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[Nettime-bold] predictability
Ivo Skoric on Tue, 18 Sep 2001 17:15:41 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] predictability

The world returned to its predictable ways - the insurance 
companies and airlines took heavy losses on the market. Which 
was quite expectable, given that there is still potential danger of 
boarding a commercial airliner, and our government is not dispelling 
that fear.

So far, there is 5000+ missing from the WTC knock-down, and that 
number is rising as steady as the Dow-Jones index is falling. 
Giulliani is upfront saying that from now on we should not really 
expect to find survivors. Now this is as grim a job as it was for 
Russians to pull up their Kursk submarine.

TV said yesterday that those 5000+ people hailed from 62 nations. 
So, this, literally was more than an attack on America. A lot of 
Muslims, a lot of Arabs died, too. But I don't think Osama cares 
about that - he reached his grandiose goal (that he missed in 1993) 
of having the WTC crushed into rubble - whatever the cost.

Even Ghadaffi is giving the U.S. a "green light" to avenge 
themselves. But I don't think this should be about revenge. This 
should be about ending terrorism. A simple revenge may just bring 
about more terrorism. A Russian war veteran from Afghanistan, 
naturally, suggests that American carpet bomb and napalm the 
entire country. I do not doubt he lost many friends in the war and 
that he would really enjoy having that country turned to charcoal by 
American military might. But Osama may get away, and his 
terrorist network may remain largely unscathed, even if Afghanistan 
is nuked. This is like trying to kill cockroaches with a machine gun. 
And Taliban leaders already issued a series of their "make no 
mistake" statements, that they intend to turn Afghanistan to a 
graveyard of American soldiers, should they attack them.

Afghanistan is big, sparsely populated, very rugged, has high 
mountain ridges, and is not easy to fight there for foreigners. 
Russians lost the war there. That's not encouraging. But Russians 
lost, because Americans were helping mujahedeen. This time 
Americans may not lose, because Russians are very unlikely to be 
helping Taliban. In the matter of fact, there is nobody who is likely 
to help Taliban (Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan show vague support, 
but they are too dependent on Russia for survival, to be openly 
doing anything that may ire Kremlin). And their country may well 
turn to be their own graveyard.

On the other hand - Afghanistan has a really nice geo-strategic 
position for an American military base - beneath the Caspian basin, 
where there is oil that America wants to control, above Iran and 
Persian Gulf, and at the back of both Pakistani-Indian conflict over 
Kashmere and at the back of China. In the long run, neither Iran nor 
China might not feel too comfortable with the idea of having the US 
presence there for an indefinite time. So, the US is clearly phrasing 
this operation as an attempt to dig Osama out ('dead or alive') and, 
perhaps, with wide Islamic countries support.

They would actually let Taliban, themselves a really rude and 
obnoxious bunch that blows up two thousand years old statues of 
Buddha and threats women worse than dogs, walk, if they just co-
operate and give up Bin Laden. All Islamic countries, however, have 
the internal problem with their own Taliban-like Muslim 
fundamentalist groups. This is similar to how all Western countries 
still have far right neo-Nazi political parties and groups. 
Nevertheless, democracies with stable economies cope with 
extremism easier - they can allow political space for extremist 
groups without compromising the mainstream society. None of the 
Islamic countries are really democracies and a those that have bad 
economies are at a constant threat that a group like Taliban would 
violently take over. That returns us to the basics: economic justice 
and political freedoms are the best cure against the terrorism, the 
same how healthy eating and a lot of excersise are the best cure 
against a heart attack. Of course, now, since the attack happened, 
some sort of a tripple bypass is predictable.


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