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Destruction of Kurram Village, Afghanistan

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Guys, guys, (and girls)-
Calm down.

A terrible thing happened to us.  We're taking actions
to try stop it from happening again.  But we all
better realize a few things:

1)  It almost certainly will happen again, no matter
how much we bomb Afghanistan.  The people who will do
it to us aren't in Afghanistan.  They're here.

2)  The people of Afghanistan didn't hurt us, and
probably wouldn't if given the chance.  A man with a
beard and a lot of bad friends, who currently lives in
Afghanistan with the blessing of its "government",
did.  Unfortunately, in the process of going after
these groups, innocent people get hurt.  They get hurt
at our hands.  Don't tell them they had the
opportunity to move; where would they move to? 
Afghanistan is a big place, and not easy to move
across, and most of them are too poor to move anyway. 
Don't try to defend our actions to them, because most
of them didn't do anything wrong and now they're
homeless or hurt or dead.  And don't try to defend it
to their friends, as Mr. Masroor apparently is.  I'm
proud to be an American, too, but if you think you can
tell someone whose friends were just bombed into
oblivion that he should just accept it, you're an
idiot.  The kind of idiot the rest of the world thinks
of as the stereotypical American asshole.

Where was I?  Oh, yeah.
3)  Terrorism isn't there for no reason.  People smart
enough to fly big airplanes don't just kill themselves
because some guy with a beard thought it was a good
idea.  The Germans didn't take to exterminating
millions of their countrymen just because some guy
with a mustache thought it was a good idea.  They buy
into this extremism because things are so bad, so
without hope, that reason and decency and common sense
don't work.  They buy into it because they are so
angry that they they'll listen to anyone who says "the
Americans caused this" or "the Jews caused this."  If
you really want to solve this problem, yes, you do try
to catch the guy with the beard.  But then, you'd
better ask yourself why it was so easy for him to get
everyone so angry.  That's where the real solution

With apologies to everyone for eating up so much
bandwidth, I'll conclude:  I don't defend for a minute
what the terrorists did to us.  We should absolutely
try to catch the ringleaders, and put them in prison
to rot.  Not to throw icewater on your testosterone,
but terrorism is only the symptom of the problem that
we really need to solve.  Solving it may even mean
looking at ourselves, because over the years, let's
face it, America has pulled some pretty crappy stunts.
 And until we figure these things out, all the bombs
in the world aren't going to solve the problem.

Mike Hemstad
St. Paul, Minnesota 

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