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Afghanistan Is Like Nothing You've Ever Seen

michael posted about 13 years ago | from the daily-deliveries-of-coffins dept.

United States 1346

DaHuNt writes: "A well written article about Afghan experiences by the Soviets... Food for thought... 'When Igor Lisinenko entered what he was told was an Afghan rebel base in 1982, he wasn't sure what to expect. It was, after all, his first assignment...'" Very good article. Too bad we aren't learning from the British and Soviet mistakes.

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First again!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335734)

I'm still a dork.

hah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335737)

first post...oh yeah
i love to kill people with dildos.

What about chechnya? (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | about 13 years ago | (#2335742)

Chechnya was a war against terrorism wasn't it? Its funny because the war was condemned by the US and the UN. As far as I know its still going on, but you don't hear word one about it.

Re:What about chechnya? (1)

jameslore (219771) | about 13 years ago | (#2335745)

The US sponsored the IRA for some time. The point is, anyone can be the good/bad guy with a little information filtering.

Re:What about chechnya? (1)

iamblades (238964) | about 13 years ago | (#2335828)

US Citizens sponsored the IRA, not the government. There were many sympathetic irish immigrants in certain areas of the US.

The main reason we were against the war in Chechnya is because of the alleged atrocities commited by the Russian army. Aside from that, the people in chechnya were domestic rebels, not full blown international terrorists...

Re:What about chechnya? (1)

JimPooley (150814) | about 13 years ago | (#2335832)

And they still do through NORAID.

With all this "War against Terrorism" stuff, I was wondering if the RAF would be allowed to bomb the shit out of the next NORAID meeting, raising funds for the IRA to blow people up. I also wonder just how many New Yorkers have funded the IRA's terrorism over the years, and if they still would...

Re:What about chechnya? (2)

MSBob (307239) | about 13 years ago | (#2335783)

There has been no evidence whatsoever (beside urban legends) that Chechens ever engaged in terririst activities. KGB and the Russian media did what was in their power to tarnish their name in the public opinion. The truth is however, that Russia desperately tries to hold on to Chechnya as they have their eyes set on "reunification" with Georgia.

Re:What about chechnya? (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | about 13 years ago | (#2335847)

Well there's no hard evidence that osama bin laden had anything to do with the wtc (event 1), or the events in Nyrobi or the American Embassy there. Yet we still bombed the hell out of them anyhow.

Latest news from chechnya (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335895)

- russian helicopter with 10 senior officers inc. 2 generals shot down, all killed

-mujahideen were virtually in control of gudermes, chechnya's second city, for 3 days and then evacuated without mayor casualties

-they used the same tactic in vedeno before

-russian control over the country is slipping as the mujahideen are stepping up their actions

Haiku Fun! (-1)

Trollerball (520569) | about 13 years ago | (#2335744)

Fuck you! Fuck You, You!
YOU!! Fuckyoufuckyou! FUUUCK YOOOUUUU!!!
Fuck You. You. Fuck..... You.

Re:Haiku Fun! (-1, Offtopic)

waddgodd (34934) | about 13 years ago | (#2335775)

you think you are great
making your pathetic litt'l haiku
we know you're a twit

5/7/5, Silly! (-1)

Trollerball (520569) | about 13 years ago | (#2335842)

Middle line should be
"Making pathetic haiku"
Twits can be great, too!

Why does everyone think (4, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | about 13 years ago | (#2335747)

that the only option is a massive Desert Storm type of invasion? What I hear military people talking about is using special ops people for small targeted operations. At most we would have a division, the 82nd probably, sieze a small easily secured area to use as, in effect, a large firebase. Or possibly use the Northern Alliance areas. Anyone who thinks we are going to try and conquer Afghanistan is an idiot.

Re:Why does everyone think (1)

caseydk (203763) | about 13 years ago | (#2335792)

exactly..

everyone assumes that we're going to send in troops the same way with an extensive air campaign...

the way i see it, they're going to set up a small secure area to stage operations from (in Pakistan or Afghanistan, doesn't matter) and then keep craft in the air constantly to keep an eye on things and an eye out for bin laden (probably many of those unmanned craft)..

then begin polluting the terrorist system... sow distrust, support weaker/stupid members' advancement, and give a great deal of food and medicine away to locals...

imagine if our troops could make the system weaker by distrust and foolish leaders AND get useful information from locals... bin laden would see his organization crumble around him...

Re:Why does everyone think (1)

iamblades (238964) | about 13 years ago | (#2335850)

Hell, If we play our cards right with the northern alliance(which is the actual recognized government in afghanistan, except for Saudi Arabia and Pakistan), we may not need to have much more than a few thousand special ops units to do the actual operations, and use our normal troops to help the northern alliance regain control and set up a new government...

Re:Why does everyone think (1)

alen (225700) | about 13 years ago | (#2335799)

But then there would be nothing for the media to report. If we go in full force as a conventional army, it'll be a catastrophe. What a great story for the media.

Besides most reporters don't know very much. Everyone knows how well the general media reports on technology matters. Why should the military be any different?

Re:Why does everyone think (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335801)

AMEN!!!

Micheal, and everyone else who thinks we will even try to conquer Afghanistan, are dumbasses. Ignorant. Tools of the idiotic media (ie, La Times).

How many times does our government have to say 'THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE A TRADITIONAL WAR' for some of these dumbasses to understand them?

Commando raids, some large scales, and airstrikes, will be our tools.

JESUS, Micheals ignorant comment pisses me off...

Re:Why does everyone think (1)

dachshund (300733) | about 13 years ago | (#2335810)

The bit about the effect of bombing was the most interesting part of the article. If what he's saying is true, our bombing could do more harm than good. So that means we're going to sneak around with special ops, while terrorists and suicide bombers do their best to loudly kill soldiers and civilians back in the US.

I don't suppose this is going to appeal very much to the voters.

Re:Why does everyone think (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335816)

The way I see it is you are just as full of shit as the people who think we are gonna conquer Afghanistan. You are assuming what is gonna happen yourself, just as they are.

Re:Why does everyone think (1)

DCheesi (150068) | about 13 years ago | (#2335871)

So in other words, we are going to try to out-guerrilla the guerillas in their own territory? Yeah, right. Besides, Special Forces units are great, but they can't win a whole war by themselves.

And don't think the terrorist leaders will be easy to find, either. They can pack up and move on a moment's notice, and probably already have several times. They can blend into the common populace just like the VC in Vietnam. With all those refugees streaming out from the major cities, even sympathetic locals won't know who's who.

Re:Why does everyone think (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335877)

How the fuck do you do 'small special ops missions' in a country on the other side of the world? Just have them hitchhike in? Even commando missions need infrastructure, which means people on the ground in Afghanistan. Which then gives a target for retaliation. And then we bring in more troops to guard the facilities.

On another note (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335748)

CNN is curently running a special on Afghanistan. It's a muslim woman's journey describing what the taliban has done.

Women aren't allowed to work. If they don't have husbands they have to beg for food.

They have a soccer stadium built with international funds. The taliban use it for executions. They actually had shots of the taliban executing people. They also interviwed one of the taliban officials why it's not being used for soccer. He said if the international community would give them funds to build a new execution facility tehn they would use it for soccer.

Re:On another note (-1)

Spootnik (518145) | about 13 years ago | (#2335838)

CNN can lick my rectum big time. Do you go to McDonalds for culinary tips? nuff said.

Riddle Fun (-1)

Trollerball (520569) | about 13 years ago | (#2335750)

Q: What do you see when the goatse man uses only two fingers of each hand to stretch himself open?

A: A semicolon!

Hahaha!

Re:Riddle Fun (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335876)

Funny one!

CNN on Afghanistan on TONIGHT and TOMORROW (2, Informative)

Joey7F (307495) | about 13 years ago | (#2335752)

Beneath the veil is a special on CNN. It shows just what an oppresive regime the Taliban is. It airs at 11:00pm eastern tonight and I think 7:00 tomorrow.

--Joey

Beneath The Veil (1)

V50 (248015) | about 13 years ago | (#2335754)

I learned most of what I know about Afghanistan from CNN's amazing Beneath the Veil. It's filmed from within Afghanistan. I saw a Commercial for it a few hours ago and it's being aired again at 7 EST, I think Sunday, though I'm not 100% sure of the date.

Re:Beneath The Veil (1)

annielaurie (257735) | about 13 years ago | (#2335822)

If you are at all interested in this topic, there is a Website you should visit: The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. [rawa.org] These women are working, at great danger to themselves, to educate girls and other women. The punishment for what they are doing is death. In fact, the woman who founded the group several years ago was executed by the Taliban. The photographs are horrific; the childrens' drawings merely heartbreaking. The people of Afghanistan are truly crushed under the heels of the Taliban. Women suffer greatly, and as is often the case, when they suffer, children are also suffering. This issue has been pretty widely discussed in womens' groups in the U.S. Maybe it's time to give it a wider audience.

This is different. (1)

waddgodd (34934) | about 13 years ago | (#2335756)

The US is not out to control anything in this war, we are out for revenge. I really don't think that the US Armed Forces are going to care if the "rebel base" they bombed was civilian or not, so long as there's Afghani bodies around. The Russians and Brits were trying to hold together control of the native population, while the US won't really care if the population is under control or not, so long as they're not in the way of us getting Bin Laden.

Re:This is different. (1)

mphillips (316235) | about 13 years ago | (#2335821)

Yes, probably true, and doesn't that scare you? What sets us apart from them?

Re:This is different. (1)

waddgodd (34934) | about 13 years ago | (#2335855)

What sets us apart from them is first blood. They drew it, and we bled it.

Re:This is different. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335861)

When you become obsessed with an enemy, you become that enemy.

Re:This is different. (1)

mphillips (316235) | about 13 years ago | (#2335884)

There is no first blood, it is a cycle of violence. It has been going on since ages when.
They were responding to some perceived act of violence agianst them, else they could not have justified it. Whether we agree with them of not is another thing... we cannot understand them truly, we are not terrorists, but equally, they cannot understand us, they are not capitalist democrats.
What we do depends on who you read, what you believe, try starting with Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Then maybe Foucault. Either way, they did not attack us without *any* cause. They just attacked us for a cause with which we disagree. There really is no difference between our reasoning and theirs.

cookie drive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335758)

In the soviet campain, we aided the rebels with money and weapons, much like the soviets and chinese did for the vietnamese. With out support from the outside, rebel groups will not be as tough. America also has much more spirit for this campain, and there is an awareness of vietnam and its mistakes. I believe, militarily at least, that we will win.

Re:cookie drive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335773)

Yeah, except that the "rebel" faction in this case controls 90% of the country, and with an iron fist no less.

If it was like that back then... (1)

chrisvdp74656 (448900) | about 13 years ago | (#2335762)

then the US is going to have an even harder time ousting the terrorists out than the Soviets did, if they are going to apply conventional warfare. The suggestions made in the article raise some good points, but the Taliban regime controls most of Afghanistan and the methods suggested in the article are unlikely to appeal to them.

The Russians interviewed in the article are quite right when they say, "The lesson they learned in Afghanistan is that actions to stop terrorism more often have the opposite effect."

Those who learned from history (1)

LazyDawg (519783) | about 13 years ago | (#2335763)

are doomed to watch others repeat it.

?? (-1)

egg troll (515396) | about 13 years ago | (#2335839)

Umm...okay. Come back when you have a post that makes sense, which means never. Haw! Haw! Haw!

BTW, is it just me or is it a sign of homosexuality when one refers to oneself as "Dawg"?

Yeah, I thought it was.

Re:Those who learned from history (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335849)

that is a nice quote! mod this up!

Learning from mistakes (2, Interesting)

Seenhere (90736) | about 13 years ago | (#2335765)

Too bad we aren't learning from the British and Soviet mistakes.

How do you know we (U.S.) haven't learned?

After all, we haven't done anything terribly rash and stupid in Afghanistan in the last 10 days.

Colin Powell was in Vietnam, and learned a thing or two, and remembers. Bush of course was not, but he seems (so far) to have the sense to listen to his betters.

--S

Michael is a fucknut, that's why. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335829)

You mean you've never read the "trolls" on how michael is a lying assfuck? Wow, I really wish someone would post one right about now.

Re:Learning from mistakes (1)

Blaxula (453114) | about 13 years ago | (#2335857)

Don't even reply to Michael. He is just an ignorant troll.

Re:Learning from mistakes (1)

Gaijinator (218180) | about 13 years ago | (#2335869)

Thank you. And one thing to add to this: people may assume that Bush is out for blood and wants to bomb the crap out of Afghanistan. That doesn't mean he will. At least part of his speeches are just to give the American people hope for revenge of some kind (that's why his 5-minute speech was 45 minutes long, including the uproarious applause).

Re:Learning from mistakes (1)

dachshund (300733) | about 13 years ago | (#2335878)

After all, we haven't done anything terribly rash and stupid in Afghanistan in the last 10 days.

Well, a couple of days ago, Donald Rumsfeld told reporters that we were re-evaluating our strategy (emphasis on the "re"... as in, our first evaluation was no good.) Apparently somebody's figured out that there are no good targets in Afghanistan. This gives me the impression that we would be bombing the crap out of them if we could just get a handle on the situation.

I worry about this war. Enraged Americans demand a war that they can see. They want to see bombs dropping, guts flying. I'm not sure that slow, sensible and covert is going to fit the bill, although that's probably the only chance we have to win this one.

Of course, we could just go in there with guns blazing and pull out when we feel like we've had enough. That'll satisfy everyone, at least until the terrorists strike again.

Implications are many and large (2, Insightful)

Sagarian (519668) | about 13 years ago | (#2335767)

The implications of a war on Afghanistan are, as this article raises, quite scary. Even if, in a sustained bombing campaign or a land war victory, we "win", what next?

Afghanistan will need a government to replace the Taliban... The Afghanis will doubtless harbor a deep hatred for Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and others who might aid us in such a war. This could easily lead to a much larger scope Middle East conflict.

It's just amazing to me how little perspective the average American has in situations like this (even our leaders), and how short and selective our memories are.

The Russians remind us that a war in Afghanistan is largely unwinnable by US standards. Our own history in Vietnam should clue us in as well. Will we never learn?

Re:Implications are many and large (2)

seeken (10107) | about 13 years ago | (#2335823)

The northern alliance seems quite willing to assume what we regard as their right to lead Afghanistan, and I don't imagine that it could be worse than the Taliban.

It's amazing to me how so many people around here don't regard this thing we have as worth defending.

Your suggestion for dealing with bin Laden, et al?

Re:Implications are many and large (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335848)

You ignorant fool. The 'Afghanis' do not exist as an nationality or ethnic group. Afghanistan is composed of dozens of ethnic groups, that would just as soon kill each other.

And don't think the Taliban has broad support. There are now reports that the 55th Brigade, the only real combat formation in the Talibans control, is falling apart, as old tribal loyalties are coming back into play.

"The Russians remind us that a war in Afghanistan is largely unwinnable by US standards. Our own history in Vietnam should clue us in as well. Will we never learn? "

Ignorant bastards like you just piss me off. Why do you think the us will launch a full scale invasion of afghanistan? What part of 'THIS WILL BE A NEW TYPE OF WAR' do dumbfucks like you not understand?

FOLLOW THE LEAD OF THE ISRAELIS!!! (-1)

egg troll (515396) | about 13 years ago | (#2335772)

Quoted from Janes.com:

Israel has considered many options in dealing with the threat. In August, Israeli deputy public security minister, Gidon Ezra, called for eliminating the relatives of suicide bombers as a deterrent. Radio Monte Carlo on 22 August aired the possible Hamas response to such an Israeli policy in an interview with Sheikh Yassin who said: "This means that he would give the Palestinian resistance men the justification to kill all Israelis who have relatives working in the ranks of the Israeli army." Ezra also suggested burying suicide bombers with pig skin or blood, defiling the corpse and thereby making the shaheed ineligible for holy martyr status with a promised place in heaven

Michael posts alot... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335774)

And man, he seems to be against anything that's right or right-on. I think he needs to take a break from his special friends (several, several bsd/linux boxen) and kick it with some non bitter fleshbags...

Come on baby, smile!

lessons from history (1)

rakerman (409507) | about 13 years ago | (#2335777)

'Wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains' [globeandmail.com] an article from the Globe and Mail. Rudyard Kipling's Kim tells of the Great Game, the secret war an otherwise peace-loving British raj conducted against sinister forces of disorder located across the northern passes -- in Afghanistan, to be precise.

Behind The Terror (2)

catseye_95051 (102231) | about 13 years ago | (#2335778)

If yo uwant an unjaundiced and somewhat approachign abalnced view my advice is don't watch CNN or network news, or for that matyter listen to NPR. They all have prety severe slants oenw ay or the other.

The only vaugely balanced POV I've seen so far is the BBC. Among other reports they did an excellent report on the hsitory of AlQeda and OSama Bin Laden called "Behind the terror."

One thing they explianed was that the core of AlQaeda are merecenaries with no other modern job skill that **we** trained to fight a modern guerilla war ebcause we needed them to defeat the soviets., After the soviets were puished out of Afghanistan we lost interest.

With out us paying them its only natural they found someone new to pay them to keep fighting.

People angst all the tiem abotu left over cold war weapons-- the most DANGEROUS left over weapons are the human ones we made. We need to be VERY careful not to do the same thing all over again...

Re:Behind The Terror (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335791)

Good points, but HOLY COW! You can't type AT ALL!!!!

Re:Behind The Terror (1)

eclectro (227083) | about 13 years ago | (#2335887)

or for that matyter listen to NPR

NPR is less biased than most - but their bias does seam to lean to the left. So if your bias leans the same way, they can be pretty good actually.

The ultimate solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335782)

-Move Israel to Utah
-Level Jerusalem

No more conflicts.

Re:The ultimate solution (1)

maxpublic (450413) | about 13 years ago | (#2335833)

Do you honestly think the Mormons, the most bigoted, uptight, hateful group of Christians in existence, wouldn honestly allow this?

Max

Comment about Poster Comment (5, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | about 13 years ago | (#2335784)

"Too bad we aren't learning from the British and Soviet mistakes."

How do we know that the United States military isn't learning from British and Soviet mistakes?

The British attempted to take Afghanistan over 100 years ago, and you can not compare an army before aviation, remote sensing and mechnization to a modern army.

Same goes for the Soviets. The Soviets were an army of conscripts and as Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam show you, a conscript army isn't the same as a volunteer army. Also, the Soviets hadn't fought since WW2 or 1959-60 against the Chinese, albeit in Bridgade sized clashes. And like the Americans in Vietnam, an army that rusty will have problems.

Micheal should look to the SAS's exploits in Iraq in '91 and the Desert Rats in '40-'41 for examples of what a small cadre of highly trained and motivated fighters can do againt increadable odds. Or even look at Blackhawk Down for an indication of what Rangers and Delta Force can accomplish in a poorly planned mission. I'm sure that all the lessons learned in Afghanistan in the 80s by Delta Force and CIA as well as those lessons learned in Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia and Sierra Leone by the Rangers, Delta, SAS, Force Recon and SEALs will be taken to heart.

Back when Desert Storm was still Desert Storm, all you heard were bags o' wind talking about how the United States Military was a paper tiger and couldn't invade Iraq because Iran couldn't invade Iraq in 8 years of fighting. Then when it turned into Desert Storm, they told us how many thousands of men would die because the M-1 used too much gas and was too complicated to use or because it was designed for Europe. Same thing is going on now, people are declaring the United States and United Kingdom beaten before they've had a chance to fire a shot back in anger. It's FUD.

All those soldiers are volunteers, give them a chance to prove themselves or be beaten.

Re:Comment about Poster Comment (2)

ZoneGray (168419) | about 13 years ago | (#2335843)

Thanks for saving me the time of writing essentially the same thing. This is another in a string of stupid articles written by journalists who think they know something the CIA doesn't, written to analyze a different war than the one we'll be fighting.

And some stuff in the article is obviously urban legend, such as, "The people sitting at the far end of such a cave would not even notice that you dropped a bomb that exploded at the entrance." Get serious. This is lame, and we'll see the same dumb stories all over network news the next few weeks.

Re:Comment about Poster Comment (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | about 13 years ago | (#2335867)

...a conscript army isn't the same as a volunteer army.


The only difference between a "volunteer army" and a "conscript army" is time and casualties. Enough time and casualties and either volunteer becomes conscript or the army backs out. Which will you want?

The White Man's Burden (1)

Ranger (1783) | about 13 years ago | (#2335785)

I saw the last stanza quoted in an op-ed piece: from Rudyard Kipling's The Young British Soldier [io.com]

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.

Personally, I'd like to sit back and watch Michael Caine's and Sean Connery's fine performances in The Man Who Would Be King [imdb.com] again, but I'd like to throw a little historical perspective into the current crisis. I think the Afghans have been pissed off at the West ever since it was conquered by some Greek dude named Alexander. Of course the British didn't help the West with it's more recent activities either. Afghanistan really has a fascinating history, just as much as Iraq does. It's too bad they are both ruled over by despotic regimes. I am particularly taken with the first paragraph from this essay on Kipling's Imperialism: [65.107.211.206]

In Kipling's work, as in his life, the British Empire assumed a complex mythical or legendary function, which he passed on to his readers. It was a positive force in the sense that it ordered and unified his creativity, and a negative one to the extent that it limited his perspective. In life he seems to have thought of it very much as one might have thought of the earlier Roman Empire: its purpose was to maintain stability, order, and peace amongst the heathen, to relieve famine, provide medical assistance, to abolish slavery, to construct the physical and the psychological groundwork for "civilization," and to protect the mother country. It was an island of security in a chaotic world. (And in fact, when the Empire did eventually dissolve, many of the worst nightmares of the Imperialists came to pass--in the slaughter which marked the partition of India, for example).

And while you're at it take a gander at Kipling's Imperialist apologist masterpiece The White Man's Burden [utexas.edu]

This war on terrorism is going to require of us a true understanding of our enemies and not to make the same mistakes others have before us in dealing with them. I will close my comments with the last stanza of that poem as well (believe me, the irony is not lost on me).

Take up the White Man's burden!
Have done with childish days--
The lightly-proffered laurel,
The easy ungrudged praise:
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years,
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers.

Yeah.,. but we have bunker buster missles and... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335786)

Yeah, But this time we will hopefully use
tactical nuclear warheads with the bunker buster
missle. And also the Nuetron Bomb to waste the
Taliban. if we don't then it's our own fault.

6,000 Americans = 600,000 Afgas/Terrorist/Iranians/Iraqs/or whatever you want to call them.

In order to stop terrorism we can't stop short of
extermination of these scum.

I am all for chemical interrogation of these pigs. Chemical Interrogation uses Sodium Pentathol, Herion, and LSD. Using these chemicals
we can extract the information we need to bust up the cell terrorist organization.. but we need
to get Bin laden. Shoot him up with Sodium Pentathol, if he does not talk, get him hooked on Heroine. , then string him out. when he begs for a fix shoot him up with heroine and sodium pentathol, if we are carefeull not to kill him from the dosage, we will get the information we want, no matter how strong his will is.

When we get the information we want we should take
him for a trip to the New York Zoo (Don't publicize this that way no one will think he's a martyr), don' feed the Lions for 2 weeks and throw the bastard in the cage.

Stephen King, author, dead at 54 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335788)


I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Anonymous Coward, troll, dead at 13 (-1)

egg troll (515396) | about 13 years ago | (#2335814)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Goatse.cx fan Anonymous Coward was found dead in his parents basement this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure no one in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't loathe his work, there's no denying his contributions to troll culture. Truly a Slashdot cockwrangler.

Egg Troll, fag, dead at 92 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335844)

I just read some sad news on Slashdot - Egg Troll was found dead with his penis in his boyfriend's ass this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the homosexual community will miss him - even if you didn't suck his dick, you've probably enjoyed it up your ass. Truly an American fag.

(note that I use the old-style "you've probably enjoyed" rather than the new "no denying his contributions". I think it's funnier this way.)

Oh, almost!! (-1)

egg troll (515396) | about 13 years ago | (#2335854)

That was very close, except my boyfriend never lets me pitch. I can only catch, which is fine with me!! Nothing like hitting your pleasure center from the other side, I always say.

You're right about the older style. It really brought out the humor of the post!

Stephen King, penis, dead at 54 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335874)

I just heard some sad penis on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi penis Stephen King was found dead in his penis home this morning. There weren't any more penises. I'm sure every penis in the penis community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his penis, there's no denying his contributions to popular penis. Truly an American penis.

Mistakes? (3)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 13 years ago | (#2335794)

Too bad we aren't learning from the British and Soviet mistakes.

This is the sort of nonsense comment that really turns me off slashdot at times. As best as I can tell we have not repeated any of the Russian or British mistakes in Afganistan, nor is it likely that we are going to try to make Afganistan a colony or territory like the Russians and British tried.

Sure, nobody said this is going to be an easy job. But it is quite clear that it is not going to be done solely through military means, nor would it even be possible to do solely through military means.

Stop It!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335796)

I wish people would STOP WHINING about "learn from Russia and Britain". We must pay for freedom once in a while, and our payment is/was obviously overdue, so thats what we're gonna do.

Our aim is not to occupy afghanistan. there is no real national interest there. the aim is to get rid of bin laden and his cronies, and the rest of the bastards that might try and do this again.

so, stop whining about "we haven't learned". We know what we're doing. We are doing this with sufficient intelligence unlike in the years of president dangle.

Poor Afghans (0)

INicheI (513673) | about 13 years ago | (#2335797)

I heard this in my local paper, it is from an Afghany woman "I dont care if the US strikes and kills me and my six kids, I have nothing to live for." This is really sad, These Afghan people are so poor that nobody there cares about their own lives. This is really sad.

This is not an "American style" war. (1)

dbolger (161340) | about 13 years ago | (#2335800)

Before I start, I'll quote something I'm sure lots of you have seen before, its Colin Powell to then President Clinton, considering the invasion of Bosnia; "We do deserts, we don't do mountains". America's armed forces are good at tabletop warfare, where the enemy is easy to see, has clear assets that can be targeted, and thus can be defeated. Fighting the Afghan terrorists is /nothing/ like this - its a lot more like Viet'nam, where you have an elusive enemy who you cant properly target because he when you try to, he just drops back into the terrain and you've lost him. Their tactics are the same as used by the IRA in Ireland and the VC; strike hard and fast, then withdraw before and disappear before the counterstrike. This is /not/ a war that can be won "American style". If you want to achieve victory in this, you'll have to do it on *their* terms. That means small, special forces units, hitting hard and hitting fast, removing the targets one war or another, and getting out. You have to learn from the Soviets and British - even if their objectives were territorial acquisition rather than revenge; a broad campaign doesnt stand a chance, but a series of well-planned raids does.

Kill them with kindness. (2, Interesting)

Rimbo (139781) | about 13 years ago | (#2335802)

First, give their women a better lot in life.

Gain territory. Then make the territory safe. Then give the people within that territory everything their hearts desire. Food. Clothing. Shelter. Jewelry. Television. McDonald's.

Build them a beautiful mosque. Allow them to pray. Give them a world where they need not fear, where they are defended by the United States military.

When the Taliban tries to assert itself, it will find itself against its own population, who will have found the security and freedom we Americans usually tend to take for granted, and will sacrifice all to defend.

You'll have difficulty keeping the defectors to your side out -- just as the USA today has difficulty accepting everyone who wants to immigrate here.

You win by conquering the way Rome did. You make the conquered territory more blessed than your opponents' territory.

Those few who infiltrate will grow accustomed to the softness of the new lifestyle, and be unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary to fight their cause.

You ask them what they want, and then give them more than they asked for.

Re:Kill them with kindness. (1)

reflector (62643) | about 13 years ago | (#2335835)

Not a bad idea in general, but MCDONALDS???
That's hardly killing them with kindness, that's killing them with heart attacks and bovine growth hormones...

Re:Kill them with kindness. (1)

NewtonsLaw (409638) | about 13 years ago | (#2335882)

That's a nice idea -- but don't forget who you're dealing with.


The terrorists will exploit the kindness by infiltrating these safe zones (how do you tell a terrorist from a bonafide Afghani victim?) and kill/maime not only those who provide the kindness, but also those who they feel have sold-out to the Western defilers.

You are right in one respect though -- the USA and allies need to establish a beachhead within Afghanistan that can be adequately defended and used as a staging post for the deployment of ground-troops.

Don't forget that, as the LA Times article points out, these people do not yearn for worldly goods so the lure of (comparitive) luxury and posessions is of no value.

Trying to come up with a simple solution to this problem is somewhat akin to describing exactly how all the systems onboard the space shuttle work in 20 words or less -- it's impossible.

Perhaps the best thing that any military action can be is highly adaptive and reactive to whatever it finds. That's something that I don't know the US (or any Western) military is adequately structured to cope with. It is however, exactly why guerrilla fighters are so damned hard to deal with. They're taught to think on their feet and not to constantly rely on reporting to and receiving orders from some central administration which isn't actually there on the front line.

How else do you think a handful of Afghani rebels managed to fend off the might of the former Soviet Union?

How else do you think the VC fended off the might of the post-WWII US military in Vietnam?

This will be a hard one.

I Definitely Agree (1)

robbyjo (315601) | about 13 years ago | (#2335886)

Rather than to have an aerial bombing, do this. This is a very very good strategy. First of all, Taliban only control 95% of the area. US can cooperate with the remaining 5% and show them that US is their hero. Protect them and treat them good. Build mosque and school. Show your sympathy. Treat their wounds and relive their cities. Preferably near the border.

This will definitely make them shocked and have a mixed feeling. Thus, Laden's fatwah on fighting US will be utterly dissed. Other moslem will see the good deeds US has done and thus won't go jihad.

More over, copy their way. Don't build bases. Rather, stay at people's houses. Treat them good. Build underground meeting places to assemble the attack.

Direct confrontation will draw more enemy and will not succeed. I recall one of the ancient Chinese great strategist, Sima Yi, also have this strategy. They teach people how to plant crops and make them happy. Because of that, the top strategist at that time, Zhuge Liang, lost his patience!

This will quicken other territories to surrender too! If you do treat them good, you will earn top-notch spies from them. Remember that Asian values moral more and can easily get "indebted" by someone's grace. Use this fact!

Afghanistan in pictures (2)

MSBob (307239) | about 13 years ago | (#2335806)

I posted a MLP to Kuro5hin earlier this year with an excellent photo-report from Chechnya made by a Polish journalist. Here [kuro5hin.org] is the story. Unfortunately the main link no longer works but I posted a comment [kuro5hin.org] which has direct links to all images. The body of the story contains the picture titles.

Teach Tolerance in house first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335807)

Before the US decides to provide justice, maybe it should consider its own house of terror first. It needs to teach tolerance (aggresivly) to its ppl of not targeting ppl who tend to have brown skin or not targeting ppl just because they wear a turban (mostly Sikhs who are neither muslim or from the middle east). Currently its convienent to hide behind the harrasment because of the ignorant "security threat" excuse. But it too is terrorism - sure you are not blowing anything up in most cases - but you leave your vitims in terror none the less. Or will it take fifty years later and an moument to say we were wrong as it was done with the Japanese Americans.

Sure this is a rant - but it also thoughts a person who is afraid not of terror from outside the border, but within.

STFU! (-1)

egg troll (515396) | about 13 years ago | (#2335830)

Shut up you self-righteous pompus asssniffer. Your comments are about as intelligent as the fart I just cut as I read your post.

Michael is a communist/terrorist sympathizer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335808)

That's all I have to say.

SAS experiences (1)

Troodon (213660) | about 13 years ago | (#2335809)

Oh look. Smug comments. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335813)

Too bad we aren't learning from the British and Soviet mistakes.

Good thing we've people like you around to make smug comments.

As much as everyone likes to cry for revenge, that will not be the primary goal of these missions. The primary goal is to disrupt these global terrorist organizations. If terrorists are busy scurrying from cave to cave and village to village, they will be too busy to plan assaults on other countries.

The British and Russian experiences taught us that conquering and maintaining government in Afghanistan is near impossible. Who is currently conquering and trying to maintain a government in Afghanistan? The Taliban, that's who. They will be impossible to wipe out. But they should be relatively easy to destroy as an effective government.

There are myriad possible responses and actions the US will take. It's possible, if they're dumbass, that this'll turn into another Vietnam. It's possible that they'll perform their special ops supremely competently, and a more Western-friendly government will impose itself. What's perhaps most likely is they'll succeed in disrupting the Taliban regime and the bin Laden terrorist organization, at the cost of most years of hellish civil war for the Afghan innoccents. If the Afghan militants are busy fighting each other, they'll be unable to aid global terrorism networks. (In theory, anyway.)

But what's certain is the US government knows far more about the possible consequences of actions there than anyone here. Whether that knowledge turns to wisdom and they actually figure out the right thing to do will have to be seen.

Certainly, we should do what we can the understand the situation. But smartass armchair quarterbacking from computer geeks who only know what the media tells them isn't helping anyone.

Yay! They can use our own missles against us! (1)

rygarsdad (322009) | about 13 years ago | (#2335815)

And that's one of many reasons I ain't too interested in heading into Afghanistan.

by the way, if you flattened out the mountains in Afghanistan it would be a LOT bigger than Texas.

About the hundredth time this came up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335820)


You have to remember, the USSR went in there to "pacify" what they considered their territory.
The US has no such intentions or illusions.

Consise Backgrounder Linkage:

Pakistan 1 [loc.gov]
Pakistan 2 [doe.gov]

Afghan 1 [doe.gov]
Afghan 2 [odci.gov]

Good from bad (1)

posix4 (262526) | about 13 years ago | (#2335831)

Solutions for telling who the good or bad people are in afg. Before you flame me realize i think that we should do none of these things.

1) The vietnam method (wait for them to start shooting you and then fire back)

2) Find a better name than Internment camps (After all if they find a catchy name people wont get upset)

3) Ah who cares just kill them all

War in Afghanistan will only agravate the problem (1)

lythari (118242) | about 13 years ago | (#2335834)

Military retaliation is inevitable. But I can't look at the situation in the Middle East and in Pakistan without some trepidation.

Anti-American sentiment is high throughout the region, and military action against the Taliaban and bin Laden will only serve to further agravate that and lead to more people joining the terrorists to fight 'the great satan'. Also, there is a risk that the governements in pro-western Middle Eastern countries and Pakistan could be toppled by popular uprisings in support of the Taliban and bin Laden.

This would be especially worrying in case of Pakistan as they possess nuclear weapons and delivery platforms for them (missiles). While all sane governments would hesitate before using nuclear weapons, I can't say the same for a Taliban like regime.

Drop $10 million on Kabul! (1)

sphere (27305) | about 13 years ago | (#2335836)

Why do so many Americans believe that our military can enter Afghanistan and come out with bin Laden?

Frankly I don't get it. As far as I can tell, all of past and current military history indicates that Afghanis are among the best guerilla fighters in the world, even they're even better on their home turf! So, could someone please tell me how America's experiences are going to be any different? The Soviets had Special Forces units too, you know.

Yes, we need to kill al-Qaida, but we will have to discard our American bluntness and be more subtle. For example, the US government could strike a vital blow against the Taliban with a most unorthodox tactic: dropping $10 million in hundred-dollar bills on Kabul.

This cunning suggestion would lift many Afghanis out of poverty, force the peasants to work with the outside world (because how else will they spend they money otherwise?), and subvert the Taliban by giving the peasants another source of income besides the government.

And even better, giving alms is a basic part of the Muslim faith--it is one of the Five Pillars of Islam--and this charitable act will win friends throughout the Islamic world! Finally, it will cost more than $10 million to wage this war and cost many lives--our soldiers and innocent Afghan peasants as well. So why not?

Hey President Dubya, drop $10 million US on Kabul!

Re:Drop $10 million on Kabul! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2335865)

Yeah.. I'd rather drop some bunker buster missles
and a nuetron bomb. vaporize the taliban.
capture Bin Ladin, shoot him up with Heroine laced
with sodium pentathol and possibly LSD.
Pump the information we need out of him. Break the
terrorist cell. take Bin Laden and his buddies
to New York (UNPUBLICIZED OF COURSE) and feed him
and his buddies to a den of hungry lions.

A MEDIAVAL CHRIME DESERVES A MEDEIAVAL PUNISHMENT!

What a arrogant IDIOT! (1)

Zapdos (70654) | about 13 years ago | (#2335840)

"Too bad we aren't learning from the British and Soviet mistakes"

Like he knows what we are doing? The first order of business is to destabilize the enemy with FUD. To give disinformation is a standard strategy. Therefore I can assume with absolute certainty that you do not know what measures the US government is taking.

Why? (1)

mphillips (316235) | about 13 years ago | (#2335845)

Ask yourself, if you wrote the arguments out in logical form, how much would your validation for a strike against the terrorists differ from their justification for the attack in the first place?
The problem is not the argument, but the dogmatic system in which we exist. Both arguments are invalid, but neither side is willing to see it in their own reason.
By counterstriking, we are not getting to the heart of the problem, but in fact, we make it stronger. The situation is caused by fanaticism, dogma, hatred, and irrational violent action. We in the west are just as guilty of this as the terrorists.
Shouldn't we step back and ask not what we can do for our country, but what we can do for humanity?
For once I agree with the NRA; guns don't kill people, but nor do people. Religious hatred motivating weak people kills people. Fight dogma and religion, not people and guns.

More information (1)

von Prufer (444647) | about 13 years ago | (#2335846)

For Slashdot would-be Generals:

http://www.bdg.minsk.by/cegi/N2/Afg/Waraf.htm

Mistakes (1)

JimPooley (150814) | about 13 years ago | (#2335856)

Too bad we aren't learning from the British and Soviet mistakes.

And the US mistakes - training Osama Bin Laden, and supporting the Taliban against the USSR, and giving them money as part of the "War Against Drugs"...

The phrase "Hoist by your own petard" springs to mind.

Hypocrisy? (1)

Red Moose (31712) | about 13 years ago | (#2335862)

Interesting that they guy commented on how poor they are in the hope and belief of achieving so much more in the "next world" or whatever. Two things:

1. That is still just as greedy as the western capitalist societies. It's just greed-by-proxy and they want money for nothing and 80 chicks and a harem for free in the next life

2. Their leader, Bin laden, is right up there on this. He is a multi-multi-multi-millionaire from oil. Obviously he REALLY believes in poverty in this life for a better next one. Or else his excuse is that this IS his next life.

Too bad we aren't learning ... (1)

Mike McTernan (260224) | about 13 years ago | (#2335864)

> Too bad we aren't learning from the British and Soviet mistakes.

Isn't America in this problem partly because of its failure to notice parts of the world outside of its borders?

Ironic.....

--
Are you modding this down because you are American?

carrots and sticks (2)

Perdo (151843) | about 13 years ago | (#2335866)

Anyone seen a carrot? $40 billion in war chest funds could buy a lot of carrots. That is about $1,500 per Arab in Afganistan or about 6 times their GNP per capita. Twice the total value of everything in the country. Lots of carrots. A trust fund would instantly tripple their standard of living. Lots of tractors, roads and telephones or 80 million sheep. 3 sheep for every man woman and child in Afganistan. All we have are sticks. I guess we could start by killing all their sheep. They each have one now. We might have to give carrots to everyone who threatened terrorism against us though.. Yes, blasting them to glass is a much better solution than being held hostage to terrorist.. Something to think about.

Objective (1)

jamoke (131081) | about 13 years ago | (#2335870)

Even though the US objective is a little ambiguous, the objective is not to "overthrow" or "occupy" Afghanistan. The so called plan is to hunt down some individuals. Russia, and Brittan had more ambitious plans. This won't make the mission any less dangerous, or less difficult.

Of course we are learning .... (1)

Carbon Unit 549 (325547) | about 13 years ago | (#2335873)

It's too bad to many young people have a knee jerk reaction to war with a Vietnam flashback. We aren't just fighting for "freedom" we are fighting for our OWN LIVES!

Our own lives, eh? (2)

Perianwyr Stormcrow (157913) | about 13 years ago | (#2335888)

That would be nice if there were anything other than a ghost of an abstract noun to go to war with.

Find a real enemy, find a real target, find an opponent.

Don't show me ghosts.

Conventional war isn't effective against terrorism (1)

posix4 (262526) | about 13 years ago | (#2335875)

Reasons why conventional war is not effective:

1) See my good bad comment
2) Creates terrorists. Many of these groups exist in very poor countries and our the only source of food and protection for the honest people who live their. (would you starve or take food from someone who you think is evil?)
3) Most of our mil tech is meant to fight heavy armor ground vehicles and planes.

More to follow if people are interested

On Afghanistan (5, Insightful)

Brian Stretch (5304) | about 13 years ago | (#2335879)

This email has been making the rounds, and happened to meander my way:

Dear Colleagues,

As we reflect upon the tragic events of this week and an appropriate
"response," I thought you might like to see this letter from my college
roommate, Tamim Ansary, who grew up in Afghanistan. I think he offers an
interesting perspective on Bin Laden, the Taliban, and Afghanistan.

Toivo Kallas
Department of Biology & Microbiology

Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 10:14:27 -0700

Dear Friends,

Yesterday I heard a lot of talk about "bombing Afghanistan back to the
Stone Age." Ronn Owens, on KGO Talk Radio 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," and he asked,
"What else can we do? What is your suggestion?" Minutes later I heard a
TV pundit discussing whether we "have the belly to do what must be done."

And I thought about these issues 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 been going on over there. So I want to share a few
thoughts with anyone who will listen.

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 fervently wish to see those monsters punished.

But the Taliban and Ben Laden are not Afghanistan. They're not even the
government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of ignorant psychotics
who captured Afghanistan in 1997 and have been holding the country in
bondage ever since. Bin Laden is a political criminal with a master
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 love for someone to eliminate the Taliban and
clear out the rats nest of international thugs holed up in their country.
I guarantee it.

Some say, if that's the case, why don't the Afghans rise up and overthrow
the Taliban themselves? The answer is, they're starved, exhausted,
damaged, and incapacitated. A few years ago, the United Nations
estimated that there are 500,000 disabled orphans in Afghanistan--a
country with no economy, no food. Millions of Afghans are widows of the
approximately two million men killed during the war with the
Soviets. And the Taliban has been executing these women for being women
and have buried some of their opponents alive in mass graves. The soil
of Afghanistan is littered with land mines and almost all the farms have
been destroyed . The Afghan people have tried to overthrow the Taliban.
They haven't been able to.

We come now to the question of bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age.
Trouble with that scheme is, it's already been done. The Soviets took
care of it . 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? There is no infrastructure. Cut them off from medicine
and health care? Too late. Someone already did all that.

New bombs would only land in 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. (They have already, I hear.) 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 be making common cause with the Taliban--by raping once again the
people they've been raping all this time

So what else 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. I think that when people speak of "having the belly to do what
needs to be done" many of them are thinking in terms of having the belly
to kill as many as needed. They are thinking about overcoming moral
qualms about killing innocent people. But it's the belly to die not kill
that's actually on the table. Americans will die in a land war to get
Bin Laden. 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. 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. The invasion approach is a flirtation with global war between
Islam and the West.

And that is Bin Laden's program. That's exactly what he wants and why he
did this thing. Read his speeches and statements. It's all right
there. AT the moment, of course, "Islam" as such does not exist. There
are Muslims and there are Muslim countries, but no such political entity
as Islam. Bin Laden believes that if he can get a war started, he can
constitute this entity and he'd be running it. 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 Muslim lands, that's a
billion people with nothing left to lose, even better from Bin Laden's
point of view. He's probably wrong about winning, in the end the west
would probably overcome--whatever that would mean in such a war; but the
war would last for years and millions would die, not just theirs but
ours. Who has the belly for that? Bin Laden yes, but anyone else?

I don't have a solution. But I do believe that suffering and poverty are
the soil in which terrorism grows. Bin Laden and his cohorts want to bait
us into creating more such soil, so they and their kind can flourish. We
can't let him do that. That's my humble opinion.

Tamim Ansary

Life in Afghanistan (2)

blamanj (253811) | about 13 years ago | (#2335890)

For another excellent, and far more detailed summary, an Iranian filmmaker has written about his experiences [iranian.com] in Afghanistan. The site does not always seem to be up, and if you have problems, there is a mirror of the article [kokonino.com] available as well.

I think the US goverment is getting ample warning about the problems of fighting in Afghanistan, we'll have to see what they make of them. Clearly, the poverty and horrible living conditions there suggest that sending food rather than bombs might be far more effective with regard to the general populace. Catching the terrorist is likely be better done by spies and intelligence than simply sending in the Marines.

Excuse me... (1)

wardomon (213812) | about 13 years ago | (#2335891)

Too bad we aren't learning from the British and Soviet mistakes.???

It's too bad that the terrorists didn't learn from Japan and Germany's mistakes. How many innocent American civilians must be slaughtered before a military response is used? Retribution is due. If you think otherwise, you may as well have been flying one of the planes.

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