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Reply to Ansary - page 2 of 5

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"Bin Laden is a political criminal with a plan."

Indeed yes.

"When you think Taliban, think Nazis.  When you think Bin Laden, think Hitler."

I couldn't disagree more.  The use of false analogies results in misdirection.  Bin Laden has shown himself to be a shrewd, intelligent, calculating and resourceful opponent.  He is wealthy, and has wealthy and powerful contacts throughout the Moslem world and beyond.  He heads a terrorist organization which is loosely allied with others -- not a nation state.  Nor does he appear to have any aspirations of empire.

"And when you think 'the people of Afghanistan' think 'the Jews in the concentration camps.'"

Good heavens.  I don't recall seeing European Jews dancing in the streets when innocent Germans were killed.  I do recall seeing more than a few Afghans (among others) asking for holy war, burning American flags, and saying that America got what it deserved.

But "more than a few" must NOT be equated with "all".  Sadly, too many Americans make the same unthinking mistake made by Mr. Ansary when they rush to equate "more than few" with "all".

"It's not only that the Afghan people had nothing to do with this atrocity."

Bin Laden's Afghan "soldiers" and harborers do not include Afghans?

"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 rat's nest of international thugs holed up in their country."

They would?  Then who has been fighting and defeating the Northern Afghan resistance?  Who ENFORCES the will of the Taliban?  Afghans.  The author is making the same mistake for which he has criticizes others:  he is over-generalizing.  And by so doing he is misleading and obscuring, not informing.

Are there Afghans who oppose the Taliban and bin Laden?  Clearly.  Are there large numbers of Afghans who support them?  Just as clearly, yes.  Pretending otherwise obfuscates rather than illuminates.  And that can have grave consequences.

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