in
Afghanistan--a country with no economy, no food. Millions of Afghans are widows of the approximately 2
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
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.