RE: Afghan perspectives

From: Vandergraaf, Chuck (
Date: Thu Oct 25 2001 - 21:19:42 EDT

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    Thanks for your comments. I'll try to respond to them

    Wow-you said so much in your last post that it's hard to know where to
    begin a response. I suppose I agree with your facts but not so much
    with your analysis of the situation. Osama is indeed a blessed man. I
    wish I had 1/10th of the gifts God has bestowed upon him. He is
    handsome (I'm not), charismatic (I'm not), fabulously rich (I'm not),
    well connected (I'm not), and hugely successful (I'm not). And yet,
    just look what he has done with all these wonderful gifts. To my
    knowledge, he has done **nothing** to help the Palestinian people.
     Yes...he did build one very long road in Somalia, but it was to benefit
    his personal business enterprises. And I'm not certain that any of his
    activities in Afghanistan have truly been for the benefit of the people
    as much as for his business interests. So is he clever and successful?
     Yes, but are his works "good" works? I think not.

    [Chuck's response]
    I don't think I wrote anything about bin Laden being blessed, handsome,
    charismatic, etc. As to "doing nothing to help the Palestinian people,"
    this is a matter of perspective. I'm going to play "devil's advocate" here,
    but if he has not given the Palestinians money or fancy cars [ever wonder
    why there are so many Mercedes Benzes in these places? I can't afford one
    ;-)]but maybe has given them more than money; he may have given them hope
    that there will be better times ahead. Note that I'm not advocating driving
    the Israelis into the sea; I'm only trying to see matters from a Palestinian
    perspective, the perspective of people who have been driven out of their
    homeland, mainly as the result of some foreign countries "giving" Palestine
    to the Israelis.

    As far as the US is concerned, I am not convinced that everyone hates
    us. I think, rather, we are just an easy target. Osama hates the Sauds
    every bit as much as he hates us. Osama also hates millions of other
    Muslims who do not share his radical religious ideas. He has chosen to
    not attack those Muslins (yet) because it does not fit with his plan.
     Their extinction comes **after** ours. Right now he needs them
    politically to brew jihad. Beyond that, they have no value to him.

    I agree that not everyone hates the US. I don't; I spent nine happy years
    there and came back with a spouse who can trace her lineage back to the time
    of the Mayflower and who is now one happy Canadian. Maybe the behaviour of
    the US, collectively, is that it tends to have little interest in anything
    outside its borders, and maybe that comes with being big and powerful.

    And of course we do not fight every good fight. We can't. So we
    "choose our battles," and, of course, those battles are the ones that
    benefit the US the most. Don't think for one second that Osama and his
    ilk are *one bit different* from us in their lust for control of oil.

    I have no quarrel with the US choosing to pick the fights that benefit
    itself the most. However, this takes away from the "war for just causes" or
    "justified wars." I can see the US, Canada, or the UK risking its soldiers
    by going into Sudan, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone to stop the injustice. I have
    some problem with the US, Canada and the UK ignoring Sudan and Sierra Leone
    but focussing its efforts on Kuwait and wonder if they fight Saddam Hussein
    because he invaded Kuwait or because Kuwait has a lot of oil.

    I could go on, but instead please go to or a used book store
    and buy a book entitled "The New Jackals" by Simon Reeve. You can read
    it in one night. Reeve will do a better job of explaining the motives
    of these guys than I ever could. I'm convinced the US and the Israelis
    could march right out of the Middle East tonight, and by tomorrow you'd
    see more bloodshed among Muslim brothers than we will ever cause. This
    is all about who gets the oil and who gets to be emir. Saddam wants to
    be CEO of oil, and he wants Osama to be the emir of social order (read:
     subjugation of the Muslim masses). Read the book.

    Thanks for the tip. I'll look for the book.



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