Carter Countians say attacks are justified

By Bob Robinson

Star staff

   On Wednesday, the fourth day of airstrikes in the middle-east, Carter Countians spoke out in approval of the action being taken by U.S. and British armed forces in the skies over Afghanistan. Although little information had been released concerning the net effect the bombings had made on Taliban forces or on Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network, locals interviewed by the Star were in full support of President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair's decision to continue the bombings.
   Dee Russell, a physical therapist at Sycamore Shoals Hospital said that she believed the bombings were justified, though she felt that the US-British response had been slow in coming.
   "We are doing what we should have been doing in the first place," said Russell. "The U.S. is on the right track, finally."
   Brent Dugger, Marketing Director for the Elizabethton Electric System, said he was satisfied with the action taken so far, though he wants to see military strikes continue until the "job is finished."
   "Absolutely, I'm satisfied," said Dugger. "I just hope we keep going until we get the job done. I feel we didn't finish the job off during Desert Storm, and I hope we finish this one off."
   Others interviewed voiced similar opinions.
   Bill Potter: "I feel what they are doing is very warranted. We haven't seen proof yet, but I am sure they have the people who are responsible for it."
   Paulette Bowman: "I am really satisfied with what George Bush is doing. I think we should keep on doing what we are doing right now until we get them all."
   Jeff Ledford: "I am very satisfied. President Bush and Prime Minister Blair were very clear that they would retaliate if [the Taliban] did not cooperate. They chose not to cooperate. I am pleased to see the United States did not sit passively by and let this happen."
   Local dentist Harold Lane said that he felt the U.S.-British strikes were justified under the circumstances, but that he also felt that the U.S. should be braced for further terrorist attacks.
   "I am satisfied," said Lane. "But I expect there will be more...both terrorism and retaliation."
   On Thursday, Afghanistan's Taliban Militia said at least 100 people had been killed nationwide in overnight strikes late Wednesday and early Thursday morning. That number included 15 people who were said to have died when a missile struck a mosque in the northeastern city of Jalalabad. The claims had not been independently confirmed, according to Associated Press writers in Islamasbad Pakistan.
   Thursday marked the 5th day of bombing and the first daylight attacks in Afghanistan. The attacks began around 5:30 pm in Kabul, where panicked civilians fled the city.
   A raid earlier Thursday on Kandahar was said to have targeted a complex where followers of bin-Laden had lived. During that raid, forces hit a munitions dump outside the city. The subsequent chain of explosions sent civilians running for the Pakistani border.
   According to AP wire reports, Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, head of British armed forces, said that the U.S.-led attacks in Afghanistan could continue into next summer unless the Taliban surrenders bin-Laden.
   In Washington, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said that the strikes continue to target leaders of the al-Qaida network and the Taliban leaders harboring him.
   Rumsfeld said that the full range of US precision-guided munitions was being used in Afghanistan.
   Meanwhile, officials in Pakistan have confirmed that the first U.S. ground troops have been stationed in that country.