(continued from previous page)
"Some say, why don't the Afghans rise up and overthrow
the Taliban? The answer is, they're starved, exhausted, hurt,
Why have they not joined the
Northern Afghan resistance? Mr. Ansary is closing his eyes to the
fact that there are large numbers of Afghans who support the Taliban; who
support bin Laden; and who hate America. Ignoring that fact does the
author no credit.
One could have wished that he would have discussed the tribal nature of much
of Afghanistan instead of presenting us with this distorted picture.
A TRUE understanding of Afghan society, of its fragmentation, of a
considerable anti-Americanism and the reasons for it, would have served him
better than his misguided attempt to minimize the influence of those whom he
"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
Were millions of Cambodians
slaughtered in the killing fields following the fall of the Cambodian
government and the rise of Pol Pot? Yes. Was there an
effective resistance? No, not for some time. Did the Kamerouge
have large numbers of Cambodian supporters? Yes. Just as did
Mao's heinous Cultural Revolution. Do large numbers of Afghans oppose
the Taliban? Probably. However, the author prefers to ignore
the fact that, just as in Cambodia and China, in Afghanistan there are also
large numbers of Afghans who support the Taliban.
I'll say it again: Mir Tamim Ansary would have served himself and his
audience better by presenting a realistic picture of Afghanistan instead of
attempting to belittle the influence of the enemy. Self-imposed
blindness, for whatever reason, is a sure prescription for defeat.
"We come now to the question of bombing Afghanistan back
to the Stone Age."
I for one hope that is NOT
even a consideration.
"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."
Who would hide them?
Afghans? Of course. Were we to take the picture he presents
seriously, we'd have to wonder why these few were not the assassinated rather
than the assassins?