From: Grant Callaghan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu 07 Nov 2002 - 03:32:34 GMT
And I take major umbrage at your 'final solution'
>canard; that's what Hitler was doing to the Jews. The only belligerent
>who has gassed people in the present conflict is Saddam Hussein.
If umbtrage makes you feel better, take it. I had no intention of equating
Sadam to the Jews or Hitler. I was talking about using war as a final
solution to a political problem. You matched it in your head with something
Hitler said, but it was not a match in my head. I meant killing someone is
THE "final solution" to a problem. No matter who you do it to, it takes
away all alternate solutions.
As a sign the dancing in the streets might be over, here is a story from the
South China Morning Post:
Jackals or lions? US forces upset Afghans
There was nothing to do but surrender to the moment. The roar of a Chinook
helicopter's rotor blades clawing at the air to lift its more than 10 tonnes
from Jalalabad's airport caused the window of Mohammad Ishaq's pharmacy to
About 10 seconds later, as the helicopter moved away, Mr Ishaq resumed his
social posture and leaned across the glass display case of boxes of
''The Americans are not bad people. We know this,'' he said. ''Up to now they were respected. But that is changing. They tell us lies. They said they would help Afghanistan. They promised us peace. But they haven't brought peace. They are good but they are doing the work of others. And those other people are not good. Some Afghans do not have a good character.''
The 45-year-old pharmacist and history teacher is not alone in his views. He
complains that Jalalabad's commander, Hazrat Ali, has become a new warlord.
Mr Ishaq said Mr Ali - a member of Nangarhar province's minority tribe of
Peshayee - was uneducated. He accused the US military of bypassing the will
of the people, saying: ''They chose a person we don't want.''
In Jalalabad's clothing market, Jan Afghan, 25, makes his living on a
pedal-operated sewing machine decorating women's clothing. He also believes
US soldiers are doing a good job, but has reservations. ''They do all this
good work. But it's true that they are working with Hazrat Ali. It is not
good to give him so much power. The people need to decide who should have
Mr Ali dismissed the criticism, saying the local people did not have any
understanding of the security situation. ''If the Americans go from here
there will be a war between the fighting groups. They [the fighting groups]
will loot the people's homes and businesses. The local people do not
understand,'' he said.
But it is not difficult to appreciate the concerns of Mr Afghan and Mr Ishaq
about their US military guests. The commander that US special forces have
chosen to cruise around town with was reported by Kabul Television as
extorting money from travellers at checkpoints on the highway to the
This is cause for concern in Kabul because that road is a key supply route
for the capital. Similar practices during the Mujahedeen regime were blamed
as being among the main reasons why the people allowed the Taleban to come
In Jalalabad, some have even begun to voice their complaints in the local
press. The editor of the Nangarhar Daily, a Jalalabad-based newspaper,
recently published an anti-foreigner poem penned by Mariam Nasari, 25. In
it, she accused Afghan men of forgetting their fiercely independent past for
fear of what foreign forces may do if they voice their protests:
What a strange situation.
I'm shocked, oh people.
A few jackals have come here and keep the lions.
No one can tell the truth who brought us to this state of being.
Powerful hands cover our mouths and silence us.
Lending credence to the poet was a recent incident in which arms were
confiscated with US military help from one commander serving under the
national army and given to Mr Ali, who represents the same army.
Last month, near Nangarhar's border with Pakistan, a base controlled by the
province's border guard chief, Haji Abdul Zahir, was raided by armed men,
according to soldiers at the base.
''They came from three directions,'' said 40-year-old Amber Khan, a border
guard who was sleeping at the base that night. ''There were maybe 50
Americans. Their faces were hidden by black masks. Some had the glasses that
are used for seeing in the night.''
Mr Khan said the Americans told him and his fellow border guards to sit on
the ground while they tied their hands. He said it took 10 minutes for the
armed men to find what they wanted - a speech-impaired Chechen.
With the prize in hand, he said the Americans stepped back while their
Afghan counterparts searched the men kneeling in the dust. Mr Khan said Mr
Ali's men took 75 rifles, two cannons and US$310 (HK$2,418). Before the
armed group left the base, Mr Khan said the raiders beat him and his
comrades with their fists and rifle butts.
''We have been fighting al-Qaeda and the Taleban for six years. If he was al-Qaeda we would have given him to the Americans,'' Mr Khan said.
Commander Zahir said he had offered the Chechen man to US special forces in
May. ''I told them three times. I waited,'' the commander said. ''I had him
interrogated for 15 days. Everyone said he was crazy. The judges told me to
put him in a mental hospital.''
Mr Ali confirmed Mr Khan's story, but would not disclose what had happened
to the weapons.
Representatives of the US army stationed at Bagram did not respond to e-mail
inquiries about the incident, or to questions about the special forces'
relationship with Mr Ali.
The problem caused by the incident was not lost on President Hamid Karzai or
on Nangarhar's governor, Haji din Mohammad.
Mr din Mohammad said he and the Afghan president had discussed the matter
with US Lieutenant-General Dan McNeill, commander of the military forces in
Afghanistan. The governor, who is Haji Abdul Zahir's uncle, said he had
received assurances any similar situation would be dealt with differently.
Laura Winter is a correspondent for the Post.
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