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US Starts Attacking Afghanistan 2549

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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  • Food and Supplies (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bonker ( 243350 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @01:22PM (#2397896)
    I don't know if it's Bush, but *somebody* has their thinking cap on.

    One of the real reaons the Soviets failed was because they were waging an all-out war to subdue Afghanistan.

    Apparently, we're intent on pacifying the populace in the literal sense rather than the military sense. This will make a *Big* difference when U.S. tanks and personell carriers start rolling through for any kind of ground activity.

    BBC has some pretty good graphics, including some maps of possible targets:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/south_asia/ newsid_1556000/1556588.stm#map [bbc.co.uk]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 07, 2001 @01:26PM (#2397924)
    Really? International justice?

    It's interesting that the U.S.A. has been constantly opposed to the idea of an international criminal court as it would have jurisdiction over American citizens and, in the case of war crimes, military personnel as well.

    Yet, the U.S.A. is quite happily prosecuting war criminals in the Hague. Talk about bigotry.

  • by CheechBG ( 247105 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @01:29PM (#2397938) Homepage
    If people will ever accept peace they need to find a way of dealing with eachother other than through violence. I will pray for peace, just as I will pray for an end to the violence that is going on right now

    and how many more thousands of innocent Americans have to die before we do something decisive? Let me understand this correctly. If I go over there and kick your ass, based on your reasoning, you are going to sit there and try to figure out a way to resolve my dispute with you peacefully. I, not wanting peace, will then proceed to kick your ass again. Repeat cycle.

    I'm sorry, but I can't really see your reasoning working in this scenario, nor the scenario of the WTC. You have to understand, as "innocent" as these people are, they WILL NOT STOP until EVERY American and American ally is DEAD. No pausing to reflect, no thoughts on peaceful resolution, EVERYONE DEAD.
  • by metalhed77 ( 250273 ) <andrewvc@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Sunday October 07, 2001 @01:30PM (#2397946) Homepage
    First of all we are responding to what they started. Secondly, we are not attacking innocent civilians like those cowards did.

    Cowards is a misleading propaganda term used by the govt. to try to hide the true cause of these attacks. I can't believe you bought into that rhetoric. There is nothing cowardly about dying for something you believe. Remember, know your enemy, if all you do is repeat rhetoric like that you have done a disservice to yourself. These men are not cowards, the are idealogues who are willing to die for their cause. As horrendous as their cause may be it's right in their eyes. I'm not soft on them, i'd like em all blown to pieces, but I refuse to simply classify them the easiest way possible as many have done.
  • Re:It is time... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kilobug ( 213978 ) <le-mig_g.epita@fr> on Sunday October 07, 2001 @01:33PM (#2397966)
    First, the Taliban say they will give Ben Laden to US if the US government give them a proof of his culpability. It's normal. Of course I don't support Talibans, but there they are just following what is called laws and right.

    Second, by bombing Afganhistan, it's not Ben Laden nor the Taliban that you kill, but the innocent people who are suffering from years due the Taliban terror.

    What did happen when US bombed Irak? Innocent people were killed. Families were broken. And for the people in Irak, the ennemy was no longer the dictator Saddam Hussein but the US.

    Didn't you learn from September the 11st? It's your "we-are-the-master-of-world" behavior that made those people act in a so stupid and inhuman way. By bombing Afghanistan, without a decision from the United Nations Organizations, you just create new terrorists, new fanatics all through the world. You give the Taliban a new argument to brain-wash the people living in the area.

    By answering hate to hate, bomb to bomb, death to death you just increase the global hatred level, and so you create new fanatics. Not just speaking of the poor Afghan child who was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Stop acting as the masters of the world. Stop killing people when it's your interset. Stop using hate to answer hate. Remember that the Taliban were armed and trained by the CIA. Remember that Ben Laden was a CIA agent. Remember that each day 35000 people die from hunger or poverty in the world, and that's the fault of USA, G8 and WTO. Fix those problem first, and terrorism will disappear.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 07, 2001 @01:35PM (#2397985)
    What can I say? This guy is why I worry about my country (U.S.) trying to do things in the world. Muslims are not the problem, idiots are. Muslim terrorist idiots and this American idiot are no better than each other.

    Let's all pray that the evil suffer their punishment and the innocent are held safe.
  • Re:Hmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by phaze3000 ( 204500 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @01:37PM (#2397993) Homepage
    I agree, it's extremely sad people innocent people will die in Afghanistan. However, I disagree that air-strikes are any less discriminate than ground troops - remember Vietnam, where of thousands of women were raped by American troops?

    I'm an atheist, and as such I don't feel qualified to comment on the whole god aspect of your comment, but I feel that one certainally cannot sit idly by. I'd need more information on the nature of the attacks to say whether or not I support them - at the moment details are rather sketchy. Certainally the current reports (military installations and an airport taken out) don't seem to be unreasonable.

  • Re:This sucks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Convict6446 ( 457177 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @01:42PM (#2398017)

    Yes, I think this will be a messy conflict. However, it is something we had to do. Afghanistan has basically told us to go screw ourselves since about the 12 of September. They've tried to dictate terms to the most powerful nation in the world, and we weren't having any of it. What we were asking was real simple...extradition of somebody involved in crimes committed in the US.

    Before you as for evidence linking him to the attacks on the 11th of September, that doesn't matter. We don't NEED evidence of that. Bin Laden has already been indicted for previous attacks, and has claimed credit for them. So whether he was responsible for recent attacks or not (which it is fairly reasonable to think he was), he was responsible for previous attacks, and for that alone he should be extradicted.

    As a member of the military, I have no problem with what is going on. These guys have spit in our face, then smiled. So now we're going to punch them in their collective mouths. I love this country, and I hate to see it pushed around. I have no problem risking my life to do this.

    I suggest everybody do this: tape a video of the World Trade Center falling. Stick it on the shelf. Any time you have second thoughts about our involvement in any of these operations, put it in, watch it, and remember that there are a few thousand Americans dying on your TV screen.

    And final note to morons: not all Muslims are terrorists. Not all Muslims support terrorists. Muslim Americans, especially, do NOT tend to support terrorists. Just as not all Christians supported Hitler. And no, I am not Muslim.

  • Now what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @01:43PM (#2398027) Homepage
    It looks like the plan is
    • Suppress enemy air defenses (always step 1 of an air campaign)
    • Destroy Taliban military forces near Kabul from the air (hard, they're dug in)
    • Assist Northern Alliance to capture Kabul (they're stuck about 30km away)
    • Declare victory.

    Bin Laden may survive this. But that may not matter. Just getting the message across that allowing terrorists to attack the U.S. from your country means your government gets crushed may be enough to deter state-sponsored terrorism for a while.

  • Re:It is time... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Trekologer ( 86619 ) <adb@@@trekologer...net> on Sunday October 07, 2001 @01:45PM (#2398036) Homepage
    The Taliban offered to try Bin Laden in Afghanistan.

    Oh, sure. That would work. (sarcasm off) The Taliban believe in the same extreme Islamic teachings that bin Laden uses to promote attacks against the United States. If tried by the Taliban, he would probablly be found not guilty. And he would still have refuge under the Taliban's regeime.

    By the way, British Prime Minister Tony Blair released a 21 page report tying bin Laden to the September 11 attacks. Plus there are the attacks on the USS Cole and the American embasies in East Africa. The Taliban has said that they will declare a Jihad* against the West if attacked. That mean that they've declared a war on YOU. Do you still think we should sit back on our hands on hope this all "blows over"?

    * Most followers of Islam believe that "Jihad" means a holy war against one's self to find truth of existance. Using "Jihad" to demand violence is cosidered by most to be a basterization of the religion.
  • Re:It is time... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by YU Nicks NE Way ( 129084 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @01:46PM (#2398049)
    No, you aren't the person who remembers it, but you may be the only person who believes it. The Taliban already have sufficient evidence to absolutely require they extradite bin Laden: the public record of the trial of the bombers of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania six years ago. His associates were tried and convicted of that act, and the evidence used in that trial, which also implicated bin Laden, was presented to the Taliban three years ago, along with a demand for his surrender to the US to face trial for his own crimes in that matter, as well as in the matter of the bombing of the USS Cole in 1998.
  • Re:It is time... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kilobug ( 213978 ) <le-mig_g.epita@fr> on Sunday October 07, 2001 @01:58PM (#2398116)
    And do you thing there really is a justice in US when a black accused to have killed a white has 4 times more risk to be sentenced to death than a white accused to kill a black?

    If Ben Laden is juged in a US court, how many people in the jury will believe him to be guilty even before hearing the first proof? Do you this is justice?

    In a case like that, only an international tribunal can judge. Else this won't be fair. The jury will be the same as the accusation.
  • Re:It is time... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jon Chatow ( 25684 ) <slashdot@jdforrester.org> on Sunday October 07, 2001 @01:59PM (#2398120) Homepage

    Oh, for gods' sakes. This is exactly the kind of 'rhetoric' that attracts such hatred towards you Americans - you seem to have this unerring feeling that your position is absolutely correct.

    [...]our government has looked for the most peaceful solution possible
    Please excuse the language, but, put simply, 'bollocks'. The United States has looked for no solution whatsoe'er - demands on a non-negotiable billet do not come close to being an action of looking for a solution.

    As a friend of mine put it, they call it 'collateral damage' because 'dead innocent civilians' doesn't have the same ring to it - and collateral damage is going to occur, to both sides, to a great extent, because the 'mission' is not clearly definied, but only a misguided and vague effort supported by dodgy morals and an apparent committment to aid which doesn't really fit with the action being taken. The monopoly of the state as the only body with legitimate use of violence, the boundaries of morals, and the state of global governance are what is at question here. Acts are only called 'terrorism', and not military action by a foreign power by the difference in the percieved legitimacy of their perpetrators - 'fighting terrorism' is about keeping states the sole executors of, well, physical power, to the extent of executions.

    Personally, I find it very sad that a country full of such a great many people who could contribute so much to the world at large are generally not only conceited, arrogant and selfish, but somewhat stupid (by this I mean their actions as a mob, rather than individually, for at least most of them).

  • by Hacker Cracker ( 204131 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @02:01PM (#2398135)
    I would suggest that you stop for a minute and think... Once again Daniel Quinn has put it eloquently:
    A reader who is not online phoned me last night to get my take on the WTC attack. As with others who have contacted me, he wanted to see the possibility of something good coming from this calamity. As we talked on, I began to see that there is such a possibility--and it's entirely in our hands to bring it about. No one and nothing can prevent us from bringing it about--if we wish to.

    We want to see an end to terrorism--on that we're agreed. To take aim at this goal, however, we must stand on the solid, level ground of truth, and this we're not doing as yet. Our leaders are not speaking the truth as they surely know it; they're posing (as they have consistently done for many decades). They're posing as knights in shining armor, as paragons of perfect virtue, as the champions of godliness and decency ready to smite evil-doers (as our enemies must be, by definition). We can find no firm footing in this pose, because it's false, and so our aim is going to be shaky.

    The good we can bring about is to abandon this pose and to stand resolutely on the truth, which is that we can't pretend to bear no responsibility for the spread of terrorism and to have earned none of the hatred that drives it. (For more on this subject, see "Why a Military Response Won't Work -- Historic Roots of Mideast Grievances," [pacificnews.org] by William O. Beeman, Pacific News Service, September 19, 2001.)

    By saying this, I'm not in the least condoning terrorism. I'm just rejecting as useless the fiction that we are immaculate saints while our enemies are Satanic monsters. This kind of posing brings us no honor in the world community and does nothing to steady our aim against terrorism.

    But where do we go from there?, my caller wanted to know. It seemed to him that the pose of righteousness gives us a clear program: Rage out into the world with our hands full of bombs to wreak vengeance on the tools of Satan. Yes, the pose of righteousness does give us that, whereas merely standing on the truth does not. You might say that standing in the pose of righteousness makes us lean toward wrath and violence, whereas standing on the truth merely puts us in balance. In this balanced state, we need to think about what to do. We need to listen to the wisdom of others and to understand what our enemies want--not to concede it to them but in order to defeat them. As Sun Tzu said in The Art of War, "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles."
    'Nuff said.

    -- Shamus

  • Blair's the man (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ColGraff ( 454761 ) <maron1@mindsprinTWAINg.com minus author> on Sunday October 07, 2001 @02:03PM (#2398147) Homepage Journal
    I just have to say, I listen to Blair's speech a few minutes ago, and I douub the United States could have any better friend than Britain and Tony Blair himself. He was with us the day of the attack, he's been with us since, and he's with us now, and Britain's soldiers' lives are on the line along with ours.

    I'm not normally a religous man, but I have to say: God bless the UK and Tony Blair.
  • Re:Blair's the man (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 07, 2001 @02:11PM (#2398183)
    Absolutely. I'm an American, and in the days after the Muslim assault on our country I was able to watch Tony Blair on CSPAN as he addressed Parliament. This is before President Bush spoke to our congress. Blair's speech before Parliament was magnificent. It was quite a comfort to know we had such a strong friend in the British people. It made me appreciate our common anglo-saxon heritage of rights and laws dating back to the Magna Carta. God bless Tony Blair and the UK.
  • Re:It is written (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JohnG ( 93975 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @02:12PM (#2398193)
    Are you talking about the United States? I'd say we make damn fine fruit. The internet being a prime example, world's leading PC processor manufacturers, world's leading Graphics card manufacturers, worlds leading Aircraft manufacturers, a big contender in the automotive and motorcycle industries.
    Or perhaps you were referring to the fruits we give to starving kids in countries whose own governments that don't give a damn about them like Afghanistan, so that they may not go hungry or die from what over here are simple illnesses.
    Perhaps I'm reading your post wrong, but if I had to choose an American apple over an Afghan apple, I'd take the American apple every time.
  • Whose war? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by voiceofthewhirlwind ( 451735 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @02:14PM (#2398203) Journal
    "Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

    -Hermann Goering, Hitler's #2 man
  • by Panaflex ( 13191 ) <convivialdingo AT yahoo DOT com> on Sunday October 07, 2001 @02:16PM (#2398215)
    If we could just go and arrest those responsible, then it would be done. However, people are protecting a man who is at the very least accessory to the murder of thousands of people. If bin Laden was innocent, why not make an international appeal? Trial in a country where the justice system is corrupt would be fraut with stupidity.

    This IS different. There are goals. If you believe in freedom, you must accept justice.

    Showing the Taliban the "evidence" could mean death for many who provide information to the USA. Some of these people are supporters of democracy, we don't know. Do you trust the Taliban to extridite bin Laden, at the risk of loosing all information sources and their lives?

    Why don't you go over and arrest the man? Even if you did it for the money (Now at 30M USD) you could easily pay for the trip and equipment.

    Critical thinking is in short supply.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 07, 2001 @02:31PM (#2398284)
    If the US was embargoed by the entire world until it stopped mass producing chemical weapons and invading Mexico, and American children were dying for a lack of medicine while G.W. Bush built huge statues of himself and stadiums in his honor, would you blame the rest of the world for the American deaths?
  • by SirPsychoSexyMD ( 521258 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @02:33PM (#2398299)
    It will only be yourself who will suffer if you give in to hate. Don't give in to the dark side.
  • by MrDalliard ( 130400 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @02:40PM (#2398338) Homepage
    Thanks ColGraff, you are the first one (so far) to acknowledge that the US is *not* doing all this alone.

    Most of the US coverage so far that I've seen (including /.'s headline text) seems to largely neglect the fact that British troops are committed to this too.

    Here's a link to get us all started.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_15840 00 /1584763.stm

    I do not want to make Britain sound more important than it is. To be honest, in the grand scale of things, it isn't (speaking as a Brit who sees their country as on the decline). However, I think that the US's stance to everything would have been considerably different if Britain hadn't done the shuttle diplomacy between nearby countries, along with the supply of forces. Diplomacy should always come before loss of life.

    I personally do not agree with the action that is being taken. Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world and the majority of this action will only go towards running it into the ground even more. I think that financial support of the Northern alliance so that they can depose the Taliban would have been a much better option. We can't go in and just "make things right". Finally, is this a war against terrorism or a war against the Taliban ? If it's a war against Terrorism, then what about ETA, the IRA ? etc.. etc.. All of a sudden, Britain is in no place to criticise.

    ...and as we know, if you kill one militant fanatic, they have all the more reason to let another militant fanatic step in their shoes. You can use technology to monitor these things, but several guys sitting around a campfire discussing the matter is going to bypass all this technology. The operation needs to be a lot more close to the ground. Technology isn't going to win this. Ultimately, we need to help the Afghans sort this out in the right way for them.

    Thanks Colgraff. It's good to see someone who recognises the external support of other nations. Bush should not take that support for granted.

    Remember the Gulf War. The biggest loss of Allied life was British - by friendly fire.

    I'll leave you on that one.

  • Re:Now what? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 07, 2001 @02:42PM (#2398353)
    >Just getting the message across that allowing
    >terrorists to attack the U.S. from your country >means your government gets crushed

    Not that I'm a fan of the Taliban, but they didn't 'allow' the terrorists to attack from their country.

    The terrorists mostly came from Saudi Arabia, and did most of their training in the US and the UK, so by your rationale the UK and US governments should be being crushed.

    The Taliban run an extremely nasty regime, but they have little interest in attacking other countries; they are quite happy dominating Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden is not at all popular there.

    If it leads to the toppling of the Taleban then I'll support the military action, but it makes little sense as a revenge attack to the WTC incident.
  • Re:Whose war? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @03:01PM (#2398465)

    I don't think our leaders had to tell us that the country was attacked. The jumbo jets flying into the skyscrapers did that just fine.

    We all witnessed the jets flying in to buildings.

    But who witnessed the banners reading "Al'Quida sponsored"? Or maybe it was the public statements from the terrorist pilots just before impact? Or maybe even a statement from Bin Laden claiming responcibility?

    We are still relying on our government leadership to tell us who did the act. That it was an attack that constituted an "act of war" (note: terrorist activities have always been considered ciminal acts up to now - there's a big difference between war (military) and criminal (civil) acts).

    I personally have fairly high confidence in our current leadership. But it is our duty (for both civil and military citizens - and there IS a difference) to be critical of our leadership. It is possible to be both supportive and critical at the same time.

  • by MrEd ( 60684 ) <tonedog AT hailmail DOT net> on Sunday October 07, 2001 @03:02PM (#2398467)
    1) Let him punch you

    2) Get up

    3) Let him punch you again

    4) Have him arrested for assault

    Seriously, it's a shitty metaphor.

    The UN exists for a reason.

  • by drunkmonk ( 241978 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @03:05PM (#2398486) Homepage

    Obviously you can't put a price on human life, but in purely economic terms, the cruise missiles are much, much less expensive than ground troops.

    First, there is the cost of just a soldier's kit and munitions... not that expensive, but still the cost is there.

    Then you have to figure the cost of getting thhe soldiers there, sheltering them and resupplying them. Remember that the modern military has a large ratio of "tail" to "teeth" (support units vs. actual combat units), so supplying even a handful of combat troops requires many, many people, all of which also need to be supplied, fed, etc.

    Then, there is the invested cost of training a soldier. Say a soldier with ten years in the military is killed... then not only do you lose a priceless life, but you also lose the experience and expertise that the soldier brought to the fight, experience and expertise that was bought at a very high financial cost during peacetime training.

    Of course there are benefits of using ground troops. Humans are more flexible, more capable to reacting in a fluid situation (which is why cruise missiles are used on targets that are well-defined and static while manned strike aircraft are still used to go after more difficult targets). But in light of the conditions of fighting in Afghanistan, whose history of combatting first-rate militaries and extremely difficult terrain make defense against ground troops far more possible than defense against airborne threats, cruise missiles are by far the most cost-effective, followed by manned aircraft, followed distantly by ground forces.

  • Re:It is time... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by YU Nicks NE Way ( 129084 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @03:08PM (#2398513)
    What do you mean? Do you mean that there's no evidence that bin Laden was implicated in the WTC terror attack, or that there is no evidence against bin Laden himself which should have been adequate to justify his being bound over for trial?

    The first is irrelevant in this case, and I haven't spoken to it. Look back at what I said: that I didn't believe the Taliban would turn bin Laden over for any evidence. I deliberately confined the evidence I mentioned to previous requests for the extradition of bin Laden and his lieutenants, and all the evidence that I mentioned is in the public record. More than that, it's in a trial transcript, and it's been available for years.

    The question of the presence or absence of evidence in the WTC attack is a red herring. Sheik Omar had more than adequate reason to extradite bin Laden without any reference to the WTC attack. He could and should have done that years ago. The fact that he and his cadre have refused to do that for years discredits their more recent charm offensive.
  • by rodgerd ( 402 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @03:10PM (#2398526) Homepage
    Funny thing is that on the non-US information sources (BBC, etc) that go into New York, there seems to be little appetite amongst those who lost people for revenge. That's mostly among the people outside NY - in the midwest and West Coast.

    US sources, OTOH, barely seem to be talking to the New Yorkers affected. CNN, in particular, quickly abandoned coverage of the victims in favour of beating the drums of war (and marketshare).
  • Re:Germany (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Bimble ( 28588 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @03:15PM (#2398555) Homepage
    Pay closer attention to your World War 2 history. Even the Allies referred to some of their bombing runs as "terror bombing". Civilian populations _were_ targets of some of the Allied bombing runs. They operated under the mistaken belief that bombings would demoralize the civilian populations and make them less able to support the war effort, and possibly force an internal political end to the war. What actually happened, of course, is that the civilians got more incensed at the enemy and more supportive of the war effort.

    This happened on both sides of World War 2, of course - Germany started with a mistaken bombing of London, and British bomber command was the most enthusiastic supporter of terror bombing. Do a Google search for "Dresden bombing" if you want an example.

    I'm not saying I'm not glad the Allies won the war, of course. But I do feel the need to correct posts that suggest that Allied intentions were nothing but good, and that civilians were never purposefully targeted. Some incidents of targeting civilians probably did prevent greater casualties in the long run (Hiroshima and Nagasaki spring to mind), but the ends gained do not change the fact that civilians were indeed Allied targets.

    As to the current bombings, we'll see what's actually getting hit. As I said above, bombing the civilian population of Afghanistan is more likely to feed their will to fight the US than to wear it down. Bombing the barely-existent infrastructure of Afghanistan will have short-term military benefits, but long-term detrimental effects on the civilian population, as Iraq has shown. Whatever happens, I don't think I'll be able to shake the feeling that this is exactly what the terrorists were hoping the US would do.
  • Re:Whose war? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FFFish ( 7567 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @03:18PM (#2398572) Homepage
    Perhaps what is most outrageous about the terrorist attack is that no one has claimed responsibility for it, and no one has tried to benefit by it.

    It's just bizarre. Why the heck do it, if you don't take claim of it?

    What the hell did they gain... except, perhaps, to start WWIII?
  • by tempestdata ( 457317 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @03:24PM (#2398600)
    The reason we do not have blanket hatred towards those who have commited crimes against us, is quite simple. If we were to not care about their civilians, we would in fact, be as bad as them. And by becoming as savage and brutal as them, we would end up justifying the very action we feel was so unjustifiable!
  • by LS ( 57954 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @03:31PM (#2398631) Homepage
    Your analogy is one of the worst I have ever seen. There are more holes in it than I wish to address, but I will point out a few:

    * A single person commiting an act of unprovoked violence is not comparable to a complex political situation that sometimes involves violence.

    * The US is the puncher, not the receiver of the punch. Our cold war and oil [apc.org] interests [csis.org] cause us to meddle in the affairs of almost every country in the middle east. We aided Osama Bin Laden [msnbc.com] and put the Taliban into power [emperors-clothes.com]. They used to be called "freedom fighters" in the past. Our sanctions in Iraq have caused the deaths of over 500,000 CHILDREN [att.net]. We sponsored and trained terrorists in Nicaragua that resulted in over 30,000 civilian deaths [brianwillson.com]. The list goes on. Now who is the aggressor here?

    * A true pacifist is willing to die before hitting back. If someone thinks violence is evil, how can you combat evil with violence?

    * And why would anyone take advice and learn lessons from an asshole who punches peaceful people in the face?

    Turn your radio dial away from Rush Limbaugh and start finding out the true story, instead of knee-jerking off.
  • by ryantate ( 97606 ) <ryantate@ryantate.com> on Sunday October 07, 2001 @03:42PM (#2398689) Homepage
    Nobility is costly:

    Cost of about 75 cruise missiles fired [bbc.co.uk] on two targets in Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998: ~$75 million

    Death toll: about 21 (source [cdi.org], source [progressive.org], source [cnn.com])

    Cost per casualty (apologies): $3.6 million

    Targets (you guess the cost): "suspected chemical weapons plant in Khartoum, Sudan, and a terrorist training complex in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border. "


    Dirty deeds done dirt cheap:

    Cost of full-fare airline ticket purchased by one of the hijackers (this is from memory): $2,499

    Implied rough maximum cost for 18 [yimg.com] hijackers: $44,982

    Death toll: more than 6,000

    Cost per casualty (apologies): less than $7.50

    Estimated cost to U.S. economy, according [dismal.com] to Economy.com: about $70 billion


    They just need to get us to keep firing cruise missiles ($1m), dropping JDAM smart bombs (~$17k - src: WSJ last Fri.) and firing Maverick air to surface missiles (~$120K, ibid).

  • Extradition (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 07, 2001 @03:45PM (#2398702)
    AFAIK a country generally doesn't give in to extradition requests without some semblance of proof of guilt - at least enough to show cause for an indictment. The U.S. has given no proof to the country of the guilt of those parties asked for extradition for *any* of the crimes of which they are accused. They've shown them to their allies and, yes, their allies agree that there is proof - what a surprise! Hmm, yes, I can see that we (the U.S.) have backed off our policy of bullying the world around. Just imagine what it would be like if we reciprocated our apparent views on extradition with all other countries - you ask for him, you get him. No proof needed - oh, China, you'd like to indict some taiwanese visiting America on counts of treason? Sure, here you are. AFA the war, I'll leave those thoughts to another post.

  • by lga ( 172042 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @03:56PM (#2398766) Homepage Journal
    Why are we answering a terrorist attack by becoming terrorists ourselves? The people of Afganistan have done nothing against us and are barely able to stay alive, let alone defend themselves. I have not yet seen any proof that Osama Bin Laden was behind the attacks on the world trade centre and there is no evidence that the people of Afganistan had anything to do with it.

    This war is not justice.

  • by kippa ( 453370 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @04:04PM (#2398819)
    I hear the newsies making reports about a possible public fear of retaliation by terrorists for today's actions. This seems to be unlikely given the mode of operation of terrorists. They seem to operate on systems of society by examining weaknesses and exploiting those weaknesses for maximum damage. Because this process takes a long time, I don't see how they could spontaneously react unless they are carrying out some previously designed plan. I would expect a retaliation at some later date, when our attention to this subject has been diverted for whatever reason.
  • by melquiades ( 314628 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @04:19PM (#2398916) Homepage
    Our country is at war now, even if it is undeclared one.

    I agree, in some sense, we're at war. But as Bush and everyone else keep pointing out, this is not really a "war" in any conventional sense: we are not fighting a nation, a territory, or even a definable coalition or group. We are fighting this nebulous thing called "terrorism".

    When people use all this language about the "War on Terrorism", I can't help thinking of how similar it is to the "War on Drugs" ... which has been a dismal failure. It's cost us huge amounts of money, damaged our freedom, and claimed high collateral damage (i.e. killed innocent people). And guess what? People still do drugs, buy drugs, sell drugs ... a lot.

    Think of the attack on Noriega, and how little that accomplished. We nailed one of the biggest names in the drug-smuggling world, and there was no noticable effect on the drug supply. The fundamental problem is that as long as there's money in drugs, if you strike down one criminal, ten will suddenly appear ready to take their place.

    The war on terrorism is going to be the same way. We'll wipe bin Laden's organization out. But for every terrorist we kill, ten will rise to take their place. Only this time, it's worse than the drug war: the fuel which drives terrorism is not money but anger, and these strikes actually increase the supply of this fuel.

    So yes, I agree, it's high time we did something. Wake up: military strikes don't work in these nebulous modern quasi-wars. We need to figure out what turns people into terrorists (and no, it's not W's simplistic "hatred of our freedoms" -- get real!), and stop terrorism at the source. And no, that is not what these strikes are doing.
  • by gotan ( 60103 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @04:22PM (#2398931) Homepage
    It's a war against sationary targets. Some buildings will be destroyed with high precision. But will that work against terrorists who are in hiding, maybe not even in the country and who travel light? Or against a government, that has no scruples to hold their own people as well as the american people hostage, and that is not bound to locations like administrative buildings and the like?

    Also what damage will be done to relations with arabic countries? The early (and probably long prepared) press statement shows, that bin Laden has expected, even wanted this to happen, to kindle a "holy war". It's probably even hard to find a building in afghanistan that's worth more than the bombshell that hits it. But it gives bin Laden and other radical fundamentalists the means to polarize the islam peoples, and probably get even more followers. The war is only a few hours old, and we will only later see, what was achieved by bombing of some buildings and, on the other hand, by accusing the americans to attack the islam people of afghanistan.

    I don't know how to do it better, but the aim should be, to isolate bin Laden and other fundamentalists, to rob them of support, support from neighbouring countries, and support from their own people, to show them as the warmongers they are, and to show, how they misuse religion for their own personal goals. The point is, that the "resources" of the terrorists are people, and support from people, and not some buildings. And bombings are the wrong tools to hunt down people.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 07, 2001 @04:26PM (#2398962)
    Yes, right. What about the people in afganistan?
    As usual US will kill thousands of civilians, but
    that dont batters if the soldiers are ok...
  • by ruin ( 141833 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @04:29PM (#2398987) Homepage
    Looks like he forgot a step.

    10) As campus security is escorting you away for assaulting someone, muse upon the differences between justice and retaliation.

  • peace rallies, ugh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by slavetrade55 ( 444917 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @04:32PM (#2399012)
    I'm a university student at Dalhousie in nova scotia. They just had a peace rally here. I was disgusted. I sent off a letter to a girl i know who goes to school in ottawa who talks politics with me. She's a big peace rally advocate, so i thought maybe she could offer some insight. No response yet, but here's the letter. Maybe someone here can tell me where i'm wrong:

    They had a peace rally today on spring garden road. There were lots of Dal students, and Alexa McDonough was there and everything. I was going down to hmv to buy a cd and stopped at the rally on my way back. My apologies if i seem a little pissed off, but some of the people there were among the worst ive ever met. They seem to live not on planet earth, but in some world where the victims of terrorism are part of the problem, that the scourge of the earth is western capitalism (since we have more than most others, i guess, and don't systematically mete out our good fortune to everyone else), that we should not fight (militarily) against people who hate us and want to see us dead, that Americans are more or less war criminals, and that through non violence, inaction, severing of ties to israel (honest to god they said it was israel, and not Hamas or Islamic Jihad, that were the terrorists) and lifting sanctions on iraq we will convince Al Qaeda et al. to stop their quest to kill westerners, and pursuade Osama bin Laden to turn himself into the Hague for prosecution. Or maybe they didn't care about that last thing at all, I don't think they mentioned him by name. They kept talking about alternative ways to fight terrorism other than the use of military force, but they never said what those alternatives were. Their line was that war always results in the deaths of innocents, which i guess is true, but if youre talking about individuals supporting the taliban, who think bin laden is a hero, and think westerners are morally corrupt and must be destroyed (which is more or less what bin laden's been saying for years), then you're not really talking about innocents. That said, it is probably true that the majority in Afghanistan don't support the taliban or its protection of bin laden, but while the taliban remains a pro-terrorism government i think we've got a right to defend ourselves. Finding bin laden probably won't end everything right away, but at least they might be able to stop the flow of his money, and maybe in the process we could restore a more moderate, anti-fucked up, government in Afghanistan. That would be a plus.

    They also forgot to mention Bush's push in congress for $320 million in food/shelter/medical aid directed to the general population in afghanistan, as well as the people who've fled the country into pakistan. That's right noble of him, i think. In bush i don't see the hawkish war monger that these people make him out to be--i don't think he's that bright. I just don't think he's got much of a mind of his own. "Boy, presidenting is hard!" But i think that even that assessment is changing. He seems to get smarter by the day.

    So, here's a question: If we can't use military action (like in this situation) and we can't use economic sanctions (like in iraq) to protect ourselves and our allies from terrorism, invasion etc. How exactly are we supposed to do it? Albeit in iraq its more a question of perceived threat than anything else, but saddam hussein _is_ a murderer, and _does_ use his own people as human shields, and is presently trying to develop weapons of mass destruction (he's already a big chemical weapons pimp); Economic sanctions would be lifted if he allowed UN weapons inspectors to go back in and inspect for weapons. It's that simple. But no one at that rally remotely suggested doing anything about hussein, and similarly neglected to talk about the taliban, arguably the most repressive government in the world today. The focus is all on the nexus of evil that is the USA.

    And now a word about israel. As far as israel getting pissed off in this situation goes, they have a right to be. During the gulf war, in order to maintain a coalition against iraq, Israel was basically told to do nothing, as any action on their part would just inflame muslim allies. So iraq took the opportunity to shower israel with scud missiles, and israel remained quiet. Now they smell something similar happening now. At the time they were hoping for an end to the iraqi military machine, and alot of iraqis were hoping for saddam hussein's downfall. I'm not going to speculate on the extent, but i imagine that loud at-home political opposition to the use of military force (these people today at the rally brought up the fact that alot of them had been at similar protests in 1991) helps to cripple a government's capacity for sustaining public support for a war. I guess that's the whole point. Violence is always a bad thing, of course. So instead of removing saddam, we only clean out kuwait and get back the oil to keep everything warm and happy (that will shut most people up) and as the war comes to an end, saddam goes back to doing whatever he was doing before. Even if the actual effect of these rallies is minute compared to the general disinterest of the population in finishing anything begun, the intent is still there, and is probably just a focussed illustration of people's unwillingness to do anything involving interference with others, even if the others are threatening us. I guess they think its best to try to please everyone and hope they come to feel the same toward us. Oops, i think i hear a plane smashing into a building somewhere. We're unable to even consider the possibility that people won't want to make peace with us, or see things our way; our tendency to give second chances to people vowing to kill us is kind of like self-mutilation.

    Anyway, i'm sorry this letter became a diatribe, but i'm mad, and youre one of the few peace-rally going people i know and could bitch to. Turning the other cheek sounds great, except that on planet earth people have a right to live without being killed by another slap. Responsibility has to be taken at some point for the sake of the victim.


    PS. When i got home i sent away for information on joining the liberal party (that's the canadian liberal party which, for you americans who have better things to do than watch canadian politics (ie. all of you) runs the canadian gov't). Thats how pissed off this made me. I intend to support any move into afghanistan as long as terrorists are hiding out there with backing from the taliban, even if i'm the only student at Dal that does. I'm all for peace, but my god people, stop fucking kidding yourselves.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 07, 2001 @04:51PM (#2399124)
    The Terrorist attacks and our current response do not invalidate the merit American foreign policy or national identity. America is to this day the greatest nation in the world.

    There I said it, no strings, no apologies, and no "I am so liberal that I care about the death of Palestinian children" more than the burgers I had for lunch etc... And yes I am a non-CNN consuming liberal, a bit extreme at times too. But I also have sense.

    As a first generation Chinese immigrant, I am all too aware of criticism against the United States and its actions, its unilateralism, greed, and hegemonism etc.

    But please, fellow Americans, don't give in to this crap of these appeasers and apologists. America is not the evil empire. American preeminence in the world is not a function of how much Nike, Coke or Ford we sell, or even the number of aircraft carriers and fighters in our arsenal. Those are merely reflections of the inner strength of the people and their ideals.

    Modern America is unique in the world in its embrace of secular humanism and hope filled individualism. America is not a superpower just because of its military might or its exploitation of the world. America is not Rome. America my friend, is America.

    Iraq did invade Kuwait, true and yes there was a peaceful resolution at works before American intervention. Having said that, we should also note that a "peaceful resolution" in this case would have meant that Iraq not the United States would control the rich but weak golf states and 70% of the world's oil supplies (what do you really think Saddam would have done with the 30 Billion dollar bribe that Kuwaiti offered?). I think most of the world, be it China, Japan or the EU would rather the US controlled the oil than Iraq. No one wanted to see such a fundamental shift in the balance of power in favor of a brutal dictatorship.

    The Palestinian cause, yes I hear them, I read about them and I supported it. After all I don't believe that such a once vibrant culture should disappear from the face of the world in one generation. And that proper food, education and indeed water supply for the Palestinians are responsibilities frequently neglected by Israel. But you must also see the Israeli side of the story. Killing with laser guided bomb is killing, true, but how do you ask the Israel soldiers to put down their guns, trash their fighters and go throw stones and commit suicide bombing attacks against the Palestinians. We do what we do to survive, the Israelis, who live amides the danger of destruction day and night will not want to get out of their tanks and hold hands with the Palestinians until some level of mutual respect exists. I personally think that the sentimental idealism of some of the first Zionists and their Arab counterpart, who wanted nothing but lasting peace at any cost is all but lost. And who can blame them!

    But now you are gonna say that the Palestinians are screwed because the US supported Israel and that the US is nothing but a nation controlled by blood sucking, CNN controlling Jews who wants to kill Arabs (boy would it be great if I get a penny every time I have to deal with that crock). Well bullshit to that again. The greatest supporter for the Palestinian cause my friend is not the PLO, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Jordan or Mr. Osama Bin Ladin himself. The greatest supporter were the New York Times and the Washington Post. Anyone who ever picked up those newspapers and read the heartfelt stories of Palestinian plight will feel nothing but sympathy for those people. And notice how the public opinions turned against Israel in the month preceding the attacks. But now that the Washington and New York have both been attacked do you think those supporters will voice their pro Arab sentiments? NO! If Bin Ladin or Saddam actually gave half a rats ass about the Palestinians or his fellow Arabs than none of this shit would have happened. Don't forget that the greatest crimes against the Palestinian people have not been committed by Israel. They have been the works of Jordan, Syria etc. And since when did the Arab Council or Gulf Council ever do anything to help the Palestinian other than their occasional chest pounding, cock stroking rhetoric.

    As for Bosnia, you should know that it was the cowardice and utter incompetence of the European Union and the opportunism and moral duplicity of the Milosevic and that Croatian fellow that caused the tragedy. Yes the US supported Croatia even though it had clear evidence of ethnic cleansing. But what was done by the Serbs were an order of magnitude greater. The US managed to broker the peace and alliance of convenience between the Muslims and the Croats to balance the Serbs and end the bloody war. Was it a perfect solution, no, was it a good solution, no because the guilty were unpunished (not just Milo but also the Croats). But was the best solution under the circumstances? That I must say it was.

    Saudi Arabia and Pakistan do have brutal states with fundamentalist tendencies. And yes the United States do support them, and yes that support does have direct bearings on our national interest. But you should also know that the Saudis and UAE under American paternalism are far more moderate and good to their people than say, the Taliban. The American presents in the middle east may not be a lasting solution. But a pull out now before true Arab state building can occur will only mean disaster for the nations there. Past examples of successful American paternalism include South Korea, Japan and Germany. So the point here is that many Arab states today are weak and exploited because they do not have modern nation state institutions. The cohesive nation state bound and secularism (collectively the definition of "modernism") do not fully exist. But this is not the fault of the United State. The US seeks to preserve the status quo in these nations-in-construction. But active change for the better have to emerge from within those nations. The US and the white man cannot be casually and callously blamed for this.

    Sure there are many holes in these sweeping idealizations, racial inequalities, bigotry, misrepresentation and the necessary actions of the state (reason d'etat anyone?). But the underlying principles of equality and freedom in its foundation is strong and pervasive compared to any other nation in the world. I say this despite the discrimination and bigotry that I myself have been victims of over the years in the US. Because I know that the legal system in this nation is mature, the religious forces checked by the secular state, which itself is a post-modern institution of checks and balances. Again I say it is not perfect or even good by subjective standards. But it is a continually improving system. And civic responsibility and patriotic duty calls for criticism and self examination to improve and safe guard what we have. In this respect I applaud the remarks of those I do not agree with. But I must say of objectivity does not mean reading up on fringe group's manifestos on the internet, or listening to the puke of extreme left or right "think tanks" and thinking that all that they have to offer are true and good because CNN says the opposite. True objectivity involves a lot more commitment and common sense than that blind chase for the black and white on the infinite abyss of the World Wide Web.

    Many Americans today take this for granted and does not realize what they have to enjoy and defend.

    As for the crises of American patriotism and national identity. Lemme just say that it isn't about how many tanks that we can amass for a demonstration for the public, or how many shrines we build for our war criminals. Those are enforced and superficial displays of distorted national psyches. American patriotism is much simpler on the surface and profound at depth that that. You need but see the tears in the eyes of grown men glued to the TV set after the bombing happened, watch the long lines of White, Black, Brown and Yellow at the red cross for blood donations, attend the grand memorial service in Atlanta where half of the dignitary speakers were not fire breathing red-necks but Arabs intelligenta preaching tolerance and respect, or go to the July forth celebrations in Washington and watch the festive people on the national mall enjoy themselves on a beautiful summer day, uninhabited, untroubled and unrestrained. That is America and that is the nation that I fell in love with...

  • by SubtleNuance ( 184325 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @05:05PM (#2399210) Journal
    Should the U.S. not retaliate or otherwise defend itself

    NO, the US is attacking them. Someone committed a crime, not and act of war, and the US is responding by making war.

    its always wrong.

    perceive this as an attack on Islam

    You do understand America has been backing the slaughter of Muslims in Isreal for 40 years. The Jewish feel for some reason that they deserve to displace Muslims because they are not Jewish. The Americans have been supporting religious-state politics all this time, they have been violating their own constitution by supporting Zionism - you are most certainly wrong when you say this is NOT an attack on Islam - it most certainly is.

    America has backed anti-Muslim policies, politics and 'apartheid'(sp?)

    America is not blameless.

  • by Chris Y Taylor ( 455585 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @05:09PM (#2399242) Homepage
    "Nope. But I do believe that they were driven by revenge. (as if it's not obvious!)"

    Then you are an idiot. Or at least I'll grant that you are just politically naive. The attacks on 9-11 have nothing to do with revenge. They were not "crimes of passion." The terrorist leaders may toss around the word "revenge" in the propaganda they use to recruit throw-away agents, but the fact is that such terrorist acts are cooly calculated attempts at political manipulation.

    To quote the DOD definition, terrorism is "the calculated use of violence or the threat of violence to [cause] fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological... In other words, terrorism is a psychological act conducted for its impact on an audience."

    The leaders of Al-Qaeda seek to establish a unified Islamic gov't over the entire Middle East. Is that evil? Well, they want a gov't where women are considered property, where the political leaders are also the religious leaders, where practicing a religion other than the "state religion" is punishable by death, and not incidentally where THEY are those revered religious/political dictators. I think that qualifies for evil in my book. Even if you don't believe in "good vs. evil" political simplifications, then surely it is an end result which almost all civilized people would not want to see occur.

    So why would Al-Qaeda attack the World Trade Center if it really wants to take over Arabia? Because as long as the United States maintains a strong military presence in the region then any attempt to "unify the Muslim world" will almost certainly come to a swift failure. Al-Qaeda's first step is to drive the U.S. out of the region that they want to conquer and to sufficiently damage us that we would not have the resources to ever come back in. Al-Qaeda is manipulating the hatred and jealousy toward the United States among the many Muslims to further their own goals of political/military conquest. They murdered thousands of civilians in a surprise terrorist attack in an attempt to provoke the United States gov't into taking rash action that will further increase their political base (something Bush's advisors obviously foresaw, considering the huge emphasis that Bush and his administration are placing on winning the "hearts and minds" of the Afghans and other Muslim people) and also as the first step in convincing the public and the leadership of the United States that we must withdraw our forces from the Mid-East (like we withdrew from Lebanon and Somalia after terrorist related casualties in those areas) so that it will be ripe for their conquest. Sounds close enough to "evil" in my book.

    As the song says "everybody wants to rule the world." Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri might actually be satisfied with just the Middle and Near East... maybe. I'm sure they don't see themselves as "evil." I'm sure they would tell you that they keep women uneducated and oppressed because that is their proper place in society... not because they hate them. I'm sure that they would explain that they execute people preaching other religions because they care about their citizen's souls and want to protect them from temptation. Then again, I'm sure that the Communists would have told you that they were doing what they did only because they cared so much for the Working Class. I'm sure that the National German Worker's Party officials would have explained that their actions were taken to bring back the pride and sense of self worth among the much maligned German people and to free them from the unfair terms of the Armistice Treaty forced on them by the evil French.

    I will not try to argue that the United States is perfect. We have used ruthless means to achieve our ends. We have manipulated nations. We have supported oppressive leaders simply because they were the enemies of our enemies. It is a cruel world. International politics is a brutal jungle where the only rules are the ones that you can enforce. We have played by those "rules of the jungle" and perhaps in some ways we mirror the evil we try to fight. But aside from some (thankfully) rare acts by misguided leaders, our ends are generally good. If you can't agree with that, then I submit that they are at least better than the ends pursued by our enemies, whether those enemies are Al-Qaeda, Saddam Hussien, or the Chicoms.

    Some people are upset that the United States is never perfect. The choice is not "which side is perfect." The choice is "which future do you want to live in?" The future the United States is fighting for will not be a utopia... but it will be better than the alternative. It is time to choose sides. And don't forget the saying "The Perfect is the enemy of The Good." If you wait for a perfect society to support, then you will never find it. It is time to throw in on the side of "The Good." As long as you argue that the calculated conspiracy of an oppressive, tyrannical fanatic is morally equivalent to the calculated conspiracy of the powers of Western Civilization to promote global stability and the continued existence of liberal, capitalist, democratic society, then you are on the wrong side... and you are being just as manipulated by Al-Qaeda's propaganda as are the poor, ignorant youths who they recruit to be "throw away" agents.

    P.S. All the people who feared a stupid, rash, and vengeful retaliation by the United States need only look at the huge effort being put into helping the Afghan people and building alliances with local, freedom-loving Afghanis to see how wrong those expectations were. I am very proud of Pres. Bush and his administration. www.cnn.com/2001/ALLPOLITICS/10/06/ret.bush.radio/ index.html (remove the space before "index")
  • Re:Whose war? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wass ( 72082 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @05:43PM (#2399416)
    It's just bizarre. Why the heck do it, if you don't take claim of it? What the hell did they gain... except, perhaps, to start WWIII?

    IMHO, I think this was done in a rallying call by OBL to build up support for an Arab-led war against American/European colonialism. I think that the primary perpetrators, however, didn't expect the solidarity that nearly all countries showed towards the US.

    OBL and other terrorists probably thought the USA would strike back swiftly and deadly against Afghanistan and other Arabian suspected countries. Taliban and other radical fundamentalist Muslim groups could then unite, using recent US attacks as the rallying cry for a Jihad. However, instead of retaliating immediately, the USA slowly built up an anti-terror coalition, diplomatically and systematically. As the coalition included all of the Americas and Europe, slowly the Arab nations joined as well, possibly for fear of being seen to support such terror. I think OBL didn't see this global coalition coming by any reckoning, and is now shitting bricks. Taliban's actions seem to imply this, as they themselves are calling this a US-led war against Islam, which it clearly isn't, especially as the USA has the support of other several Islamic countries.

    So, I think that OBL or others would have claimed it if there hadn't been such worldwide sympathy and support for America. I think if they admitted to it while nearly all countries were officially condemning the attacks as atrocities, the terrorist group(s) would lose most of the public support they had hoped to gain.

    I might just be cheesy here, but is anyone else reminded of "The Grinch who Stole Christmas" regarding the 9/11 attacks? Whereas the Grinch, being an inherent prick, basically struck at the small mountainous town to cause strife and discord, by stealing their 'Christmas'. Yet, though their physical Christmas was gone, the townspeople still banded together and sang, because their inner spirit couldn't be stolen. So too did these terrorists try to destroy something in America, either our safety, our sense of security, or try to destroy our status amongst other nations. However, the solidarity Americans showed after the attacks was incredible. Every block I walk down, there are flags and patriotic banners. Not people just calling blindly for revenge (well, some are) but there's definitely a feeling of unity here that I haven't really felt before (I'm 26, maybe it was like this in WWII or similar). Okay, just my 2 cents.

  • by bwt ( 68845 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @06:10PM (#2399541) 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.

    The US kill-to-loss ratio in Vietnam was something like 9 to 1. Assuming that this ratio maintains itself, it would cost the US 5000 military causualties to kill all 45000 Taliban troups.

    If anything, we will do much better than we did in Vietnam or the Soviets did in Afghanistan because
    1. We have virtually uncontested air superiority
    2. We are not facing an enemy who can replentish their arms from a rival superpower
    3. Our night-vision technology is a disruptive technology in guerilla warfare, and
    4. The US public supports, in fact demands, victory at any cost
    5. 22 years of civl war and 4 years of draught leave our enemy weak and weary
    6. Precision munitions are a disruptive battlefield technolgy.
    7. Our military force is 100% volunteer, whereas our enemy conscripts 12 year olds
    8. Our enemy is totally diplomatically isolated
  • by DickBreath ( 207180 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @06:44PM (#2399694) Homepage
    I see a bunch of people saying what they mean, and meaning what they say.

    Taliban (on an even numbered day): This is holy war!
    Taliban (on an odd numbered day): We want to negotiate.
    Taliban (on even numbered day): The americans are getting what they deserve!
    Taliban (odd numbered day): We will release the hostiges (er... I mean foreign detainees) if you stop threatening us
    etc., etc., etc.

    So what do they mean?

    I think we have a better track record of doing what we say we'll do.

    I don't see what we expect to achieve with airstrikes.

    Have you been paying attention? We expect to send in ground troops. We expect this to take a long time. Before you do that, you first get control of the airspace. That is probably most easily accomplished with airstrikes against selected targets. It is incomprehensible to me to not understand what we expect to accomplish with airstrikes.

    What we are doing is PR fluff. It's putting some big bangs on TV to get the reruns of the WTC off the screen.

    I completely disagree. We are trying to eliminate possible future attacks at their source. There may be some vengance motivation, but I think the real goal is to not let this stand and to not let it happen again. It will change what plays on TV -- but I think that has just about zero weight in the minds of the people planning this.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 07, 2001 @06:49PM (#2399719)
    Yes, indeed this is a minority point of view. Problem is, what the hell is your short term solution?

    All you did is get on your soapbox and say what's wrong with american foreign policy. But, typically, you said nothing about what should happen. Do you know? Should we send an appology to the taliban sand say "so sorry, we trained you, we are responsible, please don't bomb our buildings anymore" ?

    Besides, many (if not most) of the people we trained are in the Northern Alliance. The Northern Alliance was in power after the russians withdrew, but the divisivness among the ranks caused them to lose power to the Taliban.

    It is easy to point finger. When you come up with a solution, maybe people will be more willing to listen.

  • Re:Now what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bwt ( 68845 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @07:01PM (#2399766) Homepage
    * Suppress enemy air defenses (always step 1 of an air campaign)
    * Destroy Taliban military forces near Kabul from the air (hard, they're dug in)
    * Assist Northern Alliance to capture Kabul (they're stuck about 30km away)
    * Declare victory.

    Declare victory ?! You've got to be kidding.

    I think from there it would go something like this from there:
    • Capture and secure a military base outside of Kabul
    • Use that base to launch close range reconaissance and special operations rapid strike capability throughout Afghanistan
    • Systematically secure every enemy cave, bunker, training camp, meeting place etc...
    • Eliminate all Taliban methods of mass-communication (radio, news, etc...) and begin massive Psy-Ops campaign
    • Step up humanitarian relief campaign, encouraging refugees to move back into central Afghan territory
    • Develop a robust Afghani human intelligence network to ID Taliban and Al Qaeda members
    • Use seek and destroy Special Ops strikes against all Taliban leaders, centers of resistance, Al Qaueda strongholds, etc...
    • Have the Afghani King return, and draft a Constitution based on a broad based democratic government
    • Schedule elections and implement a "Marshall Plan for Afghanistan".

    Bin Laden may get killed in one of the Special Ops raids or he might flee the country. In any event, he'll be the CEO of a much smaller operation at this point.

    Even this is not the end, though. At this point, we'll turn to other terrorist groups and probably pick a fight with Iraq.
  • Re:It is time... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mike_g ( 24445 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @07:11PM (#2399808) Homepage
    We should take a hint from post-WWII actions with Germany and Japan, who are now two of our greatest allies and economic partners. We must commit resources to the region to ensure their economic future of the region.

    The current situtation with Afganistan is not the same as WWII. Both Germany and Japan had major economic resources before we invaded. Enough resources so that they could effectively wage war. Afganistan is different, the closest thing to an industry there is the opium trade. Germany and Japan had the knowledge and manpower to rebuild after the war, but Afganistan does not. There will be nothing to rebuild after an invasion. That leaves us with building industries from the ground up. Most likely these new industries would be controlled by foreigners, since I doubt there are sufficent numbers of Afghanies that are qualified to run a business. This might put us in an even worse position than now. From what I understand a great deal of the anti-american sentiment stems from the fact that we have military bases in Islamic countries. Imagine how pissed they would be if all of their capital was controlled by foreigners.

  • by aprentic ( 1832 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @07:17PM (#2399837) Homepage
    - Help the Northern Alliance set up a totalitarian regime in Afghanistan.
    - Bomb the hell out of them 20 years from now because yet another blowfish bit us in the ass.
  • Re:It is time... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chris Y Taylor ( 455585 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @07:26PM (#2399882) Homepage
    "How can you say doing nothing will simply cost us more lives, as the terrorist attacks continue? Have they continued in the weeks to now? Everything happened on one day and nothing since."

    In 1983 terrorists attacked the Marine barracks in Lebanon. We pulled our forces out, and the attacks stopped... for a time.

    In 1993 one of Al-Qaeda's first acts was to ambush and kill American soldiers engaged in "nationbuilding" in Somalia. We pulled our forces out, and the attacks stopped... for a time.

    If we pull troops out of Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan now, then the attacks will stop again... for a time.

    We have taught these people that if they bloody our nose, then we will do what they want.

    Why are we surprised that they attack us again?

    If we keep giving them what they want every time the attack us then we teach the world that terrorism works. If we keep following that road, then evenutally it will mean the end of America as a free nation. At some point we have to stand up and say: "No" No matter how much they hurt us, we can't give them what they want. We have to hurt them worse. We have to show the world that attacking the United States is a VERY BAD IDEA. It will mean more attacks in the short term, but it is the only way to stop them in the long term.
  • by strider ( 3069 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @07:34PM (#2399918) Homepage
    I think you use several very faulty lines of logic here and I will attempt to demonstrate them individually. I'd like to note that I think generally we would be on the same side regarding foreing policy, but I think in this instance I must firmly disagree.

    First you imply that this is our fault, or deserved because of our funding of the Mujahadeen during the exuberant battle against the "evil empire" of the cold war. While I agree this was a mistake, let's not use that to claim that in any way justifies the current situation in that country. The Soviet Union invaded and we helped the rebels gain independence. This done we stopped helping them. They would have liked more money to set up a regime but we cared little after we won our battle. So we didn't help as much as we could/should have, is this reason to bomb us? NO. It does not follow that, since we declined to continue aiding the Mujahadeen as they set up a government we wronged them in such a way as to deserve 9/11. We helped create this monster yes, but isn't that all the more reason for us to step up to the plate and end it?

    Next you have the bombing 1 nation every two years argument. Firstly few of these terrorist are victims of bombing. That aside, I wonder how many more peoploe would have died if we had not have dropped a bomb in the last 30 years? It sounds paradoxicall but unfortunately their are some seriously fucked up people in this world and sometimes you have to kill them. The US made mistakes, yes. But it made mistakes while generally *trying to do the right thing*. Explain to me how Somalia or Kosovo can be construed as the US profiteering from bombing? Come on. Perhaps our motives or our analysis haven't always been perfect, but they rarely have been purely economic profit. America had made mistakes like everyone else. You might want to research how much culpability Pakistan has in all this. Their crusade for Kashmire has caused them to fund some unsavory charecters. We all do stupid things. That does not mean the present situation is one of them or that America is evil.

    Thirdly there is the profiteering from arm sales argument. This argument has been arround since after world war I where it gained popularity as an explanation for the horific wanton destruction from that war. Because a group stands to profit from a course of action does not mean that they are responsible for it. It is sometimes good grounds for suspicion but it nothing like positive evidence. I think your argument here is much stronger on issues like the missle defense system than on this. I really don't think Bush's main goal right now is "what do the defence contractors want me to do" regardless of how he may think on other occasions.

    In the end I think this act is justified for one reason only; it may prevent future suffering. Terrorism like any other act of violence causes suffering. This action may create less suffering than it ends.
  • by nikster ( 462799 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @07:46PM (#2399980) Homepage
    here's my 2c on this:

    A - the CIA has done a lot of shit in the past, including the training of afghans in terrorist techniques.

    B - that is in all likelyhood one of the reasons the WTC has been attacked and OBL has declared war on all americans.

    C - don't confuse cause and justification - the attacks on the WTC were not justifyable by _anything_.

    D - isolating and fighting the terrorists is the only option for now. like tony blair said, not acting is worse than acting at this point. i believe and support that.

    E - in order to prevent something like that from happening in the future, the CIA needs to keep it's fingers out of other countries' politics, plain and simple. no more funding of rebel forces or installing puppet regimes. it has been proven time and again that these tactics _never_ further american interests in the long run. so it's not just evil for causing a lot of suffering to innocent people - it's also plain stupid.
  • by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @08:10PM (#2400068)
    "Please look beyond what you are being told. This is not an adult video game."

    ... and yet you try so hard to make it cut-and-dry...

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

    Unfortunately, you seem to have neglected to mention that they've skewed quite far from the terrorist methods that they were taught. Back then, terrorist organizations tended to be married to one intelligence service or another, have clear and announced political goals, and took credit for an act immediately so that their victims could mull over why they had been attacked. Their goal is to motivate their victims through the use of terror.

    On the other hand, what we have here is a lose network of terrorist organizations that do not rely on any one source of funds too heavily, have relatively obscure, religion-oriented goals, and tend not to immediately take credit. Instead, as we saw with the kamikaze attacks in New York and DC, it was more important for these people to do good by their God than to make a political statement.

    In short, terrifying Americans and swaying their opinion one way or another is now only a secondary goal. Literally killing as many Americans as possible has moved up to #1.

    If you think the CIA would teach the Afghanis what they did to us last month, I ask you this: If Afghanis hijacked an Aeroflot jet and flew it into the Supreme Soviet, is there any doubt in your mind that they would have sent in the full brunt of the Red Army into Afghanistan (complete with their NBC weapons) instead of the trickle we saw?

    "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?"

    Would you rather we stay focused on one target and slowly grind it into the dust before moving on to the next?

    When somebody threatens American insterests (like, say, blow up a few hundred of our Marines stationed abroad with the consent of the host government, or bomb airliners, or attack US-flagged oil tankers, etc.), it is both necessary to respond and to respond with the appropriate amount of force. If the amount of force is too little, the US is considered to a bunch of push-overs, with everything we own essentially up-for-grabs.

    To quote Heinlein's Starship Troopers:
    If you wanted to teach a baby a lesson, would you cut its head off? Of course not. You'd paddle it. There can be circumstances when it's just as foolish to hit an enemy city with an H-bomb as it would be to spank a baby with an axe. War is not violence and killing, pure and simple; war is
    controlled violence, for a purpose. The purpose of war is to support your government's decisions by force. The purpose is never to kill the enemy just to be killing him...but to make him do what you want to do. Not killing...but controlled and purposeful violence.
    If you think that we've been too violent in the past, where do you think we should draw the line marking where we respond violently (and how violently) and where we don't? If you can think of a better answer, maybe you should run for office. Or easier still, vote.

    "The U.S. government has killed more than 3,000,000 people in that time."

    That's an interesting figure you have there. I don't know where you got it (and I'm curious about it), but I have a feeling you've padded it with questionable sources. Sources like:
    • A Palestinian throws rocks and Moletov cocktails at an Israeli soldier. The soldier feels threatened and shoots the Palestinian. The gun used was an M-16, so therefore the US killed the Palestinian.
    • Iraq's government is busy threatening its neighbors, developing (more) NBC weapons, and trying to exterminate an ethnic minority in its own borders. The US government is squeamish about giving aid to such a regime, especially when its doubtful such aid would actually reach those that need it ("The Republican Guard needs that food more than you do."), but is willing to send such aid if Iraq demonstrates that it neither owns nor is developing weapons of mass destruction. Because Iraq considers its own weapons stockpile more important than the health and well-being of its people, the US is responsible for all deaths in Iraq due to starvation
    Sound familiar? It's a real shame that you're not the only one that believes that the US is the prime cause for all of these deaths.

    As for the rest, those that were bombed were given ample warning and the chance to back down from doing what they shouldn't have been doing ("Lybia, stop trying to claim international waters as your own." "Cuba, stop trying to take over Grenada." "Iraq, don't invade/get out of Kuwait." "Serbia, stop butchering Muslims."). However, they made a decision to invite attacks by US forces instead. If anything, these should serve as examples that soetimes words are just not enough.

    ... and now you all but flat-out say "Boeing helped the hijackers."

    "Weapons making is EXTREMELY profitable."

    ... while getting executed for treason is not. Your name, your family, and your life aren't worth the billions you might make, especially when you're already rolling in it. You don't stay that rich for that long by taking risky chances like that.

    On top of that, such companies also lose money on their consumer goods as the civillians who used to buy cars and planes and televisions and everything else say "Hey, there's a war going on. Maybe we should save our money..."

    "There are people who do hidden things to push the U.S. government into conflict because they want the money."

    Do you have proof? Do you even have circumstantial evidence? Do you have anything more than some shady website run by a certifiable paranoid?

    "In the past ten years, parties to 45 current conflicts have taken delivery of over $42 billion worth of U.S. weaponry."

    Was the US actively involved in any of those 45 conflicts through shady dealings? Was the US actively involved in any of those conflicts period?

    Better yet, is there any reason to believe that those conflicts wouldn't be happening right now if US companies weren't selling them weapons? I've yet to see a gun that comes complete with the desire and will to kill another person.

    It sounds to me that the US is the cause of all ill-will everywhere. If somebody wants to kill somebody else, it's probably because the CIA was beaming "hate waves" into them from a satellite in LEO...

    You start your post stating that we all should "look beyond." But no amount of looking, no matter what you're looking at, is a substitute for thought and analysis. Perhaps you should consider that before you lazily pick up that "The US is the source of all evil!" banner that somebody else made for you.
  • Re:It is time... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by paul7e ( 17646 ) on Sunday October 07, 2001 @09:15PM (#2400265)
    Let me explain.

    The Taliban have stated that he's a "guest" in their country. When one hosts a guest, one has a responsibility to not have their guests bother the neighbors with loud parties and such.

    Or, say, when your guest happens to murder a few thousand civilians at the neighbors place, in a polite society one would ask him or her to depart.

    They have not done so, so it appears that they have changed the relationship from "guest" to "protectee". As the terrorists have shown that violence is their preferred method of social interaction, the Taliban must realize that when the neighbors call the police to come in to try and get their "guest" to be more quiet, there might be some additional damage to their home.

    It's unfortunate, but it happens.
  • by pkesel ( 246048 ) <pkesel AT charter DOT net> on Sunday October 07, 2001 @09:43PM (#2400324) Journal
    If you've no stomach to support the US feel free to find somewhere you'd be happier.

    But know that Europe and Canada and even Russia are supporting this. Japan is supporting this. Several Islamic nations are supporting this. Think carefully about what that means before you criticize. What principles are you trying to portray, and where are you going to find them?
  • Re:It is time... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MMBKG ( 469171 ) on Monday October 08, 2001 @12:48AM (#2400812)
    It's none of our fucking business.

    Well, now it's our fucking business, if you saw that thing that happened last month.

    Yeah, that World Trade Center thing.

    I completly agree with you on the Vietnam War issue (or conflict, because we never lost...sure). It was unnecessary and just another way to screw ourselves over.

    But I digress.

    I do see your point about how the Afghanis should knock the Taliban out of their country themselves, but so many atrocities were committed against the U.S. that it would be just unacceptable to stand by and watch. Like Prime Minister Blair said, it would be more dangerous not to retaliate. Then we'd be bin Laden and any other terrorist's whipping boy-country-thing. You know what I mean.

    Steps were taken to make sure not to bomb various non-terrorist buildings and people, but civilian casualties are unavoidable.

    We must commit resources to the region to ensure their economic future of the region.

    I agree, but let's get the Taliban out of there first! :)

    You're the worst character ever Towelie!
    I know.
  • by Max the Merciless ( 459901 ) on Monday October 08, 2001 @01:39AM (#2400915) Homepage
    I don't know if this guy's facts & figures are all correct, but the gist of his argument is true. The USA is the Evil Empire. While it is those in power (political/economic/religious) that direct the evil, most citizens seem guilty of ignorance. Whether the numbers killed by the USA are 3 million, or 300 (5,000 more Iraqi children die every month now as did before sanctions), it really doesn't matter. What matters is that the USA puts economic and power greed ahead of principles of humanity, just as Bin Laden puts religious delusions ahead of principles of humanity. Both a insideously evil.
    George Bush is spinning bullshit about "freedom", but then has polcies which only serve the rich and powerful. I mean the guy is willing to poison the world if it will make money for his elite mates. Compare the WTC attacks with allowing an entire planet to be poisoned when you can actually try to do something about it -(Kyoto)Sure it isn't as immediate, and doesn't make good TV, but 'Planeticide' is pretty darn evil in my book.

    Stop loving the USA and waving you dumb flag and start loving humanity (no matter what colour or geographical location).
  • Re:It is time... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NMerriam ( 15122 ) <NMerriam@artboy.org> on Monday October 08, 2001 @02:44AM (#2401010) Homepage
    You're right, the world has been a horrible place since the Unites States invented hate and misery. We really shouldn't have done that, everyone on earth was happy and smiling before 1776...
  • by geschild ( 43455 ) on Monday October 08, 2001 @03:52AM (#2401104) Homepage
    "Unfortunately, you seem to have neglected to mention that they've skewed quite far from the terrorist methods that they were taught. Back then, terrorist organizations tended to be married to one intelligence service or another, have clear and announced political goals, and took credit for an act immediately so that their victims could mull over why they had been attacked. Their goal is to motivate their victims through the use of terror."

    Your point being exactly what? The original poster was rightfully pointing out that if you give a child matches you should not be surprised if it sets your house on fire. To hell with the fact that you gave the matches so he could get rid of the garden rubbish. The CIA trained these people, now the things they learned are used against their teachers. Please keep motivation and ability seperate.

    "Would you rather we stay focused on one target and slowly grind it into the dust before moving on to the next?

    When somebody threatens American insterests [..], it is both necessary to respond and to respond with the appropriate amount of force. [..]"

    I for myself would rather have had they hadn't bombed as many countries period. Your comment about American interests is very nice though. It shows very clearly that America will only stand up if its interests are hurt, not out of moral outrage about the wrongs in the world. To hell with woman and children dying, the gas-prizes will rise! Especially ironic if you remember that the US are the largest consumer of energy per head (2 times as much as Europeans per head, the source for this is slightly dated and in Dutch, my native toungue. Use Google for material on this.) President Bush even went as far as to block any environmental regulation because of economic consequences. Remember, I'm considered a right-wing sympathathizer (to European standards).

    Another thing, might Heinlein not have meant 'political and economic preasure' when he was talking about "spanking" whilst meaning bombing when talking of an axe? Just to put stuff into perspective a bit.

    "Better yet, is there any reason to believe that those conflicts wouldn't be happening right now if US companies weren't selling them weapons? I've yet to see a gun that comes complete with the desire and will to kill another person."

    Maybe not, but if the US is on moral high-ground like it likes to think than it would rather have others make money off of it than get a bit of extra cash from poverty stricken people that are pressured out of their last belongings by a dictator that uses the money to buy the weapons. Not to mention the fact that those weapons get sold on and used against US troops in new conflicts not at all related to the original ones. You are right however that we will never be able to assess what governements have had influenced what conflicts. Whether the publics inability to gauge any such influence means that it doesn't happen I'll leave up to your own conscience *cough*Nicaragua*cough*.

    It may now seem that I'm a pacifist. Not so. I think force can be very well justified especially if you can take out the people that are waging war against you. The problem with your reasoning is that you're turning the argument upside down. You try to tell us that the US has never ever done anything wrong and that even if it did it was all an honest mistake and people should just forgive the US. I'm sorry to shatter your reality here but countless people the world over feel mis-treated or left alone by the US, justifiable or not. Like you do now, they feel that the US waged war on _them_. You better learn to deal with that reality because if you don't you will be in for a world of hurt. You may end up being the next Israel, and there will be the (western) world to support you and you will still have handled the situation wrong.

    To use your own words as a conclusion: "But no amount of looking, no matter what you're looking at, is a substitute for thought and analysis."

    Please don't blindly follow that star spangled banner, please. I say this for your own good.
  • WHAT? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 08, 2001 @08:53AM (#2401530)
    As a member of the US Army, I find the comment of "If a single innocent Afganistan citizen is killed by our military actions, then we are no better than terrorists ourselves" COMPLETELY ignorant of the facts.

    IF we killed a civilian it was solely a fact of collateral damage, Unavoidable. (I must also ask - what are they doing next to a militarized Taliban target?)

    WE are attacking "militarized" targets. THEY attacked DEFENSLESS civilians.

    When the US military attacks a target, the greatest care is taken to minimize the loss of civllian life. THOSE bastards attack civillians.
  • by ChelleyBean ( 196830 ) on Monday October 08, 2001 @09:39AM (#2401616)
    So we are at war.

    It is an ugly thing, war. I truly wish that we could have avoided this, but I don't see what other option we had. If we do not strike back in response to the September 11 attack, then they will say "See? America is a country of cowards! They will not even defend themselves! Watch, we can do it again!" Then another set of planes will be hijacked and flown into buildings, or truck bombs will be used or perhaps even something worse. Living in a major overland trucking hub for the United States brings the threat of truck bombs very close to me, and it's not a pleasant thought.

    Of course, the strikes will not stop terrorism either. We struck, so they will strike. The difference is that by taking military action we have a better chance of putting an end to the attacks more quickly.

    There are some that are saying the 9/11 attacks were a crime, and therefore military action is uncalled for. The OKC bombing would have been declared an act of war if it hadn't been for the fact that it was a local boy who did it, not a well disciplined, highly organized group of people with backing and support from governments. The Taliban regime is not even officially recognized by some world governments, so perhaps this isn't a "war" at all.

    To those who think peace is possible, I truly hope you are right. OBL despises us, as do his people. The Taliban despises our freedoms and us. We are allowed to speak our minds, to criticize our government. Our daughters are allowed to attend school and become doctors, lawyers and astronauts. Our way of life is seen as decadent and corrupt and there are those that fear the people of Afghanistan may look over and see what we have and want it for themselves. This is not a war based on actions we have taken against the Afghan peoples; this is a war based on a way of life and a difference of religions. OBL makes no bones about the fact he would like to see the US destroyed, or at the very least eradicated of Christianity and the Islamic faith the official religion. If he succeeded (which he will not) he would then move on to other countries, one by one, until all that was left would be the more conservative Islamic countries who frown on his actions. Then those he would try to conquer as well. It's his way or the highway.

    Yes we've made some bonehead maneuvers regarding Palestine. That's not up for debate. How many times in the past decade, though, have we sent our sons and daughters overseas with the very real possibility of death to defend or protect Muslims? My cousin could probably tell you, she's getting sick and tired of her husband being shipped out for every mission that rolls around.

    Should the Taliban be booted out of Afghanistan? The woman in me says "Hell Yes!" Wives and daughters are treated little better than animals there, and that doesn't sit well with me. They cannot even get decent health care because no man other than their husbands is allowed to look upon them, and since women cannot be educated it's highly unlikely they'd have access to a female doctor. Women have been beaten within an inch of death and beyond for daring to seek medical care or for violating some rule of dress. Men have even been beaten and worse for something so simple as the length of their beards. If the newspapers are to be believed, refugees fleeing over the border into Pakistan are saying the Taliban is conscripting men by force, even down to boys as young as 11 and 12. Coming into their homes and dragging them away. We know why they are doing it, but that doesn't make it right.

    Do we have the right to strip out the Taliban and put our own puppet government in it's place? No, we do not. Our forefathers fought a bloody and hard war for the right to govern themselves. We should give no less to any we wish to help. Just because a representative republic works for us does not mean that it is the right government for everyone.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 08, 2001 @10:10AM (#2401719)
    Okay... there is a real mixed bag of responses on this board about the attack. There are also an awful lot of mis-conceptions intermingling with liberal rhetoric.

    First off... lets look at the forces deployed.

    4(1) Aircraft carriers, each with 80 - 100 aircraft. A dozen B52's at Diego Garcia (bolsering the normal compliment to something like 30 total bombers). EF111 and F15E out of Oman and Egypt, B1s in Egypt also. Additionally there are 1000 men from 10th Mountain in Uz protecting about 60 tactical and strategic airlift AC (deployed for psyops and dropping of relief supplies), at least 3 MAU in region (Marine Action Unit, a heavy regiment or short brigade depending on who you talk to), as well as elements of the 82, 101, and 25th divisions on 24/12 standby. You also have Seals, Rangers, SAS and other special operators in Afghanistan designating targets and training resistance to the Taliban while hunting for bin Laden and Al Queda assets. There are also at least 15 cruise missle launching platforms assisting the carriers in the region, with the capability to launch up to 270 cruise missles before retiring for reloads.

    The press got it wrong by stating that the F14 was carrying out strikes... while it has a clear weather daytime bombing capacity with optical sights, it cannot bomb at night effectively and with accuracy. Very few of the navy's F14 fleet was uprated for all weather day/night precision bombing missions... most likely they were A6 and QA6 AC.

    The campaign is text book and public... it is taking out C3 (not CnC) targets, as well as knocking flat the few threats to humanitarian airdrops. There are 12 million airdrop packages available to drop in Afghanistan, supporting up to 3700 people each. Power is taken out for more psychological purposes, as are radio and television assets as they exist. Human casualties all around are limited by the strikes being carried out at night and with precision munitions as well, and there is added psychological warfare benefits from keeping your enemy up all night while they man their AAA systems to respond to intrusion and attack.

    Afghanistan doesn't even rate as a 3rd rate military power. It lacks supplies, fuel, modern weapons (almost every weapon system in country dates back to the 80's), manpower, and ammunition. They don't have an airforce of much mention (some left over Frogfoots and Hinds mostly, as well as some decaying Mig 21's and 23 Floggers that are questionable and risk the pilots lives more than anything else). Their tanks, when they run, are mostly ligher T54's or PT76 style light combat tanks, some BTR50/60 and BRDM 1 apc's and recon light armoured vehicles, and lots of GAZ style trucks. Their anti-aircraft defense is laughable mostly, with the biggest threat being the 1960's style radar systems and alot of handled low perfromance missles like Stingers. Their artillary is nearly useless, the tubes being shot out a long time ago, and their rocket artillary is nearly out of ammo to.

    Best reasonable estimates put the Taliban with 40000 men under arms (most likely less given the defections in the last week), with Al Queda militia giving them another 1800... these are the people who would resist a ground incursion or attempt to grab bin Laden, and they are very brave and knowledgable hill fighters that deserve alot of respect.

    Now, that I have the garbage basics out of the way, lets look at some things.

    First off, this is political. Don't think for a second that it isn't. History is replete with religious conflicts, but everyone was at its heart a political conflict. In fact, logic dictates that religion is an artificial construct of mankind to explain away the unexplained (which is something we cannot tolerate... we as a species with thought and insight must have an explaination for everything, and we make up one for what we can't explain). That's not to say religion is false neccesarily, only that it needs to be taken with a grain of salt and understood for what it is.

    Taking that a step further, you can also argue that religion is further corrupted from idea by politics. Religion introduces moral values that reflect the values of societal leadership often times. It's all relative...

    Bin Laden and the fundamentalist muslim fanatics would lead the world to believe this is a religious conflict... it is not. The majority of Muslims denounce fundamentalisim outright. It's a perversion of the muslim faith, dictated by politics and swathed in religious re-interpretation to suit a need or needs.

    Is the US guilty of something. Oh yes... sadly so. We have interferred in Palestine and the Middle East for many years. Zionist influence in this country has guaranteed this, as has the political need for oil. We prop up movements and governments instead of letting the region handle it's own business, all to meet our own political agendas. Most major world powers are guilty of similar things too, good or bad.

    Terrorism is the last, desperate stage of a political movement or nation that is no longer empowered to act politically or with a world voice. It is polticial... the act of killing innocents in a public and brutal fashion in order to effect a political change of heart in the populace of a target country that results in the support or change needed to make your own movment successful. With rare exception it has not yielded a single positive result in the last 100 of years history (that positive result being the meeting of a political movments goals that has taken up terrorism as it's tool of effecting political change).

    The WTC was not terrorism as we have known it. There were no public warnings as typically seen in other terrorist campaigns. There were no claims of accountability for the attacks, nor any statements of why they took place and demands to make them stop. This is a new form of destructive terrorism by a small, but international, group of criminals and madmen for the sake of destruction and the vague hope of change to their own twisted and perverted needs. The PLO is a terrorist group, but with a goal and specific agenda that right or wrong, makes them a political entity to be negotiated with... Al Queda is not this at all.

    Our attacks are not terroristic either. They are the reasonable and expected advancement of a well announced and public political agenda, with great world backing and general public acceptance (92% of the US population approved according to several polls from several press sources both liberal and conservative). This is the application of violence, political action, psychological warfare, back alley dealing and intelligence, as well as humanitarian effort to effect positive change in Afghanistan that will result in the destruction of Al Queda as a force that can launch attacks on the scale of the WTC. No really hidden agenda, no lack of communication or announcing of intent, no fundamental lack of moral base.

    For those who espouse a pacifist moralization or liberal view point, that is your right. You can do so because men and women in uniform are right now defending your right to do so... while the US has done some really nasty shit in the Middle East, we always did so in a more or less open fashion. We did not train Al Queda (training freedom fighters that could reclaim their homeland from soviet domination is not training terrorists!), we did not harm the Afghani people. We suffered from a brutal attack by a shadowy organization of fanatics and moral-less people who have twisted a relgion into some unimaginable sickness and hide behind a billion other souls, citing religious need and vieling political aspirations that even they know will never come to pass.

    The leaders of Al Queda would never risk their own lives, they recruit simple people with a vunerable mindset and indoctrinate them with a bastardized version of religion that results in another human weapon against everthing they do not have or cannot understand. They are truely cowards and psychotics who think they can effect political change world wide by destroying innocent life... their world view and political entrenchment is far worse than even Stalins or Mao's purges, even Hitlers camps. They wish to impose their views on everyone at any price, including the use of biological or nuclear weapons, all in the perverted name of their twisted version of Allah. They deserve to die a thousand deaths and burn in the very hell they fear.
  • by ergo98 ( 9391 ) on Monday October 08, 2001 @10:51AM (#2401841) Homepage Journal

    We often look towards simple answers for complex questions. The simple answer tendered here is to blame the Jews for September 11. I sincerely hope that the majority of readers take the time to learn historical facts and understand the absurdity of such a conclusion.

    I am not agreeing whatsoever to the message that you are replying to, however I do find it interesting that you follow up a critique of the cynicism on Slashdot with the words "we often look towards simple answers for complex questions". Indeed. The simple answer is "Bin Laden is the head vampire and if you kill him the vampire hoardes will be vanquished."

  • by Skip666Kent ( 4128 ) on Monday October 08, 2001 @01:23PM (#2402483)
    While his people starve at the hands of the 'dreadful sanctions from the West', Saddam has managed to do much to rebuild his army and infrastructure, all the while very successfully (as witnessed in the parent post and all the drooling support it has garnered) using the sanctions as a perfect excuse to starve his own people into a frenzy of racial hatred and win the support of bleeding-hearts in America itself.

    He has barely scratched the surface of what he could gain for his people with the Oil for Food program as it would eliminate the unofficial but worldwide support he gets as a 'poor victim' who only needs to pose occasionally for the camera with his hands in the air saying "My poor people. What can I do against these terrible impositions from the West?"

    Wake up for Chrissakes, and stop playing into their hands like a bunch of puppets.

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson