Posted by Thomas Nephew on November 25th, 2001
Der Spiegel reports Saudis wollen angeblich ihre “Gotteskrieger” zurückholen (Saudis reportedly want to bring back their “holy warriors”), according to the Egyptian Arab daily Al-Hayat.
The government in Riyadh is already in communication with the “relevant capitals,” to save the lives of Saudi citizens fighting on the side of the Taliban. This also went for Saudi men trapped in Kunduz by the Northern Alliance, who could possibly become prisoners of war soon. They would be interrogated and put on trial in Saudi Arabia.
With about as much information shared with the U.S. as after the Khobar Towers bombing: none. It’s as if the Saudis have something to hide… What is the U.S. government’s position on this? On similar actions by the Pakistanis? I’ve read that General Franks doesn’t want us holding prisoners: why not?
I’ve been glad to see the extremely light U.S. casualties so far, but here is where we’re paying a price. By not having our own substantial ground forces attacking Kunduz, we have no leverage at all in determining what happens there: we can’t prevent massacres, we can’t prevent escapes, we lose access to people who could answer a lot of important questions: who do they know in the U.S., for example. I can understand that we don’t want to give the Taliban a rallying cause (“Americans are occupying us”) or a concentrated target to shoot at/gas/suicide bomb, but at this point I think we could risk that. American troops might be killed in greater numbers than we’ve seen to date, but we’d be able to take custody of (or kill) some very, very bad people we might never get our hands on again.