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Old 09-20-2001, 08:57 AM   #1
JCK
Dojo: Aikido School of Central Ohio
Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 3
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Interesting E-Mail

Everyone,

I think that everyone might find the following e-mail very interesting. It was forwarded to me today.

Thanks,
Jeremy King

The following was sent to me by my friend Tamim Ansary. Tamim is an
>
> Afghani-American writer. He is also one of the most brilliant people I
> know
>
> in this life. When he writes, I read. When he talks, I listen. Here is his
>
>
> take on Afghanistan and the whole mess we are in.
>
> -Gary T.
>
>
>
> Dear Gary and whoever else is on this email thread:
>
>
> I've been hearing a lot of talk about "bombing Afghanistan back to the
> Stone
>
> Age." Ronn Owens, on KGO Talk Radio today, allowed that this would mean
>
> killing innocent people, people who had nothing to do with this atrocity,
>
> but "we're at war, we have to accept collateral damage. What else
>
> can we do?" Minutes later I heard some TV pundit discussing whether we
> "have
>
> the belly to do what must be done."
>
>
> And I thought about the issues being raised especially hard because I am
>
> from Afghanistan, and even though I've lived here for 35 years I've never
>
> lost track of what's going on there. So I want to tell anyone who will
>
> listen how it all looks from where I'm standing.
>
>
> I speak as one who hates the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden. There is no
> doubt
>
> in my mind that these people were responsible for the atrocity in New
> York.
>
> I agree that something must be done about those monsters.
>
>
> But the Taliban and Bin Laden are not Afghanistan. They're not even the
>
> government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of ignorant psychotics
> who
>
> took over Afghanistan in 1997. Bin Laden is a political criminal with a
>
> plan. When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When you
>
> think Bin Laden, think Hitler. And when you think "the people of
>
> Afghanistan" think "the Jews in the concentration camps." It's not only
> that
>
> the Afghan people had nothing to do with this atrocity,.they were the
> first
>
> victims of the perpetrators. They would exult if someone would come in
>
> there, take out the Taliban and clear out the rats nest of international
>
> thugs holed up in their country.
>
>
> Some say, why don't the Afghans rise up and overthrow the Taliban? The
>
> answer is, they're starved, exhausted, hurt, incapacitated, suffering. A
> few
>
> years ago, the United Nations estimated that there are 500,000 disabled
>
> orphans in Afghanistan--a country with no economy, no food.
>
> There are millions of widows. And the Taliban has been burying these
> widows
>
> alive in mass graves. The soil is littered with land mines, the farms were
>
>
> all destroyed by the Soviets. These are a few of the reasons why the
> Afghan
>
> people have not overthrown the Taliban.
>
>
> We come now to the question of bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age.
>
> Trouble is, that's been done. The Soviets took care of it already. Make
> the
>
> Afghans suffer? They're already suffering. Level their houses? Done. Turn
>
>
> their schools into piles of rubble? Done. Eradicate their
>
> hospitals? Done. Destroy their infrastructure? Done. Cut them off from
> medicine
>
> and health care? Too late. Someone already did all that.
>
>
> New bombs would only stir the rubble of earlier bombs. Would they at least
>
>
> get the Taliban? Not likely. In today's Afghanistan, only the Taliban
> eat,
>
> only they have the means to move around. They'd slip away and hide. Maybe
>
> the bombs would get some of those disabled orphans, they
>
> don't move too fast, they don't even have wheelchairs. But flying over
> Kabul
>
> and dropping bombs wouldn't really be a strike against the criminals who
> did
>
> this horrific thing. Actually it would only be making common cause with
> the
>
> Taliban--by raping once again the people they've been raping all this
> time.
>
>
> So what else is there? What can be done, then? Let me now speak with true
>
> fear and trembling. The only way to get Bin Laden is to go in there with
>
> ground troops. When people speak of "having the belly to do what needs to
> be
>
> done" they're thinking in terms of having the belly to kill
>
> as many as needed. Having the belly to overcome any moral qualms about
>
> killing innocent people. Let's pull our heads out of the sand. What's
>
> actually on the table is Americans dying. And not just because some
>
> Americans would die fighting their way through Afghanistan to Bin Laden's
>
> hideout. It's much bigger than that, folks. Because to get any troops to
>
> Afghanistan, we'd have to go through Pakistan. Would they let us? Not
>
> likely. The conquest of Pakistan would have to be first. Will other Muslim
>
>
> nations just stand by? You see where I'm going. We're flirting with a
> world
>
> war between Islam and the West.
>
>
> And guess what: that's Bin Laden's program. That's exactly what he wants.
>
> That's why he did this. Read his speeches and statements. It's all right
>
> there. He really believes Islam would beat the west. It might seem
>
> ridiculous, but he figures if he can polarize the world into Islam and the
>
>
> West, he's got a billion soldiers. If the west wreaks a holocaust in those
>
>
> lands, that's a billion people with nothing left to lose, that's even
> better
>
> from Bin Laden's point of view. He's probably wrong, in the end the west
>
> would win, whatever that would mean, but the war would last for years and
>
> millions would die, not just theirs but ours. Who has the belly for that?
>
> Bin Laden does. Anyone else?
>
>
> Tamim Ansary


Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Jeremy King
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Old 09-21-2001, 02:45 AM   #2
JJF
 
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Thoughts - some.. nightmares - a lot.

Your post pretty much paint the picture that keep comming back to me at night and I SINCERELY hope that the US can muster the courage to do the right thing.

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 09-21-2001, 03:35 AM   #3
Kami
Dojo: ShinToKai DoJo of AiKiDo
Location: Brazil
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 355
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JORGEN'S FEELINGS

Quote:
Originally posted by JJF
Thoughts - some.. nightmares - a lot.
Your post pretty much paint the picture that keep comming back to me at night and I SINCERELY hope that the US can muster the courage to do the right thing.
KAMI : Please, Jorgen, with all due respect, could you explain better your feelings?
Best

"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
Unknown author

Ubaldo Alcantara
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Old 09-21-2001, 07:37 AM   #4
JCK
Dojo: Aikido School of Central Ohio
Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 3
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Re: JORGEN'S FEELINGS

My friends,

I have been hearing some statements from a few people who, for the most part, were not born in the United States. They work and live here in the U.S. but have been saying disturbing things along the lines of, "Well, the United States had it coming." or "This will show the U.S. to keep it's 'policing nose' out of the world's business.".

Now, if you have read some of my past posts you might understand that I do not agree with everything that the American Government or American society does; however, this kind of feeling bothers me a great deal because I feel that these people are undercutting the principles and ideals that this country was founded on in the first place i.e. the basic human rights that any and every human being is entitled to while here on this earth.

One thing that I do like about the American Society is that it is very giving. The United States has donated more food, money, and help than any other country on the face of the planet - and all throughout history too. Granted, we have quite a bit, take quite a bit, and we waste quite a bit too so I don't know if that has something to do with it (I would love to hear comments from people from other countries on this subject)?

I don't know if this is an accurate statement but I think that I can speak for all Americans when I say that Americans want all people of the world to be free and happy.

Just my thought of the day. Thanks for your input.

Jeremy

P.S. Please be safe.
]
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Old 09-21-2001, 03:11 PM   #5
Kami
Dojo: ShinToKai DoJo of AiKiDo
Location: Brazil
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 355
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Re: Re: JORGEN'S FEELINGS

Quote:
Originally posted by JCK
My friends,
I have been hearing some statements from a few people who, for the most part, were not born in the United States. They work and live here in the U.S. but have been saying disturbing things along the lines of, "WELL, THE UNITED STATES HAD IT COMING" or "THIS WILL SHOW THE US TO KEEP ITS "POLICING NOSE" OUT OF THE WORLD'S BUSINESS".
Jeremy
KAMI : I understand your feelings, Jeremy, but read it again and please tell me where, in the afghan/american message, those disturbing things are spelled, even in a covert way?
As to the rest, of course, I do agree that the things you mentioned are disturbing and in bad taste.
Best

"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
Unknown author

Ubaldo Alcantara
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Old 09-23-2001, 03:05 AM   #6
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
Location: Sheffield, UK
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 524
Offline
Re: Re: JORGEN'S FEELINGS

Quote:
Originally posted by JCK

One thing that I do like about the American Society is that it is very giving. The United States has donated more food, money, and help than any other country on the face of the planet - and all throughout history too. Granted, we have quite a bit, take quite a bit, and we waste quite a bit too so I don't know if that has something to do with it (I would love to hear comments from people from other countries on this subject)?

Ok then, you asked for it.

As individuals, I'm told that american people give generously to charity in times of crisis. (If that crisis makes it onto the news.)

As a nation, however, the USA is far from generous. The US is the richest nation in the world by a stretch, so it wouldn't be surprising if it did donate more aid than any other nation. It doesn't though, that honour goes to Japan.

If you express the aid budget as a percentage of the total economy, the USA comes last, I'm afraid, giving less than any other industrialised nation.

A couple of links for you:
http://www.bread.org/media/archives/...bloomberg.html
and:
http://www.interaction.org/pizza/otherinfo.htm

Sean
x

Last edited by deepsoup : 09-23-2001 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 09-24-2001, 03:36 AM   #7
JJF
 
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Location: Vissenbjerg
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Re: JORGEN'S FEELINGS

Quote:
Originally posted by Kami

KAMI : Please, Jorgen, with all due respect, could you explain better your feelings?
Best
Hi Ubaldo!

I'll give it a try: First of all let me make it clear that I don't support the 'the US had it comming' thought that Jeremy mentioned in his post. NO ONE have ever had anything like this 'comming'. War is ugly but terror is downright abominable. Therefore what I hope is, that there can be found a way to retaliate without performing new acts of terror. I have yet not seen any proof that Bin Laden is the man to go after - but I believe there is a very good reason why he is the man on the top of the 'wanted-list'. I believe this villan has many supporters around him in Afghanistan and other middle east countries and that it is true that anything less than total obliteration of this terrorist-network will be worse than doing nothing. If anyone of these terrorists escapes the conflict will just continue indefinately. However this type of scoundrels often hides behind innocent people and I for one have a hard time thinking of an 'acceptable number of innocent casualties'. This is a war against terrorist but not against any middle-east contry.

What is the right thing then ? Go find the man - go tear apart his terror-regime and do it with the support and help of most of the world. Never before in my life has so many contries agreed to help in anything like this, and I sincerely hope that this support will make it possible to avoid heavy bombing of Afghanistan or any other state or country.

I believe the US has the power to do a lot of good but what I fear is a mindless slaugther of a nation based on blind hatred. That would just make the whole thing escalate and push more people into the arms of those fundamental muslim spiritual leaders who are ready to declare holy war upon the US. I hope the leaders of the joint nations of the west will be able to calm down and make concidered and humane decisions. I hope we will be able to put an end to the power of the terrorists and I hope that we can do it without killing innocent people, and without creating more misunderstandings and hatred in the world.

This got a little long. I hope it answered your question - if not please don't hesitate to ask me for details in a post or a mail.

All my best wishes to you all

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 09-24-2001, 05:16 AM   #8
Kami
Dojo: ShinToKai DoJo of AiKiDo
Location: Brazil
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 355
Offline
Thumbs down Re: Re: JORGEN'S FEELINGS

Quote:
Originally posted by JJF
Hi Ubaldo!

This got a little long. I hope it answered your question - if not please don't hesitate to ask me for details in a post or a mail.

All my best wishes to you all
KAMI : I agree. Congratulations, my friend, on a very cool and understanding message.
Peace be with you

Last edited by Kami : 09-24-2001 at 10:57 AM.

"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
Unknown author

Ubaldo Alcantara
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Old 09-24-2001, 06:03 AM   #9
ian
 
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Hello all.

I do agree that the U.S. do a lot of good things (through the UN, and through charity). But it is no good helping people that you've made poor or made suffer, partly through your own actions e.g. giving palestine to the Israelis (NB I realise it isn't that simple).

Also, the U.S. are extremely competitive economically, and through free-trade and globalisation have done alot of damage environmentally, socially and economically (just as the British have done in the past - esp. through slavery). I mean, the US government droped out of the Kyoto summit because they didn't see any economic benefit for them (and fuel is still rediculously cheap compared to Europe), they've patented genes of plants from other countries, they're even trying to patent the human genome, they've encouraged developing countries to grow crops which are completely unsuitable for the climate...

However, we have to deal with the present rather than the past, and its not what we regret, its what we can do now. I agree that the terrorist activity was dreadful. But it definately was a statement against capitalism (which I myself see as destructive if capitalism has free reign without a conscience). Does it matter if you shoot someone or whether you starve them to death? Discussions about what is legal is going down the wrong road - laws are generated by a particular society for a particular society (international laws are actually uninforceable). After all, America was originally colonised by changing the law for land rights, thus leaving many native americans without land; that was 'legal'.

However, I think we have to act with compassion for everyone involved. I was very impressed when the first action Bush did, was to try and initiate peace talks between the Palistinians, the US and Israel (which Clinton worked very hard at) - he gained a lot of admiration in my book and it is a shame the Israeli government are so arrogant that they were not willing to take that step.

As far as justice goes, yep, bring these people to a court of law or take military action against them. But please don't let us see indiscriminate air strikes against civilian populations. Maybe it would help to dipose the Taliban, but that is not for us to decide.

I think the US would be justified in sending in ground troops with air support to attack the purpetrators of this crime. However I can't see that happening because it seems that US military personal are worth more than foreign civilians.

I'm sorry if this appears to be an attack on the US as a 'nation' everyone is different; and at the end of the day, democracy or not, the government do things we don't like and we are just left to do the best we can.

Although some Muslims are against christianity and capitalism per se, not all are, but I feel an indiscriminant war against Afghanistan would polarise the world into a them and us situation.

Sorry if I offended anyone

Ian
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Old 09-24-2001, 06:57 AM   #10
JCK
Dojo: Aikido School of Central Ohio
Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States
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[quote]Originally posted by ian
[b]Hello all.

My Friends,

Thanks for the replies - very educational and interesting.

I stated in another post that I used to work for an agency that is under the United States Treasury Department so you can imagine the things that I am hearing about the situation now. In fact, one of the main reasons why I chose to resign from that agency is because of the way our government is perceived by people of other countries as well as their governments. I'm very glad to hear your responses because it confirms what my "gut/center" told me years ago.

I'm sure you all understand that I love America. I love all the principles that our Founding Fathers set down. I do not agree with a lot of the things that America's government has done, however - lots of skeletons in the closet just like everyone else. I do not believe innocent civilians should be made targets - and that includes the innocent people in Afghanistan.

Please keep the responses coming. I think this gives everyone an idea of why a lot of people around the world do not care for the United States.

Warm regards,
Jeremy

P.S. Ubaldo - could you explain a bit more about what you mean? I'm not sure what you're getting at when you said, "I understand your feelings, Jeremy, but read it again and please tell me where, in the afghan/american message, those disturbing things are spelled, even in a covert way?"

What I was basically getting at was that this doesn't sound very sympathetic to the victims of this tragedy; and, it's very shocking to hear comments like these from people who are Americans and have been living in this country for several years. I guess I'm not following you on this one - too early in the morning maybe.

Jeremy
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Old 09-24-2001, 11:08 AM   #11
Kami
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ABOUT JEREMY'S TEXTS

[quote]Originally posted by JCK
[b]
Quote:
Originally posted by ian
P.S. Ubaldo - could you explain a bit more about what you mean? I'm not sure what you're getting at when you said, "I understand your feelings, Jeremy, but read it again and please tell me where, in the afghan/american message, those disturbing things are spelled, even in a covert way?"
I guess I'm not following you on this one - too early in the morning maybe.
Jeremy
KAMI : Dear Jeremy,

You placed initially the message from the Afghan-American writer (a pledge for understanding and peace) and soon after you said :
"I have been hearing some statements from a few people who, for the most part, were not born in the United States. They work and live here in the U.S. but have been saying disturbing things along the lines of, "Well, the United States had it coming." or "This will show the U.S. to keep it's 'policing nose' out of the world's business."
I understood that you were connecting both things (the initial statement and the other statements). That's why I asked where, in the Afghan-American statement, there were such "disturbing things" you mentioned.
If there was any misunderstanding on my part, please, excuse me! That's why I asked for you to explain better your point.
Best regards

"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
Unknown author

Ubaldo Alcantara
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Old 09-24-2001, 11:33 AM   #12
JCK
Dojo: Aikido School of Central Ohio
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Join Date: May 2001
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Re: ABOUT JEREMY'S TEXTS

[quote]Originally posted by Kami
[b]

Hey Ubaldo,

I see where you're coming from now. My apologies. I didn't mean to confuse the two as being related directly to the same person or topic. I happen to agree with a lot of the statements in that first post (the e-mail Afghan-American gentleman). I just wanted to expand the topic a bit more because I think the author of that e-mail said it perfectly and it kind of cut the post off before it went in the direction that I had intended it to go. How can someone reply to an e-mail written like that? Know what I mean?

My response meant to be a question for people all over the world. My underlying point was that I don't believe that civilians should be held responsible for their government's actions at times, and this was sure one of them. Yes, a government is the reflection of the people that put leaders in power - but I think that even our system of government is very hard to change. It's all about the money in another words. I also hope that the global community realizes that not all Americans are blinded by the propaganda that has become our modern day history. Innocent people do not deserve to be used as pawns no matter what his or her beliefs are or where he or she lives.

Thanks for opening my eyes, Ubaldo. I see what angle you were getting at now.

Warm regards,
Jeremy
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Old 09-24-2001, 03:23 PM   #13
Kami
Dojo: ShinToKai DoJo of AiKiDo
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Ai symbol Re: UNDERSTANDING

[quote]Originally posted by JCK
[b]
Quote:
Originally posted by Kami
Thanks for opening my eyes, Ubaldo. I see what angle you were getting at now.
Warm regards,
Jeremy
KAMI : I'm glad now we understand each other. May it be this way all over the world...
Best

"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
Unknown author

Ubaldo Alcantara
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Old 10-01-2001, 12:48 AM   #14
stealth
Dojo: Ninjitsu (underground dojo)
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Re: Re: JORGEN'S FEELINGS

Quote:
Originally posted by JJF

War is ugly but terror is downright abominable.

What's the difference? I remember in a college ethics course the term "terrorism" is defined as Terror Tactics. If war is not terror tactics to many people, especially innocent civilians trapped in the battlefield, then what is. There isn't a difference between terrorism and war.
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