Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2001 08:51:21 -0400

Author: Sam Sampere

Subject: CHAT:WTC


Strange how the story changes as time evolves. The author is not a UC
Berkeley professor anymore. But his friend is. Believe that??


--- Steve Blusk wrote:
> A sobering essay forwarded by a UC Berkeley
> professor:
> Dear Friends,
> The following was sent to me by my friend Tamim
> Ansary. Tamim is an
> Afghani-American writer. He is also one of the most
> brilliant people I
> know in this life. When he writes, I read. When he
> talks, I listen.
> Here is his take on Afghanistan and the whole mess
> we are in.
> -Gary T.
> Dear Gary and whoever else is on this email thread:
> I've been hearing a lot of talk about "bombing
> Afghanistan back to the
> Stone Age." Ronn Owens, on KGO Talk Radio today,
> allowed that this would
> mean killing innocent people, people who had nothing
> to do with this
> atrocity, but "we're at war, we have to accept
> collateral damage. What
> else can we do?" Minutes later I heard some TV
> pundit discussing
> whether we "have the belly to do what must be done."
> And I thought about the issues being raised
> especially hard because I am
> from Afghanistan, and even though I've lived here
> for 35 years I've
> never lost track of what's going on there. So I want
> to tell anyone who
> will listen how it all looks from where I'm
> standing.
> I speak as one who hates the Taliban and Osama Bin
> Laden. There is no
> doubt in my mind that these people were responsible
> for the atrocity in
> New York. I agree that something must be done about
> those monsters.
> But the Taliban and Ben Laden are not Afghanistan.
> They're not even the
> government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of
> ignorant
> psychotics who took over Afghanistan in 1997. Bin
> Laden is a political
> criminal with a plan. When you think Taliban, think
> Nazis. When you
> think Bin Laden, think Hitler. And when you think
> "the people of
> Afghanistan" think "the Jews in the concentration
> camps." It's not
> only that the Afghan people had nothing to do with
> this atrocity. They
> were the first victims of the perpetrators. They
> would exult if someone
> would come in there, take out the Taliban and clear
> out the rats nest of
> international thugs holed up in their country.
> Some say, why don't the Afghans rise up and
> overthrow the Taliban? The
> answer is, they're starved, exhausted, hurt,
> incapacitated, suffering.
> A few years ago, the United Nations estimated that
> there are 500,000
> disabled orphans in Afghanistan--a country with no
> economy, no food.
> There are millions of widows. And the Taliban has
> been burying these
> widows alive in mass graves. The soil is littered
> with land mines, the
> farms were all destroyed by the Soviets. These are a
> few of the reasons
> why the Afghan people have not overthrown the
> Taliban.
> We come now to the question of bombing Afghanistan
> back to the Stone
> Age. Trouble is, that's been done. The Soviets took
> care of it already.
> Make the Afghans suffer? They're already suffering.
> Level their houses?
> Done. Turn their schools into piles of rubble? Done.
> Eradicate their
> hospitals? Done. Destroy their infrastructure? Cut
> them off from
> medicine and health care? Too late. Someone already
> did all that.
> New bombs would only stir the rubble of earlier
> bombs. Would they at
> least get the Taliban? Not likely. In today's
> Afghanistan, only the
> Taliban eat, only they have the means to move
> around. They'd slip away
> and hide. Maybe the bombs would get some of those
> disabled orphans, they
> don't move too fast, they don't even have
> wheelchairs. But flying over
> Kabul and dropping bombs wouldn't really be a strike
> against the
> criminals who did this horrific thing. Actually it
> would only be making
> common cause with the Taliban--by raping once again
> the people they've
> been raping all this time
> So what else is there? What can be done, then? Let
> me now speak with
> true fear and trembling. The only way to get Bin
> Laden is to go in there
> with ground troops. When people speak of "having the
> belly to do what
> needs to be done" they're thinking in terms of
> having the belly to kill
> as many as needed. Having the belly to overcome any
> moral qualms about
> killing innocent people. Let's pull our heads out of
> the sand. What's
> actually on the table is Americans dying. And not
> just because some
> Americans would die fighting their way through
> Afghanistan to Bin
> Laden's hideout. It's much bigger than that folks.
> Because to get any
> troops to Afghanistan, we'd have to go through
> Pakistan. Would they let
> us? Not likely. The conquest of Pakistan would have
> to be first. Will
> other Muslim nations just stand by? You see where
> I'm going. We're
> flirting with a world war between Islam and the
> West.
> And guess what: that's Bin Laden's program. That's
> exactly what he
> wants. That's why he did this. Read his speeches and
> statements. It's
> all right there. He really believes Islam would beat
> the west. It might
> seem ridiculous, but he figures if he can polarize
> the world into Islam
> and the West, he's got a billion soldiers. If the
> west wreaks a
> holocaust in those lands, that's a billion people
> with nothing left to
> lose, that's even better from Bin Laden's point of
> view. He's probably
> wrong, in the end the west would win, whatever that
> would mean, but the
> war would last for years and millions would die, not
> just theirs but
> ours. Who has the belly for that? Bin Laden does.
> Anyone else?
> Tamim Ansary
> --
> **********************************
> Steven Blusk
> Syracuse University
> Physics Building, Room 327
> e-mail:
> Office Phone: (315) 443-3158
> Fax number : (315) 443-9103
> **********************************
> > begin:vcard
> n:Blusk;Steven
> tel;work:Syracuse University
> x-mozilla-html:FALSE
> adr:;;;;;;
> version:2.1
> email;
> fn:Steve Blusk
> end:vcard

Badis Ben Saad Ydri,
Physics Departement,Syracuse University.

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