Over Kill!

By Noble Johns

After bombing the Afghanistan people to death, and running Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida network from cave to cave in a murderous hunt, our continued bombing of those poor pathetic people seem a bit extreme. How much more can we do to the poor people of Afghanistan before world opinion turns on us? claiming over kill!

Now, U.S. forces are focusing on their main objective in Afghanistan — capturing or killing Osama bin Laden and other terrorist leaders — now that the Taliban are on the run and the al-Qaida network is under heavy attack.

``Thanks to our military and our allies and the great fighters of Afghanistan, the Taliban regime is coming to an end,'' Bush said Wednesday before signing a bill ensuring aid to Afghan women and children. It appears that aid to the people of Afghanistan is a cover-up for the mass murder of people who have never heard of the World Trade Center nor the Pentagon.

As Afghan fighters tried Wednesday to negotiate a surrender of al-Qaida forces near bin Laden's Tora Bora mountain base, the Pentagon said again that it doesn't want to see a deal in which terrorist leaders go free.

``We have made it very clear what our intents are,'' Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke said.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has some confidence about getting control of the people on its wanted list.

Meanwhile the FBI arrived at the Marine base south of the southern city of Kandahar to question American John Walker, a senior defense official said on condition of anonymity.

A cease-fire at Tora Bora collapsed Wednesday as U.S. airstrikes repeatedly pounded bin Laden's cave complex in the White Mountains after cornered al-Qaida forces reportedly set new terms for their surrender and missed a deadline to disarm.

The goal is ``to capture or kill all the al-Qaida and prevent them from escaping into other countries or other locations in Afghanistan where they can continue their terrorist activities. It is to capture or kill the senior Taliban leadership,'' Rumsfeld told reporters Tuesday.

Captured al-Qaida could be sent back to their own countries if those countries would impose appropriate punishments, Rumsfeld said.

``We would only send them back to a country where we felt that the country had a similar attitude to ours about the undesirability of people running around engaging in mass murder,'' he said.

Congressional leaders, after a breakfast meeting with President Bush on Wednesday, sounded more optimistic about the pace of the Afghanistan campaign.

``We had a good briefing on, basically, the mop-up situation in Afghanistan and trying to bring that action to a close,'' House Speaker Dennis Hastert told reporters afterward.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., said, ``The ring is getting closer and tighter and, as it does, we get more optimistic.''

Pentagon officials say this phase of the battle could take months. Progress continued Tuesday in the Tora Bora area of eastern Afghanistan, where U.S. officials believe bin Laden probably is hiding.

The United States has some indications bin Laden was near where an American plane dropped a 15,000-pound bomb Sunday, a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity Tuesday. The military dropped the ``daisy cutter'' bomb on a cave containing al-Qaida members.

U.S. spotters saw dead al-Qaida at the scene afterward, but officials have not determined who they were, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers said.

Gen. Tommy Franks, the war's U.S. commander, has sent several AC-130 gunships to the Tora Bora area to team with unmanned Predator surveillance planes, officials said. The Predators provide live video of an area to the AC-130 crews, who can unleash devastating attacks with rapid-fire cannons, howitzers and Gatling guns.

As U.S. and Afghan forces move into areas once occupied by the Taliban or al-Qaida, they are collecting valuable information. Some of it may sharpen the otherwise fuzzy picture of where Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar and bin Laden may be hiding.

``There's documentation being found and discovered and analyzed and translated, so that each day we learn more and know more,'' Rumsfeld said. ``As more address books are found and phone books are found and computer hard drives are found as people have left areas, clearly our knowledge base is going up.''

With many al-Qaida fighters now flushed out of hiding, the Pentagon is counting on Pakistan to cut off overland routes to the east, and U.S. and allied ships are watching for escapees on the Arabian Sea.

Still, Rumsfeld sees a possibility that bin Laden could slip across the Pakistani border and vanish.

``It's a long border,'' he said. ``It's a very complicated area to try to seal. And there's just simply no way you can put a perfect cork in the bottle.''

Meanwhile, U.S. Marines are building a detention center at their remote desert base to prepare for the capture of valuable prisoners. The military plans to pump those prisoners for information about where bin Laden or Omar may be hiding.

As of Tuesday the Marines were holding only Walker, a Californian who was found among Taliban fighters at a northern prison. Myers has said Walker provided U.S. interrogators with some useful intelligence information.

No one knows how many people have been killed in Afghanistan since the bombing started: about 3000 were killed on 911, and I suspect that’s a fraction of those killed since we have been bombing the poor people of Afghanistan.

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