Skip to main content

Throughout all of this, I've been deeply impressed and saddened, to the point of tears, by the tireless bravery displayed by the New York City Fire Department. They've taken such a heavy loss, and they are - along with the volunteers and EMS workers - the true heroes during what must be our city's darkest hour. In general I've always much preferred firemen to the police; as a career path firefighting tends not to attract the bullies, thugs, sadists and swindlers that swarm into the NYPD. Firefighters are not there to wield power, enforce laws, kill or control people, but simply to put out fires and save lives. They rock.

Besides, a water hose is much more phallic and sexual than a smoking pistol in my opinion. And it won't kill you ... it just gets you all wet.
I apologize for length, but found this fascinating - came to one of the many, many listservs I'm on -


This is a rational and thought provoking commentary. I think it is important enough to forward to everyone you can possibly think of. It comes from Tamim, a writer and columnist in San Francisco, who comes from Afghanistan. This is very, very interesting and a little chilling....

I've been hearing a lot of talk about "bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age." Ronn Owens, on KGO Talk Radio today, 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. What else can we do?" Minutes later I heard some TV pundit discussing whether we "have the belly to do what must be done."

And I thought about the issues being raised 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 going on there. So I want to tell anyone who will listen how it all looks from where I'm standing. 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 agree that something must be done about those monsters.

But the Taliban and Bin Laden are NOT Afghanistan. They're not even the government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of ignorant psychotics who took over Afghanistan in 1997. Bin Laden is a political criminal with a 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 exult if someone would come in there, take out the Taliban and clear out the rats' nest of international thugs holed up in their country.

Some say, why don't the Afghans rise up and overthrow the Taliban? The answer is, they're starved, exhausted, hurt, incapacitated, suffering. A few years ago, the United Nations estimated that there are 500,000 disabled orphans in Afghanistan--a country with no economy, no food. There are millions of widows. And the Taliban has been burying these widows alive in mass graves. The soil is littered with land mines, the farms were all destroyed by the Soviets. These are a few of the reasons why the Afghan people have not overthrown the Taliban.

We come now to the question of bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age. Trouble is, that's been done. The Soviets took care of it already. 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? Cut them off from medicine and health care? Too late. Someone already did all that.

New bombs would only stir 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.

So what else is there? What 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. When people speak of "having the belly to do what needs to be done" they're thinking in terms of having the belly to kill as many as needed. Having the belly to overcome any moral qualms about killing innocent people. Let's pull our heads out of the sand. What's actually on the table is Americans dying. 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. Because 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. We're flirting with a world war between Islam and the West.

And guess what? - That's Bin Laden's program. That's exactly what he wants. That's why he did this. Read his speeches and statements. It's all right there. 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 those lands, that's a billion people with nothing left to lose, that's even better from Bin Laden's point of view.

He's probably wrong, in the end the West would win, whatever that would mean, but the war would last for years and millions would die, not just theirs but ours. Who has the belly for that?

Bin Laden does. Anyone else?

- Tamim Ansary

Thankfully, I am hearing many voices of reason such as Mr. Ansary's these days. Perhaps this is due to the facility of newer and world-wide communication technologies such as the internet.
My sister-in-law and I were just remembering what it was like during the early days of the VietNam War; just how long it was before the voices of "the Doves" were even heard. And how many lives were lost in that unwinnable, questionable conflict...
I just wish I had more faith in the leaders of this country, and believed that they had the willingness, or even ability, to listen to those voices. I don't.
I couldn't agree MORE with your post. Not only about the FDNY's hoses (as those who know me will attest) but also about their bravery.
I think it really hit home when there was a serious fire one night in the building across 14th Street from Jackie 60, as we were doing our weekly set-up. Not only were the firemen rescuing the people who lived there at the time, but one pulled out a mother cat and her litter of kittens and began giving mouth-to-mouth to each and every one. Bravery, pure and simple.
Lest one find me pompous, I am aware that these are the mumblings of a creature of the 60's. It shattered the harmony of the day and reminded me of something Nostra Domas said, "Out of the sky two metal birds would fly into two large statues in a new city." It's was like knocking twice on the door of unhappiness.
I would humbly suggest before we begin to make policy we do a bit of research on the long history of U.S./Talaban relations. It's is true that this today is very much different from that yesterday and rant if we must, rage if we must, but let us be still in our actions until the dust has cleared from our eyes.
Just like getting a second opinion for a medical operation, one's first impulse may not be the wisest one.
There is such a thing as a transcendent dimension. Christ spoke of it often especially when he said, "Let him without sin cast the first stone."
Ask yourself what really gives me security.
Security when those on whom we depended for security prove to have been unable to supply it.
When I hear talk of war, especially a "long and protracted war", Vietnam springs to mind and vast armies of body bags.
A cartoon character of the 60's called Pogo spoke to it best, "We have met the enemy and it is us."
Let us remember that a tree is judged by the fruit it produces and so it is with nations.
As the story goes Ritual was a party hosted and
produced by Master Steelow and Father Todd.
It was held Saturdays at the Limelight.
Due to recent events Master Steelow and Father Todd
not being able to be at the front line WTC recent
disasters they decided to help the way that they knew
They moved Ritual to La Nouvelle Justine's and made it
a fundraiser to benefit the American Red Cross.
As a fundraiser we were a bit skeptical at first on
such short notice.
But the scene pulled together .It was obvious to those
there when Ed Sylvia sang the National anthem and the
crowd held each other as tears fell from everyone's
eyes during the three minutes of silence that we are
indeed a community and below is a result of all of
their and everyone else's efforts.

We raised over $1750 cash +
Personal checks

Total = $ 2000.00

(Hey kids feel free to post the whole thank-you list in the topic you started for this event in NYC Events. This is primarily a discussion topic and it is huge already!

-Thanks, editrix...)

[This message was edited by Chi Chi on 09-18-01 at 12:00 PM.]

Sorry, Empress, I just recopied the Steelo e-mail without the usual pruning.


[This message was edited by Ted & Di on 09-18-01 at 05:17 PM.]
Thank you for forwarding that post Chi. It's nice to finally have someone reporting the fact that the Taliban does not represent the entire people of Afghanistan, but rather a tiny few who relish the diminished rights of women and the extinction of homosexuals. Reading that post made me think that in the best of worlds a great response for the US would be to go into Afghanistan and instead of hunting down Osama, bringing in relief to its impoverished people, setting up schools, providing major medical support to help the true population become stronger so that they themselves could fight back against the Taliban. If anyone saw the TV special "Behind The Veil" a couple of Sundays ago, you saw that the people of Afghanistan look like they already have one foot in the grave. Destroying the whole country would just turn all of them against us. Perhaps I'm only dreaming.
Today I am attempting to just GET BACK TO IT, including restoring the shattered bookings calendar now re-shattered by those who have fled town, are afraid to come to town, or are just too sad to perform.

Just when Gina Germaine helped orient me to the fact that an entire week has been lifted from the calendar - thank goddess for her Deep-South practicality - "no, mama, it's the 27th you are talking about..the 20th is two days from now.." my last remaining phone keeps going dead after two minutes. Now it doesn't seem to be working at all.

Oh, did I mention that both websites AND their associated email have been down since this morning? If you are wondering why the boards look so crappy take a look in the Welcome and Help forum for the whole sad story.

I am ready to get back to work, but I'm not sure the Fates are approving. Time will tell.

Vent over. Thanks for listening.

I have found it helpful that on my other virtual community there is now a topic called Post-attack NY - I think people were afraid to start one till they knew if there would be anything left of NY. I also find it incredibly painful to keep reading my first post of that day, or Jade's eloquent and simple "Hope everyone slept late this morning.." post that preceded it, every time I want to catch up.

It's the equivalent of the endless footage of the crash on TV, and I have to change the station.

So I'm going to freeze this topic and archive it permanently as a record of this extraordinary coming together that we had, our first true tragedy together, and one of epic proportions.

Therefore I'm asking you to continue the conversations in a few new topics scattered throughout. This is no longer one conversation, but several. It makes us all feel better and shows us once more how this most unique gift of communication was given to us just before we were to need it most.

I have heard over and over how many people were reassured to come on the boards that first day that phones were dead, dialup was dead, but the web still humming, cable modem the only lifeline out, and in.

They were watching their beloved city be torn apart - many miles from home or quite close by, but they could count each person as they posted, or hear what it sounded, smelled and felt like on the street. So many people have mentioned this in email lately, especially our friends on the left coast, and those abroad.

For FURTHER postings on WTC:

Practical info should still be left in the "Practical Info Only" topic.

To pick up the discussions here, I suggest the following new topics here in Another New York-

We Survived. Now What?
For life in NY post-attack - from hopeful signs, re-openings, etc. as well as those who have fled.

War and Peace
For all political discussions of the aftermath of attacks both locally and globally, links to thought-provoking articles, etc.

I'm leaving the village signpost up in the Versailles Room for another few days, then archiving it to the Vault. I also urge you to start a topic IF you feel it hasn't been covered by one of these, but please use discretion - people were starting topics at the drop of a hat for a while there and it only fragments the conversation.

End of World Closed (Hopefully For Good)
love to all-

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.