---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2001 13:41:05 -0700
From: radtimes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Antiwar News...(# 13)
"War is a racket; possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely
the most vicious... Out of war a few people make huge fortunes. Nations
acquire additional territory (which is promptly exploited by the few for
their own benefit), and the general public shoulders the bill - a bill that
renders a horrible accounting of newly placed gravestones, mangled bodies,
shattered minds, broken hearts and homes, economic instability, and
back-breaking taxation of the many for generations and generations."
--General Smedley Butler
(Anti-war links/resources at the end.)
Slaughter of the innocent bolsters view that this is war against Islam
15 October 2001
by Robert Fisk
In Baghdad we had the bunker where our missile fried more than 300 people
to death. In Kosovo we had a refugee column torn to pieces by our bombs.
Now in Afghanistan, a village called Karam is our latest massacre.
Of course it's time for that tame old word "regret". We regretted the
Baghdad bunker. We were really very sorry for the refugee slaughter in
Kosovo. Now we are regretting the bomb that went astray in Kabul on Friday
night; the missile that killed the four UN mine clearers last Monday; and
whatever hit Karam.
It's always the same story. We start shooting with "smart" weapons after
our journalists and generals have told us of their sophistication. Their
press conferences produce monochrome snapshots of bloodless airbase runways
with little holes sprinkled across the apron. "A successful night," they
used to say, after bombing Serbia.
They said that again last week and no one until of course we splatter
civilians suggests going to war involves killing innocent people. It does.
That is why the military invented that repulsive and morally shameful
phrase "collateral damage". And they are always ready to smear the
reporters on the ground.
At first, Nato claimed its aircraft had not butchered the refugee convoy in
April 1999. Once we found the bomb parts, with US markings, they changed
The new tune went like this: "If we killed the innocent we regret it, but
why don't the reporters 'break free' of their Serb minders and see what
else is going on in Kosovo?" We might be asked the same again, now we are
involved in what, historically, is for us in Britain the Fourth Afghan War.
What are we journalists doing giving succour to Mr bin Laden and his thugs?
There is one big difference this time round. In 1991, we had a real Muslim
coalition on our side. In 1999, we so bestialised the Serbs that the death
of their innocent civilians could be laid at the hands of Slobodan
Milosevic, and anyway in theory at least we were trying to save the
No doubt some idiot general will tell us this time round that Karam is Mr
bin Laden's fault idiot, because this is not going to wash with the
hundreds of thousands of Muslims who are outraged at our air strikes on
And here's the rub. In every Middle Eastern country, even tolerant Lebanon,
suspicion is growing that this is a war against Islam.
That is why the Arab leaders are mostly silent and why the Saudis don't
want to help us. That is why crowds tried yesterday to storm a Pakistani
airbase used by the American forces.
It reveals a dislocation of thought among Arabs about the crimes against
humanity in New York and Washington, a disturbing disconnection that allows
them to condemn the atrocities in America without reference to America's
response and condemn the response without reflecting on the carnage on the
other side of the Atlantic.
The Muslim world now sees innocent Muslims who have died in Western air
strikes on Afghanistan. If Karam turns out to be as terrible as the Taliban
claims, all of Mr Blair's lectures and denials that this is a religious war
will be in vain.
The Prime Minister can now only reflect upon the irony that an obscurantist
sect that smashes television sets and hangs videotapes from trees is now
using television and videotape for its own propaganda.
BERLIN'S FIRST BIG PEACE RALLY IN YEARS
By Victor Grossman, to Portside
October 13, 2001
Berlin's march for peace was a joyous moment in tragic
times. The peace movement, languishing for years,
enlisted all its energy and was rewarded by a turnout
of over 50,000 people in Berlin and 25,000 in
southwestern Stuttgart, plus smaller gatherings in
Nuremberg and other cities. The Berlin meeting started
off at three assembling sites, the Friedrichstrasse
station, famous Brandenburg Gate and the fanciful
Neptune Fountain near City Hall. From the latter,
especially, an endless stream of people moved through
downtown East Berlin to their goal, the magnificent
Gendarme Platz, where one of the other groups had
already arrived. The square, one of the most handsome
in Europe, was so full that the third group was
hardly able to squeeze in between the two baroque,
towered cathedrals and the imposing central
Schauspielhaus, now a concert hall, with a broad
stairway and many columns. The square is full of
legends: Frederick "the Great" burning Voltaire's
books on the square as a warning to the visiting
philosopher; Mozart roundly cursing the orchestra
here for playing his opera falsely to the days; the
victims of the Revolution of 1848 lying here in state
and the tragic day in 1933 when a leading actor, a
Communist, was arrested by the Nazis and taken off to
his violent death.
The huge crowd was an extremely mixed one, a wide array
of all age levels, with young people somewhat in the
majority, a welcome sign after years of mostly aging
activists. There were not a few Turkish, Kurdish and
Afghani participants. The signs and banners were
equally mixed all the left-wing parties were
represented, from the PDS (Party of Democratic
Socialism), in the midst of a hot election battle to
get 20 percent of Berlin's vote a week later (and 40
percent in East Berlin boroughs) to the Revolutionary
Communists and the Turkish Marxist- Leninists. Nearly
all signs, in varied ways, condemned the war in
Afghanistan. Some were careful to condemn terrorism
of every kind, others called for opposition to
imperialism. One, quoting presidential words on terror
against innocent civilians, was signed "George bin
Bush". Others called for a world court. One recalled
the old slogan: "Mothers, hide your sons!" The variety
was very wide, but it was a peaceful, surprisingly
happy mix while one speaker after another explained why
this war was a terrible one;, one American also spoke
and an American rock group performed and got the
crowd to repeat "Just say NO!"). Perhaps most dramatic
was the first speech by an Afghan woman whodescribed
what was happening to her friends and relatives, and
the final one, by the aging but still vigorous Kthe
Reichel, one of Bert Brecht's favorite actresses, who
quoted the master in warning the world: "Carthage
conducted three wars. It was still mighty after the
first one, still livable after the second one, but
could no longer be found after the third one!"
Many signs condemned the German coalition government of
Social Democrats under Gerhard Schroeder and the
once-pacifist Greens under Josef Fischer for blindly
supporting George W. Bush's war and arming for more
military sallies around the globe.
One sign only was not tolerated. Suddenly the audience
spotted a big banner high up on one of the two domed
cathedral buildings calling for an end to the war and a
break away from America in the name of the NPD, the
neo-nazi party which has tried to cash in on anti-war
feelings in recent weeks while coupling such demands
with its "Hate foreigners Jobs for Germans" slogans
with which it seeks support among unemployed and
embittered people, especially in the economically
devastated East German areas.
But the reaction was immediate. The giant crowd took up
the shout: "Nazis Raus Nazis Raus!" and kept up the
cadence until the emcee on the central stage
interrupted a speech to announce that the police had
agreed to keep the Nazis away. Only then did about
ten men in uniform run into the building. The crowd
waited for them to appear up above waited and waited,
again and again taking up the cadence. After nearly
ten minutes some one finally appeared up above a
civilian. He found his way to the banner, tore it into
pieces and threw them off the building to a great
cheer of approval. Only after five or ten minutes more
did the men in uniform finally arrive, on the wrong
level, and look bewildered for the banner, to the
derisive laughter of the thousands in the square.
This was not only an anti-war crowd but a militantly
anti-fascist one, and for the first time in years, a
huge crowd, which cheered when told that 25,000 in
Stuttgart and 100,000 in London and many groups
around the USA - were demanding an end to the
One speaker moved the entire audience with a quotation
from Bertha von Suttner, inspirer of the Nobel Peace
Prize and one of its first recipients: "Only a fool
would try to remove an ink spot with more ink, or an
oil spot with oil; how can anyone believe that blood
stains can be removed by shedding more blood?"
The TV and radio could not possibly follow the old
policy of ignoring this rally it was simply too
big. They reported on it, therefore, but lied about the
numbers (one report said "The police estimated
15,000, the organizers claimed 40,000." In fact, the
organizers said at least 50,000 and every fair estimate
backed them up. Then a well-known rightist was
invited to "discuss" the rally. In a benign tone he
managed to repudiate it in every way possible, saying
it was motivated by innate "feelings of guilt" about
World War Two or crude "anti-Americanism", claims
completely disproved by similar rallies in France,
England, Italy and elsewhere. A BBC report followed
the same tactic, reporting the rally at Trafalgar
Square but cutting the numbers in half and
"spontaneously" interviewing a very voluble couple who
"left the rally at the start" in disgust but
somehow knew that the participants had "offered no
alternatives". Most media reactions were similar, but
the reinvigorated peace movement, too strobg to be
ignored, is determined to spread its message and its
protest into towns and boroughs everywhere.
'Why is America attacking the innocent?'
KARAM: A US bomb intended for a training camp of Osama Bin Laden's al-
Qaeda network instead decimated this hamlet of impoverished Afghan
farmers, demolishing dozens of homes and wiping out whole familes,
residents said on Sunday.
A group of international journalists taken to the village by
Afghanistan's ruling Taliban were greeted with scenes of devastation
and angry protests by locals demanding to know why America's wrath
had been directed at them.
Dozens of houses had been reduced to empty, roof-less shells or razed
to the ground. An unexploded bomb lay just metres from the edge of
the village and the stench of rotting flesh still hung in the air.
The village has been abandoned since the attack took place in the
early hours of Thursday morning. But people returned on Sunday,
apparently at the instigation of Taliban officials, to scream anti-
American slogans and recount their stories.
Villagers' estimates of the death toll varied between 180 and 230 in
a settlement of mud-brick houses that could not have been home to
more than 400 people. There was no way of verifying their estimates
of the numbers of people killed.
"One hundred and eighty people died here. Why are the Americans
attacking our innocent people?" one villager, Gul Ahmed, told AFP.
Haji Naziz asked: "I have lost my nearest and dearest. Why have they
been killed? What is our crime?" Another villager, Ziarat Jul, said
more than 230 people had been killed.
Abdul Rasool, 40, said his was one of the homes destroyed. His wife,
whose name he did not want to give, and three sons, Satik, 6, Turial,
10 and Pardes, 15, were all killed, he said.
Rasool said he had escaped because, as he has done every day of his
adult life, he had risen before dawn to attend morning prayers. He
was on his way home, at around 5.00 am, when the bomb struck.
"I heard a huge bang and I ran to my house but there was nothing I
could do. It was completely destroyed," he said. "My family, all my
animals are dead. I have nothing left. Why has this happened to me?"
Alam Gul, 18, said he had lost both his parents, four brothers, and
Qudra Ula, 35, a resident of a neighbouring village, said he had
recovered 15 bodies from the rubble of collapsed houses and taken
them to be buried.
The village of Karam is located around 40 kilometres (25 miles) west
of the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad.
The region, believed to have been home to a number of al-Qaeda
training camps, has been repeatedly attacked since the airstrikes
began on September 7.
But the residents of Karam denied that there had been a training camp
in the area. "Where is Osama, just show me," said Gul Ahmed.
The reported victims at Karam were among more than 300 civilians
which the Taliban says have been killed since the airstrikes began.
Only a handful of these have been confirmed independently.
The US defence department has not commented on the incident in Karam
but has confirmed that a 2,000-pound (907-kilo) bomb aimed at a
military helicopter hit a residential area near Kabul airport on
Unjust attacks should stop immediately
9 October 2001
Asahi Shimbun Newspaper
By Yo Hemmi
[Mr. Yo Hemmi is one of the bestselling writers in Japan.]
Is there any international legal or human justification in these
retaliatory attacks? Can this struggle be portrayed as one between a
mature democratic country and a terrorist organization? Is this a battle
between civilization and barbarism, good against evil, as President Bush
describes it? My answer to all of these is "No!" These military attacks
don't have the least moral justification and should be completely
stopped at once. And as long as they continue, we should raise our
voices in strong opposition.
Clash of unequal worlds
The closer you examine the issues, what you see behind them is a world
that is despairingly unequal. They cannot be portrayed simply as the
"insanity" of Islamic extremists against the "sanity" of the rest of the
world. Behind Osama bin Laden are not only thousands of armed groups.
There is also a deep grudge against the United States held by perhaps
hundreds of millions of the poor. President Bush is filled with not just
the sense of revenge for the terrorist incidents in September, but also
the incredible arrogance of the rich.
Hence, besides the perspective presented by Huntington in "The Clash of
Civilizations," doesn't the current conflict also carry the undertones
of a struggle between rich and poor? To elaborate, if this is so, it
means that the problems created during the twentieth century between the
rich north and poor south have intensified as a result of U.S.-led
globalization, and are now heading towards conflict. Perhaps this
struggle, which is both old and new-rich against poor, abundance against
starvation, luxury against despair-is emerging now on a global scale.
Look at tragedy with your own eyes
Another threat exists which must not be overlooked. These days the
United States, in a frenzy after the terrorist attacks, and allied
countries including Japan, are in the process of throwing off the
appearance of modern civil nation-states. The
U.S. approach-giving absolute precedence to terrorist countermeasures,
taking into custody many "suspects" despite the absence of legal grounds
for arrest, and launching large-scale retaliatory attacks while refusing
any form of dialog-cannot be described as the approach of a mature
democratic country. And the Japanese government is obediently tripping
over itself to assist the U.S. retaliatory attacks, to the extent that
the Prime Minister himself is willing to violate our Constitution's
Articles 9 (renunciation of war) and 99 (duty to respect and uphold the
Constitution). Behind the thinking of the hawks now gaining momentum in
Japan is probably the revival of the military draft.
Perhaps it is time for us to revise the image we hold of the United
States. Is it acceptable to entrust the world's authority to pass
judgment, to that superpower of war that has sent its soldiers to fight
more than two hundred times since the country was founded? That country
has scarcely reflected as a nation upon its war-making, including the
use of the nuclear bomb. Japan has probably been seeing the world
through the eyes of the United States for too long. Now is the time to
see the tragedy of war with our own eyes, and to make our own moral
judgments. Because there are already conspicuous signs that the United
States is tilting toward a new imperialism.
An absolute majority of nations supports the current retaliatory attacks,
but without a doubt, the attacks defy the conscience of an absolute
majority of members of humanity. The issue is not, as Bush claims,
"Either you are with us [the United States], or you are with the
terrorists." Now, more than ever, we must take sides, not with a country,
but rather with the people who are below the bombs that are falling.
The New Statesman Interview - Gore Vidal
by Johann Hari
Monday 15th October 2001
War on Terror - The exile who despairs of his "ignorant" homeland denounces
the war and its hawks. Gore Vidal interviewed by Johann Hari
The United States has been forced to reimagine itself this past month. So
who better for the New Statesman to track down in his obscure mountain
hideaway (no, not Bin Laden) than the man who has dedicated his life and
writing to telling Americans their real, non-sanitised history: Gore Vidal.
This is a man, after all, who knew and influenced the icons that defined
20th-century America. He was a close friend of more than one president (not
forgetting that Eleanor Roosevelt urged him to run for elected office), was
sucked off by Jack Kerouac, was attacked (both in print and to his face) by
Norman Mailer, was a confidant of the Oklahoma bomber and Bill Clinton, and
had to tell Tennessee Williams to stop trying to cruise Jack Kennedy. Now
that the 20th century has truly reached its symbolic end, this is surely
the ideal man to help us understand the new, battered America.
When asked if he is sleeping well, knowing that the US is in Dubbya's
hands, he replies: "Let's just say I'm in a total state of insomnia."
Unlike those who are rallying behind the president, Vidal retains his
withering contempt for the man. His father was a "failure", and "when you
get a bad gene pool, you don't necessarily enlarge it for high diving, if I
may complete the grotesque metaphor". Bush has, in Vidal's eyes, failed to
rise to the occasion since the attacks. "For those with an eye and ear for
the false note, every note is truly false." It is not his mangled and
incoherent words that appal Vidal, however. "No, I'm judging by actions.
Obviously, requesting all those special powers pushes us even further along
the path towards Hitler's Enabling Act of 1933. That is the worst that he
Vidal sees the new powers that Bush has claimed to combat terrorism as
completing the destruction of the Bill of Rights. "They're now going to
lock up anybody they want to, silence anybody they want to. Those powers
are now theirs, the dreamed-of powers for the state. The state will come
out of this very, very powerful, and we the people, in or out of Congress
assembled, will come out much weaker. That said, we glory in the fact that
we are the United States of Amnesia. We won't remember a thing the next
day." What has emerged is nothing less than "a police state. There's no
euphemism for it . . . Now the attorney general can act against terrorism,
which has never been defined. It's like 'un-German activities' under Hitler
- what's an un-German activity?"
This fits into Vidal's wider history of an American republic progressively
destroyed since the Truman administration, when the branches of government
began to be owned and controlled by increasingly repressive corporations.
It is this historical framework that leads him to damn the new American
imperialism that is spearheading the invasion of Afghanistan. "I don't see
that anything can come from a country that is so beautifully right that we
would want to impose, either by suggestion or by fiat, our way of life on
anyone else. And particularly so with the United States of America, the
most corrupt political system on earth.
"How we dare even prate about democracy is beyond me. Our form of
democracy is bribery, on the highest scale. It's far worse than anything
that occurred in the Roman empire, until the praetorian guard started to
sell the principate. We're not a democracy, and we have absolutely nothing
to give the world in the way of political ideas or political arrangements.
God knows, the mention of justice is like a clove of garlic to Count Dracula."
His scorn for what his homeland has become knows no bounds. He suggests,
for example, that the United Nations would be "stronger if they kicked the
US out of it: the US would be in quite a separate orbit". He is also
unafraid to carry on drawing attention to the illegitimacy of President
Bush. "At least five members of the Supreme Court should have been put on
trial [for installing Bush] by the Senate, which is in charge of that under
the constitution. Two certainly should have recused themselves. Clarence
Thomas's wife was working to recruit people for the Bush administration; he
should not have sat in judgement. Antonin Scalia's son was working for the
law firm that represented Bush before the Supreme Court. That isn't done.
Without those two, the decision would have gone for Gore."
All these criticisms could easily be used to portray Vidal as unpatriotic
or, that laziest of cliches, "on the side of the terrorists". Yet he is
plainly disgusted at the callous nature of the 11 September attack: "I am
against the death penalty in general, and I am certainly against
privatising it." He tries to see beyond the sensational pictures, both of
the initial attack and the US retaliation. "My task is to try to get people
to understand why something happens. I live in a country where everyone is
trained from birth never to ask why. 'That man is evil - that's why he did
it. That's the answer. He's evil.' Only with the fundamentally, totally
uneducated could you get away with this sort of rationalising. I'm a true
protest-ant, so I do protest at the ignorance. And that's my unpopular
Vidal has been a fierce critic of America's support for Israel in the past,
leading to predictable accusations of anti-Semitism. Does he feel that the
attacks are the price the US is paying for supporting the Zionist cause?
"Partly. But in Bin Laden's case, it's more complex . . . What triggered
him was the Gulf war and the Saudi royal family allowing American troops to
set up base . . . For Bin Laden, this was sacrilege. This was the holy land
of the Prophet, and under no circumstances should the infidels be there . .
. So I would think that he's far more angry with the royal Saudis than he
is with George W Bush, or any Americans. We're just an outside instrument
that is feeding heretical elements in his world."
He does not share the prevailing media depiction of Osama Bin Laden as a
fanatic. "He has shown no sign of fanaticism in any of the stories I've
been able to get on him: he seems rather secular. Which means that maybe he
is part of a group. He seems more like a CEO to me, an organiser who raises
money, does the salesmanship and so on, and then he has the crazies who go
up there and run their aeroplanes into buildings."
Vidal displays a certain amount of detached admiration for Bin Laden's
timing when he speaks of "the brilliance of it, to hit the moment that
depression has just hit the US, and we're letting go hundreds of thousands
of workers. Europe is about to experience the euro, which I think will be
the biggest mess we've seen in years. I mean, what a moment of awful
confusion that Osama decided to do his programme over Manhattan and the
District of Columbia."
There also remains the possibility that Bin Laden was provoked. A Pakistani
diplomat has claimed that the US threatened to enter Afghanistan to seize
Bin Laden in July, which may mean that the World Trade Center attack was in
fact a pre-emptive strike. Vidal has dedicated the past few years to
showing that Franklin D Roosevelt knowingly provoked Pearl Harbor. So does
he believe that the next great attack on American soil, 60 years later, may
"Well, that's what we went through when Kennedy got shot. Those of us who
knew him and who knew Washington knew that he and Bobby had been trying to
kill Castro ever since the Bay of Pigs. Our first thought was that Castro
beat them to it - he killed him. And Bobby, who was then attorney general
and remained so for a year, which meant he was in charge of the FBI, never
investigated it. He didn't want to go near it, for fear that the Kennedy
brothers would be involved. So that murder case was never investigated." So
it's plausible that there was a similar provocation by George W Bush?
"Perfectly plausible, yes."
There is just a hint - although Vidal doesn't state it explicitly - that
this makes the attack much more understandable. "To understand why a man
did it is a very important thing to do. Same thing with Timothy McVeigh
[the Oklahoma bomber]. And if Castro had been behind the Kennedy killings,
which he wasn't, one would have to say he had a motive. They kept trying to
kill him all the time." So Bin Laden, in Vidal's view, is responding to US
The terrorist actions seem to have reinforced Vidal's isolationism. He has
consistently argued that the US should withdraw from its commitments in
Nato, Kosovo, the Middle East and other trouble spots. His vision is
diametrically opposed to Tony Blair's of a "world community". Vidal
dismisses Blair's plans as "positively viceregal", and impractical "unless
you're going to work out a kind of blueprint for world government". He says
that the Prime Minister thinks "the Brits would like to see themselves as a
major player, with a great empire . . . You know, he's an actor, and that's
a very good role. It's fun to play that and he has no responsibility at
all. Dubbya's going to have to have the bombers go through the White House.
Dubbya is really at risk now."
The best America can do, Vidal believes, is retreat. He believes that
"elements south of the Russian border" are "susceptible to religious
mania", and it "might be just as well that we are forewarned, and never
provocative. Do not provoke. That's the message I really have to say about
US policy. [The problem] is the endless provocation that the US goes in for
- generally out of just sheer ignorance."
His homeland, he reminds me, has no sense of history. This may be Vidal's
tragedy. He now lives in self-imposed exile atop an Italian mountain. He
occasionally lobs intellectual grenades across the Atlantic: keenly
polished ideas that expose the bland dishonesty of so much American culture.
Yet even now, when the US might at last be forced to re-examine its
identity, his countrymen are deaf to his
erudite arguments. Perhaps, on second thoughts, this is America's tragedy,
Police photograph peace vigil crowd
Thursday, October 11, 2001
By Lee Hammel
Telegram & Gazette Staff
WORCESTER -- Worcester police photographed a peace vigil this week, an act
that a participant said may have been done with the intention of
intimidating the demonstrators.
The Worcester police detective commander, who was contacted Tuesday and
yesterday by the Telegram & Gazette, acknowledged that photos were taken,
but said he has been unable to identify who ordered or requested them.
But a police officer at the vigil Monday at Lincoln Square said Worcester
police had "been instructed by the FBI to take photos of all
demonstrations," according to a letter to Chief James M. Gallagher from
Worcester Peace Works, which organized the demonstration.
When asked by two of the 125 members of the group who she was and why she
was there, the photographer responded, "I'm not with anybody." However, she
left in a Worcester police van, according to the letter. The letter asks
for an apology from Worcester police.
The letter said, "Police surveillance of people peacefully exercising their
constitutional rights is totally unacceptable." It is signed by Philip M.
Stone and Claire Schaeffer-Duffy, two Peace Works coordinating committee
members; and participants Sister Rena Mae Gagnon, David Williams, Joan
Webster, and Diane Rocheleau.
The letter also asks that Worcester Peace Works be supplied with a list of
groups that local, state or federal agencies have photographed or put under
surveillance in Worcester since Sept. 11. It asks to be provided with a
list of all agency personnel who have been provided with Worcester police
photos, files and reports on Worcester Peace Works and for return of all
photos, negatives and files of vigil participants.
And it asks for police protocols on an officer's obligation to identify
himself or herself when asked, and for a copy of the policy on the
circumstances under which "groups engaged in free-speech activities are to
be photographed by the Worcester Police Department."
Capt. Paul F. Campbell is commander of the Detective Division, which
includes the Bureau of Criminal Identification. He told the Telegram &
Gazette Tuesday and yesterday that he had not been on duty Monday and he
was unable to find out who ordered the photographs.
He said there was no recorded order, no official he spoke with knew who
ordered the pictures, and the officer involved is on furlough, or vacation.
Photos of a demonstration could be requested by anyone, from a route
officer to an official, he said.
"We have done the same thing at other locations in the city at other
events," such as labor demonstrations, presidential visits to the city, and
other protests and rallies, Capt. Campbell said.
He said the reason for taking the pictures Monday is "confidential," but
that "we will take pictures when we feel there's a necessity to take pictures."
The detective commander said "it gives us a tool" if before, during or
after an event, someone at the event commits a crime such as vandalism.
Such pictures would "show the size (of the event) or what they were
carrying for banners, or what were they protesting, what was the intent of
the particular protest or particular event.
"It doesn't mean they were being targeted as someone that was responsible
for anything," the captain said.
Scott Schaeffer-Duffy, a longtime peace activist, said the demonstration
Monday included children as young as 6, a retired college professor, and
others in a "really well-ordered and peaceful demonstration."
They carried signs reading "Thou Shalt Not Kill" and "Love Your Enemies" in
protest of the U.S. and British bombing of Afghanistan.
A conversation with the police Bureau of Criminal Identification on Tuesday
produced an acknowledgement that police had assigned a BCI photographer to
take pictures of the demonstration, Mr. Schaeffer-Duffy said. He said a
woman at BCI who declined to identify herself told him "we were assigned by
department officials to send someone."
The demonstration site is across Lincoln Square from police headquarters
and it could have been photographed without police ever leaving their
property, Mr. Schaeffer-Duffy said. "It seems to me they didn't just want
the pictures," he said.
"They're giving us a message: You're being watched." He called it
inappropriate and said, "Sending a person down there who takes you and your
children's pictures, someone who won't say who she is and what it's for,
that's a little scary."
A Hundred Thousand March In Kolkata Against War
INDIA - Braving heavy rains, a hundred thousand people participated in a
Kolkata on Sunday, October 14, protesting the US attacks on Afghanistan.
The rally was in response to the call given by the Left parties for countrywide
Drawn from a cross section of the people, participants raised slogans
calling for an end to the war, condemning the terrorist attacks in the
US and seeking UN initiative to end terrorism. Joining the protest march
were the intelligentsia, workers, peasants, youth, students and women
in large numbers. The procession was held under the joint auspices of
the CPI(M), CPI, RSP, Forward Bloc and other Left parties.
Initiated by CPI(M) veteran and former Chief Minister, Jyoti Basu and
the incumbent Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, the
processionists covered a nine kilometer route before reaching the
Deshapriya Park grounds in Kolkata. Notable among the participants was
renowned film director Mrinal Sen. Ethnic Pushtoon Afghans residing in
Kolkata, participated in large numbers. On reaching the grounds Jyoti
Basu and Buddhadeb Bhattacharya set free some pigeons, symbolising the
urge for peace.
The processionists condemned the wanton destruction of buildings and
the killing of innocent lives by the US air-strikes. They termed the
military action as a unilateral move which had no sanction from the
United Nations. The US was utilising the worldwide condemnation of the
September 11 incidents to strengthen its hegemony.
They pointed out that the US has encouraged, nurtured and financed
terrorist outfits of all hues and continues to do so even now. Both the
Taliban and Osama bin Laden are its creations. Osama bin Laden was used
against the Soviets. The US now in its war against "global terrorism"
is being supported by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, two regimes which
nurture and support terrorist groups. US troops landing in Pakistan
endangers the national interests of the countries of South Asia, they
The rallyists also condemned the servile attitude displayed by the
Indian government. The BJP-led government had offered cooperation and
assistance which was unsolicited by the US. It is under the illusion
that the US will help it in resolving the Kashmir issue. On the
contrary, the speakers emphasised, the BJP was inviting US intervention
in the dispute, which would be inimical to Indian interests.
The reminded the people that opposition to US war should not be equated
with support to the Taliban, Osama or terrorism and they emphasised
that we are "neither with the US nor with the terrorists"
"If the Sky is filled will war, how will the sun rise?"
"If we take eye for an eye, the world will become blind"
were some of the other slogans raised by the processionists.
Black America and the Struggle for Peace
October 8, 2001
By Frances M. Beal <email@example.com>
No matter how diligently some Black leaders wave their
American flags these days, they stand in opposition to a
consistent historical thread that has been woven into
African American intellectual and political thought. That
thread consists of a pattern of ardent anti-colonial and
anti-imperialist consciousness in Black America, which has
produced some of the strongest voices for peace within the
The study of history, however, is not a form of ritual
homage to a dead past, nor merely an academic exercise. It
is intimately related to the struggles of the present,
providing numerous insights that can make today's efforts
most effective and shedding light on the very origins and
development of our thinking and activity.
In this sense, no struggle is more firmly rooted in the
African American experience than the emergent voices
demanding peace within the Black community. Congresswoman
Barbara Lee's single vote against unrestrained military
authorization to the Bush administration rests on the
shoulders of statesmen like Frederick Douglass. The call for
peace from Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte and Rosa Parks
takes sustenance from the likes of Paul Robeson, W.E.B.
DuBois and Martin Luther King, Jr. The thousands of black
youth that are taking part in vigils, teach-ins and mass
peace demonstrations across the land today weave a pattern
begun by such stalwarts as Stokeley Carmichael and the
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Angela Davis.
This internationalist sentiment - particularly, but hardly
exclusively in relation to Africa - is a longstanding and
deeply rooted feature of African American life. As far aback
as 1848, for example, Frederick Douglass condemned U.S.
aggression against Mexico as "disgraceful, cruel and
iniquitous." His son Lewis spoke out 51 years later to
deplore U.S. policy in regard to Cuba, the Philippines,
Hawaii and Puerto Rico as "hypocrisy of the most sickening
Huge demonstrations of black protest greeted the Italian
invasion of Ethiopia in 1935. Stokeley Carmichael's and
Martin Luther King Jr's public condemnation of the Vietnam
War - against the "better judgment" of many liberals (Black
and white alike) - was a watershed in the 1960s. The wave of
mass opposition to the Reagan-Bush administrations' support
of South Africa's apartheid regime is likely the most
well-known example. And more recently, we should not forget
that the Congressional Black Caucus stood mostly alone in
Congress in protest of the U.S. overthrow of the
democratically elected government of Grenada.
Speaking of Black opposition to the imperial designs of
Washington, Paul Robeson explained, "In his daily life he
experiences the same system of job discrimination,
segregation and denial of democratic rights whereby the
imperialist overlords keep hundreds of millions of people in
colonial subjection throughout the world." Indeed the
antiwar sentiment is solidly rooted in the material
conditions of the U.S. Black existence. Our distinct history
as a specially oppressed people - as property, as cannon
fodder, as second-class citizens, as targets of state terror
in the form of police violence - is the taproot of
identification with the oppressed throughout the world.
No amount of patriotism can hide another ugly truth. The
burden of war takes a tremendous - and disproportionate -
toll on the Black community. According to official
Department of Defense statistics regarding Vietnam, "Blacks
were more likely to be (1) drafted (30% to 19%); (2) sent to
Vietnam; (3) serve in high risk combat units; and
consequently, (4) to be killed or wounded in battle." In
fact, between 1961 and 1966 Black casualties topped 20% of
total combat fatalities - when Black youth aged 19-21
constituted only 11% of military personnel in Vietnam.
Today, it is estimated that Blacks constitute 25% of the
military, and in ground troop personnel, estimates range as
high as 35-40%.
Black America cannot afford to be fooled by the so-called
War on Terrorism. President Bush's speech to Congress was
nothing less than a bellicose plan that will further plunge
the nation and the world into an ever-escalating cycle of
violence that will leave immeasurable death and destruction
in its path. In the name of the fight against terrorism, we
cannot permit international covenants on non-aggression to
be cast aside, or legitimate forms of opposition to U.S.
foreign policy and economic hegemony to be painted as aiding
the terrorists and dealt with accordingly, or to accept that
the emergent anti-globalization and anti-racist movements at
home and abroad be treated to repressive measures.
The tragic events of 911 should teach us that security for
any of us requires security for all, and that the road to
global security is via global justice and peace and not via
the bombs that have already begun to fall.
Frances M. Beal is a political columnist for the San
Francisco Bayview Newspaper and the National Secretary of
the Black Radical Congress. The views and opinions expressed
in this article are her own.
Hundreds protest bombing by U.S.
Racism also focus of anti-war march, rally held in Balboa Park
By Terry Rodgers
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
San Diego Union-Tribune
October 14, 2001
Hundreds of demonstrators opposed to the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan and
concerned about racism rallied for peace, love and understanding yesterday
in Balboa Park.
Leaders of the rally condemned the terrorist attacks of Sept.11 while
expressing anxiety over the rise in hate crimes and the movement to curtail
Martin Eder, director of Activist San Diego, one of the groups that
organized the march, said 390 people participated in the march and 100 more
attended the rally.
"Now more than ever we are best served to focus our energy on love rather
than on fear. If we surrender to hate, we've already lost," said Laurie
Crystal, who spoke to the crowd gathered on the! grass near Laurel Street
and Sixth Avenue.
"We can grieve together, but let's not be ignorant," she said.
Another speaker, Ahmad Kiyam, an Afghan-American, said he and other Muslims
oppose the Taliban extremists.
Instead of launching missiles against terrorists and their sympathizers,
the United States should conduct a propaganda war to win over people in the
Middle East who don't understand America, he said.
The demonstrators, who seemed a bit lethargic in the brilliant sunshine and
balmy weather, were briefly invigorated when an organizer led them in a
chant: "This is what democracy looks like!"
Carol Jahnkow, director of the Peace Resource Center, told reporters she
believes the military action is doing more harm than good.
"The bombing is not only hurting the people of Afghanistan, but it's also
creating a breeding ground for more terrorists," she said.
"War makes it worse!" the marchers chanted as they crossed the L! aurel
Another organizer, Steven Skoczen of Escondido, said the bombing has
increased the suffering of innocent people in Afghanistan, where three
years of drought has created widespread famine.
"The American people are accepting what they're being told rather than
looking at the underlying issues," Skoczen said.
Although some opinion polls show up to 85 percent of Americans approve of
the military strikes, the anti-war demonstrators drew mostly neutral
reactions from onlookers as they marched about a mile across the park
One exception came from a man who yelled "cowards!" at the demonstrators
through the rolled-down window of his car as he passed by.
Another man who disagreed with the protesters held up a sign that read:
"Our freedom has a price."
"Being anti-war does not make us anti-American," said Roberto L. Martinez,
director of the American Friends Service Committee, a migrant farm worker
advocac! y group.
"The war against terrorists is not a war against immigrants. We must not
let that happen," Martinez said.
Civil liberties also should not be sacrificed while the country increases
security against terrorism, rally organizers said.
Those participating in the march were a mix of young and old. William E.
Claycomb, 74, wore a green sport coat and tie. But Jill Mangino took the
prize for most noticeable attire with a long white dress and a pair of
feathery angel's wings attached to her back.
"I wanted to represent the angel of peace and hope," she said. The
cardboard sign in her hand read: "God Bless Humanity."
No Glory in Unjust War on the Weak
By BARBARA KINGSOLVER
October 14 2001
TUCSON -- I cannot find the glory in this day. When I picked up the newspaper
and saw "America Strikes Back!" blazed boastfully across it in letters I
swear were 10 inches tall--shouldn't they reserve at least one type size for
something like, say, nuclear war?--my heart sank. We've answered one
terrorist act with another, raining death on the most war-scarred, terrified
populace that ever crept to a doorway and looked out. The small plastic boxes
of food we also dropped are a travesty. It is reported that these are
untouched, of course--Afghanis have spent their lives learning terror of
anything hurled at them from the sky. Meanwhile, the genuine food aid on
which so many depended for survival has been halted by the war. We've killed
whoever was too poor or crippled to flee, plus four humanitarian aid workers
who coordinated the removal of land mines from the beleaguered Afghan soil.
That office is now rubble, and so is my heart. I am going to have to keep
pleading against this madness. I'll get scolded for it, I know. I've already
been called every name in the Rush Limbaugh handbook: traitor, sinner, naive,
liberal, peacenik, whiner. I'm told I am dangerous because I might get in the
way of this holy project we've undertaken to keep dropping heavy objects from
the sky until we've wiped out every last person who could potentially hate
us. Some people are praying for my immortal soul, and some have offered to
buy me a one-way ticket out of the country, to anywhere. I accept these gifts
with a gratitude equal in measure to the spirit of generosity in which they
were offered. People threaten vaguely, "She wouldn't feel this way if her
child had died in the war!" (I feel this way precisely because I can imagine
that horror.) More subtle adversaries simply say I am ridiculous, a dreamer
who takes a child's view of the world, imagining it can be made better than
it is. The more sophisticated approach, they suggest, is to accept that we
are all on a jolly road trip down the maw of catastrophe, so shut up and
I fight that, I fight it as if I'm drowning. When I get to feeling I am an
army of one standing out on the plain waving my ridiculous little flag of
hope, I call up a friend or two. We remind ourselves in plain English that
the last time we got to elect somebody, the majority of us, by a straight
popular-vote count, did not ask for the guy who is currently telling us we
will win this war and not be "misunderestimated." We aren't standing apart
from the crowd, we are the crowd. There are millions of us, surely, who know
how to look life in the eye, however awful things get, and still try to love
It is not naive to propose alternatives to war. We could be the kindest
nation on Earth, inside and out. I look at the bigger picture and see that
many nations with fewer resources than ours have found solutions to problems
that seem to baffle us. I'd like an end to corporate welfare so we could put
that money into ending homelessness, as many other nations have done before
us. I would like a humane health-care system organized along the lines of
Canada's. I'd like the efficient public-transit system of Paris in my city,
thank you. I'd like us to consume energy at the modest level that Europeans
do, and then go them one better. I'd like a government that subsidizes
renewable energy sources instead of forcefully patrolling the globe to
protect oil gluttony. Because, make no mistake, oil gluttony is what got us
into this holy war, and it's a deep tar pit. I would like us to sign the
Kyoto agreement today, and reduce our fossil-fuel emissions with legislation
that will ease us into safer, less gluttonous, sensibly reorganized lives. If
this were the face we showed the world, and the model we helped bring about
elsewhere, I expect we could get along with a military budget the size of
How can I take anything but a child's view of a war in which men are acting
like children? What they're serving is not justice, it's simply vengeance.
Adults bring about justice using the laws of common agreement. Uncivilized
criminals are still held accountable through civilized institutions; we
abolished stoning long ago. The World Court and the entire Muslim world stand
ready to judge Osama bin Laden and his accessories. If we were to put a few
billion dollars into food, health care and education instead of bombs, you
can bet we'd win over enough friends to find out where he's hiding. And I'd
like to point out, since no one else has, the Taliban is an alleged
accessory, not the perpetrator--a legal point quickly cast aside in the rush
to find a sovereign target to bomb. The word "intelligence" keeps cropping
up, but I feel like I'm standing on a playground where the little boys are
all screaming at each other, "He started it!" and throwing rocks that keep
taking out another eye, another tooth. I keep looking around for somebody's
mother to come on the scene saying, "Boys! Boys! Who started it cannot
possibly be the issue here. People are getting hurt."
I am somebody's mother, so I will say that now: The issue is, people are
getting hurt. We need to take a moment's time out to review the monstrous
waste of an endless cycle of retaliation. The biggest weapons don't win this
one, guys. When there are people on Earth willing to give up their lives in
hatred and use our own domestic airplanes as bombs, it's clear that we can't
out-technologize them. You can't beat cancer by killing every cell in the
body--or you could, I guess, but the point would be lost. This is a war of
who can hate the most. There is no limit to that escalation. It will only end
when we have the guts to say it really doesn't matter who started it, and
begin to try and understand, then alter the forces that generate hatred.
We have always been at war, though the citizens of the U.S. were mostly
insulated from what that really felt like until Sept. 11. Then, suddenly, we
began to say, "The world has changed. This is something new." If there really
is something new under the sun in the way of war, some alternative to the way
people have always died when heavy objects are dropped on them from above,
then please, in the name of heaven, I would like to see it. I would like to
see it, now.
Crimes against humanity
An interview with Benjamin Ferencz
[Ferencz is a former prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial]
By Katy Clark, September 19, 2001
Ferencz: Perhaps some of the tears have dried and people can
begin to think rationally about the horrors of the past week and
what we can do to prevent the recurrence of such tragedies.
Katy Clark: Ben Ferencz has spent most of his 82 years doing just
that. He was a prosecutor for the United States during the
Nuremberg war crimes trials of Nazi leaders. Ferencz's response to
the Vietnam War was to withdraw from his private law practice and
spend the rest of his life studying and writing about world peace.
He founded the Pace Peace Center at Pace University, where he is
Adjunct Professor of International Law. Ben Ferencz lives in New
Rochelle, New York. You wrote this letter because you believe that
we have a choice between whether our country chooses to resolve
disputes on the battlefield or in the courtroom. In other words, law
versus war. Is that correct?
Ferencz: Yes. I prefer law to war under all circumstances.
Clark: And so how does that apply to this particular case in the
aftermath of the terrorist attacks?
Ferencz: What has happened here is not war in its traditional
sense. This is clearly a crime against humanity. War crimes are
crimes which happen in war time. There is a confusion there. This
is a crime against humanity because it is deliberate and intentional
killing of large numbers of civilians for political or other purposes.
That is not tolerable under the international systems. And it should
be prosecuted pursuant to the existing laws.
Clark: So I want to get into that prosecution in just one moment.
But first, do you think that the talk of retaliation is not a legitimate
response to the death of 5,000 people?
Ferencz: It is never a legitimate response to punish people who are
not responsible for the wrong done.
Clark: No one is saying we're going to punish those who are not
Ferencz: We must make a distinction between punishing the guilty
and punishing others. If you simply retaliate en masse by bombing
Afghanistan, let us say, or the Taliban, you will kill many people
who don't believe in what has happened, who don't approve of what
Clark: So you are saying that you see no appropriate role for the
military in this.
Ferencz: I wouldn't say there is no appropriate role, but the role
should be consistent with our ideals. We shouldn't let them kill our
principles at the same time they kill our people. And our principles
are respect for the rule of law. Not charging in blindly and killing
people because we are blinded by our tears and our rage.
Clark: So how would a legal process possibly work? Since there is
no permanent international criminal court yet; the U.S. has
opposed such a court. Where would terrorists be tried?
Ferencz: We must first draw up an indictment of the crime and
specify what the crimes were, listing all the names of the related
organizations. Not merely the direct perpetrators are responsible
but all those who aided and abetted them before or after the crime.
These should be listed and described. And then a demand made
pursuant to existing United Nations resolutions, calling upon all
states to arrest and detain the persons named in the indictment so
they can be interrogated by U.S. examiners.
Clark: As you know a federal court, a grand jury, indicted Osama
bin Laden almost three years ago in the two U.S. embassy
bombings in Africa. That was 1998 and we still haven't brought him
Ferencz: What I'm suggesting is that the Security Council of the
United Nations can immediately call up -- as they have done in
connection with the crimes in Yugoslavia and Rwanda, where over
half a million people were butchered -- create an ad hoc
International Criminal Tribunal to try these criminals on the charges
which are applicable under the existing international laws.
Clark: So you're saying something that would be akin to an
international war crimes court.
Ferencz: It would be an international criminal court. Don't use the
word "war" crimes because that suggests that there is a war going
on and it's a violation of the rules of war. This is not in that
category. We are getting confused with our terminology in our
determination to put a stop to these terrible crimes.
Clark: So what do you say to skeptics who believe the judicial
process is inadequate because it is very slow and very
Ferencz: I realize that it is slow and cumbersome but it is not
inadequate. I say to the skeptics, Follow your procedure and you'll
find out what happens. You have seen what happens. We will have
more fanatics and more zealots deciding to come and kill the evil,
the United States. We don't want to do that. We want to uphold our
principles. The United States was the moving party behind the
Nuremberg Trials and behind insisting upon the rule of law.
Clark: So do you believe that because of the fact that we're dealing
with terrorists, we are re-writing the rules to a proper response?
Ferencz: We're not re-writing any rules. We don't have to re-write
any rules. We have to apply the existing rules. To call them
"terrorists" is also a misleading term. There's no agreement on
what terrorism is. One man's terrorism is another man's heroism.
I'm sure that bin Laden considers himself a saint and so do many
of his followers. We try them for mass murder. That's a crime under
every jurisdiction and that's what's happened here and that is a
crime against humanity.
Clark: So Ben Ferencz you were an enlisted man under General
Patton, you fought in every campaign in Europe, you've written in
your letter in fact about flashbacks that you've had of Normandy, of
seeing corpses at Buchenwald, the remorseless Nuremberg
defendants who murdered about 100,000 mostly Jewish men,
women, and children at Babi Yar near Kiev; now there you are in
New York, witnessing this. Yet you close this letter by saying that
you have not given up hope. Why not?
Ferencz: Of course I have not given up hope. You must never give
up hope. Because hope is the engine that drives human endeavor.
We have to change the way people think and that can't be done
quickly. We must teach them compassion and tolerance and
understanding and a willingness to compromise, if necessary.
These are all essential things that take generations to develop. And
until we do that I'm afraid we'll suffer the consequences. And we
see it in what has happened in New York.
Clark: Ben Ferencz lives in New Rochelle, New York. He is the
author of, among other books, New Legal Foundations for Global
Survival. Nice to speak with you.
Ferencz: A pleasure.
Benjamin B. Ferencz: former prosecutor at the Nuremberg War
Crimes Trial, particularly Chief Prosecutor of Einsatzgruppen (22
defendants charged with murdering over a million people, called by
the Associated Press the biggest murder trial in history). A
graduate of Harvard Law School, he served in the Army under
General Patton in every campaign in Europe and helped liberate
Buchenwald, Mauthausen, and Dachau.
Mr. Ferencz is an Adjunct Professor of International Law at Pace
University and founder of the Pace Peace Center, and a Trustee of
The Center For United Nations Reform Education.
See other articles, letters and analyses by Benjamin Ferencz at
US food packets sold in Afghan markets
TAKHAR: The US planes dropped food packets in the Northern Alliance-
controlled areas in the Thakar province where the opposition militia
are getting ready for an assault on Taliban positions.
The Northern Alliance forces carried away these packets on to their
trucks according to Novosti.
Each of the cardboard containers contained two packets of vegetable
and bean soup with tomato sauce, a packet of peanut oil, a packet of
strawberry jam, a packet of fruit paste, a packet of fruit vitamin
powder, biscuits and corn flakes, as well as small packets with salt,
sugar and black pepper.
Early in the morning, these packets appeared in the local market.
What is this war for?
14 October 2001
Now that the bombing of Afghanistan has started, the world feels even
less safe than it did a week ago. The international coalition is more
fragile. Moderate Muslims - some of them in this country - are now
expressing their alarm. Osama bin Laden appears even more elusively
powerful than he did before. Without the military action, Mr bin Laden
would have had no reason to broadcast his sinisterly effective videos.
The bombs have given him back his voice.
This does not mean that the military option is doomed to fail. After a
single week such a judgement would be premature. But it does mean that
President Bush and Tony Blair are under an even greater obligation to
spell out their objectives more clearly. At the moment there is only
In our interview today on page 12, Clare Short, the International
Development Secretary, says that the military action must be brought
to "an elegant end as quickly as possible". That is surely the hope of
many people throughout the West.
But senior officials in the US have warned that the struggle could
last for months, and that Mr bin Laden may not be found for a year or
two. In which case what is the precise aim of the military action? The
British government seeks the replacement of the Taliban with an
"inclusive" administration established under the auspices of the UN.
As Ms Short makes clear in our interview, it rejects the option of the
Northern Alliance forming a government. Yet there are some reports
from the US that President Bush has not necessarily ruled out such an
The confusion does not appear to be part of a deliberate strategy
aimed at wrong-footing opponents and keeping the fragile coalition in
place. The lack of clarity arises because the leaders do not appear to
be clear, or indeed united, about the endgame. Last week Mr Blair
emphasised with commendable speed during his trip to the Middle East
that the aims did not extend beyond Afghanistan. Although he went on
to qualify this statement by stating that he was referring to "this
phase" of the military action, he did not rule out a wider campaign
President Bush and Mr Blair are taking great risks in bombing
Afghanistan. They will be taking even more if, and when, a land war
starts. They need to be clearer about why they think the risks are
20,000 join anti-war protest
Saturday October 13, 2001
Anti-war protesters march through London
More than 20,000 protesters today joined Britain's biggest protest yet
against military action in Afghanistan by the US and its allies.
The turnout was twice as big as that expected by Campaign for Nuclear
Disarmament organisers and four times that predicted by police.
Demonstrators set off from Marble Arch at 1pm today and snaked towards
Trafalgar Square, where the march culminated with speeches from the
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Green party.
A one minute silence for victims of the conflict was broken by chants
of "Allah, Akbar" (God is great) from Muslims attending the march.
Afterwards, the CND chairwoman, Carol Naughton, said: "Today has been
incredible. We expected a lot of people, but this just shows that
there really is a big upsurge of people who are opposed to the
conflict in Britain.
"CND has said all along that killing innocent civilians is not the way
to eradicate terrorism - we have to do it through the United Nations
and international law."
Following the success of today's march, CND is planning an even larger
protest next month.
Today's march was noisy but peaceful, with marchers banging drums,
blowing whistles and chanting "No war!" and "We want peace!"
Protesters carried Socialist Worker party placards bearing messages
such as "Stop this bloody war. Fight US/UK imperialism". Others read:
"CND says not in my name" and "CND says peace and justice for all"
The Muslim Parliament of Great Britain had appealed to the Islamic
community to give their full support to the event.
Before the march, the CND vice chairwoman, Kate Hudson, said: "We are
sending a very clear message to Mr Blair and President Bush to say
that we think they should stop the bombing now. They should take this
opportunity to allow starving Afghan people to be fed."
This morning around 1,500 people also gathered in Glasgow for a rally
against the allied military action in Afghanistan. The demonstrators,
including representatives of organisations such as CND and Unison,
assembled in George Square and the protest passed off peacefully.
Among the population as a whole, however, support for military action
has grown since the attacks begin. A Guardian/ICM poll yesterday
revealed that 74% gave their backing to the US-led attacks, while
almost nine in ten people believed Tony Blair was handling the crisis
either "very well" or "quite well".
There were other peace protests in other cities throughout Europe and
the rest of the world. In Germany, more than 25,000 protestors from a
diverse range of church and youth groups, as well as trade unions,
took to the streets in cities across the country.
In Berlin, the biggest demonstration drew 15,000 people to the central
square following several marches throughout the city under the banner
"No war - stand up for peace".
In Sweden, the biggest demonstration took place in Gothenburg, where
more than 2,500 people marched through the city in a rally organised
by a coalition of left wing organisations.
AFP. 14 October 2001.
Nepalese leftists protest against US strikes on Afghanistan.
KATHMANDU -- Some 2,000 Nepalese leftists protested in Kathmandu Sunday
against the US attacks on Afghanistan, with some saying the military
strikes could lead to World War III.
The protesters denounced Washington and showed solidarity with the
Afghans, holding up signs that read "Let's protest against all kinds of
terrorism" and "US foreign policy itself breeds terrorism."
"Many countries are now gearing up for the third world war in the name
of ending terrorism," Amik Sherchan, head of the United People's Front
Nepal, told the crowd after a march.
He said Washington had not proved its claim that Osama bin Laden, the
Afghan-based Saudi millionaire, was behind the September 11 terrorist
attacks in the United States that left 5,700 dead.
"The US has launched a massive attack on Afghanistan without proving bin
Laden's involvement in it," Sherchan said.
"The US should not think that terrorism will end with the end of bin
Laden or Afghanistan. Instead this attack will give outlet to a series
of counterattacks on the US," he said.
Protests Staged Across Iran Against U.S. Strikes in Afghanistan.
Tens of thousands of Iranians in various cities took to the streets on
Friday to protest against the on-going U.S.-led military strikes in
In the capital Tehran, several thousand people marched from the Tehran
University to the central Palestine square with the participation of Iran's
Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ahmad Masjed Jamei and Minister of
Commerce Mohammad Shariatmadari.
In a statement, the protestors accused the White House of " fanning the
flames of a crisis."
"The U.S., which supports Israeli state terrorism, is not suitable to lead
such a global campaign against terrorism and has no logical right to lead
the world into crisis with its power- thriving policies," the statement
The nation-wide protests were called on Wednesday by Iran's Islamic
Propaganda Organization, the body in charge of organizing demonstrations and
rallies in the country.
Other major cities witnessing mass protests included Isfahan, Tabriz,
Shiraz, Bushehr, Hamedan, Bandar Abbas, as well as southeastern Zahedan and
northeastern Mashhad, both close to the border with Afghanistan.
A rally of about 3,000 people in Zahedan, capital of southeastern Sistan
Baluchistan province, turned violent after the demonstrators threw stones to
the Pakistani consulate there.
Pakistan formerly supported Afghanistan's ruling Taliban regime, but now
backs the U.S.-led operations in Afghanistan.
Washington, charging the Afghan Taliban regime with harboring Saudi-born
militant Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect of the September 11 terror
attacks on the U.S., started retaliatory attacks in Afghanistan last Sunday.
Iran condemned the September 11 terror attacks, but has refused to join or
assist the U.S.-led military actions against Afghanistan.
Striking the match, starting the fire
By Chris Grant
"Look for a long time at what pleases you . . . and longer still at what
pains you." ~Colette
October 14, 2001-I'm sitting here looking at the people with sick smiles on
their faces, the bloody drool hanging off the corners of their mouths.
I'm looking at the illegal Bush administration as I write this, making
smart ass comments like, "We're not running out of targets. Afghanistan is."
I'm looking at the 90 percent of the American public who have a whole
country's worth of blood on their hands, gleefully aiding and abetting war
crimes. Go read the Geneva Convention Accords.
I'm thinking about someone who claimed to be my friend and then, with the
reading of my Manufacturing Dissent commentary, asked me if I was sure that
I wasn't "from the Middle East."
I'm sitting here thinking about the people who are being killed in
Afghanistan, people that had nothing to begin with, now without their lives.
I'm sitting here thinking all the innocent people that have been
discriminated against, threatened, attacked, beaten and killed right here
in the supposedly "freedom loving" U.S. by a public that believe that they
have carte blanche to put action to the xenophobia that has always been
there. Remember, Bush said it himself, "Either you're with us or you're
with the terrorists." To brain-addled Americans, that's all the permission
they needed to act out their racist fantasies.
I'm wondering what the people who were killed in New York and Washington
and Pennsylvania would think about war being waged in their names, and am
pretty damn sure that they would be ashamed.
I'm sitting here wondering how a nation, one that claims to be peace and
freedom loving, could allow a man (term used loosely) with the I.Q. of
wallpaper to be selected by a corrupt group of judges and pretend to be
president, knowing it's because we are an arrogant, ignorant flock of sheep.
I'm wondering about how long the suffering is going to last, knowing that
one minute is one minute too long.
I'm wondering how many women are going to give birth to children that have
left feet missing and brains malformed, only to die of cancer themselves
months later, insuring that the circle of blood will continue, in the name
I'm wondering how long the radiation is going to sit in the country of
Afghanistan (and others if we are to believe that this is just the first
country we will attack), watching as the American sheeple and the
government shrug and say, "Who cares?"
I'm wondering whether or not Afghanistan will even be habitable after the
last bomb drops and knowing full well that it won't and that, again, the
sheep do not care.
I'm sitting here listening to how we must be patriotic and if you say even
the slightest word in the way of criticism, you are un-American. Jingoism
at its finest.
I'm listening to how we must trust the very same people who allowed
September 11 to happen in the first place, looking at New York and
wondering what the next time we trust these Emmy Award winners will look like.
I'm watching people saying that "humanitarian aid" actions are being taken
at the same time military action is being taken and that makes it okay.
Thanks for the radiation, America; it was a big help in locating the food.
How many of you know that that "humanitarian aid" is being dropped into
areas that are mined halfway to London?
I walk around and see American flags everywhere, including on the doors of
public restrooms, and I know that the sheeple use this symbol as some kind
of rallying point, even though they don't know (or refuse to know) its
history and how it's been used to justify mass oppression and murder.
For those of you that have decided that it's your "patriotic duty" to fly
the flag, I would ask you the following: if you had two minutes to say
something to a child in Afghanistan before the bombs and missiles came in
again, what would you say? Would it sound something like this, "I know that
you're about to choke on your own blood and you are about to watch your
mother die before your eyes and I know that you know you will die shortly
thereafter. Don't worry, though. To your west, in my country, we have a
flag that symbolizes freedom and peace. And as long as that flag flies,
we'll keep dropping bombs and sending missiles at people like you." Would
it sound something like that?
I walk into places of business and hear cashiers and customers on the
current events and they don't know what they're speaking about because they
are uneducated about what the real truth is and what the filtered truth is.
I'm ready to vomit.
The media allows the information to be suppressed. The media has its
collective tongue up the ass of the illegally appointed Bush administration.
I'm ready to vomit.
The people shake in their boots and piss their pants, afraid of a tinhorn
Resident and willing to give up their rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
I'm ready to vomit blood.
And I'm ready to declare war.
Unlike the current crimes being committed in Afghanistan, my war is
justified. Ignorance is a crime. Arrogance is a crime. Unlike the crimes
being committed in Afghanistan, unless you stand really close to the
computer screen, my war will not kill you.
This war will be aimed at the sheep that are willingly following an
unelected boy king, the Boy King himself and all of his horses and all of
his men. I will explode the myths and the outright lies that you are
expected to suck up and believe. Humpty Dumpy will not be able to be put
back together again when all is said and done.
I gave all of you plenty of time to pour the gasoline. I'm striking the
match now, starting the fire. Those of you, who wish to remain untouched by
the flame, if you are not educated, get that way. Those of you who wish to
remain ignorant will no longer be given the luxury of escaping my scorn.
You will be touched and touched often by the fire.
"It is in moments of violence that we have confrontation, that we find out
what we believe in, whether we have soul and spirit. They are the pivotal
points in our lives." ~Harlan Ellison
I have soul.
I have spirit.
I know what I believe in.
This is going to be one hell of a confrontation.
Coalition of Women for Peace Statement
Published in Ha'Aretz, October 12, 2001
Stop the attack on Afghanistan!
This is no war against terrorism - it is revenge for lost honor and a
display of power by the rich and strong against the poor.
The main victims of this bombing will be Afghani citizens who are already
suffering under the brutal Taliban regime, especially Afghani women.
War is never a solution, and the war on Afghanistan will not end terrorism.
On the contrary - this poor, hungry, devastated, and humiliated people with
their millions of refugees will have nothing to lose but their honor, and
will fight for this honor with all the means at their disposal, even the
tools of terrorism.
Terrorism can be prevented only by ending oppression, hunger, and
Instead of killing and destroying those who rise up against them, the rich
and sated countries should help build the infrastructure for a decent life
and a just sharing of resources. Food and education are preconditions,
though not sufficient, for creating a more democratic and egalitarian
This universal principle holds true for Afghanistan, and for the
Palestinians as well: An Israeli-Palestinian peace can be achieved only by
ending the occupation and the oppression.
NO MORE WAR!
The Coalition of Women for Peace:
NELED - "Women for Coexistence"
New Profile: Movement for the Civil-ization of Israeli Society
Noga Feminist Journal
TANDI - Movement of Democratic Women for Israel
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom - Israel chapter
Women and Mothers for Peace - The re-grouped Four Mothers Movement
Women Engendering Peace
Women in Black
"It felt like an atomic bomb had been dropped"
Sayed Salahuddin in Kabul
Friday October 12, 2001
Try telling residents of Kabul that the US-led war on
terrorism is not aimed at ordinary Afghans. Or
persuading Faiz Mohammad that his neighbour's
six-month-old baby daughter was not a target.
After a night of almost constant bombing raids and
missile strikes, residents of the Afghan capital
emerged yesterday wondering what they had done to
deserve such terror.
"It was like an inferno," said one young man. "The
explosions were so huge and so massive, that it felt
like an earthquake, as if an atomic bomb had been
dropped on Kabul."
The target of the US attacks may well be the ruling
Taliban's air defences, but the raids are striking
fear into the hearts of ordinary Afghans. They were
kept awake for almost the whole of Wednesday night, as
the raids started shortly before the regular curfew
started and ended just before it finished.
It was a night of warplanes screaming overhead, cruise
missiles whistling through the skies and anti-aircraft
fire and machine guns responding. Blast af ter blast
ripped through the city as bombs landed and missiles
struck. The impact could be felt across the city,
rattling windows and shaking the foundations of homes
"This is the worst night that we have had so far,"
said one resident. "There has been no chance to sleep.
I cannot tell you how frightened people are. It is
In the few lulls, all that could be heard was the
howling of dogs from the ghostly, deserted streets.
A six-month-old baby girl was killed and her sister
severely injured when a bomb landed near their home.
"She was just six months old and was innocent like all
civilians in Afghanistan. Why they are bombing us?
People have began to realise that they are the enemies
of Muslims," said an angry schoolteacher, a neighbour
of the bereaved family.
"The sound of the bomb was very massive and resonant.
We thought doomsday had come," said the pale-faced
Faiz Mohammad as he gestured to a crater as deep as a
well and cracks in nearby houses in the district near
Kabul's airport, one of the main targets of the
Dozens of families living in the area were fleeing for
fear of more strikes. The parents of the baby girl had
left with the dawn. "We can't afford to be here
anymore. Civilians are dying and the world is
watching. What have we done?" said Shah Mohammad as he
packed his household belongings into a truck.
Its not as if Afghans aren't used to war. Kabul is one
of the most battle scarred capitals in the world, a
legacy of over two decades of war and a treasury too
meagre to fix the damage caused.
They are also a people who have not been conquered by
a western invader since Alexander swept through their
deserts and mountains 2,300 years ago, employing
guile, diplomacy and almost foolhardy courage to
overcome hostile tribes on his long march to India.
"America should know that hostility with Afghanistan
and continuation of war is not in the interests of the
American and Afghan people and will have grave and
very unpredictable consequences," Taliban education
minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, said.
"They should not fuel the hatred of the Afghans," he
said. "The enmity of Afghans will not vanish for
hundreds of years. However weak Afghans are, they will
take their revenge, whether in the short-term or the
After night raids continued into daytime yesterday,
residents of the southern city of Kandahar were
fleeing, their belongings loaded onto donkeys and
carts, CNN pictures showed.
CNN's grainy footage from a video satellite phone that
it said came from Kandahar showed dozens of people,
wrapped in shawls against the dawn cold and apparently
leaving town with their possessions either on their
backs, on carts or on donkeys.
But Mullah Muhammad Akhtar Usmani, a local Taliban
commander in Kandahar, told Reuters that life in the
city that is the headquarters of the ruling Taliban
was normal. "People are not leaving the city," he
said. "They are going about their daily business. The
markets are open."
Taliban Show Fresh Graves and a Village Ruined by War
Kathy Gannon The Associated Press
Monday, October 15, 2001
KARAM, Afghanistan Waving shovels and sticks, enraged villagers surged
toward foreign journalists brought here Sunday by Afghanistan's ruling
Taliban militia to see what officials say was the devastation of a U.S. air
"They are coming to kill us! They are coming for information, to tell the
planes where to bomb!" angry and terrified villagers shouted as they
charged the reporters. Taliban escorts held them back.
The trip Sunday to the village of Karam in Afghanistan's eastern mountains
marked the first time since the U.S.-led air campaign began Oct. 7 that the
Taliban have allowed international journalists into areas controlled by the
The Taliban, who escorted journalists to the village, claim nearly 200
people were killed here Thursday. If true, it would be the deadliest single
strike by U.S. and British warplanes.
"They are innocent people living here," said a villager, Gul Mohammed.
"There is no military base. What is it they are looking for in Afghanistan?
Where is Osama bin Laden? He is not here. Why did they bomb us?"
It was difficult to assess claims of casualty figures three days after the
attack. Muslims traditionally bury their dead quickly.
At least 18 fresh graves were scattered about the village, marked with
jagged pieces of gray slate. Two were tiny - freshly dug for what residents
said were children. An old man knelt by one grave, sobbing. He looked up,
furiously, at journalists and their cameras and lobbed stones to drive the
Villagers pointed out other evidence of an attack: a bloodstained
pillowcase by a house, bomb craters and what appeared to be a rotting human
limb. Dozens of sheep and goat carcasses were strewn about the mud-hut
village, and the air was thick with a rancid stench.
Villagers said that more bodies were buried up in the mountains, taken
there by residents as they fled the now mostly deserted community.
One man remained by the ruins of his former home, its roof gone. He
clutched a scrap of metal bearing the words "fin-guided missile" in
English. The man, who uses only one name, Toray, said that he lost his five
children and his wife when the warplanes came. "I was asleep down there in
the morning, when they bombed," he said, gesturing toward the base of the
The Taliban insist there are no military bases near Karam. However, it was
believed that Mr. bin Laden operated terrorist training camps here in
Nangarhar Province. It was unclear whether any of the camps are in the
Karam area or whether they were the intended targets of the attack.
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