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Aid workers withdraw from Afghanistan

By frabcus in News
Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 02:22:43 AM EST
Tags: News (all tags)

Afghanistan was already gripped by a three year drought. Already, 5.5 million people were dependent on the UN-run World Food Programme for food aid to survive the winter.

Following the threat of US bombardment, the UN and all aid agencies have been forced to withdraw from Afghanistan. The people there are desperate. It is likely that millions will starve.

This week thousands of civilians have been killed in a barbaric attack on two American cities. The most likely culprit is most likely hiding out in Afghanistan.

The UN have withdrawn from Afghanistan in fear of this bombardment. Aid agencies were depending on the UN for their security and have also been forced to withdraw. The fear is not only of the actual attacks themselves, but of retributions against westerners by Afghans following the attacks.

The people there are desperate, and it is likely that millions will starve. 85 per cent of Afghans are subsistance farmers, and most do not have TV, newspapers or radios. They do now know what is happening in the world, they are just real people struggling to survive.

I'm posting this article not to suggest whether or how the US or anyone else should act in response to this information. That's up to you to discuss below.

I'm posting it so you know what suffering, and what potential suffering there is in the world. And that many of these people are innocent, just as innocent, as our friends who have died this week in New York and Washington.

The people in Afghanistan are desperate. It is likely that millions will starve.

BBC news site report Christian Aid web site article


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Aid workers withdraw from Afghanistan | 45 comments (43 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
Its time to look out for America right now... (2.90 / 11) (#2)
by threshold on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 11:46:40 AM EST

We've been helping Afghanistan all this time and they harbor an enemy of ours. Fine, we continued helping them. Then he strikes and kills a lot of people, and you except us to still help? America's generosity only goes so far. Maybe Osma bin Landen will realize America isn't all bad when he sees how much help we provided there. Right now its time to stop looking out for other people (especially those whose governments help terrorists) right now and protect Americans. Go ahead and mod me down for being pro-American, screw trusted-user status.

Open Source, Open Standards, Open Minds
Interesting... (4.75 / 4) (#3)
by Danse on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 11:51:58 AM EST

We claim that killing innocents is barbaric. Then we turn around and decide that it's ok if we feel that it's justified. Bin Laden felt justified too. How different are we really?

An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure... (3.00 / 1) (#11)
by Xeriar on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 02:38:33 PM EST

Exactly how our leaders will react. There has been a lot of rational talk, with the occasional hothead. We know full well that Afghanistan is in the middle of a civil war - going to 'war' against them would be innapropriate.

On a different scale, we may perform a mass kidnap operation, and bring every terrorist we know about (and can find) to trial. We certainly have an interesting collage of non-lethal weapons we have only made limited use of so far.

When I'm feeling blue, I start breathing again.
[ Parent ]

good grief (no pun intended) (3.80 / 5) (#5)
by eLuddite on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 12:21:26 PM EST

We've been helping Afghanistan all this time and they harbor an enemy of ours.

Actually, you arent the UN and have not been helping Afghanistan at all, not unless you think an embargo constitutes help. I think it is a mistake to confuse your grief and your singing of the national anthem every five minutes on cnn with a history of helping people on their terms instead of at and for your own political and economic convenience. The only time *you* helped Afghanistan was when you gave them chump change for putting destitute poppy farmers out of business and when you financed bin Laden's fight against the soviets.

I mean, really, enough of this nationalistic obfuscation, and enough of the disingenuous appeals to moral decency which, frankly, seek to silence political opposition and perspective by erecting a wall of sanctimony around your nation's political reaction to what was essentionally a political act. 100,000 people unnecessarily died since the 11th, you know, and the sooner you realize this the sooner you'll put terrorists out of business.

God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Was wondering when you would join in (2.33 / 3) (#12)
by weirdling on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 02:52:59 PM EST

Some aid workers in Afghanistan were American. The aid being rendered did not violate the embargo. The US was helping Afghanistanis in the face of its famine, along with every other country that contributes to UN relief efforts.

It's funny to me that your argument basically consists of accusing America of acting in its own best interest... (Going to have trouble sleeping tonight because of that...)

I know it's in vogue to blame America for everything, so I propose that from henceforth, America really does behave exactly as you have accused us of doing. I, as an American voter, will no longer support any politician that gives any aid, provides any military support to end genocide or other abuses, nor will I support further deployments of US troops in Europe, Asia, or any other place they are defending non-US interests.

I say we start right now by blowing up those who did this and not helping fix up their country afterwards.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
yeah, yeah (2.00 / 2) (#13)
by eLuddite on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 03:22:59 PM EST

Some aid workers in Afghanistan were American. The aid being rendered did not violate the embargo. The US was helping Afghanistanis in the face of its famine, along with every other country that contributes to UN relief efforts

You're one for taking long ineloquent posts to mince words with irrelevant factoids. I shall write the next bit slowly. The US has sanctions and a trade embargo against Afghanistan. UN relief agencies oppose both. The UN provides aid to Cuba. The US opposes this aid. The UN provides humanitarian relief to Afghanistan. The US is imperilling this aid because it has, presumably, information shrouded in top official secrecy that contradicts both bin Laden's and Afghanistan's proclamations of innocence. The US has declared war and will manufacture an enemy to defeat no matter who dies in the process. Nobody is allowed to criticize whether this is a wise course of action.


I'm not interested in discussing the words your right wing patriotism imagines are written between my lines, weirdling.

God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Leftist idiocy (2.66 / 3) (#14)
by weirdling on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 03:48:19 PM EST

I still await your *solution* to the problem. Until such is forthcoming, I shall continue to pursue the only *solution* of which I am aware.

If you could stop being supercillious pompous bastard for a minute and deign to tell the rest of us poor, uneducated Amuricans what the hell you think we should do rather than simply confirming that, yes, we do disagree with the UN (WE ARE BLOODY AWARE OF THAT), maybe I'd have more respect.

However, simply insisting that because Bin Laden and Afghanistan claim innocence they are innocent is going to be a problem, as *every* criminal, when faced with punishment, claims innocence. Gad, what an idiot.

So, I await an actual *solution* rather than more polemic...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
go away (2.33 / 3) (#16)
by eLuddite on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 04:48:49 PM EST

Oooh, the evil, monolithic "leftist" opinions unfairly maligning your every windy, incoherent post.

However, simply insisting that because Bin Laden and Afghanistan claim innocence they are innocent is going to be a problem, as *every* criminal, when faced with punishment, claims innocence. Gad, what an idiot.

I did not insist on his innocence, sir logicalot and readalittle. Now, are you telling me we refute a statement of innocence by killing the person making the statement? Is death sentenced in absentia the necessary and sufficient condition for discounting evidence? I mean, there's no other way to interpret your reply to what I wrote. Well I suppose Libya can be thankful at no longer having to be framed for every American loss in the skies.

So, I await an actual *solution* rather than more polemic...

It's called diplomacy and reconciliation, you militarist nutcase, something that should be a cakewalk given Afghanistan's dire straits. If bin Laden turns out to be your bogeyman, prove it in court, not in whitehouse press conferences, and exact your justice instead of your "America at War" (TM cnn). If you cannot compromise your international ambitions and find a measure of reconciliation, then for every bin Laden you put down, two more will spring up to replace him. Bah, why am I wasting my time talking to you, you think Afghanistan should be nuked.

God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

It has already been proven in court (4.00 / 2) (#18)
by Sawzall on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 05:07:00 PM EST

for the bombing. The terrorist in that case did flip and name bin Laden as the Supporter of that act. Based on that evidence, the world has him as a wanted man. Its a real grey world and it seems that many here have their Black and White filters on.

[ Parent ]
what terrorist? What court? (2.00 / 2) (#20)
by eLuddite on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 05:21:52 PM EST

The WTC terrorists are dead and the only court in the US that heard any case against Muslims since the 11th is traffic court. Bin Laden's "support" is a restatement of his antipathy to the US and shouldnt be construed as guilt any more than my support of Tyson should be construed as guilt for Hollyfield's missing earlobe.

God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Nairobi 1998; U.S. Federal court in Manhattan (5.00 / 4) (#25)
by anonymous cowerd on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 08:42:34 PM EST

Here's a link.

Admittedly some of the evidence against bin Laden may be exaggerated or even simply manufactured. It wouldn't be the first time that momentous political events hinged on outright falsehoods.

But if, and I said if, withholding judgment until the evidence has been piled up high and judged by international observers, if we accept even a fraction of what has already been presented as fact, then bin Laden is guilty as Hell of numerous unmitigable crimes of mass murder. So he, together with his subordinates in Al Qaeda, and his hosts the Taleban, indeed need to be destroyed.

But let us not look away from the fact that bin Laden and the Taleban are creations of Langley, nor exempt the mysterious gentlemen there from judgment; the "blowback" from their long-term "op" has now cost thousands of American lives. The World Trade Center would still be standing, and the people of Afghanistan would not currently be suffering under the lash of Taleban's insanely vicious rule had the United States not covertly supplied the so-called "Afghan rebels" with literally countless billions of dollars of U.S. subsidies - vast sums were spent under a so-called "black budget," atop another $5-billion that was openly accounted for.

Now everyone from barflies up to Congressmen clamor to further punish the CIA's Afghani victims with massive, city-busting, virtually genocidal military retaliation. It's not hard to know how they feel. I watched the crashes again and again on cnn too till I'm ready to puke, like everyone I'm horrified and furious, and I'll admit, to my shame, that I have wildly fantasized arsonizing worshipper-stuffed mosques, giving dancing Palestinian lads a nice "napalm shampoo," transforming in a blinded-eye-blink Kandahar together with its verminous inmates to a greasy glaze on a glowing green glass bowl, by means of our Nation's demigod-like (manitowoc-like) atom-warheaded intercontinental ballistic phalli, etc., etc., etc.

I think of those God-loving turbaned pig-demons, sure, that's what my heart wants to do; but my mind knows better. Justice, not vengeance! Justice has no pleasure in it at all, whereas vengeance would be relief, satisfaction, even delight. But am I a thinking human being, or a reflex machine whose purpose in life is only to stroke my pleasure center? How many dead children is pleasure worth?

Even if you grant the possibly dubious proposition that a nation may consider itself justified in slaughtering a second offending nation's civilians en masse in the pursuit and apprehension of their criminal ruling class, I still find it hard to buy such a justification in this case after it was we ourselves, at great cost and effort protracted across three presidencies, who inflicted that ruling class on the helpless people of Afghanistan.

I hope this disaster makes us rethink our persistent foreign policy of "let's hold a sweepstakes for rabidity, find the craziest, most vicious bastards we can, and install them as dictators as a geopolitical lever," for in the long term we'll never have peace while we continue with it. If we don't replace this Kissinger/Brzezinski realpolitik shit with a publicly accountable foriegn policy that knows right from wrong pretty soon, I'll bet yet another hardliner the CIA is backing today will be murdering Americans in 2021.

Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

The one thing that really disturbs me about America is that people don't like to read. - Keith Richards
[ Parent ]

he is certainly an inspired lunatic (3.50 / 4) (#26)
by eLuddite on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 10:04:20 PM EST

Years of fighting Soviets and living as a shadow in caves with hate for a blanket and a rifle for a pillow will not have had a salutary effect on bin Laden's zealotry. But you knew all about him before the 11th when UN relief workers werent being chased out of Afghanistan. Its the escalation of militarism based rumor and innuendo that's distressing, not the fact that he has always been worth bringing to trial for *known* crimes. If bin Laden is not responsible for the events on the 11th, then his destruction will be an exercise in manipulation instead of justice (indeed, injustice if fleeing UN workers means the otherwise preventable deaths of Afghans.)

If people have no objection to being manipulated, they should stop wringing their hands over the WTC and admit the tragedy itself is less important than political satisfaction. This is bloodlust and, as you point out, a diversion from the hypocrisy of your own blowback. That would make you *not* innocent when terror returns dragging hell on its hells.

God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

dragging hell on its *heels* (none / 0) (#28)
by eLuddite on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 10:15:50 PM EST

I shouldnt be so anal about typos but what the heck, the boozetaria is closed, my wife is out, my dog is a poor conversationalist, and there's nothing on tv except, you know.

God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

more disordered thoughts (4.50 / 2) (#32)
by anonymous cowerd on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 03:08:43 PM EST

Its the escalation of militarism based rumor and innuendo that's distressing, not the fact that he has always been worth bringing to trial for *known* crimes.

Our previous technique has been to cynically, selectively, covertly support one group of fanatics, then the opposing group, against the other, to create a delicately balanced state of chaos which would hopefully keep these dangerous madmen off our backs. I give you, as a notorious example, our deliberate sparing of the Saddam Hussein regime after the Gulf War, to be left in place as a counterweight against Iranian influence. I give you as a second example, the fact that both the Carter and Reagan administrations covertly supported the post-1978 remnants of Pol Pot's maniacal Khmer Rouge as a lever against Vietnamese influence in Southeast Asia. What if more direct and accountable militarism had always been, shall we say, "appropriate," and it took this particular outrage to get our fat, lazy and cowardly empire up off its ass to do something about it in person? That would not be "distressing" but instead a relief to see. Well, as much of a relief as it can be, when you consider the inevitable war cost of actually searching out and destroying ObL and Taleban on the ground in Afghanistan, notoriously the veriest Hell on Earth for foreign invaders. Here; read this, it's real interesting. (In fact I'm going to submit it to the K5 queue as MLP.) Specifically where Mr. Ansary says:

I think that when people speak of "having the belly to do what needs to be done" many of them are thinking in terms of having the belly to kill as many as needed. They are thinking about overcoming moral qualms about killing innocent people. But it's the belly to die not kill that's actually on the table. Americans will die in a land war to get Bin Laden.

eLuddite, through this thread you don't seem 100% convinced today that Osama bin Laden and his organization are truly responsible for this particular crime. Very well, me too, and neither, for that matter, are the FBI. They are in the process of attempting to uncover enough facts to clearly link Al Qaeda to the killers in the planes, in such a way that will convince both an American court and international opinion. (Uncover or synthesize, that is; let's at least acknowledge the possibility of fraud.) Certain men-in-the-street today may well believe that ObL is guilty guilty guilty and let's start bombing now! however hostile blather from the man in the street, or even from Congressmen ("...an idiot. But I repeat myself.") is ineffectual. The important issue is whether or not the U.S. Army actually goes into combat, and thus far the U.S. government has acted with restraint, not launching instant bombing strikes for the pleasure of retribution before assembling a solid case of the targets's guilt. This is particularly admirable on the part of the Bush Administration when compared to President Clinton's stupid, hysterical, disgraceful 1998 "counter-attacks" which at a cost of $75-million, destroyed a few half-empty tent camps and Sudan's only pharmaceuticals plant that, upon further investigation, turns out to have been neither a factory for chermical weapons nor an arm of the bin Laden organization... You say:

If bin Laden is not responsible for the events on the 11th, then his destruction will be an exercise in manipulation instead of justice.

Let's break this down binary-wise; there are four possibilities:

a.) ObL did command the Kenya/Tanzania bombings, and also did command the WTC bombing.
b.) ObL did command the Kenya/Tanzania bombings, but did not command the WTC bombing.
c.) ObL did not command the Kenya/Tanzania bombings, but did command the WTC bombing.
d.) ObL did not command either the Kenya/Tanzania bombings, or the WTC bombing.

What can you say in cases c.) and d.)? they imply that the Kenya/Tanzania trials last year were wholly fraudulent, and we've fallen down the rabbit hole - our best, Hell our only, sources of information are actively trying to delude us, we know literally nothing for sure. Obviously, in case a.), we are not merely justified but imperatively compelled to destroy him. As I understand you, you're focusing upon possibility b.), and saying that if b.) is the case then the pursuit and destruction of ObL is only "manipulation." Well, any attempt to communicate anything, including this sentence, can be considered in some attenuated degree to be an attempt at "manipulation."

I do not precisely agree with your outlook. If ObL is guilty of Kenya/Tanzania, then it will still be an excellent thing to destroy him, even if he did not directly order WTC. It will be good, first, in well-deserved punishment for his proven crimes, second in that it will lead to the liberation of the long-suffering Afghani people from Taleban, and third, in that, while terrorists will still exist even after Al Qaeda is exterminated, at least Al Qaeda won't be committing any more terrorist crimes, because they'll all be dead. You seem to be most offended my the manipulation aspect of it; I feel that the bad, very bad side is, our insulted sensibilities are far less important than in case b.) if we destroy only the ObL organization we'd be letting the true culprits for the WTC attack (possibly Al Jihad out of Egypt, for example) off the hook, which would only encourage the successfully escaped criminals to strike again and again! Please note that exactly the same reasoning applies to ordinary crime in the U.S.A. Whenever prosecutors refuse to allow, for example, review of death-penalty convictions with new DNA evidence, in the name of so-called "closure," what they are really doing is issuing an official "ollie-ollie-ox-in-free" to the genuine perpetrator of the capital crime. This seems so blatantly wrong-headed that I find it amazing to see it repeated so often by self-described "pro-law-and-order conservatives."

The thing is, I just don't believe it. I just don't believe it. I honestly don't believe that any U.S. government, no matter how lazy and incompetent, could manage to deliberately ignore the culprits in a mass murder of this enormity. We're not talking about an ambitious prosecutor and a couple dishonest promotion-hungry detectives railroading some minority kid on an otherwise-insoluble Pick-Kwik-robbery/murder case, this has been a vast act of war, and you're asking me to believe the entire government going to fabricate a false perpetrator when they know better and not one insider in the know is going to spill the plot out of outrage. Hey, you may still be right, but like I said, if that's the true facts then I'm down the rabbit hole, I'm in a fog of impenetrable nescience, and I might as well put the whole issue out of my mind.

I just went over to the news web site, to see if breaking events had already made me a liar about that restraint business, and I see that Taleban and bin Laden just fucking lost their war. Seems the government of Pakistan, under U.S. diplomatic pressure like I can scarcely imagine, has said, "Yeah, sure, build your invasion bases here." That means Taleban just lost their one and only adequate international supply line. Across their Western border lies Shiite Iran, which has suffered cross-border attacks and witnessed mass slaughters of Shiites, quite akin to those which Cambodia launched against Vietnam in mid-1978. So now Iran surely has the green light to ship the Afghani opposition (those radicals who believe women should be allowed to see medical doctors) not only all the weapons money can buy but also plenty of highly motivated and amply armed Shiite volunteers. Now we'll see what Afghanistan's Northern neighbors (ex-Soviet states Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan) are willing to do for their hostile, expansive neighbor; I'm sure their governments are acutely aware that Taleban seeks to displace them.

Ain't it awful when a plan goes wrong, hey ObL? you're going to have a hard time painting this as "Islam versus the infidels" when it's Iranians and Pakistani shoving their bayonets through your guts. And hey Taleban, pick your fucking lampposts before the good ones are all taken! Everybody on the outside of your sealed borders hates you, the Northern Coalition hates you and they're coming to kill you all this very minute, even the starving and terrorized Afghan on the street hates you and you can't kill them all fast enough to forestall their revenge. It'll soon be your turn to dangle in nooses with your chopped-off genitals in your mouths.

Still, ground combat in Afghanistan, Heaven help us all. Heaven help the soldiers. It's selfish and small to say it, but I hope it's over before my son reaches draft age. Remember that Clash song? "Get your coffins ready, boys; Johnny's coming home." Christ.

Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

The one thing that really disturbs me about America is that people don't like to read. - Keith Richards
[ Parent ]

Well said. (none / 0) (#43)
by weirdling on Wed Sep 26, 2001 at 01:03:22 PM EST

Whether or not the likes of eLuddite believe it, I do not condone wholesale killing of a population. I also realise the hand the US has had in the creation of this situation, but I am libertarian, and those policies are not.

However, as said before, I wish to end this problem, and if that means killing civillians in a country, so be it. Diplomacy and CIA wonking have failed.

What needs to be done, I now believe, is that we need to destroy this government and rebuild the country of Afghanistan.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Well aren't you the ignorant one (2.00 / 1) (#38)
by PhillipW on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 05:02:04 PM EST

However, simply insisting that because Bin Laden and Afghanistan claim innocence they are innocent is going to be a problem, as *every* criminal, when faced with punishment, claims innocence. Gad, what an idiot.

Of course, the difference between these 2 situations is that there is typically evidence to show a guilty criminal guilty. We have yet to see any REAL evidence here.

In any case, I don't think it was his point to say that Bin Laden is innocent, but that the United States is not innocent. You say that it is in vogue to talk crap about the US. I would say this is not true. And even if it was, you are taking the exact opposite to be true. When someone says something to refute one of your claims you spit out the "Oh that's just liberal crap" rhetoric that I would expect to hear from somebody who supports turning Afghanistan into a big piece of asphalt with neatly painted lines.

[ Parent ]
Ironic, isn't it? (none / 0) (#42)
by weirdling on Wed Sep 26, 2001 at 12:58:56 PM EST

"Oh that's just liberal crap" rhetoric that I would expect to hear from somebody who supports turning Afghanistan into a big piece of asphalt with neatly painted lines.

Well, now, it's refreshing to see this hypocrisy in plain view. Go ahead and make a straw man...

I do not believe that Afghanistan should be levelled, but I won't go into my solution here, as I have to exhaustion in many other posts. However, it is entertaining, that, while railing at me about making generalizations about liberals, you make a generalization about me that is much more unfounded...
I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]

Rightish Idiocy (2.50 / 2) (#37)
by PhillipW on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 04:55:19 PM EST

I say we start right now by blowing up those who did this and not helping fix up their country afterwards.

This of course implies that no Afghanistani civilians are harmed at all, and only Bin Laden, his cult, and members of the Taliban. It requires no damage to the infrastructure that exists, no matter how small, since that will effect the innocent population.

[ Parent ]
I am sorry.. (3.80 / 10) (#4)
by ignatiusst on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 12:09:55 PM EST

The Taliban has arrested 2 US Citizens for spreading Christian doctrine and threatened them with death as a penalty.

The Taliban has protected bin Laden, a man whose goal is the destruction of the United States.

The Taliban has cursed and condemned Americans as vile corruptors of men's souls.

I am sorry that the men, women, and children whom the Taliban rules over will suffer because of the policies the Taliban has implemented. I am sorry that the Taliban has made it impossible for the generosity of my country to continue in their country. I hope that they will begin to see the true nature of the world and change their policies so that we can return to their land with the food, medicine, and comfort that is so desperately needed.

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift

And let's not forget... (2.00 / 2) (#23)
by localroger on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 08:26:49 PM EST

  • Made it illegal for women to receive education or medical treatment
  • Destroyed thousand-year-old archaeological relics because they don't like the religions they represent
  • Required the branding of minorities for convenient persecution
  • Not constituting a single unified government, engaging in Machiavellian position-jockeying with live ammunition and missiles
Yep, a fine bunch of human beings are the Taliban, and already grovelling for their lives to boot as they realize what a fuckup the bombing was. Nevertheless, if we go into the even-more-like-Vietnam-than-Vietnam situation of ground warfare on their turf, our people and their civilian bystanders will indeed eat plenty of lead.

All we have to do is sell our souls. After Oradour-sur-Glane, the French resistance indeed refrained from blowing up any more Nazi trains. OTOH the market price for souls has been falling lately. Since Tuesday, mine has been on a shelf at the local Goodwill thrift store, and they can't sell it even for $1.50. There's just too many of them sitting on curbsides for the taking right now.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

OK! (2.00 / 3) (#36)
by PhillipW on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 04:49:10 PM EST

So here is the situation. We are now saying that the Afghanistan citizens will have to pay for the mistakes of the Taliban? A group of people that was equipped and funded by our government? And furthermore, by saying that Afghanistan civilians have to pay the price of the mistakes that their leaders make is the same logic which the terrorists use. I don't think it's possible for a logical argument to be so wrong.

[ Parent ]
It is time for the Taliban to give up bin Ladin (4.25 / 8) (#6)
by Anatta on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 12:26:34 PM EST

It is clear that the UN is doing this as a response to a deadly attack on its members (and the world), and are doing it for the safety of the workers in Afghanistan, which sadly must be their first priority.

Whether or not bin Ladin did it, it is time for the Taliban to severely shift its policies. Perhaps, if the Taliban has any wisdom at all, it will give up bin Ladin and not allow its land to harbor any known terrorists at all. Perhaps it will even open its government up to fair and democratic elections so that we can move on and start the healing of both those in the US and abroad.

This is truly a tragic occurance, but the onus is not on the UN, or America, to fix it. The government of Afghanistan must take action, or action will likely be taken upon it. Pakistan seems to have pledged cooperation with the rest of the world, and I welcome them warmly... it is time for Afghanistan to join us, as well.
My Music

The real reason Afghanistan harbors bin Laden (4.00 / 1) (#24)
by localroger on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 08:32:04 PM EST

...is that he is the only one in their entire country with any money. He is considered a hero because he doles out aid and provides work as well as inspiring their patriotic feelings of religious independence and moral superiority. Giving him up will cost them a lot.

OTOH we are making hard decisions ourselves right now. I doubt if the Taliban had any idea what a tiger they had by the tail in the person of bin Laden. The shooting Tuesday evening suggests that not all of the Taliban factions approve of current events. (They aren't a unified government, more like the "government" of Italy in the 15th century.) If we can weigh our freedoms against our security, they can weigh their existence against their provider and hero.

At least they will not be collecting the bodies of our victims as they decide.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

People are desperate... (2.55 / 9) (#7)
by scorpion on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 12:36:01 PM EST

.. and are innocent. It is time for everyone throughout the world to stand up for peace. It is time for those desperate people to turn over terrorists and not allow them to remain in there with them. YOU ARE WITH US OR YOU ARE THE ENEMY.

It's too bad (3.00 / 3) (#35)
by PhillipW on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 04:44:49 PM EST

That anybody who even thinks to oppose the Taliban in any way, shape, or form is put to death.

[ Parent ]
Wake up. (none / 0) (#41)
by tkatchev on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 02:54:17 PM EST

"Those who are not with us are against us" was
the Bolshevik motto. (c.f. 1917)

That attitude, BTW, caused a civil war, massive
hunger, government-sponsored terror and a
death toll of millions. I think you should
think twice before making statements like

(No offense, but I think America still needs a
few centuries of growing up to do before
trying to participate in politics.)

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

" No offense... (none / 0) (#45)
by scorpion on Tue Oct 16, 2001 at 10:16:47 PM EST

but I think America still needs a few centuries of growing..." I think America IS one of a few who HAVE grown up ! These countries like IRAQ,Afganastan, etc have been around for centuries and still can't feed themselves! They don't have a road to drive on, but then they don,t know what cars or trucks are do they? They treat there people worst than prisoners in this country.... BEHEAD a woman for showing her face... I guess you find those activities OK ? Grow up and face the real world !!!

[ Parent ]

Let them eat lead. (1.61 / 13) (#8)
by EdFox on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 01:56:15 PM EST

Have no doubt, the military might of the United States, NATO, and the entire western world is, as of this very minute, preparing to assist the starving citizens of Afghanistan.

Soon, very soon, they will be freed from their starvation. If there is any justice, they will be so liberated by the millions.


-- Kill em all, let Allah sort em out!

nuke Montana (4.25 / 4) (#29)
by Delirium on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 10:16:02 PM EST

And following the logic of your comment, I propose we drop several nuclear bombs to obliterate the state of Montana in retaliation for Ted Kaczinsky's string of mail-bombings perpetrated from his Montana-based cabin.

[ Parent ]
Not that .. (2.50 / 2) (#31)
by dvNull on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 03:29:02 AM EST

.. I am advocating that the entire country of Afghanistan should be carpet bombed but the state of Montana certainly didnt suggest that Ted Kasczynski was a guest and that the state will protect him.

The Taleban protects a known terrorists who encourages mass murder and destruction. They prefer to control the local population by terror than to win their love and admiration by compassion. They use the poverty and frustration of the people in conjunction with religious fanaticism to make them cold blooded killers.

If you can see this, then the .sig fell off.
[ Parent ]
Ignorance (4.00 / 2) (#34)
by PhillipW on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 04:43:54 PM EST

The ignorance on your part is so great that it almost makes me laugh. Just because the Taliban is harboring Osama Bin Laden does not mean, in any way, that the people of Afghanistan do. If you take a look at Afghanistan, you will see that any social dissidents or protestors are killed. So to say that we should feed the citizens of Aghanistan lead, is completely ridiculous. They can not be help responsible for being repressed.

[ Parent ]
uhmmm (none / 0) (#40)
by dvNull on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 02:57:52 AM EST

The Subject starts off with

Not that ...

and the message starts with

.. I am advocating ..

I meant it to say

"Not that I am advocating that the entire state of Afgahnistan be bombed" ..

In fact I dont agree with bombing an entire country just because the ruling militia harbours a criminal ..

I just realised what a wierd way that split sentence came out ;)

If you can see this, then the .sig fell off.
[ Parent ]
Desperation has many faces - this is not news (2.50 / 6) (#9)
by CoolArrow on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 02:04:42 PM EST

"The people in Afghanistan are desperate. It is likely that millions will starve."

This is not "news" - it's editorial. And it's not going to disuade anyone or encourage anyone either way.

The time for rhetoric has sadly come to a halt.

"The shortest straw has been drawn FOR you!"

government (3.38 / 13) (#10)
by Refrag on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 02:14:22 PM EST

If the Afghan government cared about their people they would not harbor or provide support to a known terrorist.

Unfortunately they do not care for their people. Unfortunately the people have not (can not?) revolted.


Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches

but (4.25 / 4) (#27)
by Delirium on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 10:12:40 PM EST

But that still leaves the question of what the appropriate response is. Even if the Taliban is our enemy, I don't think the entire population of Afghanistan is our enemy, so we must make sure that still more innocent civilians don't die as a result of our efforts to retaliate for the death of innocent civilians.

[ Parent ]
Unfortunate (3.50 / 4) (#15)
by Neuromancer on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 04:32:13 PM EST

This is unfortunate but necessary. One should also remember that it is probably dangerous for them to be there in the first place. The UN regulary puts armed "peace keeping troops" in such countries. These people were in danger to begin with and are concievably whether or not we start a major bombing campaign. Let us also remember that even if they aren't harboring the terrorists who committed the crashes, they are harboring terrorists and must be taken care of. Protecting our country's self interests is not a crime.

Let's make a deal. (3.30 / 13) (#19)
by marlowe on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 05:11:34 PM EST

Stop harboring a prime suspect in numerous terrorist atrocities, and we'll help bail you out of your own inability to feed yourselves. I call that a win-win.

There was a time when the US would generously give food and medical aid to any starving country, even the Soviet Union. I wonder why we stopped? Maybe it had something to do with how the beneficiaries of our kindness kept slapping us in the face?

Here's a clue for the clueless: beggars shouldn't abuse potential donors. It's really not in their own best interest.

-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
re: Lets make a deal (2.25 / 4) (#21)
by snafu on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 05:59:42 PM EST

"Stop harboring a prime suspect in numerous terrorist atrocities, and we'll help bail you out of your own inability to feed yourselves."

You seem to suggest that the Afghans are just too lazy to grow enough food. I think that 200 years of warefare encouraged by the imperialist goals of Britain, Russia and the US have had a great hand in doing this.


[ Parent ]
Yeah, (3.00 / 5) (#22)
by kwsNI on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 07:56:35 PM EST

That and a government who's so ass-backwards in the name of religion that they'll let millions die to save a religious "hero" and "welcomed guest".

I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it. -Jack Handy
[ Parent ]
Yeah (2.50 / 2) (#33)
by PhillipW on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 04:37:03 PM EST

It's too bad we had to finance a radically religious government. This is, as the previous poster suggested, just another effect of Western intervention. We put an extremely fascist, intolerant government there, and now we are blaming the people for tolerating it.

[ Parent ]
Saying that they are unable to feed themselves (5.00 / 2) (#39)
by ZanThrax on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 03:56:28 AM EST

is a simple statement of fact. There was no judgement in the statement, but I'd personally say that annoying the US and pressuring the citizens to stay away from the aid workers (a.k.a. the people with food) and the workers to go home has a pretty large hand in the continuing hunger of the Afghani people.

Reasons are not excuses and retaliation is not justice.

[ Parent ]
Not that simple (5.00 / 5) (#30)
by davidduncanscott on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 12:54:34 AM EST

The UN hs a surprising number of peole who are willing to work in a war zone, but they will not and cannot work in countries where they are not welcome. Take a glance at this AP report, and note the date -- two days before the attack, the Taliban was pressuring the aid organizations to leave:
"If there exists just one Islamic nongovernment organization, then there is no need for other NGOs to come here," said Naim Safi of the Taliban Information Ministry.
The arrests of the Afghans terrorized other local aid workers, who fear they will be accused of flirting with Christianity - a crime that can carry the death penalty.
and then there's this gem, also AP:
"Stop your relationship with the kafir (unbeliever). The friendship with the kafir is forbidden," Chief Justice Noor Mohammed Saqib told hundreds of worshippers at Kabul's largest mosque, Pul-e-Khishti, during the Muslim sabbath.
Fear may be driving them out, but much of it is generated locally, and predates the US threat.

Starving Americans are more important. (none / 0) (#44)
by SPYvSPY on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:36:50 PM EST

There's a lot of leftist empathy pouring out of Europe and America right now that is directed at the huddled masses of oppressed Afghans.

Why would any Americans waste their time caring about the fate of some miserable souls half way around the planet, when we've got people to feed here at home? The Afghan people can have their place at the table when America's done eating. Not one American should go hungry while an Afghan eats our hard earned meals. People talk about innocent Afghans. I've never met an innocent person anywhere in my life. If I cross the street in Chicago when gunfire erupts between the police and some criminal, I'm in the wrong place at the wrong time. Too bad for me. Don't bother calling me an innocent, or denouncing the police for thier policy of attacking dangerous criminals. My death in the crossfire of the pursuit of justice is a noble death.

Until every American is properly educated, clothed, fed and housed, the rest of the world can worry about itself. Yes, America will take resources that you claim are yours (too bad you couldn't hang on to them). Yes, America will step on your shoulders to make its corner of the world a better place; just as long as one corner of the world is good, that will be better than the bland mediocrity and spineless, parasitic, morally paralyzed European continent other developed western countries. Yes, America will attack like a hornet's nest when you come knocking on her door with bombs or chemical weapons, begging for food, water, shelter, respect or whatever else you can't get from the miserable chunk of land that you so jealously defend and claim as your own.

It's America's right to ascend to world hegemony, because America is nothing more or less than the best model for enlightened living so far. History does not have any example of a more successful national enterprise. The key to America's continued success is the key to her success in the past: an on-going commitment to strike a fair balance amidst the infinite paradoxes of human existence. This is an inward struggle, in the sense that America must put herself first -- not because she is a narcissist, but because she leads the vanguard.

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.

Aid workers withdraw from Afghanistan | 45 comments (43 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
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