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Author Topic: UN insider tells US plans
uh clem
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1078

posted 17 September 2001 08:26 PM      Profile for uh clem   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
an email forwarded to me...and of general interest to this group. God, (literally, and devoutly) I hope the statement attributed to the US reps in this aren't accurate.
____________________
-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Possmayer
Sent: Sunday, September 16, 2001 9:41 AM
Subject:


My dear friends

Thanks to everyone who sent messages of concern over the past
days.

I'm safe. I'm in Islamabad, Pakistan. And I'm miserable.

I was part of the initial airlift from Afghanistan, less than 24
hours after the attacks in America. When I left, I bade my
Afghan colleagues a 'See you later' thinking that I'd be back at
work in a fortnight, or a month on the outside. Back in
Islamabad, it's become apparent that we won't be returning to
Afghanistan for quite a while, and maybe a very long time. I
have left clothes, books, photos and countless momentos behind
in Afghanistan. I was evacuated from the city of Herat in
western Afghanistan, but some of my most important personal
items are in Kandahar in the south of the country, including my
little 'Michael Pillow' that my Mom made for me when I was three years old.

But most of the items left behind are replaceable. What can
never be replaced are my Afghan friends and colleagues. They
have been left behind and can't flee the pending mayhem so
easily. There's Popal in Kandahar, a warm and open-minded man who has an acute intellect and a fun, lively, happy personality. Siddiqi in Herat has a ridiculous sense of humour, but
sometimes - in private - he reveals a very sensitive side.
Engineer Jelani, also in Herat, is a gentle mix between a kindly
uncle and a teddy bear. Abdul Bari, Basir, Rahmat, Maruf, and
countless others - I miss them already. Even the incorrigible
Engineer Rahman has a place in my heart.

The rumours around here are dreadful... the Americans want
Osama, dead or alive. According to some UN politicos I know,
the Americans prefer to take him alive. Then they can conduct a stacked trial and then fry him in the chair. But they won't be
too upset if they have to kill him more directly and
expediently. A US military attaché made a presentation to the
Pakistani government (with the UN politicos present which is how I learned this), in which they laid out the options. If they
want to kill him in the first two weeks, they will have to use
'tactical nuclear strikes'. Mini-nukes that obliterate
everything in a four km radius, but whose radiation would be
contained within a 30km circle. A few such missiles aimed at
the camps and homes where he's known to stay should get him.
They could follow that up with nerve-gas attacks to make sure.
(America must be happy they never signed the relevant
conventions on chemical warfare.) However, some of those camps and homes are inside large cities, and the civilian casualties could easily outnumber the dead in New York and Washington.Supposedly this is the only way the Americans could be sure to get him without more information and planning.
Surprisingly, the US might try the 'more information and
planning' option, and to take a more 'measured' approach. I
suppose this is why Pakistani airports are closing during the
wee hours of the morning to allow the US military planes to land and unload (unload what exactly, I'd like to know). The
rhetoric is stepping up, talk of WAR! Who is it for? Osama is
probably holed up in some mud-brick village in the middle of
Afghanistan's desert or mountains. Or possibly further afield,
in Kashmir or Chechnya. And even if the Americans were to
capture/kill him, ten more Osamas are waiting in line. I put
this point to the UN politico. He replied (dispassionately -
this is analysis, not his own conviction) that the Americans
would simply launch ten more wars.

Afghanistan is a miserable enough place already: two decades of war, three years of drought, an infamously repressive regime
controls most of the country, and wave after wave of
US-sponsored UN sanctions. Materially, these sanctions -
symbolic measures for western audiences - have had relatively
little impact on the lives of most Afghans. But the symbolism
has not been lost on ordinary Afghans, who wonder why the West would work to impose economic hardship on their poor country after all it has gone through.

Back in Islamabad, my expatriate friends and I suffer an
incredible frustration. We have all been working with Afghans
inside Afghanistan, and now we see the imminent destruction of
the country we have grown to love. In parts of the country not
currently at war, Afghans have been slowly rebuilding their
society, their communities. For better and for worse, we
'internationals' have been working and rebuilding along with
them. That work is already unravelling, as our offices close,
projects stop, and programmes cease to function.

In recent weeks I have been working an emergency housing
project, in which we plan to build shelters in camps in Herat
City for 12,000 Afghan families who have been forced to leave
their ancestral villages due to the drought. These shelters are
desperately needed before winter comes... hundreds died due to
the cold in these camps last winter. Just on Monday we received word that our donor agency (the Americans, ironically) have finally approved the funds. We achieved another victory
Tuesday, when authorities finally gave us the go-ahead for our
plans. That night we learned of the attacks in America. We
left the next afternoon. Those 12,000 families can't leave.

I apologise for this maudlin babble. I have become very
attached to this fascinating country - its history, culture, and
people. It's gone through so much already, and deserves a
chance to find its own way out of its difficulties. The west
has done so little to help - this forgotten country only appears
in the news when foreigners are arrested or Buddhas are blown
up. I think I'm upset because I feel so helpless. Calamity is
around the corner, and I'm being sent back to the safety of
Canada while my Afghan friends stay to suffer the wrath of
senseless vengeance.

...m

[ September 18, 2001: Message edited by: uh clem ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 18 September 2001 08:42 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks for passing this on, uh clem. I think it's so important that more and more North Americans learn about the human reality of Afghanistan, and the near-universal concern and fascination felt by people who lived and worked there.

I also hope that the worst speculations -- about the mini-nuke option -- are born of the panicky thinking of the moment, and will quickly die away.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Eddie Lear
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posted 18 September 2001 10:11 AM      Profile for Eddie Lear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Agreed Skdadl,you would have to be pychopathic to want to use even tactical nukes,that would set a deadly example.
From: Port Colborne, Ont | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
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posted 18 September 2001 10:30 AM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As long as you agree you also have to be a psychopath to want to crash planes into buildings that house innocent people.
From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
StephenGM
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posted 18 September 2001 02:04 PM      Profile for StephenGM     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Markbo, I don't think that even psychopath is a strong enough word for the perpetrators of this monstrous act of evil. (Only because, clinically speaking, psychopaths are pathologically incapable of understanding the difference between right and wrong. I think these people chose to blind themselves to the difference between right and wrong, in the name of their ideology.)

Nonetheless, I hope you agree that letting the nuclear genie out of the bottle would be an act of monumental lunacy. The world has managed to avoid the use of nuclear weapons since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. To use them now would set a precedent that the Americans would live to regret, even if no one was ever stupid enough to use nuclear weapons against the U.S. (What would be next? Nuclear strikes by the Russians in Chechnya? By India and Pakistan over Kashmir? Chinese nuclear brinksmanship over Taiwan?)

Any use by the U.S. of tactical nuclear weapons will only legitimize their use in other conflicts.

It would also be an inefficient means of dealing with bin Laden, and, more importantly, likelier than even a ground war to polarize opinion in the Islamic world. (An invading army can, at least, rebuild schools and hospitals; a tactical nuclear device just poisons the air and the land for generations to come.)

Stephen


From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 18 September 2001 03:33 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A friend working with the Red Cross in Afghanistan has also been evacuated home, and put on standby. Not even given a chance to gather his stuff, either. What does that mean for the local employees?

I'll tell you more when I know it.


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
JCL
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posted 18 September 2001 04:51 PM      Profile for JCL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I seriously doubt the US would use miniature tactical nukes.

As for uh clem's email that he recieved, I question the validity of it. I could easily doctor up an email that I got from such and such a person. Hell, I could make some absurd email that came from Jean Chretien telling me about his golf game with Tiger Woods and probably wants me to come up to Ottawa to swill some gin with him.


From: Winnipeg. 35 days to Christmas yet no snow here. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
hibachi
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posted 18 September 2001 04:59 PM      Profile for hibachi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Tactical nukes will be their OWN reward. You know, it's not funny. It's like the old days again. Kids have something to be afraid of. For those that did not grow up with the threat of nuclear annihilation, welcome home.
From: Toronto, Ont. | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 18 September 2001 06:04 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
(Only because, clinically speaking, psychopaths are pathologically incapable of understanding the difference between right and wrong. I think these people chose to blind themselves to the difference between right and wrong, in the name of their ideology.)

I thought that was the definition of sociopath...oh well. I always get those two mixed up anyhow.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Eddie Lear
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posted 18 September 2001 10:14 PM      Profile for Eddie Lear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Markbo it's true there are pychopaths everwhere, what about the people who drop cruise missiles into building filled with people,in the end it's who more pychopathic and determined.
From: Port Colborne, Ont | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 19 September 2001 12:21 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Michelle: Dr. Robert Hare of UBC, who is the foremost expert on psychopathy, states that he prefers to use the term "psychopath" and not its functional equivalent, "sociopath", as psychopathy is, for him, the more accurate term. The reason is because it describes an alteration in a human's internal emotional and brain structures as opposed to being primarily due to a human's relations to other members of society.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 19 September 2001 10:06 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Good point. Then again, a person with a psychology background would be more likely to look at it from a psychological standpoint. A sociologist (particularly social psychologists like this one prof in our sociology department) might look at it as an individual's response (or lack of response) to the social restraints in their society...

But this is a diversion from the actual thread subject anyhow - sorry for getting distracted yet again...


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
uh clem
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posted 19 September 2001 09:27 PM      Profile for uh clem   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
JCL • As for uh clem's email that he recieved, I question the
JCL • validity of it. I could easily doctor up an email that I
JCL • got from such and such a person

True. But in this case, it's two degrees of separation; the author is a friend of my brother.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
uh clem
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Babbler # 1078

posted 19 September 2001 11:02 PM      Profile for uh clem   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"At a bare minimum, tactical nuclear capabilites should be used against the bin Laden camps in the desert of Afghanistan. To do less would be rightly seen by the poisoned minds that orchestrated these attacks as cowardice on the part of the United States and the current administration." These are not the words of a columnist for the rabidly pro-war New York Post. No. These are the considered sentiments of Thomas Woodrow, a former officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn consider the unthinkable...Full article in CounterPunch

[ September 19, 2001: Message edited by: uh clem ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
JCL
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posted 20 September 2001 12:48 AM      Profile for JCL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Uh Clem, so? I could say I'm Pierre Trudeau's son or Kofi Anan. There's no way to prove this.
From: Winnipeg. 35 days to Christmas yet no snow here. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 20 September 2001 01:56 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Justin or Sascha?
From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
R. J. Dunnill
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posted 20 September 2001 05:42 AM      Profile for R. J. Dunnill   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
How about these little fellows?

RD


From: Surrey, B.C. | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Kelly
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posted 20 September 2001 07:08 AM      Profile for Kelly     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I seriously doubt the US would use miniature tactical nukes.

Are they not also very expensive?

Not to mention that nuking women (who should really be referred to as political prisoners when speaking of Afghanistan) and children is a complete waste of time because terrorists who believe in the cause of this particular jihad live in upwards of 50 to 60 different countries.

I believe this is just more fear-mongering. I hope I'm right.


From: Victoria, BC | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
malcontent
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posted 20 September 2001 12:09 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You're probably right, Kelly. While I think that the report of the conversation is probably accurate, it means only that some local US officials were overexcited. I doubt very much that the people planning this operation are communicating the details to mission staff in Pakistan. But there are a lot of dim lights who might just say something like that anyway for its scare value. Or maybe the American personnel had been speculating amongst themselves there.
From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 20 September 2001 04:45 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It would be dumb for the US to go nuclear. They would lose a lot of support from their core western countries, not to mention the support of surrounding countries in the Middle East.

I was just talking to a friend on the bus home from school today. Her parents are Iranian Canadians living in Iran at the moment. She is scared to death not only about the nuclear threat, but also that the US will attack Iran if they either refuse to or are unable to produce material or useful support to the US.

I told her that Iran has made statements of support, so they likely won't be attacked. And as said above, there's no way that the US will risk losing tenuous support in the middle east, and their firmer support in Europe and North America by going nuclear. I agree with Kelly and Rasmus - I think this is just tough talk meant to scare Afghanistan.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
malcontent
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posted 20 September 2001 11:43 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
JCL, stick this in your pipe and smoke it.

Thanks to DrConway for mailing me the story.



From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
malcontent
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posted 20 September 2001 11:45 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I'm safe. I'm in Islamabad, Pakistan.


Mmmmmmm....


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
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posted 20 September 2001 11:47 PM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
On ABC television's THIS WEEK program Sunday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld refused to rule out the use of tactical nuclear weapons. He avoided clearly answering a simple question on whether their use can be ruled out. To a similar question, a Pentagon official also replied, "We will not discuss operational and intelligence matters."

Its a hell of a stretch to imply that because someone will not discuss tactical nuclear weapons that he is recommending their use.

I have not seen any evidence to date that the defence department has recommended the use of tactical nukes and I highly doubt it.


From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 20 September 2001 11:52 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
They also wouldn't rule out getting rid of legislation preventing assinations (at least with Congressional approval).
I always assume nukes would never be used.
But, I've been told I'm niave.

From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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