The talking heads on television discuss the imminent use of doomsday devices like chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Our specie's only hope for survival is to stop the cycle of killing before it lurches further out-of- control. I experienced World War II and the Cold War, but this is the most frightening time I can remember.
The United States' military is about to launch a strike against Osama bin Laden, who is alleged to be the mysterious mastermind of the Al Qaeda network responsible for the September 11 terrorist "Attack on America". Bin Laden was trained in terrorism by the U.S. Central Intelligence as a "freedom fighter" in the 1980s to oust the Russians from Afghanistan and the ruling Taliban that is alleged to be hiding him was put into power with U.S. approval to "stabilize" the country after the U.S. sponsored war.
Afghanistan's next-door-neighbor to the east is Pakistan, described in the New York Times on October 2 as a "place about to blow" that "has long been the speculated locale for one of the world's worst nightmare scenarios, in which Islamic terrorists, in league with rogue elements of the military, seize control of the government and wield the vengeful sword of jihad with a nuclear tip." The story called Pakistan "a strange choice as America's indispensable ally in the hunt for bin Laden" because thousands of Islamic terrorists like the ones who killed 40 people in an October 1 "suicide" attack on a Kashmir legislative body. These Pakistan-based terrorists operate with government support and Pakistan's military ruler felt his country's survival was at stake when he was faced with a join-us-or-fight -us ultimatum from the Bush administration. The Wall Street Journal reported on October 3 that India's prime minister "suggested Washington's ally of convenience on Afghanistan's border is itself a supporter of terrorism."
Afghanistan's neighboring nation to the west is Iran whose governments have been agitated and manipulated by U.S. interests for almost 50 years. In 1953 the United States instigated a coup against Muhammad Musaddiq, the prime minister who was bringing a more democratic socialist government to replace the monarchy, because we felt he was too neutral in the struggle against the Soviet Union in the Cold War. We bolstered up the Shah of Iran who allowed the U.S. access to it's oil and to build military bases in Iran on the border of the Soviets. The Shah ruled Iran until he was finally overthrown in 1979 by Islamic fundamentalists led by the Ayatollah Khomeini. The militant Islamic religious regime allowed the U.S. Embassy to be taken over by students and held the U.S. personnel hostage in a struggle that went on for a year and established the Iranian government as firmly Anti-Western. In 1981-1983 the United States supported Iraq in a war against Iran and in 1996 the U.S. declared a total ban on trade with Iran. Last week Iran announced that they would not allow the U.S. to use their airspace to attack the Taliban in Afghanistan, and, on October 2, Iran and Russia signed a pact for a full resumption in arms sales to Iran.
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Afghanistan's northern border is occupied by Tajikistan, a sworn ally to Bush's ant-terrorist efforts and according to the Wall Street Journal on October 2 "a major conduit for heroin and opium on its way to consumers in Europe." The Afghan drug trade yields about 75% of the world's heroin and the warlords who make-up the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan that opposes the Taliban militarily are big players in the heroin market.
Also, occupying part of the northern border of Afghanistan is China, with a much greater nuclear capability than Pakistan. "Red China" was a great Cold War enemy and we have had very strained relationships with them recently after bombing their embassy in Belgrade in May, 1999 and the mid-air run-in between our spy plane and a Chinese fighter in April 2001.
While U. S. based corporate interests made giant profits in the process U.S. citizen/taxpayers have funded terrorism for the last 50 years in South-East Asia, Latin American, Africa, and the Middle East that has killed and dispossessed many thousands of poor people. . Now the terror has come-home-to-kill as martyrs-for-the-cause of people who have felt the pain of U.S. funded terror finally got the attention of the sole-super-power, thumb-your-nose-at-world, United States.
The desperate men who consider themselves and millions of others of their beliefs to be victims of continuing U.S. intrigue and exploitation in the Middle-East brought soul searching reality to the terror-is-okay-over-there attitude of U.S. citizens with a terrible terrorist attack on the ultimate symbols of United States power. The availability of chemical, biological and nuclear weapon to zealots whose ultimate panacea is murderous religious martyrdom makes it imperative to take a close look at our policies that have caused such hatred of the United States before we go lemming-like into the abyss.