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> "John Clark" <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> Re: A Bleak Projection (crossposted from the Virus List)Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 10:52:37 -0400
>Somebody (perhaps Joe Dees, perhaps not, hard to tell) wrote:
I crossposted it from the Virus list; the actual author is nicked Hermit. Scroll to end for my comments.
> > in February the Hajj will open to the news of 6 million plus dead Afghans.
>Then lets hurry up and kill the Taliban scum who stop the food trucks and
>imprison relief workers.
> >And it will be portrayed and believed to be largely the fault of the US.
>I agree with you there, in the Islamic world the US is blamed for everything,
>including the Soviets invading Afghanistan, internal tribal squabbling, medieval
>religious practices and the fact that it gets dark at night. There is no point in
>worrying over the fact that the Islamic world hates us, they will do that regardless
>of what we do and we should just get on with doing what we have to do to defend
>ourselves. If the Islamic world is angry that we don't have the good manners to
>die that's just tough.
> >the US is perceived by a vast majority of Muslims as being something reprehensible.
> >The reason for this is primarily because of our ongoing support for Israel
>The US support of Israel certainly doesn't help and I think our foreign policy has been far
>too one sided but I don't believe for one second that can explain the intense hatred of America
>that can be seen from Algeria to Indonesia. In that part of the world the nickname for the USA
>is "The Great Satan", but in Islam Satan is not an all powerful conqueror, he is a tempter,
>a seducer. The thing they really hate is popular culture, they hate the fact that the most
>popular show in Iran seen on satellite and bootleg tapes is "Bay watch". They fear
>Brittany Spears more that a Apache attack helicopter.
> >Given his [Bin Laden] success in all of these areas, the man is nobody's fool.
>He's no fool but he's not a superman either. I think the probability of him being
>alive one year from today is very low, although definite proof of his death may
> >Two key differences between Afghanistan and Pakistan exist. Once we
> >examine Pakistan's forces, we know that the number of Islamic
> >fundamentalists in Pakistan's forces exceeds 30% of the total muster.
> >And we know that Pakistan has an arsenal of possibly 30 nuclear weapons.
>Another difference is that Afghanistan, like all those willing to support Bin Laden
>with deeds and not just words, has nothing to lose and that's what makes them so
>dangerous. Pakistan on the other hand has a lot to lose.
> >There are a number of possible outcomes, to this battle. One might be that the
> > fundamentalists succeed in taking over the country - and her nuclear arsenal.
>The USA knows where the arsenal is stored, I am sure that at the slightest indication
>that fundamentalists are about to take over an Army Delta team will grab them and
>the Air force will bomb the production factories. Yes, Islam will hate us for doing that,
>but they already do and always will.
> >The above could well lead to a war of attrition that would destabilize
> > the US and probably cause her to withdraw from global interaction -
>Before September 11 that was possible but not now, even massive casualties
>will not prevent the USA from getting bin Laden's head on a stick.
> >Possible? Likely? If anything, I suspect that this scenario is optimistic.
>Oh for heaven's sake. Do you think this is the first crises the world has seen,
>or the worst? Sure things are bad, but it's a walk in the park compared with the
>Cuban Missile Crises or Hitler invading Poland.
The three reasons that Bin Ladin gives for his jihad are:
1) The US has stationed infidel troops on the sacred soil of the holy land and is occupying it.
2) The US-led embargo to prevent the development of WOMD's (weapons of mass destruction) and its no-fly zones in the north and south has caused the deaths of many Iraqi citizens.
3) The US is supporting Israel's occupation of Palestine.
1): This is the REAL reason that Osama is pissed. Our troops were inserted, at the Saudi Arabian government's request, in order to free Kuwait and to stop Saddam Hussein from sweeping over Saudi Arabia, and indeed the entire Arabian Peninsula. Osama Bin Ladin offered his 3000 or so post-Afghani fighters to defend the Holy Land of Mecca (perhaps personally engaged because his father's construction firm built the facilities surrounding the holy sites at Mecca and Medina), and the offer was quite rightly rejected by the Saudi government because they realized that Saddam's million man army would have swatted them aside like flies. When Osama objected, he was deported and stripped of his Saudi citizenship. The troops remain there at the Saudi government's request, to secure their rule against both a surging Wahhabi fundamentalism and the possibility of a resurgent Saddam. No terrorist individual or group can be allowed to dictate the mutual foreighn policy ties between consen!
2): The US-led embargo and the no-fly zones have saved the lives of amny more Muslims (including the Kurds in the North and the Shiites in the south, whom Saddam was poison-gassing) than they have cost, and Saddam could very well feed his people if he were not intent upon proceeding with weapons programs and deriving propaganda fodder from the starvation of the very people he would otherwise be exterminating; permitted oil revenues have mushroomed from 4 billion in 1997 to 17 billion in 2000, with even more permitted in 2001. Osama, who was willing to jihad against Saddam a sacnt ten years ago, is piggybacking on Saddam's propaganda ploy here.
3): The bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania happened in the middle of a Clinton-led push to get Barak and Arafat to agree on a dual-state solution, so obviously, a Palestinian homeland was not important to Bin Ladin then, unless what he really wants is the liquidation of Israel, which ain't gonna happen as long as Dimona possesses nukes, which will be for the forseeable future. He is surfing a Muslim propaganda curl here, too; his real personal reason for his jihad remains the first one I cited. Both the Palestinian Authority and Israel have recognized the US to be an honest broker (and perhaps TOO honest for Israel's taste); Arafat showed that the fundie militants within Palestine would not allow him to accept anything less than Israel's demise when he turned down Barak's offer of 95% of what he asked for; this realization is the reason behind Israel's hardening stance and the election of Sharon. An unfortunate element is Israel's de facto ceding of situati!
onal control to the Palestinian fanatic fringe via his '2 days of peace before negotiations' rule. All Hamas, Hizbollah, Islamic Jihad and/or the PFLP have to do is commit a violent act every 36 hours to forfend negotiations indefinitely, as long as the rule is in force. It also puts Arafat in a touchy situation; either he CAN stop the attacks, in which case he has been permitting them to continue and is thus not a trustable peace partner, or he CANNOT, in which case he is to some degree irrelevant, and therefore an unreliable peace partner.
As to the supposed coming disaster: aid is entering at the rate of 17000 tone per week through Pakistan (not counting the airdrops) and there is already food in six incountry warehouses. If a rate of 52000 tons per month can be sustained until the onset of winter six weeks hence, Afghan civilians should be able to last the winter. In addition, blankets and tents are being shipped into East and South Afghanistan through Pakistan, are being stockpiled inside Uzbekistan for transshipment to north Afghanistan as soon as the Mazar-i-Sharif airport is secured, and Iran has agreed to allow food and winter aid shipments to proceed through its territory into West Afghanistan, fearing world Muslim opinion should their denial of such privileges result in the starving or freezing of afghan Muslims.
All in all, two of Osama's reasons are false and cynically indulged in for propaganda purposes and the third is unreasonable to demand, and the feared winter freezing and starvation of masses of Afghan citizens is unlikely to happen on a broad scale. I would be surprised if the toll is more than twice what it was last year when we weren't there except to provide aid (about a quarter million).
> John K Clark firstname.lastname@example.org
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