---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2001 19:34:03 -0700
From: radtimes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Antiwar News...(# 19)
(Anti-war links/resources at the end.)
Chaos as Afghans flee bombed city
BBC (with additional by Reuters).
19 October 2001.
Refugees have been flooding out of Afghanistan in terror at continued US
More than 3,500 Afghans poured into the border town of Chaman on Friday
after fleeing heavy bombing in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar.
The UN said the refugees came with no food and no belongings -- and they
described the situation as chaotic.
"A wave of panic has swept the border," a spokeswoman for the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees told the AFP news agency.
"Our border monitors reported that about 3,500 people, mostly women and
children, entered Pakistan at the Chaman border crossing Friday," UNHCR
spokeswoman Fatoumata Kaba said.
Intense U.S.-led military strikes on targets in and around Kandahar
overnight and Friday morning appeared to have sparked panic among
residents of the Taliban stronghold in southwest Afghanistan, Kaba said.
It appeared to be the biggest single exodus of Afghan civilians to
Pakistan since Western strikes began 13 days ago.
Describing the new arrivals in Pakistan as a "sudden rush," Kaba said
she believed they had been allowed to enter on humanitarian grounds --
although witnesses said a few well-aimed stones had also probably helped
focus the border guards' minds.
In the morning, a crowd of around 2,000 people had gathered at Chaman on
the Afghan side.
There was also a long queue of around 200 donkey-carts bringing scrap
metal for foundries in Pakistan -- a daily routine -- stopped by the
When the crowd started throwing stones at the border post, the gates
were opened and the hundreds of people pushed their way in.
Among them were five families with members they said had been injured in
the U.S. air raids.
Nazar Muhammad, with multiple fractures in his legs and one arm, and his
son Mohammad Zaman with a broken back, were the two most seriously
Pakistani officials say 50,000 Afghans have crossed into Pakistan since
the crisis began.
The UN is painting an increasingly bleak picture of the fate of the
Many Afghans, they say, have not got money for food, let alone the
journey to the border.
New arrivals report having to pay smugglers up to $50 -- a huge sum in a
country already brought to its knees by drought and war.
The Pakistani Government is only allowing new refugee camps to be built
in the border area, a remote and inhospitable region.
Aid agencies have pleaded with the government to be allowed to build
Refugee Mohammed Gul, a refugee from Kandahar told the BBC's Pashto
service that he worked in a military hospital, but medicines had run
He said: "Bombs were hitting people's houses."
"They damaged lots of houses and they injured and killed lots of
"We were there and I saw about 50 people who died and some became
"Everyone is looking to the sky and waiting and thinking when will the
American aircraft come and starting killing them."
Mideast Clerics Decry U.S. - Led War.
19 October 2001.
KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia -- Children emptied their piggybanks and a woman
donated her wedding dress as a Saudi campaign continued Friday to raise
millions for Afghan victims of U.S.-led attacks.
With Muslims streaming into mosques for the day of weekly prayers,
clerics in this Gulf nation and across the Middle East denounced the
U.S. assault and called for holy war.
Criticism was not directed just at the United States for its air
campaign, which targets Afghanistan's Taliban rulers and the al-Qaida
network of Osama bin Laden.
Muslim nations -- in particular Pakistan and Turkey -- were singled out
for siding with the Americans in a war that has led to the deaths of
"We condemn what happened to the Americans, but what is happening to the
Afghans is even worse," Sheik Mohammad bin Mubarak al-Tawwash, preacher
at the Al-Kabir Mosque in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, said Friday. "We pray to
God to protect the Muslims ... and we pray to God to give Muslims
victory against the infidels."
Public figures Thursday sent e-mails and mobile phone text messages
urging people to donate money to the bank account of the fund run by a
Saudi television channel to "help the poor Afghans."
The campaign began Thursday afternoon. By late that night, the
contributions totaled $36 million, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
King Fahd donated $9.1 million, SPA said, adding that a woman caller
gave her wedding dress. "Throughout the kingdom children were observed
emptying out their piggybanks in which they have been saving their
pocket money," the news agency said.
Following a prayer service at a Khobar mosque Friday, a 25-year-old who
would identify himself only as Saleh, said Americans are terrorists.
"We pray to God that their destruction will come soon." said Saleh, who
said he made a donation in hopes that it will help the cause that bin
Laden, a Saudi exile, was promoting.
"Osama is a holy warrior and he, God willing, will prevail over the
infidels," Saleh said.
Several Saudi clerics also used their services to praise bin Laden as a
"true Muslim hero."
In Bahrain, prayer leaders at two Manama mosques urged worshippers to
donate money for the Afghans, while outside one of the mosques boys
"We should help them because they don't have houses, they are poor
people and what America's doing to them is forbidden because there is no
clear evidence" against bin Laden, Saad Abdullah, 15, said outside
Ibrahim Khalil Kano mosque.
Abdullah described bin Laden, the man held responsible by the United
States for the Sept. 11 terror attacks that killed more than 5,000
people, as a "good" man and a "mujahid" -- a holy warrior.
"The big crime is that Muslim countries such as Pakistan and Turkey are
in the war that is killing Muslims,'' Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein
Fadlallah told worshippers at a mosque in south Beirut, Lebanon.
In Baghdad, an Iraqi cleric said the anthrax scare inside the United
States "is a result of God's anger." "We challenge you (the Americans)
to strike us because God will avenge," Bakir Abdul-Razak told
worshippers during Friday prayers in Um al-Ma'arek mosque.
At a Jordanian university mosque, preacher Abdul-Wahab Kassasbeh said
all Muslims were obliged to join a holy war if a Muslim country is
attacked -- even women. "If their husbands refuse their participation
they should revolt against them and join the mujahedeen."
In Tehran, prayer leader Mohammad Yazdi reiterated the Iranian position
that the U.S.-led attacks on Afghanistan are wrong, asking "is it
possible to clean a crime with a crime, to wash blood with blood, to
clean ugliness with ugliness?"
World public opinion is against the strikes on Afghanistan, he said, and
everyone knows that "that person" -- an apparent reference to bin Laden
-- "was created by the Americans themselves and trained by them and now
has become trouble for them."
Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2001
Subject: Two U.S. Servicemembers Die in Helicopter Crash
NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense
October 19, 2001
TWO U.S. SERVICEMEMBERS DIE IN HELICOPTER CRASH
Two U.S. military personnel were killed today in Pakistan as a
result of a helicopter accident while supporting Operation
Enduring Freedom. Names have not been released pending
notification of next of kin.
10 Reasons to Stop Bombing Afghanistan
by Don Hazen, AlterNet
October 19, 2001
Despite almost universal agreement that America "needs to do something" in
response to terrorism, our heavy bombing of Afghanistan increasingly looks
like a bad idea. While virtually all of us feel that strong steps should be
taken to apprehend anyone behind the massive murders on September 11, when
you add up all the facts, the pulverizing of a battered country just
doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Instead, by bombing Afghanistan, we are ...
1. Creating new terrorists. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of innocent
civilians have already been killed by U.S. bombing in pursuit of Osama bin
Laden. The Pentagon has confirmed numerous instances of "collateral
damage," including a 2,000-pound bomb that struck a residential area near
The United States' perceived disregard for collateral damage may lead many
to conclude that we are waging a war against Muslims writ large. In so
doing, we are losing the battle for the hearts and minds of people who are
necessary in the fight against terrorism.
2. Generating refugees. Our attacks on population centers are causing a
huge refugee problem that neighboring countries can't handle. By October
12, 350,000 people had amassed in the northern Panjsher Gorge and over
150,000 had fled to the provinces of Tahor and Badakhshan. United Nations
officials predict that 1.5 million will leave their homes, risking mass
starvation in the brutal Afghan winter to escape the bombings.
Moreover, the U.N. refugee agency has been forced to halt work at six
planned refugee camps on the Pakistan border because of opposition from
Afghan tribal groups. Food convoys that previously entered Afghanistan by
truck have been forced to indefinitely halt their shipments.
3. Ushering in regime as bad as the Taliban. The bombing campaign may well
usher into power the Northern Alliance, a group some say is even more
brutal than the already brutal Taliban. To many, this is a proposition
fraught with peril. During their brief time in power from 1992 to 1996, the
Northern Alliance scored poorly in the peaceful governance and human rights
departments. And while intense efforts are underway at forming a broad
pan-Afghan political coalition of anti-Taliban parties, some veteran
diplomats and intelligence officers are skeptical that such a confederation
would survive after a victory over the Taliban.
4. Increasing drug flow from Central Asia. A corollary to #3 -- if the
Northern Alliance takes power, experts predict a new flood of heroin across
the globe. According to U.N. officials, Afghanistan produces about 75
percent of the world's opium, which is used to make heroin.While the
Taliban government attempted to slow down heroin production in large parts
of Afghanistan (and largely succeeded), the Northern Alliance has continued
to distribute heroin to help fund their efforts. If our bombing campaign
helps ousts the Taliban, opium growth and sales will instantly soar.
5. Aiming at the wrong target. The suicidal hijackers who crashed into the
World Trade Center and Pentagon where all from Egypt and Saudi Arabia, not
Afghanistan. Rich Saudis fund and encourage the violent, fundamentalist
breed of Islam from which the hijackers came. The religious schools that
breed the radical mujahdeen, including many who have joined the Taliban
Army, are mostly in Pakistan. Iraq and Iran fund and support terrorists. In
other words, the terrorists are spread across many nations and not all
harbored in Afghanistan.
Furthermore, numerous experts link the September 11 hijackers to an
Egyptian group, Gama'at al-Islamiyya. Founded by Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman,
currently serving a life sentence for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing,
Gama'at al-Islamiyya is best known for the November 1997 massacre of 62
tourists at the Temple of Luxor in Egypt and the assassination of Egyptian
president Anwar Sadat in 1981.
6. Destabilizing Pakistan. Our bombing raids are destabilizing Pakistan,
our reluctant ally with nuclear capabilities to the South and East of
Afghanistan. Pakistan's president, General Pervez Musharraf, has presented
his country as wholly allied with the U.S. against terrorists, but in fact
many of his top officials remain dependent on a little-known but powerful
fundamentalist party called Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam. Known more simply as JUI,
this group helped incubate the Taliban, and it may now spark civil war in
its home country.
7. Turning bin Laden into a media superstar. By focusing huge amounts of
energy on demonizing and pursuing one person (despite the existence of
thousands of terrorists in the al Queda network), we have made Osama bin
Laden larger than life.
Among many groups, bin Laden is viewed as a strong and powerful person who
has evaded U.S. capture in the three years following his suspected
involvement in the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and
Tanzania. People's affection for him lies not in his alleged terrorist
activities, but in the strong anti-American sentiment that grips this part
of the world. If our bombs finally strike him, or he is otherwise killed,
he will become a celebrated martyr of the Muslim world.
8. Unfairly punishing a helpless population. To bring one man and his small
band of followers to justice, we are heaping devastation on a powerless
population that is already completely impoverished by war. Nobody in
Afghanistan voted the Taliban into power in 1994; they seized and now
maintain power by force. To "pressure" the Afghan people with a deadly
bombing campaign, when they have no political power anyway, defies
America's sense of fairness.
9. Being lured into a trap. Afghanistan is historically a quagmire, the
only Central Asian country never conquered by Europeans. From 1979 to 1989,
the Soviet Union poured untold monies and lives down the drain in an
unwinnable guerilla war against Afghanistan. By being sucked into investing
huge resources to find bin Laden, we could find ourselves stuck, ambushed
and preoccupied, while terrorists go on with their work from many other
10. There are smarter ways of fighting terrorism. Call it what you want --
"blowback," the law of unintended consequences, bad karma, but we continue
to dismiss the long-term impact of our powerful desire to find bin Laden.
Lots of smart, experienced people suggest that the large-scale, clumsy,
overkill approach of the U.S. military is the opposite of what we need to
contain terrorism and find bin laden.
Why not treat terrorists like the criminals they are, building a long-term,
world-wide coalition to stop terrorism that includes the U.N. and world
court? If we use the media more effectively instead of operating in
secret, and invest the billions of dollars we are spending to pulverize
Afghanistan to address social and economic needs around the globe, we will
be on a more productive path toward making the world safer from terrorism.
Uneasy rebels plan campaign to halt bombing
by Michael White, political editor
Friday October 19, 2001
Labour backbenchers are planning to defy pressure from Tony Blair and
their party's whips by launching an official campaign against the
continued bombing of Afghanistan by the US-led coalition.
As unease sets in about the scope and direction of the bombing and
its likely impact on the distribution of food aid to millions of
refugees before winter arrives, rebel MPs who have shown any sign of
dissent have been told not to table Commons' motions or to appear on
radio or TV without first clearing it with the Labour whips office.
Such pressure - which included a 45-minute lecture from Hilary
Armstrong, the chief whip, for Paul Marsden, a new high-profile
dissident - will be ignored by most of the rebels, though some have
been told they are in breach of the rules of the Parliamentary Labour
However, the dissidents - who include a number of younger MPs as well
as "old lags" who have opposed military action from Iraq to Bosnia
and Kosovo - are determined to provide a focus for what they believe
will prove a rising level of criticism if the allies appear to lose
their way and fail to dislodge either the Taliban or the "prime
suspect"of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Osama bin Laden.
They plan to launch a "Labour Against the Bombing" group at
Westminster on Wednesday - a change of name from "Labour Against the
War" because some MPs do not oppose a military response to the
attacks on America, only a dangerous or ineffective one.
In the absence of Tony Benn - now retired as an MP - Alan Simpson,
chairman of the leftwing Campaign Group, is the leading organiser of
the group, which hopes to attract between 15 and 30 backers or more
from Labour's ranks, as well as Plaid Cymru, Liberal Democrat and SNP
Jenny Tonge, the Liberal Democrat aid spokesman, was criticised on
Wednesday night at a private meeting of colleagues for backing the
campaign for a pause in the bombing. The 30-strong Liberal Democrat
executive met last night to decide whether to back it, too.
The veteran MP Tam Dalyell is also expected to back the group, as
will Alice Mahon, the MP for Halifax who opposes the military action
Mr Simpson and the MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, Dr Lynne Jones, are
not so emphatic.
"I am not against all action, I want effective action," said Dr
Along with Mr Simpson, Adam Price, Mr Marsden, Valerie Davey and
Hywell Williams, all MPs, she joined David Pickering, an American who
delivered to Downing Street his internet petition calling
for "international institutions, not the instruments of war" to
resolve the crisis.
Some 53,000 people in Britain are among the 500,000 worldwide who
have emailed their support to Mr Pickering (David@9-11peace.org) who
warns that the current military strategy will make a bad situation
US Bombing Disrupts Afghan Planting
By EDITH M. LEDERER
Associated Press Writer
October 18, 2001, 10:56 PM EDT
UNITED NATIONS -- The U.S. bombing of Afghanistan is disrupting the
planting of crops which normally provide 80 percent of Afghanistan's
annual grain harvest, the head of the U.N. Food and Agriculture
Organization said Thursday.
As a result, Afghanistan's already grave food supply situation will
be further aggravated next year, FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf
He said reliable estimates of wheat and barley planting were
impossible because U.N. international staff were ordered to leave
Afghanistan last month, and there is very little contact with local
"Certainly, where the bombing is going on or where war preparation is
going on, there would not be very many (farmers) planting -- not to
talk of those who normally would plant and are rushing to the borders
as refugees," Diouf said.
The FAO had forecast the country would produce 2 million tons of
Based on that expected harvest, the two agencies had estimated that
Afghanistan would need 2.2 million tons of imported food for the 12
month period ending in June. The forecast noted mounting evidence of
emerging widespread famine conditions.
But with the U.S.-led military campaign coming on top of three
consecutive years of drought and severe economic disruptions caused
by more than a decade of war, the FAO says the food and crop problems
are being exacerbated, and the need for foreign food aid will be
Earlier this month, the two Rome-based U.N. agencies agreed to
provide 494,000 tons of food to 6 million vulnerable people inside
Afghanistan and 1.5 million refugees over the next six months at a
cost of $230 million.
Diouf said FAO has also appealed for $3 million to provide emergency
seeds and fertilizer to farmers for the current winter planting.
The agency had been working in seven provinces including Kabul. It is
still working in northern areas controlled by the opposition, but is
not currently operating in 90 percent of the country controlled by
the Taliban religious militia, he said.
In the short term, Diouf said, "it is estimated that we will need $80
million to assist 2 million farm families to continue to produce food
for their needs" immediately after military action ends.
For long-term rehabilitation of Afghanistan's devastated agriculture
and livestock sector, the FAO is seeking an additional $122 million.
Civilian death toll mounts in Afghanistan
By Julie Hyland
19 October 2001
The US bombardment of Afghanistan has resulted in an estimated 300 civilian
deaths, and hundreds of injuries. Moreover, a United Nations spokesperson
described the humanitarian crisis in the country as "the most serious,
complex emergency in the world ever".
These claims were issued as the impoverished country was subjected to its
twelfth day of bombardment on Thursday and amidst reports that US special
forces had begun entering Afghanistan.
Pentagon officials admit firing more than 2,000 missiles and bombs in the
course of their military campaign, including cruise missiles and cluster
bombs. Washington claims that its firepower is directed against Osama bin
Laden's Al Qaeda network and the Taliban regime. Pentagon sources give a
daily briefing on the number of alleged "terrorist training camps" that
have been destroyed. But there is increasingly reliable evidence to show
that many civilian areas, including schools, hospitals and entire
neighbours have been bombed, whilst basic infrastructure, such as the
country's already primitive water and electricity supplies, has been decimated.
In the most notorious incident to date, an estimated 200 people were killed
on October 11, when some 25 missiles and bombs wiped out the small village
of Kouram, 20 miles to the west of Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan.
Initially, US sources denied American forces had attacked the village,
which consisted mainly of mud huts. When the Taliban lifted the ban on
foreign journalists entering the country, allowing a small number to visit
the scene and the surrounding area, however, such denials became untenable.
Journalists' accounts and video footage showed the wreckage of a US bomb
amidst a number of destroyed civilian homes. A US spokesman then alleged
that the Taliban had moved the bomb to the site, but experts who said such
a procedure was virtually impossible refuted this. Finally, US Secretary of
Defense Donald Rumsfeld said that the number of casualties claimed was
"ridiculous", although he did admit to some loss of life.
According to Russia's Pravda newspaper, the bomb that destroyed Kouram was
apparently a GBU-32 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition), which reportedly
carries an explosive payload of up to 2000 lb (910 kg).
Journalists from Britain's Mirror newspaper visited the village and
reported "everywhere there was the stench of death and detritus of war. A
woman's foot lay in the street and the remains of an arm protruding from a
pile of rubble. Houses were squashed. Dozens of animal carcasses littered
the villages and fields". At Jalalabad's public hospital, they interviewed
survivors, who told of losing many family members, including children. The
paper carried photographs of young children severely injured in the raid.
Their accounts were backed up by other interviews with female survivors in
the women's ward at the same hospital. One woman told journalists that she
had lost all her children. A 17-year-old girl, herself badly burned by the
bomb, said that her mother-in-law, brother-in-law and his wife and children
had all been killed. The reporters stressed that the interviewees were not
pressurised into making their statements, and that no Taliban had been
present at the time.
On Wednesday morning, several US bombs hit a Red Cross warehouse in
northern Kabul, two miles from the capital's airport. An Afghan security
guard was injured. The Pentagon claimed that a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet jet
had dropped the 1,000lb bombs at 4:57am "on a series of warehouses believed
to be used by the Taliban to store military equipment", and denied that it
had known the Red Cross was using the buildings.
An International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) official rejected the US
account, stating that its warehouses were clearly marked by a red cross
painted on the roof. "It is definitely a civilian target. In addition to
that, it is a clearly marked ICRC warehouse,' 'said Robert Monin, head of
the ICRC delegation in Kabul, now evacuated to Pakistan. At least 35
percent of the food and other equipment stored was destroyed by the
bombing, Red Cross officials said. The ICRC's Geneva Headquarters has
lodged a formal protest to the US.
Other humanitarian relief agencies have also been hit in air strikes on at
least two other occasions. On October 8, US bombs struck the United
Nations' de-mining agency in Kabul, destroying the compound, killing four
staff and wounding four others. On October 15, shrapnel from US bombs
pounding Kabul airport wounded an employee of the UN World Food Program
(WFP), who was unloading grain at a nearby warehouse. The bombing halted
what would have been the first Oxfam food delivery into the famine-stricken
Hazarajat district of Afghanistan since September 11. Such a remarkable
series of attacks prompted Human Rights Watch to state, "There is no
evidence that the agency facilities were the intended targets".
The ICRC warehouse was struck on Wednesday as the US carried out its most
intensive bombardment of Afghanistan. More than 100 planes were used in the
biggest daylight bombing since the US action began, striking targets in all
the main cities, including Kabul and Kandahar. US sources described the
military escalation as a "clean up mode". In addition to the deployment of
B52 aircraft, which were used in the carpet bombing of Vietnam, the latest
raids saw the use of heavy airborne gunships for the first time. The
heavily armed, low-flying Special Forces AC-130 Spectre gunships possess
105mm cannons and machine guns that can fire up to 1,800 rounds per minute.
The aircraft were used against Taliban troops, many of whom have reportedly
been press-ganged into fighting. But their deployment in urban areas,
during daylight, meant that eyewitness accounts surfaced of civilians
having to run for cover to escape the planes.
According to UN spokesman Hasan Ferdous a large bomb struck a boy's school
in Kabul city centre during Wednesday's raids, but did not explode. It was
not clear if pupils had been in the building at the time. "It was a direct
hit. It is fused and could explode," Ferdous said, adding that a de-mining
group were working to defuse the missile. A clinic was also reportedly hit,
killing five people.
A Taliban spokesman said that the same day, US warplanes had attacked two
trucks packed with Afghan refugees attempting to flee bombing raids on the
town of Chunai, in southern Afghanistan. He claimed that a further 12
civilians in the town had died after bombs hit houses adjacent to a Taliban
military barracks, and that 15 had been killed in other neighbourhoods.
This report has yet to be independently verified.
In pre-dawn air strikes on Thursday, warplanes again hit central Kabul, as
well as other targets in Jalalabad and Kandahar. Reports indicate that a
central neighbourhood near the presidential palace in Kabul was struck.
The intensive raids, and the use of special troop carriers, would seem to
support claims made by Arabic newspapers that US ground forces have now
entered the country. Iranian radio and television reported Thursday morning
that US troops had entered Afghanistan by helicopter, and that there had
been exchanges of fire between American and Taliban forces near Kandahar.
What is certain is that the US attack has intensified an already severe
humanitarian crisis. According to the UN, the numbers of Afghan civilians
attempting to flee the country is among the "biggest movements of human
beings in history". Before the US action began, there were 3.5 million
Afghan refugees in neighbouring Pakistan and Iran. The UN estimates that a
further one million people are now heading towards Pakistan, 400,000 are en
route to Iran and a further 100,000 are trying to reach the former Soviet
republics to the north.
Many of those fleeing are already severely malnourished. The UN's
Children's Fund, UNICEF, said as many as 100,000 Afghan children could die
this winter unless food reaches them in sufficient quantities. A UN
spokesman described the US military's brief policy of airdropping food
rations in Afghanistan, supposed to underline America's "humanitarian"
concerns, as "catastrophic".
The international aid agencies have not condemned US military intervention
outright, however, nor have they made a call for a total cessation of
Western action. A joint statement released by several charities, Oxfam
International, Britain's Islamic Relief, Christian Aid, Catholic Agency for
Overseas Development, the Tear Fund and Action Aid, was limited to a call
for a "pause" in the bombing to allow food supplies to be delivered before
severe weather conditions set in. The UN estimates that 50,000 tonnes of
food is needed in the next month to stop millions starving to death during
the harsh Afghani winter. Just 10,000 tonnes have made it in the last
month. Even this timid appeal was rejected by British and US government
officials, however, who blamed the Afghan regime for the current crisis.
October 18, 2001
Berkeley Council Wants Bombing to Stop
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
BERKELEY, Calif., Oct. 17 ^ The City Council approved a resolution last
night calling for an end to the bombing in Afghanistan, despite death
threats to some Council members and a raucous audience waving as many
American flags as antiwar signs.
The resolution, passed 5 to 4, was a toned-down version of one in which
Councilwoman Dona Spring called on the government to "take whatever action
necessary" to stop the bombing and seek "a legal, nonmilitary resolution."
Last night's resolution sought, instead, to put the Council on record in
asking to "break the cycle of violence," to stop the bombing quickly and to
express sympathy for those who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The earlier effort brought Berkeley nationwide criticism, following as it
did the Council's support of Representative Barbara Lee, Democrat of
California, who cast the lone vote in Congress against authorizing
President Bush to use force in response to the Sept. 11 attacks.
Berkeley also drew scorn for barring large American flags from being
displayed on city fire trucks for fear of inciting antiwar demonstrations.
Later, officials said they were concerned about the flags' posing a safety
Mayor Shirley Dean, who opposed the Spring resolution, said her mail had
been running 2 to 1 in favor of the government.
"I feel as mayor that my job is to represent all the people of the city,"
she said. "I don't think the Council should have taken a position. We all
have lots of venues for expressing our opinions, so it's certainly not a
question of free speech."
What's So Complex About It?
October 19, 2001
By Michael Albert
In the past few weeks I have minutely explored, often with Stephen
Shalom, multifold concerns about September 11 and the "war on
terrorism." With him I have tried to calmly and soberly respond to
all kinds of concerns people feel. I recommend doing it. We all need
to become adept at rebutting the insanely manipulative media messages
that crowd into so many people's minds, and into our own as well. But
going straight to the uncomplicated heart of the matter sometimes has
The U.S. bombing of Afghanistan is a barbaric assault on defenseless
civilians. It threatens a nearly incomprehensible human calamity. It
is pursuing abominable goals.
The bombing is not a "just war," as Richard Falk labels it in The
Nation, but a vigilante attack. No, it is not a vigilante attack; it
is a vigilante lynch-mob assault writ large. No, it is not even a
vigilante lynch mob assault writ large--even vigilante lynch mobs go
after only those they think are culprits and not innocent bystanders.
The bombing of Afghanistan is a gargantuan repugnance hurled against
some of the poorest people on the planet. And this gargantuan
repugnance is undertaken not out of sincere if horrendously misguided
desires to curtail terrorism--since the bombing undeniably manifests
terror and feeds the wellsprings of more terrorism to come--but out
of malicious desires to establish a new elite-serving logic of U.S.
policy-making via an endless War on Terrorism to replace the defunct
Cold War. This is rehashed Reaganism made more cataclysmic than even
his dismal mind could conceive.
When people say, but doesn't the U.S. have a right to defend itself?.
I understand their hurt, pain, anger, and confusion. But I also have
to admit that I want to scream that the U.S. is increasing the
likelihood that a million or more souls will suffer fatal starvation.
Is that self defense?
Put differently, what kind of thinking sees denying food to humans as
self defense? The answer is thinking like Bush's, thinking like bin
Laden's, thinking that treats innocent human lives as chess pieces,
as checkers, as tidily winks, in pursuit of its own deadly agendas.
Thinking that is willing to rocket a plane into a building to take
6,000 innocent lives, or thinking that is willing to drop bombs into
an already devastated country abetting cataclysmic starvation. Or,
more often, it is thinking that has been systematically denied the
most basic information relevant to the issues at hand, and that is
too fearful, depressed, angry, or cynical to admit disturbing
You think I exaggerate?
Jean Ziegler, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food to the U.N.
High Commissioner for Human Rights, said October 15, "The bombing has
to stop right now. There is a humanitarian emergency." Lest anyone
miss the point, he continued, "In winter the lorries cannot go in any
more. Millions of Afghans will be unreachable in winter and winter is
coming very, very soon." As Reuters reported (and AP carried as well,
but not any U.S. newspaper or other major media outlet, as best I can
tell), "the United Nations has warned of a catastrophe unless aid can
get through for up to seven million Afghans." Ziegler continues, "We
must give the (humanitarian) organizations a chance to save the
millions of people who are internally displaced (inside
Afghanistan)," adding that he was echoing an (essentially unreported)
appeal made by U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson a few
days earlier, who was in turn echoing reports that go back to before
the bombing. Ziegler called the bombing "a catastrophe for
humanitarian work." Or in the words of Christian Aid Spokesman
Dominic Nutt (quoted in the Scotsman but again in no U.S. papers):
"We are beyond the stage where we can sit down and talk about this
over tea. If they stop the bombing we can get the food aid in, it's
as simple as that. Tony Blair and George Bush have repeatedly said
this is a three-stringed offensive--diplomatic, military and
humanitarian. Well the diplomatic and military are there but where is
the humanitarian? A few planes throwing lunchboxes around over the
mountains is laughable."
So what's complicated in all this?
Perhaps someone with a more subtle mind than mine can clarify it for
me. But assuming one has the above information at hand, to me it all
seems to boil down to this. If we bomb (or even just threaten to
bomb), they are more likely to starve. If we don't bomb (or threaten
to bomb), they are less likely to starve. If we choose bombing, we
are telling the innocent civilians who may starve--not thousands but
millions of them--you just don't count. Compared to Washington's
agenda, you are nothing. And what is Washington's agenda? Remarkably
the stated aim is to get bin Laden and to try him or perhaps just
execute him ourselves. We could stop the bombing and have him tried
in a third country, the Taliban has noted, but that's not acceptable.
So for this minuscule gradation of difference, we are told that
Washington is willing to risk 7 million people. Behind the rhetoric,
to me the real goals appear to be to delegitimate international law,
to establish that Washington will get its way regardless of
impediments and that we can and will act unilaterally whenever it
suits us -- the technical term for which is to be "credible" --and to
propel a long-term war on terrorism to entrench the most reactionary
policies and notions in the U.S. and around the globe, and, along
with all that, to terminate bin Laden and others. Risking seven
million people's lives for these aims is worse than doing it only for
the minuscule gradation of trying bin Laden ourselves rather than
having a third country do it, because the additional reasons are all
grotesquely negative, supposing such calculus is even manageable by a
When I was a kid and first learned about Nazi Germany, like many
other kids, I asked how could the German population abide such
horrors. I even wondered if maybe Germans were somehow genetically
evil or amoral. I have long since understood that Germans weren't
different than Brits or Americans or anyone else, though their
circumstances were different, but for those who still don't
understand mass subservience to vile crimes induced by structural
processes of great power and breadth, I have to admit that I mostly
just want to shout: Look around, dammit!
We live in a highly advanced country with means of communication that
are virtually instantaneous and vastly superior to what the German
populace had. We don't have a dictator and brownshirts threatening
everyone who dissents. Dissent here isn't pleasant and involves some
sacrifice and risk, but the price is most often way less than
incarceration, much less death. That's fact one. Fact two is that our
country is risking murdering a few million civilians in the next few
months...every serious commentator knows it, no serious commentator
denies it...and we are pursuing that genocidal path on the idiotic or
grotesquely racist pretext that by so doing we are reducing terrorism
in the world, even as we add millions to the tally of civilians
currently terrorized for political purposes and simultaneously breed
new hate and desperation that will yield still more terror in the
future. Does anyone remember "destroying the city to save it"? What's
next? Terrorize the planet to rid it of terrorists? For people of my
generation, in the Vietnam War the U.S. killed roughly 2 million
people over years and years of horrible violation of the norms of
justice, liberty, and plain humanity. The utterly incomprehensible
truth is that the U.S. could attain that same level of massacre in
the next few months, and, whether it happens or not, is quite
sanguine about doing so, as is virtually its entire intelligentsia,
its mainstream media pundits, and so on.
It is possible, with considerable effort, for the average person to
discover that this "war" is potentially genocidal. One can easily get
much more background, context, and analysis from ZNet, sure--but of
course only one out of roughly every five hundred or one thousand
U.S. citizens has encountered ZNet--but one can get that single
insight, the possibility that genocidal calamity is imminent, even
from the NY Times or Washington Post or any major paper that one
might read, if one digs deep into it and reads it very carefully. Of
course, the fact that such information isn't prime time news in every
outlet in the land reveals how supinely our media elevate obedience
above performance. They are seeing the AID and UN reports and calls
for a bombing halt, of course, and seeing the articles in periodicals
around the world, and they are simply excluding it from U.S.
communications. But even with this massive media obfuscation, how
hard is this war to comprehend, supposing one actually tries to
Shortly after September 11 there was a letter in the NYT that a grade
school child wrote to the editor, and I paraphrase from memory: "If
we attack them aren't we doing to them what they did to us?" This
child wasn't a genius, just a normal elementary school student. The
Times probably ran the letter to show how cute kids can be, but of
course the child was correct, not cute. The real question is why
don't more of us see what the child instantly saw, even now, weeks
later, with the horror before our eyes?
Yes, a never-ending trumpet beat of patriotism proclaiming U.S.
virtues and motives contributes to our blindness. Of course
accumulated confusions, augmented daily, cloud our understanding and
push the sad facts of potential starvation out of our field of
vision. And yes the human capacity for self deception to avoid
travail contributes, no doubt, to the process. But I suspect most
people's blindness is largely due to resignation. The key fact, I
suspect, isn't that people don't know about the criminality of U.S.
policies, though there is an element of that at work, especially in
the more educated classes, to be sure. But even among those carefully
groomed to be socially and politically ignorant -- which is to say
those who have higher educations -- I think many people do know at
some broad level Washington's culpability for crimes, and of those
who don't know, many don't in part because they are deceived, sure,
but also in part because they are more or less actively avoiding
knowing. And in my view the key factor causing this avoidance isn't
that people are sublimating comprehension to rationalizations due to
cowardly fearing the implications of dissent and wanting to run with
the big crowd instead of against it. I think instead that people can
find deep resources of courage, when they think it will do some good.
Witness those firemen, average folks, running up the stairs of the
No, to me the biggest impediment to dissenting is that people feel
that they can't impact the situation in any useful way. If one has no
positive hope, then of course it appears easiest and least painful
and even most productive to toe the line and get on with life, trying
to ignore the injustices perpetrated by one's country, or to alibi
them, or even to claim them to be meritorious, while also trying to
do what one can for one's kids and families, where we believe we can
have an impact. To admit the horror that our country is producing
seems to auger only alienation and tears. Here is one of many
examples ... at the end of an email that I got from a young woman as
I was finishing writing this essay, the author laments: "I've never
had a huge amount of trust in governmental actions. But what I do
know is that I have no control over anything. And all I can do is
It follows that the task of those who understand the efficacy of
dissent is of course to counter lies and rationalizations and to
clear up confusions by calmly and soberly addressing all kinds of
media-induced concerns and confusions that people have, but it is
also to demonstrate to people their capacity to make a difference. We
have to escort people, and sometimes ourselves too, over the chasms
of cynicism and doubt to the productivity of informed confidence.
We do not face, as some would claim, a transformed world turned
upside down and inside out. There is no new DNA coursing through us
and our major societal institutions are as they were yesterday, last
week, and last year. In fact, the main new thing in this month's
events is that major violence based in the third world hit for the
first time in modern history people in the first world. But the
problem of civilians being attacked is all too familiar. And all too
often the perpetrator is us, or those we arm and empower, including
in this case, with bin Laden being a prime example of monstrous
blowback. And now the problem is being replicated, writ ever larger,
as if by a berserk Xerox machine. What we have to do is precisely
what we would want others to do: oppose barbaric policies with our
words and deeds, arouse ever greater numbers of dissenters, and
nurture ever greater commitment to dissent, until elites cannot
sensibly believe that a "War on Terrorism" will lead to anything but
a population thoroughly fed up with and hostile to elites. People all
over the world are embarking on this path...we should too.
Campus protesters ignite U.S. flags
Friday, October 19, 2001
By PATRICK JOHNSON
AMHERST ^ Amherst College students were stunned moments after a
pro-America rally involving more than 100 people ended yesterday when
several protesters emerged from the crowd to set fire to a U.S. flag.
As the sounds of "God Bless America" continued through the public address
system in front of the Keefe Campus Center, as many as 10 demonstrators
doused two flags with lighter fluid and set them on fire.
Five members of the group then spread a larger flag on the ground and stood
on it while chanting "This flag doesn't represent me; this flag doesn't
The crowd of more than 100 people, mostly Amherst College students who
moments before rallied around the flag, stood in stunned silence as the same
flag was desecrated.
"This is really upsetting to me," said Christopher Palacios, a sophomore
Palacios, who said his parents fled Cuba in the 1960s to escape Fidel
Castro, said, "It makes me sick when American kids say the American flag
The pro-America rally yesterday was organized by a new student group called
Amherst Assembly for Patriotism.
The group formed in response to peace rallies at each of the Five Colleges
in recent weeks as well as the controversial decision by the town of Amherst
to limit flag displays downtown.
"Amherst is 25 square miles surrounded by reality," said Theodore Hertzberg,
a sophomore from Long Island. "I'm relieved the rest of the country does not
feel the same way."
The crowd had just finished a group recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance
and was beginning to disperse when as many as 10 protesters came forward.
Most of those protesting the flag declined to be interviewed.
One who did, 19-year-old Dan Griffin of Minneapolis, Minn., said the protest
sought to show that the United States is responsible for much of the pain
and suffering in the world.
The United States has helped continue a spree of genocide that dates back to
Columbus in 1492, he said.
"How people take it is how they take it," he said.
Griffin identified himself as a student but declined to say at which
college. He said the others are from different area colleges but would not
Hampshire College officials confirmed a student named Dan Griffin is
The University of Massachusetts records show a Daniel Griffin was enrolled
but he withdrew at the start of the semester.
Michael Flood, co-founder of the Amherst Assembly for Patriotism, said he
found the actions of the protesters to be inappropriate, especially since he
suspects none of them are from Amherst College.
"I believe they have a right to burn the flag, but this is inappropriate,"
Sophomore Nick Echelbarger from Seattle said the burning was free speech of
the lowest form.
"It doesn't make a point. It's just poor taste," he said.
THE GLOBAL CRACKDOWN
By Jim Redden, author
Snitch Culture (Feral House, 2000)
The Global Surveillance State predicted in the December 2000 edition of my
book Snitch Culture is rising from the ashes of the September 21, 2001
attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
It is being done under the guise of an international War on Terrorism
orchestrated by President George Bush, the son of the former CIA director
who ran the illegal Iran-Contra supply network while he was Vice-President.
With the nation still reeling from the apocalyptic attacks, Bush declared
war on terrorism in general and Saudi exile Osama bin Laden in particular.
Although only Congress has the power to declare war, Capitol Hill simply
rolled over and applauded the crusade, just like they did in Korea, Vietnam,
Grenada, Panama and the Balkans.
And just as they did in those conflicts, the mass media wrapped itself in
the flag, stifled all voices of dissent, and rushed to embrace "Americas
New War," as CNN dubbed it in red, white and blue letters. With the talking
heads calling for the nation to rally behind Bush, U.S. bombers were
pounding Afghanistan, bin Ladens assumed home base, by early October.
Even as much of the Muslim world rose up to oppose the strikes, the talking
heads gushed enthusiastically about the accuracy of satellite-directed
missiles and "bunker buster" mega-bombs.
Meanwhile, Bush turned responsibility for securing the domestic front over
to Tom Ridge, the former Pennsylvania governor who oversaw the violent
suppression of civil rights during the 2000 Republican National Convention
in Philadelphia, including covert surveillance of lawful political groups
and the brutal arrest of protest leaders on trumped-up charges. As head of
the newly created Office of Homeland Defense, Ridge is in charge of the
anti-terrorism activities of over 40 federal law enforcement agencies. An
early estimate put the cost of defending the country at $1.5 trillion over
the next five years.
If Bush and Ridge have their way, within a few years everyone will be
required to carry an official ID card that will include a computer chip to
allow the government to track their movements. Facial recognition cameras
will scan crowds at airports and other public places, matching faces with
vast databases that will include millions of digital drivers license
photos. The FBI will plug its Carnivore computers into the servers used by
Internet Service Providers to route e-mail traffic. All information
collected by any government agency will be shared with every police agency
around the world.
More than that, the government is apparently preparing to round up thousands
of people. On October 4 the New York Post reported that the Federal Bureau
of Prisons had just issued requests for bids to build two prisons to hold
"criminal aliens" in Georgia, with three more prisons in the Southwest
deserts that can hold 1,500 detainees to be built early next year. The
article speculated that the Wackenhut private security company could win the
contracts because it has run immigrant camps in Australian made out of
converted military bases.
As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor told a law school audience
in Manhattan on September 29, "[W]e're likely to experience more
restrictions on our personal freedom than has ever been the case in our
Many of these invasive practices will be authorized by the first major
expansion of the Snitch Culture in the 21st Century, the so-called USA Act
of 2001 rushed through Congress with little debate within weeks of the
attacks on New York and Washington DC. Many of the provisions enhance the
power of domestic law enforcement agencies to spy on Americans for
"intelligence" as opposed to criminal investigations. Among other things,
--Creates the new crime of "Domestic Terrorism" that could be interpreted to
impose heavy penalties on political protest.
--As part of a crackdown on "Cyber-terrorism," computer hackers and virus
makers will face life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, even
if no one is ever harmed by their activities.
--Allows information obtained during criminal investigation to be shared
with the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the
Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Secret Service and the military
without judicial review, and with no restrictions on how these agencies can
use the information.
--Authorizes covert "sneak and peak" searches where the government can enter
your home, office or other private place and search your files, photograph
your belongings, and download your computer hard drive without telling you.
--Allows forum shopping where law enforcement agencies can use friendly
judges to obtain "single jurisdiction" search warrants to use against
suspects in other parts of the country, making it almost impossible to
--Allows the CIA to spy on American citizens and requires the FBI to share
its files with the spy agency, including those on law-abiding American
--Allows indefinite detention of non-citizens, including legal aliens,
without meaningful judicial review.
--Requires colleges and universities to open student files to law
--Expands wiretap authority by allowing police to obtain the equivalent of
"blank" warrants for any phone in the country.
--Widens the scope of subpoenas for records of electronic communications to
include evidence such as credit card receipts and Internet accounts.
--Authorizes U.S. authorities to shire into about persons suspected of
terrorism or money laundering with financial institutions.
--Orders the Attorney General to explore the feasibility of an integrated
computer fingerprint identification system that can be used at points of
entry and US consulates.
"Most Americans do not recognize that Congress has just passed a bill that
would give the government expanded power to invade our privacy, imprison
people without due process and punish dissent," said Laura W. Murphy,
Director of the ACLU Washington National Office, said on October 12.
The War on Terrorism claimed many victims before the bill even passed,
however. As always, the first victim of this new war was the truth.
President George Bush flatly told the nation that much of the governments
activities would be conducted in secret and might never be disclosed. "Watch
what you say," White House press spokesman Ari Fleischer warned within days
of the attacks. A short time later, National Security Advisor Condoleeza
Rice personally told the heads of all major television and cable networks to
censor their newscasts, and they agreed.
Al Cross, president of the Society of Professional Journalists, said the
restrictions are preventing reporters from doing their jobs.
"Theyre finding it increasingly difficult to fulfill their roles as
watchdogs," Cross said on October 13. "It just seems that things have been
Other early victims included foreign visitors. Over 700 people, mostly from
the Middle East, were jailed in the early stages of the investigation into
the attack. Many were simply released after being held in interrogated for
weeks. A 20-year old student from Pakistan said he was stripped and beaten
in his cell by other inmates while jail guards failed to intervene and
denied him medical care. In three midwestern states, U.S. immigration
officials cut off all visits and phone calls for detainees for a full week.
Authorities refused to tell San Diego attorney Randall Hamud where his three
clients, Osama Awadallah, Modhar Abdullah and Yazeem Al-Alsami, were even
But this new War on Terrorism is not just another domestic law enforcement
initiative. It is the excuse to create an international surveillance society
that will ultimately monitor everyone in the world.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair carried the message to receptive leaders
throughout Europe. Dozens of other countries promptly signed up, pledging
all possible support. The United Nations quickly passed a resolution
requiring all member nations to cooperate by opening up their banks to
international inspectors, potentially affecting billions of law-abiding
citizens across the globe. The September 11 attacks allowed governments in
Europe and the Middle East to round up hundreds of political dissidents
under the guise of cracking down on terrorist networks.
History teaches us these new powers will be abused. President Abraham
Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus during the Civil War.
Foreign-born socialists and labor organizers were deported during World War
I. Japanese-Americans were interned during World War II. The government
spied on, harassed and even murdered political protesters during the Vietnam
As in the past, Americas New War will benefit the rich and powerful at the
expense of the poor. Multinational corporations facing growing protests over
their labor and environmental practices will find it easier to do business.
Fledgling labor movements in developing countries will be shut down as
terrorist organizations. Dissident political organizations will have their
bank accounts frozen and their assets seized.
Meanwhile, the establishment press is ignoring many troubling questions.
Chief among them, what is the governments real relationship with bin Laden,
the alleged mastermind behind the September 11 attacks. The CIA admits that
bin Laden was an intelligence asset during Afghanistans war against the
Soviets, but insists he turned against America when the U.S. government
turned its back on him after the Cold War. Michel Chossudovsky, professor of
economics at University of Ottawa, insists the CIA never severed its ties
with him and other Muslim militants, however.
"Since the end of the Cold War, these covert intelligence links have not
only been maintained, they have become increasingly sophisticated,"
Chossudovsky claims. "New undercover initiatives financed by the Golden
Crescent drug trade were set in motion in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the
Balkans. Pakistan's military and intelligence apparatus (controlled by the
CIA) essentially served as a catalyst for the disintegration of the Soviet
Union and the emergence of six new Muslim republics in Central Asia."
This raises an obvious question about the September 11 attacks:
What did the government know when did they know it? Government agents
infiltrated such previous attacks as the Greensboro Massacre, the 1993 World
Trade Center bombing and the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal
office building. Although intelligence officials originally denied having
any advance warning of the September 11 attacks, they were soon forced to
admit that "lots of signs" pointed to the plot, including warnings of an
impending "Hiroshima" on U.S. soil.
Three days after the attacks, Newsweek, the Washington Post and the Knight
Ridder newspapers reported that five of the hijackers were trained at secure
U.S. military installations during the 1990s. The reports also claimed three
of the terrorists had listed their address as the Naval Air Station in
Pensacola, Florida, and had participated in military exchange programs for
foreign officers at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida.
The Pentagon denied the reports and the stories went away. But in fact, the
FBI raided the private Florida flight school where several of the suicide
pilots trained within hours of the attacks, proving the government knew more
far more about the terrorists than it is admitting.
Likewise, the media is ignoring even bigger questions. Five Israeli citizens
were arrested and held in isolation after accusations surfaced that nearly
4,000 Jews mysterious skipped work at the World Trade Center. Who are they?
George Bush Sr. is in business with bin Ladens family through the Carlyle
Group, a private Washington DC equity firm that has essentially become the
nation's largest defense contractor. What is real relationship between these
two powerful families?
And what is the role of oil in the equation? According to published reports,
the U.S. and Pakistan decided to install a stable regime in Afghanistan
around 1994 to ensure the safety of a Unocal pipeline project. Is Operation
Enduring Freedom just the final step in this effort to tap the regions oil
Dont look to the CNN or any other mainstream news outlet for the answers.
They are too busy playing their roles as cheerleaders for the Snitch
Culture, gleefully pumping the $5 million rewards offered for what they
dubbed, "The Worlds Most Wanted Terrorists."
Hearts and Minds: Avoiding a New Cold War
by Rahul Mahajan and Robert Jensen
This is a different kind of war. That much of what we are being told,
at least, is true. And because of that, a different kind of analysis is
The single most common question antiwar activists are confronted with
is, "What's your solution?"
Although many elements of a sensible solution have been offered, the
antiwar movement has reached no general consensus on the fundamentals.
In the past, activists who critiqued and/or resisted unjust U.S.
foreign policy and militarism faced three main scenarios in which U.S.
actions were blatantly unjust and the raw exercise of U.S. power was
-- U.S. attempts to overthrow democratically elected governments, such
as Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, and Chile in 1973.
-- U.S. wars against national liberation movements, such as Vietnam in
the 1960s, or against attempts to consolidate national liberation, such
as Nicaragua throughout the 1980s.
-- U.S. wars in response to clearly illegal acts, but where the U.S.
short-circuited negotiations and used indiscriminate, gratuitous
violence that killed huge numbers of civilians (directly and
indirectly), such as in the Gulf War in 1991.
In all those cases, there was no threat to the people of the United
States, even though many of the interventions were carried out in the
context of the Cold War project of making people afraid of
The solutions were simple -- in the first two cases, no intervention by
the United States, and in the third, diplomacy and negotiations within
the framework of international law while keeping the United States from
unilateral military action.
But this war was sparked by attacks on U.S. soil, and people feel
threatened and afraid, for understandable reasons.
In a climate of fear, it doesn't matter to many that the military
strategy being pursued by the United States is immoral (the civilian
death toll from bombing and starvation resulting from the attack will
no doubt reach into the tens, possibly hundreds, of thousands without
immediate action) and ineffective (it will most likely breed more
terrorism, not end it).
Americans are confronted with a genuine threat and want to feel safe
As a result, proposals offered by some in the antiwar movement have
been difficult for the public to take seriously. It is clear that
pacifism is of interest to virtually no one in the United States. That
is not said out of disrespect for principled pacifists who consistently
reject violence, but simply to point out that any political argument
that sounds like "turn the other cheek" will be ignored. It is also
hard to imagine how it would have an impact on the kind of people who
committed the crime against humanity on Sept. 11.
The only public display of pacifism that would be meaningful now would
be for pacifists to put their bodies on the line, to put themselves
somewhere between the weapons of their government and the innocent
victims in Afghanistan. Short of that, statements evoking pacifism will
be worse than ineffective; they will paint all the antiwar movement as
out of touch with reality.
Also inadequate are calls for terrorism to be treated solely as a
police matter in which law enforcement agencies pursue the perpetrators
and bring them to justice through courts, domestic or international.
That is clearly central to the task but is insufficient and
unrealistic; the problem of terrorist networks is a combined political
and criminal matter and requires a combined solution.
So, what should those who see the futility of the current military
strategy be calling for?
First, we must support the call made by UN-affiliated and private aid
agencies for an immediate bombing halt to allow a resumption of the
serious food distribution efforts needed to avoid a catastrophe.
There will need to be a transitional government, which should be -- as
has been suggested for the past decade -- ethnically broad-based with a
commitment to allowing international aid and basic human rights. It
must, however, be under UN auspices, with the United States playing a
minimal role because of its history of "covert" action in the region.
It should also be one that does not sell off Afghanistan's natural
resources and desirable location for pipelines on the cheap to
While all that goes forward, the United States should do what is most
obviously within its power to do to lower the risk of further terrorist
attacks: Begin to change U.S. foreign policy in a way that could win
over the people of the Islamic world by acknowledging that many of
their grievances -- such as the sanctions on Iraq, the presence of U.S.
troops in Saudi Arabia, Israel's occupation of and aggression against
Palestine -- are legitimate and must be addressed.
This shouldn't be confused with "giving in to the terrorists" or
"negotiating with bin Laden." It is neither. It is a practical strategy
that demonstrates that a powerful nation can choose to correct policies
that were rooted in a desire to extend its dominance over a region and
its resources and are now not only unjust but untenable. It is a sign
of strength, and it is the right thing to do.
Some have argued against any change in U.S. foreign policy in the near
term. International law expert Richard Falk wrote in The Nation,
"Whatever the global role of the United States--and it is certainly
responsible for much global suffering and injustice, giving rise to
widespread resentment that at its inner core fuels the terrorist
impulse--it cannot be addressed so long as this movement of global
terrorism is at large and prepared to carry on with its demonic work."
In fact, the opposite is true: Now is precisely the time to address
these long-term issues.
Here we can actually take a page from "liberal" counterinsurgency
experts who saw that the best way to defeat movements of national
liberation was to win the hearts and minds of people rather than try to
defeat them militarily. In those situations, as in this one, military
force simply drives more people into resistance. Measures designed to
ease the pressure toward insurgency, such as land reform then and
changing U.S. Middle East policy now, are far more likely to be
effective. The alternative in Vietnam was a wholesale attempt to
destroy civilian society -- "draining the swamp" in Donald Rumsfeld's
phrase. The alternative now would be unending global war.
In the past, such strategies were part of a foreign policy "debate" in
which the end goal of U.S. economic domination of Third World countries
was shared by all parties, and so they were entirely illegitimate. Now,
it is different -- these terrorists are not the voice of the
dispossessed and they are not a national liberation movement. Their
vision for their own societies is grotesque.
But they do share something with the wider populace of their countries.
There is tremendous justified anger in the Islamic world at U.S.
foreign policy. For the vast majority of the populace, it has not
translated to anger at the United States as a nation or at Americans as
a people. For groups like al-Qaeda, it has. Their aims and methods are
rejected by that majority, but the shared anger at U.S. domination
provides these terror networks their only cover. A strategy to
successfully "root out" those networks must isolate them from the
populace by eliminating what they hold in common. It is necessary to
get the cooperation not just of governments of Islamic nations but of
their people as well. The only way is to remove their sources of
These changes in policy must be preliminary to a larger change. The
United States must drop its posture of the unilateralist,
interventionist superpower. In lieu of its current policy of invoking
the rule of law and the international community when convenient and
ignoring them when it wishes, it must demonstrate a genuine commitment
to being bound by that law and the will of the international community
in matters of war and peace.
Many have said of the Afghans, and perhaps by extension of many other
deprived peoples, "Feed them and you'll win them over." This attitude
dehumanizes those people. Nobody will accept bombs with one hand and
food with the other. Nor will anyone feel gratitude over food doled out
by an arrogant superpower that insists on a constant double standard in
international relations and makes peremptory demands of other nations
on a regular basis. To win the support of Afghans and others for the
long term, which will be necessary to substantially reduce the danger
of terrorism, the United States must treat other peoples with dignity
and respect. We must recognize we are simply one nation among many.
This strategy will not win over bin Laden or other committed terrorists
to our side; that's not the objective. Instead, we have to win over the
The choice we face as a nation is similar to that faced at the end of
World War II. The capitalist West, the Communist world, and many of
the colonies had united to defeat fascism. That could have been the
basis of building an equitable world order, with the United States
helping to equalize levels of wealth and consumption around the world.
Had that path been taken, the world would be a far safer place today,
for Americans and others.
Instead, U.S. leaders chose the path of the Cold War, which was not so
much an attempt to contain Soviet-style communism as it was to destroy
any example of independent development in the Third World, to extend
and entrench our economic superiority. That effort harmed democracy in
our country and in others, killed millions, and has led in the end to
the creation new and terrifying threats to all our safety.
Government officials are already speaking as if we are fighting a new
Cold War, with President Bush calling the war on Afghanistan "the first
battle of the war of the 21st century."
We cannot let history repeat itself.
Patriot Games: (Red and White Blues)
By: Isaac Peterson
"In order to save the village, we had to destroy it"
I haven't heard that one much since the Vietnam era. I've sure been
reminded of it a lot lately.
George W. Bush has reminded us over and over that the United States was
targeted by terrorists because we're the land of freedom and liberty, and
the war to eliminate terrorism was going to take a long, long time.
John Ashcroft didn't miss a beat in pushing anti-terrorism legislation on
Congress. It was a real laundry list of basic rights and freedoms that
would be tossed out the window. Some of the saner voices in this country
pointed out that what Ashcroft wanted would not have done a thing to
prevent the September 11 attacks. Some members of Congress resisted
Ashcroft for a while, but most of them finally gave in and passed most of
Some people, but not enough, were able to see that Ashcroft's, and this
administration's agenda was pretty much the same after the attack as it had
been before. And they have an excuse to go ahead and push for rolling back
liberties here in this country: fighting terrorism.
We were told that the fight is going to be a long one, and that in the
meantime we need to give up some rights so they can do what they need to
do. Terrorism is incredibly hard to fight because individuals can be
terrorists, as well as nations, and it's hard, if not impossible sorting
who's who. They don't want to admit what an uphill job they've taken on,
but they're going to milk it for all it's worth. If they can't wipe out all
the terrorists who target the United States because we're the land of
freedom and liberty, then they'll take away the terrorists' incentive to
attack us by wiping out freedom and liberty. In order to save freedom and
liberty, they had to destroy it.
This isn't all that new in this country-we've had laws limiting freedoms
before in times where the country's interests were at stake. There was the
Sedition Act of 1798, which called for jail sentences for criticizing the
government. In 1917, there was the Espionage Act and another Sedition Act,
giving jail sentences to people criticizing WWl. There were the 'loyalty
oaths' and Congressional hearings used to 'smoke out' Communism in the
1940's and 50's, and other steps and laws the government has used to stifle
dissent. And no Supreme Court has ever ruled that any of it was
unconstitutional. I can't imagine the current court ever saying that the
administration that they installed can't do whatever the hell it wants.
And they're getting us to go along with it. They've got the majority of
people answering polls to say that they would be willing to give up freedom
for security, and have got a lot of us waving flags while our rights to
freedom and privacy are being lined up to have the same future as the
Since Sept.11, we've been barraged by people waving flags, selling flags,
anything you can imagine with flags. It's the patriotic thing to do, we're
told, and anyone who has a problem with it is either unpatriotic or a
traitor. Same with anyone who asks questions or makes statements that
aren't in line with what the Bush administration is saying are acceptable
forms of expression or discourse right now. With all that, let me risk
being called unpatriotic or worse.
We're told the flag is the symbol of our freedom and liberty, and that's
why we should fly it boldly, and fly it high. We all learned the story of
the first flag in elementary school, how it was put together by Betsy Ross,
and how seeing it inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled
Banner. You know all the stories. But what if there was something better
than the flag we could be lining up behind right now?
What about the Constitution? I mean, every country has a flag. I am not
putting ours down, but we're not unique for having a flag. Every podunk,
one horse country, and every jumped-up dictatorship has a flag. That
doesn't make them free. We come a lot closer to being unique for having a
Constitution, and that is what is supposed to make us free.
The flag is just a symbol for (among other things) what is in the
Constitution. The Constitution even gives people the right to burn the
flag. Neither Congress nor the Supreme Court has changed that. It's not a
crime to burn the flag. When your flag gets tattered or touches the ground,
you're supposed to burn it. But try breaking through the glass and burning
the Constitution. Would that be a crime? What do you think?
I'm having a hard time in some ways with the idea that waving a flag
somehow automatically makes someone patriotic. We've seen George Bush the
elder make campaign stops at flag factories to score political points. The
flag didn't stop his and Reagan's administration from selling arms to our
enemies. It didn't stop Oliver North or any of the others involved in
Iran-Contra from lying to Congress about it. Hiding behind the flag hasn't
stopped anyone from doing things that are forbidden in the Constitution,
from George Washington's administration on down. In fact, the flag has been
used to give cover for lots of people trying to subvert the Constitution.
And every now and again, we get some hyped up politicians trying to push a
Constitutional amendment making it a crime to burn the flag. I wouldn't be
surprised to see someone try it with the patriotic fervor we're going
through right now.
But if the flag really symbolized what most of us think it does, wouldn't
it be a better idea to make Flag Day (June 14) a national (paid day off)
holiday? Flag Day comes and goes every year, and no one knows or notices. I
would think that having a day where we honor the flag would be a much
better tribute than a Constitutional amendment that would punish people for
exercising their rights.
As far as the Constitution goes, I'm having trouble understanding how being
patriotic means standing by while our rights are stripped away. I am
feeling like the flag is being used again to distract us from the real
importance of what's happening. We're being told to wave the flag and cheer
while our basic freedoms go down the tubes. We're waving flags while we're
losing our rights to speak freely, to assemble, to question, and to read
what we wish to read or listen to what we want to hear. We're losing our
right to privacy. I'm not having any trouble seeing this as seeing this as
something that could evolve into a real problem for women in particular,
since Roe vs. Wade, and other rulings were based on a right to privacy.
And we're being told that the war against terrorism and 'evil' is going to
be long and costly. They have to tell us that-it would be stupid to put a
time limit on it, or declare at some point that we had won. They can't risk
saying the job is done and then having the United States attacked again the
next day. And that means that for who-knows-how-long, our rights are just
words on a piece of paper under glass. Especially the 1st and 4th
Amendments-the ones that guarantee freedom of speech, right to assemble,
and protection against unreasonable search and seizure. Those have usually
been the first to go. Ask Japanese-Americans who were around how much fun
United We Stand. What do we stand for? What do we stand against? We're told
that we're in an 'us' and 'them' situation. But with the way things are
turning out, a lot of 'us' really are 'them'.
Sooner or later (probably sooner), we're going to build a monument to the
victims of the terrorist attacks. It will be large, expensive, and it will
be impressive. There will be some moving inscription, and maybe include
their names, like the Vietnam War Memorial, and will probably stand for
centuries. But I think that John Ashcroft and the rest of this
administration have already started building the monument to them. And I
have a hard time believing that those people would want their deaths to
stand for what we're doing right now.
Isaac Peterson is a contributing writer for Liberal Slant
Green Party USA
OFFICIAL PRESS STATEMENT #3
GPUSA Media Information Center: (212) 592-0740
October 19, 2001
GREEN PARTY USA CONDEMNS THE BOMBING OF AFGHANISTAN
The Green Party USA condemns the U.S. and British bombing of Afghanistan as
inhumane and an act of "state terrorism" against a starving and impoverished
nation. The killing of innocent civilians, whether intended or not, is a
violation of international law. The U.S. bombing of Afghanistan must cease
"Greens everywhere are mobilizing in an antiwar movement to force an end to
the cycle of violence," said Mitchel Cohen, Green Party USA media
coordinator. "The Green Party USA has officially endorsed anti-war protests
that will occur in a number of cities set for Saturday, October 27th, and our
members are participating in numerous efforts to stop these bombings and save
people's lives," Cohen said.
Greens believe that all human life is equally valuable, whether a person
works in lower Manhattan or lives in the desert outside Kabul. We mourn the
lives of those hundreds of innocent civilians murdered by U.S. bombs in
Afghanistan, just as we continue to mourn the thousands killed in the Sept.
11th attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. These were criminal
acts, as are ALL acts of terror against innocent civilians, whether committed
by individuals or by governments (including the United States). Those
responsible for acts of terror - including "state terror" -- should be
brought to justice under international law.
Our call for justice, however, must not be confused with calls for "revenge,"
which will only lead to the deaths of more innocent civilians. "Justice
should be the result of a fair, impartial and transparent trial conducted
under international law at which credible evidence is produced," said
Brooklyn Green Pete Dolack. Thus far, that evidence against any specific
individual, including Osama Bin Laden, has been questionable. For a nation to
embark upon bombing another country -- in the case of Afghanistan, one that
had been armed and financed by the U.S. government - for any reason, but
especially without producing clear evidence while killing innocent civilians
in the process, is an arrogant and inhumane act.
Furthermore, pounding Afghanistan's population will only generate new waves
of retaliatory attacks. As columnists Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
have noted, the bombardment of Afghanistan "is a policy that will diminish
U.S. security, ignores overriding humanitarian concerns, and precludes more
sensible approaches to achieving justice and promoting security in the United
States and around the world."
"The devastation to the environment and civilian population caused by cluster
bombs and by the use of Depleted Uranium artillery (contained in Tomahawk
missiles) will be a lingering and insidious nightmare against the environment
and Afghanistan's people," said Barb Sweeney of New Mexico, a member of the
Green Party USA's International Relations committee.
And, added Mitchel Cohen, "It's painfully ironic that among the very first
civilians killed in Afghanistan by the U.S. bombing were four United Nations
workers employed as part of a non-governmental organization project to clean
up landmines there."
The U.S. remains one of the few nations in the world still refusing to sign
the international treaty banning the use of landmines.
"It's important to ask 'Who benefits?' The immense oil empire of the Cheney
and Bush dynasties sow a trail of suffering and destruction wherever there
are profits to be made and resources to control," Sweeney said.
A good deal of evidence has now come to light that it was the CIA which
trained, funded, armed and defended Osama Bin Laden and the forces he
assembled in Afghanistan the same forces now accused of attacking the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon. Many of those who have been brought back into
power in George W. Bush Jr.'s administration were the ones responsible,
during George Bush, Sr.'s presidency, for training and financing the very
organizations they now hunt under the banner of "terrorism".
"These officials are using the events of Sept. 11th as a pretext for
activities that have nothing to do with 'preventing terrorism,' and
everything to do with promoting "territoryism" -- securing territory for a
trans-Afghanistan oil pipeline, and for cracking down on opponents of the
'New World Order," said Cohen. "Many Greens believe that all the death and
destruction is the 'collateral damage' not of legitimate liberation movements
but of a struggle between different factions of the global ruling class over
the fate of oil politics in the Arabian Peninsula and in Central Asia. It's
all about oil, corporate profits and globalization," Cohen said.
The Green Party USA encourages those who are non-violently resisting the U.S.
military bombardment of Afghanistan, and the dictates of multinational oil
corporations and the International Monetary Fund. "The best way to protect
U.S. citizens against terrorist attacks is by forcing our government to
follow international law and end its military conquests in the Middle East
and rest of the world," Cohen said.
Since 1986 the Green Party has been guided by the 10 Key Values of Social
Justice, Community-Based Economics, Non-violence, Decentralization, Future
Focus/Sustainability, Feminism, Personal and Global Responsibility, Respect
for Diversity, Grassroots Democracy, and Ecological Wisdom.
For additional information, call the GPUSA Media Information Center at (212)
Contacts: Mitchel Cohen <email@example.com>, Coordinator, and
Barb Sweeney <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Previous Green Party USA press statements on this subject and on related
issues are available at GPUSA's website: www.greenparty.org. Also, link to
www.globalcircle.net for additional related information.
The Deaths Of Innocents?
The Digital Drum
October 8, 2001 [#200]
By James A. Tolbert, Jr. <email@example.com>
Although I strongly oppose American "Ramboism," I understand
the psychological needs of those Whites for whom militarism,
discrimination, and domination are a way of life. They are
the progeny of those who originated scalping; misused
gunpowder; indiscriminately used napalm; and didn't think
twice about unleashing the atomic bomb.
So it is with great dismay that I see so many Black people
also "caught up" advocating war. Yet, I have great
fascination in listening to their reasoning and
justifications. Like everyone else, I was horrified with the
death and destruction of September 11th, but I do not suffer
from the resulting brain paralysis that induces uncontrolled
flag waving, and some of the most outrageous propaganda
since the days of Adolph Hitler.
Take, for example, this dribble based on the
"an-eye-for-an-eye" philosophy that -- because hundreds of
Blacks, various other "minorities," and even Arab Americans
were killed in New York, now Black folks should support war.
First of all, the irony of a person of an oppressed class,
endorsing the oppressor's genocidal strategy against other
oppressed people would be laughable if it were not insanely
pathological. Secondly, this ignorant rejection of careful
analysis and critical reflection of America's geopolitical
record demonstrates why Blacks in America must mentally and
physically separate from the American mainstream madness.
Unfortunately, many of us have been completely lobotomized
from decades of racial oppression. If we were not, then
maybe we could clearly understand that September 11th was
really nothing new. These victims were but a tiny fraction
of the enormous worldwide body count that global white
supremacy has already exacted. If some of us were not so
distracted by our dreams to be integrated, we might find out
that history and the present are full of the deaths of
innocents. In this case, those killed in New York shared the
same fate of others all over the world. The truth is that an
inhumane based US foreign policy has resulted in bombs
exploding; chemical attacks suffocating; diseases ravishing;
and tyrants intentionally killing. We, in the US, couldn't
care less about this messy record, as long as it doesn't
happen on our front door.
Over 6,000 died in one day in New York City, but did we ever
stop to consider that more than 6,000 continental Africans,
die, every day, from AIDS. Every day, 11,000 more are
infected with HIV -- adding to the 25 million already
infected. Most of these 25 million will die within eight
years. Did we ever stop to consider the 800,000 killed in
the Rwandan genocide? Have we ever heard of Rwanda? What
about our own ongoing physical, mental, and spiritual death
occurring right here in America.
It is easy to talk after the fact about how everyone should
respond to a crisis. What is being avoided, in the most
fundamental and reckless manner, is the question of what can
be done to prevent further tragedies? More than likely, any
acknowledgment at all to this question will come in an
inaudible mumbling, accompanied by the far-away shifting of
the eyes searching for escape. More than likely, any further
responses will not involve using the political process to
hold politicians accountable; instituting debt forgiveness,
or `Marshall' type plans for African nations; rethinking
foreign policy; reducing the use of fossil fuels; demanding
that the government face up and resolve its historical
legacy of racism, imperialism, colonialism,
post-colonialism, and outright skullduggery. More
importantly, you will not get any deep theological
discussions or reflections of just exactly what GOD demands
of us, since everyone is fond of GOD BLESSING AMERICA to
take violent retribution.
I'm not holding out any hope for the return of rationality
for my red, white, and blue brothers and sisters. The smoke
has not even settled yet and they are calling for the
rebuilding of the World Trade Centers, in "defiance of
terrorism." To build another architectural deathtrap, a
phallic symbol of US capitalist arrogance, over the graves
of over 6,000 souls -- they might as well paint a bull's eye
on it and order more body bags.
Six civilians reported killed in bombing.
BBC (with additional material by AP).
18 October 2001.
ISLAMABAD -- At least six civilians have been killed as American bombs
battered a number of Afghan cities on Thursday, independent journalists
in the capital Kabul say.
US President George W Bush hinted that ground attacks might begin soon,
and American propaganda broadcasts warned the Taleban to surrender or
The Taleban authorities claimed 400 civilians had been killed in 12 days
of American-led attacks.
Independent journalists in Kabul said six people - including five
members of one family - were killed when bombs fell in a residential
Meanwhile, a CNN office in the Afghanistan city of Kandahar had its
windows blown out when U.S. forces apparently attacked a vehicle on a
nearby road, the network said Thursday.
Two employees working at the time had taken cover outside of the office
and were unhurt, CNN said.
RAWA STATEMENT ON BOMBING; CALLS FOR UPRISING
Taliban should be overthrown by the uprising of Afghan nation
Again, due to the treason of fundamentalist hangmen, our people have
been caught in the claws of the monster of a vast war and
America, by forming an international coalition against Osama and his
Taliban-collaborators and in retaliation for the 11th September
terrorist attacks, has launched a vast aggression on our country.
Despite the claim of the US that only military and terrorist bases of
the Taliban and Al Qieda will be struck and that its actions would be
accurately targeted and proportionate, we have witnessed for the past
seven days leaves no doubt that this invasion will shed the blood of
numerous women, men, children, young and old of our country.
If until yesterday the US and its allies, without paying the least
attention to the fate of democracy in Afghanistan, were supporting
the policy of Jehadis-fostering, Osama-fostering and Taliban-
fostering, today they are sharpening the dagger of the "Northern
Alliance". And because of this policy they have plunged our people
into a horrific concern and anxiety in fear of re-experiencing the
dreadful happenings of the years of the Jehadis' "emirate".
Afghans, while keeping in mind the tremendous disasters they faced at
the hands of Jehadi and Taliban vultures, just hang onto their hope
for the return of the ex-king. However, if he comes to the scene
while relying on the "Northern Alliance" and so-called "moderate"
Taliban, he not only will lose his reputation among the people but it
will endanger the stability and success of whatever set-up he forms.
In the time of the Taliban's medievalist domination, no Afghan and no
honorable and mindful Muslim will be deceived by the "nationalistic"
gestures of Taliban who invite the Afghan people and even the whole
Muslim world for "Jehad" against America. Any person, group or
government that supports the Taliban, no matter under what pretext,
is the enemy of the Afghan people, the people who also hate the "anti-
Osama" and "anti-terrorism" acts of the "Northern Alliance"
murderers. Our people not only have not forgotten the five years
after the collapse of the puppet regime of Najib --the most horrible
years of terrorism and unchastity-- but as well they don't forget the
time when the Jehadis themselves were the cheap servants of Abdullah
Ezam and Osama bin Laden.
Now the "Northern Alliance" groups lie in ambush like hungry wolves
so they, while riding the guns of the US, can assault and swarm into
Kabul and in proportion to the depth and width of their "conquests",
besides committing vandalism like the years before, gain ground in
order to bargain for position in the second "emirate", and as a
consequence again spoil the aspiration of the people for the
establishment of a stable and democratic government acceptable to
The continuation of US attacks and the increase in the number of
innocent civilian victims not only gives an excuse to the Taliban,
but also will cause the empowering of the fundamentalist forces in
the region and even in the world.
Our people have two options:
Either the eradication of the plague of Taliban and Al Qieda -though
they (our people) didn't have any part in its cultivation and
germination- and the establishment of a government based on
democratic values, or to hand over Afghanistan to these forces who
have dependence, looting, crime and national treason as the main
components of their perfidious entity.
Our compatriots, therefore, must rise up for a thorough demolition of
Taliban and their Osamas so the world should understand that the
tired, wounded, mournful and deserted Afghans not only in word, but
practically too, have no connection with the criminals and don't
regard a handful of Arab or non-Arab terrorists as "honorable
Only an overall uprising can prevent the repetition and recurrence of
the catastrophe that has befallen our country before and with or even
without the presence of the UN peace-keeping force this uprising can
pave the way for the establishment of an interim government and
preparation for elections. We believe that once there is no foreign
interference, especially of a fundamentalist type, all ethnic groups
of all religions, with no regard to the devilish designs of the
fundamentalists, will, prove their solidarity for achieving the most
sacred national interests for the sake of a proud and free
The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) asks
that all anti-fundamentalist, freedom and democracy-loving and pro-
women's rights forces and also the ex-king of Afghanistan, before it
is too late, must play their role in the organizing of mass-uprising
and as well thwart the plans of the internal and external enemies of
Afghanistan. The peace and justice-loving people of the world will be
on the side of the Afghan people.
----Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/studentsnowar/files (members only)
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