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ITR champion
09-12-2001, 02:46 AM
Ok, let's try this scenario. We find definite proof that Osama Bin Laden is behind the attacks and that he is still in Afghanistan. We ask the Taliban to turn him over, they don't. What happens then? We can't move a full-scale invasion force into Afghanistan, it's just too isolated and surrounded mostly by countries that are generally hostile to the United States. We could, of course, launch missile strikes, but it would be hard to inflict serious damage on a country which largely lacks a centralized government and economy, plus it will probably be hard to locate Bin Laden now, so it's unlikely that we'd be able to kill him. So, in the above scenario, what actions could the US take?

vanilla
09-12-2001, 09:32 AM
Offer a reward.
Big money for whoever turns him in or tells his location.

Spoke
09-12-2001, 09:44 AM
I have to say that I have serious doubts about our ability to track down Bin Laden even if we did invade Afghanistan. We can't track down Eric Rudolph (the Olympic Park bomber), and he lives here.

Afghanistan is a mighty big place, and there are an awful lot of people there who are sympathetic to Bin Laden. Seems to me he could melt into the background pretty easily. (Unless you contemplate rounding up every single Afghani[u] which, of course, ain't gonna happen.)

And vanilla, I'm pretty sure there is [u]already a big price on Bin Laden's head. Hasn't done any good.

Guinastasia
09-12-2001, 09:48 AM
At this point, I would imagine the Taliban would be shitting their pants in fear of what we would do if they refused to turn the guy over.

The Great Gazoo
09-12-2001, 09:53 AM
Don't forget that the Russians don't like Afghanistan much. It was their Vietnam.

Also, there seems to be a rebel force in Afghanistan, judging from the bombings of Kabul last night. I would guess that this force is already being supplied by either the Russians or the US.

I get the feeling that not too many countries like the Taliban (with the exception of the Arab countries???)

But, let's wait until we get a clearer idea of responsibility for these actions. It may be another group entirely. We will be able to find out a lot of information with the retrieval of the cockpit voice recorders, I would guess.

escapol
09-12-2001, 09:56 AM
There's been a $5 million price (http://www.fbi.gov/mostwant/topten/fugitives/laden.htm) on his head since June 1999.

vanilla
09-12-2001, 10:14 AM
5 million?
How come it hasn't helped?
No one sympathetic to him can be bought off?

Tamerlane
09-12-2001, 10:32 AM
I almost hope bin Laden wasn't responsible, because Afghanistan could be a bear :( .

Logistically it's a nightmare. The only immediately available staging area is the Indian Ocean and even then you have to traverse "neutral" air space to get there. The various nations bordering Afghanistan, even including supposed U.S. ally Pakistan, are going to be reluctant to tolerate a large U.S. presense on their soil. Moreover, air and missile attacks in of themselves will likely accomplish next to nothing - There is very little infrastructure to hit in Afghanistan.

If it does prove to be Osama bin Laden, then the best outcome would be for the U.S. to mount enough evidence to persuade the Taliban to expel him. But this is highly unlikely. Not only for ideological reasons, but also because if the news stories from yesterday are true, it's quite possible the Taliban are in debt to bin Laden for assainating Ahmed Shah Massoud, the Taliban's most formidable internal foe. Plus bin Laden has his own military establishment in the country.

The next best outcome would be a successful commando raid. I'm guessing this is the most likely route. But given bin Laden's mobility and his tight security, this will be a tough one to pull off. The possibility of a fuck up might be pretty damn high.

After that we have the possibility that the U.S. would gather enough evidence and twist enough arms to get some neighbor ( Pakistan most likely and by far the most preferable for logistic reasons ) to put up with a U.S. assault from their country. Even then we're talking about the possibility of an open-ended nasty guerilla war in very rugged terrain.

Gazoo: Well remember, Russia doesn't share a border with Afghanistan any longer. It doesn't even come close. And Uzbekistan and Tajikistan don't have tons of muscle to throw around.

There is an indigenous rebel movement ( albeit one drawn mainly from minority groups ). But it won't be of much help - It's small, badly outgunned, and is clinging by its fingertips to a northern enclave that amounts to barely 5% of Afghanistan. And if what I mentioned above is true and Ahmed Shah Massoud is truly dead, then they just lost by far their most charismatic and effective leader. Worse, according to most reports he was the glue holding that group of rebels together ( it is a disparate, fractious confederacy ). Without him, they may soon disintegrate. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the attack on Kabul last night was a panic-stricken spoiler attack seeking to forestall an expected Taliban offensive in the wake of this presumed loss.

All in all, an effective attack of some sort on Afghanistan or bin Laden, isn't impossible. Nothing is impossible. But it sure ain't easy.

- Tamerlane

Tamerlane
09-12-2001, 10:40 AM
vanilla: Osama bin Laden has his own millions, his followers are fanatics, and his security is impeccable. One of the problems with dealing with him is that he is meticulous about his security and secrecy. To my understanding intelligence operations have had a great deal of difficulty trying to penetrate the inner layers of his organization. If he actually pulled off this WTC tragedy, despite being a major intelligence priority since 1998, this just shows how good he is at this.

- Tamerlane

3waygeek
09-12-2001, 10:40 AM
vanilla wrote:
5 million?
How come it hasn't helped?
No one sympathetic to him can be bought off?

Well, one reason is that the US bungled the PR on this one -- they had thousands of matchbooks printed up for distribution in Pakistan announcing the reward as being only $500,000.

Spoke
09-12-2001, 10:49 AM
Originally posted by Guinastasia
At this point, I would imagine the Taliban would be shitting their pants in fear of what we would do if they refused to turn the guy over.

But see, that assumes that the Taliban even have it within their power to "turn him over." Could we "turn over" Eric Rudolph if another country wanted him? We can't even find the guy. How do we know that the Taliban even know where Bin Laden is? Is there any evidence that they are actually (and actively) harboring him or protecting him? Or is Bin Laden simply in Afghanistan without government sponsorship?

Even if the Taliban wanted to "turn the guy over," could they do so? (Given Bin Ladin's elusiveness, money and firepower?)

Whack-a-Mole
09-12-2001, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by The Great Gazoo
We will be able to find out a lot of information with the retrieval of the cockpit voice recorders, I would guess.

I would guess the opposite. I don't think the cockpit voice recorders are going to reveal anything useful. They will confirm a hijacking and they will (probably) confirm the deaths of the pilots but beyond that I don't think they'll tell us anything. This was a well organized attack and I seriously doubt these guys started spouting off about who they were working for. If anything, they might even try some disinformation and claim to have been working for some totally unrelated group that they don't like.

spoke- wrote:
Even if the Taliban wanted to "turn the guy over," could they do so? (Given Bin Ladin's elusiveness, money and firepower?)

Probably not directly. However, there is gonna be a TON of pressure on whoever harbors this guy to turn him over. Even countries generally hostile to the US can't really stand behind that guy. They all know America is filled with some righteous wrath right now and it'd be best to stand out of the way.

My guess is Afghanistan might declare bin Laden persona non grata and ask him to leave just to get him out of their hair (err...turban). That's probably the most they can manage even if they have the balls for that much. If bin Laden refused to leave at that point I expect Afghanistan will say, "Hey, we tried." and leave it at that.

Given that a full-blown military response in Afghanistan is not likely for the US I expect we'll start tossing cruise missiles at anything that looks interesting and remotley related to bin Laden as well as probably arming the shit out of the rebels fighting the Taliban. If that doesn't motivate the Taliban to do something more then they can expect interesting lives for the next few years.

Spoke
09-12-2001, 11:20 AM
Say, how about some pressure on our ally Saudi Arabia to freeze the bastard's assets? (Not as an only step, but as one of many actions to be taken.) Can we sue the guy under Saudi law, I wonder? Freezing his assets might make it more difficult for him to operate, at least.

Beagle
09-12-2001, 11:25 AM
Originally posted by Tamerlane
vanilla: Osama bin Laden has his own millions, his followers are fanatics, and his security is impeccable. One of the problems with dealing with him is that he is meticulous about his security and secrecy. To my understanding intelligence operations have had a great deal of difficulty trying to penetrate the inner layers of his organization. If he actually pulled off this WTC tragedy, despite being a major intelligence priority since 1998, this just shows how good he is at this.

- Tamerlane

If these facts are true--and I fear they are--what do we do except sit here and take it?

Are we limited to our usual bomb and bomb strategy, with no guarantees of success?

As for the Taliban, we have one advantage, NOBODY likes them. I think they make their neighbors nervous.

Vinnie Virginslayer
09-12-2001, 12:46 PM
It's very simple.

Tell the Taliban they have 72 hours to produce Mr. Bin laden, dead or alive, or meet Mr. Nukie!

These are desperate times, they call for strong action.

Danimal
09-12-2001, 01:07 PM
I can't see Pakistan helping us with a war in Afghanistan. Pakistan has been in bed with Afghan Islamic militants since the '80s, and at this point I'm guessing Musharraf likes them better than he likes us.

Iran we can forget about, of course.

What about Tajikistan and Uzbekistan? I don't know anything about them. Could they be persuaded to cooperate?

If we do try to invade Afghanistan from the north, Russia is the most important major power to have on our side, as anything we would ship to Uzbekistan or Tajikistan would probably have to come across the Caspian Sea from Russia. (God, I wish we hadn't let relations with Russia deteriorate so badly). But the Russians do have incentive to cooperate with us, since they have been suffering from Islamic terrorism themselves and would be just as happy as the Americans to see bin Laden dead.

Jeez, I hope it doesn't come to fighting a war in Afghanistan.

And no, I do not support nuclear threats. Firstly, we are dealing with fanatics here who will gladly sacrifice every woman and child in Kabul, and their own lives as well, to ensure their place in heaven. Secondly, a major nuclear strike would throw fallout over Pakistan and kill half the country. Rather than suffer that, Musharraf might well order a nuclear counter-strike. Thirdly, let's not start our war against terrorism with an act of terrorism against innocent civilians!

The Great Gazoo
09-12-2001, 01:47 PM
Originally posted by Whack-a-Mole
Originally posted by The Great Gazoo
[B]We will be able to find out a lot of information with the retrieval of the cockpit voice recorders, I would guess.

I would guess the opposite. I don't think the cockpit voice recorders are going to reveal anything useful. They will confirm a hijacking and they will (probably) confirm the deaths of the pilots but beyond that I don't think they'll tell us anything. This was a well organized attack and I seriously doubt these guys started spouting off about who they were working for. If anything, they might even try some disinformation and claim to have been working for some totally unrelated group that they don't like.



Well, my thinking is that the hijackers will be talking - may be able to do something with voice recognition or at least recognize an accent or a language. Next, if it is religious, and suicide bombers probably are, they will be praying at the end, I would guess. They may also yell out "God save (put cause's name here) at the end. There may have also been cell phone usage or some other kind of communication. This person or persons would have had to have been in the cockpit for some time.

Phobos
09-12-2001, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by Vinnie Virginslayer
Tell the Taliban they have 72 hours to produce Mr. Bin laden, dead or alive, or meet Mr. Nukie!

These are desperate times, they call for strong action.

Not that strong! Besides being overkill & immoral (killing innocents), it would vilify the U.S. in the eyes of the rest of the world, reduce our global economic network, probably start up a new global arms race, and undo the "security" of decades of nuclear detente. ("Hey, those Americans are crazy enough to actually use nukes again...we better back off in our relations and prepare for the worst.") IMHO anyway.


ITR champion - I agree. I think last time we took shots at O.b.L with millions of dollars worth of Tomahawk missiles (and barely did anything) showed how difficult it would be.

B.O.
09-12-2001, 02:00 PM
Well, logistics aside, the US appears to have delivered a powerful message to the Taliban via Pakistani intermediaries. Although the meeting was characterized as “inconclusive” (diplo-speak for: it didn’t go anywhere), the Taliban now appears to be more concerned about their lives than ever before. After the talk, they used CNN to distance themselves from all terrorism, and to tell the world that killing them would be unwise and counterproductive. CNN characterized it as an “overstatement.” My hunch is they were given one last chance.

Bomzaway
09-12-2001, 02:22 PM
Originally posted by Danimal

Jeez, I hope it doesn't come to fighting a war in Afghanistan.


Art (Wally Shaw, anyway) imitates life.

You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia",


If Bin Laden was Sicillian we'd really be screwed.

It's quickly boiling down to two primary options. The Nuclear solution, or a cloak and dagger, systematic elimination of all known or suspected terrorists.

Vinnie Virginslayer
09-12-2001, 02:49 PM
Originally posted by Phobos
Originally posted by Vinnie Virginslayer
Tell the Taliban they have 72 hours to produce Mr. Bin laden, dead or alive, or meet Mr. Nukie!

These are desperate times, they call for strong action.

Besides being overkill & immoral (killing innocents)

We lost innocents too. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

it would vilify the U.S. in the eyes of the rest of the world

As seen by yesterdays events, America is already quite villified.

reduce our global economic network

We would still have plenty of friends. We didn't lose much international ground when we nuked those Japanese.

probably start up a new global arms race

Simple: just bomb the shit out of any third world country building nukes. Race over.

and undo the "security" of decades of nuclear detente.

I don't feel too secure now.

("Hey, those Americans are crazy enough to actually use nukes again...we better back off in our relations and prepare for the worst.")

If we are crazy enough to do this, countries like China and Iraq would think twice before ever fucking with us.

B.O.
09-12-2001, 02:58 PM
It's quickly boiling down to two primary options. The Nuclear solution ...

... or meet Mr. Nukie!

Terrorism appears to be a contagious disease. It turns mild mannered citizens into madmen.

VileOrb
09-12-2001, 03:03 PM
I was under the impression that Afghanistan was deliberately harboring Bin Ladin and not allowing the US to attempt to find him. If so, then Mr. Bush has already said we would treat the governments that harbor the perpetrator as if they were the perpetrator. That means direct assault on Afghanistan regardless of whether they want to turn him over at this point or not. I expect Bin Ladin would get the hell out of there and continue his activities elsewhere, but he would be handicapped by not having any government protecting him, and any government found protecting him would be attacked. This could get really ugly, or large parts of the world might step up and support us on this. Or we could back off our statements. Too many variables to figure out yet.

My point is, we don't have to extract Bin Ladin from Afghanistan. If we can prove he's behind the attack, then Afghanistan will be held responsible. I saw a clip on the news of and afghan politician refusing to cooperate with the US request to extract Bin Laden last year. They acknowledged his presence in their country but would not take action or allow others to take action. This is what is called harboring a fugitive. If they hurry, they could volunteer to disband all of their military and submit to US inspection etc. and then we would have to extract Bin Laden but with the use of bases IN Afghanistan. Whatever else happens, if we confirm Bin Ladin did it, then Afghanistan is screwed.

I heard a guy who was touted as a leading expert on terrorism state that Bin Ladin, though he is wealthy, is not wealthy enough to fund this operation entirely on his own. I'm not sure how costs were calculated, he didn't say. He said, though, that there was almost certainly some "support from the state level". If this can be proven, it was an act of war by a foriegn power and we can act appropriately.

I am being told by MikeG on the phone that for every person we take down, three will stand up in reaction to our acts. In some ways I disagree. I think that some will stand in our support. However, I do agree that some will stand against us. Many young Palestinians, for example, will feel greater hatred toward the US. But, they will be untrained and poor and will have to find training and money from somewhere. Any way we can strike against the power base that supports these misguided individuals makes the world a safer place, regardless of how many people we piss off doing it.

I do not advocate intentionally selecting civilian targets. I advocate defending ourselves from acts of war. I advocate telling any attacking government that they must turn over their governments to wiser individuals and submit to US military presence in their countries. As a person who would much prefer peace, I would suggest we investigate the viability of extremely strict embargoes and constant barrages of propanganda. How long can Afghanistan feed itself and maintain a military without international trade? Can we enforce such an embargo? Perhaps we cannot. If not, then can we surgically destroy the government and the military? I hope so. Will this make the Afghan populace hate us? Probably. I suggest that we build schools. I suggest we build schools all over the world and teach people as much as possible about history and all cultures. Give them access to as many versions of history as we can. Let's teach them ways to research who is telling the truth. Let's do everything we can to wipe out ignorance worldwide. A little understanding goes a long way toward eliminating hatred. We could start right here in the cities fo the United States where our schools are sadly lacking.

Ace_Face
09-12-2001, 04:18 PM
Originally posted by Danimal
Iran we can forget about, of course.


I agree Iran would not likely provide any direct help, but bear in mind they are not at all fans of the Taliban (they almost went to war a couple years ago) or Bin Laden. And there have been tremendous social changes in Iran over the past few years. Perhaps they would provide some clandestine support to our efforts. This could be an opportunity to bury the hatchet over our support of the Shah / their hostage taking once and for all.

Just trying to find some cause for optimism in this mess.

mswas
09-12-2001, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by The Great Gazoo
Don't forget that the Russians don't like Afghanistan much. It was their Vietnam.


I get the feeling that not too many countries like the Taliban (with the exception of the Arab countries???)


Actually Arab countries don't like the Taliban much either from what I can tell.

Erek

Vinnie Virginslayer
09-12-2001, 05:16 PM
Originally posted by B.O.
It's quickly boiling down to two primary options. The Nuclear solution ...

... or meet Mr. Nukie!

Terrorism appears to be a contagious disease. It turns mild mannered citizens into madmen.

Oh, how philosophical and profound. I guess that would make Harry S. Truman a genocidal imperialist for nuking Japan, too.

Or was it a way to prevent an estimated 1 million American casualties in a land invasion of that country, just as the nuclear option would prevent America from getting itself involved in another VietNam like USSR did when it invaded Afghanistan?

Oh, and by the way I was NEVER mild mannered! :cool:

Ike Witt
09-12-2001, 05:26 PM
Originally posted by The Great Gazoo
Don't forget that the Russians don't like Afghanistan much. It was their Vietnam.


When the US was supporting the Afghani side in that war, were we supporting the Taliban? I mean directly, not indirectly.

Danimal
09-12-2001, 05:49 PM
Originally posted by Ace_Face
[QUOTEI agree Iran would not likely provide any direct help, but bear in mind they are not at all fans of the Taliban (they almost went to war a couple years ago) or Bin Laden. And there have been tremendous social changes in Iran over the past few years. Perhaps they would provide some clandestine support to our efforts.

You're quite right, we might be able to get some clandestine help from Iran. But I do think we can forget about Iran offering its territory as a staging base for invasion as the Saudis so kindly did in 1990. Public feelings are still too bitter, on both sides probably, for that to happen.

Let's hope it doesn't come to that; the Taliban clearly doesn't want to fight a conventional war, so perhaps a peaceful solution is still possible.

Whack-a-Mole
09-12-2001, 06:13 PM
After reading up on the Taleban in Afghanistan I'd say they deserve a little smacking around in their own right. No wonder even other diehard Islamic states don't like these guys very much. They're real creeps. Here's just a few of the things that are common practice in Afghanistan now:


Amputation for theft
Crushing under a wall for sodomy
Flogging for drinking alcohol or minor sexual offenses
Stoning for sexual impropriety (an affair for example)
Public beating for women walking unescorted (escorts must be a relative)


- A man was hacked to death for sending his daughter to school. The daughter was raped next to the dead body of her father.
- A woman hadn't seen her husband (a military commander) for eight years and figured he was dead. She married another man and her first husband popped back-up. When he learned of her new marriage he ordered his men to stone her to death in public.
- ALL television has been outlawed
- ALL music save for religious music has been outlawed
- Women MUST wear the full covering dress or be publically beaten
- Women have been banned from all work
- Females are banned from school
- People are encourage to black-out first floor windows so women can't be seen inside

Most of the above can be gleaned from Amnesty International's website (http://www.amnesty.org/ailib/countries/indx311.htm).

And so on and so forth. Frankly I hope the Taleban holds firm and gives the US a reason to stomp on them. I can respect religious differences to a point but these people are beyond belief. I knew they were tough but geez...

That said the OP asked about how you fight a war in Afghanistan. The one of the pages to Amnesty (linked above) had this to say about Afghanistan:
Warring factions maintain that they have total control over the areas they have captured. In reality, this is not the case. Each faction is all but an alliance of a wide range of local military commanders who have for many years established a fiefdom in their locality. These commanders have their own agenda and do not necessarily share the religious or political objectives of the faction they are allied with. They change sides either for expediency or after they receive substantial sums of hard currency -usually in US dollars. All that their alliance with a warring faction means is that they agree to keep the forces of the rival factions at bay. They do not consider themselves to be accountable to any central authority. They run their own administration, collect what taxes they can, and subject people in their locality to any punitive action they choose if need be. Both the Taleban and the anti-Taleban forces have blamed some of the excesses against the civilian population on the local forces with whom they have an alliance but over whose conduct they have no control.

So, while the Taleban controls some 80% of the country that 80% is comprised of a very loose coalition. In addition 15% of the countryside is controlled by an opposition group enagaed in armed conflict with the Taleban(I don't know about the other 5%).

It would seem to me that Afghanistan is a singularly unstable place. It is certainly understandable to me now why they won't give bin Laden up. They can't...they simply don't have the control to do so. However, some of these groups seem a bit mercenary so some money here, some weapons there and *FOOM*, Afghanistan descends into turmoil. Not a very good place to conduct terrorism operations when you have to constantly defend yourself from neighboring warlords.

The Taleban is between a rock and a hard place and they have to know it. They don't have the power to give him up but failure to do so may seem them destroyed.

They can't be very pleased with bin Laden right now for bringing this crap to them.

Johanna
09-12-2001, 08:20 PM
Originally posted by adam yax
When the US was supporting the Afghani side in that war, were we supporting the Taliban? I mean directly, not indirectly. No. Taliban didn't even exist until circa 1995. In fact, they overthrew the Mujahidin coalition, the guys America had been supporting. The one Mujahidin commander who had continued fighting the Taliban all this time was (the late?) Ahmad Shah Mas‘ud. The USA had once supported him against the Soviets.

The_Peyote_Coyote
09-12-2001, 08:25 PM
Interesting post, Whack-A-Mole. I would say there is a good chance that we could enlist some of the greedy warlords and stage some kind of a commando action to get bin Laden. Assuming he is guilty, of course.

clairobscur
09-12-2001, 08:41 PM
Originally posted by Jomo Mojo
Originally posted by adam yax
When the US was supporting the Afghani side in that war, were we supporting the Taliban? I mean directly, not indirectly. No. Taliban didn't even exist until circa 1995. In fact, they overthrew the Mujahidin coalition, the guys America had been supporting. The one Mujahidin commander who had continued fighting the Taliban all this time was (the late?) Ahmad Shah Mas‘ud. The USA had once supported him against the Soviets.


Though I remember having read a long article, some years ago (and since long time after the soviet left) explaining why the US were still supporting the Taliban (at this time in war with several other factions, including Massoud and also the shias supported by Iran) indirectly, through Pakistan. I can't remember the specifics, but I do remember it was somehow related to ensuring the security of an important pipe line which was to be build somewhere in this region. If someone remember some more specifics elements or can point me to some link, I would be interested.

clairobscur
09-12-2001, 08:51 PM
Originally posted by Whack-a-Mole
It would seem to me that Afghanistan is a singularly unstable place. It is certainly understandable to me now why they won't give bin Laden up. They can't...they simply don't have the control to do so. However, some of these groups seem a bit mercenary so some money here, some weapons there and *FOOM*, Afghanistan descends into turmoil. Not a very good place to conduct terrorism operations when you have to constantly defend yourself from neighboring warlords.
. [/B]


On the other hand, my understanding was that Bin Laden was very close to the Taliban leader. If it's actually the case, I suppose it would be quite easy to find him.

However, my understanding is that there are a struggle for power amongst the talibans, between two factions. The first one want to establish a muslim regime in Afghanistan and their main goal is to insure their control of the country, while the other one is "internationalist" and want Afhganistan to become the head of the islamic movement accross the whole muslim world.

It seems to me that the latter is supported by a number of foreign volunteer fighters who came in Afghanistan to help the taliban fighting their war, and who benefit from a lot of support and funding from Saudi Arabia and the UAE in particular (I don't mean by the *governements* of these countries, though I don't know for sure, either).

Muffin
09-12-2001, 11:24 PM
Taking out bin Laden would not be enough. His organization, as diffuse as it is, needs to be taken out as well. That will require time for intelligence gathering and action against it. Whatever immediate retaliation the USA takes, I expect that the world is in for a sea change in how the USA deals with terrorism in the long term -- probably a much more proactive and covert approach.

Zenster
09-12-2001, 11:40 PM
No nuclear weapons ahould be used. That will invite nuclear terrorism. Past that, a steady campaign of bombing will do the trick. We could even be nice and limit civilian deaths by allowing them to evacuate their cities before we reduce them to rubble.

If their cities are their only infrastructure, take them out. Make the Afghani people suffer for their complicity in such an atrocity. If another attempt is made, repeat the same policy until there is no longer a need to.

ITR champion
09-13-2001, 01:09 AM
How have Bush Incorporated and America treated the Taliban in the last year? Have a look.
http://www.robertscheer.com/1_natcolumn/01_columns/052201.htm
We supported the Taliban with money directly. Officially it was "aid", but most of the money didn't go to people in need.

Originally posted by Zenster
Past that, a steady campaign of bombing will do the trick. We could even be nice and limit civilian deaths by allowing them to evacuate their cities before we reduce them to rubble.
Afghanistan does not have the resources to evacuate cities. And the Taliban would not care about limiting civilian deaths.

If their cities are their only infrastructure, take them out.
They have no infrastructure, as discussed above. And the people of Afghanistan are starving to death. And the country is mostly rural anyway.

Make the Afghani people suffer for their complicity in such an atrocity. If another attempt is made, repeat the same policy until there is no longer a need to.
The Afghani people have not been complicit in any atrocity. The Afghani people are starving, have no medical supplies, and are cowering in fear of being massacred by the Taliban. Still, I doubt that any amount of facts would matter to you members of the "bomb first, think later" school of thought.

Lightkeeper
09-13-2001, 01:23 AM
Originally posted by mswas
Actually Arab countries don't like the Taliban much either from what I can tell.
Erek [/B]

The Taliban are a sorry case. They are hated all over the Arab and Muslim world. Iran actually expressed readiness to "combat terrorism" in Afghanistan; it sees the Taliban as a threat that should be neutralized. The Taliban leaders seems to be hate figures among the Iranis.

Their only sympathizers seem to be the Pakistanis, and this is more because of geographical and cultural proximity than because of political affiliation.

IMHO, the most likely scenario is an invasion of Afghanistan over the Russian border (across CIS states, of course). It's the chance for the Russians to exact revenge for their earlier defeat.

But be warned - Afghanistan has been said to be one of two countries in the world that CANNOT be occupied because of its arid mountainous terrain (the other one is Yemen). The British were defeated there before the Russians. It won't be easy, and it won't be quick.

Abe
09-13-2001, 06:27 AM
I am shocked at Vinnie Virginslayer's reply. I can understand grief and shock cloud one's judgement, but how can you justify the nonsense below??

Originally posted by Vinnie Virginslayer
Tell the Taliban they have 72 hours to produce Mr. Bin laden, dead or alive, or meet Mr. Nukie!

These are desperate times, they call for strong action.

The Taleban is a terrorist organization that has taken over most of Afghanistan by force. The people of Afghanistan are not the enemy here--god knows they have endured enough war so far. Your suggestion to nuke Afghanistan is idiocy for reasons that are too evident to discuss. The US, certainly NATO may have learned a lesson from bombing Serbia.

We lost innocents too. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

Perhaps you haven't heard the famous reference quoted by various Moslems these past couple days, that killing innocents is just plain wrong? It's wrong no matter what religion you are.

As seen by yesterdays events, America is already quite villified.

It is foolish to take the actions of a few men and make them representative of large groups of people, entire nations, ethnic groups, or religions. Particularly when you know nothing yet about who is behind this. Most nations and most relevant organizations have expressed sorrow and condolences about the atacks. From what I have seen on the media, there has been a global show of support for the US following these atrocities, quite the opposite from vilification.

We would still have plenty of friends. We didn't lose much international ground when we nuked those Japanese.

The Japanese were a known, organized, and relentless enemy nation that was at war with the US and several other nations. That's why it was called a World War, and that's why it warranted two nuclear strikes. Not to say they were morally right.

Simple: just bomb the shit out of any third world country building nukes. Race over.

No, if anything that would mean America over, if not by military means, by economic ones. But this is as stupid a suggestion as I have heard yet in a couple of days of very stupid suggestions, and I doubt it is serious!

and undo the "security" of decades of nuclear detente.

I don't feel too secure now.

That is the nature of terror. You don't know where it will strike from. You don't even know who is responsible. Terrorism is a problem that often cannot be equated to a specific country or target, at least not until you identify exactly who was responsible. The security of decades of arms control has nothing to do with cowards who lurk in shadows. We're trying to move forward here, not undo all the work that has been done so far.

("Hey, those Americans are crazy enough to actually use nukes again...we better back off in our relations and prepare for the worst.")

If we are crazy enough to do this, countries like China and Iraq would think twice before ever fucking with us.

What a strange and simplistic worldview you express. I hope this is your anger talking. It is sad to say this, but the terrorist attacks were probably targeted at such might makes right attitudes as you have expressed. That doesn't justify the terror, any more than your comments are justified.

These are difficult times, and the world is not going to get by on ignorance. As Ehud Barak said, this is a time to unite against terrorism. it is not a time to slander ethnic or religious groups that are considered controversial.

Andy
09-13-2001, 07:29 AM
Originally posted by Zenster
Make the Afghani people suffer for their complicity in such an atrocity.

I'm still shaking my head in disbelief at this.
Absolutely unbelievable.

Lance Turbo
09-13-2001, 08:18 AM
Originally posted by spoke-
Say, how about some pressure on our ally Saudi Arabia to freeze the bastard's assets? (Not as an only step, but as one of many actions to be taken.) Can we sue the guy under Saudi law, I wonder? Freezing his assets might make it more difficult for him to operate, at least.

From here (http://www.cnn.com/2001/US/09/12/binladen.profile/index.html):

In 1994, the Saudi government stripped him of his citizenship and froze his assets in the country.