Skip to comments.No Lack of Targets in Afghanistan
Posted on 09/14/2001 3:17:09 PM PDT by HAL9000
JALALABAD, Afghanistan (AP) - Agha Gul, a businessman familiar with this part of eastern Afghanistan, pointed to an arid outcropping over a thick stand of trees. "The Arabs are over there, hundreds of them," he said. "That's one of Osama's big camps."
The Arabs are the fighters who serve Osama bin Laden, the man U.S. officials say is the likeliest suspect behind Tuesday's attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The village Gul was pointing to was Darunta, five miles west of the ancient city of Jalalabad astride the Khyber Pass, and one of several potential targets for U.S. retaliation.
Anxious not to draw any fire, Afghans living in and around Jalalabad are quick to insist that the Arabs, who until a few days ago roamed freely through the marketplace, have hardly been seen since Tuesday.
The Arabs originally came to Afghanistan to aid the fight against Soviet invasion in the 1980s, and stayed on to back the Taliban militia in civil war and Islamic revolution. Their camps today are off-limits to foreigners, so it's difficult to verify their size and capabilities. But their presence is considered an important prop for the Taliban in its war against rebels who still control about 5 percent of the mountainous country.
After 20 years of fighting, the country is in ruins and Afghans tend to be fatalistic about the threat of U.S. attack.
"Everyone is frightened. We know the Arabs are our neighbors, but what can we do?" said Asim Jan, a cobbler.
Another possible target for attack is a farm 12 miles south of Jalalabad owned by former insurgent leader Maulvi Younus Khalis, where hundreds of Arabs are bivouacked. Four eastern provinces are believed to have bin Laden bases, in fact a senior Taliban official, speaking on condition of anonymity, has told The Associated Press that there are training camps every province.
Then there is Jalalabad's airport. Last year its manager related that a close bin Laden aide who identified himself as "Mr. Mauritania" had come through the airport carrying two gym bags loaded with Saudi currency, and six pistols which he said were for his own use. The manager, who gave his name as Abdullah, said "Mr. Mauritania" carried a card from the Taliban authorities ordering airport officials to let him pass through unhindered.
Seventy-five miles west of Jalalabad lies the capital, Kabul, and its Taliban garrisons which could also be targets of retaliation.
The Taliban insist bin Laden hasn't the wherewithal to have executed Tuesday's horror. They say they aren't preparing for a U.S. attack because they have done nothing to deserve one.
But late Friday they made a surprise administrative shuffle, replacing the governors of Afghanistan's border provinces with new men from their inner circle. No reason was given.
Kabul has also seen an Arab exodus. According to Gulzar, a cab driver, most of the Arabs have headed to Misan-e-Logar, about 60 miles outside Kabul, where an estimated 400 houses of Arab nationals, apparently affiliated with bin Laden, are located.
"I know because I have driven them there before. But now it's not safe," he said. Two Arabs offered him $30 to take them to Misan-e-Logar, he said, "but I refused. It's too dangerous."
Gulzar, who uses only one name, said most Afghans want Bin Laden and his followers to leave.
"If Osama leaves Afghanistan everyone would live in peace," he said. "People are poor here. They have no money, no food, nothing. They don't want Osama. They want peace," he said.
Copyright 2001 Associated Press, All rights reserved
Then they should be willing to cooperate with our special forces units, shouldn't they?
No in ,NO out! Maybe in a couple of hundred years,Ok.
You want to live in isolation? Fine with us.
No dead children,no collateral damage,just a blocked pass but Oooooooo how that would affect them.
Why even do that? Can't we just find a medium sized asteroid and steer it towards Afghanistan?
Or, we can deorbit the Iridium satellite network on top of Afghanistan. ;)
Actually, the Khyber Pass isn't the real salient feature. The Khyber Gorge, which leads to the pass, is where most of the historic bloodshed took place. Block the gorge and no one crosses the pass. Anyone out on the pass would make good targets for air attack.
Afghanistan is such a mountainous country that nuclear weapons might not be a good choice. The mountains would block most of the blast effect and contain the radiation, just like the bombing of Nagasaki in WWII. Hiroshima, on the other hand, was thoroughly devasted because it was flat and open.
A better option might be fuel-air explosives (FAE) which are good against fortifications and caves. The fuel canister explodes, releasing a cloud of fuel which mixes with the air, entering every nook and cranny. A second detonator ignites the fuel cloud, the effect of which is like a small nuclear device.
There would be a certain ironic justice in that, considering that the bin Laden family was a major investor in the Iridium corporation.
SJ 22 ES
Expressing the sense of the Senate and House of Representatives regarding the terrorist attacks launched against the United States on September 11, 2001.
Whereas on September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked and destroyed four civilian aircraft, crashing two of them into the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, and a third into the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C.;
Whereas thousands of innocent Americans were killed and injured as a result of these attacks, including the passengers and crew of the four aircraft, workers in the World Trade Center and in the Pentagon, rescue workers, and bystanders;
Whereas these attacks destroyed both towers of the World Trade Center, as well as adjacent buildings, and seriously damaged the Pentagon; and
Whereas these attacks were by far the deadliest terrorist attacks ever launched against the United States, and, by targeting symbols of American strength and success, clearly were intended to intimidate our Nation and weaken its resolve: Now, therefore, be it
Passed the Senate September 12, 2001.
Compare that wimpy drivel to this:
Declaring that a state of war exists between the Imperial Government of Japan and the Government and the people of the United States and making provisions to prosecute the same.
Whereas the Imperial Government of Japan has committed unprovoked acts of war against the Government and the people of the United States of America:
Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the state of war between the United States and the Imperial Government of Japan which has thus been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared;
and the President is hereby authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the Government to carry on war against the Imperial Government of Japan; and, to bring the conflict to a successful termination, all of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States.
Approved, December 8, 1941, 4:10 p.m. E.S.T.
Apparently there is some major funny business going on in the Senate, even in this time of "bi-partisanship".
I am disgusted.
Please US House save us from this insult to all who have died.
Why not just put 50 mill on their door step and say, give us Osama and it's yours.. Beats carpet droping of 500lb GPB to shake him out of his tunnel.
Osama is part of the problem, but not all of it. There are others - including, I believe, most of the government (such as it is) of Afghanistan. And paying off terrorists is the best way I can imagine to encourage more of this business.
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