[sixties-l] Antiwar News...(# 12) (fwd)

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Date: Wed Oct 17 2001 - 19:51:10 EDT

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    Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2001 21:52:02 -0700
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: Antiwar News...(# 12)

    "The man who can face vilification and disgrace, who can stand up against
    the popular current, even against his friends and his country when he knows
    he is right, who can defy those in authority over him, who can take
    punishment and prison and remain steadfast -- that is a man of courage. The
    fellow whom you taunt as a "slacker" because he refuses to turn murderer --
    he needs courage. But do you need much courage just to obey orders, to do
    as you are told and to fall in line with thousands of others to the tune of
    general approval and the 'Star Spangled Banner'? -- Alexander Berkman
    [multiple items]
    (Anti-war links/resources at the end.)

    Police Photographing & Profiling Peace Activists


    by Seth Sandronsky
    Published on Monday, October 15, 2001

    As a peace activist calling for a nonviolent resolution
    to the horrific events of Sept. 11, I know that Big
    Brother is watching me. How, you ask? Well, I've seen
    him (and her) taking my photos recently.

    The first time a female in a new green van pulled up
    across from us as we stood on a sidewalk in downtown
    Sacramento. We held signs that said "Violence only
    begets violence," and "World court, not world war."

    The woman in the van looked directly at us. My eyes and
    hers met for a second. She then quickly photographed my
    fellow protesters and me, and sped off.

    "Did you get her license plate?" my wife queried.

    "No," I replied.

    "We should call the police," my wife responded.

    "She is the police," I answered. "What's the point?"

    Our daughter stood by our side. Her attention was
    elsewhere at the time.

    Later, I told a fellow protester about the stealth

    "What a waste of time photographing peaceful
    protesters," she remarked.

    Maybe, maybe not.

    Being photographed by the authorities was the last
    thing on my mind as I walked our dog on Columbus Day.
    The feel of fall was wonderful. As I waited to cross a
    busy street while people were driving to work, a new
    gold sedan drove from my right to left. It pulled over
    a block away and across the street from me.

    I saw the car stop and wondered what the driver was
    going to do. I soon found out.

    He (I could see that the driver was a male) made a
    half-turn, stopped with his window down and took my
    photo with a flash. He then sped off, driving from my
    left to right, directly in front of me.

    Daunted? Yes. Deterred? No?

    "Now it's happening to everyone," a Middle Eastern
    friend said when I told him about being photographed
    twice in six days. Now I know what it feels like, in
    small part, to be profiled by the authorities. Not on
    the basis of my skin color, but on my politics that
    avenging the loss of innocent victims by inflicting
    violence on equally innocent people is wrong.

    Skin color profiling, of course, was a daily reality
    for many people of color in America before the Sept. 11
    tragedy. Since then, consider the criminal actions in
    California against Middle Eastern and South Asian
    people (or those so misidentified), according to
    preliminary data from the state attorney general's
    office, reported Oct. 11 by the Associated Press.
    "Between Sept. 11 and Sept. 30, the Los Angeles police
    and sheriff's departments reported 167 hate crimes
    aimed at those groups; San Francisco police, 43; San
    Jose police, 41; San Diego police, 40; and the
    Sacramento sheriff's department five."

    To what end are the authorities profiling peace
    activists? To harass and intimidate? To stifle
    independent thought? Ultimately, to control public

    In relatively free societies such as the U.S.,
    controlling the flow of information is what elites do
    to mobilize the public to back the military agenda.
    Simplified repetition about good and evil from the
    official sources is a main method of journalistic
    persuasion. This has cast more fog than light on our
    complex and confusing world.

    Then there's official omission, perhaps the leading
    form of thought control. Take The Sacramento Bee
    newspaper in my hometown, which failed to write a
    single word about the Sept. 29 anti-war rally attended
    by 10,000 - 15,000 people in nearby San Francisco.
    That's an effective way to keep people's dissent out of
    the public mind.

    Some people can resist war propaganda. They organize
    with others. Together they work for peaceful solutions.
    Try to find a mention of this in mainstream history

    Elites know that the American public is frightened by
    the murderous attacks of Sept. 11. Count me as one of
    the fearful, for sure. I and many like me, however,
    aren't prepared to respond by sacrificing our civil
    liberties on the altar of national unity.

    During the Second World War, my grandfather worked in
    defense plants and my father served overseas in the
    army to defeat fascism. Today I continue their struggle
    for freedom. I demand that the blood of no more
    innocent victims flows here or abroad.

    Where's the democracy when those calling for an end to
    violence on all sides are subject to government
    surveillance? Congress is currently considering
    anti-terrorism legislation to send to the president to
    be signed into law. How will this bill affect the
    profiling of peace activists?

    What is democracy without the ability to ask public
    questions about the current crisis? Can there be
    democracy without legal dissent?

    Well, one thing is certain. All people of good
    conscience must stand up now and speak out for peace
    with justice, while we still have the chance.
    Seth Sandronsky is an editor with Because People
    Matter, Sacramento's progressive newspaper. E-mail:


    Anti-U.S. rampage kills hundreds


    October 14, 2001

    LAGOS, Nigeria (CNN) -- Hundreds of people have been killed in religious
    clashes after anti-U.S. protests turned violent, sources have told CNN.
    The demonstrations against the U.S.-led missile strikes on Afghanistan
    began peacefully on Friday but spiralled into a killing spree during
    Saturday, CNN's Lagos bureau chief Jeff Koinange said.
    Some of the unrest in the mainly Muslim city of Kano in northern Nigeria
    was attributed to traditional Muslim-Christian tensions, he added.
    Most of the slaughtered were Christians, with many more injured.
    Non-Muslims fled to police stations and army barracks, where they huddled
    for safety after dozens of churches were set on fire.
    Some residents were being ferried in buses under military escort to Sabon
    Gari where most non-Muslim immigrants live.
    Community leaders said rioters killed at least six female secondary school
    students who were on their way to sit university entrance exams.
    A curfew had been in effect from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. local time on Saturday,
    and police have been ordered to shoot-to-kill any curfew
    violators. Military tanks were patrolling the streets.
    Koinange said: "The death toll is in the hundreds, officials say, despite a
    curfew, which people have ignored."
    He added the military were overwhelmed, seemingly unable to control the
    More soldiers were being sent to the city, but it mirrored a similar
    incident last week when the army delayed sending any forces in the belief
    that they could control the situation.
    A Sabon Gari resident speaking by telephone told Reuters news agency: "As I
    speak with you now, I can see a body burning in the street.
    "He appears to be a Muslim who strayed into Sabon Gari."
    Koinange said it was unclear what had sparked the killings, but added
    Muslims had been "agitated" for several weeks.
    Nigeria's population of about 120 million is split almost evenly between
    Muslims and Christians.
    Although Saturday's violence was linked to the bombardment of Afghanistan,
    it followed a familiar pattern of deadly religious clashes that have rocked
    Nigeria over the past two years, killing thousands.
    The introduction of Islamic sharia law in some northern states triggered
    Muslim-Christian fighting in cities in the region.



    By Simone Weichselbaum

    [Associated Press, 13 October, LONDON]: An estimated
    20,000 people marched through central London in the largest of
    several demonstrations in Europe on Saturday against the military
    strikes in Afghanistan.

    Some sang, others chanted, a few attempted to burn American and
    British flags, but police said the march, on an unseasonably warm
    day, was peaceful.

                       The organizers, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament,
    welcomed the large turnout, saying they hope to a create a broad
    coalition with protesters abroad.

                       "It is just remarkable of the high level of interest,"
    said Nigel Chamberlain, spokesman of CND. "We might be in a minority in public
    opinion, but we are here to show that there are thousands of people
    against the war."

                       London police estimated that 20,000 people joined the
    march from Hyde Park, Piccadilly and Trafalagar Square. Police intervened
    to stop attempts to burn an American flag and a paper or cardboard Union
    Jack flag of Britain.

                       In Germany, more than 25,000 peace protesters took to the
    streets. The largest turnout was in the capital, Berlin, where some
    15,000 protesters held a protest in the central Gendarmenmarkt square,
    police said. The rally was preceded by several peace marches held
    throughout the city under the motto "No War Stand Up for Peace."

                       Demonstrators from peace, church and student groups, as
    well as some unions, called for an immediate halt to the attacks,
    warning of an escalation of violence in Afghanistan and neighboring
    Pakistan. They also called on world leaders to encourage development in the
    region as a way to "root out terrorism at its base."

                       The U.S.-led coalition began its military campaign against
    Afghanistan on Oct. 7 after the ruling Taliban refused to hand over Osama
    bin Laden and his lieutenants to the United States. Bin Laden, a Saudi
    exile, is the prime suspect in the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington
    in which about 6,000 people were killed.

                       In the southern German city of Stuttgart, about 10,000
    peace protesters called on the United States to leave Afghanistan and for
    Germans to stand together against the war.

                       "This war threatens to spread a fire of hatred," Sybille
    Stamm, local head of the giant ver.di service union told a crowd gathered
    for a rally in downtown Stuttgart. Stamm criticized the government for
    increasing spending on state security, at the cost of social

                       Before the rally, police said about 80 people took part in
    a protest vigil near the barracks where the U.S. military's headquarters
    for Europe are stationed. No incidents were reported.

                       In Sweden, several thousand people marched peacefully in
    the country's three biggest cities Saturday to protest the bombings.

                       "It's absolutely unacceptable that the world's richest
    country bombs the world's poorest people," said Ann-Cathrin Jarl of the
    Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

                       In Italy, youths demonstrated peacefully in Rome, Naples
    and several smaller cities. The biggest turnout was in Naples, with
    about 2,000 people. Many of the protesters were preparing to head on
    Sunday to Umbria, in central Italy, for a peace march organizers
    predict will draw tens of thousands of people.

                       In Glasgow, Scotland, around 1,500 people gathered in
    George Square for an anti-war protest.

                       Thousands of people across Australia rallied Saturday for
    peace. The demonstrations in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide
    had been planned for more than a year to protest the militarization
    of space, but became forums to oppose the military offensive in

                       "No one supports the Sept. 11 attacks but no one supports
    what's happening now in Afghanistan, either. The way to remember
    the dead of Sept. 11 is not by building another mound of innocent
    people's bodies," said Denis Doherty, a rally organizer.


    US admits lethal blunders


    Village is wiped out as 2,000lb of Allied explosives miss Taliban target

    by Jason Burke in Peshawar
    Sunday October 14, 2001
    The Observer

    Serious blunders by American warplanes may have killed at least 100
    civilians in Afghanistan, according to eye-witness accounts obtained by The
    Observer .
    Two US jets, they said, had bombed a village in eastern Afghanistan, killing
    more than 100 people. And the Pentagon yesterday admitted that a 2,000lb
    bomb missed its Taliban military target at Kabul airport on Friday night,
    and apparently struck a residential area.

    The Taliban claim US and British military strikes have killed 300 or more
    civilians, including four workers who died earlier last week when an errant
    cruise missile was believed to have hit a building used by the United
    Nations for mine-clearing operations.

    Until now Western politicians have been quick to dismiss the claims as
    propaganda. Britain's International Development Secretary, Clare Short, said
    'there had not been so many civilian casualties'. Now apparent confirmation
    of serious casualties among non-combatants is beginning to emerge.

    If the evidence is accurate, an attack on Karam village, 18 miles west of
    Jalalabad, last Thursday was the most lethal blunder yet by the Allied
    forces, and will seriously shake the increasingly fragile coalition built by
    President Bush and Tony Blair.

    Reports of between 50 and 150 deaths there provoked rage and grief
    throughout Afghanistan and throughout the Muslim world.

    Yesterday - as air strikes continued after a pause for Friday, the Muslim
    holy day - the Taliban rejected Bush's offer of a 'second chance' to hand
    over Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect for the 11 September attacks on New
    York and Washington.

    The supreme leader of Afghanistan's Taliban militia ruled out handing over
    Bin Laden and appealed again to Muslims everywhere to help defend his
    country, the Afghan Islamic Press reported Saturday. 'We have not agreed
    with America to hand over anyone,' Mullah Mohamed Omar said in a statement
    issued in Kandahar. 'The only sin we have committed is we have enforced
    Islamic laws in our country and we have provided peace to the oppressed. But
    ordinary Muslims are being targeted.'

    If confirmed, the destruction of Karam will harden support in Afghanistan
    behind the Taliban. Previously it was hoped that moderates within the
    movement, or wavering individual commanders, could be split off from
    hardliners and persuaded to defect.

    'Any civilian casualties make the Afghan people, and therefore the Taliban,
    look like victims,' said one Peshawar-based Afghan military commander.

    There were no reports yesterday of armed demonstrations against Americans in
    Jalalabad, previously a city where support for the Taliban was thin.

    Aiman Malai, a shopkeeper in the eastern Afghan village of Milka Khel, told
    The Observer that he was finishing his morning prayers at 3.45am on Thursday
    when he saw two jets approaching Karam from the north 'like two black darts
    shooting through the air'.

    >From his hilltop village, Malai watched the two jets swoop low over Karam,
    three miles away across a valley.

    'They came low over it and then there was a huge explosion and flames
    reaching high into the air. There was more explosive in these bombs than the
    ones the Russians used.'

    Lal Jand, 30, a farmer who was in Karam, said the planes circled for two
    more attacks on the village. Jand, whose hand was wounded, telephoned his
    uncle, Haji Awal Khan Nasr, later after going to hospital for treatment. His
    wife and two of his sons had been killed.

    'My nephew told me the planes came in the first time and only a few people
    were injured. Many of the men outside were able to run away, but the planes
    came back two more times. All the women and children were still in the
    houses. They had no chance. I believe maybe more than 100 have died,' Nasr
    said yesterday.

    Nasr listed the men he knew had died. The oldest man in the village,
    60-year-old Haji Ghami, perished along with all but his youngest son,
    Surgul, who was away, Nasr said.

    'The Americans are educated people. They can see that these are not
    terrorists.Why do they target them?'

    On Friday, villagers 'were still digging bodies out of the rubble', said
    Zadra Azam, the region's deputy governor. The village, its population
    swollen by refugees, had been thought safe by many local people.


    Nader Blasts Bush's War at S.F. Rally

    By Jonathan Nack
    October 12, 2001

    SAN FRANCISCO - Former Green Party Presidential candidate Ralph Nader
    roundly criticized the Bush Administration's war on terrorism in a speech
    before an enthusiastic paying audience of approximately 2,500 at the San
    Francisco Masonic Center last night. Nader called for a democratic
    debate over the Administration's policies saying, "the mindless bombing
    of Afghanistan's infrastructure will not end well for Afghanistan and, I fear,
    it will not end well for us." "We are entitled to ask what this war will
    what it will cost Afghans, what it will cost our rights and democracy here,
    and what the huge shift of money into the military and corporate bailouts
    will cost our domestic programs?"

    Nader called for, "sobriety in these moments of impetuousness, restraint,
    and to move forward under international law to apprehend the criminals."
    "This is an international crime and we've got to find ways to bring these
    criminals to justice."

    Nader said that, "grief and mourning for the victims must eventually
    give way to honoring their memory," and quoted a statement by President
    George W. Bush that the terrorists, "hate our freedoms: our freedom of
    religion, our freedom to assemble, our freedom of speech, and our freedom
    to disagree," in justifying the appropriateness of his own remarks. Nader
    said that the best way to honor the memories of those lost on September
    11th was to exercise and defend our democratic freedoms and to "make
    sure our government doesn't slaughter the lives of hundreds of innocent

    Nader charged that, "thought police in Washington dismiss all critical
    analysis as justifying the terrorist attack," calling for a rejection of
    that notion while describing the terrorists' act as, "criminal butchery,
    a massacre more than an attack, and with no justification". He urged the
    audience to, "never allow Washington to tell you to shut up, get in line,
    and waive the flag." "Never let them take your flag away from you." Nader
    urged the audience to think for themselves, to not inhibit what they have
    to say, and asked, "how many times have we been told that they were
    dropping bombs only on military targets?" Nader concluded that there was
    no such thing as limiting bombing to only military targets and that, "we
    are not going to be able to bomb our way to a solution of this problem."

    Nader described the Administration's rationale for the bombing as
    "cheap propaganda", which is, "going to get more rancid and grim."
    "U.S. attacks on Afghanistan will spread more hatred of our country and
    our allies." He also worried that 7.5 million Afghans face starvation this
    winter, which he said was only four weeks away in Afghanistan, while
    the U.S. has dropped only "135,000 snacks."

    Quoting approvingly Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's assertion
    that, "poverty, disease, and illiteracy are breeding grounds for tolerance
    of terrorism," Nader proposed a profound reorientation of U.S. foreign policy
    to support democratic forces and to, "side with the millions and millions
    of workers and peasants rather than with dictators and oligarches." He
    proposed a, "balanced approach to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,"
    and an end to economic sanctions against Iraq which he said was taking
    the lives of 5,000 Iraqi children a month. "You do not destabilize a dictator
    by destroying the lives of innocent children and adults," said Nader.

    Nader also called for a renewed defense of civil liberties, opposition to
    unwarranted curtailment of them, and reform of intelligence agencies,
    including making them "leaner and more efficient" by reducing their
    bloated budgets and bureaucracies", which, said Nader clearly couldn't
    protect us.

    The focus of Nader's speech was a major departure from the usual agenda
    of the longtime consumer activist who usually sticks closely to themes
    concerning how corporations have gained too much power and are subverting
    democracy. Nader did draw a connection to those themes, noting that
    corporations are taking advantage of the tragedy of September 11 for their
    own greedy purposes. He pointed to corporate lobbying for government
    bailouts, even by industries in trouble long before the terrorist attacks,
    for the limiting of regulations, including the opening up of the Alaskan
    Arctic reserve, and opposing benefits for workers who are losing their jobs.

    The event was billed as a "People Have the Power" rally in support of San
    Francisco ballot initiatives for a Municipal Utility District, which would
    public control of power in response to California's failed electricity
    Nader, and numerous speakers before him, called for volunteers for a
    grassroots campaign which could overwhelm the big money being spent by
    Pacific Gas & Electric to defeat the initiatives. However, Nader and other
    speakers clearly felt compelled to address the war. The event was also
    organized as part of a series of "super rallies" being held around the country
    by Nader's new Democracy Rising Campaign.

    For more information on Democracy Rising:


    Massive peace marches held in Europe


    Sun Oct 14, 2001

    LONDON - Tens of thousands of peace protesters rallied in European cities
    Saturday, demanding an end to the U.S.-led attacks against Afghanistan.

    In London, about 20,000 people marched through the city's centre the
    largest anti-war protest in Britain in years, according to organizers.
    The crowd included students, union executives, and religious leaders. They
    all urged political leaders to find some other way to bring the criminals
    responsible for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to justice.

    "The only way to ensure a stable and peaceful future for the world,
    particularly for this troubled region, is to get diplomatic initiatives in
    there," said Kate Hudson of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

    Polls in the United Kingdom suggest about 70 per cent of the population
    backs Prime Minister Tony Blair's decision to join the air strikes against
    the Taliban. But if people were given another option they would gladly take
    it, according to peace activists.

    "We don't think that war is the way of solving terrorism," said one
    protester. "Killing more innocent people, you make more enemies, not

    There were no reports of serious trouble during the rally, as people chanted
    slogans and sang songs. Police moved in at one point when some demonstrators
    tried to burn American and British flags.

    About 15,000 people turned out for a similar march in Berlin, where
    protesters carried banners that read "War is not the solution" and "Stop
    Bush's war." There were also rallies in other parts of Germany, as well as
    Sweden, Italy, Australia, and several other countries.

    FROM OCT. 7, 2001: Peace protesters rally in Canada, U.S.

    FROM OCT. 5, 2001: Retaliation will worsen world: peace group
    Peace activists have organized marches in Canada over the past few weeks.
    More than two dozen organizations recently created "The September Eleventh
    Peace Coalition," which is now lobbying to keep Canada from taking part in
    any military strikes.




    Saturday, October 13, 2001

      KANO, Nigeria (Reuters) - At least 20 people were killed in Nigeria in
      anti-American riots Saturday and thousands of demonstrators joined peace
      marches in London and Berlin.

      Nigerian authorities issued a shoot-on-sight order and clamped a night
      curfew on Kano, the biggest city in the mainly Muslim north, after some
      of the most violent anti-American protests in Africa since U.S. air
      strikes on Afghanistan began.

      Army tanks criss-crossed the streets to quell riots which followed a
      pattern of Muslim-Christian clashes that have killed thousands in
      oil-producing Nigeria over the past two years.

      ``There is rampant shooting in the streets,'' said resident Jibrin Idris,
      who said he was trapped in a building with scores of people in the city's
      commercial district.

      ``Churches, mosques and shops are on fire. There is smoke everywhere,''
      he said by telephone.

      In London, Muslims and Christians marched side by side in a protest
      against the bombing of Afghanistan that attracted more than 20,000
      people, according to police estimates.

      ``We're here because there are thousands of people across Britain who
      know that the bombing of Afghanistan is not going to put an end to
      terrorism,'' said Carol Naughton, chairman of the protest organizers, the
      Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

      ``We need to stop the bombing and go right back to diplomatic ways to end
      this crisis,'' she told Reuters.

      Germany also saw its biggest protest so far against the air strikes,
      launched a week ago in retaliation for the attacks on the United States
      last month that killed around 5,500 people.

      Afghanistan's Taliban rulers, who are sheltering the chief suspect in the
      attacks, Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden, estimate that more than 300
      people, mainly civilians, have been killed in the raids. There has been
      no independent confirmation.

      Protest organizers said some 30,000 people turned out in Berlin, but
      police put the figure at about 14,000. Protesters came from some 140
      different groups, ranging from far-left Marxist parties to the far-right
      neo-Nazi NPD party.


      ``The horror of World War Two makes all of us in Germany leery of war,''
      said physician Hannes Wand, 54, at the rally held under blue skies and
      unusually warm autumn weather.

      ``I'm against this war because it's not justified and innocent people are
      being killed and forced to flee their homes.''

      Police said an estimated 5,000 people protested in the Swiss capital
      Berne, and about 4,000 in the southwest German city of Stuttgart. Smaller
      protests were held in other parts of the non-Islamic world, including

      In Nigeria, the army moved tanks into Kano's Sabon Gari market area early
      Saturday after Christian churches and mosques were set on fire in rioting

      Community leaders said rioters killed at least six female school students
      on their way to take university entrance exams.

      Police said they found another two bodies in the street, one hacked by a
      machete, and a witness said he was seeking refuge in a police station
      when eight more bodies were brought in.

      Up to four people were shot later by soldiers enforcing the shoot on
      sight measure, witnesses said.

      Mike Idika, a leader of the predominantly Christian Igbo community, which
      accounts for most of city's merchants, said more than 200 people had been
      injured and sent to hospital.

      Local residents said the protests were hijacked by hoodlums from the
      city's army of unemployed youth, who chanted ``May God destroy America!''
      and ``Americans are terrorists.''

      Brandishing posters of bin Laden, they burned American flags and effigies
      of President Bush and Nigerian Foreign Minister Sule Lamido, who has
      backed the U.S. attacks.

      In India, at least 12 people were injured in a clash between Hindus and
      Muslims after Hindus tried to burn portraits of bin Laden in the eastern
      state of Bihar, authorities said.

      U.S.-led air strikes on Afghanistan began last Sunday after the Taliban
      refused to hand over bin Laden.

      ``The first casualty in this war has been the rule of law. President Bush
      must declare there will be justice for the Palestinians and sanctions
      against Iraq must be lifted,'' Dr. Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, leader of the
      Muslim Parliament of Great Britain which supported the London rally, told

      The demonstrators turned Trafalgar Square into a sea of colorful banners
      echoing with chanting against the bombing. No arrests were reported.

      ``It's the most socially diverse we've ever seen. This shows it is not a
      conflict between Islam and the West....all those in favor of human rights
      oppose the U.S. and U.K. bombings,'' said Mike Marqusee, a leading member
      of the Stop the War Coalition.

      In Berlin, there were minor scuffles with police as protesters marched
      through the central government quarter and past the Brandenburg Gate,
      foreign ministry and city hall.

      Banners read: ``War is genocide,'' ``War is not the solution'' and ``Stop
      Bush's war.'' Singers performed anti-war folk songs of the 1960s from the
      backs of flat-bed trucks.

      German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder criticized the peace rally, saying
      the demonstrators were being misled.

      ``Turn your focus on those who started this conflict,'' Schroeder said in
      an interview with the newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, due to appear Sunday.


    Surprise at large turnout for national anti-war rally


    By Cole Moreton
    14 October 2001

    Old men in Islamic dress marched with former Greenham women and dreadlocked
    anti-capitalists who booed when they passed McDonald's. Yesterday's peace
    rally in London was the first major public show of strength for a diverse
    coalition of people opposed to war which has grown up by website and e-mail
    faster than in any previous conflict.

    Even the organisers were surprised at how many people turned up. "The police
    expected 10,000 but we have far, far exceeded that,'' said Carol Naughton,
    chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, which cancelled a planned
    demo against Star Wars in order to host the rally.

    The police estimated 20,000 people were on the march from Hyde Park Corner
    to Trafalgar Square, while the organisers put the numbers at 50,000.

    It was a noisy and unruly demonstration on a hot day but people danced in
    the fountains instead of causing trouble. Attempts by far-left groups such
    as the Socialist Workers' Party to dominate the gathering were thwarted by
    weight of numbers.

    Salma Yakoob of the Stop the War Coalition in Birmingham addressed the crowd
    from the plinth in Trafalgar Square. "If only the leftists had been here
    today people would have said we were all lefties," she said. ''If only CND
    had been here they would have said it was the middle-class elite. If it was
    only the Muslims they would have called us extremists. If it was only Asians
    and black people they would have said it was the ethnic minorities. Tony
    Blair, we are here united against this war. You cannot dismiss us all.''

    The poet Adrian Mitchell performed a piece which he had first read out in
    Trafalgar Square in 1964. "It is about Vietnam,'' he said. "But it is still
    relevant. It's about sitting faithfully in England while thousands of miles
    away terrible atrocities are being committed in our name.''

    The Stop The War Coalition announced that it intended to hold another
    national rally on 18 November.


    US raids spark fear in traumatised Afghan children


    Saturday, October 13, 2001

    .......KABUL : Sadeq is like any other five-year-old boy - inquisitive and
    talkative, spending his days exploring his surroundings with the boundless
    energy all youngsters have. But as soon as night falls, he changes. The
    sound of an airplane turns him into a frozen statue. The noise of an
    explosion triggers a frenzy of shivering.
    ......."The doctors have assured me that he will be all right," says his
    mother, sitting beside him at a hospital in the Afghan capital on Friday. "I
    really hope so, I am so worried."
    .......Sadeq was just preparing for bed three nights ago when a bomb dropped
    in the US-led air raids on Afghanistan landed near the family's home in the
    .......In the noise, dust and confusion that followed, Sadeq went into
    ......."For several hours Sadeq wept and wailed," said his mother, clutching
    the traditional all-enveloping Afghan burqa around her like a child would a
    security blanket.
    ......."It was night-time and we could not help him. For a while he fainted
    and the next day he had forgotten his name," she said.
    .......Sitting on his bed at a hospital in the Afghan capital on Friday,
    Sadeq was smiling again, enjoying a lull after five nights of continuous
    raids on the capital.
    ......."We were forced to bring him to this hospital and now he laughs but
    when the strike starts he shivers again and weeps," his mother said.
    .......The family say they will take him home later on Friday despite
    doctors saying he was nowhere near recovered from the ordeal.
    .......They have little to treat him with, anyway.
    .......Like every other hospital in Afghanistan, this one lacks even the
    most basic medicines and medical equipment. Despite the best intentions of
    doctors and staff, sanitation is a problem and electricity supplies
    intermittent at best.
    .......On Friday, the hospital tried to treat others injured in the latest
    air raids.
    ......."I was in my house when the attacks began," said one man.
    ......."I went near the window and suddenly because of the wave of the
    explosion our windows broke and I got some injuries from flying glass on my
    .......Conditions are so bad, most people prefer simply to discharge
    themselves or their relatives.
    ......."He was telling me that he wants to go home and we prefer him to go
    as the horror of planes flying over and the explosions with the darkness
    when the power is cut may bring back his shock," Sadeq's mother said.
    ......."We hope that at home he will be in contact with his family members
    and there will be no more bombs in his area."
    .......A doctor agrees.
    ......."We can't help him here in the darkness of night from the
    explosions," the doctor said. "We just hope that by sending him home, he
    will be safe from other side."
    .......While Sadeq's mental scars may take time to heal, he is luckier than
    .......The doctor said he had just discharged a badly injured teenage girl
    after her father said he thought it was too dangerous in the hospital.
    ......."She was 15 and tried to pick up food packets dropped by American
    planes when she hit a land mine," the doctor said.
    ......."Her father decided to take her with her fresh wounds because of the
    fear of the bombardments in Kabul.


    Protests against western crusade rock Indonesia, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Violent protests broke out Friday in cities across
    Pakistan, including the port city of Karachi, where demonstrators torched an
    American fast food restaurant and several cars.

    Friday was the fifth day of protests in Pakistan against the government's
    support of the U.S. campaign.

    There were also protests against the U.S.-led airstrikes in Afghanistan in
    Iran, Turkey and Indonesia.

    It was also the first Friday Muslim prayer day since the U.S. campaign against
    Afghanistan began. Local police and paramilitary troops were deployed to keep
    the peace. CNN's Christiane Amanpour reports on the latest protests in
    An umbrella group of 35 Islamic organizations had promised to call a strike
    Friday to protest the U.S. government action.

    Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf promised to take action against
    the protesters, saying army troops would come in to keep the peace if local
    police could not.

    In a round of security meetings Thursday with regional governors, Musharraf
    laid out his plan to deploy troops, saying the destruction of property would
    not be tolerated and instructing the governors how to deal with protests.

    In Karachi, demonstrations began before midday prayers Friday with protesters
    setting fire to several cars, including one owned by the mayor.

    Demonstrators clashed with paramilitary troops at least three times before
    noon, with the troops firing tear gas twice. A Kentucky Fried Chicken
    restaurant was burned.

    The leaders of the Afghan Defense Council and the political party
    Jamaat-i-Islami were placed under house arrest.

    Troops had standing orders to block any large gatherings from forming. Armored
    cars were seen on the streets, and troops and police erected barricades to stop
    large groups from entering the city. There also was heavy protection in the
    diplomatic area of Karachi.

    A less violent protest took place in Islamabad Friday morning. Still, riot
    police in masks and helmets were seen in the streets, while army troops
    patrolled in trucks with guns mounted on them.

    Islamabad has a city ordinance banning the gathering of any group larger than

    The Pakistani government has confirmed there are U.S. troops and aircraft at
    two bases in the country. Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider said they are
    there for logistical operations and that no offensive operations are being
    launched against Afghanistan from Pakistan.

    The issue is a contentious one that has played a factor in anti-U.S. sentiment.
    There was heavy security around the bases at Jacobabad in central Pakistan and
    no demonstrations were reported there.

    A heavy police presence was visible Friday in Quetta, which has seen the most
    violent demonstrations so far this week.

    CNN Correspondent Amanda Kibel reported about 3,000 people listened as leaders
    delivered anti-American speeches.

    However, the mullahs who lead the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party called for their
    followers to remain calm.

    Officials said 1,500 police and army troops were on the streets, but Kibel
    reported that the number appeared to be much higher. She said 10 trucks
    carrying Pakistani police were deployed around the stadium.

    They said they would enforce a "zero-tolerance" policy against rioting and

    Violent demonstrations also took place Friday morning in Peshawar, where
    anti-American demonstrations have erupted since the airstrikes began in
    Afghanistan, but were said to be peaceful by the afternoon.

    Musharraf has repeatedly said the protests represent a vocal minority and are
    not representative of the people.

    Meanwhile, in Iran, a group of Afghan refugees took part in an anti-U.S.
    demonstration Friday in Zahedan near the Afghan border. They threw stones at
    the Pakistani consulate, breaking a few windows, to protest against Pakistani
    cooperation with the United States. No injuries were reported.

    In Turkey, about 1,000 people gathered outside Istanbul's main mosque after
    Friday prayers to chant anti-U.S. slogans. Police said 15 people were detained,
    after a smoke bomb was used to disperse the crowd.

    In Jakarta, Indonesia, fewer than 1,000 people showed up to demonstrate in
    front of the U.S. Embassy, despite threats from radical Indonesian Islamic
    groups that thousands would flood the streets to protest the strikes over
    Afghanistan. Small but peaceful protests were also held in several other cities
    in Indonesia.

    In anticipation of trouble, officials deployed more than 5,000 police on the
    streets of the capital. They used water cannon to prevent demonstrators from
    burning an effigy of U.S. President George W. Bush, but little trouble was


    Traders bring back eye-witness accounts of bombing


    Allied military action is hardening Afghan resistance towards West

    by Paul Gallagher In Peshawar
    The Scotsman (Scotland); October 11, 2001

    THE lorry drivers arriving at Gulbahar fruit market yesterday were
    carrying with them an added commodity. Leaping from the cabs of
    their trucks, each one of them has a story to trade about the
    military onslaught on Afghanistan.

    Despite the high state of military alert over the threatened civil war
    in Pakistan, the cross-border fruit trade with Afghanistan continues
    as normal and provides the only independent eye-witness accounts
    of the effects of the US and British attacks.

    Within the walled courtyard of Gulbahar Market in the frontier town
    of Peshawar, the hauliers described the terror faced by residents in
    Afghan cities and towns which they had left behind and also the
    rising anger against the Western powers responsible for the

    The US has described how it is dropping thousands of emergency
    rations, along with bombs and missiles, in an attempt to win over
    ordinary Afghans, but according to the drivers these are being
    received more with incredulity and anger than with the gratitude
    America had hoped for.

    "We don't want their food parcels, people are burning them in the
    street," one driver said. "How can they drop bombs from one plane
    and then food from another? Only America is capable of such

    Iqbal Anwar, who had just arrived from Kabul, said the residents in
    the capital city were becoming traumatised after three nights of
    bombardment. "People are trying to carry on with their normal lives,
    but it's impossible to sleep at night with the sound of missiles and
    jets flying overhead," he said.

    "After the first night's bombing, they were able to go about their
    business in the day before sheltering at night, but now the attacks
    are in daylight as well. This is terrorism to the people of
    Afghanistan. It is America and Britain who are the real terrorists."

    Mr Anwar was in Kabul when the first bombing raids were launched
    on Sunday night, and he loaded his truck with fruit at dawn
    yesterday to drive to Peshawar, an eight-hour drive. "The border is
    open to us, Pakistan needs fruit and business must go on," he
    added. "There are not many signs of damage along the roads, but
    there are many frightened women and children who want to find
    somewhere safe but have nowhere to go."

    None of the hauliers reported any signs that the attacks were
    spreading discontent with the Taleban. Instead, they are hardening
    support for the regime. "The Taleban will never fall because they
    are the people of Afghanistan, and this is what the US and George
    Bush does not understand," one driver said. Another haulier,
    sipping green tea while a crowd of traders gathered to bid for his
    consignment of grapes, said he had driven from Jalalabad
    where there had been nightly explosions around the city since

    "The situation is very bad. The people will never forgive America for
    these attacks because innocent people are being hit and killed and
    they have no defences. "I saw a house which had been destroyed
    and we hear of people who have been injured and killed. "It is not
    just military targets that are being hit. The Americans cannot win
    because there is nothing for them to bomb and they cannot kill
    everyone in Afghanistan."

    In one corner of the courtyard, a group gathered around a transistor
    radio to hear the latest bulletins on BBC World Service. Radio
    Sharriat, the Kabul-based Afghan radio station, has been off air
    in recent days and the Afghan drivers have to look elsewhere for
    information on the air strikes. They sat in silence as news of the
    Taleban's response to the attacks was announced and nodded in
    unison to the defiant declaration of the Taleban spokesman which
    was read out over the air.

    "After these attacks, the Americans and British have declared war
    on our people and we will fight back," one of them said.



    JERUSALEM, 12 October 2001 (VOA): Thousands of demonstrators took to the
    streets in various cities in the Middle East to protest the U.S. military
    campaign in Afghanistan. Many more thronged to mosques for Friday prayers
    throughout the region and heard anti-American sermons.

    Several thousand Palestinians staged anti-American demonstrations in the
    West Bank Friday, including in Ramallah and Nablus. Many chanted their
    support for Osama bin Laden and vented their anger against U.S. President
    George W. Bush, describing him as the "father of terrorism."

    The Palestinian Authority has clamped down on anti-American demonstrations
    and earlier this week sent out police to quell one such protest in Gaza.
    Two Palestinian youths were killed in the incident. Palestinian police have
    also clamped down on media coverage of protests, at times barring
    journalists from entering protest areas.

    Tens of thousands of protesters, including some government ministers, took
    to the streets in Iran. In Tehran, marchers carried placards denouncing the
    U.S. action as terrorism. Others declared their willingness to join a jehad
    (war against imperialistic terrorism) against the United States and its
    allies. The Iranian government has denounced terrorism, but is also
    critical of the American action. But Iran has also helped supply weapons to
    the anti-Taleban Northern Alliance in Afghanistan.

    There was heavy police presence in Cairo as about 5,000 people demonstrated
    after Friday prayers at the city's Al-Azhar mosque. In Lebanon, several
    thousand people took to the streets in the northern city of Tripoli to
    denounce what they called the U.S."aggression."

    Muslims across the region thronged to mosques and heard anti-American
    sermons. In Saudi Arabia, prayers were held in support of Afghans and to
    denounce the "enemies of Islam," but they made no direct mention of the
    U.S. and British attacks. In the Syrian capital, Damascus, an imam
    denounced terrorism, but said that terrorism cannot be fought by waging
    wars that destroy cities and kill women and children.

    The Associated Press reports that in one mosque in Baghdad, the imam and
    worshippers broke down in tears. The imam spoke of a crusade against
    Muslims, led by America. He also accused the United States and Britain of
    playing games as they destroy cities and kill people.

    The United States and its allies have repeatedly stressed that the attacks
    are not against the Afghan people or Islam, but rather against Osama bin
    Laden, his al-Qaida network, and the Taleban rulers of Afghanistan who
    harbor him and his supporters.


    Civilian casualties mount in Afghanistan


    By Kate Randall
    13 October 2001

    Many news sources report mounting civilian casualties in Afghanistan since
    the US launched air strikes against the country last Sunday. The Afghan
    Islamic Press (AIP) reports that more than 250 civilians have been killed
    so far, while the Taliban says casualties have surpassed 300. USA Today
    reports that Western diplomats in Pakistan have received unconfirmed
    reports from aid workers in Afghanistan that the number may be far higher,
    and rising with each day's air raids.
    Afghan refugees arriving daily in Pakistan speak of the destruction wrought
    by the US bombing raids. Khawaja Ahmad, 25, who arrived from Jalalabad with
    her two older brothers on Tuesday, told USA Today that she witnessed dozens
    of homes destroyed and many injured children:
    "We see only our mothers and children dying. Why do you kill us? What have
    our civilians done to you?"
    On Thursday, thousands of Afghan refugees fled their homes in Kabul,
    Kandahar and Jalalabad after US jets carried out the heaviest bombing since
    the US launched its attack last Sunday. They carried whatever personal
    belongings they could, traveling on donkeys and in taxis and trucks. At
    least 1.1 million of Afghanistan's 26 million people are fleeing areas that
    might be hit by US air raids. Riza Kahn, a fruit merchant from Jalalabad,
    told USA Today, "People everywhere are on the run. They are trying to hide,
    wherever they can. But the bombs are everywhere."
    Stephanie Bunker, spokesperson for the Office of the UN Coordinator for
    Afghanistan, said that these refugees have little or no access to food,
    water or shelter. She told USA Today that since September 11 nearly
    three-quarters of Jalalabad's 100,000 residents, half of Kandahar's 100,000
    residents and one-fifth of Kabul's 1.8 million residents have fled.
    Those who can afford it are heading for the Pakistan border, and others are
    fleeing to the countryside. UN officials report that many of those who lack
    the resources to leave the country are widows, the elderly and the
    extremely impoverished. Ms. Bunker commented, "The ones who have stayed are
    the poorest of the poor. They're living on bread and water." Afghan
    refugees report widespread devastation to civilian areas of the country,
    including the shutoff of water and electricity in many areas.
    AIP reports that at least 100 people were killed or missing following US
    air attacks on the village of Kourram, 35 kilometers to the west of
    Jalalabad on Wednesday, October 10. Twelve others were taken to a Jalalabad
    hospital. An area resident said that the village was virtually destroyed
    following three nighttime raids on the area by US jets. The village
    comprised 25 houses that have now been completely destroyed. Taliban
    sources told AIP that 50 bodies had been pulled from the rubble so far.
    According to UN officials, civilian deaths on Wednesday also included 20 in
    the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif and 10 in the southern city of Kandahar.
    Ten civilians were killed when an American missile hit their home in a
    residential neighborhood of Kabul early Thursday morning, according to AIP.
    Another report said at least 18, mostly women and children, were killed and
    more than 30 injured in an attack on Konduz Thursday morning in several air
    and missile attacks on the city.
    According to AIP, more than 200 people were killed on Thursday when a bomb
    struck the village of Kadam, about 40 kilometers west of Jalalabad. Kadam
    has been the target of repeated air strikes, lying near what the US has
    cited as a terrorist training camp. The Taliban told AIP, "So far 160
    bodies have been recovered, mostly women and children. This is not an
    exaggeration. More bodies are still being recovered."
    Abdul Salam Zaeef, the Taliban's ambassador to Pakistan, told reporters in
    Islamabad that a bombing raid early Thursday morning killed about 100
    civilians in a village in the Torghar region, near Jalalabad. He said the
    casualties also included 15 people killed at a mosque in Jalalabad
    Wednesday night.
    The capital city of Kabul came under sustained bombardment in the early
    morning hours of Friday, in what residents described as a combined plane
    and missile assault. An Agence France-Presse (AFP) reporter in Kabul
    counted 10 explosions, as planes flew over the city in numerous waves,
    beginning at 3:15 a.m. "At times there were no planes but still explosions,
    so there must have been some missiles coming in as well," the AFP
    correspondent reported. He said that some of the blasts were felt inside
    the city.
    The AIP reported that several houses in a residential neighborhood were
    flattened by a cruise missile during raids that went on for most of the
    night around Kabul and its airport.
    Truck drivers arriving from Kabul at a fruit market in Peshawar, Pakistan
    described to the Scottish newspaper The Scotsman the conditions faced by
    residents in Afghanistan's capital city following consecutive nights of
    bombardment. Aqbal Anwar said, "After the first night's bombing, they were
    able to go about their business in the day before sheltering at night, but
    now the attacks are in daylight as well. This is terrorism to the people of
    Afghanistan. It is America and Britain who are the real terrorists."
    Another driver said, "The situation is very bad. The people will never
    forgive America for these attacks because innocent people are being hit and
    killed and they have no defenses. I saw a house which had been destroyed
    and we hear of people who have been injured and killed. It is not just
    military targets that are being hit. The Americans cannot win because there
    is nothing for them to bomb and they cannot kill everyone in Afghanistan."
    US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told the press Thursday:
    "Everyone in this county knows that the United States of America does not
    target civilians." While denying Washington was targeting civilians, he
    said they were inevitable in any military conflict.
    Britain's International Development Secretary Clare Short on Friday flatly
    denied that Afghan civilians had been killed: "Clearly there is propaganda
    being fed out.... Information moves across the borders in and out and there
    are refugees and families, and it is widely understood amongst Afghanistan
    refugees that there have not been civilian casualties."
    Two US aircraft carriers in the Arabian Sea continue to launch strike
    aircraft and heavy bombing was reported to be continuing around
    Kabul. Rumsfeld told reporters Thursday that the US had hit unidentified
    cave complexes with an array of precision munitions. These weapons
    including GBU-28 "bunker busters"5,000-pound laser-guided bombs designed to
    penetrate buried concrete structures.


    Allies dismiss Taliban claims of civilian dead


    Saturday 13th October 2001

    A Taliban report that 200 villagers were killed in a missile strike has been
    dismissed as Taliban propaganda.

    The Taliban said people had been killed in the village of Karam, near
    Jalalabad, on Wednesday.

    Zadra Azam, the Taliban deputy governor of Nangarhar province, said bodies
    were still being dug out of the rubble.

    Britain has dismissed the claims with International Development Secretary
    Clare Short saying: "It's widely understood... That there have not been so
    many civilian casualties."

    She spoke after the Taliban announcement of deaths in Karam, but it was not
    clear if she was also referring to them.

    Even before the latest claims, the Taliban spoke of dozens killed in the

    However, reports of casualties are extremely difficult to verify, with
    Afghanistan all but sealed off from the outside world.

    Only the deaths of four guards working for a mine-clearing agency contracted
    by the United Nations have been confirmed - by UN officials in neighbouring


    U.S. Bomb Misses Target, Hits Neighborhood


    Saturday, October 13, 2001; 12:58 PM
    By Matt Kelley, Associated Press Writer

      WASHINGTON -- A U.S. bomb intended to strike a helicopter at the Kabul
      airport hit a residential neighborhood a mile away in the Afghan capital
      Saturday, the Pentagon said.

      Reports from the ground said four people were killed and eight injured,
      the Defense Department said in a statement. U.S. officials said they had
      no way to confirm the number of casualties.

      A Navy F/A-18 Hornet had aimed the 2,000-pound guided bomb at a military
      helicopter at the airport, but the bomb hit the residential area during a
      morning raid on the seventh straight day of airstrikes, the Pentagon

      The bomb had a satellite guidance system designed to steer it toward its
      target. A "targeting process error" could have caused the bomb to go
      astray, the Pentagon said.

      Four destroyed houses could be seen in the neighborhood.

      "We have no way to rebuild our homes," said Mohammed Shoaib, whose house
      was one of those wrecked. "What will we do?"

      U.S. planes returned in the evening, firing seven missiles at targets in
      the northern part of Kabul. Heavy smoke was seen from the area of the
      airport. The private Afghan Islamic Press also reported attacks against a
      military base outside Kandahar, the southern city home to the Taliban's

      Military officials have said the airstrikes are becoming increasingly
      focused on "targets of opportunity" that pilots spot from the air, such
      as aircraft parked on the ground or convoys of troops for the Taliban,
      the militia sheltering suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden and his
      al-Qaida network.


    U.S. Raid Kills Unknown Number in an Afghan Village

    October 13, 2001, The New York Times

    PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Oct. 12 - Karam is a village in the
    hills of eastern Afghanistan, barely an hour from the
    border with Pakistan. Villagers say a training camp for
    Islamic guerrillas was once situated nearby, though it has
    been closed for several years.

    Whether that camp was the intended target of the American
    bombers that swooped overhead on Wednesday, or whether
    there was somebody or something in the village that
    American military planners wanted to hit, may never be

    What does seem clear is that Karam was bombed. One
    eyewitness account comes from a respected Pakistani
    journalist, working temporarily for The New York Times and
    exploiting connections at the border. He was able to get to
    Karam late on Thursday, returning today.

    Villagers told him that 53 people had died, though only 22
    bodies had yet been pulled from the wreckage. They said the
    radical Islamic Taliban government seemed inclined to
    inflate the toll.

    The journalist, who could not be identified because his
    travel in Afghanistan was not authorized, had a close-up
    look at only three corpses in a hospital. They were all
    mutilated, he said. The face of one victim, a man named
    Shaqib, was torn away. A relative was patiently cleaning
    the body, preparing it for burial.

    This relation, on seeing a Taliban official, began to
    shout. "I'm angry at the Americans and I'm angry at you,"
    he said. "This is the result of your jihad."

    Karam appeared thoroughly destroyed. Dead livestock lay
    about. Villagers, many in tears, were pulling away debris,
    looking for the missing. Throughout the area, Taliban
    soldiers sped by in pickups, reinforcing positions on the
    hilltops with antiaircraft guns.

    The fog of war is always dense, with each side projecting
    its own claims and its own views of the conflict. In
    Afghanistan it is denser than usual because of the
    inaccessibility to Western journalists of the areas being

    This morning Pakistani newspapers reported that the hamlet
    had been obliterated and that more than 100 people were
    believed to be dead. Late today the Afghan Islamic Press, a
    news service, quoted a Taliban official who said the body
    count had reached 160 and was likely to exceed 200.

    The Taliban are almost certainly inflating casualties and,
    with Taliban-controlled territory closed to foreigners and
    the movement of even Afghan journalists limited, it is
    difficult to know how much about Karam there is to regret.
    In Washington, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, asked
    about the Taliban assertions, repeated assurances that
    United States strikes were not aimed at innocents.

    "There is no question but that when one is engaged
    militarily that there are going to be unintended loss of
    life," Mr. Rumsfeld said on a day when the bombardment had
    slowed. "And there's no question but that I and anyone
    involved regrets the unintended loss of life."

    People in Karam said they had felt in no particular danger
    of an American attack. "We were eating our late meal when
    the planes came, dropping their bombs," said Shah Mehmood,
    a farmer. "I was knocked out completely, and I still have
    shrapnel in my neck. My 8-year-old son, Najib, he was
    knocked out, too, but I think he will be O.K. now."

    Maulvi Abdullah Haijazi, an elder from a nearby village,
    had come to assist. "These people don't support the
    Taliban," he said. "They always say the Taliban are doing
    this or that and they don't like it. But now they will all
    fight the Americans. We pray to Allah that we have American
    soldiers to kill. These bombs from the sky we cannot

    Today's papers, whether in Urdu, Pashto or Punjabi, were
    filled with horrors: a civilian death toll placed at
    anywhere from 200 to 500; 10 members of a family killed in
    Kabul; a mosque leveled in the Surkh Rud district of
    Nangarhar Province; 11 unexploded missiles lying in the
    area around Jalalabad. All of the dead were referred to as

    None of those reports could be independently confirmed
    today, including a story that said the 10-year- old son of
    Mullah Muhammad Omar, the Taliban's supreme leader, had
    been killed in the air raids on Kandahar. That item, based
    on a single unnamed source, was published on the front page
    of several newspapers, including Pakistan's largest, The
    Daily Jang.

    The Jang, an Urdu paper, also ran a front-page cartoon
    portraying Uncle Sam as a munitions dealer boasting that
    his latest products were being field-tested in Afghanistan.

    The reports reveal the gulf in perceptions between Pakistan
    and the United States about the war. Although Pakistan is
    nominally allied with the United States in its quest to
    eliminate the terrorist cells in Afghanistan responsible
    for the Sept. 11 attacks, sympathy for the plight of
    Afghans is strong here.

    Items published here often seem eerie twists on items
    appearing in the United States. Ausaf, the second largest
    daily, ran what purported to be an announcement from Al
    Qaeda offering $50,000 for the capture of an American
    soldier and $3,000 for the uniform of a dead one.

    At a protest rally here today, 1,000 people marched from
    one of Peshawar's famous mosques to one of its famous
    bazaars, chanting anti- American slogans all the way.
    "Death to Bush!" they yelled. In the United States, the
    "war against terrorism" is described as a duel between good
    and evil. But most of the protesters are working from a
    much different set of premises. To them Al Qaeda's leader,
    Osama bin Laden - from a remote perch in Afghanistan - is
    an unlikely suspect in the terrorism of Sept. 11.

    Rafatullah, a well-groomed wholesaler of medical supplies,
    said, "I think the Americans are anti-Islam, and their
    assault on Osama without proof is a tragedy."

    By then another protester, this one with an unkempt beard
    and a raging tone in his voice, declared that the Muslims
    of the world had decided to wage jihad against the

    Yet another man intervened. "We will have our vengeance,"
    he said, unfolding a newspaper he had placed in his pocket.
    He pointed to the news about the village of Karam.


    Reuters. 13 October 2001.

    Anti-American Riots Rock Nigeria, Protest Elsewhere.

    KANO, Nigeria -- At least 16 people were killed in Nigeria in
    anti-American riots on Saturday and thousands of demonstrators joined
    peace marches in London and Berlin.

    Nigerian authorities ordered police to shoot on sight and clamped a
    night curfew on Kano, the biggest city in the mainly Muslim north, after
    some of the most violent anti-American protests in Africa since U.S.
    air strikes on Afghanistan began.

    Army tanks criss-crossed the streets to quell riots which followed a
    pattern of Muslim-Christian clashes that have killed thousands in
    oil-producing Nigeria over the past two years.

    "There is rampant shooting in the streets," said resident Jibrin Idris,
    who said he was trapped in a building with scores of people in the
    city's commercial district.

    "Churches, mosques and shops are on fire. There is smoke everywhere," he
    said by telephone.

    In London, Muslims and Christians marched side by side in a protest
    against the bombing of Afghanistan that attracted more than 20,000
    people, according to police estimates.

    "We're here because there are thousands of people across Britain who
    know that the bombing of Afghanistan is not going to put an end to
    terrorism," said Carol Naughton, chairman of the protest organizers, the
    Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

    Germany also saw its biggest protest so far against the air strikes,
    launched a week ago in retaliation for the attacks on the United States
    last month that killed around 5,500 people.

    Protest organizers said some 30,000 people turned out in Berlin.
    Protesters came from some 140 different groups, including from far-left
    Marxist parties.

    "The horror of World War Two makes all of us in Germany leery of war,"
    said physician Hannes Wand, 54, at the rally held under blue skies and
    unusually warm autumn weather.

    "I'm against this war because it's not justified and innocent people are
    being killed and forced to flee their homes."

    In Berlin, there were minor scuffles with police as protesters marched
    through the central government quarter and past the Brandenburg Gate,
    foreign ministry and city hall.

    Banners read: "War is genocide," "War is not the solution" and "Stop
    Bush's war." Singers performed anti-war folk songs of the 1960s from the
    backs of flat-bed trucks.

    German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder criticized the peace rally.

    Police said an estimated 5,000 people protested in the Swiss capital
    Berne, and about 4,000 in the southwest German city of Stuttgart.
    Smaller protests were held in other parts of the non-Islamic world,
    including Australia.

    In Nigeria, the army moved tanks into Kano's Sabon Gari market area
    early on Saturday after Christian churches and mosques were set on fire
    in rioting on Friday.

    Community leaders said rioters killed at least six female school
    students on their way to take university entrance exams.

    Police said they found another two bodies in the street, one hacked by a
    machete, and a witness said he was seeking refuge in a police station
    when eight more bodies were brought in.

    Mike Idika, a leader of the predominantly Christian Igbo community,
    which accounts for most of city's merchants, said more than 200 people
    were injured and sent to hospital.

    Local residents said the protests were hijacked by hoodlums from the
    city's army of unemployed youth, who chanted "May God destroy America!"
    and "Americans are terrorists."

    Brandishing posters of bin Laden, they burned American flags and
    effigies of President Bush and Nigerian Foreign Minister Sule Lamido,
    who has backed the U.S. attacks.


    Differences Between Terrorists and US Government

    Confused? Having difficulty telling the good guys from the bad guys?

    Use this handy guide to differences between terrorists and the U.S.

    by Daniel Solnit, Dissident Voice, October 9, 2001

    Supposed leader is the spoiled son of a powerful politician, from extremely
    wealthy oil family
    Supposed leader is the spoiled son of a powerful politician, from extremely
    wealthy oil family

    Leader has declared a holy war ('Jihad') against his 'enemies'; believes
    any nation not with him is against him; believes god is on his side, and
    that any means are justified.
    Leader has declared a holy war ('Crusade') against his 'enemies'; believes
    any nation not with him is against him; believes god is on his side, and
    that any means are justified.

    Supported by extreme fundamentalist religious leaders who preach hatred,
    intolerance, subjugation of women, and persecution of non-believers
    Supported by extreme fundamentalist religious leaders who preach hatred,
    intolerance, subjugation of women, and persecution of non-believers

    Leadership was not elected by a majority of the people in a free and fair
    democratic election
    Leadership was not elected by a majority of the people in a free and fair
    democratic election

    Kills thousands of innocent civilians, some of them children, in cold
    blooded bombings
    Kills (tens of) thousands of innocent civilians, some of them children, in
    cold blooded bombings

    Operates through clandestine organization (al Qaeda) with agents in many
    countries; uses bombing, assassination, other terrorist tactics
    Operates through clandestine organization (CIA) with agents in many
    countries; uses bombing, assassination, other terrorist tactics

    Using war as pretext to clamp down on dissent and undermine civil liberties
    Using war as pretext to clamp down on dissent and undermine civil liberties

    Weapon of choice: a three-dollar box cutter
    Weapon of choice: a billion-dollar B1 bomber
    Daniel Solnit is Executive Director for the Leadership Institute for
    Ecology and the Economy, and a supremo with the Sonoma County Green Party.


    * 50,000 march for peace in central London
    * "Blair does not speak for Britain"

    07951 235 915
    PO Box 3739, London E5 8EJ

    NEWS RELEASE: Saturday 13 October 2001

    The Stop the War Coalition hailed today's huge anti-war protest in central
    London as "the tip of an iceberg of dissent and outrage".

    Less than one week after the US and Britain began their military assault on
    Afghanistan, 50,000 people from all over Britain joined one of the biggest
    and most diverse demonstrations seen in central London in many years.

    "The extraordinary turn-out for this demonstration proves that the there is
    a substantial, diverse and rapidly growing coalition of people strongly
    opposed to this unjust and immoral war," said Mike Marqusee, on behalf of
    the Stop the War Coalition. "Along with the protests taking place today in
    other cities and towns across the country, this is the tip of an iceberg of
    dissent and outrage.

    "It's clear that Tony Blair does not speak for Britain - and we hope the
    world will now take note of that fact.

    "From now on, neither the media nor the political establishment in this
    country can afford to ignore the palpable reality of a mass anti-war
    movement embracing a wide variety of social constituencies."

    Anti-Racist campaigner Suresh Grover, chair of the National Civil Rights
    Movement, and a member of the Stop the War Coalition steering committee,
    described the march as "probably the most multi-racial protest ever seen in
    central London. It's a huge success. People of south Asian descent in
    Britain have served notice on Blair: we will not accept the cruel hypocrisy
    of this war."

    Among the groups taking part in the march were Muslim organisations, peace
    organisations, student unions, anti-racist and community
    organisations,trades unions, Palestinian campaigners, environmentalists,
    Lawyers Against the War, Media Workers Against the War, Medics Against the
    War and many, many others. Coaches arrived from Birmingham, Cardiff,
    Cambridge, Sheffield and elsewhere.

    The Stop the War Coalition has announced that the next national
    demonstration against the war will be held in central London on Sunday, 18

    The Stop the War Coalition was formed in London out of a meeting of more
    than 2000 people held at Friends House a fortnight ago. Sponsors
    include: MPs George Galloway, Tam Dalyell, Jeremy Corbyn, and Alan
    Simpson, Harold Pinter, writer George Monbiot, Bob Crow of the RMT, Mark
    Seddon (Labour NEC and Tribune editor), Mick Rix (ASLEF), John Foster
    (NUJ), Tariq Ali, Bernard Regan (NUT Executive), peace activists Hugh
    Stephens and Jim Addington, Suresh Grover (chair of the National Civil
    Rights Movement), Asad Rehman from the Newham Monitoring Project, Andrew
    Murray from ASLEF, Dave Nellist and Liz Davies from the Socialist Alliance,
    Mark Seddon (Tribune), Rosie Boycott (journalist), Jeremy Dear (NUJ),
    Hilary Wainwright from Red Pepper, Chris Nineham from Globalise Resistance,
    broadcaster John Pilger, playwright Caryl Churchill, writer Mike Marqusee,
    novelist and screenwriter Ronan Bennett, lawyer Soraya Lawrence and writer
    and comedian Mark Steel.

    For more information call Lindsey German 07810 540584 or Mike Marqusee 0207
    275 9399


    NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense


    No. 509-01
    October 13, 2001


             At approximately 6:30 p.m. EDT yesterday (Oct. 12), a
    U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet missed its intended target and
    inadvertently dropped a 2000-pound GPS-guided Joint Direct
    Attack Munition (JDAM) in a residential area near Kabul Airport,
    Afghanistan. The intended target was a military helicopter at
    Kabul Airport, approximately one mile from the residential area.

             We regret the loss of any civilian life. U.S. forces
    are intentionally striking only military and terrorist targets.
    They take great care in their targeting process to avoid
    civilian casualties. We have no accurate way of estimating the
    number of casualties, but reports from the ground indicate there
    may have been four deaths and eight injured.

             Although details are being investigated and may take
    several days, preliminary indications are that the accident
    occurred from a targeting process error.


    Reuters. 13 October 2001

    U.S. Raids Resume as Afghans Still Dig for Bodies.

    KABUL -- Afghanistan's ruling Taliban on Saturday rejected an offer by
    President Bush to halt air strikes if they handed over Saudi-born
    fugitive Osama bin Laden, saying they would fight until their last

    The defiance was voiced as the country counted the cost as bombings
    resumed after a brief respite for the Friday Muslim holy day and enraged
    authorities searched for more bodies in the rubble of a remote village
    flattened by a direct strike.

    "We once again want to say that their (the U.S.) intention is a war
    against Muslims and Afghans," Taliban Information Minister Mullah
    Qudratullah Jamal told Reuters.

    On Thursday, Bush said he would halt air strikes if the Taliban "cough
    up" bin Laden, an offer he described as a second chance.

    "Osama is not the issue and people have realized this by the crimes they
    are committing," Mullah Jamal said. "Our stance regarding the situation
    is as before.

    "Our jihad (holy struggle) ... will continue until the last breath for
    the defense of our homeland and Islam."

    U.S. warplanes bombed Kabul's airport early on Saturday and CNN reported
    the Taliban's southern stronghold of Kandahar was under attack after a
    lull of nearly 24 hours out of what Washington said was deference to
    the Muslim holy day.

    At least one civilian was killed and four injured near Kabul airport
    when a bomb landed near a poor residential area. Six houses near the
    strike site were flattened by the blast.

    Exhausted residents of the capital were woken on Saturday by at least
    eight huge explosions, with one strike apparently hitting the airport,
    which has been the main target.

    "From my house I could see a bomb land on the airport, I saw a fireball,
    debris flying up into the sky and the initial big fire then dimming,"
    one witness said.

    "The shockwaves of the bombs were quite severe but there was less
    anti-aircraft fire seen in the sky compared to other nights," one said.

    On Friday, angry Muslim clerics vented their rage against the air
    onslaught during prayers, urging Afghans to fight to the last breath and
    decreeing death to anyone who aided the United States.

    "America can destroy our country but not our faith and our principles,
    we will fight till the last breath," the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP)
    quoted another cleric as saying in a sermon in the southern city of

    Much of the rage had been fueled by the deadly strike on the hillside
    village of Khorum near the eastern city of Jalalabad, where at least 160
    bodies have already been pulled from the rubble of flattened houses.

    "Some 160 bodies have been recovered from the debris so far. Most of
    them are women and children," Jamal told Reuters.

    "We believe more are to be dug out. The burial process has already began
    and each victim will be buried in a separate tomb," he said.

    Dozens more people were killed or injured and military bases hit in
    raids on southern Kandahar province, officials said.

    Despite the ferocity of the raids, there was no sign the U.S. was any
    closer to getting bin Laden -- who Bush has said is wanted "dead or
    alive" -- or the Taliban's reclusive spiritual leader, Mullah Mohammad

    The death toll pushed past the 300 mark -- with more than half from a
    single village near Jalalabad -- on the sixth day of the U.S.-led
    assaults and was set to rise, the Taliban said.

    "Such acts of the Americans and their supporters are outrageous and show
    that their enmity is with Afghans and Muslims," Jamal said.

    "If their claim is getting rid of the people who they call terrorists
    then why they have not succeeded. They're boasting their attacks are
    precise, so why have they failed?"


    Anti-US protests worldwide

     From Turkey to the far east, Islamists took to the streets to oppose the
    American attacks

    by John Aglionby in Jakarta, Bill Sellars in Istanbul, Jonathan Steele and
    The Guardian
    Saturday October 13, 2001

    Malaysian police sprayed chemical-laced water at about 2,500 supporters of
    a Muslim opposition party demonstrating peacefully outside the American
    embassy in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, as they knelt on prayer mats to begin
    their afternoon prayers in defiance of police orders.

    The Pan-Malaysia Islamic party crowd had gathered outside the embassy at
    about 2pm after Friday prayers. A small delegation was allowed in to
    deliver a protest note while the majority shouted anti-US slogans and
    brandished placards of Osama bin Laden.
    Riot police started to forcibly disperse the! demonstrators after about 30
    minutes when some started their prayers. The deputy city police chief, Dell
    Akbar Khan, said the authorities had made it clear that there should be no
    prayers outside the embassy.

    Indian police fired teargas and used water cannon to disperse thousands of
    Muslims protesting against the attacks on Afghanistan.

    Muslims poured on to the streets of major Indian cities after Friday
    prayers shouting anti-American slogans. About 10,000 chanted "Death to
    America, Death to Israel, Taliban, Taliban, we salute you" at the country's
    biggest mosque, the Jama Masjid in New Delhi.

    In the southern city of Hyderabad and in Srinagar, summer capital of the
    revolt-racked northern state of Kashmir, Muslims pelted police with stones.
    In Hyderabad, a former princely state with a large population of Muslims,
    more than 50 policemen and civilians sustained minor injuries when a mob
    turned violent.

    In the eastern city of Calcutta, ! 4,000 Muslims gathered near a mosque
    shouting "Long live Bin Laden, down with Bush".

    Angry Iranian crowds attacked the Pakistan consulate in the south-eastern
    town of Zahedan close to the Afghan border yesterday. In Tehran protesters
    hanged effigies of US and Israeli leaders, burned the two countries' flags
    and carried placards saying "Bush the killer" and "War is not the answer".

    Zahedan is home to tens of thousands of Afghan refugees, most of whom fled
    the Soviet invasion 20 years ago. Although they are fierce opponents of the
    Taliban, many opposed the American attacks on their homeland, saying it was
    up to Afghans to solve the country's problems.

    But foreign residents of Zahedan said yesterday that the demonstration at
    the consulate was led by Iranians and not Afghans. The crowd attacked the
    Pakistani consulate with stones and clubs and broke windows before police
    brought them under control, witnesses said.

    Conservative groups ! opposed to President Mohammad Khatami's efforts to
    reform the Islamic republic and improve relations with the west organised
    rallies after Friday prayers in several cities.

    More than 100 people were detained yesterday during demonstrations across
    Turkey against the bombing and Ankara's support for the US.

    In Istanbul, 58 were taken into custody during a noisy but generally
    peaceful protest outside the Beyazit mosque near the city's tourist
    district after midday prayers. The protest ended after teargas was
    released, possibly by accident.

    Much of the protest focused on the Turkish government's decision, approved
    by parliament on Wednesday, to deploy troops overseas if requested by its
    NATO ally Washington. During the 45-minute protest, demonstrators also
    burned an American flag and unfurled a banner declaring the US a terrorist

    A small homemade bomb exploded outside a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant
    in! the city of Makassar on Sulawesi island at 3am, causing some damage but
    no casualties. Another device was found a few hours later outside an
    Australian insurance company's office in the same city and was defused.

    Four protesters and two police officers were injured in a clash outside the
    provincial parliament building in Indonesia's second city of Surabaya.

    The massive protests and operations by Islamist groups to "sweep" Americans
    and Britons out of the country that were predicted on what was the first
    Muslim Sabbath after the start of American and British strikes in
    Afghanistan never materialised.

    The crowds that gathered in more than half a dozen cities rarely exceeded
    1,000 people in each place.

    The foreign minister, Hasan Wirayuda, warned the American president, George
    Bush, that he would risk alienating many Muslim nations if it did not halt
    the offensive in Afghanistan by the start of the Muslim fasting month of
    Ramadan, which begins in ! just over a month.

    "It would be emotionally explosive for an Islamic country to see their
    fellow Muslims suffering such bombings while they are fasting," he told a
    security briefing of local and foreign businesspeople and foreign diplomats.


    I Am Against This War

    by William Rivers Pitt <w_pitt@hotmail.com>

    I have been wrestling with this since the attacks came down. You will all
    recall that I was the first person on the forum DemocraticUnderground.com
    who started a thread that stated our need to get behind Bush on 9/11.

    I'm also the guy who wrote 'The Real American Traitors,' so it's clear I've
    been all over the map.

    The newly-begun bombing campaign in Afghanistan has torn it for me. I am
    against this war as it is currently being fought.

    Before I tell you why I am against it, I should explain why I am *not*
    against it.

    1. I am not against it because I am a peace-at-all-cost appeasement
    pacifist. Far from it. My dream would involve bin Laden and that dippy
    fruitloop from Al Queda in stocks on Strawberry Field in Central Park. A
    carnival barker would sell tickets - all proceeds to the disaster fund - for
    those who wanted to meet them. Whatever is left of them would be put in a
    tiny box in Lompoc, where videotapes of the weddings, birthdays and
    anniversaries of all our dead would be fed to them on a continuous loop
    until the day they die.

    There are ways I could see this dream realized, but the current attacks are
    not of that category. More on that in a bit.

    2. I am not a friend of terrorists.

    3. I am not anti-American. In my own small way I am hoping to save some of
    America's soul by saying 'no.'

    If anyone else wants to question me more along these lines, I'll be happy to

    To business.

    I am against this war because Bush and the GOP are using it for political
    gain. They are stifling dissent, pushing Star Wars, trying to get to ANWR,
    defaming Clinton yet again, bailing out a guilty-as-sin airline industry,
    and seeking to combine every iota of Federal police power into a huge ball
    to be controlled by John Ashcroft. Tom Ridge is a cipher - in letters to GOP
    constituents announcing his appointment were appeals for fundraising.

    All these things - ALL OF THEM - spit on the graves of our lost.

    Congressional oversight has ceased to exist as we plunge towards what has
    been described by Rumsfeld as a 'new Cold War.' That war lasted from Truman
    to Bush/41, and the shit we are currently swimming in is a DIRECT RESULT of
    it. I refuse to even consider supporting something that will create a new
    45-year war.

    The old Cold War gave us nuclear weapons in all corners of the globe, Korea,
    Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Iraq, the Gulf War, the Red Scare, the
    Black Lists, McCarthy, Hoover, Reagan, anthrax weapons, smallpox weapons,
    Star Wars, massive ecological destruction, and yes, Osama bin Laden and the
    Taliban. Anyone seeking the specific history lessons behind these need only

    Let's do it again, right? Wrong.

    I am against this war because it is being fought in EXACTLY the wrong way.
    Pursued as it is, we will soon find ourselves facing a united Muslim world
    that has a long laundry list of grievances against us to begin with. A
    united Pan-Islamic Front is precisely what bin Laden wants, and by strafing
    the rubble in Afghanistan, we are skipping gaily into his arms.

    If Pakistan falls, as it may well do, the fundamentalists will have nukes.
    India, China and Russia will immediately go red alert. If just one nuke goes
    off over there...well...

    And hey? Who says those Pak fundies can't cart one of those suckers over
    here? If Pakistan falls, that is what we face. This is yet another reason
    why strafing the rubble in Afghanistan is a rotten idea.

    I have heard from several people, including my own mom, the comparison of
    bin Laden to Hitler. That is a joke. bin laden has no mechanized army to
    roll on Poland or France, nor does he have a Navy to close sea lanes, nor
    does he have an air force, nor even a nation.

    This is a war between two rich assholes - Bush and bin Laden - that is
    gambling with all of our lives. bin Laden is no Hitler. He is a
    fundamentalist lunatic who kills us with WEAPONS AND TRAINING WE PROVIDED HIM.

    In that, he is like Saddam Hussein, who is another fundamentalist lunatic
    who kills people with WEAPONS AND TRAINING WE PROVIDED HIM. Also like bin
    Laden, Hussein was compared to Hitler by Bush/41. The comparison did not,
    and does not, hold water. It did, however, manage to get us all whipped up
    as we are now.

    Waving the bloody shirt of Hitler is exactly what Bush wants you to do,
    because it obscures clear and critical thinking. Being afraid right now is
    understandable, but lashing out with that fear and destabalizing the planet
    is stupid and suicidal.

    If we continue to lash out, and bin Laden can fulfill his Pan-Islamic
    dreams, then he will have the capability to become Hitler. He's not there
    yet, but you help him on his way with such inflammatory and inaccurate

    I am against this war because civilians are dying. Simply put, I have had a
    fucking bellyful of that. The more civilians we kill, the stronger and more
    sympathetic we make bin Laden to a poor and pissed-off Muslim world.
    Continue to support this bombing campaign and you are feeding the fires that
    will burn us all out of house and home.

    I am against this war because the millions of Afghan civilians who escape
    the bombs can look forward to unknown amounts of time eating grass and
    drinking poisoned water in deathtrap refugee camps. We dropped 37,000 meals
    on Afghanistan when the bombing started, which leaves, by my math, 6,963,000
    people who need to eat.

    There is dying, and there is dying. Among those who flee will UNDOUBTEDLY be
    thousands who listen to clerical rhetoric against America and decide, in
    their despair, that strapping Semtex to their chests and boarding a plane is
    preferable to a squalid death far from home at the hands of an unseen
    bomb-dropping enemy.

    Better to die on you feet than live on your knees, right? Bet the farm that
    many of those now fleeing our bombs will come to decide the same thing.
    Again, we put the barrel of the gun to our own heads.

    I am against this war because Afghanistan is a convenient target whose
    ultimate destruction will do little to win 'The War On Terrorism.' bin Laden
    will survive and flee, and the thousands of Al Queda terrorists in places
    like Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Germany, Ireland, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland
    and Los Angeles will be totally unharmed.

    Afghanistan is a straw man. Yes, they are repressive. Yes, they treat women
    unspeakably. They did so on September 10th, and I heard NO ONE here advocate
    the limitless bombing of that country on that day or any day before it.

    You've been sold a bill of goods, friends, by some pitchmen who are very
    good at what they do. Afghanistan? Give me a break.


    1. Immediately recognize a Palestinian State, and pull out all the stops to
    broker a peace deal. Beat Arafat and Sharon about the head and shoulders
    until they come to an agreement that will stop the unspeakable suffering of
    the Palestinian people while ensuring the safety and security of Israel.
    Make Jerusalem a UN Protectorate guarded by Swiss troops, or some equally
    uninvolved nation. This is no longer an eternally nagging problem. It is the
    lynchpin upon which peace or total destruction will turn.

    2. Take the billions of dollars we are currently spending to destroy rubble
    and mud in Afghanistan and turn it into food, medicine, radios, propaganda,
    clothing, seeds. If we can read Mullah Abdul bin Tallal bin Alla bin
    Mustafa's watch as he rides his camel through the Kaiber pass with our
    satellites, we can feed and clothe these people, because we are clever. Who
    says a Marshall Plan has to come after a war? With a concentrated effort,
    all the Taliban warriors in Afghanistan won't be able to stop it. They will

    3. Continue what had been shaping up to be an excellent diplomatic course.
    Cut off terrorist funding. Organize the coalition to marshall every iota of
    intelligence ability to tracking, arresting and convicting terrorists in
    every corner of the globe. Before we started bombing, we had massive
    cooperation. That may evaporate in a cloud of outrage soon, and the
    aforementioned safe terrorists will not have the combined might of the
    international community looking for them anymore. Boom.

    4. We've got Special Forces in Afghanistan right now lazing 'targets', i.e.
    mudpiles and rubble. Reconstitute their mission to search-and-destroy mode.
    Shoot these Al Queda bastards between the eyes from 1,000 yards out...you
    know we can do it.

    Basically, these actions will strip bin Laden and the Taliban of their most
    potent weapon - the ability to generate outrage in the Muslim world. If we
    are not bombing cities, if we are actively seeking peace between Palestine
    and Israel, if we are lobbing tons of food and supplies at Afghan civilians,
    nothing bin Laden can say or do will be able to deflect the obvious fact
    that America is not...gasp...being BELLIGERENT to yet another Muslim
    country. His ranting will make him and his friends more and more isolated,
    and a well-fed Afghan populace with the Northern Alliance hot on their heels
    will make some good changes.

    There is one last truth we all have to face when considering this war:


    It's here, friends. For 225 years we were protected by two oceans and 2,000
    nuclear missiles. Those days are gone. We were protected and isolated from
    our policies, our wars, our mistakes and our evils. Not anymore.

    We DID NOT DESERVE the attack we have absorbed, but neither did those whom
    we have attacked, or helped others to attack. Nobody deserves it, but it
    has been
    done by us and in our name for generations. Now, we reap the whirlwind.

    This is merely an upping of an ante that has been bid on for years.
    Super-terrorism did not come from nowhere. It is a step on the ladder to
    hell, a ladder we did much to place.

    The time has come to ask the really hard question:

    If we cannot stop it without becoming a barricaded, isolated, totalitarian
    state - the ONLY SURE CURE - then what is left?

    More bombs far away? More civilian death? More feeding of the cycle that
    will surely, SURELY, bring more of the same to our shores and theirs?

    Or a long, slow, tortured path towards some kind of redemption?

    I know what I have chosen, and it has nothing to do with our current actions.

    I am against this war.


    Global Oppressors Can't Deliver Justice

    Revolutionary Worker #1122, October 14, 2001, posted
    at rwor.org

    The U.S. president is talking about justice. And the
    U.S. armed forces are waging war.

    Where is justice? What does it look like? Does it look
    like the bombs falling on Afghanistan?

    The U.S. power structure is talking about justice. And
    their cruise missiles and fighter bombers are raining
    death on the impoverished people of Afghanistan.
    Horror from the sky.

    The same empire that has been responsible for a global
    economy where thousands of children die every day of
    hunger and disease; for a global network of regimes
    who can only perpetuate this poverty and inequality;
    for dropping bombs on people in Hiroshima, Vietnam,
    Panama, Iraq, Serbia; for plotting murderous coups
    from Chile to Iran; for backing brutal regimes where
    women cannot even show their faces and people get
    their hands cut off for stealing bread--now the same
    empire responsible for all of this misery demands that
    people unite with them in war.

    This power structure--which has lied to the people
    about every war they have waged, which has backed the
    most despicable death squads, from the Christian
    fascists of Rios Mott in Guatemala to the Islamic
    fundamentalists of the Taliban--now expects the people
    to give them a free hand to define who is "the enemy"
    and what it will take to "take them out."

    We have seen the outlines of this kind of justice: in
    the hunched bodies of veiled women begging on the
    streets of Afghanistan; in Saudi Arabia, whose corrupt
    kings rule a system where women are the property of
    men and foreign workers are treated like slaves; in
    Pakistan, where U.S.-backed generals alternate between
    backing drug lords and waging drug wars; in the
    hospitals of Iraq, where more that half a million
    children have died because the U.S. has deliberately
    destroyed Iraq's water system with bombs and sanctions;
    in the bull-dozed homes of Palestinians in the West Bank.

    While the bombs rain down on Afghanistan, the U.S.
    imperialists claim that this war is not aimed at the
    Afghani people. The U.S. generals claim that their
    bombers are "clearing the way" for a humanitarian
    mission to free the peoples of Afghanistan from the
    Taliban. Do they imagine that the masses of people in
    Afghanistan will thank them as they scramble for food
    rations amidst the shattered bones of their children,
    fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers?

    No. No. No.

    Every U.S. military intervention only leads to death
    and destruction for the people. In the 1980s there was
    a just struggle in Afghanistan against a Soviet invasion.

    But the U.S. intervened, backing forces like Osama bin
    Laden and the oppressive mujahedeen. More than a
    million people in Afghanistan died in that war, the
    country was devastated by thugs and warlords, and with
    the support of the rotten regime in Pakistan and
    millions of dollars in funding from Washington, the
    brutal Taliban rose to power.

    And anyone who thinks that the armed forces of the
    U.S. ruling class can play a positive role in
    defending "secular democracy" should consider that president
    of the U.S. ruling class regularly consults with
    Christian fascists and fundamentalists like Ralph Reed
    and claims to be on a mission from god.

    No. There is no justice in the house of the U.S.
    ruling class. We need to be crystal clear on the
    nature of these oppressors who have launched a new
    war: these arrogant lying creatures do not rule in the interests
    of the people of this country or the world. Their
    nature can be seen in the kind of military actions they
    take--their long-standing military mottos like "death
    from above" and their covert "special ops"--like the
    Green Berets in Vietnam whose actions were accompanied
    by napalm and carpet bombing.

    Many conscious people see this and see that this
    planet does not need another unjust war. But some have
    suggested that instead of war, there should be legal
    justice--that the perpetrators of September 11 should
    be tracked down and brought to trial.

    Who are the perpetrators? As the Committee of the
    Revolutionary Internationalist Movement has said: "In
    the murky waters of terrorism and the intelligence
    services, where intrigue and double-dealing are the
    currency, it may never be possible to know exactly who
    organized the attack, or their motives. But two things
    are clear: first, the victims in New York join the
    millions of direct and indirect victims of the
    policies and actions of the U.S. ruling class. Second,
    even greater crimes are in preparation."

    And even if the perpetrators could be identified, who
    would track them down and what court would try them?
    Clearly, whoever committed the acts of September
    11 will not submit to a trial without a fight. And who
    would bring them in? Do the advocates of a "fair
    trial" really believe that U.S. imperialist armed forces could
    be an instrument for such a process? Where is the
    regime on this planet whose soldiers could be the
    instrument of justice in this case? And does anyone familiar
    with the workings of the U.S. justice department and
    its death-penalty president seriously believe that a
    just trial could occur on U.S. soil? Or that U.S.
    imperialism would allow such a trial to occur in a
    world court?

    And more to the point, is it not clear from the words
    and actions of the U.S. power structure--from their
    massive acts of war--that they are not just moving to
    respond to the events of September 11. They are not
    seeking "justice." Rather their aim is to use this war
    to forcibly recast the world to protect their ability to
    dominate and exploit the planet and the people--to
    more firmly secure their grip on the rich oil
    resources of the Middle East. Behind the talk of "Operation
    Enduring Freedom" are the aims of unjust empire.

    If we think clearly and soberly about the situation,
    there is no way within the confines of the present
    world order for justice to be delivered--not by any of the
    existing world powers, and least of all the U.S. power
    structure. They can and will do nothing but act
    against the interests of millions and millions of people, seek
    to enforce the oppressive and unjust order that serves
    their interest, and generally make all manner of things worse.

    So, our problem, our historic task, is to stand
    together against this unjust war and to bring about
    the revolutionary transformation of this world. Only the
    revolutionary people, rising up in their
    millions--with a clear program and plan to kick out
    imperialism and make new democratic revolution--can bring
    justice in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, and other countries
    of the Third World. And those who live within the U.S.
    itself have a responsibility to support the people
    rising up against oppression around the world and to
    do our part to make revolution in the belly of this

    Then, and only then, will the children of the planet
    know where justice is and what it looks like.

    Anti-war resources:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/studentsnowar/files (members only)

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