Thursday, November 15, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 61


 
 









 

Taliban leaders leave the capital

Brandon Moeller

Now that the Taliban has left Kabul, the capital of the country our nation has been bombing since mid-October, the possibility of the war on the people of Afghanistan nearing its end is filling me with overwhelming joy.

And it should be. We should not want to buckle down for what U.S. officials predict will be a very long war. Nor should we carry the attitude of "whatever the government says it takes to avenge the horrible attacks and end terrorism."

Remember that war is hell and inhumane and should be unnecessary in civilized society. And when you have a bad-table-mannered, terrorist-supporting religious government fleeing from its capital with its tail between its legs, it's time to stop dropping as many bombs.

The United States, similar to the Soviet Union, is bigger and stronger than Afghanistan, which is just a little bit smaller than Texas and is one of the world's poorest countries. Hell, for the most part, its citizens hardly know what a paved road is. They're really no match for the richest country in the world.

We're able to prove our superiority with cluster bombs that release 202 mini-bombs the size of 12-ounce cans of cola, each of which can propel 2,000 pieces of metal shrapnel at an intense velocity. We've got "daisy-cutter" bombs the size of a small car, which we drop at 6,000 feet, pulverizing everything up to 600 meters around its landing point. Most of our arsenal is delivered via $74 million B-52H Stratofortresses capable of holding 30,000 kilograms of bombs.

The cluster bombs are the most widely criticized bombs being used in the conflict. The Red Cross and several other humanitarian organizations have condemned these bombs partly because North Atlantic Treaty Organization sources have said that around 10 percent of the mini-bombs fail to explode, leaving the once-targeted area a dangerous minefield.

It's doubtful whether all our firepower (at an estimated daily cost of $40 to 50 million) was the main reason the Taliban retreated from the capital. Recent events the advance of the Northern Alliance, growing cultural and political distrust for the government by Kabul locals and the rise of ethnic Pashtuns from the South forming small militia groups to overthrow the government should definitely not be discounted.

Now that the oppressors have left the capital, Radio Afghanistan is back on the air. Women are once again allowed to stroll down the street without the constant companionship of an older male relative. Soon Kabul citizens will be able to tune their new televisions to U.S. propaganda.

But it isn't all peaches and cream in terms of human rights in the post-Taliban Kabul age. Members of the Northern Alliance, in full view of a New York Times photographer, dragged a Taliban soldier through the street and, despite his cries for mercy, savagely executed him with a rifle and later beat his dead corpse with the butt of the gun.

But what about the Afghans who don't live in Kabul? What have they been up to? Fleeing, mostly.

Somebody should tell Tom Petty that you do have to live like a refugee if the United States is bombing your country. So far, seven million starving Afghan refugees are running from the bombs and fleeing to their border with nowhere else to go.

What can America do to help these refugees as the war on the people of Afghanistan seems to be drawing near? Let's start by dropping less bombs and working harder to encourage the political and cultural Afghan revolution.

Moeller, a junior communication major, 
can be reached at brandonmoeller@hotmail.com.

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