The Americans "want to kill them"

Les Schaffer schaffer at
Thu Dec 13 08:06:05 MST 2001

> "The Americans won't accept their surrender," Hazrat Ali, regional
> security chief for eastern Afghanistan, said after emerging from
> hours of negotiations with U.S. officials. "They want to kill them."

Bombing Raises Question of Al Qaeda Fate
At Issue Is Meaning of U.S. Goal: Is It Defeating or Annihilating Terror Group?


Rumsfeld also has made the distinction that while he wants to "deal
with" the Taliban, he wants to deal with al Qaeda "completely."

If the United States does in the last phase of the Afghan war wage a
campaign of extermination against the network's leaders -- for
example, by refusing to accept surrenders so it can continue bombing
the Tora Bora caves where some al Qaeda members are holed up -- it may
lose international support by appearing overly vengeful and, some
legal experts say, could even find itself accused of war crimes.

The hard-line U.S. stance already has raised eyebrows in unlikely
places. The top military officer of Britain, a staunch ally of the
United States in the war, sounded a discordant note in a speech this
week in which he referred to "a high-tech 21st century posse" pursuing
Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda leader.

"We have to consider whether we wish to follow the United States'
single-minded aim to finish Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda," said
Adm. Sir Michael Boyce, the chief of the British defense staff. He
suggested that Britain might do well to focus more on the
reconstruction of Afghanistan.

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