---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2001 15:01:22 -0700
From: radtimes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Antiwar News...(# 14)
"If it's natural to kill, why do men have to go into training to learn how
to do it?"
-- Joan Baez (attributed)
(Anti-war links/resources at the end.)
U.S. Military Response is Wrong -- And It Won't Work
by Stephen Zunes
San Jose Mercury News
October 12, 2001
The magnitude of the initial U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan raises
legal, moral and practical questions.
The use of military force for self-defense is legitimate under
international law. Military retaliation is not.
The use of heavy bombers against a country with few hard targets belies
the Bush administration's claim that the attacks are not against the
people of Afghanistan.
The airstrikes are punishing the wrong people -- the Afghan population.
They have already suffered through a 23-year nightmare: communist
dictatorship, foreign invasion, civil war, competing warlords and
The Afghan people are the first and primary victims of the Taliban,
perhaps the most totalitarian regime on Earth.
It is tragic that the United States is victimizing them further through
a large-scale military operation that will almost certainly lead to
widespread civilian casualties.
The strikes will also do little to root out terrorism.
The Taliban leaders may escape harm in their bunkers or in remote
mountain outposts. And the strikes may gain some sympathy for the regime
and even Osama bin Laden himself, as people under attack tend to rally
around their leaders.
The Taliban regime in Afghanistan has given bin Laden and his supporters
sanctuary, but this is not a typical case of state-backed terrorism. As
a result of bin Laden's personal fortune and elaborate international
network, he does not need (and apparently has not received) direct
financial or logistical support from the Afghan government. Destroying
the limited government resources in Afghanistan, therefore, may not
cripple bin Laden and his cohorts.
Al-Qaida is a decentralized network of underground terrorist cells
operating throughout Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. It
does not have much in the way of tangible targets that can be struck as
if the United States were at war with a government. To target
Afghanistan seems to be more an act of catharsis than a rational
strategy to enhance U.S. security.
If there is any logic to bin Laden's madness, it is his hope that the
United States will overreact militarily, creating an anti-American
backlash in the region, which would play right into his hands. This may
very well happen.
In order to break up these terrorist cells and bring the terrorists to
justice, the United States needs the co-operation of intelligence
services and police agencies in a number of Muslim countries. If the
ongoing attacks are seen to be excessive and innocent lives are lost, it
will be politically difficult for these regimes to provide the United
States with the level of co-operation needed.
To win the war against terrorism, we need to re-evaluate our definition
of security. The more the United States militarizes the Middle East, the
less secure we become. All the sophisticated weaponry, all the brave
fighting men and women and all the talented military leadership will not
stop terrorism as long as our policies cause millions of people to hate
President Bush is wrong when he claims we are targeted because we are a
"beacon for freedom." We are targeted because the support of freedom is
not part of our policy in the Middle East, which has instead been based
upon alliances with repressive governments and support for military
occupation. If the United States supported a policy based more on human
rights, international law and sustainable development and less on arms
transfers, airstrikes and punitive sanctions, we would be a lot safer.
America's greatest strength is not its far-flung military might but the
fortitude and compassion of its people and the democratic values they
Stephen Zunes is an associate professor of politics and chair of the
Peace & Justice Studies Program at the University of San Francisco.
Kabul's Poorest Have No Escape from U.S. Bombs
KABUL, Oct 14 (IslamOnline & News Agencies) - Only the poorest of the poor
in the desperately impoverished Afghan capital remained in the city Sunday
as constant U.S. air raids spread fear and panic among a normally stoic people.
"Believe me, whenever there's a raid my children start crying. Last night,
even I cried with them," Mohammad Nabi, 41, an auto spare parts salesman in
the Qwaee Markaz area of Kabul, was quoted by Agence France-Presse (AFP) as
"When women and children scream in the middle of the night, that is
terrifying enough in itself."
As U.S. jets buzzed overhead night and day, whether on bombing runs or
surveillance missions to identify fresh targets, those who could not afford
to leave were trying to find shelter wherever they could.
Shopkeepers have moved their stocks to the countryside or boarded up their
"We fear our goods could be looted if there is anarchy," said one merchant
who did not want to be named.
Taxi drivers said the city was becoming a ghost town.
"No one remains in the whole of Kabul to hire a taxi. I have been moving
around the city all day to find a client but it has become very difficult,"
said 38-year-old Mushtaba as he sat in his rusty cab.
"Only those people who get around on foot or bicycle remain in the city.
After a month you won't see anybody in the city. They may die or leave."
The Pentagon confirmed Saturday that a 2,000-pound (900-kilogram) bomb
struck a residential area near Kabul, claiming a wrong digit was entered as
the target's coordinates, killing at least four civilians, injuring dozens
others and razing at least six houses to the ground, forcing their
inhabitants to join the scores of already homeless people in a city where
hundreds of thousands already rely on foreign aid just to eat.
Thus far, U.S. bombs have killed a reported 400 civilians.
One such report confirmed that at least 160 people, mainly women and
children, were killed in a village earlier this week when a U.S. missile
fell on a neighborhood destroying everything in sight, including a thousand
head of livestock in the farming community.
Instead of hitting a military helicopter at Kabul airport, about a mile
(1.6 kilometers) from the residential area, it landed in an area of
traditional Afghan mud houses.
"I do not know whether they are going to eliminate the terrorists or create
them. We are not terrorists, they have been forcing us to become
terrorists," said auto parts salesman Nabi, who used to be a schoolteacher.
"There could be other alternatives. Bombardments won't be the sole
solution. They should view other options."
The U.S.-led strikes are designed to force the Taliban to hand over their
"guest", Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden, blamed for the September 11th
terrorist attacks in New York and Washington which killed more than 5,000
But the Taliban leadership says it will never deliver him to his enemies
unless solid evidence linking him to the attacks is provided.
After another night of heavy bombardment, residents of Kabul were seen
moving from one corner of the city to another with their belongings stacked
in lorries, trucks or wheelbarrows.
"Our relatives live in Shari Naw. So we will also join them just to be
close to our relatives," said Hekmatullah, 22, who was pushing a barrow
full of his belongings.
"We used to live in Bi Bi Mahro area ... This is the fifth time I have
moved between our home and our cousins' home."
As he spoke, Taliban anti-aircraft gunners opened fire on a U.S. jet
circling the city in the bright afternoon sunshine. Clearly visible, it
made two or three runs before disappearing over the surrounding mountains.
By late afternoon, there was a sense of urgency among those still on the
streets, as they rushed to find a place to settle before nightfall and the
next round of bombings.
Anti-US protesters condemn airstrikes
By Colin Nickerson, Globe Staff, Boston Globe Correspondent
AWALPINDI, Pakistan - The Muslim day of prayer yesterday became a day of
protest across Islamic lands of Asia and the Middle East as worshipers
spilled from mosques to join demonstrations against the ongoing
American-led air assault on Afghanistan and to renew their calls for a holy
war against the United States.
By and large, violent protests were swiftly suppressed by antiriot police.
In Pakistan, however, anti-US mobs rampaged through the southern port city
of Karachi, smashing KFC fast-food outlets and torching cars. Protests were
mostly peaceful elsewhere in the nation, although in Quetta, near the
Afghanistan border, small crowds vandalized shops selling such American
products as Hollywood videos and Gillette razors. And everywhere, it
seemed, demonstrators took up a new rallying cry, ''US is United Satan!''
In Islamabad, a coalition of radical Islamic parties called for a
nationwide strike Monday to protest military operations in Afghanistan,
demanding that US Secretary of State Colin Powell cancel his scheduled
visit to the federal capital next week.
''The nation will not tolerate his unclean feet on our clean land,'' read a
statement signed by a dozen Muslim clerics on behalf of political parties.
It was impossible to tell if the relative peacefulness of most
demonstrations in Pakistan represented a vote of confidence for the
pro-American policies of General Pervez Musharraf, the country's leader, or
simply reflected the presence of thousands of heavily-armed police and
paramilitary soldiers with ''shoot-to-kill'' orders for lawbreaking dissidents.
Across Asia, tens of thousands of marchers took to the streets in Pakistan,
Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the Philippines,
brandishing photographs of fugitive militant Osama bin Laden, burning
American flags, and pummeling straw-stuffed effigies of President George W.
Bush with sticks, metal rods, and rocks.
It was the largest day of protests in the Islamic world since the United
States and Great Britain launched airstrikes earlier this week against
Afghanistan's Taliban regime and bases of bin Laden's Qaeda terror network.
Friday is the Muslim sabbath, and nearly all the protests were sparked by
fire-breathing sermons delivered in mosques allied with radical political
American forces eased their strikes yesterday in observation of the prayer
day, limiting their bombing to a few pre-dawn missiles, and US troops in
the region readied for widely-expected ground actions meant to root bin
Laden and his followers from their mountain hideouts.
About 5,000 people gathered at Cairo's historic al-Azhar mosque, a scene of
protests after the eruption of the Palestinian uprising last September,
when security forces fired tear gas to disperse protesters. The government
was prepared for noon prayers on Friday, sending hundreds of helmeted riot
police with batons and rifles to the mosque.
The official sermon, delivered by Sheik Mohammed Sayyed Tantawi, did not
criticize the US attacks. But the crowd was more militant, praising bin
Laden as a Muslim hero and accusing the United States of terrorism in its
attacks in Afghanistan.
''Give us weapons, give us weapons and take us to Afghanistan,'' the crowd
The protest was led by the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest Islamic
fundamentalist group and leading opponent of the government. The
government, sensitive to charges of being too close to US policy, permitted
the protest to continue, but barred it from leaving the mosque.
About 3,000 Palestinians stormed out of a mosque in the El Bireh
neighborhood of Ramallah in the West Bank yesterday chanting against
America and Israel.
Supporters of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat's Fatah
movement joined the protesters in their chants. The leader of Fatah's
Tanzim militias, Marwan Barghouthi, and Hamas spokesman Sheik Hasan Yousef
walked in front of the marchers behind a large Palestinian flag.
In the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, police turned water cannons on
3,000 protesters hoisting banners reading ''Go to Hell America'' outside
the US Embassy.
In Indonesia, where hard-line Islamic groups have vowed to expel all
foreigners, protesters hurled firecrackers and debris against heavily
guarded walls of the US Embassy in Jakarta before being dispersed by police.
In Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka, crowds of Muslims waved portraits of bin
Laden and shouted slogans praising the terror chieftain as an Islamic hero.
But most attention was riveted on Pakistan, whose strong support of the US
war on terrorism has enraged some of its citizens and has made Musharraf
widely loathed by Islamic radicals.
Police, paramilitary forces, and regular army troops, patrolling in armored
vehicles mounted with machine guns, were out in extraordinary force - more
than 1,500 in Quetta alone, backed by larger numbers of army troops. The
sheer number of police kept many demonstrations from turning into riots.
The exception was Karachi, where mobs of Afghan exiles and Pakistani
supporters of the Taliban torched cars, set piles of tires ablaze, and
smashed the windows of two KFC outlets.
Most of the protesters appeared to be followers of splinter Islamic parties
whose mullahs preach that all Muslims are obliged to join a jihad, or holy
struggle, against the United States to retaliate for the air assaults.
The fiery sermons came in defiance of Musharraf's demand that religious
leaders stop fanning flames of civil unrest. At least five people died this
week in clashes with police in the city of Quetta.
''The whole of Pakistan wants action against those who want to disrupt
peace, trade, and business,'' said Musharraf, ordering authorities to
''move firmly, swiftly and efficiently against lawbreakers.''
Musharraf has infuriated fundamentalist Muslims with his outspoken support
for the US and British campaign against bin Laden and the Taliban. The
military leader has not only opened Pakistan airspace to the warplanes
barreling against targets in Afghanistan but this week - in a politically
perilous move - allowed the first US combat support troops to take up
positions at air bases in the country.
The arrival of American logistic specialists, intelligence officers, and
battlefield medics at the Jacobabad and Pasni airfields on Thursday
suggested that commando raids and other ground operations inside
Afghanistan are likely to begin in the days or weeks ahead.
The anger in Pakistan's streets reflects the passionate belief of some
Muslims that the attacks against Afghanistan represent the opening volleys
of a Western crusade against Islam.
''There must be war to the death between our civilizations,'' said Akhtar
Shaikh, a 22-year-old Pakistani religious student who joined a raucous
crowd of demonstrators thronging a square in Rawalpindi. ''The decadent
idolators of Christ will be destroyed by the purity of our faith.''
Relatively few Pakistani shopkeepers and businesspeople have heeded calls
for similar strikes in recent weeks, but some are starting to close their
doors on protest days simply out of fear of being attacked by radicals.
''I think the government is losing control of the situation,'' said Yaqueen
Mumtaz as he shuttered his small plumbing fixtures enterprise in Rawalpindi
as a chanting crowd approached. ''The radicals have so much hate in their
hearts for America they could bring our good country to flames. We may yet
become like Afghans - murdering each other in the streets and calling it
the will of God.''
Anthony Shadid of the Globe Staff contributed to this report from Cairo,
Globe Correspondent Said Ghazali from the West Bank. Material from the
Associated Press was also used.
Protests erupt worldwide against US strikes on Afghanistan
KARACHI, Oct 12 (AFP) -
Anger over the US-led strikes on Afghanistan exploded into
violence Friday as Muslims worldwide marked their first holy day
since Washington opened the military front of its war on terror.
US symbols such as fast-food restaurants were singled out as
Muslim militants in Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia and Malaysia vented
their fury over five nights of bombs and missiles raining down on
In Pakistan, whose government has found itself on the front line
of the US-British campaign after disowning the Taliban regime
across the border, police fired tear gas at hundreds of
demonstrators attacking government buildings, shops and vehicles
in the port of Karachi.
Islamic radicals defied government warnings of a harsh crackdown
and the presence of around 20,000 police and paramilitary troops,
deployed in anticipation of more serious clashes after afternoon
prayers at mosques across the city.
Hundreds of people attacked a government complaints office in the
Lyari district of southern Karachi and attempted to set it on
Tear gas was also used to disperse a crowd of up to 400 people
who attacked a Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlet in Karachi,
setting it partially ablaze.
There were also reports of factories being attacked in the
industrial part of western Karachi, which is dominated by ethnic
Pashtuns, many of whom are refugees from Afghanistan.
The Pashtuns are the dominant tribe in Afghanistan and the main
support base for the Taliban.
Pakistani's military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, has ordered
security forces to adopt a policy of zero tolerance of any
protestors engaged in violence after five people were killed
earlier this week.
But allies of the Taliban and alleged terrorist mastermind Osama
bin Laden were gearing up for a full-scale show of force in the
Pakistani city of Quetta, which is near the Afghan border.
Thousands of Islamic radicals have streamed into the flashpoint
city in recent days in support of a call for an anti-US jihad, or
holy war, and observers said they expected that up to 50,000
people could protest.
Islamic radicals' opposition to Musharraf's support for the US
boiled over in the southeastern Iranian city of Zahedan, where
the Pakistani consulate was stoned by an anti-US mob.
A crowd of some 3,000, mainly Afghan refugees as well as
Iranians, demonstrated in the streets of Zahedan, crying "down
with America" and burning effigies of US President George W. Bush
and the US flag.
Police in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country,
fired water cannon when hundreds of protesters set fire to an
effigy of Bush outside the US embassy.
Defying hundreds of police in riot gear, 37 armoured cars and
three water cannon, at least 500 people staged noisy
demonstrations outside the Jakarta embassy in protest at the US
air attacks on Afghanistan.
About 300 members of the Islamic student group Hamas displayed
the Bush effigy on the hood of a jeep with a "wanted" poster hung
from its neck.
Baton-wielding police charged the students in a vain attempt to
stop them setting it alight. Students counter-attacked with
bamboo sticks but no serious injuries were reported.
Outside the capital, an explosion struck a KFC outlet at Makassar
in South Sulawesi province but no one was injured. In the city of
Yogyakarta, protesters this week sealed off a McDonald's and a
Jakarta police spokesman Anton Bahrul Alam said several groups
were planning to stage rallies after midday prayers. Police will
"arrest anyone who tries to create unrest and anarchy", he
Malaysian police also got tough, firing water cannon at some
2,000 demonstrators protesting outside the US embassy.
The demonstrators stood their ground after the first blast of
chemically laced water, defying orders to disperse and chanting
"Down with America" and "Allahu Akbar" as a helicopter clattered
But longer salvos backed by the presence of about 100 armed
police and a riot squad pushed them down the road outside the
Most of the demonstrators were men wearing skullcaps after Friday
prayers. They shouted that Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon were "the next legitimate targets".
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, a staunch critic of
the West, reaffirmed his opposition to the attacks on
Afghanistan, saying "I don't think it is going to help in
India, which is home to the world's second largest Muslim
population after Indonesia, was set to see mass protests at the
huge Jama Masjid in the old quarter of New Delhi.
Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the imam at the mosque and India's top Muslim
cleric, said 30,000 to 40,000 people would emerge from prayers to
denounce "America's barbaric attack".
The US embassy in the Indian capital was under tight guard.
Anti-US Demonstrations All Across The Middle East
CAIRO (AFP) - Thousands of Egyptians, Iranians and Palestinians and
other Muslims staged angry protests following their weekly prayers on
Friday, five days after the start of the US-led strikes against
More than 5,000 Egyptians gathered at the al-Azhar mosque, Egypt's
largest, to vent their anger at the military strikes by the United
States and Britain.
"Down with the United States, down with Britain. Long live the
Muslims," chanted the demonstrators, who included representatives of
the Muslim Brotherhood and of the Nasserite movement who had arrived
as guests of the mosque's imam, Sheikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi.
During his sermon, Tantawi restated his position that "no state has
the right to punish an entire nation including children, old people
and innocent women simply through the misdeeds of one criminal."
He also supported "the right of the Palestinians to defend their land
and their faith" against Israeli occupation.
"These are mujahedeen and it is our duty to stand at their side," he
The demonstration took place peacefully amid a large police presence,
with several plainclothes security agents deployed among the faithful
and anti-riot trucks stationed near the mosque.
At Saudi mosques, prayers were offered for fellow Muslims in
Afghanistan and railed against "enemies of Islam" but made no
explicit mention of the ongoing strikes, which began Sunday after
Kabul's Taliban regime refused to hand over prime terror suspect
Osama bin Laden to the United States.
Sheikh Saud al-Sharim, imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam's
holiest shrine, simply warned Muslims to "steer clear of strife."
The imam of the Prophet's Mosque in Medina prayed for "Muslims in
Afghanistan to be spared" and for "the Muslims' enemies to be
destroyed," again without referring to the US-British blitz.
Some prayer leaders in the capital's mosques were slightly more
explicit, urging Muslims to "support their brethren in Afghanistan."
"It is every Muslim's duty to support his brothers in Afghanistan to
show them that we are brothers in adversity," said the imam of a
Riyadh mosque, beseeching God to "bring down the infidels."
"The blood of Afghan Muslims is being shed," he said.
In the Iranian capital, Tehran, Culture Minister Ahmad Masjed-Jameyi
and Trade Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari joined several thousand
people who marched from Tehran University to the central Palestine
Many held up placards, including ones reading "(US President George
W.) Bush is the father of terrorism" and "(Israeli Prime Minister
Ariel) Sharon is the disobedient son of terrorism."
Others carried ones announcing their willingness to enter a jihad, or
holy war, against the United States.
In Zahedan, capital of Iran's southeastern Sistan Baluchistan
province, a rally by about 3,000 people, including a large number of
Afghan refugees, turned violent after they attacked the Pakistani
consulate, police told AFP.
"Pakistan's consulate was attacked by demonstrators who threw
stones," a police official said, adding that there were no injuries
but that the consulate's windows were broken.
In Jordan, an ally of the United States, the prayer leader at one of
Amman's main mosques, the King Abdullah Mosque, Sheikh Walid
Shabsogh, said in his sermon: "We send a sincere message to the
entire world that it is totally wrong to link Islam with terrorism."
Meanwhile, at the Al Wahdat Mosque in Al Wahdat Palestinian refugee
camp, also in Amman, prayer leader Sheikh Samer Mahmood asked
that "God give victory to our brothers in Palestine and Afghanistan".
In the West Bank city of Nablus, some 2,000 people gathered and
carried banners and Palestinian flags, including ones calling the
United States "the head of terrorism in the world."
There were similar protests through the streets of Ramallah and
Palestinian police were given strict orders to take a hands-off
approach to any demonstrations after last Monday's violent clashes
with protestors, in which two people were killed.
And in Lebanon, some 3,000 people led by Sunni Muslim religious
clerics staged a protest in the northern port city of Tripoli, where
a number of Sunni fundamentalist groups are based. Many also carried
portraits of bin Laden.
Iranians Take To Streets In Nationwide Anti-US Protest
TEHRAN (AFP) - Tens and thousands of people, including government
ministers, marched through the streets of Iranian cities on Friday in
protest at the US-led military strikes against Afghanistan, with
violence erupting in the southeast of the country.
In the capital Tehran, Culture Minister Ahmad Masjed-Jameyi and Trade
Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari joined several thousand people who
marched from Tehran University to the central Palestine square.
Many held up placards, including ones reading "(US President George
W.) Bush is the father of terrorism," and "(Israeli Prime Minister
Ariel) Sharon is the inobedient son of terrorism." Others carried
ones announcing their willingness to enter a jihad, or holy war,
against the United States.
"If (supreme leader Ayatollah Ali) Khamenei gives a jihad decree, the
world's military will not be able to respond," read one sign. Others
read: "Muslims, Unite, Unite!"
Other protestors also burned US and Israeli flags, while loudspeakers
demanded "death" for the two countries.
A number of Afghan refugees present at the demonstration attacked an
effigy of Bush, beating and tearing it apart, before setting it
ablaze and trampling on it and screaming: "We condemn terrorism!"
Demonstrations were also reported in all major Iranian cities,
including a violent one in southeastern Zahedan, near the border with
Pakistan, as well as in northeastern Mashhad near the border with
Protestors also took to the streets in Isfahan, Tabriz, Shiraz,
Bushehr, Hamedan, and the southern port city of Bandar Abbas.
In Zahedan, capital of southeastern Sistan Baluchistan province, a
rally by about 3,000 people, including a large number of Afghan
refugees, turned violent after they attacked the Pakistani consulate,
police told AFP.
"Pakistan's consulate was attacked by demonstrators who threw
stones," a police official said, adding that there were no injuries
but that the consulate's windows were broken.
The protestors also criticized Pakistan, which formerly supported
Afghanistan's ruling Taliban regime but now backs the US-led
operations as part of the global "war on terrorism".
They demanded Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf "step down" and
chanted "Musharraf, Bisharaf" (dishonourable), in a play on word on
"We are angry because America is bombarding Afghanistan. What
evidence do they have? Pakistan has done great treachery," a man who
gave his name as Mohamed from Mazar-e-Sharif said at a rally in
Washington claims to have evidence implicating Osama bin Laden, who
is being sheltered by Afghanistan, as the mastermind of the September
11 attacks on New York and Washington.
The protests come after the nation's Islamic Propaganda Organisation,
the regime's main propaganda body generally charged with organising
all kinds of demonstrations and rallies, on Wednesday called for a
massive turnout against the US-led strikes.
In a statement distributed at the demonstrations, the protestors
warned that the "White House is fanning the flames of a crisis, the
end of which completely unclear."
"The US, 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," demonstrators said in their statement.
Iran, although hostile to the United States, condemned the September
11 attacks but has refused to join or assist the US-led military
actions against Afghanistan that began on Sunday.
Instead, Tehran has demanded that the international campaign against
terror declared by Washington be led by the United Nations.
On Tuesday, Iranian President Mohammad Khatami called for
an "immediate end" to the strikes, while supreme leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei accused Washington a day earlier of "lying" about its true
Indian Protesters Burn US And British Flags
By Achmad Sukarsono
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Thousands of Indian Muslims spilled on to the
streets of major cities on Friday in protests against the U.S.-led
air strikes on Afghanistan, forcing police to use teargas and water
cannons to disperse the violent mobs.
Spilling out of mosques after Friday prayers, the protesters shouted
anti-U.S. slogans and burned effigies of President Bush, calling the
bombings on Afghanistan an ``act of terrorism'' and the U.S. ``the
"Death to America. Death to Israel. Taliban, Taliban, we salute you,"
some 10,000 Muslims chanted at New Delhi's Mughal-era redstone Jama
Masjid, the country's biggest mosque.
Violence was also reported in the southern city of Hyderabad and
Srinagar, summer capital of the revolt-racked northern state of
Kashmir. In both cities, Muslims pelted stones at police.
India has thrown its weight behind the U.S.-led strikes on
Afghanistan in an attempt to flush out Saudi-born militant Osama bin
Laden, but a section of the country's large Muslim community -- who
make up about 12 percent of its billion-plus population -- has
expressed its resentment at India joining the United States' war on
Thousands in Berlin peace march against Afghan bombing, unrest in Nigeria
Sunday, October 14, 2001
.......BERLIN : Thousands joined a peace rally in Berlin on Saturday,
Germany's biggest protest so far against the bombing of Afghanistan. There
were modest anti-war rallies in other parts of the non-Islamic world. In
largely Muslim northern Nigeria, violent unrest erupted for a second day
running and police issued a shoot-on-sight order after eight people were
killed by rioters following anti-American protests on Friday.
.......Berlin protest organisers said some 30,000 people turned out, while
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.
.......Hundreds carried anti-war banners, thousands wore peace buttons and
many chanted slogans criticising the United States and President George W.
......."The horror of World War Two makes all of us in Germany leery of
war," said Hannes Wand, a 54-year-old physician 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
.......The demonstrators marched through the government quarter in central
Berlin and past the Brandenburg Gate, foreign ministry and city hall. There
were occasional minor scuffles between police and protesters.
.......Banners read: "War is genocide", "War is not the solution" and "Stop
Bush's war". Singers performed anti-war folk songs from the 1960s from the
backs of flat-bed trucks.
.......German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder criticised the peace rally,
saying the demonstrators were being misled.
......."Turn your focus on those who started this conflict," Schroeder said
in an interview with Der Tagesspiegel newspaper due to appear on Sunday.
.......An increasing majority of Germans back possible German involvement in
US military operations after the September 11 attacks, according to a survey
published on Friday.
.......All political parties except the reformed communist Party of
Democratic Socialism have supported US military strikes and the possibility
of German involvement.
.......But pacifism has been strong in Germany in the 55 years since World
War Two. Some 3,000 marched in front of the American embassy in Berlin on
Sunday after the first strikes on Afghanistan.
.......In Berlin, Dorothea Hampel, 42, was carrying a banner that read: "No
Vietnam in Afghanistan."
......."This is a stupid war and it doesn't make any sense to attack
Afghanistan," said Hampel, a university professor.
.......Police said about 4,000 also protested in the southwestern town of
.......In London, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament said it expected more
than 10,000 people to turn out for a march against the bombing of
Afghanistan, but police estimated the number at around 3,000 before the
march left Hyde Park and headed for Trafalgar Square under a sea of
.......About 2,000 Australians, including Muslims and Christians, marched
from Sydney Town Hall to a tower housing the US consulate to protest against
the war. Other peaceful peace rallies were held in Melbourne, Perth and
.......The Nigerian army moved into Kano's Sabon Gari market area early on
Saturday after Christian churches and mosques were set on fire in rioting on
.......Community leaders said rioters killed at least six female school
students on their way to take university entrance exams on Friday.
.......At least 12 people were injured in a clash between Hindus and Muslims
after Hindus tried to burn portraits of Osama bin Laden, authorities in the
eastern Indian state of Bihar said.
Yes, there is an effective alternative to the bombing of Afghanistan
'A lesson could have been learnt from Israel's patient stalking, capture
and trial of Adolf Eichmann'
15 October 2001
by Tariq Ali
Over the past decade or so, every war fought by the West (in the Gulf, the
Balkans and now South Asia) has been accompanied by a well-orchestrated
propaganda campaign. Politics is conducted and presented in the style of
intelligence agencies: disinformation, exaggeration of enemy strength and
capability, explanation of a television image with a brazen lie and
censorship. The aim is to delude and disarm the citizenry. Everything is
either over-simplified or reduced to a wearisome incomprehensibility. The
message is simple. There is no alternative.
As the bombing of Afghanistan continues for the second week, the Pentagon
has admitted that some bombs went astray. Two hundred Afghan civilians have
been killed so far and more will die if the bombs continue to fall. During
the lull before the war, the US Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, mused
in public as to whether Afghanistan had any "assets worth bombing". He knew
the answer. The fact is that the Anglo-American bombing campaign is in
clear breach of Articles 48 and 51 of the Geneva Convention as well as the
Nuremberg Charter. Article 48 insists that: "In order to ensure respect for
and protection of the civilian population and civilian objects, the Parties
to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian
population and combatants and between civilian objects and military
objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations only against
Article 51 is equally clear in prohibiting indiscriminate attacks and
specifies these as attacks "which may be expected to cause incidental loss
of a civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects or a
combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete
and direct military advantage anticipated".
Was there ever an alternative to the bombing? If the real intention was not
a crude war of revenge, but to seriously weaken and eliminate terrorism and
bring to trial those who ordered the crimes committed on 11 September, then
the answer is yes. The disproportionality of what is taking place speaks
for itself. If the US judiciary was convinced by the evidence of Mr bin
Laden's guilt then a warrant should have been issued for his extradition
and a plan prepared to bring him to trial.
A lesson could have been learnt from Israel's patient stalking, capture and
trial of Adolf Eichmann who was accused of a far more serious crime. In
going to war, Bush and Blair resorted to a mixture of cowboy discourse and
Old Testament imagery to pre-empt any judicial inquiry or action. The model
so far has been that of the old lynch-mob, egged on by a populace fed on a
regular diet of scare stories. Anthrax today and, no doubt, nuclear
If the real aim is simply an old-fashioned imperialist one, i.e. to topple
the Taliban regime and replace it with a protectorate considered closer to
"Western values" (as the Taliban once was), then and only then does the
bombing make sense as the Northern Alliance, waiting to commence the battle
for Kabul, realise full well. Its leaders boast they can do it alone, but
US marines and British commandos are standing by to help them just in case
the Taliban defeat them as they did once before.
Meanwhile, there is no news of the pretext for this war. Where is Osama bin
Laden? Is his capture part two of this operation? And if he is caught will
he be killed or brought to trial? And, if so, will this entire exercise
have helped to diminish the attraction for, let alone help to defeat
terrorism? I think the result will be the exact opposite and especially in
the Arab and Muslim world.
Neither George Bush nor Tony Blair appear to appreciate that, like it or
not, Mr bin Laden has become a hero in many parts of the Third World.
Young, middle-class graduates in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Maghreb will
make sure that his martyrdom will not be in vain. Only last week, President
Bush told journalists: "How do I respond when I see that in some Islamic
countries there is vitriolic hatred for America? I'll tell you how I
respond. I'm amazed. I just can't believe it because I know how good we are."
Mr Blair, his military confederate, had another solution: "One thing
becoming increasingly clear to me is the need to upgrade our media and
public opinion operations in the Arab and Muslim world." The simplicity on
display is frightening. Surely the mandarins in the State Department and
Foreign Office are aware of the realities. They must know that the
medium-term solution is political and economic, not military.
Unless the Palestinians are guaranteed a viable, sovereign state, there
will be no peace. Mr Arafat may be content with the shrivelled little
Bantustans at Israeli pleasure, but the Palestinian population is not. The
latest intifada is also a revolt against the Oslo Accords and the
corruption of the Palestinian leadership.
Then there is Iraq. Not a single one of the standard arguments for the
continuing bombardment and blockade of Iraq stands up. The notion that
Saddam's cruelties are unique is an abject fiction. The Turkish Generals,
valued members of NATO, have killed 30,000 Kurds over the past decade and
denied them the use of their own language. Responsible modernity? Saddam
never attempted a cultural annihilation of this order. The Saudi Kingdom
makes not even a pretence of human rights, its treatment of women would not
pass muster in medieval Russia. As for nuclear weapons, the hawkish Unscom
inspector, Scott Ritter, insists they cannot be countenanced. Israel,
however, possesses nuclear weapons without any sanctions whatsoever.
Double standards of this sort and on this scale drive young people to
despair. Here is an immediate solution. The lifting of sanctions and a
permanent halt to the bombing of Iraq would have a positive impact
throughout the world of Islam, reducing the number of young men prepared to
sacrifice their own lives for what they regard as a holy cause. It would be
a small step forward if, as US and British jets are dispatched for yet
another bombing raid on a the shattered and famished remnant of
Afghanistan, a few of our political leaders spoke up in the name of reason.
'Stop bombing Afghanistan!' London protesters say
Sunday, October 14, 2001
.......LONDON : Thousands of people, including members of Muslim and
Christian groups, staged a march through central London on Saturday to
protest against the bombing of Afghanistan. "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," Carol Naughton, chairman of the
protest organisers, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), told
......."It's not going to bring Osama bin Laden to justice. People who
commit terrorist acts must be brought to justice through international law,"
.......US-led air strikes on Afghanistan began last Sunday after the ruling
Taleban refused to hand over Saudi-born fugitive bin Laden, the prime
suspect behind the suicide hijack attacks on the World Trade Centre and
Pentagon last month.
......."We need to stop the bombing and go right back to diplomatic ways to
end this crisis," she said.
.......CND said it expected more than 10,000 people to turn out for the
protest, but police estimated the number at around 3,000 before the march
began in London's Hyde Park.
.......The march headed for Trafalgar Square in London's West End under a
sea of colourful banners accompanied by chanting against the military
strikes and calls for a halt to the bombing.
.......One tearful Muslim woman said: "They will answer for it on the day of
resurrection. Shame on all of those who are dropping bombs.
What Can We Do about Terrorism? - Part II of III
Do We Choose Death or Peace?
by Harry Browne
"All that's necessary for the triumph of evil
is for good men to do the wrong thing."
-- Lawrence Block, "The Evil Men Do"
Americans have been sold a fantasy by their government and by the "experts"
The fantasy is that our government will flex its muscles overseas, make
demands, kill a lot of people, demonstrate that we don't tolerate terrorism,
"bring the terrorists to justice," and end terrorism forever.
But for decades, our government has been flexing its muscles overseas,
making demands, killing people, and teaching terrorists a lesson. And what
did it achieve?
It brought about the deaths of 6,000 Americans on September 11.
Those policies by our government have brought us to where there now are only
two choices for the future. And you may not like either one of them.
The Choice for War
Choice #1 is to bomb Afghanistan "back to the stone age," and maybe Iraq,
and maybe any other country our government accuses of harboring terrorists.
(Except the U.S., of course, where many of the terrorists lived safely for
This choice won't eliminate all the terrorists. It probably won't eliminate
_any_ of them. But it will make the politicians feel good. And it will
satisfy the understandable lust for vengeance that so many Americans feel
But not only will foreigners die by the thousands, it will feed the desire
for vengeance on the part of the terrorists -- and inspire other people to
help them. The result? . . .
* We will be attacked on planes, in subways, buildings, schools, sports
arenas -- in any place innocent Americans can be cornered like lab rats.
* Our economy will sink further and further downward as people become more
and more afraid to lead normal lives.
* We will see Americans die from bombs, from biological warfare, from
assassinations, and from causes we can't even imagine now.
Our government will react by escalating the violence still further. And that
will cause the terrorists to escalate _their_ violence. And with every
escalation, more of our friends and relatives will die -- and more people
around the world will come to hate America.
Choice #1 doesn't lead to anything very pretty. It will be disastrous for
America. But that's where our politicians are taking us right now.
The Choice for Peace
Choice #2 is for our President to be a man and acknowledge to the world that
our government has made some horrible mistakes in the past -- but that our
policy is changing.
He must tell the world that our government will no longer impose its will on
places like Iraq, Serbia, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Panama, Guatemala,
Nicaragua, and Colombia. He must say that we're returning to the peaceful
foreign policy that America followed for its first century -- until
President McKinley took the country into the Spanish-American War and down
the road to empire.
Americans are loved all over the world for what they've done -- producing
low-cost food and medicines, great entertainment, and the kind of voluntary
charity that only free and prosperous people can bestow.
At the same time, foreigners hate our government because it uses "foreign
aid" and military muscle to impose its way upon the rest of the world.
Our politicians say that most of the world supports the American military
campaign. But what they mean is that our government is bribing foreign
_governments_ to support the military campaign. Meanwhile, a recent Gallup
poll (www.gallup-international.com/terrorismpoll_figures.htm) revealed that
individual human beings in 35 major countries _oppose_ American military
retaliation by better than 3 to 1.
If American leaders would call a halt to the violence, condemn the terrorist
attack, and condemn the killing of innocent foreigners by previous U.S.
administrations, there's a very good chance the cycle of death and
destruction could end immediately.
We're at a Crossroads
Can I guarantee that Choice #2 will lead to peace? Of course not, but it is
very likely to do so. And what terrorism remains will be relatively minor
compared to the awful future we face now.
And I _can_ assure you that Choice #1 will lead to the death of many more
Americans -- most likely, tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of
Americans, in ugly and tragic ways.
The terrorists who weren't killed in the September 11 attacks probably will
never be caught -- whether we pick Choice #1 or Choice #2. So let's focus on
assuring that such a thing never happens again.
But first we must recognize that the fantasy our government is peddling
now -- of bringing peace by killing foreigners -- is totally impossible.
We have only two choices -- death or peace. It's unfortunate that it will
take far more courage to choose peace.
A war in the American tradition
The New Statesman
October 15, 2001
by John Pilger
War on Terror: The Big Picture - The ultimate goal of
the attacks on Afghanistan is not the capture of a
fanatic, but the acceleration of western power, argues
The Anglo-American attack on Afghanistan crosses new
boundaries. It means that America's economic wars are
now backed by the perpetual threat of military attack
on any country, without legal pretence. It is also the
first to endanger populations at home. The ultimate
goal is not the capture of a fanatic, which would be
no more than a media circus, but the acceleration of
western imperial power. That is a truth the modern
imperialists and their fellow travellers will not
spell out, and which the public in the west, now
exposed to a full-scale jihad, has the right to know.
In his zeal, Tony Blair has come closer to an
announcement of real intentions than any British
leader since Anthony Eden. Not simply the handmaiden
of Washington, Blair, in the Victorian verbosity of
his extraordinary speech to the Labour Party
conference, puts us on notice that imperialism's
return journey to respectability is well under way.
Hark, the Christian gentleman-bomber's vision of a
better world for "the starving, the wretched, the
dispossessed, the ignorant, those living in want and
squalor from the deserts of northern Africa to the
slums of Gaza to the mountain ranges of Afghanistan".
Hark, his unctuous concern for the "human rights of
the suffering women of Afghanistan" as he colludes in
bombing them and preventing food reaching their
Is all this a dark joke? Far from it; as Frank Furedi
reminds us in the New Ideology of Imperialism, it is
not long ago "that the moral claims of imperialism
were seldom questioned in the west. Imperialism and
the global expansion of the western powers were
represented in unambiguously positive terms as a major
contributor to human civilisation". The quest went
wrong when it was clear that fascism, with all its
ideas of racial and cultural superiority, was
imperialism, too, and the word vanished from academic
discourse. In the best Stalinist tradition,
imperialism no longer existed.
Since the end of the cold war, a new opportunity has
arisen. The economic and political crises in the
developing world, largely the result of imperialism,
such as the blood-letting in the Middle East and the
destruction of commodity markets in Africa, now serve
as retrospective justification for imperialism.
Although the word remains unspeakable, the western
intelligentsia, conservatives and liberals alike,
today boldly echo Bush and Blair's preferred
euphemism, "civilisation". Italy's prime minister,
Silvio Berlusconi, and the former liberal editor
Harold Evans share a word whose true meaning relies on
a comparison with those who are uncivilised, inferior
and might challenge the "values"of the west,
specifically its God-given right to control and
plunder the uncivilised.
If there was any doubt that the World Trade Center
attacks were the direct result of the ravages of
imperialism, Osama Bin Laden, a mutant of imperialism,
dispelled it in his videotaped diatribe about
Palestine, Iraq and the end of America's inviolacy.
Alas, he said nothing about hating modernity and
miniskirts, the explanation of those intoxicated and
neutered by the supercult of Americanism. An
accounting of the sheer scale and continuity and
consequences of American imperial violence is our
elite's most enduring taboo. Contrary to myth, even
the homicidal invasion of Vietnam was regarded by its
tactical critics as a "noble cause" into which the
United States "stumbled" and became "bogged down".
Hollywood has long purged the truth of that atrocity,
just as it has shaped, for many of us, the way we
perceive contemporary history and the rest of
humanity. And now that much of the news itself is
Hollywood-inspired, amplified by amazing technology
and with its internalised mission to minimise western
culpability, it is hardly surprising that many today
do not see the trail of blood.
How very appropriate that the bombing of Afghanistan
is being conducted, in part, by the same B52 bombers
that destroyed much of Indochina 30 years ago. In
Cambodia alone, 600,000 people died beneath American
bombs, providing the catalyst for the rise of Pol Pot,
as CIA files make clear. Once again, newsreaders refer
to Diego Garcia without explanation. It is where the
B52s refuel. Thirty-five years ago, in high secrecy
and in defiance of the United Nations, the British
government of Harold Wilson expelled the entire
population of the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian
Ocean in order to hand it to the Americans in
perpetuity as a nuclear arms dump and a base from
which its long-range bombers could police the Middle
East. Until the islanders finally won a high court
action last year, almost nothing about their imperial
dispossession appeared in the British media.
How appropriate that John Negroponte is Bush's
ambassador at the United Nations. This week, he
delivered America's threat to the world that it may
"require" to attack more and more countries. As US
ambassador to Honduras in the early 1980s, Negroponte
oversaw American funding of the regime's death squads,
known as Battalion 316, that wiped out the democratic
opposition, while the CIA ran its "contra" war of
terror against neighbouring Nicaragua. Murdering
teachers and slitting the throats of midwives were a
speciality. This was typical of the terrorism that
Latin America has long suffered, with its principal
torturers and tyrants trained and financed by the
great warrior against "global terrorism", which
probably harbours more terrorists and assassins in
Florida than any country on earth.
The unread news today is that the "war against
terrorism" is being exploited in order to achieve
objectives that consolidate American power. These
include: the bribing and subjugation of corrupt and
vulnerable governments in former Soviet central Asia,
crucial for American expansion in the region and
exploitation of the last untapped reserves of oil and
gas in the world; Nato's occupation of Macedonia,
marking a final stage in its colonial odyssey in the
Balkans; the expansion of the American arms industry;
and the speeding up of trade liberalisation.
What did Blair mean when, in Brighton, he offered the
poor "access to our markets so that we practise the
free trade that we are so fond of preaching"? He was
feigning empathy for most of humanity's sense of
grievance and anger: of "feeling left out". So, as the
bombs fall, "more inclusion", as the World Trade
Organisation puts it, is being offered the poor - that
is, more privatisation, more structural adjustment,
more theft of resources and markets, more destruction
of tariffs. On Monday, the Secretary of State for
Trade and Industry, Patricia Hewitt, called a meeting
of the voluntary aid agencies to tell them that,
"since 11 September, the case is now overwhelming" for
the poor to be given "more trade liberation". She
might have used the example of those impoverished
countries where her cabinet colleague Clare Short's
ironically named Department for International
Development backs rapacious privatisation campaigns on
behalf of British multinational companies, such as
those vying to make a killing in a resource as
precious as water.
Bush and Blair claim to have "world opinion with us".
No, they have elites with them, each with their own
agenda: such as Vladimir Putin's crushing of Chechnya,
now permissible, and China's rounding up of its
dissidents, now permissible. Moreover, with every bomb
that falls on Afghanistan and perhaps Iraq to come,
Islamic and Arab militancy will grow and draw the
battle lines of "a clash of civilisations" that
fanatics on both sides have long wanted. In societies
represented to us only in caricature, the west's
double standards are now understood so clearly that
they overwhelm, tragically, the solidarity that
ordinary people everywhere felt with the victims of 11
That, and his contribution to the re-emergence of
xeno-racism in Britain, is the messianic Blair's
singular achievement. His effete, bellicose
certainties represent a political and media elite that
has never known war. The public, in contrast, has
given him no mandate to kill innocent people, such as
those Afghans who risked their lives to clear
landmines, killed in their beds by American bombs.
These acts of murder place Bush and Blair on the same
level as those who arranged and incited the twin
towers murders. Perhaps never has a prime minister
been so out of step with the public mood, which is
uneasy, worried and measured about what should be
done. Gallup finds that 82 per cent say "military
action should only be taken after the identity of the
perpetrators was clearly established, even if this
process took several months to accomplish".
Among those elite members paid and trusted to speak
out, there is a lot of silence. Where are those in
parliament who once made their names speaking out, and
now shame themselves by saying nothing? Where are the
voices of protest from "civil society", especially
those who run the increasingly corporatised aid
agencies and take the government's handouts and often
its line, then declare their "non-political" status
when their outspokenness on behalf of the impoverished
and bombed might save lives? The tireless Chris
Buckley of Christian Aid, and a few others, are
honourably excepted. Where are those proponents of
academic freedom and political independence, surely
one of the jewels of western "civilisation"? Years of
promoting the jargon of "liberal realism" and
misrepresenting imperialism as crisis management,
rather than the cause of the crisis, have taken their
toll. Speaking up for international law and the proper
pursuit of justice, even diplomacy, and against our
terrorism might not be good for one's career. Or as
Voltaire put it: "It is dangerous to be right when the
government is wrong." That does not change the fact
that it is right.
'It was if the rocks themselves were on fire'
Richard Lloyd Parry hears first-hand survivors' tales of the bombing
14 October 2001
The young man named Mujawar was bleeding from the head when they pulled him
out of the rubble in Kabul, and because of the way he stared and muttered to
himself, they thought that his brain had been damaged.
Even now, he repeats the same phrases over and over about "the big bang"
and "the big light". "My head was hurt," he says, or "My friends are gone".
The doctors found nothing physically wrong. "He doesn't hear what you say,
he's doesn't really know where he is, he's scared of camera flashes," says
Dr Abdur Rahim at the Pakistani hospital where Mujawar was brought. "It's a
case of traumatic shock, and no wonder."
Until six days ago, Mujawar was a security guard at the offices of the UN
de-mining operation in Kabul. On Monday night, in the first in a series of
embarrassments for the war against terrorism, a bomb exploded close by. Four
other security guards were killed; Mujawar survived and was driven across
the border to Dr Rahim's hospital in Peshawar.
All week, since the bombing began last Sunday night, some 1,000 people every
day have made the same journey. A few have had escapes as remarkable as
Mujawar's, and many have seen at first hand the devastating effects which
the attacks have begun to have on civilians. In hospitals, refugee camps and
in the homes of friends, they describe how it feels to find yourself
directly below one of the most technologically sophisticated bomb-ing
campaigns in history.
The first few days of the bombardment, by general agreement, were a great
success. Many Afghans are oppressed and exhausted by five years of Taliban
rule, and all the refugees I spoke to supported the general aims of driving
them from power and taking out the camps run by Osama bin Laden.
In the city of Jalalabad, just 50 miles from the Pakistani border, local
people watched in awe as military landmarks were pulverised, first by cruise
missiles and then by bombs. The airport was one of the first targets. Ghulam
Gul was in his family home in the hills above the city. The first that they
knew of the attacks was when Radio Shariat, the Taliban-controlled
broadcaster, suddenly and without explanation, fell silent. "We realised
what was happening when we went outside," he said. "We stood on the roof and
there we could see the airport, all on fire." The three cruise missiles
destroyed the airport's radar dishes and gutted the control tower.
Abdul Mannan, a 23-year old medical student was told by a Taliban radar
operator that the incoming cruise missile had been detected on the doomed
radar, allowing most of the military personnel to get out before it struck.
Having knocked out the Taliban's early warning system, the raids began again
with bomber aircraft, which wrecked the runway and struck a place in the
hills overlooking Jalalabad called Torrabora, known by all local people as a
training camp of the people known in Afghanistan as "the Arabs" the
followers of Osama bin Laden.
Torrabora was bombed on on successive nights. "You could see the fire from
far away," said a 19-year old shopkeeper, Atikullah. "It was as if the rocks
were burning." Early the next day Ghulam Gul was in the hospital when he saw
three "Arabs" being carried in on stretchers with shrapnel wounds in their
The camp of the Taliban army's 81st Division was also struck on Tuesday, but
it had long been abandoned. "From just after 11 September, the Taliban were
moving their heavy equipment up into the hills," said Abdul Mannan. "They
were even lifting tanks with helicopters. I think that very few of the
Taliban were killed."
It was on Wednesday night that the impressive accuracy of the American
targeters began to fail them. An Afghan truck driver named Fazalur Rehman
was in Pakistan when the bombings began but travelled back, out of concern
for his wife and children. To his relief he learned that they had evacuated
to safer parts of the country. He spent Wednesday night in the home of
friends on the outskirts of Jalalabad.
"I fell asleep around 10.00," says Mr Rehman. "We heard a big explosion
nearby, so we all got up. Then we heard the second plane and suddenly there
was this great noise and the ceiling fell in." He came to early the next
morning in one of the city's hospitals, with a broken left arm and a damaged
right hand, surrounded by people with similar injuries. "They told me that
150 people were killed in my area and 180 injured."
Something went terribly wrong at the end of the week. In conversations with
refugees, a string of names come up again and again: Darunta, Karam,
Torghar, Farmada insignificant villages where, according to consistent
accounts by eyewitnesses, as well as those of the Taliban propaganda
machine, hundreds of civilians were killed.
The refugees say that Osama bin Laden's cohorts did at one time have camps
in the devastated villages but that they moved out long ago. Are the
Americans relying on out-of-date intelligence? Or do they know something
that local people don't? Either way, it is bringing about a dramatic change
of heart among the people who now live in terror of their supposed
"I saw an old woman on the border," said Mr Mannan. "She was crying, 'Allah
destroy the Americans! Why do they attack ordinary people so cruelly?"
Building an antiwar movement
by Laurence Cox
It's easy to feel despair, isolation and frustration at what's
presented to us as an inevitable drive into an indefinitely long
war. The key ingredients of success in building a successful
anti-war movement are confidence in ordinary people's
potential, solidarity with each other and a long-term view: we
have not been able to prevent the first bombs falling, but over
time we can reverse the dynamic and stop the war.
Historical experience - desertion and mutinies at the end of World War
I, the international movement against the war in Vietnam, the
anti-nuclear movement of the 1980s - shows that movements can stop
or divert even large-scale processes of militarisation, but only when
large numbers of ordinary people are actively involved. The
experience of active involvement in turn gives people more confidence
in their own capacities to think and act for themselves, which is an
important element in building a better world. This means:
1. Making space for a diversity of voices within the movement.
To insist on expressing only the most radical line will isolate
activists at the very time when many ordinary people are
looking for a way out. To insist on being as "mainstream" as
possible will stop the movement developing and restrict
participation to a small section of the population. So a good
"platform" will include as wide a range of anti-war voices as
possible. This enables the movement to speak to different
people and is part of learning from each other.
2. Making sure that the movement emphasises activities which
everyone can take part in. It's important to remember that most
actions don't have an immediate chance of stopping the war;
but if they give people a chance to learn how to become
active, to gain confidence and to develop their own
understanding, they can help build a movement that does
have a chance.
3. Taking care that the movement isn't run by a handful of
experienced people to the exclusion of everyone else. While
activists may have particular skills, their job is to share them
and pass them on. Stopping this war is likely to be a long
campaign, so we will need to develop everyone's ability to take
part at every level.
In terms of strategy, it's important for people to mobilise within their
own everyday contexts, both to root the movement in the real world
and to change the existing social relationships that ultimately give rise
to war. While the movement will also need to reach out into public
space and develop a "political" face, this shouldn't become separate
from the rest of the movement. The point is for ordinary people to
politicise themselves, not to develop a separate political lite. In
practice, what we need to do is:
1. Start by talking to other people at work, in the shops, at
home, on the bus, in school, online - anywhere where people
already know us. This may seem challenging at times, but it's
becoming clear that far more people are uneasy about the
prospect of war than the media leads us to think. By opening
up this new space for communication, we undermine some of
the usual power relationships and creating space for new
kinds of solidarity and friendship.
2. Offer people immediate, practical things to do: signing
something, going on a march, coming to a meeting, putting up
posters, circulating a letter. We're trying to "push people's
boundaries" enough so that they feel they are becoming
active, but not so much that they see activism as beyond their
3. Encourage people to take the next step, and support them if
they don't yet know how: ask them to speak at meetings or
write leaflets, help them to put press releases or websites
together, show them how to organise a public meeting or a
march. Be careful of patronising people: the trick is to be
confident that they can do whatever they set their mind to, and
make sure they have the backup they need to do it. The
second time somebody does something, we should leave
them to it!
4. Educate ourselves: this movement is likely to last a long
time, and most of us are going to have to find out more about
all kinds of issues, from foreign policy to Islam to international
law. This also gives us a chance to build connections by
inviting speakers from other groups, from local Muslim
associations to college lecturers to development
5. Make links: although (almost) anyone who opposes war
should be welcomed, we should work and argue for making
links to other issues, most importantly foreign policy,
"development" and world economics, racism and intolerance,
and civil liberties. To stop the war and leave the system ready
for another war tomorrow is not enough.
6. Try to spread the movement, rather than build little empires.
Encourage people to take independent action (and support
them when they do); work to create networks between
different groups and initiatives, without imposing a single "line"
that everyone has to follow.
This war may run for years in various forms, and a movement that can
stop it will need to include many different social groups. So there's
space for all sorts of different action, and it's important to respect this,
because it's how new people will both find their way to the movement
and how other people can contribute something we might not have
thought of. Different actions also have different purposes (though
Convincing ordinary people: meetings, posters, demos, street
theatre, leaflets, videos, etc.
Building the movement: newsletters, mailing lists, teach-ins,
websites, gatherings, benefit gigs, etc.
"Stopping the machine in its tracks": 5-minute strikes for peace,
occupations, peace observers, supporting deserters, blockades,
Influencing governments or the media: petitions, vigils, press
releases, photo opportunities, etc.
We learn as movements, not just as individuals, and the dialogue
between us is important. There is no book that can tell us
authoritatively how we are going to stop this war; it's something we will
work out together in practice. We can certainly learn from other
movements and past history (several campaigns have produced
excellent "how-to" guides that are a real goldmine of ideas), but at the
end of the day none of us knows exactly what will work, and we won't
know until we've managed to stop the war (if then!) In the process,
though, we are also learning something else of immense value: how to
treat each other as equals, how to cooperate and communicate
without bosses and laws, and how to build the kind of world that we
want to live in.
Laurence Cox (Dublin) has been involved in social movements for
nearly 20 years, including opposing the Falklands War, the nuclear
arms race and the second Gulf War. He's an academic specialist in
social movements research, currently studying working-class
community politics in Ireland.
Peace Movement Needs to Update Its Message
by Lance Dickie
Published on Friday, October 12, 2001 in the Seattle Times
As the United States hunkers down for a long war against terrorism, a
vibrant, conscience-stirring peace
movement is more important than ever.
Informed dissent that protects civil liberties, challenges excessive
government secrecy and questions a
wider conflict is a robust expression of democratic business as usual after
People with the courage to speak out are valued citizens.
As clear, however, is the peace movement's desperate need for new material.
Like generals fighting the last war, peace activists who use old templates
of protests after a murderous
assault on 6,000 innocent civilians will quickly be judged irrelevant. And
An exquisite example of nothing to say was a placard at a Seattle rally
that read: "Stop violence everywhere."
All that was missing were three more signs: "End Disease," "No More Hunger"
and "Go M's." That nicely
covers a spectrum of sentiments and they could carpool.
If the peace movement wants to be heard, it has to offer a credible
alternative in frightening, perplexing times.
Normally articulate people in Seattle's peace movement are tongue-tied by
events. The stammering and
silence about what comes next is deafening.
I find that most reassuring. These are smart, dedicated people whose deep
intellectual beliefs have collided
with the reality of evil that kills with ingenuity and resolve.
The peace movement has to rethink and gain control of its message.
Any rhetoric that hints of an excuse, rationalization or multi-layered,
nuanced understanding for religious
extremists to kill on a massive scale will exile well-intended people to
America suffered an atrocity at the hands of madmen not the slightest bit
interested in giving peace a
chance. Flying airliners into buildings is not a political science exercise
to be parsed out and deconstructed.
I know this is terribly rude and indecorous for Seattle, but tell the
black-clad anarchist-types to stay home.
Their masks are cowardly and offensive, especially mixed in with courageous
people who express strong
beliefs in emotional times.
The slightest temptation to blame America for this attack, based on what
happened in Vietnam, El Salvador, the Brazilian rain forest or on a factory
floor in Indonesia means losing most of your audience.
As a local peace organizer noted, it is not America's fault terrorists were
willing to do insane acts. Keep that in mind.
If papier-mache turtles and other political theater try to crowd out the
memory of 6,000 dead, the peace
community will be contemptuously dismissed.
Stay focused, don't strain for a unifying theory that binds union
organizing, free speech, religious freedom,
reproductive choice and gay rights unless, of course, the point is Osama
bin Laden and al Qaeda would
incinerate them all.
Facile recitations of past U.S. military involvement tend to omit Bosnia
and Kosovo. If America, and
European allies, are ripe for criticism in defense of those Muslim
minorities, it is for averting their eyes for too long.
U.S. bombing raids, and international ground troops, ended a decade of
genocide against Muslims, not that
The measured response of the Bush administration in Afghanistan has
flummoxed his critics. They are
pleased and impressed the first aerial bombardment of a ragged nation was
with food supplies. They even
want a little credit for the president looking over his shoulder at public
The core of the peace movement, those dedicated souls who pay attention
when the rest of us do not, could be saying a form of "I told you so" right
They've never stopped preaching against the spread of nuclear weapons. Dirt
poor Pakistan, the only nation
to recognize the Taliban, has the bomb.
They're constantly warning against using the U.S. military as an arm of
foreign policy and arming others
without our democratic values. Here we go again, with the Northern
Alliance, the drug-smuggling, corrupt
predecessors of the Taliban. No, we don't seem to learn.
At this moment, a persistent call to stay focused on military targets is a
message to build upon. Everyone is fearful of more civilian casualties,
here or abroad.
I wish the peace movement made a sharper distinction between military
policy and the immediate members of the armed forces, and their anxious
families. Recognition of their contributions, fears and sacrifices is
overdue by those whose hearts bleed for everyone else.
If the peace movement is looking for a mission in confusing, divisive
times, make it education. The thirst for
information and context is acute.
The trick for the peace movement is to operate as part of the larger
community, instead of appearing to be
on the outside looking in.
Ten Principles for Social Justice Organizing in A Time of Crisis
by Bill Quigley, Loyola Law School, email@example.com
"You are all traitors and should be put in jail!"
That is what a well-dressed woman in her 40s shouted, as she walked out
of church, at those of us walking into Loyola's Peace Quad. Wow! Is it
so threatening to hold a candlelight interfaith march for peace?
Apparently it is. For columnists or writers that might make a good
story. For those of us who are trying to work with people to change
hearts and minds by organizing for social justice, this woman is an
indicator that things have changed.
I write to share ten ideas about social justice organizing in this time
of crisis. I was asked to talk about this and I will. I do not suggest
I have the blueprint for this task. As far as I can tell, nobody does.
But I will share with you my reflections on this and I welcome your
Before September 11, many of us were already working on social justice
issues. For example, I was working with groups that organizing around
issues of living wages, labor organizing in the hotel industry, voting
rights in our state redistricting process, the destruction of public
housing, welfare reform, civil liberties, immigration, national and
international human rights, prison reform, peace issues, public
education, and criminal justice. All of those issues are still
After September 11, I have been fortunate enough to work with many
people who are organizing around a just response to the terrorism which
has so wounded our country.
In my experience, and the experience of hundreds of others that I have
spoken with, our world is a different place since September 11. This is
true for everyone but it is particularly true for the world of people
working for peace and justice. Those of us who are working for justice
and peace face many new issues, and some old ones, in the days ahead.
Psychologically, the tragic events of September 11 reverberate in all
our minds on both a conscious and an unconscious level. People are
having a difficult time concentrating on their work. Teachers tell me
that students have lost their focus. The people we work with in peace
and justice organizing are as overwhelmed and as in shock as everyone
>else in our country. Someone has described these events as always
present background noise. People have less energy to go to meetings and
to volunteer for social justice issues. Others have said these events
are present like deep bass sounds that you can feel more than hear.
But, however you describe them, these experiences are in the forefront
of many of our issues and in the background of all of our issues.
Economically, the damage which was already beginning before September
11 has accelerated. Tens of thousands of people have lost their jobs,
many others are having their work schedule reduced. As in all economic
distress, the working poor are being hurt the most. For peace and
justice organizations, fund-raising has been put on the back burner in
order to allow people to address the immediate hardships caused by the
Politically, justice and peace issues have been submerged as elected
officials and the media spend less time on any issues other than those
directly related to terrorism and war. Conservatives call us traitors
and America-haters if we dare to go beyond condemnation of the
injustices of the terrorists. People who condemn the terrorists but
also suggest we examine the justice and peace issues in our own country
and in our own international behavior, and people that say we should
seriously consider responses other than military responses, are
n-American, evil, unpatriotic, or even, as Rush Limbaugh said,
communists! (I wonder what exactly does it take to be a communist
today, when it seems even the communists are not communists? I will
leave that to another discussion.)
It is a different world, clearly. But, at the same time, many justice
and peace issues remain the same.
The most vulnerable direct victims of the September 11 terrorist
attacks are single parent families, those without insurance and pension
plans and union support. The first victims of the economic
reverberations after September 11 have also been the working poor: the
last hired, the least skilled, the least educated, the least organized.
The first political victims in our country have been the Arab and
Islamic Americans, who have been subjected to racial profiling, threats,
assaults and even death.
But there is good news as well. The American people have responded
with tremendous generosity to the victims of the terrorists. Our
firefighters and police and rescue workers have given all of us
inspiration as they courageously and selflessly worked to help all our
people in distress. It is a tribute to the progress of those who have
labored so hard for civil rights that our president and most of our
public officials have called for religious, racial and ethnic
olerance. It is a tribute to those who have labored for peace, that
the initial calls for horrific and indiscriminate retaliation of anyone
even in the vicinity of terrorists have been declining.
Because our world is both quite different and yet in some ways the
same, what are we to do as social justice organizers?
I suggest ten principles to guide us as we work in our new landscape.
But first, a note of caution. Each of these principles must be
implemented in ways that reflect our commitment to justice and peace.
If we do not organize intelligently and in an anti-racist way, as my
friend Ron Chisom likes to say, "we will not be organizing, but
disorganizing." Simply said, there is no shortcut. We cannot organize
for peace and justice if we do not model peace and justice in our
Here are the ten principles.
#1 Be Humble
We must start by being humble. It is ok to say "I don't know the
answer." In fact, it might be the smartest thing to say. Nobody has
been here before. So none of us know exactly what to do. That said, we
cannot allow ourselves to be paralyzed into inaction.
#2 Be Quiet and Listen
Don't talk, listen. This doesn't work for television or columnists,
but if you believe in real organizing, you should believe that people
possess an innate wisdom. We must listen to the people for insight and
wisdom. The people help us discover the way for all of us to go
There are times when we must resist the quick response. There are
times, as peace activist Daniel Berrigan said, when we should say,
"Don't just do something, stand there!"
As an example, when you find yourself in a suddenly darkened room, what
do you do? While some might rush blindly to where they think the door
is, others stand still, gather themselves, let your eyes get adjusted to
the different environment, orient themselves, then cautiously and
sensitively, move forward.
Listening is part of our orientation. We listen to pick up clues from
our fellow seekers about what is the best path, the best next step.
#3 Be Not Afraid
Courage is critical. There is a concerted effort to try to intimidate
and silence people interested in justice and peace. Conservatives
challenge the patriotism of all who dare to examine and question the
root causes of why all that America does is not universally admired.
Conservatives are setting up cardboard liberals who excuse the
terrorists, hate America, do not support democracy, and are just as
intolerant as Jerry Falwell. Columnists equate pacifism with treason
and evil. Those who call for nonviolence or even an international
police action are not supporting the Commander in Chief, the troops, and
the families of the victims of September 11. Workers who have struck
for economic justice since September 11 have been attacked and called
selfish and not patriotic.
If working for peace and justice does not meet some conservative's
narrow definition of patriotism, then they have created too weak a form
of patriotism. By that definition, Sojourner Truth was not a patriot,
Abraham Lincoln was not a patriot, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt are
not patriots, and Martin Luther King was not a patriot. I want to be
what they are. If they do not meet someone's definition of patriot,
then I am not interested. True patriotism should allow an appreciation
for both what is great about our country and what we need to work to
improve. We cannot allow anyone to silence the voices of peace and
justice, even if they try to silence them with flag-waving.
We would do well to remember the agonizing efforts of those who fought
against slavery, who fought for civil rights, who fought for the right
to organize, and who fought for the rights of freedom of speech. Those
were tough and scary fights, but there were successes even in the face
Peace and justice organizers have to maintain courage despite the
ongoing attempts to intimidate and silence.
#4 Rediscover the Community of Social Justice and, by all means, Welcome
Prior to September 11, our peace and justice communities were separate
efforts. The people organizing around welfare reform worked apart from
those organizing against the death penalty. People working on living
wages were isolated from those working on voting rights and
When times get tough, they are tougher when you are alone. It is time
to re-connect our justice and peace organizing. As members of a
community we are much stronger and wiser than when we are alone.
When the peace community organized a vigil in New Orleans four days
after September 11, over 200 people showed up. After the vigil, almost
everyone there said, "It was so good to be among people who were
interested in peace, because I have been feeling so alone and isolated."
There are also new members in the peace and social justice community:
many new people, many young people. We must welcome them and learn from
Not all the new arrivals have been welcomed with open arms by the
existing peace and justice community. Some new people say the wrong
things. Others do things that are hurtful or disruptive. But, even
then, the last thing veteran organizers need to tolerate are efforts to
marginalize or attack new folks for their newness and lack of
sophistication. There are criticisms that the new people are innocents
or naive or ill-informed or un-analytical. They are criticized for
proceeding in a way that does not take into account...take your pick:
racism, feminism, homophobia, they are too interested in religion, or
not interested enough in nonviolence, etc.
I say welcome the new people. Learn from them. Be infected by their
enthusiasm. Join with them. Share with them. Don't preach at them.
Work with them. Help them discover the knowledge that others have
learned the hard way. Certainly people have much to learn from people
already in social justice work.
We must clearly understand that these new people have much to teach us
as well. To go forward in these new times, we need to link up with each
other in respectful ways that model the just and peaceful community we
seek to organize.
#5 Faith-based Social Justice
There has been an upsurge in people seeking consolation and leadership
and direction from their churches. The religious community has a big
opportunity as people search for new meaning: linkages between faith and
justice and peace. Some churches have spoken eloquently about peace and
justice issues. Connecting with faith-based social justice people and
organizations represents an opportunity at this time.
For social justice organizing, there is an important distinction to be
made between faith traditions and churches. In my experience, all
faiths place justice and peace and sacrifice and respect and the common
good at the very center of their beliefs. The problem is that many
churches preach and practice a very weak form of their faith. They
de-emphasize the justice and peace demands of their faith traditions.
Work for social justice is replaced by church tithing. Working for
peace is replaced by supporting the church school or church suppers.
The faith which is meant to afflict the comfortable and comfort the
afflicted, weakly ends up comforting the comfortable.
We need to work with people whose interests in justice and peace are
faith-based. We also need to challenge our church leaders, who tend to
mute the justice issues in order to accommodate their congregations. We
also, of course, need to respect all varieties of faiths and we need to
make sure that the faith-based folks respect those whose dedication to
peace and justice is not faith-based.
#6 Prepare for, and Forgive, Mistakes
Any time we try anything new we are going to make mistakes. That is
the essence of living a challenging life. Since this is a new
environment in which we are organizing, we will make mistakes. We would
be smart to be prepared for our mistakes and also be prepared to forgive
well-intentioned people who make them.
Some of the most venomous and counter-productive criticism of social
justice organizing comes from others of us in the same field. We savage
each other in ways that Rush Limbaugh and the Wall Street Journal could
only dream of.
We need not overlook mistakes. We need to be prepared to learn from
them. But we also need to be prepared to support those of us who make
them. This is part of the social justice obligation that we owe each
#7 Study History
We need to study and understand history, real history, not the myths
spun out by the talking heads on tv.
Those who say that in time of crisis, Americans always gather around
our leaders do not know the richness of our history. Those who say we
historically suspend all questioning of injustice in our country during
time of crisis, do not know our history.
A real look at our history will show that while many have exclusively
rallied round the flag in times of crisis, many others have maintained
their commitments to peace and justice, even in times of crisis. There
were demonstrations and draft resistance and even riots among poor and
working class men in connection with every war ever fought. In every
war some people said "Not in my name."
As Tim Rutten and Lynn Smith said recently in the Los Angeles Times,
"Political dissent in wartime is an American tradition."
As part of our understanding of history, we must see the legacy of the
civil rights and peace movements already at work in our midst. While
some official crazies like our own Rep Cooksey (Diaper and fan belt
comment) and Jerry Falwell (gays and lesbians and abortionists and the
ACLU and people for the American way) have been hatefully shameful, it
is remarkable that numerous officials and leaders have tried to deter
hate crimes against Arab or Islamic Americans. Also, the widespread
support for saturation-type bombing, even nuclear responses, has seemed
to diminish considerably.
We need the historians in our communities to help us re-discover the
justice and peace realities of our history, particularly in times of
#8 Speak to Shared Values
Part of our challenge as organizers is to communicate. In this time,
when there is so much official communication about "either you are for
our war or you are for terrorism" we need new ways to talk.
I strongly suggest every person interested in social justice
organizing look at the web site of the group, We Interrupt This
Message. That organization assists progressives in dealing with the
media. This discussion of the principle of speaking to shared values is
taken largely from materials from their website. www.interrupt.org
In order to communicate, our organizing and media messages should
respond to questions that speak to values central to both the peace and
social justice movement and the majority of the general public:
Thus, "How can we hunt down the terrorists" can be recast as "How can
we be safe?"
"How do we protect America" can be "How can we be strong?"
Instead of "How can we wipe these fanatics out?" we can discuss "How
can we arrive at justice?"
Safety, Strength, Respect for Human Life, and Justice are all values
shared by the peace and social justice movement and the majority of the
North American public. And our communication and media messages should
be framed as answers to these questions.
For example, the courage and sacrifice and discipline of the rescue
workers shows us a wonderful model for discussing the importance of
courage and sacrifice in working for justice and peace.
#9 Make the Social Justice Issue Connections
The current crisis allows us an opportunity to show that all justice is
Racial profiling of Middle Eastern and Muslims has to be fought as part
of the ongoing struggle against racism, even in the peace movement
itself. Racism is like being in the Mississippi river, if you are not
actively struggling against the current, you are drifting along with
it. The rally in DC was called ANSWER, Act Now to Stop War and End
Racism. War and racism were linked in their minds for a reason. Martin
Luther King spoke about the three evils of racism, militarism, and
materialism, for a reason.
Attempts to blame these tragedies on Islam, Muslims, Arabs, Jews,
liberals, and gays and lesbians show us the need to stand up for the
civil and human rights of all people.
Generous and fair compensation for victims of terrorism is absolutely
the right national response to the tragedies. This can lead to further
discussion of the national struggle for just and fair reparations for
African-Americans and local calls for assistance to residents of public
housing who have been displaced by the demolition of their homes.
Congressional assistance for airline industry of $15 billion that
leaves out 100,000 workers shows the need to support the struggle of
workers for union organizing, the right to a job and the search for a
Those who call for revenge and eye for an eye blind retaliation remind
us of the need to struggle against the human rights violations of the
death penalty in our own country.
All of sudden the USA is interested in international coalitions. This
is a startlingly new focus. We even paid our UN dues! Now, we are all
in this world struggle against terrorism together. We are for human
rights everywhere. Wonderful. What can we learn from the struggles of
our international sisters and brothers? What does the international
dimension say to our issues like the death penalty? Environmental
justice? Worker justice? Civil rights and civil liberties?
Current developments give us the opportunity to connect the justice
issues that are so visible and popular with the ones that are less
visible but no less important.
#10 Reconsider Strategies & Go Steadily Forward
I don't know how many of you have had your car stuck in the mud or the
snow. I have been stuck in both. When your car is stuck in the mud or
snow, often the best response is not to just smash down harder on the
accelerator. But I am afraid that many of us are trying to do just that
at this point.
Many on the right and left are saying, "Now more than ever....[whatever
they said before September 11]." Well, why? Really ask the question,
why? We must challenge ourselves to not just knee jerk say what we said
before, but to thoughtfully respond to the question, why?
If our only response to the events of September 11 is to do what we did
before that, but only harder, I think we will waste a lot of energy. We
have to thoughtfully and humbly reconsider our strategies and develop
some new ones. Otherwise we will just remain stuck.
These are my thoughts. They may not ring true to others. They may not
even prove true to me in the days ahead. But I suggest we resume
reflecting, thinking, acting, and organizing in new ways to make social
justice a reality.
We may never persuade the woman who called us traitors, but if we can
work effectively on social justice issues, we can do our part to make
this world a better place for her and for us.
New this issue:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/studentsnowar/files (members only)
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