Calling for peace with voices of hate: Anti-Americans on their high horses.

L

LoafingOaf

Guest
This is a lengthy piece in today's salon.com, and way too good not to post here. I don't agree with all of the author's politics, but the focus is absolutely right on. You tell me if you don't recognize Fred Flintstoned (aka "Fred F and the Lot'), Suzanne, Grim O'Grady and the rest of the kooky comrades in the paragraphs below. Knocks 'em off their high horses, nails 'em to the friggin' wall. Wonderful. I dare them to read and digest this with an honest mind.

Hopefully this can be my last word.

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America the scapegoat

An Australian woman who has made New York her home fires back at the smug U.S.-bashers in Europe and her native land.

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By Meera Atkinson
Nov. 30, 2001

It was five days after the attacks. My husband and I had fled
Manhattan for his brother's place upstate to escape the acrid air and collect our shattered nerves. I was still having trouble eating and sleeping, and I'd brought my passport along, just in case World War III broke out overnight and I decided to slip across the border into Canada and fly home to Australia. I was not one of the stoic New Yorkers. In fact, I was not even a New Yorker. But when I got an e-mail forwarded to me by a friend in London, I was upset on behalf of all 8 million of them.

The e-mail, written by a Chinese man, was an angry tirade against America and on behalf of Afghanistan and world peace, written in incongruently inflammatory language. The words "I don't give a @#!!!," referring to the terrorist attacks and the suffering of Americans, stand out in my mind. The writer said that America had brought the attacks upon itself with its foreign policy, that Americans were soft and spoiled, that it was high time they got a taste of their own medicine.

I responded by telling my friend I'd found the piece nasty and offensive, and requested that she not send any more of the same ilk. I received a haughty reply stating that she and her friends were merely engaged in a rigorous international discussion, the implication being that there was something wrong with me, that I
lacked the intellectual mettle to participate. I didn't know it then, but it was the first of many skirmishes to come. While flags sold by the millions and Americans spoke of their newfound sense of unity, I found myself at first divided and torn between cultures -- and then, increasingly, alienated from my own.

When I was 20 and living in Sydney, my ardent lifelong love affair with American culture -- partly born out of my youthful desire to escape what felt at the time like a suffocating, isolated island -- crystallized into an intense obsession with New York City. A few years later Australia grew on me, and my fantasies of living in New York faded into a nostalgic whimsy. But when I met and fell in
love with a New Yorker, I found myself dreaming of New York again. While I waited for my fiancé's visa to come through I watched "Sex and the City" and tried to picture myself in its scenes.

Moving to New York also meant moving to America. I remember watching the news the day the USS Cole was bombed, the feeling of dread it raised in me, the sense of foreboding. I remember commenting to my father that Americans didn't realize how hated they were, and that one day it would all blow up. I remember phoning my then long-distance fiancé and expressing my fears of life in New York, of
violent crime, and of living in a hemisphere beset by war. I remember the self-possessed calm in his reassurance that no one would be foolish enough to attack America itself, and the thin relief with which I tried to believe him. Looking back now, I realize that our differing views of this potential arose partly out of geography. Australia and New Zealand are the most isolated "Western" countries on the planet. It is a distance that affords a uniquely clear outlook. At the same time this isolation casts a shadow of parochialism. The combination can result in a tendency to judge other nations and world events harshly and simply. It is this tendency with which I have been wrangling these past weeks.

I arrived in New York in December last year, and we married soon afterward. I was just feeling that I had finally arrived, and the beginnings of a bond with the city, when the planes flew into the towers, the Pentagon, and a sunny Pennsylvania field. The entire world was in shock, reeling with grief, gripped by fear, and overwhelmed by the psychic shift heralded by the "new reality." In
the days following the attack I seemed to be in tune with my Australian friends back home, except that I was traumatized, having gone through it firsthand, or at least from the madness of the Empire State Building midtown. I shared my friends' concern that America might lash out in a bloodlust of retaliation. I recoiled from the American desire for revenge confirmed in polls. I agreed that
the attacks were a wakeup call that demanded America reexamine its role in the Middle East, that it was an opportunity for America to own up to some of its more undeniable mistakes and wrongdoings and make amends. But as the weeks passed and we all began to process the ordeal, review our history, and come to terms with the post-attack world and the war on terrorism, I became aware of an unsettling division -- between those who find America a convenient scapegoat and those who do not.

Polls will tell you that the majority of people in Australia and other Western, allied nations support America's war on terrorism. Many of those heartily support the commitment of their own troops. But what the polls don't tell you is that there is a sizable and extremely vocal minority who don't, and that beyond even this there is and has been, for as far back as I can remember, a palpable
anger and hostility toward the U.S. in general. This minority is not confined to university campuses but stretches across a broad spectrum of society. Of course there is the "foreign policy is not a popularity contest" standard by which to measure this opposition, but if Sept. 11 and the "new reality" have taught us anything, it is that the hatred much of the world feels toward the U.S. can no longer be ignored.

That largely impoverished, uneducated and oppressed nations hate America is more or less understandable. Some of these nations are ruled by American-backed undemocratic and highly corrupt governments, and most of them have lived for generations with the riches of the modern world in view but out of reach, informed only by a government-controlled media. Anti-American sentiment in the Middle East is easy to fathom. But why does this hatred manifest itself in
countries like Australia, Britain and France -- affluent nations that have much more in common with America than Middle Eastern and Third World nations? In my recent dialogue with Australian family and friends, some predictable reasons have been given. One aunt declared that Australians' critical view of Americans dates back to World War II, when American troops were seen as "oversexed, overpaid, and over there." An Australian expat posting on the Web site Australians Abroad agreed. "My grandparents hated the Yanks and would tell
stories of the Yanks coming into Brisbane on R&R and yelling out to the Diggers who were leaving on another train that they'd 'take care of their women for them,'" he said, before going on to confirm that some of those American soldiers did indeed "take care" of the Diggers' women and that a few were shot for their troubles.

No doubt experiences such as these must have helped formed some national opinion, but there are just as many stories of camaraderie between Australian and American soldiers, and just as many Australians who feel a genuine sense of alliance with America. A cousin was quick to defend Australia's relationship with the U.S. "We know America would come to our aid if needed," she said. "It did when the Japanese invaded and Churchill said, 'Let them take
it, we can get it back later.'" Run-ins during World War II or any other time don't account for the pervasive and vicious anti-American sentiment that has peaked in the wake of Sept 11.

The ANZUS Treaty, marking the Australia-United States alliance, was signed in 1951. The Australian prime minister, John Howard, was reportedly the first world leader to offer military support in the war on terrorism. Australian troops followed America into Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War. Australia has participated in U.S. intelligence gathering consistently since World War II. There is therefore a sense that Australia, a relatively peaceful nation, has
been dragged into America's troubles repeatedly. There is a pronounced anger toward the bind our military dependence on America presents. But why are some Australians so unwilling to acknowledge the rewards of this arrangement? Why are they so insistent on casting themselves as the hapless weak brother of the big buff bully? It is a clear case of risk and reward, and though the risks are real, and the dependence frustrating and unempowering, the rewards are great.

The refusal of the anti-American movement in Australia to address them is symptomatic of a largely complacent society. Australia is a wealthy country with a small population that couldn't possibly defend its coastline if it came under serious attack. It is a country that pays high taxes but which also enjoys good services. It has one of the most comprehensive health and welfare programs in the world. Its citizens live with the certainty that if they require medical
care and cannot afford it, they will be given it, that if they reach retirement age without sufficient means of support they can draw a comparatively generous pension, that if they lose their job they can claim unemployment benefits until they find another.

All this is possible because it doesn't have to spend massive amounts of money on national defense. Many who were born and raised in post-World War II Australia, as I was, have little or no appreciation of the need for self-defense. In general Australians feel themselves so far removed, so relatively safe in their isolation, that they tend to view America as paranoid and hysterical when it comes to military defense. In my youth I, too, held this view; I indulged in the idealist, utopian fantasy of a world with no need for defense, imagining that Australia in particular need not concern itself with
such unsavory preoccupations. My grandparents knew otherwise. I still hope for a future free of nuclear threat, for the realized potential of real world peace.
But if and when it comes, it will come about as a result of a powerful organic human revolution. I am fairly sure it will not come about by pure fantasy, denial and anti-government jingoism. One thing is certain; we are not there yet, and it's not only the U.S. that lags behind in this evolution.

The current antiwar, anti-American sentiment in the West is not confined to Australia, however. Its voice can be heard right across Europe. The London friend who had sent the "I don't give a @#!!!" e-mail went on to explain in further exchanges that the view of America she shared with many Brits was based on a kaleidoscope of grievances. "America's intervention in world affairs is often corrupt, abusive and hypocritical. U.S. foreign policy is highly
destructive and sanctimonious," she declared, citing an article published in the Guardian in late September by Arundhati Roy as supporting evidence.

This friend, born and raised in a country settled as an English penal colony that grew into its own identity by resisting the class-based, culturally egotistical tendencies of the motherland, patiently explained why British culture was superior to American culture, with no visible sense of irony. She actually went so far as to make the claim that "We [Brits] are not as hysterical or ignorant as the U.S." It's probably accurate to say that the British, due to their proximity to Europe and the broader view of their media (at least their elite media) are more informed about the rest of the world than Americans, but this hardly precludes "ignorance" in general. And to claim that the British are less hysterical than Americans when the memory of the British reaction to Princess Diana's death is still fresh to us all is bold indeed. The enormous crowds and mass wailing in London in 1997 was far more extreme than New Yorkers' reaction to Sept. 11, and it was not three but roughly 4,000 people killed, not
by accident, but by mass murder.

My London friend opened her litany of complaints with the perception of a U.S. public deluded by a pure-hype propaganda-machine media, and went on to cite America's military presence in Saudi Arabia, its conduct of the Gulf War, its responsibility for the starvation deaths of 100,000 Iraqi children as a result of economic sanctions (I've always wondered why this popular statistic only cites children, as if adults don't starve, or matter), and all the other well-known sins of America committed in the name of oil security. She climaxed
with the widespread complaint against U.S. support of Israel, wound down with accusations of free-trade blackmail and two-faced global emissions policies, and finished with a description of the U.S.-led war on terrorism as a typical American aggression bound to add fuel to the fire.

In other discussions, a Canadian friend living in Australia wrote with absolute conviction that America's military action in Afghanistan was motivated solely by a desire for revenge and punishment, that self-defense "has nothing whatsoever to do with it." Someone else told me I sounded "like an American" simply because
I questioned the caustic tone of the many recent anti-American letters to two major Australian newspapers. This same person attached to their message an article that posed the theory that America's war in Afghanistan is all about oil in the Caspian Sea, along with the heavy-handed Arundhati Roy piece, presumably to enlighten me. One letter in the Sydney Morning Herald's online edition stood
out from the others. It was written by a Jewish woman who had gone to a peace march in Sydney's Hyde Park staged by the usually cuddly Friends of the Earth. She was horrified, she said, to find herself surrounded by a furious crowd chanting poisonous slogans against the U.S. and Israel. People calling for peace with voices of hate is perhaps the ultimate bleak irony of the current antiwar, anti-American movement.

There have been other long-distance frictions too numerous to mention. Of course some of these criticisms are valid and earned, but many are misguided and vulnerable to challenge. Few who cast these aspersions seem willing to acknowledge that even the most educated and informed among us rarely get the full political picture -- and many of those who are the loudest in their denunciations have far less than that. Yet even when they lack deep knowledge
and information, many anti-Americanists are all too willing to assume the very worst of America in any given conflict, often downright whitewashing the other party.

It's not my aim to embark on an in-depth analysis of these charges or the degree to which they stick or don't stick; suffice to say that we all know the U.S. is not now, nor has it ever been, perfect. This is hard to accept; we don't want our superstars, or our superpowers, to be flawed, human, like the rest of us. What bothers me most about the anti-American sentiment I've encountered is not the criticisms themselves, simplistic as they frequently are, but the dogged
superciliousness and smugness with which they are frequently expressed. There is a lack of real recognition of America, for better and for worse, inherent in this attitude. And there is an unsettling ease with which the United States of America is made the scapegoat for the flawed policies of the first world, the failings of some nations of the Third World, a library's worth of historical
complexities, and the guilt of the privileged first-world individual.

It is the fashion, it seems, to hold the U.S. responsible for the hardships and struggles of the entire planet, some of which were germinating or already had a long history before America's existence. For example, many of the problems of the Middle East and Third World can be more rightly laid at imperial Britain's doorstep. Granted, America has stepped in where Britain stepped out, but that
doesn't justify holding a New World country solely responsible for problems born of the Old World.

Anti-Americanism's broadest complaint is also its most powerful argument -- that the U.S. is too wealthy, too materialistic, too concerned with its own economic health to the detriment of the world's poor. The most powerful nation on the planet runs a laissez-faire economic system that dominates global economics. In
Australia, where capitalism has long been tinged with socialism (though this hybrid is much diminished now), America's version of capitalism is viewed as ruthless. But if the problem is U.S.-led globalization and corporatization, there needs to be some acknowledgement of the way the rest of the world is participating. Furious finger-pointing at America ignores the option and
responsibility of nations, communities and individuals to resist and protest what they find objectionable. The money in a citizen's hand does more voting than we ever get to do in a polling booth. Our consumer dollar is, now more than ever, a powerful political tool.

Too much anti-Americanism rests on bad faith. A psychological sleight of hand makes it possible for the anti-American movement across the West to enjoy privileges while avoiding a sense of responsibility for them. America has blood on its hands: The rest of the world, apparently, does not.

For some years now I have refused to eat at McDonald's and Burger King because I object to what I view as the unethical corporate practices of U.S. fast food chains. Neither do I buy products tested on animals to protest the global animal experimentation industry. I know many others who act similarly on their principles. But I have never heard of a person who refuses to use oil-dependent
modes of transportation in adherence to their stance against America's oil-driven policies in the Middle East. I've met the odd rare individual who refuses to own a car because of their concern for the environment, but never anyone who boycotts oil across the board -- or even who devotes significant time to trying to change oil-friendly governmental policies. Why? Because it's a luxury people simply refuse to give up. Foregoing a lousy cheeseburger and
shopping cruelty-free doesn't require a great sacrifice -- to live without using oil in the world as it is today would. That people don't wish to make this sacrifice is understandable, but that they demonize the U.S. despite their dependency on oil that may have been procured in association with U.S. policies is somewhat dishonest and hypocritical. Righteousness, it turns out, is the drug that soothes the fears and frustrations of exiled terrorist gurus and Sydney
peaceniks alike.

I am more inclined to respect the voice of anti-Americanism when it produces more than simplistic critiques and -- at its worst -- hate speech. In other words, I am more inclined to respect it when it manifests an active rather than a reactive element. Unlike classic imperialism achieved by military-led expansion and domination, cultural and economic imperialism requires willing
colonists. It is possible to resist so-called U.S. imperialism, as the small community of the Blue Mountains, northwest of Sydney, did several years ago when it successfully fought a bitter battle against the opening of a McDonald's in its quaint historic town. It is possible; it's just that most people would rather not bother. Victimhood is more appealing than self-responsibility, and
when the villain is a big bumbling superpower it's an easy play.
Of course, being part of the problem doesn't oblige a person to silence. People have a right to be angry with the U.S. and its policies when they feel they're immoral, but they also have a responsibility to own up to their implicit participation. It's a democratic right to voice protest, but it's a matter of
personal integrity to do so not from the moral comfort of a high horse, but while standing on one's own two feet.

Some anti-Americanists already do this, of course. Some, like socialists and anarcho-syndicalists, go further and campaign for radically different political and economic systems. But looking around at the anti-Americanists in my midst I see no home garage print-runs of "The Die-Hard Communists Weekly" or grassroots
kitchen campaign meetings. I see people plucking the fruits, and treading the established paths, of capitalism.

And what of the confusions and contradictions of the left wing in the first world? In the two or three years preceding the attacks of Sept. 11, I received a string of e-mail petitions from alarmed feminists and leftists protesting the atrocities committed by the Taliban and calling for its brutal regime to be brought down. I signed and passed on every one without ever believing the petitions would literally achieve that end. It seems that others, though adult and educated, did believe in the power of these petitions to cause the Taliban
to review in full the practices of its government. This is the only sense I can make of the turnaround of many of these same people, who are now on the front lines of the current antiwar movement. Some who were aware of conditions in Afghanistan under the Taliban's rule and who rallied against the world's complacency became, once America set out to topple the Taliban, its most ardent defenders, calling for peace at any cost, and casting America as the brute.

I understand these people are not really defending the Taliban; rather they are expressing concern for the innocent, already long-suffering Afghan people, and rightly so. But why the political backpedaling? Why oppose the forcible removal of the Taliban when they are clearly far too determined and well established to
be removed by other means? This confusion, born of a demand that the sufferings of others be rectified coupled with a refusal to tolerate the realities of what is required to achieve that change, results in an impossible demand that the U.S. is accused of failing to meet again and again.

I came across an explicit example of this when reading an article in which a prominent member of a women's rights organization publicly retracted a previous statement to the effect that she wished someone would forcibly take the Taliban out. Sounding somewhat like a small and frightened child, she explained that she "didn't really mean it," that it had merely been an expression of frustration and not of a real and concrete desire for military intervention. That the U.S.
military action in Afghanistan and its resulting refugee crisis and civilian causalities are painful, even tragic, goes without saying. But to believe in a world where dangerous people and tyrannical governments miraculously disappear seems infantile.

When I asked my French neighbor about the anti-American sentiment in France, she said there is a profound sense of "they had it coming" among the French left. When I asked her what the roots of French anti-American sentiment were she said simply, "Envy, jealousy. We think of Americans as arrogant, vain, self-centered. It is what France was two centuries ago: the center of the world." While I doubt this is all that fuels the anti-American sentiment there and across the West,
there is likely some plain old jealousy in the mix. It's not an envy as tortured and confused at that of the Middle East, because we in the West are neither as uniformly religious or as economically deprived as the peoples of those nations. But it is tempting, it seems, to resent those more powerful and dominant, and to
rally a reactive cause in response.

Some of this resentment boils down to that most basic of human emotions -- hurt feelings. Beyond the "Tall Poppy Syndrome" -- the famous Australian pastime of cutting gloating achievement, blatant success, and perceived arrogance down to size -- Australians often feel overlooked by America and Americans. I remember feeling angry that I didn't see Australia, a country with a fascinating history and political life, covered at all in the American media for months following my arrival. Even now I'm lucky to catch a passing reference or a feature in a travel section. And I've felt personally slighted more than once socially, when someone's eyes glazed over upon hearing the word Australia. Typically they'd vaguely mention Paul Hogan or kangaroos before losing interest completely. This hurt is, I think, a factor in the anti-American feelings of many peoples, especially Australians who get little attention on the world stage. It's a
legitimate complaint, but it scarcely justifies the virulent condemnations that have emerged after Sept. 11.

Another comment my French neighbor made, recounting how a friend of hers in France had exclaimed bitterly on the phone, "They have six cases of anthrax and it's the end of the world. What about Rwanda?" illustrates another confusion of the left in relation to the U.S. -- the damned if you do, damned if you don't principle. America is criticized for not being a benevolent superpower when it doesn't intervene, and criticized for being the world police when it does. It is cast as an abusive cop when it steps into conflicts such as Kosovo, or accused of criminal negligence when it fails to act, as it did with the genocide in Rwanda. The U.S. itself suffers a certain amount of confusion in its foreign policy which gives rise to mixed messages, but whichever way it goes on any distant conflict the left seems insistent on meeting the U.S. with skepticism or conspiracy theories of ulterior motives.

Certain factions of the American left are no less virulent. A country, particularly a powerful one, needs a mindful and vocal conscience, and when it's doing its job, as it did during the Vietnam War, it's a vital watchdog. But Sept. 11 seems to have reduced even some Americans to sloppy accusations and irrational outbursts.

A prime example of this "America is the devil" silliness appeared in the Nov. 20 Village Voice. James Ridgeway's "Mondo Washington" columns titled "The Ugly American: Bully Spends Billions Blasting Nation of Refugees," "The Lost Colony: Afghanistan's Huddled Masses" and "Brown Out: U.S. Drops Bigger Bombs on Darker People," were the most stunning displays of frenzied knee-jerking in the name of
journalism I've witnessed in a long time. In one short page he managed to hold the U.S. government responsible for the deaths of 7 million Afghan refugees (most of whom are not even dead), to refer to Afghanistan as an American "colony," and to suggest that the use of the dreadful "daisy cutter" in the bombing campaign was inspired by a racist impulse to "get rid of these nasty tan bugs."

As Christopher Hitchens pointed out in the December Atlantic Monthly, some in the American left and other "progressives" "have grossly failed to live up to their responsibility to think; rather, they are merely reacting, substituting tired slogans for thought." Or in Ridgeway's case, hysteria for thought. There's a certain laziness involved. It's not necessary to challenge oneself and grapple
with impossible problems, it's not necessary to read extensively across a wide range of views (not only those that confirm one's most comfortable and staid thinking and beliefs), or to educate oneself on the intricacies of history and geopolitics in order to be certain which governments should be held accountable for what sufferings, when one can, without going to all this trouble, satisfy
one's need to assign blame and take the high moral ground by making the U.S. accountable for everything, even deaths that haven't happened.

After many trans-Pacific and Atlantic conversations I've come to see the escalating anti-Americanism as the product of, to varying degrees, a tendency toward black and white thinking, a heartfelt concern for the suffering of disadvantaged peoples, and the denial of our own most rapacious capitalist selves -- as projected upon and epitomized by the U.S. The stridency of this
habit of thought is laced with wishful thinking and is driven by a lack of equanimity fostered by the new reach of global terrorism. People are afraid. They want to believe that if only America had not responded militarily, if only it had seen the error of its ways and had met the terrorist demands by pulling out of the Middle East, everything would be all right. They would not had have
to send their troops, they would not have to fear future attacks on their own soil, they could go to sleep in the knowledge that World War III is an imaginary nightmare rather than a present day potential.

It's an understandable conclusion, one I also entertained in the awful days following the attacks. The problem with it is that it underestimates both America and the terrorists who have declared war on it, if in totally different ways. I've been struck by the apparent sense of confidence some anti-American westerners have in the terrorists. I've even stumbled across a few apologists.
They seem to hold the view that the terrorists are somehow reasonable in their endeavor, that they would surely end the terror if they got their way. One Australian, again posting on the "Australians Abroad" Web site, stated, "Remember even the fanatics of 9 Sept [sic] didn't do this to maximize kill ratio ... hitting a sports stadium with gas would have taken out thousands more." Apart from the fact that "hitting a sports stadium with gas" is not as
easily achieved as this poster imagines, it's a preposterous notion that the perpetrators of this attack were in any way concerned with minimizing civilian casualties. The poster went on to argue his point by claiming that the terrorists had chosen "light flight loadings" guided by the same noble impulses. Apparently the idea that they'd chosen lightly booked flights because it meant less chance of passenger resistance and therefore a greater chance of success
was not familiar to this well-meaning young man. But this fantasy of "almost" freedom fighters with an "almost" just cause is as prevalent as it is problematic.

What we know about bin Laden and al-Qaida suggests a very different potential. The theory that bin Laden's true focus lies in leading a fundamentalist Islamic insurgency right across the Muslim world seems to have some weight. If that is his mission statement, America's abstention from military action and wholesale backing out of the Middle East might well have had two immediate consequences:
an oil crisis and a series of successful insurgencies. The world economy would have become unstable, and a significant portion of the world would soon be under the rule of fiercely repressive Taliban-style governments -- but this time with nuclear capabilities. Who knows if they'd stop there? Islam has a proud history of expansionism. I suspect that then the anti-Americanists -- Australians, English, Europeans, feminists, and peaceniks alike -- would have a sudden change of heart.

I realize this is a dark and somewhat alarmist scenario. We have no way of knowing if it could have happened because America did, predictably, attack. And, of course, as the antiwar movement would be quick to point out, the U.S.-led action in Afghanistan carries its own risk of inciting insurgencies. However, they could not proceed as quickly and as smoothly as they might have had the U.S. simply withdrawn from the whole region at bin Laden's demand. I'm not suggesting that a U.S. withdrawal from Saudi Arabia is impossible or undesirable, only that there are problems with the assumption that America's "understanding" and tolerance of the terrorist cause as stated could or would have spared further conflict and escalation.

While many of my friends overseas promote stereotypes of America and find affirmation from each other in doing so -- Americans are blinded by their own inflated self-image, they fall prey to their government propaganda mindlessly with no self-examination, they revel in their ignorance of other parts of the world, etc. -- I see a different America. I see a grieving, vulnerable America shocked out of its self-absorption, an America that is indeed questioning, debating, and attempting to understand the root causes of its predicament,
seeking to educate itself about Islam and Muslim cultures, seeking to defend itself against further attacks. I see an America that has welcomed more people from more countries around the globe than any other country in the history of mankind. I see an America whose embrace of democracy and vision of freedom, however less than perfectly realized, beats in every American heart. I see an
America that deserves compassion in response to its misfortunes, and
acknowledgement of its virtues and better strivings, however often they may fail or produce unforeseen consequences. And I see a world that would be less without it.
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About the writer

Meera Atkinson is an Australian writer living in New York.
 
F

fred f and the lot

Guest
This raging colossus

The new US ruthlessness may turn out to be a

greater threat than the Islamist fanaticism that provoked it

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4301679,00.html

By Madeleine Bunting

Over the past few days, I've been ordered on to a strict diet of my words. A stream of emails arrived from American readers with plenty of

advice (get laid, get pregnant, shut your fat legs, shut up) and prognostications for my future (you'll be fired). One told me that I made

them feel sick: "untouched by our tragedy, yet (you) feel the right to criticise our country's actions". One asked if "you have a molecule of

shame or humility within your entire being?" and promised to pray for me. Another asked: "how stupid do you feel now? this is one of the

best wars ever fought" and another asked: "as the US war on terror becomes increasingly successful, could the world say 'thank you'?".

Thank God for the volume of seawater which puts these kind of nutters on another continent. It's not so much the fine line in misogynistic

abuse from US patriots, but the intolerance of debate and diversity of opinion which is really frightening. But the truth is that this kind of

emotional intensity has also seeped into the war on this side of the Atlantic - entrenched camps for and against are waging a bitter war of

words over the heads of a majority who are worried and confused, but see no alternative to war. Fear drives this kind of emotional

intensity. It is a pitifully short time, only two months, since we learned of a ruthlessness born of fanaticism which we had not thought

possible; our perception of human nature is having to painfully readjust to the revelation of a capacity for calmly premeditated brutality.

I'm sure that fear has influenced my continuing conviction that waging war on Afghanistan is unlikely in the long term to defeat that kind of

ruthless Islamist terrorism, and is very likely to have disastrous consequences for the poor benighted country itself. I very much hope I

will be proved wrong.

It must have been so comforting to have been swept up in the emotional euphoria of VK day. It was the ultimate Disney ending after a

month of nation-builders' storytelling. If only it were that simple. But even on VK day, the excited reporters and commentators

surrounded by a telegenic rabble of boys curious at television cameras found no echo among anxious Afghan women, most of whom

remained behind their burkas.

Nor did the VK story last long, quickly replaced by the tension of warlords struggling to position themselves; in Jalalabad, young men

jostled around the cameras, their eyes, cartridge belts and guns all gleaming, poised for what they know best - waging war.

And yet, it's not even those Jalalabad warriors that have made the last week's events so troubling, but the growing appreciation of just how

ruthless and ambitious the US is likely to become in its war against terrorism. What the events of the past few days have starkly revealed

is that the US had only one interest in this war in Afghanistan, capturing Bin Laden and destroying al-Qaida; that imperative outstripped

all considerations of Afghanistan's future. So the timing of the attack was decided by US military preparedness rather than any coherent

political strategy for the region, and the US war aim determined the crucial switch in tactics around November 4 when the US decided to

throw its weight behind the unsavoury Northern Alliance by bombing the Taliban frontlines.

For the US, the whole country of Afghanistan is collateral damage. Or, to put it another way, a little hors d'oeuvre before they move on to

the next course - Somalia, Yemen or, most worryingly of all, Iraq? The latter is already being openly touted in Washington as a possibility

for the "second stage" and tension is growing in the Gulf region. Meanwhile, as far as the US is concerned, the UK with its nation-building

agenda, the UN and everyone else is welcome to spend their soldiers' lives on the onerous task of clearing up the mess the US bombing has

left behind, freeing it to concentrate on the next task.

All this strengthens the view that what we have to fear from September 11 is not just Islamist fanaticism, but the US response to it.

Indeed, the latter could well prove a far greater threat to the stability of many countries, further stoking the Islamist fanaticism it seeks to

extinguish. The template has been developed in Afghanistan: lavish bribery of neighbours, unchecked deployment of vicious military

hardware, keep US soldiers out of it and use others to do the fighting. It is a foreign policy of brute force and it draws legitimacy within the

US from a lethal combination of three factors: a profound sense of righteous anger, the reality of unchallenged economic and military power

and a pervasive ignorance of and indifference to the rest of the world.

To increase the danger, the US actions are unchecked by fear of another superpower and, at present, unchecked by its usually vibrant civil

society where debate about the purposes or methods of the war against terrorism has been cowed into virtual silence in the mainstream.

The result is that an ugly ruthlessness is creeping into US political culture. For example, "physical interrogation" or torture is proposed in

the columns of Newsweek while President Bush signs an order allowing military tribunals of suspected terrorists in private and without a

jury, for the first time since the second world war.

In time we may come to see the disas trous timing of a rightwing presidency intent on asserting US unilateralism assuming power shortly

before September 11: that tragic catastrophe has provided the moral mandate at home and the freedom for manoeuvre from allies for such a unilateralist

policy. For all the US has needed western support for its war, we seem to have been singularly unsuccessful in extracting in return any

compromises on US unilateralism. Putin's protestations on NMD are brushed off, and barely a murmur is raised in criticism of the US's

failure to deliver its climate change plan while the world went ahead in Marrakesh last week.

From the start, this administration has been unabashed, denying any sense of responsibility to anyone other than its own citizens. Now, everyone has the almighty headache of how they are to tiptoe round and

placate this raging colossus. Blair, white with exhaustion, has opted for the role of chief cheerleader, and while it may incense some that

Britain, like every other country, is reduced to such impotence, the harsh reality is that it was AOS

- all options stink. Bush will use and discard Blair, and the British prime minister is likely to be one among many casualties.

The Labour party has traditionally been deeply split over the conduct of US foreign policy. Vietnam, Central and Latin America and the

Iran-contra affair all provoked intense controversy. That was bad enough, but we were not involved in playing the supporting role. At the

risk of further incensing my American correspondents, the manipulation of the CIA in Central America could come to seem like child's

play compared with what we are likely to glimpse over the next decade.
 
M

Mr. So & So

Guest
>>This raging colossus The new US ruthlessness may turn out to be a
greater threat than the Islamist fanaticism that provoked it
 
F

fred f and the lot

Guest
> greater threat than the Islamist fanaticism that provoked it
> You only need to read these intital statements before you
> realize what kind of emotional propaganda to expect from this
> post.

> Fred, if this is the best you can do... then feel free keep
> doing it.

A. YOU call it propaganda. That's also propaganda.
B. The first original post was even more emotive than this one.
C. You lack serious factual knowledge about many cases and issues presented.
D. a 'circumstantialist' - what stone age do you live in? pretty much egoistic, isn't it?
E. Post some more facts next time before you come up with those so-called myths of yours.

And good day to your chickens.
 
M

Mr. So & So

Guest
> A. YOU call it propaganda. That's also propaganda.<

LOL! Says who? That's "my" opinion. That's not propaganda.

Propaganda is essentially an intent to promote a truth by misconstruing facts, and playing to emotions and fears.

> B. The first original post was even more emotive than this one.<

Which post? I'm lost.

> C. You lack serious factual knowledge about many cases and issues presented.<

Well, you saying so surely isn't a proper rebuttal. You must prove it.

I still don't know what you are referring to.

> D. a 'circumstantialist' - what stone age do you live in? pretty
much egoistic, isn't it?<

Well, to each their own Frederick. Was listing this really necessary? I mean it does look rather silly.

I'll think and believe in absolutes just like you do Fred, so I won't be living in the "stone age" anymore, okay?

Besides the remark was intended as sarcasm, but remains inherently true.

And why the the labeling of this comment as "D?" Is there a fact being discussed or something?

> E. Post some more facts next time before you come up with those
> so-called myths of yours.

What exactly are you referring to? What facts did I post in regards to myths? If you are referring to some older post, then please clarify. This thread only goes back to Loafing Oaf.

And by the way, try posting a rebuttal next time before referring to someone's post as being inaccurate.

We can't just take your word for it.

> And good day to your chickens.<

My chickens don't like you Fred.
 
F

fred f and the lot

Guest
> LOL! Says who? That's "my" opinion. That's not
> propaganda.

And why not? Your opinion is based on your own intelligence systems? On what kind of information do you base your opinions on? You think that is propaganda, but why not think it's the opinion of the journalist? Why do you consider anything that runs counter to your ideas as propaganda? What makes you say so? Do you have first hand access to what you'd like to see as "truth"?

> Propaganda is essentially an intent to promote a truth by
> misconstruing facts, and playing to emotions and fears.

Point is: (a) you don't really keep track of the facts, (b) you present things as true that are (1) not in any way officially recognized as true since there are no declassified documents available and (b) plain factual inconsistencies. I refer to your "myths" in previous posts.

> Which post? I'm lost.

the one made by LO - not hard to find, you know. The one that started this very thread.

> Well, you saying so surely isn't a proper rebuttal. You must
> prove it.

You said the CIA didn't train the mujaheddin. How can you be sure? There's evidence and testimonies that say the contrary. The official documents and archives are not declassified yet - so you're hardly making an assesment of what can be known, what is known, and what could be the case if what has been said till now (check the former Security advisor to Jimmy Carter) is true.

> I still don't know what you are referring to.
> much egoistic, isn't it? Well, to each their own Frederick. Was
> listing this really necessary? I mean it does look rather silly.

It is necessary. Why should you be lecturing anyone on anything if your stance is dependent on no clear premisses but just on what you yourself seem to judge a good circumstance.
The absoluteness of human rights is not a "circumstance".

And this "circumstantialism" masks the lack of need for historical reconstruction, keeping track of what does happen. You therefore can indulge yourself in argumentations that offer nothing but argumentations.

> I'll think and believe in absolutes just like you do Fred, so I
> won't be living in the "stone age" anymore, okay?

It's a question - I'll wait to see what happens. From what I've seen, you don't seem to live in an age that has free access to numerous archives, printed sources and principles like international law.

> Besides the remark was intended as sarcasm, but remains
> inherently true.

"true" - says who?

> And why the the labeling of this comment as "D?" Is
> there a fact being discussed or something?

yes. a thing you wrote is not a "fact" that can be referred to?

> What exactly are you referring to? What facts did I post in
> regards to myths? If you are referring to some older post, then
> please clarify. This thread only goes back to Loafing Oaf.

see above. remember your own posts, please. And, well, you didn't post any facts. You presented items as facts for which there can hardly be any clear historical evidence in official documents; yet journalistic inquiries and hypothesis, declarations of retired officials are available.

> And by the way, try posting a rebuttal next time before
> referring to someone's post as being inaccurate.

Now that's a fallacy with which you operate. The sources, data, facts are widely available - it's YOUR task to check them out. It should be common knowledge. It's an insult to your own grey cells that you fail to take them into account.

> We can't just take your word for it.

Oh you shouldn't ever. Fact is, these data are accessible. They can be traced, read, studied, analysed. Only some people don't seem to know, don't take notice of it, and force the burden of proof on all the other. You won't make me work to enhance your cultural background, that's your task.

> My chickens don't like you Fred.

I don't mind. I don't have to be liked by your chickens.
 
M

Mr. So & So

Guest
Fred wrote: And why not? Your opinion is based on your own intelligence systems? On what kind of information do you base your opinions on? You think that is propaganda, but why not think it's the opinion of the journalist? Why do you consider anything that runs counter to your ideas as propaganda? What makes you say so? Do you have first hand access to what you'd like to see as "truth"?

So&So Wrote: Fred when assessing propaganda, you consider the bias of the source, the intention of the source, and how that source applied the information, and the manner in which it was reasoned.

Many of the things you have posted fit that criteria.

Fred wrote: You said the CIA didn't train the mujaheddin. How can you be sure? There's evidence and testimonies that say the contrary.

So&So: And what's the validity and source of thsoe testomnies Fred? Or are you accepting everyhting you read from a a biased news source as fact?

My source is "Holy War Inc." by Peter Bergen. He has interviewed Bin Laden, and has documented the region for years. He interviewed people on both sides of the conflict, and there was no evidence that there was ever any contact between the rebel fighters and the CIA. PAkistan did not want the United States pullings trings, therefore the U.S. only gave mney and weapons to the Pakistani intelligence agnecy, who then dispersed it in any fashion that they desired.

Even Bin Laden denies ever metting or receiving aid from the CIA, and that's because the money was given through the Pakistani intelligence agency.

Again, you saying blindly that I'm wrong is not a proper rebuttal.

Fred wrote: The official documents and archives are not declassified yet - so you're hardly making an assesment of what can be known, what is known, and what could be the case if what has been said till now (check the former Security advisor to Jimmy Carter) is true.

You don't have to witness declassified dcouments to prove such a matter. All you have to do is reseach the available information and interview the key figueres on both sides, to come to a reasonable conclusion, at least as of now.

Wouldn't your point make what you claim moot as well? You say that certain unidentified sources claimed there was CIA training, yet you provide no source for that claim,a dn calssify that as suffcient refusal of what Peter Bergen has researched.

Fred Wrote:It is necessary. Why should you be lecturing anyone on anything if your stance is dependent on no clear premisses but just on what you yourself seem to judge a good circumstance.
The absoluteness of human rights is not a "circumstance".

So& So wrote: Exactly Fred, it's not a circumstance, therefore those who wish to have themselves defended from having their human rights blatanlty and unethically violated are certainly welcomed to do so. It is not classified as inhumane to cause unintentional casualties in a in an effort to defend yourself or in war.

That's "your" reasoning. You do understand that don't you?

Fred wrote: And this "circumstantialism" masks the lack of need for historical reconstruction, keeping track of what does happen. You therefore can indulge yourself in argumentations that offer nothing but argumentations.

So&So: You are not debating mostly facts. You are debating your concerns and fears, but not facts. Therefore, we can only argue reasoning. I have adressed the points you have made, maybe you missed them.

Fred wrote:It's a question - I'll wait to see what happens. From what I've seen, you don't seem to live in an age that has free access to numerous archives, printed sources and principles like international law.

So&So wrote: Okay Fred, I'm wrong and you're right. I have reasearched my posiiton, which is why I have a position. Just because it clashes with your particular kind of reasearch doesn't mean I haven't researched it.

So&So wrote: Besides the remark was intended as sarcasm, but remains
inherently true.

Fred wrote: "true" - says who?

So&So wrote: Says me. It is inherently true that I am circumstantial about my pollitcal positions despite the applied sarcasm.

Thought you had me there, didn't you Fed?

So&So wrote:And why the the labeling of this comment as "D?" Is there a fact being discussed or something?

Fred Wrote: yes. a thing you wrote is not a "fact" that can be referred to?

So&So wrote: Lord, this is getting ridiculous. Here is what you wrote for comment "D": D. a 'circumstantialist' - what stone age do you live in? pretty much egoistic, isn't it?

Now, what exactly does this have to do with facts in refrence to anything I said? It has nothing to do with facts at all. you're getting confused.

Fred Wrote: see above. remember your own posts, please. And, well, you didn't post any facts. You presented items as facts for which there can hardly be any clear historical evidence in official documents; yet journalistic inquiries and hypothesis, declarations of retired officials are available.

So&So wrote: Fred, darling, you have to tell me what you think is not factual okay? You cannot keep playing this roundabout game. Specify what you think is not factual, and cannot be proven.

Fred Wrote: Now that's a fallacy with which you operate. The sources, data, facts are widely available - it's YOUR task to check them out. It should be common knowledge. It's an insult to your own grey cells that you fail to take them into account.

So&So wrote: Posting hearsey articles and irrelevant facts that I have already adressed does not count as a factual rebuttal. Posting emotional articles expressing poele's dilemma's, or a biased peace orgnaizations position on the war, is not suffcient.

So&So wrote: We can't just take your word for it.

Fred Wrote: Oh you shouldn't ever. Fact is, these data are accessible. They can be traced, read, studied, analysed. Only some people don't seem to know, don't take notice of it, and force the burden of proof on all the other. You won't make me work to enhance your cultural background, that's your task."

So&So wrote: Fred are you listening to yourself? What data are you referring to? At the time of this post you had not offered any data in response to claiming that I was wrong.

If you make a claim in a debate, you have to prove it with evidence when challenged, not just claim it exists.

You simply said I was wrong, and I said you have to prove it.

The things you posted after your intitial post do not qualify as data disproving any direct argument.

Big "F" for you.
 
F

fred f and the lot

Guest
> Fred wrote: And why not? Your opinion is based on your own
> intelligence systems? On what kind of information do you base
> your opinions on? You think that is propaganda, but why not
> think it's the opinion of the journalist? Why do you consider
> anything that runs counter to your ideas as propaganda? What
> makes you say so? Do you have first hand access to what you'd
> like to see as "truth"?

> So&So Wrote: Fred when assessing propaganda, you consider the
> bias of the source, the intention of the source, and how that
> source applied the information, and the manner in which it was
> reasoned.

> Many of the things you have posted fit that criteria.

> Fred wrote: You said the CIA didn't train the mujaheddin. How
> can you be sure? There's evidence and testimonies that say the
> contrary.

> So&So: And what's the validity and source of thsoe testomnies
> Fred? Or are you accepting everyhting you read from a a biased
> news source as fact?

> My source is "Holy War Inc." by Peter Bergen. He has
> interviewed Bin Laden, and has documented the region for years.
> He interviewed people on both sides of the conflict, and there
> was no evidence that there was ever any contact between the
> rebel fighters and the CIA. PAkistan did not want the United
> States pullings trings, therefore the U.S. only gave mney and
> weapons to the Pakistani intelligence agnecy, who then dispersed
> it in any fashion that they desired.

Only one book?
Fisk also interview Bin Laden.
O'Neill also talked with Bin Laden

Does Bergen address at all the Saudi connection?

For the evidence of contacts between the CIA and the rebel fighters you'll have to wait for the declassified CIA documents.

> Even Bin Laden denies ever metting or receiving aid from the
> CIA, and that's because the money was given through the
> Pakistani intelligence agency.

Of course he will deny it - he's their biggest enemy now.
And suddenly Bin Laden is a credible source to you?

> Again, you saying blindly that I'm wrong is not a proper
> rebuttal.

No, but it forces you to come up with some facts now. And there in no way stronger evidence that what I so far said/copied/posted.

> Fred wrote: The official documents and archives are not
> declassified yet - so you're hardly making an assesment of what
> can be known, what is known, and what could be the case if what
> has been said till now (check the former Security advisor to
> Jimmy Carter) is true.

> You don't have to witness declassified dcouments to prove such a
> matter. All you have to do is reseach the available information
> and interview the key figueres on both sides, to come to a
> reasonable conclusion, at least as of now.

Right - and did you? Do you think Fisk did it?

> Wouldn't your point make what you claim moot as well? You say
> that certain unidentified sources claimed there was CIA
> training, yet you provide no source for that claim,a dn calssify
> that as suffcient refusal of what Peter Bergen has researched.

the source is the former secirity advisor of Pres. Carter - his name escapes me now. He claims the USA was inside Afghanistan 6 months before the Russians, and that they tricked the Russians in the Afghan trap.
I don't qualify, in no post I made, the work by Peter Bergen.
I claim that you don't present facts.
Now you did. One book.

The source I mentioned is the security advisor of Carter - either he's lying and we'll know that when the documents are declassified. Or he's not (and he says he's not). He's been giving interviews on the topic years ago.

> Fred Wrote:It is necessary. Why should you be lecturing anyone
> on anything if your stance is dependent on no clear premisses
> but just on what you yourself seem to judge a good circumstance.
> The absoluteness of human rights is not a
> "circumstance".

> So& So wrote: Exactly Fred, it's not a circumstance,
> therefore those who wish to have themselves defended from having
> their human rights blatanlty and unethically violated are
> certainly welcomed to do so. It is not classified as inhumane to
> cause unintentional casualties in a in an effort to defend
> yourself or in war.

It is considered a crime of war - by all standards of international law - to know beforehand that you will cause civilian casualties that would be avoided otherwise, and still continue your actions.

> That's "your" reasoning. You do understand that don't
> you?

Again: no. These principles are defined and applied by international law - and the USA doesn't recognize Internation Tribunals. Why not?

> Fred wrote: And this "circumstantialism" masks the
> lack of need for historical reconstruction, keeping track of
> what does happen. You therefore can indulge yourself in
> argumentations that offer nothing but argumentations.

> So&So: You are not debating mostly facts. You are debating your
> concerns and fears, but not facts. Therefore, we can only argue
> reasoning. I have adressed the points you have made, maybe you
> missed them.

You haven't yet. I'm waiting for your presentation of the facts, and your arguments. To say that the CIA did their thing through Pakistan is no rebuttal: they knew perfectly well that the money and weapons went to the Taliba.
it was furthermore the CIA who in 1979 recruited people like Osama through the Saudi.
You can't claim that there is no connection, no connivance, no interference. That's a willing misrepresentation of the facts.

> Fred wrote:It's a question - I'll wait to see what happens. From
> what I've seen, you don't seem to live in an age that has free
> access to numerous archives, printed sources and principles like
> international law.

> So&So wrote: Okay Fred, I'm wrong and you're right. I have
> reasearched my posiiton, which is why I have a position. Just
> because it clashes with your particular kind of reasearch
> doesn't mean I haven't researched it.

So then offer us some factual accounts of what you think is going on now? You asked which war crimes are being committed. The slaughter in the Afghan prison is not a war crime in your eyes because it's about a bunch of rebelling prisoners.
That's just your opinion. It becomes a war crime from the moment that people who didn't actively participate in the rebellion were slaughtered.

> So&So wrote: Besides the remark was intended as sarcasm, but
> remains
> inherently true.

> Fred wrote: "true" - says who?

> So&So wrote: Says me. It is inherently true that I am
> circumstantial about my pollitcal positions despite the applied
> sarcasm.

> Thought you had me there, didn't you Fed?

And I have you there - your remark doesn't go further than your own personal conviction. Pacifists at least deal with international principles of protection of freedom and human rights. That seems all wasted on you ?

> So&So wrote:And why the the labeling of this comment as
> "D?" Is there a fact being discussed or something?

> Fred Wrote: yes. a thing you wrote is not a "fact"
> that can be referred to?

> So&So wrote: Lord, this is getting ridiculous. Here is what you
> wrote for comment "D": D. a 'circumstantialist' - what
> stone age do you live in? pretty much egoistic, isn't it?
> Now, what exactly does this have to do with facts in refrence to
> anything I said? It has nothing to do with facts at all. you're
> getting confused.

you said you were a circumstantialist, not a conservative.

> Fred Wrote: see above. remember your own posts, please. And,
> well, you didn't post any facts. You presented items as facts
> for which there can hardly be any clear historical evidence in
> official documents; yet journalistic inquiries and hypothesis,
> declarations of retired officials are available.

> So&So wrote: Fred, darling, you have to tell me what you think
> is not factual okay? You cannot keep playing this roundabout
> game. Specify what you think is not factual, and cannot be
> proven.

That the CIA didn't have any connection with the mujaheddin fighters or with the Taliba. You say no, I say yes. There's evidence that indicate indirect links. There's no official evidence yet as the CIA docs for that matter are not declassified yet. So presenting something as true or a myth at this point is wrong. Misguided.
Clear, methinks.

> Fred Wrote: Now that's a fallacy with which you operate. The
> sources, data, facts are widely available - it's YOUR task to
> check them out. It should be common knowledge. It's an insult to
> your own grey cells that you fail to take them into account.

> So&So wrote: Posting hearsey articles and irrelevant facts that
> I have already adressed does not count as a factual rebuttal.
> Posting emotional articles expressing poele's dilemma's, or a
> biased peace orgnaizations position on the war, is not
> suffcient.

that's what you say - but your own opinions on the matter are enough? You are not biased, that is?

> So&So wrote: We can't just take your word for it.

> Fred Wrote: Oh you shouldn't ever. Fact is, these data are
> accessible. They can be traced, read, studied, analysed. Only
> some people don't seem to know, don't take notice of it, and
> force the burden of proof on all the other. You won't make me
> work to enhance your cultural background, that's your
> task."

> So&So wrote: Fred are you listening to yourself? What data are
> you referring to? At the time of this post you had not offered
> any data in response to claiming that I was wrong.

they are available in the media, you don't even present data to make your claim look reasonable. So, go ahead first, we'll see what you come up with.

> If you make a claim in a debate, you have to prove it with
> evidence when challenged, not just claim it exists.

The same holds for you. Where do you get the evidence that the CIA didn't cooperate with the mujaheddin? Where? ANd what evidence? Expose it.

> You simply said I was wrong, and I said you have to prove it.

You first have to give me evidence that supports your claim.

> The things you posted after your intitial post do not qualify as
> data disproving any direct argument.

You have yet to give a direct argument.

> Big "F" for you.

Oh. Couldn't care less.
 
M

Mr. So & So

Guest
> Only one book? Fisk also interview Bin Laden.

And did Fisk say that Bin Laden claimed CIA cordination?

> O'Neill also talked with Bin Laden<

Did he claim such as well?

> Does Bergen address at all the Saudi connection?

Of course, in detail.

> For the evidence of contacts between the CIA and the rebel
> fighters you'll have to wait for the declassified CIA documents.

Okay, but you claimed that as a fact in former posts. Do you deny that you said that the CIA trained Bin Laden?

If so, then you have to wait for declassified inormation to prove your point.

In the meantime reasonable conclusions can be made through the invesitgation of those involved. The fact that there is no reasonably verifable evidence to support that claim means that it cannot be justifiably asserted.

Here is another source: Who Is Osama Bin Laden?

by Michel Chossudovsky

Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa

"Pakistan's ISI was used as a "go-between". The CIA covert support to the "jihad" operated indirectly through the Pakistani ISI, --i.e. the CIA did not channel its support directly to the Mujahideen."

"CIA's Beardman confirmed, in this regard, that Osama bin Laden was not aware of the role he was playing on behalf of Washington. In the words of bin Laden (quoted by Beardman): "neither I, nor my brothers saw evidence of American help"."

> No, but it forces you to come up with some facts now. And there
> in no way stronger evidence that what I so far
> said/copied/posted. Right - and did you? Do you think Fisk did it? the source is the former secirity advisor of Pres. Carter - his
> name escapes me now. He claims the USA was inside Afghanistan 6
> months before the Russians, and that they tricked the Russians
> in the Afghan trap. I don't qualify, in no post I made, the work by Peter Bergen. I claim that you don't present facts. Now you did. One book. It is considered a crime of war - by all standards of
> international law - to know beforehand that you will cause
> civilian casualties that would be avoided otherwise, and still
> continue your actions. Again: no. These principles are defined and applied by
> international law - and the USA doesn't recognize Internation
> Tribunals. Why not? You haven't yet. I'm waiting for your presentation of the facts,
> and your arguments. To say that the CIA did their thing through
> Pakistan is no rebuttal: they knew perfectly well that the money
> and weapons went to the Taliba.
> it was furthermore the CIA who in 1979 recruited people like
> Osama through the Saudi.
> You can't claim that there is no connection, no connivance, no
> interference. That's a willing misrepresentation of the facts.

I never claimed there wasn't any connection Fred. We were discussing the training of Afghan fighters. You are convoluting this debate on purpose I feel.

> So then offer us some factual accounts of what you think is
> going on now? You asked which war crimes are being committed.
> The slaughter in the Afghan prison is not a war crime in your
> eyes because it's about a bunch of rebelling prisoners.

No Fred, bacause it hasn't been proven that there was a crime committed. You are assuming there was a crime committed.

> That the CIA didn't have any connection with the mujaheddin
> fighters or with the Taliba. You say no, I say yes.

I never said they didn't have a connection Fred, I said that there is no strong evidence to the claim that they trained them directly or knew exactly who was being trained. I specifically stated that money and weapons were given. this si common knowledge.

If someone claims something they have to prove that that claim, not say that it is true because someone cannot refute it.

There is no verifiable evidence that the CIA directly trained the rebels in Afghanistan. The Pakistnain government decided who was being trained.

Another big "F" for you.
 
F

fred f and the lot

Guest
> And did Fisk say that Bin Laden claimed CIA cordination?

Fisk describes Bin Laden as a caveman. And considers it rather improbable that he's behind the planning of the attacks on WTC.

> Did he claim such as well?

> Of course, in detail.

Well, expand on it. What are the connections between Bush and the Saudis, for example?

> Okay, but you claimed that as a fact in former posts. Do you
> deny that you said that the CIA trained Bin Laden?

The CIA recruited Bin Laden and other Arab fighters for their war in Afghanistan against the Russian, thorugh Saudi Arabia.
Can you say that Bin Laden never met any CIA guy?
Even Benazir Bhutto, one of Pakistan's former Premiers warned the USA that they had trained a monster (BL) which they wouldn't be able to control.

> If so, then you have to wait for declassified inormation to
> prove your point.

And that's at least what you'll have to wait for too.

> In the meantime reasonable conclusions can be made through the
> invesitgation of those involved. The fact that there is no
> reasonably verifable evidence to support that claim means that
> it cannot be justifiably asserted.

> Here is another source: Who Is Osama Bin Laden?

> by Michel Chossudovsky

> Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa

> "Pakistan's ISI was used as a "go-between". The
> CIA covert support to the "jihad" operated indirectly
> through the Pakistani ISI, --i.e. the CIA did not channel its
> support directly to the Mujahideen."

> "CIA's Beardman confirmed, in this regard, that Osama bin
> Laden was not aware of the role he was playing on behalf of
> Washington. In the words of bin Laden (quoted by Beardman):
> "neither I, nor my brothers saw evidence of American
> help"."

> What facts have you posted Fred? Come on show me. What sources
> have you posted rebutting my claim that there is no evidence
> that the CIA was not involved. That's what we are discussing
> here.

And when precisely did BL made that claim? Before or after 1987?

> What you have posted is essentially opinion peaces, not
> researched material. It doesn't compare, and none of them have
> mentioned direct CIA training in Afghanistan

I never mentioned direct links. Do you refuse to consider indirect connections?

> I claim there is no evidence and you claim that there is,
> therefore you bare the burden of proof.
> I don't have to prove that there is no eivdence.

Ah? So what about the assertions made by Brzezinski?

> I don't know Fred. I don't know his claims, and if he wrote a
> book I would contemplate his sources.

He's a first source - national sec. advisor of Carter.

> And it doesn't matter if I read the documents or not, I don't
> have the ability to do so right now, so we are dependent on
> researched information, based on the fact that there is no
> strong proof of direct CIA training. Most of our information
> comes from other people and it is our job to assess the validity
> of it.

And how will you do that?

> First off, in all of the books I have read in regards to the
> conflict in Afghanistan, not one mentions the Carter cabinet
> claim. So either the claim has been dismissed as bunk, or you
> have your facts wrong.

Now, who's going to dismiss it as bunk? We'll await the declassification of the documents to see who's on it and who's not.

> Even those who have mistaknely parrotted the CIA mantra and have
> provided no evidence, have not mentioned the Carter sources in
> their statements.

So?

> It doesn't matter anyway, because then you are basing your claim
> on one single source, still without valid proof of guilt.

Again, it's a testimony or admittance.

> Remember, I claimed that I bleieved form what I've researched
> that the CIA was not directly involved in training the rebels
> themselves, but I specified that more importantly, beyond my
> belief, there is no evidence that they did so anyhow.

> No, it's not Fred. That would exempt war period, and
> international law does not exempt war.

No you're wrong again.

> You are purposely misconstruing the facts and here they are
> Fred:
> "International law prohibits direct attacks on civilians
> and civilian objects as well as attacks on military targets
> expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life "which
> would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct
> military advantage anticipated."

> "AIUSA stressed that international law prohibits reprisal
> attacks directed at civilian targets. Attacks that, though
> ostensibly aimed at a legitimate military target, have an
> indiscriminate or disproportionate impact on civilians are also
> prohibited. Under international law, a civilian population is
> still protected from attack even if it includes
> non-civilians."

> Source: "Amnesty International"

> There hs been no proof that the U.S. has intentionally violated
> inernational law in the military strikes. There may have been
> accidents, but there is no proof that they were intentionally
> targeted, therefore they have abided by international law.

And the refugees - you do seem to have a very narrow view of what civilian casualties mean. The thousands of refugees this bombing campaign has created are not to be considered "victims" therefore? Nothing 'disproportionate'?
The targets on Kabuls residential districts were all "mistakes"?

Wrong again.

> But you got them wrong. I don't think the U.S. should recognize
> internationl tribunals in this instance and I would vehemently
> oppose such an action.

Why not? Because they are the USA and therefore can do whatever they want to do?

> The coaltion memebers seem to generally accept this, as do I.

> I never claimed there wasn't any connection Fred. We were
> discussing the training of Afghan fighters. You are convoluting
> this debate on purpose I feel.

And you are narrowing it towards a very small notion of training. Like sit ups in a tent. "No, no CIA man was there'".
Fine.

> No Fred, bacause it hasn't been proven that there was a crime
> committed. You are assuming there was a crime committed.

So are you in saying that Afghanistan should be bombed because of Sept. 11. Where's the evidence involving Osama Bin Laden?

> I never said they didn't have a connection Fred, I said that
> there is no strong evidence to the claim that they trained them
> directly or knew exactly who was being trained. I specifically
> stated that money and weapons were given. this si common
> knowledge.

And why was money given? Weapons? As collectioner's items?

> If someone claims something they have to prove that that claim,
> not say that it is true because someone cannot refute it.

Well, consider reasoning.
The CIA gives weapons to Pakistan, money as well. Why is that?
You appear to have no problem with it.
The fundings of the IRA come from America in high quantities, sure they didn't hand it to an individual - but why send in funds? For holiday camps?

> There is no verifiable evidence that the CIA directly trained
> the rebels in Afghanistan. The Pakistnain government decided who
> was being trained.

and who influenced the Pakistanian government agencies? You apparently don't want to know why the CIA was dealing with ISI?

> Another big "F" for you.

Oh my, your teacher habits are interesting. You don't have any frustration, I hope?
 
M

Mr. So & So

Guest
Okay, Fred, I’m back, and although I vowed to hold my tongue, the slew inaccuracies and flaws in your reasoning have forced my return, if only briefly and for one last epic stand.

It seems you have opted to take yourself rather.

For the sake of not allowing you to convolute this debate with ignored evidence and consistent double talk, I will make an honest attempt to condense the things you have said into one complete post.

So&So Previously Wrote: “There is no proof whatsoever that the CIA sponsored the Taliban, and you are the first person I have ever heard make that claim. You make the claim, you must show the proof.”

Fred F Then Wrote: “Try reasoning. The CIA is close with Pakistani Intelligence (ISI). Right or not? You'll say "right". It's documented. The Pakistani intelligence is made up by whom? Created by ... Zia Ul Haq, combining islam fundamentalism and Pakistani nationalism. Right or wrong? You'll say right - if you take care of checking some history books. The CIA knows Zia Ul Haq - right or not? Those are the premisses. Now, if the CIA is putting money and weapons to the ISI and Pakistani intelligence in general - why should that be? To sponsor the Pakistani cricket team? For the Cachmir war? Also.”

So&So Writes: Fred, this statement is in reference to your claim that there is undeniable proof that the CIA “sponsored” the Taliban. Let’s first make this clear so you cannot back track in this debate.

Claiming the use of “reason” as a means of verifiable proof that the CIA sponsored the Taliban is invalid, because it is only your reasoning on the matter.

But let me show you how your reasoning fails: The CIA gave money and received intelligence from the Pakistani intelligence agency. This is universally agreed and admitted. No one has denied this. So far, so good. The ISI and actively recruited Islamic fundamentalists to fight in the Soviet war, again, this is fully agreed upon and admitted by the U.S. government. Great, we’re in agreement so far.

Now here is where your reasoning goes astray: Fred F wrote: "Now if the CIA is putting money and weapons to the ISI and Pakistani intelligence in general - why should that be?”

Well, Fred, I think any rational person would agree that just because the CIA was supplying the ISI with weapons to distribute to Afghan fighters, and then after the war, with money for the ISI to gather intelligence, it doesn’t logically follow that they were therefore intentionally “sponsoring” the Taliban. No person who is versed in the academic field of debate or logic would agree with you, and for obvious reasons.

So the answer to your question about why the CIA was giving money to the ISI is for obvious reasons: Intelligence gathering in the area ingeneral, and later, in regards to Osama Bin Laden who the CIA has been pursuing for years.

The CIA simply giving money to the Pakistani ISI for intelligence gathering does not automatically make the CIA guilty of intentionally sponsoring the Taliban. Since you have taken the time to read “Taliban” by Ahmed Rashid, (I presume) then you will know that the primary modes of funding that the Taliban received were from Al Qaeda, Saudi Arabia.

Fred F Wrote: “But to say that they don't know that part of the money also went straight into the Taliban ... that would be saying that the CIA is stupid. And you say it didn't? You say the Pakistani intelligence ISI didn't sponsor the Taliban? You can't, right? “

So&So writes: There is no evidence that the CIA was aware of the Taliban’s intentions until after they had arrived on the scene. The Taliban were not of any concern to the CIA at the time, or to anyone else for that matter, not even to the Afghani people who initially embraced them.

The CIA had no reason to be concerned for the Taliban, nor did the rest of the world, because no on knew exactly what they were going to do, or the extent ot which they were going to do it.

So your point that the CIA knew about the Taliban before they took over, and therefore intentionally sponsored them by giving money to the Pakistani ISI is both not factual, or well reasoned in any sense. I have shown you why, and I dare you to show me any sound evidence that the CIA knowingly “sponsored" the “Taliban.”

The Afghan fighters that made up the Taliban were mostly foreigners, not all of whom were the Afghani rebels that fought the Soviets and funded by U.S. aid through Pakistanini intelligence.. Again, for reference read “Taliban” by Ahmed Rashid.

Fred F Wrote: “So there is no link whatsoever between the CIA and the Taliban?”

So&So Writes: In terms of evidence of intentionally “sponsoring” them like you claim? No, there is none, and no one claims there is. People claim CIA ignorance and failure to protect its country from eventual extremism sponsored by Pakistani intelligence, but no one that I know of, has ever claimed that the CIA intentionally sponsored the Taliban.

The CIA later spoke with Taliban members attempting to negotiate the handing over of Osama Bin Laden, but they wanted to be recognized as legitimate government in return for doing so. The CIA refused to negotiate on those terms. Again, this is documented in “Holy War Inc.” and “Taliban.”

Fred F Wrote: “And what about Ali Mohammed? And the guy who's jailed (the Egyptina cheik/mollah) for the WTC bomb in 1993?”

So&So writes: What about Mohammed? The best way to refute this implication as evidence is to post an excerpt from “Holy War Inc.:”

“A Further connection between the CIA and Afghan Arabs is an Egyptian-American, Ali Mohammed, who worked briefly as a CIA informant in the early 1980’s and later worked for Al-Qaeda. However, while these links are certainly interesting, they are only that. They hardly amount to an operation by the Agency to train and fund the Afghan-Arabs.”

And more, proper reasoning of the facts or lack thereof, from the book…

“That is not to say that the CIA did not make a significant tactical error during the Afghan-Arab war by allowing the decisions about the funding and prosecution of the conflict to be made by the Pakistanis.”

Also… “Brigadier Mohammed Yousaf, who ran ISI’s Afghan operation between 1983 and 1987, explains with admirable clarity the relationship between CIA and the Afghan Mujahideen, or holy warriors; ‘The foremost function of the CIA was to spend money. It was always galling to the Americans, and I can understand their point of view, that although they paid the piper they could not call the tune. The CIA supported the mujahideen by spending taxpayer’s money, billions of dollars of it over the years, on buying arms, ammunition, and equipment…. It was however, a cardinal rule of Pakistan’s policy that no Americans ever become involved with the distribution of the funds or arms once they arrived in the country. No Americans ever trained or had direct contact with the mujahideen, and no American official ever went inside Afghanistan.”

Peter Bergen then goes on to say rather logically: “In short, the CIA hade very limited dealings with Afghans, let alone with Afghan Arabs, and for good reason. There was simply no point in the CIA and the Afghan Arabs being in contact with each other. The agency worked through the ISI during the Afghan war, while the Afghan Arabs functioned independently and had their own sources of funding… “So the notion that the CIA funded and trained the Afghan Arabs is, at best, misleading. The ‘Let’s blame everything bad that happens on the CIA’ school of thought vastly overestimates the Agency’s powers, both for good and for ill.”

As for Sheikh Omar, there is again, no evidence that he was working in conjunction with The CIA. You asked my feelings on them, yet you provided no verifiable, or corroborated evidence of your obvious implication.

Despite all of this, the above paragraph that I responded to only addresses the issue of the CIA’s direct involvement with the mujahideen, no the Taliban. I’m quite sure you have gotten the two confused, and therefore, have muddled the original debate of whether or not there is hard evidence that the CIA knowingly, willingly and directly sponsored the Taliban. Besides your supposed “reasoned” statement regarding the CIA’s funding of the ISI, you manage to only then veer off into trying to once again, implicate guilt of the CIA’s direct involvement with the mujahideen.

The Taliban arrived around six years after the Soviet war, and were mostly regional outsiders. The people accepted them initially until they cemented their oppression. The United Nations ignored them, the Western world ignored them until their woman’s right record was exposed, and until they refused to handover Osama Bin Laden. Sanctions were then placed upon them and the U.S. attempted to work with the ISI in order to do have them turn over Bin Laden.

Your own reasoning does not equal fact, especially when there are others who come to a different reasoning on the same matter. It is your hunch, but not a verifiable fact.

So&So wrote: “There is no proof that the CIA directly trained the Taliban.”

Fred F Wrote: And there is plenty of evidence that they trained the mujaheddin and recruited Osama Bin Laden in 1979 or early 80s.

So&So writes: And you have provided absolutely no verifiable proof of this “plentiful” evidence. You have posted people’s opinions, people’s assumptions, but nothing that can be verified through corroboration.

I quoted the Pakistani Intelligence Commander who specifically stated that the CIA never met with Bin Laden, and the ISI were the ones calling the shots. Coupled with the fact that there is no verifiable evidence that says that Bin Laden ever met with the CIA.

Fred F wrote: “But they welcomed it. Madeleine Albright, from the Clinton administration, said, when the Taliban took over Kabul, that this was "a positive development"

So&So writes: So basically you admit from your above statement that there is no verifiable proof that the CIA sponsored the Taliban? But you then go onto qualify the statement by saying that the U.S. at least welcomed them. Do you realize that the Afghani people welcomed the Taliban initially? The reason they initially welcomed them was for the same reason that the Afghani people welcomed it, because they assumed it was going to restore order to the country. No one knew what the Taliban was capable of until they acted. So What?

Besides, initially welcoming someone you have very little knowledge about in terms of eventual violent opression, is not guilt of sponsorship. The Taliban were never recognized as a valid government by nayone except Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Does this make sense to you at all?

Whether the Taliban was seen initially as a good thing or not is irrelevant because unless you actively destroyed them from the very beginning with military force, they would have existed anyway.

The point is, they were eventually opposed, and that’s all that matters.

Were any of the European governments actively standing up against the Taliban? Why not?

Fred F Wrote: “Not many months later, leaders of the Taliban regime were hosted by the then Texas governor, called George W. Bush (I think he has another duty now). Condoleeza Rice, for example, has been director at Exxon. I think she has another job now as well. And George senior & James Baker and Osama's family together with other Saudi's were part (or still are) of the Carlyle Corporation.”

So&So writes: First and foremost, this is another example of your horrible skills at analysis. The rest of the Bin Laden family disowned Bin Laden, so there is no rational reason to have any qualms about meeting with them. They are not criminals, and there is no evidence that they have any ties with Bin Laden, so your point is moot in that respect.

As for the Taliban meeting in Texas, so what? Again, this does not implicate sponsorship of the Taliban by the CIA. This happened in the first year of their occupation before anyone had a chance to fully oppose them. They controlled the country whether valid or not, and the extent of their eventual oppression was still a matter of ignorance by most. Those companies interested in a pipeline (not just American ones) needed to get permission from those in control of the country before they could go forward with any agreed to plans.

Do I think the companies were only caring about their own buck, and not about who was in charge? Of course, but it has little to do with evidence supporting the idea that the CIA intentionally, knowingly and directly sponsored the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan.

Feminists are the ones who brought Taliban oppression to light and since their lobbying the U.S. has spoken out against them.

Did America turn its head to rumblings in the country? Of course, as did the rest of the world, but again, it's still not evidence of CIA sponsorship, and you essentially admitted as much by qualifying my challenge with the line "But they surely accepted them.”

Do you see how when we break your argument down it is revealed to be full of hearsay, hunches, and supposed conspiracy theories?

I have no problem admitting anything that has verifiable proof attached to it, but I’m sick and tired of extremist types asserting theories that are not rooted in direct fact or even well reasoned.

I’m not necessarily defending the American government, for I have numerous criticisms, but I am defending reason.

Since this debate is no longer about the necessity of the military campaign in Afghanistan, we must focus on your ill-reasoned theories of of absolute CIA involvement. this si amission for your to prove that America is responsible for the terrorist attacks. That's all it comes down to.

It doesn’t matter anyway, because even if the CIA had willingly and knowingly created all of these individuals, we would still have to do what is necessary to protect ourselves and learn from past mistakes as I feel we have done thus far.

Fred F Wrote: “So the killing in the Mazar-i-Sharif prison that apparently (Red Cross workers witnesses - no official IRC statement yet) saw prisoners killed with their hands tied behind their back is therefore necessarily part of propaganda?”

So&So writes: You’re hanging yourself Fred. If it is presented a corroborated fact by an organization or person who is attempting to create an argument that opposes a matter, then yes, it certainly can be construed as propaganda, because it has not knowingly been corroborated as fact, but is presented as one.

Besides, even if it is true, did a U.S. soldier commit this crime? Did a U.S. commander order this crime? If not, then you cannot implicate the United States in a war crime. The only thing you have is guilt by association.

Fred F Wrote: The invitation is upon you: bring up some facts about the current events in Afghanistan - the number of displaced, the number of those threatened by famine and winter, the civilian casualties, ... bring them on. And quote different sources, even as respectable as the CIA. “

So&So writes: Fred, I am not making claims about the number dead, the number displaced, the number of those threatened by famine, winter, and the number of civilian casualties, because I simply don’t know for sure, and most likely will not know for sure until the war is over. Neither will you, so you cannot make absolute claims that 7.5 million Afghanis will be killed because you don’t know that.

All I know is that an action has been proposed, and that’s all I can go on. The invitation is not on me because I made no claims, unlike you; therefore you bare the burden of proof. You haven’t learned anything from these debates.

Fred F Wrote: “You don't care about how justice is done? About international courts, their functioning?”

So&So writes: International courts do not guarantee justice, nor does any judicial system. However the act was committed on American soil and should be tried there. We should not place the responsibility of guilt on an international court when it is our safety that is desired first and foremost. I trust our judicial system if Ashcroft would allow it to be used in its entirety.

Fred F Wrote: “Why is this a "good war", again?”

So&So writes: Because it is for our national security. Enough said.

Fred F Wrote: “How about the Afghan refugees - the USA said they'd spend 320 million dollars on food and you claim that food is being dropped. How come the food and aid organizations say they're having enormous problems getting the food to the deplaced?”

So&So writes: Well, probably because they are having difficulties Fred. There were obviously difficulties getting food to people before Sept. 11. Did I ever say that they wouldn’t have a difficulty? Well, no burden of proof needed for something I never even asserted. I was defending the U.S.’s intentions.

So&So wrote: “And did Fisk say that Bin Laden claimed CIA coordination?”

Fred F Wrote: “Fisk describes Bin Laden as a caveman. And considers it rather improbable that he's behind the planning of the attacks on WTC.”

So&So writes: Fred, clear you screen, I asked if Fisk ever said that Bin Laden claimed CIA coordination. I don’t care what Fisk thinks. He’s a loon, with an agenda. What does him being a caveman have to do with his status as the leader of Al Qaeda. He’s a caveman because he is wanted. And besides, have you seen illustrations of his supposed cave networks? If indeed they are accurate, they are hardly “caveman” like abodes.

However, I understand your inability to answer the question directly.

Fred F Wrote: “The CIA recruited Bin Laden and other Arab fighters for their war in Afghanistan against the Russian, through Saudi Arabia. Can you say that Bin Laden never met any CIA guy?”

So&So writes: There is no verifiable evidence that they did. From corroborated testimony of retired U.S. involvers, Pakistan’s intelligence commander that I have listed, the lack of evidence that supports coordination, and Bin Laden’s denial of CIA coordination, I personally believe it is how Peter Bergen reasoned it. Could I be wrong, yes, but there is no reason for me to believe it, and more reason for me to not believe it.

It is my belief, through reason, but I am not claiming it has an absolute. My position from the very beginning was to expose the myth that it was a "fact" that the CIA trained and funded Bin Laden directly. There is more “reason” to believe that this did not take place as presented by Peter Bergen who is British, and spent four years researching his book, and who spoke with many of the key individuals in the Soviet War.

The claims by Ahmed Rashid are not fully corroborated in the footnotes of his book, which is Bergen’s exact stance as well, and at the very best is hearsay.

Alas, you have failed to provide any corroborated evidence that this indeed happened. I continuously ask you what the proof is, since it is your burden to show me poof, yet you have been unable to do so and engage in another fallacious argument technique called “Begging the question.” Often when I have asked you to show me proof, you have replied by asking me a question instead, therefore exempting yourself from answer me directly.

It’s not helping you. Your difficulty in debating this matter lies in the fact that you are attempting to assert absolute guilt that requires verifiable evidence and I am merely defending the idea of reasoned opinion making.

Fred F Wrote: “Even Benazir Bhutto, one of Pakistan's former Premiers warned the USA that they had trained a monster (BL) which they wouldn't be able to control.”

So&So writes: This is a perfect example of how you provide “facts.” The comment hardly provides proof that the CIA trained and funded Bin Laden directly.

Besides, the actual Pakistani ISI commander contradicts that statement. I am more inclined to believe the Pakistani ISI commander, than the Prime Minister at the time, who doesn’t necessarily have all of the intelligence knowledge that they do.

She could have simply been parroting what she read. The fact remains; her comment is contradicted by other key figures, and still requires a degree of proof in order to be accepted as an absolute as you are accepting it.

It could also simply be a statement referring to the money given to the Pakistani intelligence agency that distributed it and allowed for them to train certain mujahideen factions. The ISI virtually has its own power and own secrets that the Prime Minister doesn’t necessarily have knowledge about. It doesn’t work that way with the ISI. So just because she was the prime minister doesn’t mean she has the actual knowledge of everything that took place, or how it took place. The CIA worked with the ISI, not with the Prime Minster of Pakistan, for the intelligence agency has its own virtual sovereignty. This is common knowledge you can dig up anywhere.

Honestly Fred, I have asked you repeatedly to give me verifiable proof, and all you have produced is offhand quotes that have been contradicted by other key figures?

Okay, well, go on and assert that you “believe” that the CIA directly trained and funded Bin Laden, but certainly don’t claim it as a fact as you have done.

For your appeasement, I’ll change my stance to I “seriously doubt" that they met with and trained Bin Laden.

So&So wrote: “If so, then you have to wait for declassified information to prove your point.”

Fred F wrote: “And that's at least what you'll have to wait for too.”

So&So writes: I don’t have to wait for anything to have a well-reasoned belief. I’m not making an absolute claim. I’m asserting my current belief based on corroborated testimony by key figures and well reasoned facts about the Soviet Afghan war.

However, you are stating undoubtedly that the CIA did train Bin Laden, and that there is verifiable proof of this. Yet you haven't presented any. You have presented one quote by the former Prime Minister of Pakistan that essentially stated her belief. However, we don’t know how she can prove that, since she wasn’t involved in the ISI dealings with the U.S. You also claim a Carter cabinet statement that I have been unable to corroborate or source, and neither have you.

So&So wrote: “What you have posted is essentially opinion peaces, not
researched material. It doesn't compare, and none of them have mentioned direct CIA training in Afghanistan”

Fred F wrote: “I never mentioned direct links. Do you refuse to consider indirect connections?”

So&So writes: And finally Fred admits his error, however much of a struggle it was. You specifically stated that the CIA sponsored the Taliban. Which means they knowingly supported them as the government of Afghanistan, and they didn’t. You also claimed that the U.S. directly trained and funded Osama Bin Laden, which there is no hard proof that they did.

So, now you are claiming you never made these statements and are asserting that you only claimed connections, which would have to be funding through the Pakistani ISI, something I have been attempting to reason with you on all along.

Yes, the U.S. gave money to the Pakistani ISI to support the war against the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, not a bad idea, but they let the Pakistani distribute it in any way that they desired, and with little deep knowledge of who and where is was going to.

The CIA @#!!!ed up and received blowback from a bad strategic maneuver through the Pakistani ISI, but we are discussing the intentional support of Osama Bin Laden.

So do you finally admit outright that you have no verifiable proof that Osama Bin Laden was trained and funded by the CIA? It is common knowledge that the money that the CIA gave to the ISI was given out to other extremists and Bin Laden as well, but that’s not what we are debating, and something I have made known all along.

So&So wrote: It doesn't matter anyway, because then you are basing your claim on one single source, still without valid proof of guilt.

So&So wrote: “No, it's not Fred. That would exempt war period, and
international law does not exempt war.”

Fred F wrote: “No you're wrong again.”

So&So writes: LOL! This is a rebuttal. Come on Fred just give up now okay? Well, you conveniently left out the part on proving how I am wrong.

Again, international law does not exempt war, which would be the completely denial of civilian casualties as you claimed it did. I quoted international law, and it proved you wrong.

I am sitting here presenting you evidence and you just happily gloss over it.

So&So wrote: “You are purposely misconstruing the facts and here they are Fred: "International law prohibits direct attacks on civilians and civilian objects as well as attacks on military targets expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life "which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated." "AIUSA stressed that international law prohibits reprisal attacks directed at civilian targets. Attacks that, though ostensibly aimed at a legitimate military target, have an indiscriminate or disproportionate impact on civilians are also prohibited. Under international law, a civilian population is still protected from attack even if it includes non-civilians." Source: "Amnesty International" There has been no proof that the U.S. has intentionally violated international law in the military strikes. There may have been accidents, but there is no proof that they were intentionally targeted, therefore they have abided by international law.”

Fred F Wrote: “And the refugees - you do seem to have a very narrow view of what civilian casualties mean.”

So&So writes: Again, that would exempt war. Refugees are not classified as civilian casualties because they are still alive, and are only casualties when they are dead.

Is anyone else who is reading this as amazed as I am at this sidestepping logic being used by Fred?

Fred F Wrote: “The thousands of refugees this bombing campaign has created are not to be considered "victims" therefore Nothing 'disproportionate'? The targets on Kabuls residential districts were all "mistakes"? Wrong again.”

So&So writes: You cannot say whether for sure or not that they were indeed presumed to be disproportionate when struck. I know you would like to, but you can’t. You cannot prove that there was an aassumption beforehand that there would be dispraportionate casualties.

Again, you could just as easily apply that logic to doing something that would allow the Taliban to remain in power, thus causing casualties in disproportion to the relative success of your effort.

No matter what you do, people will die Fred. If you are peaceful people will die, and if you are violent people will die,

And once again, no, refuges are not considered casualties of war until they die, not until that that time they are considered “refugees” Fred.

So&So wrote: I never claimed there wasn't any connection Fred. We were discussing the training of Afghan fighters. You are convoluting this debate on purpose I feel.

Fred F Wrote: “And you are narrowing it towards a very small notion of training. Like sit ups in a tent. "No, no CIA man was there'". Fine.”

So&So Writes: I claimed there is proof that the CIA gave the ISI money, and the ISI chose to whom and how to spread it. I claimed that there is no evidence that the CIA ever met or trained Bin Laden’s troops in strategy. Weapons and aid were given through the ISI. This much we know, the rest is conjecture, and not well corroborated or documented. Giving weapons and money through the ISI is not training Fred. Training is teaching military strategy and organization, and knowing who you are meeting with.

You asserted differently, and thus this debate.

Look, it doesn’t matter to me whether the CIA had a direct role or not, the fact remains that terrorists act is a creation of terrorists not the CIA, and there is no corroborated evidence to suggest that they played a direct role in training and funding Osama Bin Laden.

So&So wrote: “No Fred, because it hasn't been proven that there was a crime committed. You are assuming there was a crime committed.”

Fred F Wrote: “So are you in saying that Afghanistan should be bombed because of Sept. 11. Where's the evidence involving Osama Bin Laden?”

So&So writes: Fred, are you aware that you are not required to hold a court trial to prove an act of war y a particular individual or group before you react?

Are you denying all the links of all the members on the Sept.11 plains to Al Qaeda and Bin Laden? Are you denying the Dossier that was put out by the UK on the supporting evidence of Bin Laden’ guilt? Are you denying the suicide bombing of the opposition Alliance leader Massoud, as an admitted act by Al Qaeda just two days before the bombing? Are you denying these facts?

Now certainly the only thing that could clear all doubts in anyone’s mind is an actual admission by Bin Laden himself, but you are not required to have an admission, or a court case before you can justifiably enact a military attack. Evidence was presented to the allies who pledged support through the evidence that they were shown, and they accepted that as good enough evidence to justify a reaction.

That’s good enough for me when the group and regime that you are defending yourself against can be given time to prepare themselves in any manner while you try to coax an admission or prosecute the evidence before acting. Again, it’s called the real world, and you can go on believing that there is reasonable doubt that Bin Laden is guilty but those of us with half a brain can logically deduce the facts.

So&So wrote: “ I never said they didn't have a connection Fred, I said that there is no strong evidence to the claim that they trained them directly or knew exactly who was being trained. I specifically stated that money and weapons were given. this si common
knowledge.

Fred F Wrote: “And why was money given? Weapons? As collectioner's items?”

So&So writes: Fred do you under stand your original assertion at all. You said the CIA directly and knowingly funded Bin Laden specifically, not whether or not money was given to the ISI and then gave to select groups. This has been admitted and discussed throughout.

The CIA did a good thing in supporting the Afghans against the Soviets, it was their blind allowance of the ISI to dole out money to anyone they chose that was questionable, and allowed for “blowback.”

You are altering your original stance and it’s making me laugh.

Fred F Wrote: “Well, consider reasoning. The CIA gives weapons to Pakistan, money as well. Why is that? You appear to have no problem with it.”

So&So writes: Fred, I never said I didn’t have a problem with it, and you never asked me. I have a problem with the way the allowed the ISI to handle the funs. I think they should have supported the Afghans, but should have directly supported Massoud, instead of letting the ISI takeover the operations with their money.

So&So wrote: “There is no verifiable evidence that the CIA directly trained the rebels in Afghanistan. The Pakistnain government decided who was being trained.”

Fred F Wrote: “and who influenced the Pakistanian government agencies? You apparently don't want to know why the CIA was dealing with ISI?”

So&So writes: Honestly Fred... I do know why the CIA was dealing with the ISI, because the ISI could gather intelligence in the region, and because the ISI could take the money and give it to the Afghan rebels, who were fighting the Soviets.

But again, you mess up when you categorically state that the CIA influenced the ISI, which there is no evidence of, and at the beginning of this post, I quoted the ISI commander on the CIA’s role in Afghanistan, and of course, as always, you present no corroborative evidence that the CIA made nay decisions on how the ISI distributed its funds and to whom.

So&So Writes: And finally, I have saved the best for Last. Let there be no doubt, Fred is relentless and determined, but as always his reasoning, and ability to believe in anything he reads without corroborative evidence and even with accuracy, leaves such admirable traits wasted.

Let there be no doubt that he speaks with conviction, but not with any degree of analytical sense.

Fred F Wrote: “I hope kindergarten time is over indeed, so let's move onto serious matter.”

So&So writes: Shhh... This is where Fred gets serious.

Fred F Wrote: “I'm glad you indicated your sources - and I saved these bits for last. Problem is, I know your sources too.”

So&So writes: “What the above should say is: ‘While pondering my inadequate debating ability I rushed out to review the enemies literature, and after doing so, I now take back all of the former qualifications I initially made, and hereby present you with my real position.”

Fred F Wrote: “1. The USA never supported the Taliban. Says Sidi so so. Surely, you won't be telling us that this is information you took from Rashid's book? I read that the USA has spent up to 1 billion dollar (right!) from 89 till 92 a year in support of the Taliban.”

So&So Writes: LOL!!!! The master propagandist strikes again, intentionally misconstruing the facts. Um, if you really read the book thoroughly then you would know that the Taliban didn’t come into existence until the end of 1994. So no U.S. money could have been given directly to the Taliban in that time period. The Tliban were not even an idead at the time.

Here is an excerpt form the book: “Since their dramatic and sudden appearance at the end of 1994, the Taliban had brought relative peace and security to Kandahar and neighboring provinces.”

Either you need to explain what the hell you are talking about or simply give up.

What you are likely confusing it with, or intentionally misconstruing it to support, is the money given to the ISI that was then given to mujhaideen fighters during the Soviet War. They were not the Taliban Fred. A handful joined the Taliban when they entered Afghanistan.

Surely you won’t be telling us this is information you took from Rashid’s book?

Fred F Wrote: “Right, they were not in power yet at that time. In 1992, according to Barney Rubin (and it's mentioned in Rashid's book too, if I remember well) the USA stopped their help - read: direct help. (the chapter on the intricate relations between Washington & Unocal are an interesting comparison in this respect).”

So&So writes: Fred this is somewhat indecipherable. I read the Rashid chapters including Rubin and the only one that mentions anything about the U.S. and money is the one where it speaks on the U.N. request for money in terms of aid to Afghanistan. It looks like you misread it in your vague reference. The chapter talks about how the U.N. requested millions in general from all members but kept receiving fewer and fewer millions. Rashid specified the numbers in U.S. dollars. He wasn’t referring to the U.S., he was referring to the numbers in U.S. dollars.

Not that this has anything to do with your bizarre and misconstrued statement about the Taliban being sponsored long before they even existed.

Again, the Taliban were not in existence in 1992. You are referring to the CIA/ISI distribution of funds to the mujahideen. They were not the Taliban. Some of those members joined the Taliban afterwards, but most were from outside the country and did not fight in the Afghan war, as stated in Rashid’s book and elsewhere.

If you are trying to create six degrees of guilt by slyly stating that the money the CIA was giving to the ISI then fine, walloow in your deaperate prosecution, but it's rather silly. Essentially what you are trying to do is claim that money was being distributed to the mujahideen during the Soviet War, and then some of those who fought in the Soviet war ended up joining the Taliban, therefore the U.S. is guilty of sponsoring and creating the Taliban. For obvious reasons this is absurd.

Why not then just blame Great Britian for ravaging the region in the first place and creating a dominoe effect of tragedy?

Fred F Wrote: “Oh, and yes, the concept Taliban - which you seem to consider as a "monolithic block" (I quote this since it's a critique LO tried to use) is far from "monolithic". You do know that mullah Omar was part of the mujaheddin fighters who then slipped into a Taliban role. For Osama and many others, the same applies.”

So&SoWrites: Who has denied this? What does this have to do with the CIA intentionally and knowingly sponsoring the Taliban Fred?

An excerpt from Rashid's book: “…The vast majority had never fought the communists and were young Koranic students, drawn from hundreds of madrassas that had been set up in Afghan refuges camps in Pakistan.”

So, let me get your reasoning straight: The CIA gives money to the ISI, who then spreads it around to different groups. Some of these fighters then join the Taliban when they move in from Pakistan and elsewhere; therefore, the CIA is guilty of intentionally sponsoring the Taliban?

This is your reasoning? Well, if it is you fail again, for obvious, logical reasons.

Fred F Wrote: “2. No US official ever trained the Taliban? Well, again this is true and not. In Rashid's book, the author quotes Osama himself from an interview (Chap. 13) where Osama says that his camps "received weapons from the CIA, and money from Pakistan".

So&So writes: Notice the qualification of his assertion, that this “is true and not.” Quiet now, Fred’s got something to say.

Fred, this I where you analytical skills and ability to absolutely believe anything that supports your position waxes clear. You don’t understand why certain statements are verifiable and why some are not, and hwo they are processed as afact. That’s why a book has footnotes.

Let me first quote Peter Bergen’s book which includes Rashid’s book in the footnotes so you understand how this works: “Were Bin Laden and his Afghan Arabs a creation of the U.S. government? Various books and multiple news reports have charged that the CIA armed and trained the Afghan Arabs and even Bin Laden himself as part of its operation to support the Afghan rebels fighting the Soviets in the 1980’s. They argue, therefore, that the United States is culpable in the Jihads and terrorism those militants subsequently spread around the world. As we shall see, those charges are overblown and are not supported by the evidences.”

The reason why I quoted the above in reference to your own reference is to make a clear point about analytical reasoning and evidence verification when forming a solid opinion about something. The reason why Bergen believes the above is because the claims made in “Taliban,” in regards to Oakley cannot be verified. They are stray reports with no footnoting so they cannot be verified or proven true. That is what he means when he says that the evidence or lack thereof, does not support the claims.

And it doesn’t specify how Oakley “supported" the mujahideen. Rashid makes that inference without footnotes, and the inference could easily be interpreted as the go between between the ISI and the CIA. He might interpret it as that because already assumes that the CIA trained Bin Laden, but it is not corroborated, nor are any sources sighted for the claim. There were U.S. administrators in Pakistan, up to six at a time.

Point being, there still is no verifiable, corroborative evidence for the claim.

Fred F Wrote: “And Rashid states clearly, on other pages, that the CIA were actively involved with Bin Laden's training camps (the paragraph on the financing of Bin Laden's secret tunnels in the region of Khost are worth a re-read).”

So&So Writes: And these claims cannot be clarified. Just because he wrote it doesn’t mean it is true or it can be rpoven by corroborating the facts. He could have misinterpreted facts, dependent on unreliable testimony or any of a number of things, but the point is, the claims cannot be verified. Before you accept them as true, you must be able to verify them as corroborated evidence from other important members, or show evidence. Again, this is why bergen rightfully denies any sound evidence of these claims, ebcause theya re made, but with little or none corroborative evidence, and are contradicted by other key figures involved, such as thet ISI commmander at the time.

Fred F Wrote: “3. About the Taliban and Washington. You do note that the Taliban went to Washington at least twice under the Clinton administration (other sources state Omar even was entertained by George W. Bush at his texas ranch). They dealth with the Unocal problem, CentGas stuff and talked with diplomats, and people from the Foreign Affairs Department. Again, it's in one of your sources. (I have other sources confirming, so it looks quite OK huh?)”

So&So writes: Fred, for Christ sake for the final time, I never denied any of this, and it is irrelevant to what we are debating. This is common, undeniable knowledge that is verifiable. You’re reaching here.

So what? The Taliban met in Washington before they were acknowledged by the world as a violent, oppressive regime. What’s wrong with that? They were expected to be a unifying regime. They were opposed when they became what everyone hated. Not everyone automatically despised the Taliban initially, not even the Afghan people. Even Rashid admits in his book that Washington was generally ignorant of the Taliban’s philosophy. He doesn’t describe the U.S. as the knowingly scheming group determined to ignore human rights violations at all costs in order to get a pipeline going, he acknowledges them as generally ignorant over what the Taliban was about. And once feminist groups and human rights organizations started lobbying in regards to what was going on, they were rightfully opposed.

The whole point is, they were eventually opposed and they were never acknowledged as a valid government by the United States or the U.N. There was nothing illegal or immmoral about delaing with them when they first arrived. Haivng not invited them to the U.S. was not going to make them go away Fred, and they were oppossed long before Sept. 11th.

Fred F Wrote: “4. You claimed that your sources never mentioned the Carter administration - again, and I do have to admit I had been a little wicked there - I didn't give you the name of the guy at first,”

So&So writes: Because you didn’t know it Fred.

Fred F Wrote: “and, Lo and behold, he's quoted in Rashid's book. And his name's in the index. Now, he's not quoted with the actual lines I gave you, but Rashid's book contains enough references for you to be able to check who quoted whom where. (It's a riddle!).”

So&So Writes: Of course he’s not quoted with the actual lines you gave me Fred. It is interesting that you make that perfectly clear and then play some vague reference game that I am supposed to figure out. Wow, his name was mentioned… and this means, what?

So, you made this clear to me because of what Fred? Because I failed to associate the anonymous Carter cabinet quote with something I had once read, and that wasn’t even printed there?

So again, Fred is all dressed up with nowhere to go.

Fred F Wrote: “5. Now, about the CIA never having met the Taliban. Would you mind reading more about a man called William Casey? He's got an interesting curriculum. Would you still claim that he has never met anyone from the Taliban? Oh - I'd leave you the option of disavowing Casey and saying he's done it all on his own.”

So&So Writes: Fred, do you honestly realize that you are completely massacring the debate and exactly what we are debating about, it has gotten so bad in this final post that I do believe it is intentional and mere subterfuge. You are altering the crux of the argument and making false claims about what I’ve actually said.

I challenge you to paste the quote where I said that the CIA never met the Taliban, because I never said it. I said there is no proof that the CIA ever met with Bin Laden, not the Taliban. The CIA met with the Taliban over the poppy trade and over Osama Bin Laden.

Also, here is another example of how you misrepresent the facts in order to beef up your argument. The book never says that Casey met with the Taliban. The book claims, sourced as an interview with certain Pakistani cabinet members that Casey supposedly crossed the Afghan border in order to assess the damage of the successful military arsenal given to the mujahideen, which is contradicted by the ISI commander at the time who was in charge of CIA/Pakistani operations.

This occurred in 1986, which is long before the Taliban existed and is irrelevant to your assertion that the CIA met with the Taliban, as you have stated above. Even if it was a successfully corroborated as fact, the Taliban did not exist before 1986. So Casey couldn’t have met with the Taliban, because the Taliban didn’t exist.

The notion that Casey wandered into Afghanistan is erroneous IMHO. I agree with Bergen’s rational, that the CIA did not want to risk being present in Afghanistan in case they were captured and allowed to be flaunted by the Soviets, not to mention the contradictory assertion by the ISI commander at the time, that these things did not occur.

Nowhere in the references to Casey did Rashid state that he met with the Taliban, because they didn’t exist Fred.

Just for insight, Rashid even makes this clear qualification: "None of the players (referring to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the U.S.) reckoned on these vounteers having their own agendas...."

Remember Fred, the Taliban came into existence at the end of 1984 and were made up of mostly outsiders as corroborated in Rashid’s book.

Indeed Rashid’s is a good book, but you have to compare to other sources, which you haven’t and check for successful corroboration. Not everything he declares in the book can be verified, which is why Bergen makes the statement that he made about there being little evidence to support such claims, and other evidence to lead one away from that conclusion.

I initially believed as you did Fred because I had nothing that could tell me different. When I researched I found that many of these claims could be verified, and if they cannot be successfully verified then I cannot reasonably believe them as fact.

You should do the same, however your goal is more prosecution, not truth or rationale.

Again, I cannot help but feel that in your best post to date, you have intentionally misrepresented the facts, expecting that I would not take you task on it.

Now are you going to apologize?

Fred F Wrote: “I'd just like to remind you that stating that no US official ever dealt with the Taliban or mullah Omar is a falsity. Just re-read Ashid's book - I found the part on the "direct telephone line" interesting info.”

So&So Writes: LOL! Fred, you just don’t give up do you? I never said that no U.S. official ever met with the Taliban. I said they did not create or sponsor the Taliban as a valid government and there is no evidence that they ever did. The Taliban was never recognized as a valid government, and there is no evidence that they were directly sponsored before their arrival or after their arrival. Speaking with them over the natural resources that they hold is not sponsorship or creation. Have you purposely misunderstood this argument? You are hanging yourself with your own assertions, and it is all because you are trying to reach where there is no sturdy branch. I can just sit back and keep watching as the burden of proof rests on you and you fail time and time again to verify it.

You have taken degrees of relation through the ISI, and other stray members and therefore imply guilt because of a string of dominoe effect mistakes, miscalculations, and plain ignorance, by, not jsut the U.S. but others involved as well. To assert that the United States created these regimes, is just plain dumb.

So it looks like in Fred’s last and most precious post, he either misconstrues what was actually printed, or makes an irrelevant reference to a made up assertions.

This indeed, will be the last post I ever write to you, for you are too obsessive and much too inconsistent and loose with the facts for there to be any serious, meaningful debate on the matter.

Your entire intention has been to prove that the U.S. is responsible for Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban, and the notion is so completely absurd as to not be provable.

Which, in fact, it is.
 
F

fred f and the lot

Guest
sidi so so and the fallacy of reason

> Your entire intention has been to prove that the U.S. is
> responsible for Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban, and the notion
> is so completely absurd as to not be provable.

> Which, in fact, it is.

Ah, Sidi so so and his attempts to get it right ...
Now, it's really becoming grotesque, you know?

Does the name Robert Gates mean anything to you?
If it does, and if it doesn't: I'll provide you all with a link where he, a former CIA director, admits the funding and weapon delivery, training in Afghanistan.

http://www.cia.gov/cia/public_affairs/speeches/archives/1999/dci_speech_111999gatesremarks.html

excerpt: (you can check for yourself as well):
(...)
Operationally, CIA had important successes in covert action. Perhaps the most consequential of all was Afghanistan where

CIA, with its management, funneled billions of dollars in supplies and weapons to the Mujahhadin, and the resistance was thus

able to fight the vaunted Soviet army to a standoff and eventually force a political decision to withdraw. Both the costs of the

war and the stalemate had a significant and broad political impact domestically inside the Soviet Union.
(...)
Similarly on occasion our operations, for example in Afghanistan, had limiting and dangerous after-effects. The training and

weapons we provided after the conflicts ended sometimes were put to unwelcome purposes and even used in actions hostile to

US interests. We at CIA were always conscious of this possibility and indeed warned policymakers about it. For example,

during the debate over whether to provide Stingers to the Mujahhadin.
(...)

One thing is referring to Bergen, and another one is knowing where he gets his info from ...

The words by Zbigniew Brzezinski, you know the guy I was about naughty about in a previous post, Carter's National security advisor, are not in Bergen's book either, yet they are available to scholars worldwide, and are known sources. Le Nouvel Obs, for example, had given the lines quoted in Rashid's book (and those I gave you previously - they belong to the same paragraph, actually, if you didn't know), and you can find them in print in Le Nouvel Observateur n° 1732 (1998). I have it at home, should you want a copy ...

Now, you'll agree that Bergen himself acknowledges that the CIA gave the mujaheddin Stingers ... and that in his interview with Osama, the terrorist kingpin admitted himself that he was behind the Somali case (of which you claimed you still "had to see proof " .. ) - well, I'll refer you to Bergen's book.

On Brezinski, one of his interviews (well, a pertinent one, I say, there are others about other issues, like Iran which we could debate about for centuries ...), is found at
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/coldwar/interviews/episode-17/brzezinski2.html

Oh, and on the "historical" creation of the Taliban ... it's true they didn't exist at the time of the Soviet war, and that they were officially created when Bin Laden was not even in Afghanistan but in Sudan - yet mullah Omar, Bin Laden, mullah Ghaus, Zaief, and the rest of the gang, had all been mujaheddin fighters, and joined the Talibans ranks. Not all Taliban are foreigners, most are Afghanis from the refugee camps. And it's more than just a "handful" of mujaheddin fighters who went "taliban".

And seriously, what is your claim? That there was no direct link between the CIA and the Taliban - and that therefore the CIA cannot be held responsible for the creation of the Taliban?
Oh. Now seriously, sidi so so ... you could claim as well that Bin Laden did not attack America on Sept. 11 - he was in Afghanistan at that time, crawling from cave to cave.
Uh?

(on the proof against BL - see for example http://captaineo0.tripod.com/alliance/id27.html) - there is no hint at a "direct" involvement of BL ...

So, so , sidi so so ... the CIA were afraid to go to Afghanistan because they might get caught by the Russians ? Well, all those CIA agents who operated in Russia and East Germany were daredevils, so it seems.

Fred says hi to your chickens.
 
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