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US Starts Attacking Afghanistan 2549

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the we-don't-know-much dept.
Several people have reported that the US has begun military operations in Afghanistan. Bush is talking on CNN live right now. Bombing has begun on Kabul. More as we know it. Here the word a on CNN and The CBC.
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US Starts Attacking Afghanistan

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  • by jgaynor (205453) <jon@@@gaynor...org> on Sunday October 07, 2001 @01:05PM (#2397796) Homepage
    Just a few cruise missles -

    Heres what CNN has to say about it:
    http://www.cnn.com/2001/US/10/07/gen.america.und er .attack/index.html
  • BBC News coverage (Score:5, Informative)

    by jonathan_atkinson (90571) <.gro.kcitsnaelc. .ta. .anahtanoj.> on Sunday October 07, 2001 @01:06PM (#2397804) Homepage
    The BBC report is here [bbc.co.uk]. Includes comment from a Whitehouse spokesman.

    Get a map of possible targets here [bbc.co.uk].

    --jon
  • Uh oh... (Score:3, Informative)

    by metlin (258108) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @01:15PM (#2397851) Journal
    The markets in the Asian region (India/Pakistan) are gonna plummet now.

    I hope the US realises that this is going to impact more than just one country, given the existing state of recession.

    Infact, the markets here (Bombay Stock Exchange) seem to respond more to NSE & Dowjones than anyother indices =)
  • by wytcld (179112) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @01:19PM (#2397879) Homepage
    For those wanting the most paranoid view of unfolding events, debka.com [slashdot.org] is a Israeli site which has often scooped the media in the last few weeks. While it's not surprising that the US and Russia have agreed on deployment guidelines for small neutron devices to the theater, the claim that China has sent in Muslim troops to support the Taliban is hopefully alarmist.
  • Re:Where From? (Score:2, Informative)

    by weeeee (196575) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @01:22PM (#2397899) Homepage
    They are attacking with B2's from the States, B-52's and B-2's from Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, and with Tomahawks from Navy ships.

    The British are particpating but I have no idea what they are using.
  • Re:According to Bush (Score:4, Informative)

    by NutscrapeSucks (446616) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @01:28PM (#2397932)
    There's probably lots of people here too young to recall what a great orator Reagan was. He was routinely on primetime television, and people placed incredible value on what he said.

    A topical and interesting example Statement on the Fourth Anniversary of the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan [utexas.edu] I had vauge memories of this speech, so I looked it up. Somehow I doubt I'll recall anything GW Bush said 20 years after the fact.

    Afghanistan's freedom fighters -- the resistance or mujahidin -- represent an indigenous movement that swept through their mountainous land to challenge a foreign military power threatening their religion and their very way of life. With little in the way of arms or organization, the vast majority of the Afghan people have demonstrated that they will not be dominated and that they are prepared to give their lives for independence and freedom. The price they have so willingly paid is incalculable.

    Let all of us who live in lands of freedom, along with those who dream of doing so, take inspiration from the spirit and courage of the Afghan patriots. Let us resolve that their quest for freedom will prevail, and that Afghanistan will become, once again, an independent member of the family of nations.
    -- Ronald Reagan
  • 12:32 CDT update (Score:2, Informative)

    by TheHawke (237817) <rchapin.pelicancoast@net> on Sunday October 07, 2001 @01:34PM (#2397975)
    The Strikes have been aimed agianst CnC (ccommunication and command) sites, primarily agianst radar and several communication sites.
  • Re:According to Bush (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 07, 2001 @01:54PM (#2398089)
    Since you sound like a UKian, mate, you should know that even the USian press recognizes that the landmark speech on the issue was Tony Blair's. In fact he's making a statement right now and it's far more interesting an effective than Bush's.
  • by oo7tushar (311912) <slash.@tushar.cx> on Sunday October 07, 2001 @02:02PM (#2398143) Homepage
    President Bush's speech is now available for download: to 911/ca site [uwaterloo.ca]
  • by jetgirl25 (261741) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @02:41PM (#2398349)
    Actually, they seem to be attacking Taliban militia targets - not suspected terrorist cells. How are the other Islamic nations going to respond to an apparent attack on an Islamic government? This is a dangerous tactic.
  • by T.Hobbes (101603) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @02:54PM (#2398426)
  • by goliard (46585) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @03:00PM (#2398460)
    Considering part of the propaganda campaign of bin Laden terrorists is that this is a holy war by the 'Crusaders and Zionists', it is surprising that Bush would take then choose a Christian Sunday to go in and start to deliver justice.

    Er, you have that exactly backwards. In Christianity, Sunday is the sabbath on which one is not supposed to work, and certainly not to wage war. If anything, this is sort of a demonstration that this is not a religious action, by violating that religious restriction.

  • by thrig (36791) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @03:14PM (#2398547) Homepage
    Yes, there are camels in Afghanistan. The buggers are all over Asia minor [umich.edu].

    The ties between Egyptians and Afghans of the Islamic Militant bent [washingtonpost.com] are quite strong, geographical differences aside.

  • by mmontour (2208) <mail@mmontour.net> on Sunday October 07, 2001 @03:23PM (#2398595)
    9) Repeat steps 5 through 8 until they understand that sometimes it is necessary to punch back.

    You set up a very artificial scenario. The military person is almost certainly much better at hand-to-hand combat than the student. Even if the student punches back, he probably won't be able to incapacitate the military person. So why would the student think that punching back would stop further attacks, rather than escalating the intensity of those further attacks???

    The only reason that "punching back" stops the violence is that the attacker's only goal is to incite the student to punch back. With more likely attack goals (trying to get your lunch money, doesn't like the color of your skin, etc) punching back will only stop the violence if you are strong enough to significantly hurt your attacker.

    A student who is being attacked and knows he is outclassed can try to punch back and hope for the best. Or he can give in to the attacker's demands. Or he can run away.

    Or he can run away, then find a way to "hit back" at his attacker in a different manner than hand-to-hand combat. A student, tired of being bullied at school every day, might decide to bring in a handgun. A terrorist organization with no chance of defeating the US military might decide to attack soft civilian US targets.

    Sometimes it is necessary to punch back. However if you are one of the "good guys" who goes around punching people in the face in order to make this point, don't be surprised when they eventually change the rules and "punch back" in a way that really hurts you!

    Disclaimer: Don't support the terrorists or their actions; agree that they must be hunted down. Just don't think that Bush's "Good vs. Evil" attitude is doing anything to reduce the chance of future terrorism.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 07, 2001 @03:58PM (#2398776)
    I was just thinking, since harboring suspected terrorists is now a crime punishable by war, when will the cruise missiles start coming down on Miami? They've had it coming for quite some time now...

    They say it's a new war. I say it isn't.

    Nothing changed on September 11, nothing but the target, and the criminals responsible.

    //Martin Sahlin
    not anonymous, but unregistered

  • Please look beyond what you are being told. This is not an adult video game.

    I'd like to express a minority view: If you have been reading the news since the Vietnam war, this present "war" was entirely predictable in 1980. The U.S. government began its involvement in Afghanistan 21 years ago. (See the ABC News timeline link in the article referenced below.)

    The CIA brought Arabs to the U.S. and trained them in terrorist techniques. Here is a quote from an ABC News article:

    "Abu Sayyaf ... train[ed] terrorists in the methods taught by the CIA ..."

    For links to stories about this from MSNBC, ABC News, The Atlantic Monthly magazine, and other respected sources, see the article: What should be the Response to Violence? [hevanet.com]

    Afghanistan is the 15th country the U.S. government has bombed in 30 years, an average of 5 countries bombed every 10 years. Will there be 5 more countries in the next 10 years?

    It was entirely predictable that someone would try to bring the violence to the United States, given the violence the U.S. government has done for more than 30 years. The U.S. government has killed more than 3,000,000 people in that time. To quote the biblical saying, "You reap what you sow."

    If you really, really love the U.S. like I do, you will think carefully about the problems of the U.S. government.

    Weapons making is EXTREMELY profitable. There are people who do hidden things to push the U.S. government into conflict because they want the money. The U.S. is the world's largest weapons manufacturer. The World Policy Institute, in a May 1995 article, "Weapons at War" said, "In the past ten years, parties to 45 current conflicts have taken delivery of over $42 billion worth of U.S. weaponry." (The links for these statements are in the article referenced above.)
  • by Bradee-oh! (459922) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @04:15PM (#2398891)
    Actually, they seem to be attacking Taliban militia targets - not suspected terrorist cells. How are the other Islamic nations going to respond to an apparent attack on an Islamic government? This is a dangerous tactic.

    There is only one nation left in the entire world that even recognizes the Taliban as the "government" of Afganistan - Pakistan. Who has already pledged all support possible short of letting us launch ground troops from their border with Afganistan.
    So if any other Islamic nation got mad at us for attacking an Islamic "government", they would be highly hypocritical.
  • Stratfor.com (Score:5, Informative)

    by kruczkowski (160872) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @04:29PM (#2398990) Homepage
    For anyone that wants better intel than cnn.com on what is going on, a site called stratfor.com [stratfor.com] exists. It's setup by x-military intel people who know this stuff, they have good info and a daily newsletter that is free and worth singing up for. They also provide their intel services to companys and media, but that cost a bit.

    Some links

    http://www.stratfor.com/home/sitreps.htm

    http://www.stratfor.com/preview/specialproject.h tm

    (And no I do not get a commotion for this ad)
  • Re:the next step... (Score:4, Informative)

    by sigwinch (115375) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @04:43PM (#2399078) Homepage
    Apparently you are not very up to date on contemporary guerilla warfare. If you want to see what a small number of psychotic troops fighting for their homeland can do, take a look at the ass-beating the USA took in Vietnam.
    Hardly. The Vietnam War was a proxy war between the US and the USSR, an extended campaign in the Cold War. North Vietnam had essentially zero industrial capacity for fighters, bombers, aircraft, firearms, radios, and anti-aircraft missiles. Without vast infusions of Soviet materiel, the US would've promptly conquered North Vietnam. (Of course without the Soviet presence there would have been no need to.)

    Even with support from the USSR, the US was winning the war at the time of withdrawal. The withdrawal occurred because of the stunning PR incompetence of the US government. They didn't understand the tremendous power of an extended publicity campaign. They could probably have gotten support for a proxy war against the USSR, but they were silent and all that the public saw was an endless parade of body bags, year after year after year. As there was no strong leadership, the American public grew tired and ended the campaign.

    An even better example would be the people of Afghanistan, who ... even took on the Soviet Army and beat them back, albeit with a good bit of help from the USA. (Emphasis mine)
    Yet another major campaign in the Cold War, again a proxy war in fairly worthless territory, territory that neither nation would have bothered with were it not for the other superpower. Again, the Soviets sent vast amounts of materiel into the theatre, and again the US-supported forces destroyed most of what they sent in. Unlike the Vietnam War, the Soviets also sent lots of soldiers into Afghanistan, which was a lethal US-funded meat grinder.

    Something you have to understand about the Soviets was that their technology was not efficient. Compare to US factories, it was much more expensive for them to build a tank or fighter. The effectiveness and quality of Soviet war machines also tended to be rather low. The net result is that it cost the Soviets many more man-hours to field a credible military force. So when they sent in a tank that got promptly bombed by US-supported forces, they had to divert a lot more industrial capacity away from luxury goods, research and development, and so forth. At the same time, they spent far to much of the remaining industrial and R&D capacity trying to outdo the Strategic Defense Initiative. It's also worth pointing out the substantial diversion of Soviet R&D during the Vietnam Proxy War as they tried to compete with the US Apollo project.

    Put all this together: previous costly war with no obvious victory and simultaneous loss at a technical competition, currently costly war with no obvious victory and heavy personnel losses and an even bigger unwinnable technological competition. It broke the will of the Soviet government and impoverished the people. The loss in Afghanistan was the straw that broke their back.

    40,000 guerrillas in a war torn nation full of refugees are worse than millions of troops fighting with conventional styles of warfare.
    Only with extensive support from a superpower, and that ain't gonna happen for Al Quaida or the Taliban. Especially since the US-aligned Special Operations groups will be using what are, frankly, guerrilla tactics. It's going to be guerrilla versus guerrilla, only the US guerrillas will have C-130s full of materiel arriving as needed, good air support, night-vision scopes, satellite reconnaissance, encrypted spread-spectrum radios, and so forth.

    The US also has a major advantage: they are not trying to conquer and hold Afghanistan like the Soviets were. They are simply trying to kill and disrupt a certain few thousand people. Also, unlike Israel or Iran, the only US criterion for an Afghan govt is peacefulness, stability, and cooperation with US intelligence. They won't be trying to prop up a violent government to fight a proxy war against a major power (in fact, they'll be specifically avoiding such a govt).

  • by PMan88 (467902) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @04:45PM (#2399090) Homepage
    It's impossible to bomb Afganistan back into the stone age. Thay are already in the stone age, or worse. Even if it was possible, it would be the wrong thing to do. The enemies are the terrorists and the Taliban for harboring them and not helping to find and/or turn them over. Attacks on Afganistan aren't attacks on the Taliban. The Taliban does not represent the Afgani people. They are only the ruling party and only are there because they have the most weapons left over from the Soviet war. So unless the Taliban and/or terrorists are eliminated, nothing has been accomplished.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 07, 2001 @05:31PM (#2399357)
    Hey, you should have used "HTML Formatted" instead of plaintext! You might want to read this [guardian.co.uk] article on the algebra of this war...

    Arundhati Roy
    Guardian

    [...]
    Here's the rub: America is at war against people it doesn't know, because they don't appear much on TV. Before it has properly identified or even begun to comprehend the nature of its enemy, the US government has, in a rush of publicity and embarrassing rhetoric, cobbled together an "international coalition against terror", mobilised its army, its air force, its navy and its media, and committed them to battle.

    The trouble is that once America goes off to war, it can't very well return without having fought one. If it doesn't find its enemy, for the sake of the enraged folks back home, it will have to manufacture one. Once war begins, it will develop a momentum, a logic and a justification of its own, and we'll lose sight of why it's being fought in the first place.
    [...]

  • by FFFish (7567) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @05:53PM (#2399471) Homepage
    Doesn't look big?

    Crikey, guy, if this goes down poorly, your ass is grass. Arab nations get upset with the US actions, and your life is gonna change.

    And there's a good chance that this *is* pissing the mid-East civilians. Check out this article [timesofindia.com] from India.

    Now, more than ever, it is important for Americans to seek global news sources. Do Not Trust Your Media.
  • by evil_roy (241455) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @07:14PM (#2399821)

    - WORLD

    Text of Osama bin Laden's statement

    Text of Osama bin Laden's taped statement, aired on an Arab television station after the US and British strikes. The remarks refer to the September 11 terror attacks on New York and Washington, but appear to have been made before today's strikes.

    "I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger.

    There is America, hit by God in one of its softest spots. Its greatest buildings were destroyed, thank God for that. There is America, full of fear from its north to its south, from its west to its east. Thank God for that.

    What America is tasting now, is something insignificant compared to what we have tasted for scores of years. Our nation (the Islamic world) has been tasting this humiliation and this degradation for more than 80 years. Its sons are killed, its blood is shed, its sanctuaries are attacked, and no-one hears and no-one heeds.

    When God blessed one of the groups of Islam, vanguards of Islam, they destroyed America. I pray to God to elevate their status and bless them.

    Millions of innocent children are being killed as I speak. They are being killed in Iraq without committing any sins and we don't hear condemnation or a fatwa from the rulers. In these days, Israeli tanks infest Palestine - in Jenin, Ramallah, Rafah, Beit Jalla, and other places in the land of Islam, and we don't hear anyone raising his voice or moving a limb.

    When the sword comes down (on America), after 80 years, hypocrisy rears its ugly head. They deplore and they lament for those killers, who have abused the blood, honour, and sanctuaries of Muslims. The least that can be said about those people, is that they are debauched. They have followed injustice. They supported the butcher over the victim, the oppressor over the innocent child. May God show them His wrath and give them what they deserve.

    I say that the situation is clear and obvious. After this event, after the senior officials have spoken in America, starting with the head of infidels worldwide, Bush, and those with him. They have come out in force with their men and have turned even the countries that belong to Islam to this treachery, and they want to wag their tail at God, to fight Islam, to suppress people in the name of terrorism.

    When people at the ends of the earth, Japan, were killed by their hundreds of thousands, young and old, it was not considered a war crime, it is something that has justification. Millions of children in Iraq, is something that has justification. But when they lose dozens of people in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam (capitals of Kenya and Tanzania, where US embassies were bombed in 1998), Iraq was struck and Afghanistan was struck. Hypocrisy stood in force behind the head of infidels worldwide, behind the cowards of this age, America and those who are with it.

    These events have divided the whole world into two sides. The side of believers and the side of infidels, may God keep you away from them. Every Muslim has to rush to make his religion victorious. The winds of faith have come. The winds of change have come to eradicate oppression from the island of Muhammad, peace be upon him.

    To America, I say only a few words to it and its people. I swear by God, who has elevated the skies without pillars, neither America nor the people who live in it will dream of security before we live it in Palestine, and not before all the infidel armies leave the land of Muhammad, peace by upon him.

    God is great, may pride be with Islam. May peace and God's mercy be upon you."

  • by biggles69 (110392) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @09:59PM (#2400376)
    I expect to be branded a Fascist Racist by some for bringing this to peoples attention but you get that.

    I am on a mailing list for a group dedicated to trying to teach people about the dangers, to society, civilization and the individual of organised religion.

    I got a mail referring me to this [slashdot.org] site regarding the true nature of Islam and what is really preached in the Koran.

    This site was produced by a group of Muslims turned atheist, contains numerous quotations from the Koran and sort of blows the comfy, trendy fantasy of Islam as a religion of love and peace out of the water.

    I think it is a must read for everybody who values democracy and freedom of choice. It shows just how necessary it is to fight this war against terrorism and gives a good idea of just what we are up against.

    It also kills the poisonous arguments of the apologists that the USA deserved what happened because of it's international policies. The terrorists who do these things hate the US in particular and the west in general because WE ARE FREE TO CHOOSE! Under Islamic law only total submission to Allah is allowed and those who do not submit must die!

    It can't be stated often enough that not all MUSLIMS are the problem here. But ISLAM is!

  • by Bobzibub (20561) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @10:31PM (#2400476)
    + 5 from me too.

    Continuing from your post, it is interesting to see the differences between CNN's version of Bin Laden's speech and CBC's version.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/indepth/us_strikingback/b ac kgrounders/binladen_speech011007.html

    http://www.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/central/10 /0 7/ret.binladen.transcript/

    And the paragraph that is most striking to me is this one:

    CNN: "People -- event of the world -- in Japan, hundreds of thousands of people got killed. This is not a war crime. Or in Iraq, what our -- who are being killed in Iraq. This is not a crime. And those, when they were attacked in my Nairobi, and Dar es Salaam, Afghanistan, and Sudan were attacked."

    CBC: "When people at the ends of the earth, Japan, were killed by their hundreds of thousands, young and old, it was not considered a war crime, it is something that has justification. Millions of children in Iraq is something that has justification. But when they lose dozens of people in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam (capitals of Kenya and Tanzania, where U.S. embassies were bombed in 1998), Iraq was struck and Afghanistan was struck. Hypocrisy stood in force behind the head of infidels worldwide, behind the cowards of this age, America and those who are with it."

    I can't believe that this is simply the result of some hurried translator working under a deadline. The portions that are most 'altered' and are most central to his argument, and have dashes replacing the text. The rest of the text looks like two different translations, to me.

    It is unfortunate not only because Americans should know exactly why they go to war (not just their government's viewpoint), but also because Bin Laden's argument is not convincing--so a strong case for alterations was not required to make the changes.

    Hope I'm wrong.
    -B

  • BBC Documentrary (Score:2, Informative)

    by kisak (524062) on Monday October 08, 2001 @06:33AM (#2401321) Homepage Journal

    If one want some background information on the sad history of the Afghanistan wars uptil now, one should check out :

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/audiovideo/progra mmes/panorama/default.stm [bbc.co.uk]

    Here Afghanistan - The Dark Ages [bbc.co.uk] contains a RealPlayer video of a 44 min documentary showed yesterday on BBC Panorama. The program gives indepth analysis of what has been happening in Afghanistan the last 20 years and how the Taliban came in power. It describes how life has been in Afghanistan under the Taliban. The video also shows the only known TV tapes of the Taliban leader Mullah Omar and gives the journalist story of meeting Osama bin Laden.

    All respect to BBC for their quality programs.

  • Re:Whose war? (Score:2, Informative)

    by joshki (152061) on Monday October 08, 2001 @09:41AM (#2401621)
    I think that you prehaps have some of your facts screwed up about Pearl Harbor. It is a common misconception that the president knew all about what was going to happen and let it happen to stimulate the economy, drag us into the war, etc... There are several theories about what happened that day - I don't think anyone will know for sure, but these links should clear up a little of it. Theory one(it's about halfway down the page) - (history place.com) [historyplace.com]: We broke the code in time to prevent the attack, but then we sent the information by commercial telegraph. Something we need to remember is that the president couldn't just pick up the phone and call Pearl Harbor at the time - there were very few means of communication with the mainland. According the the link, we had lost radio contact with Pearl Harbor at the time, and this delayed the message until about noon Hawaii time -- approximately four hours after the attack had begun.
    Theory Two: (ukans.edu) [ukans.edu] Stephen Budiansky is a historian who's written a book on code-breaking in WWII - his theory is quite simply, we couldn't read the codes. The japanese had evidently been changing their codes quite frequently - or at least frequently enough the confuse our code-breakers. I'll leave a further explanation to reading the link - it sounds to me like he's saying the Navy really didn't decode the relevant messages until 1946, almost five years after the attack.
    The main thing we have to remember here is that communications at the beginning of WWII were really bad. Nowdays we have ways to get messages and information across the globe in seconds - it's very easy to forget the fact that if a coded message was broken in the evening in Washington, in 1941 there was literally a very good chance it would not get to Hawaii by the following morning. This makes the most sense to me as an explanation for what happened - not saying the president and all his generals and code-breakers knew about this far enough in advance to prevent it and all conspired together to keep the base commander in Pearl from knowing.
    There is a slightly more sinister idea that makes more sense to me than saying the president knew all about it. The code-breakers may well have known - as I mentioned earlier, there's some dissension on that point. The code-breaking community in the military is EXTREMELY secretive. There could very well have been an admiral or captain(I believe it was the navy running it at the time) who was told and simply decided not to pass the information on. In that case, he would have had to make a decision based on, first of all, how likely he thought it was that the information was accurate, and secondly, on how badly it would affect his intelligence gathering capabilities in the future for the japanese to find out that we knew about the attack in advance. That's the biggest problem with intelligence - frequently, when you use it, you compromise its source, and then you have to start all over again, either breaking a code, or compromising a foreign agent, etc... so it's a tough call for someone in that position - one I would never want to have to face.

"I'm not a god, I was misquoted." -- Lister, Red Dwarf

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