In This Edition: An Uncalled-For War - POEM: "News", The "story" as of 12.10.01
An Uncalled-For War
To The Editor
As the war against Taliban produces more casualties of blunt population than the terrorists or their militant harbourers, more and more people are feeling concerned about the growing danger the world peace may face in the future.
Apparently, the world's solitary superpower with all its sophisticated weapons and highly-trained troops looks good enough to crush the world's poorest country but what difference this whole exercise would make if seen in the context of human-killing. Destroying life in New York and Washington or killing people in the mountains of Kandahar and Kabul makes no difference.
Most of the 25 million population of Afghanistan is reportedly running these days towards the country's borders for safety but crossovers have been prohibited by the neighbouring states on the plea of preventing massive influx of refugees.
Four years of drought and famine in Afghanistan have already killed thousands of people there and the arrival of winter will mercilessly trap in disease and death millions of others who are becoming shelterless and clothless under the huge devastation of war.
Life in the east and west has the same meaning. Whether it is destroyed during an apparent madness of hatred at New York or in an extra-judicial pursuit for those madmen or their harbourers at Kabul, it would dress up the same meaning.
Sanity is still working hard to help people worldwide recover from the shock and anger of September 11. Now the same tragedy is being repeated in the foothills and pastures of Afghanistan, though almost with similar retaliatory objective in mind but with different style.
I don't think that sensible Americans, though still suffering from immense grief and anger after September 11, would let their administrators to continue slaughtering a large number of innocent Afghans. The dead bodies of Americans and Afghans will be equally mourned in the hearts of silent majority of the world.
World has already suffered a lot but the people are still being forced to accept more dead bodies of humans, torn-out, scattered without shrouds, stinking and lying in the open to feed the dogs and Central Asian vultures.
As for Taliban, the Americans need to understand them accurately in what they seem to look for. Taliban are never more than a congeries of power-stickers whose survival lies in exploiting the young Afghan generation to wage war against their compatriot enemies in the name of their own version of religion.
They are, in fact, the turncoat fundamentalists who would take their own roots to the millions of 1980s' bereaved children of Afghanistan. Majority of them were raised in the poorest families during '70s who later saw their relatives either dead or handicapped during the long war against Afghanistan's occupation by the former Soviet Union. They call themselves as true Islamists but, to the majority of Muslims, they never seem to uphold the spirit of Islam. Except for some small factional religious groups in the neighbouring states, almost all Muslims in the adjacent Islam-dominant South and Central Asia hate them.
Taliban have killed thousands of Muslim compatriots in their war for power and this abominable offence continues even today as they struggle to sustain their rule.
If explored deeply into the pre-war arena of Afghanistan, Taliban would be found intrinsically more loyal to the United States than even to their own land. Since their rise to power in 1996, they have been relying on the American weapons or illegally copied ordnance to inflict retreat on their compatriot rivals. They have enjoyed a prolonged understanding with the US intelligence agencies during war against Moscow. Taliban's work under the active supervision of the United States culminated in successfully ending the dominance of Soviet Communism. Being a generation of economic deprivation, most of the Taliban would prefer to work for petty jobs at Manhattan in New York than posing before mediamen exhibiting guns and raising slogans like "Down with America."
Inspite of all the offences and evils that the dull-minded Taliban continue to reflect to the world, the ongoing US onslaught against them will not serve the interests of the Americans in the area. The sort of punishment they are being put under these days will instigate severe hatred among them. The American act will further destabilise the already down-trodden Afghanistan, promote more fights among warring groups there, enhance poverty and nurture undue retaliatory emotions against the United States.
A close analysis of the Taliban would suggest that their psyche is not conducive to producing staunch haters of America from their land. The kind of hatred in some betrayed people against the United States as witnessed by the world through the September 11 suicide plane attacks is practically unnatural to the area in which Taliban live. This horrific act is appeared to have been planned and performed without a tincture of Taliban's involvement.
The worst crime that Taliban commit on their land is that they harbour Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda followers. I think Taliban have clearly been deceived on the activities of bin Laden and for which they may agree to issue an unequivocal repentance to the international community along with meeting all other demands in this respect but such a work, which otherwise could have been made possible through brisk diplomatic efforts, has already been toughened after the US attacks. .
The world would have to accommodate the comparatively less-intellectual approach of the Taliban in handling the prevailing situation. Even after suffering heavy loss of life and property, they are still unable to understand the gravity of the problem. Living under an isolated air for a long time has seriously dwindled the sagacity of this ruling community of Afghanistan.
It is a great time when Americans enjoy unprecedented political and moral support of the whole world. The reportedly massive devastation in Afghanistan may melt some of this support for human reason. Is it not possible to catch the culprits without disturbing the majority of ignorant Afghans? I think it is--drones, gnats, Lynx, sound radar, spy satellite, CIA and its subsidiaries around the world can lend sufficient support to achieve this objective. Washington can successfully pursue the goal utilising all available resources of American friends and allies worldwide.
A reprisal against the largely innocent community of a terrorist also falls in the ambit of terrorism. Terrorism is no smaller a crime than the holocaust, as both these offences have the same denominator, that is, the hatred against humanity.
The United States intelligence services should escalate efforts to seek expulsion of bin Laden using all channels of wisdom in consultation with the friendly states and articulate confused Taliban to meet the demands of the international community. Probably, Taliban could have wished to fulfil the demands of the United States, but egotism hits them badly. If the case may be so, then the United States is waging an altogether uncalled-for war.
Taimoor I Mian
The "story" as of 12.10.01
Two skyscrapers and bits of pentagon were "taken out,"
A few odd Yanks were killed beside, what's all the row about?
Utterly disproportionate, perhaps we should investigate
The usual stories and lies they tend to propagate.
Bin Laden blamed, cursed, and defamed, where is the evidence?
If I were he , I'd feel inclined - react with violence.
Is it not odd, some days ago, the Yanks depicted him
A scoundrel, with a hangdog look -a fearsome man and grim?
They think, do you, that CIA knew that violence was planned?
And heroes trained to fly those planes took off in U. S. land?
But then, of course, without remorse, Americans are free
To murder those in Panama, Grenada, Nicaragua, Chile,
In Mexico, Columbia, Afghanistan, and many more no doubt.
For ten years they have bombed Iraq whose army suffered rout.
They take tribute from all the world - int'rest on odious debt:
They put in their dictators where democrats ruled, and yet,
Their President's election was a swindle from the start,
You would not blame the average man for giving up - lost heart.
Arnold Thornicroft, firstname.lastname@example.org