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NY Times: Taliban Plead for Mercy to the Miserable in a Land of Nothing
September 13, 2001 7:55 AM   Subscribe

NY Times: Taliban Plead for Mercy to the Miserable in a Land of Nothing Perhaps they should have thought of this when they sheltered so many "un-Islamic" murderers such as bin Laden. The perpetrators, co-conspirators, and accomplices of this massacre will receive no quarter from the U.S. whether they are Afghani, Iraqi, Saudi, or even American.
posted by lenticular (54 comments total)

 
The article illustrated only support for the complete obliteration of the Taliban. I was pissed beyond recognition when the blew up the statues, and the hospitality they show a murderer is irreprehensible. Fuck them. Maybe if we take out the Taliban, we can do something towards getting some leaders with two IQ points to manage the country. The Taliban has not only the blood of everyone bin Ladan murders on their hands (feet, at least...), but the misery of their people is due in large part, no doubt, to their ridiculous bans on Xians, markings of Hindus, stone age laws, and contempt for everything human. Beg all you want. I don't support the mass murder of citizens at all, but to take out the Taliban would gain the appreciation of more than a few people around the world.
posted by adampsyche at 8:26 AM on September 13, 2001


First you better try to get a leader with two IQ points. Then you'll have enough experience to do the job elsewhere.
posted by acrobat at 8:29 AM on September 13, 2001


Let us not forget that the actual perpertrators of this act were 'harboured' by the usa .
They must have been in the country prior to the attack, as all the planes used were on internal flights.

adampsyche Would you bomb boston, in case there's anyone there who knew them or maybe is related?
posted by asok at 8:50 AM on September 13, 2001


Idiot. Simply being in a country doesn't mean that country has harbored them. If they are under the explicit protection of that government (i.e., when we find the guys who did this, and the country they're in refuses to hand them over), *that's* harboring.
posted by darukaru at 8:55 AM on September 13, 2001


And as an attempt to head off more of your drivel: And if the perpetrators are in the US, they will receive no mercy from law enforcement. If that's the case, and they are hiding somewhere within our country, I hope that the law gets to them first, actually--at least the FBI will treat them humanely. The citizens of the USA, right now, would just lynch them. The end.
posted by darukaru at 8:59 AM on September 13, 2001


I hope that the law gets to them first, actually--at least the FBI will treat them humanely.

You are actually concerned about the humane treatment of these motherfuckers? Where's your heart at man?
posted by glenwood at 9:04 AM on September 13, 2001


Don't you all see whats happenning? If we start killing indiscrimnately this will just continue ad nauseum. I am sick by the racist, jingoistic, ignorant statements and acts that are produced by this act. If we fail to act sensibly, and humanely, in response to these acts then the hijackers have succeeded in destroying our supposedly just society. Although the first impulse of many is bloodlust (as it was for me) this cycle will not end unless we stand by the principles that supposedly embody the US, namely, equal rights and protection under the law. No matter how dispicable the perpetrators of this act are. That includes a fair, legal trial for everyone including Bin Laden, if at all possible.
posted by wsfinkel at 9:11 AM on September 13, 2001


No one deserves to be ripped to pieces. Punished, even executed? Yes. But lynched? No.
posted by darukaru at 9:13 AM on September 13, 2001


The Taliban has not only harbored Bin Laden - they appointed him commander-in-chief of their armed forces.

If this act is indeed tied back to Bin Laden - I don't see how the US could or would even want to separate where Bin Laden is acting on his own, or as an agent of the Taliban.
posted by schlyer at 9:13 AM on September 13, 2001


First you better try to get a leader with two IQ points. Then you'll have enough experience to do the job elsewhere.

I'm not going to get into a "yes he is! ...no he's not!" about the intelligence of our current president. I would, rather, like to raise the point that regardless of reservations about Dubya's grey matter his staff seems custom made for this type of situation.
posted by srw12 at 9:13 AM on September 13, 2001


adampsyche Would you bomb boston, in case there's anyone there who knew them or maybe is related?

ah, taking my points on a slippery slope. how very intellectual of you, considering you found it so necessary to join this board after the attack. nonetheless, osama bin fucker is under the protection of the taliban, and has been in their custody.

First you better try to get a leader with two IQ points. Then you'll have enough experience to do the job elsewhere.

you know, i dislike bush as much as the next guy, but it is time to rally behind him. fuck partisanship. i think we have enough experience to do what needs to be done hello, colin powell? get a clue.

why so many members since sept 12? couldnt find another board to host your shit?
posted by adampsyche at 9:15 AM on September 13, 2001


Adam...do not allow yourself to be trolled, my man. Stay focused and on-issue.
posted by glenwood at 9:24 AM on September 13, 2001


adampsyche, if you don't like people's points, argue against their points. Attacking them for being a newbie is ad hominem and convinces nobody.

Besides, you've been here for less than two months. Do you think you own the place?
posted by anapestic at 9:30 AM on September 13, 2001


Tsk Tsk....

Walk for a mile in a man's shoes, and you'll be a mile away, with his shoes.
posted by trioperative at 9:34 AM on September 13, 2001


The US has given as much support to bin Laden as, if not more than, the Taliban. We used Afghanistan as a pawn in our plan to drain financial and military resources from the USSR in the eighties. Attacking Afghanistan now would cement the US's position in the world as arrogant, lying, cheating assholes.
posted by droob at 9:35 AM on September 13, 2001


adampsyche,i joined after 12th as that is when i discovered metafilter.
i think wsfinkle put it as well as anyone might.

i am not qualified as a shock counsellor, but that's what you guys are using this service as.
you have a right to be angry.
you have a right to be upset.
you have a right to cry.
you have a right to seek an answer.
you have a right to the truth.

you do not have the right to spread more despair about the world.
posted by asok at 9:38 AM on September 13, 2001


The US has given as much support to bin Laden as, if not more than, the Taliban.

Irrelevant now.
posted by glenwood at 9:43 AM on September 13, 2001


Good link, schlyer. I didn't know that.

Bush's capacities (or lack of) is as irreleveant to this crisis as it was to his election. He is a figurehead. Thinking is not even in his job description.

The real government - that does not change every four years - is a pretty competent bunch. Not perfect but as good or better than anybody else. They know even more about this situation than the combined knowledge of the internet and CNN! They will come up with a decent plan and Bush will be trotted out to sell it to us.
posted by username at 9:43 AM on September 13, 2001


glenwood: irrelevant how?
posted by droob at 9:45 AM on September 13, 2001


glenwood: irrelevant how?

Because the shitstorm brewing over Greater Arabia is likely out of any person's ability to stop. This is going to be a tragedy for Arabs far, far beyond the damage to America, and I personally doubt that, at this point, anything can prevent it.

That's the reason for the petrified look on Arafat's face yesterday.
posted by UncleFes at 9:52 AM on September 13, 2001


The US didn't appoint him as the leader of their military after he was known to be an international terrorist and murderer with a stated desire to destroy another nation -- our nation -- wholesale because he disagrees with our international policy. The US did not give him a platform from which to carry out illegal, immoral covert acts of outrageous destruction and violence against unaware and uninvolved civilians.

Anything we have done in the past is in the past. What the Taliban has done makes them complicit in the present. They should be called to account for the continued and inexplicable ties to this despicable man. They have given him the legitimacy of a role in their government and if he is, as suspected, the mastermind of Tuesday's activities, then those activities were given the imprimatur of approval of the Taliban government because he is also their agent. The Taliban is therefore also accountable and should have to face the consequences of aligning themselves with bin Laden and giving him a platform from which his misdeeds have been carried out.

This does put the onus of state sponsorship behind his actions. This does make this a matter of war. This does justify the government of the United States declaring the government of Afghanistan as our enemy and proceeding from that standpoint.
posted by Dreama at 9:53 AM on September 13, 2001


droob:

(preface: actual perpetrators of this crime are still essentially unknown. I write the following under the hypothetical assumption that Afghanistan has been sheltering and supporting someone who oversaw the events of Tuesday)

It doesn't matter if we funded bin Laden in the past. If your child grows up to be a mass murderer, does the fact that you supported them at one point have any bearing on how you should react to them now? Does it make their mass murderings necessarily your fault?

It's interesting, it's history, it's a part of how things came to be. But it doesn't REALLY matter. We can't base our reaction to this attack on whether or not our enemy thinks us more or less 'arrogant'. If bin Laden (and, indirectly, a country harboring him) has just murdered 20,000 innocent American civilians in cold blood, then history is shit. It's time to put a stop to it, arrogant or not.
posted by glenwood at 9:54 AM on September 13, 2001


The Taliban is not equal to Afghanistan people. They are a group in government, and probably a politic majority. But there are men, women and children in Afghanistan that has absolutely nothing to do with this. They didn't supported Bin Laden. Hell! Many of them probably don't even support the Taliban government at all. Do they deserve to die? Just as much as the people on the WTC. Justice can't be measured in body count. You can't kill 100 inocent people for every inocent American who died tragically yesterday.
posted by papalotl at 9:56 AM on September 13, 2001


I'm sure everybody has noticed the glaring lack of commercials during the network news coverage, but I just realized that nytimes.com didn't ask me to register to read the article.
posted by ksmith at 9:58 AM on September 13, 2001


In other words, we have no accountability, and can afford to be hypocrites, because we're huge?
posted by droob at 9:59 AM on September 13, 2001


You can't kill 100 inocent people for every inocent American who died tragically yesterday.

papalotl, I would love to inhabit Candy Land too. Unfortunately, war is war. It sucks, it's evil, I want nothing to do with it. However, any country that gets attacked at this point, in retaliation for the events of Tuesday, brought it upon themselves.
And the blood of the innocent is on THEIR HANDS. Not ours.

That's the cold truth of the matter. If the US started randomly lobbing nuclear warheads at China, and China returned in kind, then our deaths would be at the hands of our own Government.
posted by glenwood at 10:00 AM on September 13, 2001


You're right, all Afghanis are not a part of the Taliban government. All Germans did not support the Nazis. All Japanese did not support their government. Not all whites in South Africa believed in Apartheid. Not all Americans support GWB. Not all Iraqis support Saddam. Those who had been opposed to Milosevic probably outnumbered his supporters by more than 2 to 1.

Unfortunately, civilians often bear the consequences for their leaders/dictators. It isn't fair, but it is the way things go. The only option is to not engage the governments in conflict and when they strike first, then that option is no longer valid.

What should we do? Walk away because we don't want to be on the hook for possible Afghani civilian deaths? If the goal is preserving the life of the Afghanis, then the primary responsibility toward fulfilling that goal is on their own government, which must then act in such a manner as to not involve itself in actions which would invite military retribution which would endanger those civilians.
posted by Dreama at 10:02 AM on September 13, 2001


you do not have the right to spread more despair about the world.

Well, I'd say that adampsyche has a right to say whatever in the hell he likes. This is MeFi after all.

You (and I) have the same right. That is, assuming that you are not in Afghanistan, in which case your dispair apparantly must meet certain criteria unless you want to be executed.
posted by estopped at 10:07 AM on September 13, 2001


Just because there have many stupid civilian deaths and many wars in the past doesn't mean there's no alternative. No, we shouldn't walk away, but we should find a just andeffective form of retaliation, instead of needlessly taking more civlian life.
posted by droob at 10:08 AM on September 13, 2001


glenwood. Unfortunately I don't live in CandyLand. I live in Central America, where we had a war that lasted forever. We can tell you how it is to have a war in your territory (not like the US who have fought all the recent wars conveniently outside their borders). I can't blame you or other American people of financing a dictatorship in my country, I can only blame the US government at that time. Do I want to blow the US up? no. I understand that events are not in hands of people like you or your family or your friends. I would never want them hurt. That is somethign that these terrorist that attacked your country didn't understand. please try to do it yourself.
posted by papalotl at 10:09 AM on September 13, 2001


Dreama:

Anything we have done in the past is in the past.

Glenwood:

It doesn't matter if we funded bin Laden in the past. If your child grows up to be a mass murderer, does the fact that you supported them at one point have any bearing on how you should react to them now? Does it make their mass murderings necessarily your fault?

Excuse me, but that's an awfully convenient way to look at it, don't you think? I'm all for bringing responsible parties to justice, but that doesn't mean we should just ignore what we may have done to help create this situation. And if we did something fifteen years ago that is biting us now, it's not irrelevant simply because it happened fifteen years ago.

The child metaphor is deeply flawed. If you trained your child to be a murderer, then, yes, you'd be responsible. It's not as though we provided humanitarian aid to the rebels in Afghanistan, we trained them to do military harm.

Again, we do have to hold responsible those who committed the acts and the governments who are now supporting them. But if we pretend that we're completely guiltless, then what's to stop us from breeding another generation of terrorists who may turn on us?
posted by anapestic at 10:12 AM on September 13, 2001


And the blood of the innocent is on THEIR HANDS. Not ours.

currently.

there is no justification for killing innocent people in an office building in America.

there is no justification for killing innocent people in another country.

there is no justification for killing innocent people.

(this, of course, is my opinion, not a statement or declaration of fact.)
posted by carsonb at 10:12 AM on September 13, 2001


No, we shouldn't walk away, but we should find a just andeffective form of retaliation, instead of needlessly taking more civlian life.

Ever so many people are saying this or very similar things, today, and I'm still waiting for a viable alternative to be proposed. Many are willing to defend some form of a "just" solution, but if you have such as that that would also fit the criteria of "effective" than I would like to hear it.
posted by Wulfgar! at 10:15 AM on September 13, 2001


The Russians fought Afghanistan and lost. Go on in there if you think you're hard enough but you really, really should try to learn from the mistakes of the past. Just because they're small and poor, doesn't mean they're a push over. And you'd probably pull in Pakistan and Iraq as well. How much more misery do you want to create? This is stupidity of the highest order. I hope to god we don't get involved.
posted by Summer at 10:17 AM on September 13, 2001


Wulfgar!:
International courts. International cooperation to dismantle terrorist networks (by means of infiltration, counter-networking, intelligence, and a cultural dialogue). Not an easy proposition, but a more just and long-lasting one.
posted by droob at 10:29 AM on September 13, 2001


i would have put this on the main page, since it's slightly off topic, but i'm a brand-new user (who's been reading MeFi for about a year).

did you know that the Bush administration gave the Taliban $43 million back in May, making the U.S. the main (financial) supporter of their horrific policies and tactics?

it's a fantastic example of how f'ed up our foreign policy is. i know that politics makes strange bedfellows, but this is ridiculous.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:32 AM on September 13, 2001


Maybe I'm wrong, but Afgans aren't Arabs, are they? Are they not Central Asians? It gets very confusing trying to lump people into groups.
posted by eric anders at 10:34 AM on September 13, 2001


This is not about metaphors, justice, retaliation, humanity, culture, justification, values, right or wrong.

We just need to do whatever it takes to make it stop. That is the only logic that applies.
posted by username at 10:40 AM on September 13, 2001


adampsyche, if you don't like people's points, argue against their points. Attacking them for being a newbie is ad hominem and convinces nobody.

sorry for the newbie attack. wasn't trying to discredit anyone because they are new, but there certainly are those who took the events as an opportunity to spread thier stuff. whatever.

Besides, you've been here for less than two months. Do you think you own the place?

no i don't. i have read for a while, and joined when i was able, because there was a moratorium on membership. no i dont think i own nothing, and you are right, you can say whatever you want, and they can as well.

i am still waiting to hear from my grandparents. maybe i am a little nervous about that. they lived at 90 gold street, hit up mapquest to get an idea of where that is.
posted by adampsyche at 10:41 AM on September 13, 2001


Adam...do not allow yourself to be trolled, my man. Stay focused and on-issue.

well put and heeded. my apologies.
posted by adampsyche at 10:43 AM on September 13, 2001


droob - Thank you. I also want to see these measures and am extremely glad that International cooperation and concensus are being discussed in Washington. But I, for one, am very tired of the voices wailing 'we must think of the children' without ever proposing an alternative to the force they so stridently fear.
posted by Wulfgar! at 10:45 AM on September 13, 2001


Summer -
Pakistan (which, by the way, is one of only three nations on the planet that recognizes the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan) is already falling all over itself offering cooperation with the United States.

And Iraq? The nation that was going to defeat the U.S. in the mother of all battles, the fourth-largest military force in the world at the time, which folded after less than 100 hours? Christ, Iraqi soldiers were surrendering to *journalists*. The only reason their government remains standing is because the U.N. mandate was to liberate Kuwait, not to remove Hussein from power.

I guess I am just all that worried about them being sucked into this.
posted by Lokheed at 10:50 AM on September 13, 2001


did you know that the Bush administration gave the Taliban $43 million back in May, making the U.S. the main (financial) supporter of their horrific policies and tactics?

via Ethel:

Powell said the U.S. aid is administered by the United Nations and non-governmental organizations, and bypasses the Taliban, "who have done little to alleviate the suffering of the Afghan people, and indeed have done much to exacerbate it."
posted by holgate at 10:59 AM on September 13, 2001


Tom Clancy got it right here. You don't declare war on the nation-state or civillians who happen to live near the terrorists. You isolate and find the terrorists -- and the individual government leaders who granted them a safe harbor -- AND THEN YOU KILL THEM WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE.

It's not easy. But nothing worthwhile ever is.
posted by darren at 11:11 AM on September 13, 2001


Darren--I think that is what I had in mind. I do not think that just randomly killing all the Afghanis or anyone is cool. I think my remarks may have been taken that way. Oh well. I don't think this is going to be a cakewalk, but something of substance has to be done, not a puny strike to take out a camp or two.

Like username said:

We just need to do whatever it takes to make it stop. That is the only logic that applies.

That is going to be a lot more involved than anyone wants.
posted by adampsyche at 11:19 AM on September 13, 2001


A few thoughts on the Taliban...

In a Glamour article that came out before last year's election, GW didn't know who or what the Taliban are. He thought the Taliban was a rock group. Hardly.

They've been around for a while, and only recently have the U.S. media made a big deal about their presence. Grassroots groups like RAWA (Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan) have been trying to raise awareness of the Taliban for years, but it's hard to do that when television and internet are banned.

If nothing else, I would hope that the newfound American hyperawareness of the Taliban will lead us to wanting to end their horrible human rights record. Even if Tuesday's tragedy were masterminded by bin Laden, I wouldn't want us to kill innocent Afghanis. The problem with Afghanistan lies mostly with its leadership, not its citizenry; the Taliban are not revered by most of its female citizens.
posted by acornface at 11:21 AM on September 13, 2001


I really don't understand people. Everyone is talking about this or that. Everyone says should've this and should've that. Everyone comments on the speech of the President. Everyone is right in their own minds. Fuck that. Why can't people learn how to be silent and listen. Get off your high horses. Get off your fucking computers where you spout of meaningless fucking tripe. Get off your notions that you know everything that should be done. Get off this idea of complaining about restrictions on civil liberties, because our civil liberties are still secured and numerous. If some must be restricted to SAVE LIVES then I am all for it. Stop complaining already about longer delays at airports. My God, we have allowed evil into our world in exchange for an easy life, and we want that to continue? Self-centeredness is rampant. Let go of all this nonsense and listen for once. Don't be a cynical liberal asshole bashing Bush's speech. Don't be an opportunistic conservative slamming Clinton for cutting back on intelligence. Be a respectful and cooperative human being willing to do what needs to be done and support what needs to be supported. You are nothing but worthless if all you do is talk. In short, SHUT THE FUCK UP. I will do so now.
posted by announcer at 11:27 AM on September 13, 2001


Hey, announcer, this is a discussion forum. Perhaps you missed that detail. If we all shut up, then there's no here here.

Also, you have no idea what any of us is doing when we're not discussing these issues here. If you want us to be "respectful and cooperative human being[s]" then you might try following the same advice.
posted by anapestic at 11:34 AM on September 13, 2001


Much of the support for this "bomb-them-back-to-the-stone-age" class of thinking seems to be underpinned by Andrew Sullivan's assumption that the absence of a serious deadly response will only convince them to continue to foster the evil in their midst. Presumably those supporters therefore assume that the inverse follows: the presence of a serious deadly response will only convince them to cease to foster the evil in their midst.

Does this strike anyone else as, well...naive?
posted by RichLyon at 11:38 AM on September 13, 2001


Announcer seems to think that posting exactly the same thing on different threads will contribute to the discussion.
posted by adampsyche at 11:38 AM on September 13, 2001


I won't repeat all my points here as I have already posted them. The short form is simple.

If you are a country that is harboring this scum, you will be bringing it on your own heads.
posted by soulhuntre at 11:47 AM on September 13, 2001


if you are a country that is harbouring this scum ... or a Swiss Ambassador (quote: "Cruise missiles and smart bombs or selective incursions work just fine for this") or a civilian airliner (quote: "Aircraft carriers and strategic bombing is a fine tool to suppress any military action"). "For the most part", concludes soulhuntre, "this escalating response scale will hurt only those we need to hurt to stay safe."
posted by RichLyon at 12:11 PM on September 13, 2001


'The only thing that history teaches us is that history doesn't teach us anything.'
posted by normy at 1:58 PM on September 13, 2001


Amongst the lefty me-fi'ers there appear to be two options:

1) Practice restraint, and offer no resistance to the terrorists who will undoubtedly strike again, and again.

2) Take revenge and be hit by retalitory actions from the terrorists again, and again.

Either way, the terrorists will strike at us again. I choose option two, and I will continue to do so until a sizable portion of the current and potential terrorist pool is wiped out.
posted by lenticular at 10:30 PM on September 13, 2001


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