Monday, September 11, 2006

What we talked about five years ago

This post records the conversations we had before and after the attacks. Akbar did not participate in the conversation — no, he wasn’t involved in any illegal activity. Yes, Aruna does talk that way. And I am not a member of the Bush Administration even though I thought Saddam Hussein was the villain.

Conversation before the attacks

Shambhu: I believe Yasmin, Anthony, myself and Amar were sitting having our usual enlightened conversations. Somehow the conversation turned to which would make a better pet - a dog or a fish. I was just making the point that one of the possible uses of canines (which I assure you I do not think about - really) maybe an intimate companionship which a fish would be hard pressed to match. After all a fish is not a mammal. That would be just plain weird. And logistically implausible. I imagine.

Amar: Yes. I have received an email called 20 reasons why dogs are better than women. It amazed me.

Anthony: Dude, I used to think concubine is a Chinese vegetable when I was a kid.

Yasmin: Meanwhile, I lost $30 for Agassi. 7-6, 6-7,6-7,6-7. I mean he had 4 tie breaks in the last set. Should have won it.

Anthony: Agassi didn't have 4 tie breaks in the last set. He was down 6-2. Sampras had 4 match points. Agassi broke 3 of them, but then sampras took the 4th one, winning 7-5.

Yasmin: As little as I know about tennis I am sure it was 7-6 in the fourth set, leading to the conclusion that you don’t know Jack about tennis either. I guess we still like to watch though and put money on the players and shit.

Anthony: No dude, if you followed the match you’d know that the 4th set was tied 6-6. Hence the tie breaker. Rule of tie breaker is that whoever gets 7 points 1st win, unless it’s 6-6, then you have to win by a difference of 2 points to break the tie.

Conversation after the attacks

Amar: On behalf of myself, and the rest of us. FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK !!!!! Now what?

Yasmin: Now expecting invasion of Afghanistan. By Monday or even earlier.

Anthony: Of course the media is blaming Bin Laden, but I think it’s Iraq.

Amar: I don't think a govt would take the risk.

Anthony: On the contrary, I think a rogue state is a very logical suspect. The sheer sophistication of this operation means that you’d need a large and well financed network. Only a state can finance this. Taleban is not a real state. I doubt if they have the capabilities to launch a direct assault on the US. Iran is under a reformist regime, North Korea and Libya are trying to mend fences, Cuba – even more unlikely. As sherlock holmes would say “eliminate the impossibilities, and whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the answer”. I also think it is way too large for Osama. I say iraq – they have the motive, they have resources, they want revenge man. They must have been plotting this for a while.

Yasmin: I think Anthony has a good pick of Iraq trying to hit back. That is I would say even more likely than Osama. Osama hasn’t got the resources. Iraq has resources. Plus Bush and Colin Powell are back in town, so may be it’s time to hit back.

Anthony: Proportionate response – if you were to invade Afghanistan, how would you do it?
Few tomahawks wouldn’t do. What are we talking about here – commando raid to capture Osama? Iraq – that would be easier. Total invasion. Desert storm 2.

Aruna: I know I’m not much of a talker but the gravity of the situation/occasion calls for some contribution. I can’t make any enlightened comments but do believe that bin Laden was quite capable of carrying out the act. He is reportedly a billionaire and although that might be an exaggeration he is most certainly a millionaire. The operation as such doesn’t seem to have required a great deal of financing. There seems no reason/outlet for any unbridled monetary investment, as one would require say in the purchase of a bomb/s or the raw material required in manufacturing one that could cause so much destruction. The amount of fuel the air-planes were carrying along with the obviously fast trajectory provided for more ammunition than any terrorist could even dream of. It appears that the hijackers used knives and box cutters to gain control over the pilots, cabin-crew and passengers. Plastic knives none-the-less. The largest investment is time (for the planning and organisation) and the fact remains that bin Laden has been pretty sombre since the American Embassy bombing in Africa. I don’t think the Americans will retaliate until they can prove who exactly the culprit is. Doing otherwise would simply mean too much international condemnation, but once they do know, God help them.

Amar: I will bet it's not the Iraqi regime. Any takers?

Anthony: Logistics, planning, co-ordination, indoctrination, security work — it seems all too much for an individual. Sure Osama may be part of the picture, but it is too early to rule a state out

Shambhu: Yes, the US has interfered in the affairs of many countries and many of its own actions are highly provocative. Yes, the blockade imposed upon Iraq is harsh and unjust. But the recent tragedy was an attack on civilians and was savage, without mercy and without honor. Many US actions abroad have dubious and murky undertones but the question is - when you think of any of the major powers - which fare any better? I can't remember the US conducting such a large operation aimed SOLELY at civilians and which was without any military objective. US actions have been fueled by greed, arrogance and insensitivity. Not HATE. They will be now.

Amar: I can't help but wonder how different it would all have been if only steve seagal had been in one of the planes with a beautiful air stewardess to help him.

Yasmin: I prefer Harrison Ford.

Anthony: If this was a Clancy novel then Jack Ryan would be nuking Baghdad and Mr Clarke would secretly get into Kabul and arrest Osama.

After this, the conversation reached the quality of the first topic above. Plus ca change.