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Friday, 4 January, 2002, 18:54 GMT
Should the bombing stop?
American warplanes have attacked a compound south-west of Kabul which the Pentagon believes was used by senior figures in the former Taleban government.

The news came amid mounting concern about civilian casualties from US raids, and calls from some tribal leaders for the bombing to stop soon.

But Afghanistan's new leader Hamid Karzai has said the strikes must continue until the last remnants of al-Qaeda and the Taleban have been destroyed.

Is it time for the bombing campaign to be stopped?

HAVE YOUR SAY

The bombing should stop now

Andrew, UK
Yes, the bombing should stop now. I see the current low estimate of Afghanistan's deaths has nearly reached 4000. I wonder whether those deaths will ever be remembered by the USA, the rest of the world or the media?
Andrew, UK

I am an American and I resent the statement that we care nothing about the lives of those in other nations. I have never, ever met anyone who thought that way. In the military you have to pick the best tool for the job. In remote areas, the best way to take out ammunition dumps and the like is bombing. Conventional artillery or tank fire would probably be totally impractical in some areas of Afghanistan. However, I do think that we could do a better job coordinating through the Afghan government to make sure our intelligence is correct. War is a messy business and we pray that we won't have to do it again for 100 years.
Greg Barnes, Georgia, USA

Not all people who oppose this war are pacifists; some of us would like justice. The reason so many civilians are killed and the leaders escape is because we didn't have the guts to put troops on the ground. Our troops volunteered for the military, the innocent people we've killed with our bombs didn't volunteer for anything.
David Duplantis, USA


They continue to be a threat to the new Afghan government

Tom, USA
The Taleban and al Qaeda are almost finished as a force but there are still pockets of their fighters in various parts of Afghanistan. Until they come forward and surrender, they continue to be a threat to the new Afghan government who, incidentally, supports the continued bombing of Taleban and al Qaeda targets wherever found. How interesting that almost all the postings of Afghans ACTUALLY LIVING in the country right now support what the US is doing and the majority of the opponents claim that the US is arrogant and ignorant to the plight of the Afghan people. What hypocrisy!
Tom, USA

I think that the bombing of terrorist targets should continue only after consultation and approval from the new legitimate Afghan government.
Jason, Greece

The bombing should stop once all of the targets have been hit. But I think that the rest of the world should remember that we're still pulling innocent people out from the wreckage of the WTC and the Pentagon. The Taleban and its supporters should have realised that we wouldn't roll over and play dead after September 11th, they had it coming.
Amanda, USA

By continuing the bombing, the USA risks undermining the government that has been put in place to replace the Taleban. The continued bombing will also risk making the new Afghan government look like a puppet of the USA and the West in general. For the sake of encouraging stability and self-determination for the Afghan people, the bombing should stop. The biggest boost to the credibility and self-esteem of the new government would result from the USA and the West showing faith in that government's ability and willingness to arrest former members of the Taleban and al Quaeda.
David Hazel, UK

Bombing can definitely continue as long as there are targets to hit. On the other hand halting bombing cannot be looked at as the end of the US operation, should this be a matter of concern to US. US can maintain its presence in the country as long as necessary even without dropping unnecessary bombs.

As an Afghan I can tell US that today most Afghans hold a different opinion. They don't look at US soldiers as an occupying force. Instead, they want them to stay there for longer and assist them until they have their normal life back. Back to the bombing issue, I would say that it is very good to halt the bombing if there is no great need for it, but one has to make sure that the microbe is wiped out completely, however.
Barry Salaam, Kabul, Afghanistan


The US should stop bombing unless it is by accord with the Afghan Government

RenÚ Seindal, Denmark
The bombing should stop until we know without a doubt where Bin Laden is. Once his whereabouts are verified, the military should go in to that location and restart the campaign. Bombing places where he may or not be makes no sense to me whatsoever. Bin Laden's life is not worth the lives of Afghans who had nothing to do with 11 September. I must say, I am shocked by the hard arrogance of some of the above postings from my fellow Americans who only parrot the media and Bush rhetoric.
Julie King, US

The job is 80% done but MUST be finished. In the past we have paid the price for not completing the task and this time it is essential that Afghanistan can be left completely terror free to rebuild in peace.
Dave M, England

Afghanistan now has a legitimate and recognised government, and the US should stop bombing unless it is by accord with the Afghan Government. The US must accept the authority of the government it has itself helped put in place.
RenÚ Seindal, Denmark

It would be better for all concerned that an alternative to the continued bombing is found. I cannot understand what military advantage can be gained if it continues. It is far better that we help the Afghan people rebuild and bring some level of normality, peace and hopefully one day prosperity to their land.

If this is shown to them as their future in deeds rather than words, then it is more likely that a ground force made up of the UN and local Afghan forces would be supported by the majority of the population to root out the remaining Taleban and Al Qaeda.
Gary Lister, UK

Ask the Afghans. After all (contrary to US belief) it's their country.
JS, UK


To truly achieve [peace] we must be determined and see it through to the end

Rob Jones, UK
There is more that we do not know than what we do. I am not going to second guess my leaders in areas in which I have no knowledge. Bombs are expensive and so is troop deployment. If there was no need for bombing then they would stop.
Karl, US

Nobody likes wars - it's a messy way to achieve an objective. But if we stop before the job is done then we run the risk of repeating the mistake that was made during the Gulf War. By failing to go after Saddam, we allowed him to rebuild his war machine. He is a bigger threat today than he was back in 1991.

So the bombing must continue until all traces of al-Qaeda are destroyed. We all want peace, but peace for the future not just for now. To truly achieve this we must be determined and see it through to the end.
Rob Jones, UK

It appears that since the fall of the Taleban regime, all bombing has been nothing more than hyped up Hollywood-like show. Covert missions are still necessary, but these grandiose actions of bombing, of a now sovereign nation, should cease. The true test in terrorism is knowing when we cease being the victim and become the oppressor.

Allow the new interim government to govern their country in accordance with their newly established laws, and assist in a manner that is symbiotic in regards to the need to destroy these terrorist cells as well as protect those lives that are innocent.
Michael, Sacramento, USA

The US haven't achieved much by bombing Afghanistan. Bin Laden and Omar are still alive. Instead, hundreds or thousands of civilians are dead. The killing of civilians cannot be justified at all, immaterial of who does it, Bin Laden or USA with UK's help.
Ahamed Ajward, UK

I believe the senior officers of the Air Force have made a right decision to carry on with the precision strikes. There may well be strong reasons to do so. Nevertheless, I hope the bombings can stop soon, and that the new task for the squadrons in the air will be monitoring and reconnaissance. I am optimistic about the focus shifting from military to civilian factors.

The issue of civilian casualties, I am afraid, remains to be an intricate one in this non-conventional "war", where the fighters on the ground kept on wearing non-uniform civilian clothes without any standardised official operational marks... Any of them could shift from guerilla to civilian in a while.

At this stage it has to be stressed that if and where there were "real civilian" casualties, the reason for it has been the ignorance of international war conventions for which the certain local warlords are responsible.
Peter Volford, Hungary

The bombing should never have started. One guy on this website says that the Americans won't risk our troops if it wasn't necessary. What!? How about the innocent civilians of Afghanistan? A human life is worth the same whether it's British or Afghani so I completely disagree with any civilian deaths.

Stop the bombing, I say, and if you want to target the Taleban, get the troops to fight on the ground where risk of killing civilians is the least. Unfortunately, the US Government pretends it┐s doing this for the world but in fact they are doing it 100% for themselves. Stop the lies, the propaganda and the arrogance.
Nav, London, England

Bombing should stop now and concentrate on finding the evil in the country. Ground troops should be taken in full force an sweep the country until Bin Laden is found including all his supporters. Bombing will only mean more has to be rebuilt when we do find them, which no doubt will cost us all.
Keith, UK

I can't help but note that Bin Laden has asked for the bombing to be stopped as well. That's probably the best case for continuing it.

Further, it seems that most of the people calling for a bombing halt now, were opposed to it in the first place, then wanted it stopped during Ramadan, etc. Thank God we didn't follow that advice.
Peter Kaufman, US


Stop war now - it is time for peace.

AM Pasha, Dubai
People who are now saying the bombing should stop are the very same people that opposed the war anyway. They [pacifists] got it wrong before and they will get it wrong again this time. They should shut up and let punishment be meted out to those terrorists who deserve nothing but just that, namely death.
Yade, Germany

Yes it should stop immediately, it will help America to build a good reputation among Afghans and the Muslim world. And America should help the Afghan Government in all fields to build a new Afghanistan as they promise. Stop war now - it is time for peace.
AM Pasha, Dubai

Do what I do at periods of uncertainty, and remember in your mind the horrific pictures, especially in New York. Then we can justify the actions being taken on all our behalfs.
Mark W, Liverpool, UK

People resort to terrorising only when their grievances cannot be resolved through peaceful means. Isn't this why the USA is bombing Afghanistan now? Similarly, unless their grievances are addressed, terrorism will never stop. Only innocent people will die.
Naazir, UK

Now that the power structure of the previous regime (Taleban) is destroyed and a new government with the US's blessing is in place, the least US can do is to work with the new government instead of confronting and bombing to show "who-is-in-charge".

It may be more prudent to use ground forces and take out the thorn thus making sure the present government can establish itself and also work along with the international community.
Dr Suresh Kalatoor, US

Innocent people died on 11 September and that was terrible. Innocent people are dying today because of the bombing and that is just as terrible. The bombing must stop now.
Andy Icke, UK

Reading the comments I cannot but be struck by the way those from the USA want revenge. Could this be part and parcel of why Americans are so disliked in many parts of the world? The citizens of the USA seem to set themselves above every other nation, always. Is the USA, as a country, afflicted with self-obsession and thus blind to the rest of the world?
Colin, UK

Please stop the bombing. To the innocent Afghans bombing is a terrorist attack on them as many villagers are getting killed.
Nirmal Singh, US

The US/UK campaign has the support of the interim leader, this includes the targeting and elimination of suspected targets. While some of the tribal leaders in Afghanistan, some of whom were supporters of the Taleban before their collapse, have called for a cessation of bombing, it's the opinion of the leadership of the country and the goals of eradicating terrorism that are more important.

Try to keep this in mind when you're sitting in your warm homes reading news reports and thinking that if the US stops bombing you can go back to your lives and pretend nothing happened. Any military or political campaign should be ended when there is no more terrorist organisations of significant size or threat, where ever they may be, regardless of who they threaten.
Chuck, Delaware, US

If the fighting is continuing the bombing will continue. Grow up and face facts, we don't live in the fantasy world that has been created over the past 50 years.
Richard T Ketchum, US

If US doesn't stop the bombing now there is a serious danger of the interim government falling.
Shak, UK

I think Mission/objective has been achieved.
Thomas Kosoko, UK

Bombing must continue until all remnants of terrorists and Taleban are wiped out.
Bill Bryant, USA

No one really knows what is going on over there. If you believe all that the CONTROLLED media has to say then we all need help and yes, stop the bombing.
Argoran, UK

We should bomb until there are no al Qaeda or Taleban left. Those Americans were shown no mercy on September 11, and the terrorists and their supporters must understand what happens when they attack American cities.
Shawn, Washington, DC, USA


The bombing and other military action should stop when the US can find no more targets

Jeff Allen, USA
The bombing and other military action should stop when the US can find no more targets. I have seen several references to "indiscriminate" or "carpet bombing". For the most part it appears that precision guided munitions are being used after fairly thorough surveillance via UAV's, satellite, etc. It could hardly be described in the same sense as the carpet and fire bombings of past wars.
Jeff Allen, USA

Stop when the job is done. I am sure the Americans aren't risking their troops (and ours) for the fun of it.
Andy, London

The bombing should have never started.
Paul, Manchester, England

No, the bombing cannot and will not stop until everyone responsible for the terror in NYC has been brought to justice. This is a personal war for the people around here, and we will not be satisfied until this mission has been completed in full. It is the responsibility of our leaders to take the steps they feel necessary to prevent this type of disaster from ever happening again...regardless of international criticism. You're either with us, or against us.
George, New Jersey, USA

The bombing should stop right now. We rightly continue to remember the innocent victims from 11th September. But how many of us know the figure of innocent men, women and children killed in Afghanistan through US bombing, let alone remember them in services.
Ken Potter, UK


If we restrict military operations based on public opinion then we will never win this war

John C, USA
This is a similar situation to the Vietnam conflict, during which the Pentagon halted and restarted bombings at the whim of public outcry. This impedes and undermines military strategy and threatens to stretch the war out even longer. Whatever measures are necessary to end this war ASAP are the ones that will be the most beneficial to Afghan people, even if some must suffer in the short term. If we restrict military operations based on public opinion then we will never win this war, and those Afghan civilians that have already died will have died for naught.
John C, USA

The bombing should continue until Bin Laden and his terror organisation is eradicated. All those who condemn the bombing should remember 2 things: The terrorist attacks on Sept 11th is why the US/UK are in Afghanistan in the first place. (Deposed Afghan ruler Omar could has prevented any strikes on his country by handing over Bin Laden.) Also reports of civilian losses, while actual and regrettable, have been consistently exaggerated throughout the conflict as the press learned after the liberation of Kandahar.
Steve H., USA

Please stop the bombing. The US are only killing the poor and innocent people. This bombardment will further widen the already mistrust between Muslims and the US and its allied nations. The civilised European states should ask USA to halt this cruel act and do the justice.
Dr. Mizra Ali Mahsud, Pakistan

What was the original point of the bombing? To stop the Taleban providing facilities for terrorist camps. Now the Taleban are overthrown it is up to the interim government to see that this does not happen again. They can only achieve this in a desperate society with the will of the many warlords which actually control the country. If the Taleban were to stage a coup, restart the bombing then. The continuation of the bombing is counter productive and I think the Afghan warlords will turn against the west very quickly if more civilians are killed and the necessary aid will not be distributed, as is currently the situation in Kandahar.
Brendan, Ireland


The Taleban are displaced and an international rebuilding force is on its way. Why bomb?

Omar, Scotland
I can't believe what I've read here. Of course the bombing must stop! As the bombing of the Red Cross building shows, accidents do happen and innocent lives are being lost. The Taleban are displaced and an international rebuilding force is on its way. Why bomb? If you kill Bin Laden with one (highly unlikely), you won't know whether or not he's dead; there won't be any of him left to find.
Omar, Scotland

We were optimistic that war in Afghanistan is over by the coming of the interim government and the pledges of the international community but now it makes us pessimistic while it is restarting. We no longer have patience of American bombings we've lost many innocent people's lives.
Khaaled Hamza, United Kingdom/Afghanistan

The bombing should stop. If the bombing continues, it will undermine the new government there as an American puppet. Also, logic would say that Bin Laden is either dead, or out of the country.
Daryl N, USA

The bombing cannot be completely halted, but should be specifically targeted against isolated enemy pockets, based on intelligence information. Since the interim government has already started functioning in Afghanistan, all future actions should be executed with the concurrence of the new regime to avoid any misunderstanding.
Mahesh Chandra Somani, Finland

I do not believe for one minute that the US is dropping bombs for the heck of it ... the bombing will stop when the military and the politicians figure it is no longer effective. And I, for one, am not going to second guess them on that score.
Mark M. Newdick, US/UK


I don't think blowing up some rocks and sand is going to make one bit of difference to whether Bin Laden is ever handed over

Neil Homer, Scotland
I don't think blowing up some rocks and sand is going to make one bit of difference to whether Bin Laden is ever handed over. The US should admit that it has no idea where he is and stop all these stupid reports of his main people being killed. The bombing has succeeded in ending the Taleban control, but only an idiot would believe you can kill a terrorist by carpet bombing a nation.
Neil Homer, Scotland

I say that the bombing should be stopped and I strongly believe that it will be when the time is right. I place faith in the sincerity of the Allied nations in their honourable task of ridding for the good people of Afghanistan these cruel, inhumane and utterly condemnable terrorists.
Izuan, Singapore

At this point things should be calming down a little. Ground forces still need strategic air support, but with the help of the new government things should be winding down in the near future. Still I'll trust the professional's judgement for the moment, nothing is more ineffective than Politicians making military decisions and vice-versa.
Michael, Dublin, Ireland

A difficult one to answer, but the right answer must be that the onslaught against Al-Queda and the Taleban should not stop until all the tasks are finished. It would be very frustrating if cells of Al-Queda where allowed to re-group and cause problems once again. Surely, also, one of the main objectives of this war is to bring Bin Laden to justice, I don't think bombing will stop until this is achieved.
Ste Harris, UK


Let's support Afghanistan and help them rebuild their nation of neglect

Cammy, Southampton, England
Stop the bombing IMMEDIATELY. Bin Laden is obviously not there. There are constant press releases on how close the Americans are to finding Bin Laden and we still see no sign of him. He's probably in Acapulco sat by a swimming pool with a cocktail having a jolly good time. Let's support Afghanistan and help them rebuild their nation of neglect...and STOP THE BOMBING.
Cammy, Southampton, England

Yes! For the simple reason that it's no longer an affective method of rooting out the terrorists and Taleban. They're scattered across Afghanistan in remote rural areas, they have no facilities or armour left - it's time for the USA to put its money where its mouth is, and deploy a significant amount of ground troops to finish the job.
Tim Jacks, UK

The bombing will stop when it needs to stop... I am sure the Americans are not dropping bombs for fun. To leave any remnants of the Taleban or Al Qaeda will be like leaving Iraq before removing Saddam. Finish the job!
John W, Liverpool, England


Of course the bombing should be stopped - when the job's properly finished and any loose ends are tied up

Chris B., England
Of course the bombing should be stopped - when the job's properly finished and any loose ends are tied up. Bombs, by the way, are seriously expensive hardware to make and deliver. Nobody's going to keep chucking them out of planes without very good reason.
Chris B., England

Has Bin Laden been found? Are the Taleban completely defeated? Has terrorism ceased that is directly linked with Afghanistan? NO! Continue the bombing until we can see light at the end of the tunnel for the innocent Afghan people. If the US and British forces pull out now we will leave a depressed nation in turmoil. We need to continue the bombing to stamp out terrorism and to benefit their people. It will be better all round for everyone.
Chris Gower, England

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28 Dec 01 | South Asia
US bombers 'hit Taleban hideout'
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