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Please offer an alternative course of action...

 
Sheriff
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There are obviously many strong and differing opinions regarding our defending ourselves after the attacks made against us on 9/11. I have not as of yet seen any valid argument against our defending ourselves, but things have been spread across many different threads, and I wanted to focus more tightly on the issues surrounding this.
Fact: On 9/11/01 19 terrorists launched an unprovoked attack against the mainland United States, targetting military, political, and economic interests, as well as civillians. Other than the plane that crashed in PA, we do not know if there were any other unsuccessful actions, or if any more are pending.
Fact: Subsequently the actions of the the terrorists have been tracked. It was discovered that this was an elaborate plan that had been in the works for some time. Analysis of phone records and financial transactions indicate that the actions perpetrated by these terrorists were on behalf of international powers.
Fact: An attack against the United States by an international power is an act of war.
Fact: The United States government claims it has concrete proof indicating Bin Laden's Al-Queda organization participated in the 9/11 attacks, and the terrorists involved were linked to that organization. This proof, although not released to the public because of its sensitive nature, was apparently concrete enough for NATO to invoke Article 5 of it's charter, which states that an attack against one member of NATO is an attack against all members of NATO, and the events of 9/11 met the criteria, and that Al-Queda was a perpetrator. Thus members of NATO were obliged to lend support for the US per the treaty. The evidence was concrete enough so that Australia felt obliged to apply its mutual defense treaty with the US. The proof was concrete enough to convince the governments of Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to lend use of their airspace and military bases to varying degrees. The proof was concrete enough for traditional US rivals Russia and China to back the United States in these actions, particularly remarkable because we are using US military forces so close to their respective nations. Basically, anybody who has been shown the proof we have has decided that it is concrete.
Fact: The government of Afghanistan, run by the Taleban party, shelters and supports Al-Queda. It allows Al-Queda to train and operate within its borders with impunity. Al-Queda and the Taleban regime have a close and mutually dependent alliance. Al-Queda provide the Taleban regime with material, financial and military support. Al-Queda could not operate their terrorist activities without the alliance and support of the Taleban regime. The Taleban's strength would be seriously weakened without Al-Queda's military and financial support.
I cannot understand where the problem with our exercising our rights of self-defense are, but I will try to address some of the comments I have heard.

It was simply a terrorist attack, not an act of war.


I think I have adequately addressed that one. The attack by the terrorists was carried out on behalf of a foreign power. Military command and control, civilian leadership, and economic interests were targetted, as well as innocent civillians. This attack was unprovoked. It was in every sense of the meaning an act of war, and there is no justification otherwise, but feel free to try.

There is no proof saying that Bin Laden carried out the attack


There is no proof that the public had been allowed to see, but there are the strongest indications that such proof must exist. Let's try this by negative induction (is that the right term, it's been so long since I've done a proof that way). Let's say that no proof exists. If no proof exists, then there is some kind of great conspiracy in which the United States has been able to coerce most of the world into supporting its actions. This includes support from long time US rivals Russia and China. What are the real chances that this is a possibility? None. Therefore, since the counter-claim in all likelihood cannot be true, the hypothesis that proof must exist is far more likely to be true.

The US shouldn't be attacking Afghanistan to go after one man... There were no Afghanis among the 19 terrorists... Afghanistan isn't to blame, just Al-Queda... etc...


I've grouped these together. There have been similar one's but you get the idea. The claim is to try to absolve Afghanistan of any responsibility. The Taleban is the government of Afghanistan. The Taleban and Al-Queda have a symbiotic relationship. One cannot exist without the other. Afghanistan is very much responsible for the actions of 9/11. There is no rational argument to the contrary. Feel free to try though please.

But the people of Afghanistan are innocent! How can the US bomb an entire country just because Al-Queda and the Taleban share responsibility for 9/11?


Is there another way to destroy the Taleban and uproot Al-Queda without attacking Afghanistan? The Taleban is the state and the state is being held responsible. Therefore it is necessary to carry out military action against the state. At least we were nice enough to give plenty of forewarning before we launched our attack, giving civilians an opportunity to flee areas likely to be targeted. If only they had done the same for us. We are doing our best to minimize civilian casualties. This has not been totaly successful, but has probably all-in-all been mostly successful. It makes it tougher now if the reports lately have been true. It seems the Taleban have been placing antiaircraft batteries in top of civilian dwellings. They have been dispursing their equipment in civilian areas. They have been using facilities such as hospitals, mosques, and aid warehouses for military purposes. In making these places legitimate military targets, they are hoping for civilian casualties they can show off to the press.

The US is to blame for its foreign policy


These arguments are shifting blame away from those truly responsible on to the victim, the United States. There is no excuse for the events of 9/11. Bin Laden is upset with us for one main reason. He is upset that we have troops in the holy land, at the request of the Saudi government. He has chosen to link our actions against Iraq, and our support of Israel in order to garner wider support across the Arab world. He tries to garner further support by turning the conflict into one of Christianity versus Islam, which of course is bogus. Basically anything he can do at this point to rally people to his cause is fair game. But for him it all boils down to the fact that we have forces in Saudi Arabia. Granted for others of his organization our relations with Israel may be more of a problem, or our relations with Iraq. So then what would people who suppport this argument have us do? Abandon Israel? Leave Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to Iraq? Neither of these are acceptable responses. Personally, I think we will find out that Iraq was also involved in the attacks of 9/11 and/or the anthrax attacks on us. Time will tell.

We must understand the root causes. We must give them money and education, not drop bombs.


Puh-lease. This is related to the previous argument. Giving them money and education will not solve our current problem. At the very best, it is a long term solution, but in all probability even that would be futile. So then it stands to reason that everytime somebody attacks us, we should give them money and aid? Yeah, that will make us a less likely target. The concerns I addressed in the previous argument apply to this argument as well, regarding Israel and Iraq. Anyway this is another worthless argument that will not help us in our current situation.

How do we know that destroying the Taleban and Al-Queda will make us safer?


Well there is no way to know this. The world certainly will not be any more dangerous without those organizations around. True there will always be others to replace them. We must clearly demonstrate that we are not an attractive target for such terrorist action. There must be no doubt that there are consequences for attacking the United States. While it may not stop all attacks against us, at least the ground rules are now laid out and there will be no surprises when the B-52s come flying overhead (not the rock group, although that might not be a bad idea). Supporters of this argument think that the best response is no response. In actuality having no response makes us appear weak and afraid, making us a more tempting target, and therefore decreasing our safety.

Well dammit we just shouldn't be dropping bombs under any circumstances.


I really think that this is what it boils down to for many of the anti-war types. They just cannot bring themselves to see any valid circumstance in which military force is the proper response. They are willing to trade their security for some pipe dream. While they are all holding hands, singing Kumbaya, and burning the American flag, the attacks against us will continue. These are the most dangerous kind as they make us a more likely target, weaken our resolve to do what must be done, and endanger our security. They will always claim the purity of any actions they take in the name of free speech, but there is a line that should not be crossed. In fact the attackers are only encouraged by the actions of these people. The point at which your free speech increases the danger to others lives, or our security as a nation, is the point at which it ceases to be protected speech.
I think I've addressed most of the anti-US and/or anti-war arguments. So we've heard all of the reasons for us not to be bombing Afghanistan, and for the most part they simply show that the people who use them (Americans in particular) seem to not grasp the gravity of the situation. Not everybody wants to be our friends. Sometimes war is necessary.
Here's your homework. What I want to hear are valid alternatives to the course we have undertaken. We already know you think war is bad, now give some concrete solution as what we should do. Now please take into account what I have already stated here, particularly the facts of the situation. I'm not looking for rhetoric, just reasonable alternatives to military action after the events of 9/11.

[This message has been edited by Jason Menard (edited November 01, 2001).]
 
Leverager of our synergies
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Not that I too much disagree with you, but if I am invited to argue... Let's try. (Only to make your position stronger
It was simply a terrorist attack, not an act of war.
I think I have adequately addressed that one. The attack by the terrorists was carried out on behalf of a foreign power. Military command and control, civilian leadership, and economic interests were targetted, as well as innocent civillians. This attack was unprovoked. It was in every sense of the meaning an act of war, and there is no justification otherwise, but feel free to try.
It all depends on definition, I guess. How do you define "war"? Usually this word implies some broad and massive attacks carried by military forces sent by some state and lasting for quite a long time. With the purpose to "win the war", of course, otherwise why to start. In this case we have no invasion, no foreign planes dropping bombs... Enemy's military forces entered the USA legally. American planes were hijacked and used for an act of destruction. No chance to expect the USA to surrender. That could be possible better qualified as a terrorist attack. But I do not understand why definitions are so important. If we call it "a terrorist attack" rather than "an act of war" it will become neither less tragic, nor friendlier.
Personally, I would prefer "a terrorist attack" because calling it "an act of war" somehow doesn't fit an image of the most powerful nation.
But the people of Afghanistan are innocent! How can the US bomb an entire country just because Al-Queda and the Taleban share responsibility for 9/11?
Maybe those who formulated the question like this will answer differently, for me it�s not "how can the US...", it's just a sad feeling about bombing, nothing more. I think we all feel bad about it (with a few possible exceptions). But when non-Americans express their bad feelings about it, Americans feel attacked and respond in such a form that it looks that they do not care. Which, naturally, makes non-Americans think that Americans clearly do not understand what's going on and it's our duty to feed them some enlightening links, or pictures of dead children (Americans, as everybody knows, can't read). Sorry for sarcasm.
The US is to blame for its foreign policy
These arguments are shifting blame away from those truly responsible on to the victim, the United States. There is no excuse for the events of 9/11.
Um... For me, these were mostly attempts to understand "why" and to think what could be done better. I do not remember anybody here explicitly saying "you deserved it". It can be implied, though. But I myself was once misunderstood in my sincere analytical efforts so I would use some caution here and hope that you opponent has the best possible intentions. Sometimes it too na�ve.
Well dammit we just shouldn't be dropping bombs under any circumstances.
That sounds too extreme. It mankind had better ways to lead wars (without killing) it would be damn but it doesn't seem so.
Here's your homework. What I want to hear are valid alternatives to the course we have undertaken. We already know you think war is bad, now give some concrete solution as what we should do.
Now let's give an opportunity to talk to the next orator...
 
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no argument from me, Jason.
 
Jason Menard
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If we call it "a terrorist attack" rather than "an act of war" it will become neither less tragic, nor friendlier.
Personally, I would prefer "a terrorist attack" because calling it "an act of war" somehow doesn't fit an image of the most powerful nation.


It is a terrorist attack, that much is certain. But it is also important for Americans, and I guess for to some extent the rest of the world, that those actions did indeed constitute an act of war. I have already underlined the reasons why this is an act of war, so I won't go into that again. When people realize this they also realize what the proper response must be. By not taking the act for what it really was, people attempt to minimize its actual significance (on par with Pearl Harbor), and attempt to convince themselves that this is something which must be prosecuted in a US court of law only, not on a battlefield. Wars, on the other hand, are not fought in the court room.

Which, naturally, makes non-Americans think that Americans clearly do not understand what's going on and it's our duty to feed them some enlightening links, or pictures of dead children (Americans, as everybody knows, can't read). Sorry for sarcasm.


Naturally most of us feel horrible by any act by us which causes the death of true innocents, as opposed to our enemy who purposely targets them. That being said, while we do our utmost to conduct operations with an eye towards eliminating civilian casualties, war is not as precise as we would like it to be. We still have a responsibility to defend ourselves however, and all we can do is continue to try to avoid civilian casualties. From my past military experience, it was evident that very lucrative targets were very often not attacked if doing so meant civilian casualties. Even when we do hit a legitimate target, we can never be assured that every single person at the target is a combatant. It is also apparant that like the Iraqis, the Taleban purposely try to cause civilian deaths by dispersing their resources within populated areas, and even using symbols such as the Red Crescent to hide their troops behind (a war crime, by the way). Any regime who would place anti-aircraft batteries on top of civilian dwellings hoping that we cause more civilian deaths that the Al-Jazeera whores and the rest of the media toadies can use to push their propoganda, does not deserve to continue to function.
I am not surprised that, despite all the negative comments towards our actions by many here, nobody has been able to come up with a viable alternative. It is very simple to levy criticism, but suggesting effective alternative actions requires much too much effort, especially when there may not be any. All their arguments wither when exposed to logic and reason. Therefore I suppose that a conclusion could be drawn that while these people do not like the US nor its actions in Afghanistan, they accept that we have undertaken the only reasonable course.
 
Jason Menard
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Focus people focus!
Take your "Tony" posts to the thread that is already dealing with them please.
Now if you were all really nice you would delete your own off-topic posts made here, instead of hijacking yet another thread.

[This message has been edited by Jason Menard (edited November 03, 2001).]

For those of you confused or wondering what the hell I am talking about, the "Tony" brawl spilled out onto the streets and crashed through the window of this fine establishment... so to speak. Jim was kind enough to remove the rash of off-topic posts that quickly sprung up to their own thread. Woohoo Jim!

[This message has been edited by Jason Menard (edited November 03, 2001).]
 
Wanderer
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Good point Jason. Actually I think I can make a copy, and then edit the two copies accordingly. This thread will briefly be closed while I do this; don't worry, it will be back.
 
Greenhorn
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The week of the September 11th attack, I made the following statement: "I wish the United States would stay strong in its' resolve but within a few weeks when the shock begins to wear off, we will be hearing President Bush criticized for the way he is handling this attack. The politicians and the press will be making statements that weaken our resolve." The other day, I began hearing criticism of President Bush because he was away from the White House for the first six hours. The arguments have begun as to whether we should be active in the attacks or just aid the Northern Alliance. I am concerned that this not become another Viet Nam. This is not the Northern Alliance against the Taliban. War has been declared!
A friend of mine in Viet Nam said that his unit sat and saw another unit being shelled, the unit requesting to fire upon the enemy firing on them. They requested permission over and over. The U.S. Unit was destroyed without firing a shot.
No one that has love and kindness and compassion as part of their life, desires war. We have been at peace for so long in this country that sometimes I think we have forgotten the price that has been paid by those in the past to pay for our freedom.
When people have hatred in their hearts, it eats away at their logic until all logic disappears. Bin Laden has much hate for the United States. If he was a logical man, he could be dealt with by means other than war, but he is not.
I think it is time that we get as passionate about our freedom and country as we are about our other passions.
While I understand someone not wanting war to be declared, it has been declared. I just hope we see it through to the end so that any lives lost, are not in lost in vain.
Accountability for ones' actions is something that is being lost among many of us in the United States. The justice system has gotten watered down (I won't really touch on that issue now). I don't want innocents killed either. I think of all the innocents that were murdered in the Twin Towers and how their families are affected. I think we must not lose sight of that. While we should not run out in vengence and kill indiscriminately, I believe there should be an accountability for actions taken.
 
Jim Yingst
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Commentary on the Tony situation is now here - go there to follow up on that topic, or here to follow on the main discussion. Thanks...
[This message has been edited by Jim Yingst (edited November 03, 2001).]
 
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The whole thing is a farce. This is just a half-hearted attempt to appease the American public. If they had applied a quarter of the military might they applied on Iraq the Taliban would not have lasted for a week.


 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Lalooprasad Yadav:

The whole thing is a farce. This is just a half-hearted attempt to appease the American public. If they had applied a quarter of the military might they applied on Iraq the Taliban would not have lasted for a week.


So then your solution is......?
You and others seem not to realize that we are in this for the long haul. This is not a quick campaign. It's not a simple process to root them out of their caves. We are not in any hurry, patience is the key and we have plenty of it. The outcome is inevitable. Btw the Iraqi military was in the open desert. The terrain was a major factor in our very quick success in Iraq. The fact that we were able to base massive amounts of firepower all around them didn't hurt one bit either. This is one thing that slows us down in Afghanistan, as the number of forces we can bring are currently fairly limited, especially when compared to Iraq.
[This message has been edited by Jason Menard (edited November 04, 2001).]
 
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Hi Jason,
This is going to sound very cold hearted and in the short term it is but, quite frankly, the US is pussy-footing around.
It's all well and good to say you don't want to harm civilians ... "look we're dropping food for them", "we're not targeting residential areas", "we are warning you so you can leave", etc. but what's the net result??
The Taliban and Al-Queida(?) went underground so they're harder to find.
You're probably feeding the Taliban, not civilians.
The Taliban is stopping civilians from leaving the cities
and they've probably managed to smuggle out members with any civilians that have managed to flee.
End result, 'the long haul', a war that is not a war and a miserable life for thousands of innocent Afghani's.
If you are at war, then be at war. Stop trying to pretend you can have a 'humanitarian war'! Go in, get the job done and get out! If that means you have to level a portion of Afghanistan, then level it. Better a few thousand lives ended than thousands and thousands made to suffer for years.
Will it end terrorism? Probably not.
Will it get bin Laden? If your lucky, yes.
Will the rest of the world hate you for it? Yeah, but they'll get over it and then they'll find a new reason to hate Americans.
Will the world go back to normal? In time but it'll never be the same; especially not in the US. If you want to be a world power then you'll have to learn to live with people hating you. You can't go on fooling yourselves that everyone wants to be an American. The 19 lived with you and still rejected your way of life. That may be a bitter pill to swallow but the quicker you do the better you'll be able to cope. The world is not all light and love ... not in the US, not anywhere and no one, not even the President of the US, can make it so.
Told you it was cold hearted
 
"The Hood"
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Originally posted by Jane Griscti:
the US is pussy-footing around.
It's all well and good to say you don't want to harm civilians ...


I doubt whether harming civilians is the reason behind why the US is "pussy-footing around". The fact is we don't want to harm OUR guys if we can help it. We don't want to end up with a situation like Russia faced when it went in on the ground.
The US can continue bombing Afghanistan for a long time with virtually no allied casualties - which translates in military thinking to "free". It costs us little (except money of course) so it is painless. Basically - we haven't really STARTED yet. We are just waiting for THEM to get worn out.
Eventually we will get around to something serious, but that will mean risking allied lives and therefore we want the opposition as weak as possible first.
Remember we are talking about an offensive expected to take YEARS. Some months of bombing is just for starters. Patience is required at this point.
 
Jane Griscti
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Cindy, Patience for what??
It's nice to sit home and be patient when you're not suffering.
How can Americans expect others to see them as the 'good guys' when they needlessly prolong the suffering of thousands of other people? Why? To spare American lives? Are you truly saying that it is better for thousands to suffer rather than risk one American life?
Your president has declare a war? War means people die, period. It is impossible to have one without loss of life. If you are going to go to war, get in and get it done, then get out. There is absolutely no need to drag it on for years or even months.

 
Greenhorn
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Originally posted by Lalooprasad Yadav:

The whole thing is a farce. This is just a half-hearted attempt to appease the American public. If they had applied a quarter of the military might they applied on Iraq the Taliban would not have lasted for a week.


Purely apart from any political discussions (which I on principle will refuse to get involved in), this statement doesn't work from one particular military standpoint:
Iraq had a large, standing army consisting of tanks, armored personnel carriers and infantry divisions on flat, level ground in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and southern Iraq. The reason that the American military was able to be so effective in the gulf war was that for 50 years it had been developing, practicing and preparing to fight EXACTLY that kind of war. The fact that the targets were Iraqi rather than Warsaw Pact was immaterial.
However, this isn't true of Afghanistan. There are no columns of tanks for A-10's to pop open like tin cans. There are no APC's for M1A1's and Bradley's to punch holes in. There aren't any SAM sites to pulverize with Tomahawk cruise missiles. There aren't even any fighter jets for the F-15's, F-16's, F-14's and F-18's to shoot down (and for the B-52's and F117's to wreck their airfields).
Instead, we have a set of military and government buildings that are surrounded on all sides by civilian buildings. That makes it difficult to run an effective bombing campaign because it limits the ordnance that can be brought to bear. While Smart Bombs and Tomahawks are quite effective against buildings, their standard ordnance packages have a blast radius that makes them ineffective when you are trying to limit collateral civilian damage. We can't even use some of our newer, higher tech weapons (like the J-SOW) because the cluster munitions that make it up would cause massive civilian collateral damage.
There's only one war the United States has fought in recent memory where the enemy resembles this one -- a large, hostile army consisting almost entirely of of light infantry operating in inhospitable terrain. That one was fought in southeast asia about 30 years ago with the result being 58,000+ American casualties and 1.7 MILLION Vietnamese casualties.
Will this turn into another Vietnam? I certainly pray that it doesn't, both for American and Afghanistan. There are certain differences that are worth pointing out -- first of all, the Vietnamese army was fully backed financially and militarily by both the Russian and Chinese governments. In contrast, the Taleban has no international backing to speak of. What financial assets it does have have been frozen, or are being frozen as we speak.
However, it's disingenous to say that the U.S. "isn't applying its military might to the situation". The reality of both the geopolitical situation and the military situation limit how much force can be applied and the ways in which it can be applied.
 
Jason Menard
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Jane,
I agree with some of your points in principle. The problem is because Afghanistan is landlocked, and because, unlike in Iraq, there are no countries where we can base the amount of aircraft and troops that we would like to, we can only do so much. And because we are dependant on other countries for overflight rights, we must be careful not to take any measures that would be considered overly harsh (relatively speaking) or it will make our job much more difficult because of what will become quickly waning support from countries like Pakistan.
 
Cindy Glass
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Originally posted by Jane Griscti:
Cindy, Patience for what??
It's nice to sit home and be patient when you're not suffering.
How can Americans expect others to see them as the 'good guys' when they needlessly prolong the suffering of thousands of other people? Why? To spare American lives? Are you truly saying that it is better for thousands to suffer rather than risk one American life?


Patience to endure this even if it is NOT spectacular and instant gratification. It is a war. SOMEBODY is going to suffer. It increases our likely hood of success if it is NOT our guys doing the suffering.
I disagree that it is needlessly prolonging the suffering. If we don't do it this way - we lose. It is naive to think that this is going to be easy, and that we COULD just walk in there with our six-shooters shining and oust the Taliban. Frankly if we tried that - it would not only NOT end the suffering of the Afghanis - it would cost a WHOLE LOT more that one American life. To tell you the truth I am SURE that the Taliban has been praying that we would try the instant invasion approach, because then they would stand a chance of winning.
The real question is - is this the approach that will end the war as quickly as possible. I believe that it is. I believe that attempting to "get in and get it done, then get out" would lengthen this war and end up with MORE suffering and death. Why would anyone choose that?
 
Jane Griscti
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Agreed, the Afghan situation is very different from the Gulf War scenario and that sending massive ground troops into Afghan, as the Russians did, is probably not a wise move.


The reality of both the geopolitical situation and the military situation limit how much force can be applied and the ways in which it can be applied.


Why is this the reality of the situation? Because of the possible "collateral damage"?(a ridiculous euphemism). US intelligence has a good idea of where bin Laden is; recent newspaper reports say he's hiding in a series of underground caves near the the Pakistan border. The US has the ability to collapse those mountains. Why shouldn't they use it? Because the rest of the world won't like the display of force? The reality of the situation is that the rest of the world rarely likes what the US does and they don't like what's going on now any better. Prolonging it, regardless of the rationalization used, is detrimental to all.
The longer the US pounds Afghanistan the greater the opportunity for Muslem extremists to recruit mujhadeen. The daily display of bombing runs harming other Muslems will provide ample evidence as to just why they should hate Americans.
The longer it lasts the higher the chance that the average US citizen will get fed up of dealing with it; the media will turn on US policy, and the result will be another Vietnam; the very thing the US hopes to avoid.


Patience to endure this even if it is NOT spectacular and instant gratification. It is a war. SOMEBODY is going to suffer. It increases our likely hood of success if it is NOT our guys doing the suffering.


I'm not talking about spectactular and instant gratification. Witnessing the death and suffering of any human being is in no way gratifying or spectacluar.
How does the likelihood of success increase if your guys don't suffer? Thousands of Americans have already suffered, are still suffering, from the loss of life on Sept 11th.
Does the side that suffers the most and the longest lose? Is that why the US is prolonging the war? The British went through hell in WWII, they didn't lose. The VietCong suffered for years, they didn't lose. What you call "patience" is a euphemism for "let's make sure none of our guys get hurt". Well, you've already been hurt. What is naive is to believe you can have a war in which no more Americans will be hurt.
What I'm trying to say is that it's ludicrous to say "we're at war but we're doing our best not to hurt anyone". The whole premise is insane. IMHO the greater evil is to deliberately inflict suffering on thousands, potentially for years, when you have other options. Those options may be ruthless, if they are taken people will die, but they die quickly and the point is made: harm us and we'll harm you.

 
Shruti Agarwal
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The US has the ability to collapse those mountains. Why shouldn't they use it? Because the rest of the world won't like the display of force? The reality of the situation is that the rest of the world rarely likes what the US does and they don't like what's going on now any better. Prolonging it, regardless of the rationalization used, is detrimental to all.


Actually, collapsing a mountain is much easier said than done. It takes a lot of force to level a mountain. The only way it could conceivably be done is through nuclear weapons, and even that would be iffy, as the results of the Plowshare tests in the mid 1960's showed.
The best option we've seen is the use of FAE (Fuel-Air Explosives) in the tunnels themselves. It doesn't collapse the mountain, but it first roasts, then suffocates anyone inside. However, this requires that you find the openings to the tunnels and be able to place a FAE bomb precisely at the opening.
As to why we haven't done that -- it's a big difference between knowing "Bin Laden is within 5 miles of this location" and "Bin Laden is within 50 FEET of this particular 6' X 6' tunnel opening..."...
 
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