[sixties-l] Antiwar News...(# 20) (fwd)

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Date: Tue Oct 30 2001 - 01:21:03 EST

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    Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2001 21:50:44 -0800
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: Antiwar News...(# 20)

    [multiple items]
    (Anti-war links/resources at the end.)

    It's Simple. It's Not So Simple

    By Cynthia Peters

    Now is the time to be talking to people. Communicating, sharing
    information, listening -- they are the core of social change, of
    changing minds, of exchanging rationalizations and cynicism for
    vision and empowerment.

    It's simple, really. A terrible crime is being committed in our name.
    Millions of dollars worth of bombs are raining down on an already
    decimated country. Beyond the military terror and destruction, the
    terror of starvation almost surely awaits millions of Afghans unless
    the bombing stops and a full-scale aid program gets food in place for
    the winter. This is a calculated crime against humanity that differs
    from September 11th only in scale; that is: it is many times larger.

    That the U.S. is taking part in the killing of innocent people is not
    new. What's new is that people are paying attention. Before
    September 11th, I tried talking to people about the 500,000 Iraqi
    children dead thanks to the U.S. economic embargo. And people's
    eyes glazed over. But during these last few weeks, as I've staffed an
    information table on the main street that runs through my town, I've
    noticed something else during my conversations with people about
    the war in Afghanistan, the certainty of mass starvation unless our
    current trajectory in that country is reversed, the principles of
    international law, the idea that escalating violence is exactly that and
    not a form of justice, and the importance of the rule of law over the
    muscle of vigilantism.

    What I've noticed is that the glaze is gone.

    People's eyes are opened to the world in a way they weren't before.
    People are bringing questioning minds to the problem of terrorism
    and the U.S. role in the Middle East and elsewhere. People are filled
    with grief, awed by the courage of the rescuers, stunned by what it
    means to turn a commercial jetliner full of innocent people into a
    living, breathing bomb. People are curious -- and I mean that --
    about exactly how the U.S. has abused its power around the globe,
    and they are reflecting on the consequences of that abuse.

    Many conversations are not that hard. Sometimes, just listening to
    the words pouring out of someone's mouth helps him or her listen to
    those words, too, for the first time. Sometimes re-phrasing what you
    hear, without necessarily making a speech complete with historical
    facts and figures, is enough to put a crack in the confident parroting
    of the war defense. Sometimes, just being out on the street with
    "Justice Not War" flyers is enough to reach the cynic who already
    understands the misuse of U.S. power but believes there's no point
    in contesting it.

    But not every conversation is so easy. I don't feel good about having
    some guy towering over me, jabbing the air with his finger, spitting
    out his passionate belief that, yes, we should kill as many Afghans
    as possible. It's not just that it's personally threatening, or that it's
    ethically in line with Osama bin Laden. It's also that it's painful to
    come face to face with this particular kind of human being.

    Heartless retaliation is not limited to this war-mongering type.
    Consider the educated guy in the corporate suit who speaks in soft
    tones and has a pained expression on his face as he shrugs off the
    possibility of millions of starving Afghans with, "Well, we have to get
    Osama bin Laden somehow, don't we?"

    Rather than scream my disbelief back at him, I try calmly repeating
    his own logic back to him. "So you think it's okay to put millions of
    Afghans at risk of starvation in order to possibly catch one man?"
    Then I try to let the pause be. I try not to fill up the silence with more
    words. I try to let him hear what he's saying. But this is hard to do. I
    feel a sort of a panic rising up. He is a thinking person, yet he
    articulated his accord with an obscene and murderous set of
    policies. I hold down the panic. He backs off a little from his
    argument. The interaction ends.

    Unlike protesters in many countries, I don't risk getting killed or
    imprisoned when I put up my card table on Centre Street. I'm not
    worried about getting hurt, and I have a thick enough skin to deal
    with the hecklers. But dissent has its challenges, such as having
    reasonable conversations with privileged people who have access to
    power and knowledge, but who nonetheless are aligning themselves
    with points of view that will almost surely result in mass murder.

    This is where it becomes not-so-simple. I don't like talking to people
    like that man in the suit. They make me sick.

    But talking is what we absolutely need to be doing right now. It is the
    only way to prevent mass murder. In a one-superpower world, the
    citizens of the superpower are the only force that can control the
    superpower. It's up to us.

    Talking has the added benefit of being the only antidote to the sick
    feeling. For all the corporate suits, there are many more thoughtful
    people who pause, look me in the eye, nod their agreement that
    violence begets violence, say things like, "Thank you for being out
    here." "I realize I've never quite thought about it that way." "Do you
    have more information?" "Can I come to your meeting?" "Will you
    speak at my church?" "Where can I learn more?"

    Many people I've met in the last few weeks don't need to hear my
    analysis. They already know. And they have a lot to teach if we
    listen. The Vietnam vet challenges me on how we should pressure
    our government when it is corporations that seem to have so much
    control. The firefighter tells me that all he hears at work is that the
    killing should stop. The Haitian man wonders how international legal
    channels could be made more independent and less influenced by
    the United States. The three women carrying bibles talk for a long
    time, first with me and then amongst themselves. The teenager
    starts off protesting that her parents would disagree with me, but
    winds up voicing her own views.

    Late one night, someone calls from a nearby town. He has our flyer
    inviting people to a neighborhood anti-war meeting, and he's
    shocked that I risked putting my name and number out publicly. I get
    the feeling he's calling partly to see if I'm real, thus making him a
    little bit less alone. He and his small group are planning on marching
    the next day in a community-based parade featuring marching
    bands and civic organizations. They will carry a banner that says,
    "Our Cry of Grief is not a Cry for War." He is nervous but inspired to
    hear what we have accomplished so far in our town. The next day,
    they participate in the parade. "At least a few people cheered on
    each block," they reported to me later. There are plans now for
    cross-town pot lucks and meetings.

    It strikes me as pathetic, sometimes, how few we are, how far we
    have to go, how many steps forward, backward and sideways we will
    have to take. Someone suggested that I give a short talk at the next
    meeting of her neighborhood crime watch group. But at the last
    minute, the group, which has put tremendous collective energy into
    debating the relative merits of stop signs vs. stop lights, relations
    with police, and all the minutia of orchestrating their security in the
    three-block radius of their homes, decides that hearing about the war
    is not relevant. I'm allowed to leave my flyers, but whatever I have
    to say just "isn't our business," says one participant.

    On the one hand, this experience is simply frustrating -- something
    to be absorbed, learned from, tried again someday perhaps. On the
    other hand, this experience is not-so-simply rather alarming -- a
    stark reminder that people will mobilize tremendous resources for
    immediate concerns, but withold those resources when it comes to
    contesting a major human rights catastrophe in the making.

    It's not hard to grasp the potentially genocidal consequences of
    current U.S. policy. But it is a bit harder to integrate that
    understanding into your daily life, and let it affect your actions. How
    will this knowledge change you? What will it make you question
    about how you spend your time, what you do with your money,
    whether you are doing everything in your power to reduce the horror.
    Maybe before, when you sheltered yourself from this knowledge, you
    never wondered if it was okay to spend time watching the Yankees'
    game. Now you are wondering.

    And you are looking around at the peace activists and realizing that
    working in coalition with people to stop a major atrocity can mean
    aligning yourself with people you don't agree with -- or even who you
    find personally threatening. Some of the people fighting this war
    might be the same ones that, in another forum, would be your boss,
    deny you a living wage, ensure more privileges for the already
    privileged. Some of your fellow peace activists would be horrified by
    your sexuality, find you perverse, or wish you out of existence. They
    may have never learned to listen to women or take people of color
    seriously. You survey the growing legions of peace activists and
    wonder if they're the same people who are gentrifying your
    neighborhood, planting tulips in the park but letting affordable
    housing go down the drain, never showing up to protest police
    violence or the gutting of welfare. Working with these people can be
    alienating, disheartening, downright soul-killing.

    Should you do it anyway?

    To answer that question, keep in mind that there are ways to ease
    this necessary work of talking and listening, putting ourselves face-
    to-face with brutal, merciless or just plain petty thinking, and risking
    fragile coalitions.

    1. Pick the community you can work best in. There is a growing
    peace movement, but if that is not your political "home," then work
    elsewhere -- in your neighborhood, your union, your place of
    worship, your community organization. Don't stop doing the political
    work you were doing before, but do look for new connections. Now is
    the time.

    2. We should appropriately acknowledge the frustration and alarm
    that will be part and parcel of organizing work, but we should also be
    careful not to overstate it. No matter how alarmed we might be by
    people's denial, people's rejection of a moral stance, people's
    downright selfishness, nothing compares to the alarm of those at the
    receiving end of U.S. bombs and U.S. orchestrated starvation. Keep
    your frustration in perspective.

    3. Join others for solidarity, support, shared inspiration, venting
    opportunities, perspective, and retreat from the challenges. Know
    that organizing is painstaking work, and you need to create
    conditions that will allow you to do it for a long time.

    4. Know when to walk away. You don't have to talk to everyone.
    Don't waste time and energy engaging with the person who is going
    ballistic, but use your energy instead for the many sensible people
    that have their hearts in the right place but who lack information or
    support for entertaining alternative points of view.

    5. Don't judge every interaction. It may feel like you failed to reach
    someone, but people's growing consciousness doesn't follow a linear
    path. They may ignore you, but later privately read the literature you
    hand out, and this may affect how they read the newspaper the next
    day. Each step is exactly that, and with others adding their efforts,
    each step matters more.

    6. Finally, pick the work you can do most effectively. If a two-hour
    tabling stint on your main street leaves you feeling drained,
    despairing or frightened, then do something else. Write an
    emergency grant to help pay for all the leaflets and posters.
    Volunteer to manage the data base for your organization. Set up the
    web site, collate the articles, moderate the list serve, host the house
    parties, bring food to the meetings, design the banners, or take part
    in any of the numerous background activities that are essential to
    movement building.

    Sound simple? It is and it isn't. Each of us, individually, has a
    responsibility to figure out how we can negotiate the organizing
    challenges and moral imperatives of the current crisis. Together, our
    job is to knit our individual abilities into a mass movement that
    pressures our government to back off from its bloodletting. The not-
    so-simple problem with this mandate is that it won't be easy. The
    simple fact, however, is that we must do it anyway.


    What's So Complex About It?

    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 merit, too.

    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?
    Don't we have to do something?, 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. That is not self defense. Doing something
    does not entail that we be barbaric. We can do something desirable
    rather than horrific, for example.

    Put differently, what kind of thinking sees denying food to humans
    as self defense, as the only "3something" at our disposal? 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 is terrorist thinking. Or, more often in the
    case of average upset folks, 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 truths and reason through real options and

    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." You
    can look at reports from one AID agency after another, it is all the
    same story. Impending calamity, stop the bombing.

    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 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 continue 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
    ensure that our threats remain "credible"--and to propel a long-term
    war on terrorism to entrench the most reactionary policies 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 sane mind.

    When I was a kid and first learned about Nazi Germany, like many
    other kids, I asked how the German population could 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 can be somewhat
    unpleasant and may involve 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 Vietnamese 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, our leaders, our media moguls and commentators,
    in fact most of our "intelligentsia" are quite sanguine about doing so.

    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 ever 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, that is. 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 truth. Our media pundits are seeing
    the AID and UN reports and calls for a bombing halt I mentioned
    above, they are seeing stories about these in newspapers from
    Scotland to India, of course, and they are simply excluding the
    information from U.S. communications. Yet even with this massive
    media obfuscation, which says volumes about our society, how hard
    is this war to comprehend, supposing one actually tries to
    comprehend it?

    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, as does anger and fear.
    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 if they think it will do some good. Witness those firefighters,
    average folks, running up the stairs of the WTC.

    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 hope."

    It follows that the task of those who understand the efficacy of
    dissent is not only to counter lies and rationalizations by calmly and
    soberly addressing all kinds of media-induced confusions that
    people have, but 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 innovation 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 since bin Laden is 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.



    NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense


    No. 530-10
    October 21, 2001

    The Department of Defense announced today the names of two
    servicemembers killed in Friday's helicopter crash in Pakistan.
    Killed were Spc. Jonn J. Edmunds, 20, of Cheyenne, Wyo. and Pfc.
    Kristofor T. Stonesifer, 28, of Missoula, Mont.
    The two Army Rangers were passengers in a Blackhawk helicopter
    that crashed while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
    Hostile fire has been ruled out as a cause of the crash, which
    remains under investigation.
    Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
    offered his condolences to the families of those killed.
    "They and all who are participating in Operation Enduring
    Freedom are heroes. They put their lives on the line on behalf
    of freedom and on behalf of America, and they do it each and
    every day. I'm so very proud of them and their comrades in
    arms," he said.
    "As the president has said," added Myers, "they did not die in vain."


    8 Die in Kabul Bombing, Residents Say.

    AP. 21 October 2001

    KABUL -- Cursing the aim of U.S. pilots, distraught residents of Kabul
    on Sunday pulled the dust-covered bodies of women and children from the
    rubble of two homes shattered by an American bomb.

    "This pilot was like he was blind," sobbed neighbor Haziz Ullah. "There
    are no military bases here -- only innocent people."

    Neighbors said the victims died when a U.S. bomb struck their homes at
    midday in the Khair Khana district in northern Kabul. An army garrison
    and other Taliban installations are several miles away.

    Afghan officials also reported air attacks Sunday around the western
    city of Herat, Kandahar in the south and near front line positions
    southeast of the city of Mazar-e-Sharif.

    An Associated Press reporter saw the bodies of seven dead -- three women
    and four children -- at the scene and later at the hospital where
    victims were taken.

    Neighbors reported at least eight dead, while Dr. Izetullah at the
    city's Wazir Akbar Khan hospital said 13 bodies had been brought there
    -- all apparently members of the same family.

    Ranging in age from about 8 to 13, the four boys lay under bloodied
    sheets at the hospital, only their bare feet visible.

    Izetullah wept as he pulled back the shrouds to display the lifeless
    bodies. Survivors wailed outside.

    "We don't care about military targets, if they want to hit military
    targets, let them," said Bacha Gul, who said his brother was among the
    victims. "But these are not terrorists."

    "Now the poorest of the poor have been left in Kandahar," shopkeeper Taj
    Mohammed told reporters Sunday in the Pakistani border city of Quetta.
    He said the only people left were "those who cannot afford to leave."

    As bulldozers cleared the rubble from the Khair Khana homes where the
    civilians died, another U.S. jet screeched overhead. Panicked rescuers
    scrambled for cover and an ambulance at the scene sped away.


    U.S. bombs hit Kabul homes, killing at least eight, residents say

    The Associated Press

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) U.S.-led bombardment flattened
    two homes in a residential neighborhood of Kabul on
    Sunday, killing at least eight civilians, including
    four children, neighbors said.
    An Associated Press reporter at the scene in the Khair
    Khana residential district and at a hospital later saw
    the bodies of seven of the dead three women and four
    children, all boys.
    At the hospital where all the victims were taken, a
    doctor wept as he showed the dust-covered bodies of
    the children, who appeared between 8 and 13 years old.
    He said there were 13 dead all apparently of the same
    family who were brought to the Wazir Akbar Khan
    Hospital. There were also 10 wounded, eight of them
    "This pilot was like he was blind. There are no
    military bases here only innocent people," said Haziz
    Ullah, one of a crowd of distraught, edgy residents at
    the scene.
    "We don't care about military targets, if they want to
    hit military targets, let them,' said Bacha Gul, the
    brother of one of the dead. "But these are not
    The United States previously has expressed regret for
    any civilian deaths in its now two-week old military
    campaign in Afghanistan, saying terror suspect Osama
    bin Laden and his Taliban allies are its true targets.

    This particular section of the Khair Khana
    neighborhood holds no known Taliban military sites,
    although a Taliban army garrison and other
    installations are housed several kilometers away in
    the same direction.
    Other bombs hit hard Sunday in the southern city of
    Kandahar, which serves as the headquarters for the
    Taliban. On the ground in the north, opposition forces
    were reportedly keeping up their own offensive against
    the strategic, Taliban-held city of Mazar-e-Sharif.
    An opposition spokesman said the Taliban and
    opposition forces were battling "face-to-face" at one
    front near Mazar-e-Sharif. Taliban Information
    Ministry confirmed heavy fighting near Mazar-e-Sharif,
    but claimed to have pushed the opposition back.
    Afghanistan's opposition a northern-based alliance
    mainly of ethnic minority Uzbeks and Tajiks is waging
    its first major battle since the U.S.-led military
    campaign started trying to move forward on
    Mazar-e-Sharif after U.S. airstrikes helped clear the
    The U.S. bombardment of the Afghan capital opened at
    dawn Sunday, as jets roared in for bombing runs to the
    east. Four bombs hit Kabul's eastern edge, home to a
    Taliban military academy and several Taliban army
    Jets returned for strikes on the city's northern edge,
    hitting the homes at Khair Khana.
    Last week as a U.S. bomb struck a Red Cross compound
    in the same neighborhood. The Pentagon had said that
    it thought the Taliban militia was using warehouses
    there for storage.
    Sunday's raids left bulldozers scraping through the
    rubble of the demolished homes, as residents searched
    for more victims.
    Another U.S. jet screamed high overhead as the search
    crews worked, sending people scrambling for cover and
    an ambulance at the scene screeching away. The
    aircraft left without attacking.
    Whirring U.S. helicopters had patrolled over Kabul
    throughout the night Sunday, making their first
    sustained appearance over the capital. They drew only
    slight Taliban anti-aircraft fire.
    President Bush launched the air campaign Oct. 7 after
    the Taliban repeatedly refused to hand over bin Laden,
    the main suspect in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on
    the United States.
    On Sunday, the Taliban claimed to have killed 20-25
    U.S. soldiers in the first ground attacks of the
    campaign, Saturday at and around Kandahar.
    Taliban spokesman Mullah Amir Khan Muttaqi said
    Taliban firing killed the U.S. soldiers during hours
    of battling there, but gave no details.
    In Washington, a Pentagon spokesman dismissed the
    claim as baseless propaganda.
    "It's clearly another attempt at false information,"
    Capt. Riccoh Player said.
    Meanwhile, at the United Nations, an opposition
    diplomat gave a rare suggestion that some Taliban
    might have a role in any post-Taliban government.
    Opposition forces hope the U.S.-led military campaign
    will lead to routing of the Taliban fundamentalist
    regime, which seized the capital in 1996 and now holds
    about 90 percent of the country.
    The international community is trying to help a
    multiethnic, coalition government take shape one that
    would be acceptable to Afghanistan's Pashtun majority.

    On Saturday, U.N. ambassador Ravan Farhadi of the
    Afghan opposition government in exile said a
    post-Taliban government could include so-called
    moderates of the Taliban. They would only be those
    found innocent of crimes against Afghan civilians,
    however, Farhadi said.
    Opposition foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah has
    vehemently dismissed that same suggestion when it
    comes from outside, saying there is no such thing as a
    "moderate" Taliban.
    As fighting continues, a refugee crisis built on
    Afghanistan's borders. At least 5,000 crossed into
    Pakistan Saturday in what was the single largest
    one-day exodus in the U.S.-led military campaign.
    Another 10,000 were barred from entering and are
    believed stranded at a border no man's land.
    The U.N. refugee agency says thousands of Afghan
    civilians are in flight from Kandahar and other
    cities, with most seeking refugee in the mountains and


    Terrorism Meets Reactionism


    by Michael Parenti

    When almost-elected president George W. Bush announced his war on
    terrorism in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, he also was
    launching a campaign to advance the agenda of the reactionary Right at
    home and abroad. This includes rolling back an already mangled federal
    human services sector, reverting to deficit spending for the benefit of
    a wealthy creditor class, increasing the repression of dissent, and
    expanding to a still greater magnitude the budgets and global reach of
    the US military and other components of the national security state.
    Indeed, soon after the terrorist attacks, the Wall Street Journal ran an
    editorial (September 19), calling on Bush to quickly take advantage of
    the "unique political climate" to "assert his leadership not just on
    security and foreign policy but across the board." The editorial
    summoned the president to push quickly for more tax-rate cuts, expanded
    oil drilling in Alaska, fast-track authority for trade negotiations, and
    raids on the Social Security surplus.

    More for War

    Bush himself noted that the attacks on the World Trade Center and the
    Pentagon offer an opportunity to strengthen America. As numerous
    conservatives spoke eagerly of putting the country on a permanent war
    footing, the president proudly declared the first war of the
    twenty-first century against an unspecified enemy to extend over an
    indefinite time frame. Swept along in the jingoist tide, that gaggle of
    political wimps known as the US Congress granted Bush the power to
    initiate military action against any nation, organization, or individual
    of his choosing, without ever having to proffer evidence to justify the
    attack. Such an unlimited grant of arbitrary power, in violation of
    international law, the UN charter, and the US Constitution--transforms
    the almost-elected president into an absolute monarch who can exercise
    life-and-death power over any quarter of the world. Needless to say,
    numerous other nations have greeted the presidents elevation to King of
    the Planet with something less than enthusiasm.

    And King of the Planet is how he is acting, bombing the already badly
    battered and impoverished country of Afghanistan supposedly to get
    Osama bin Laden. Unmentioned in all this is that US leaders have
    actively fostered and financed the rise of the Taliban, and have long
    refused to go after bin Laden. Meanwhile, the White House announces that
    other countries may be bombed at will and the war will continue for many
    years. And Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz urges that U.S.
    armed forces be allowed to engage in domestic law enforcement, a
    responsibility that has been denied the military since 1878.

    Under pressure to present a united front against terrorism, Democratic
    legislators are rolling over on the issue of military spending.
    Opposition to the so-called missile defense shield seems to have
    evaporated, as has willingness to preserve the Anti-Ballistic Missile
    Treaty. The lawmakers seem ready to come up with most of the $8.3
    billion that the White House says it needs to develop the missile
    defense shield and move forward with militarizing outer space. Congress
    is marching in lockstep behind Bush's proposal to jack up the military
    budget to $328.9 billion for 2002, a spending increase of $38.2 billion
    over the enacted FY 2001 budget. Additional funds have been promised to
    the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, the
    Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other skulduggery units of the
    national security state.

    Having been shown that the already gargantuan defense budget was not
    enough to stop a group of suicidal hijackers armed with box cutters,
    Bush and Congress thought it best to pour still more money into the
    pockets of the military-industrial cartel. (Incidentally, the next
    largest arms budget is Russia's at $51 billion. If we add up the defense
    allocations of all the leading industrial nations, it comes to less than
    what the United States is already spending.)

    Many of the measures being taken to fight terrorism have little to do
    with actual security and are public relations ploys designed to (a)
    heighten the nation's siege psychology and (b) demonstrate that the
    government has things under control. So aircraft carriers are deployed
    off the coast of New York to guard the city; national guardsmen
    dressed in combat fatigues and armed with automatic weapons patrol the
    airports; sidewalk baggage check-ins and electronic tickets are
    prohibited supposedly to create greater security. Since increased
    security leads to greater inconvenience, it has been decided that
    greater inconvenience will somehow increase security or at least give
    the appearance of greater security.

    Then there is that biggest public relations ploy of all, the bombing of
    hillsides and villages in Afghanistan, leaving us with the reassuring
    image of Uncle Sam striking back at the terrorists. To stop the bombing,
    the Taliban offered to hand over bin Laden to a third country to stand
    trial, but this was rejected by the White House. It seems that
    displaying US retaliatory power and establishing a military presence in
    that battered country are the primary US goals, not apprehending bin

    Lost in all this is the fact that US leaders have been the greatest
    purveyors of terrorism throughout the world. In past decades they or
    their surrogate mercenary forces have unleashed terror bombing campaigns
    against unarmed civilian populations, destroying houses, schools,
    hospitals, churches, hotels, factories, farms, bridges, and other
    nonmilitary targets in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, East Timor, the Congo,
    Panama, Grenada, El Salvador, Guatemala, Angola, Mozambique, Somalia,
    Iraq, Yugoslavia, and numerous other countries, causing death and
    destruction to millions of innocents. Using death squad terrorism US
    leaders have also been successful in destroying reformist and democratic
    movements in scores of countries. Of course hardly a word of this is
    uttered in the corporate media, leaving Bush and company free to parade
    themselves as the champions of peace and freedom.

    In time, the American people may catch wise that the reactionaries in
    the White House have not the slightest clue about how they are going to
    save us from future assaults. They seem more interested in and are
    certainly more capable of---taking advantage of terrorist attacks than
    in preventing them. They have neither the interest nor the will to make
    the kind of major changes in policy that would dilute the hatred so many
    people around the world feel toward US power. They are too busy handing
    the world over to the transnational corporate giants at the expense of
    people everywhere. And as of now, they have no intention of making a 180
    degree shift away from unilateral global domination and toward
    collective betterment and mutual development.

    Reactionary Offensive on the Home Front

    Several bills pending in Congress are designed to expand the definition
    of terrorism to include all but the most innocuous forms of protest. S
    1510, for example, treats terrorism as any action that might potentially
    put another person at risk. The bill gives the Feds power to seize the
    assets of any organization or individual deemed to be aiding or abetting
    terrorist activity. And it can be applied retroactively without a
    statue of limitations. A telephone interview I did with Radio Tehran in
    mid-October, trying to explain why US foreign policy is so justifiably
    hated around the world, might qualify me for detention as someone who is
    abetting terrorism. Other bills will expand the authority of law
    enforcement officials to use wiretaps, detain immigrants, subpoena email
    and Internet records, and infiltrate protest organizations. In keeping
    with the reactionary Rights agenda, the war against terrorism has
    become a cover for the war against democratic dissent and public sector
    services. The message is clear, America must emulate not Athens but

    One of the White Houses earliest steps to protect the country from
    terrorist violence was to cut from the proposed federal budget the $1
    billion slated to assist little children who are victims of domestic
    abuse or abandonment. Certainly a nation at war has no resources to
    squander on battered kids or other such frills. Instead Congress passed
    a $40 billion supplemental, including $20 billion for recovery
    efforts, much of it to help clean up and repair New York's financial

    Bush then came up with an emergency package for the airlines, $5
    billion in direct cash and $10 billion in loan guarantees, with the
    promise of billions more. The airlines were beset by fiscal problems
    well before the September attacks. This bailout has little to do with
    fighting terrorism. The costs for greater airport security will mostly
    likely be picked up by the federal government. And taken together, the
    loss of four planes by United and American Airlines, the impending
    lawsuits by victims families, and higher insurance rates do not of
    themselves create industry-wide insolvency, and do not justify a
    multibillion dollar bailout. The real story is that once the industry
    was deregulated, the airlines began overcapitalizing without sufficient
    regard for earnings, the assumption being that profits would follow
    after a company squeezed its competitors to the wall by grabbing a
    larger chunk of the market. So the profligate diseconomies of free
    market corporate competition are once more picked up by the US
    taxpayer, this time in the name of fighting terrorism.

    Meanwhile some 80,000 airline employees were laid off in the several
    weeks after the terrorist attack, including ticket agents, flight
    attendants, pilots, mechanics, and ramp workers. They will not see a
    penny of the windfall reaped by the airline plutocrats and shareholders,
    whose patriotism does not extend to giving their employees a helping
    hand. At one point in the House debate, a frustrated Rep. Jay Inslee
    (D-Wash.) shouted out, "Why in this chamber do the big dogs always eat
    first?" Inslee was expressing his concerns about the 20,000 to 30,000
    Boeing workers who were being let go without any emergency allocation
    for their families. Sen. Peter G. Fitzgerald (R-Ill.) expressed a
    similar sentiment when casting the lone dissenting vote in the Senate
    against the airline bailout: "Congress should be wary of
    indiscriminately dishing out taxpayer dollars to prop up a failing
    industry without demanding something in return for taxpayers." It
    remained for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) to explain on behalf
    of the Bush warmongers why the handout was necessary: "We need to look
    at transportation again as part of our national defense."

    The post-September 11 anti-terrorism hype is serving as an excuse to
    silence any opposition to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife
    Refuge. Our nation needs oil to maintain its strength and security, we
    hear. Against this manipulative message, the environment does not stand
    much of a chance. Likewise, US Trade representative Zoellick enlisted
    the terrorism hype in the White Houses campaign to surrender our
    democratic sovereignty to corporate dominated international trade
    councils. In a Washington Post op-ed (September 20) Zoellick charged
    that opposition to fast track and globalization was akin to supporting
    the terrorists. House Republican leaders joined in, claiming that trade
    legislation was needed to solidify the global coalition fighting
    terrorism. Here was yet another overreaching opportunistic attempt to
    wrap the flag around a reactionary special interest.

    Actually it is the free trade agreements that threaten our democratic
    sovereignty. All public programs and services that regulate or infringe
    in any way upon big-money corporate capitalism can be rolled back by
    industry-dominated oligarchic trade councils. Corporations can now tell
    governments---including our federal, state, and local governments---what
    public programs and regulations are acceptable or unacceptable. The
    reactionaries do not explain how giving private, nonelective,
    corporate-dominated trade councils a supranational supreme power to
    override our laws and our Constitution will help in the war against

    Looting the Surplus

    The bailout to the airline industry is only part of the spending spree
    that the White House has in store for us. Bush now endorses a stimulus
    of $60 billion to $75 billion to lift the country out of recession by
    recharging business investment. He also has called for an additional
    $60 billion tax cut which, like previous tax reductions, would give
    meager sums to ordinary folks and lavish amounts to fat cats and
    plutocrats. Where is all this money for defense, war, internal security,
    airlines, rebuilding lower Manhattan, tax cuts, and recharging the
    economy coming from? Much of it is from the Social Security surplus
    fund which is why Bush is so eager to spend.

    It is a myth that conservatives are practitioners of fiscal
    responsibility. Rightwing politicians who sing hymns to a balanced
    budget have been among the wildest deficit spenders. In twelve years
    (1981-1992) the Reagan-Bush administrations increased the national debt
    from $850 billion to $4.5 trillion. By early 2000, the debt had climbed
    to over $5.7 trillion. The deficit is pumped up by two things: first,
    successive tax cuts to rich individuals and corporations---so that the
    government increasingly borrows from the wealthy creditors it should be
    taxing, and second, titanic military budgets. In twelve years, the
    Reagan-Bush expenditures on the military came to $3.7 trillion. In eight
    years, Bill Clinton spent over $2 trillion on the military.

    The payments on the national debt amount to about $350 billion a year,
    representing a colossal upward redistribution of income from working
    taxpayers to rich creditors. The last two Clinton budgets were the first
    to trim away the yearly deficit and produce a surplus. The first Bush
    budget also promised to produce a surplus, almost all of it from Social
    Security taxes. As a loyal representative of financial interests, George
    W., like his daddy, prefers the upward redistribution of income that
    comes with a large deficit. The creditor class, composed mostly of
    superrich individuals and financial institutions, wants this nation to
    be in debt to it--the same way it wants every other nation to be in debt
    to it.

    Furthermore, the reactionary enemies of Social Security have long argued
    that the fund will eventually become insolvent and must therefore be
    privatized (We must destroy the fund in order to save it.) But with
    Social Security continuing to produce record surpluses, this argument
    becomes increasingly implausible. By defunding Social Security, either
    through privatization or deficit spending or both, Bush achieves a key
    goal of the reactionary agenda.

    How Far the Flag?

    As of October 2001, almost-elected president Bush sported a 90 percent
    approval rating, as millions rallied around the flag. A majority support
    his military assault upon the people of Afghanistan, in the mistaken
    notion that this will stop terrorism and protect US security. But before
    losing heart, keep a few things in mind. There are millions of people
    who, though deeply disturbed by the terrible deeds of September 11, and
    apprehensive about future attacks, are not completely swept up in the
    reactionary agenda. Taking an approach that would utilize international
    law and diplomacy has gone unmentioned in the corporate media, yet 30
    percent of Americans support that option, compared to 54 percent who
    support military actions (with 16 percent undecided) according to a
    recent Gallup poll. Quite likely a majority of Americans would support
    an international law approach if they had ever heard it discussed and
    explained seriously.

    In any case, there are millions of people in the US who want neither
    protracted wars nor a surrender of individual rights and liberties, nor
    drastic cuts in public services and retirement funds. Tens of thousands
    have taken to the streets not to hail the chief but to oppose his war
    and his reactionary agenda. Even among the flag-waivers, support for
    Bush seems to be a mile wide and an inch deep. The media-pumped
    jingoistic craze that grips the United States today is mostly just that,
    a craze. In time, it grows stale and reality returns. One cannot pay the
    grocery bills with flags or pay the rent with vengeful slogans.

    My thoughts go back to another President Bush, George the first, who
    early in 1991 had an approval rating of 93 percent, and a fawning
    resolution from Congress hailing his unerring leadership. Yet within
    the year, he was soundly defeated for reelection by a garrulous governor
    from Arkansas. Those who believe in democracy must be undeterred in
    their determination to educate, organize, and agitate. In any case,
    swimming against the tide is always preferable to being swept over the


    A war ... by men


    THE HINDU, Sunday October 21, 2001

    BY the time this appears in print, that pile of rubble that is Afghanistan
    might have been pulverised into a finer mound of rubble by the relentless
    shower of American and British bombs. In a war in which there can be no
    winners, and many losers, pause for a minute and ask yourself ^ what will be
    the future of those faceless women you occasionally see on your television
    screen? If and when this war ends, who will speak for the women of
    In all the hours of footage on Afghanistan, there is little about women.
    Playing the leading roles in the current theatre of war within Afghanistan
    are men ^ regardless of whether they are Taliban or Northern Alliance. And
    on the other side, the Bush and Blair Brigade also consists mostly of men.
    Both sides speak the language of war. But what of the men, women and
    children who are the recipients of an endless spiral of violence? People who
    had no role in the events of September 11. And for whom there is little in
    the foreseeable future that presages peace.
    On the BBC, ``Panorama'' had some chilling reminders of life under the
    Taliban ^ shots of women being beaten with a cane by a Taliban moral
    policeman because their ankles and wrists were showing from under the
    voluminous burqas, and of a woman being publicly executed. Even worse were
    the hauntingly beautiful faces of the children maimed by previous wars, by
    the estimated 10 million landmines that cover 725 sq. km. of the country.
    What a ghastly irony that the first civilian casualties were the four United
    Nations workers who were clearing these mines.
    For several years before the current crisis enveloped all of us, an appeal
    on the fate of women in Afghanistan has been circulated by e-mail. It would
    turn up with great regularity; its contents told us what we had already
    heard about the terrible depredations that women in Afghanistan had to bear
    under the Taliban.
    One of the groups spearheading the struggle for women's rights in that
    country is the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA).
    At this present juncture, when we see darkened screens and flickering lights
    to indicate that a country is being pounded virtually out of existence, it
    is instructive to visit the RAWA website (www.rawa.org).
    The women behind this organisation launched their fight for women's rights
    long before the Taliban appeared on the horizon. Founded in 1977, RAWA
    campaigned for these rights even as their country was convulsed with violent
    struggles between different groups ending in the Soviet occupation in
    December 1979. This did not stop these brave women. Even when a number of
    them were arrested and their leader, Meena, was murdered, allegedly by KGB
    agents in Pakistan in 1987, they persisted. RAWA worked with women in
    Afghanistan as well as the millions in the refugee camps across the border
    in Pakistan. They ran schools, created jobs for women, ran a hospital and
    counselled their traumatised and displaced sisters.
    The advent of the Taliban brought in a whole new dimension to their
    struggle. They could not operate freely in Afghanistan any more as women
    were forced to wear the burqa and banned from most jobs. But despite this
    they found ways to continue to work amongst Afghan women. Their website has
    a slide show that is not meant for the faint-hearted. It gives you an
    unedited view of life as it was in Afghanistan.
    But the important point that RAWA makes is that those opposing Taliban are
    not much better in their attitude towards women. Nor do they respect human
    rights. While RAWA has emphasised its commitment to democracy and
    secularism, they point out that none of the groups fighting to displace the
    Taliban have any commitment to these values. In other words, the chances
    that women might be better off if the Taliban is replaced with another group
    is not at all a given in Afghanistan.
    The 20 years of conflict that have preceded the current war have already
    taken a huge toll on the health ^ both physical and mental ^ of Afghan women
    living in the country and in refugee camps outside. According to a 1998
    study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Vol.
    280, August 5, 1998), women and children form three quarters of the refugee
    population which numbered 2.7 million in 1996. In addition, an estimated 1.2
    million were internally displaced (that is they were refugees in
    Afghanistan) at the end of 1996. In other words, close to four million
    Afghans were refugees inside or outside their country in 1996.
    The study surveyed 160 women, of whom half lived in Kabul and the other half
    in Pakistani refugee camps. It opens up a small window into the lives of
    these women. The majority of the women said that their mental and physical
    health had deteriorated during the two years they had lived in Kabul after
    the Taliban took over. A high 42 per cent were diagnosed with post-traumatic
    stress disorder, 97 per cent suffered from depression and 86 per cent
    exhibited anxiety symptoms.
    More than half these women were employed before the Taliban took over on
    September 26, 1996. After that, only one-third held on to their jobs. In the
    pre-Taliban days, 70 per cent of the teachers in Kabul, 50 per cent of the
    civil servants and 40 per cent of the physicians were women. All this
    changed almost overnight with the Taliban's ban on women working outside
    their homes. The loss of income had a direct impact on health and nutrition
    levels in many families.
    Worse still, in September 1997 the government stopped women's access to
    health services in Kabul. Only one ``poorly equipped clinic'' was available
    to women. Following the intervention of the Red Cross, around 20 per cent of
    the beds in hospitals were kept for women. The study found that a large
    number of women refugees streaming into Pakistan mentioned the absence of
    medical care as one of the important reasons for leaving their country.
    It is important that we know such facts. It is essential that we understand
    the conditions in which the majority of women lived. But it is also crucial
    that we realise that the future for the most vulnerable and abused in Afghan
    society, the women, is not at all guaranteed by a rain of bombs, by
    political machinations that bring about a change of government, or by
    painting Islam as being anti-women.
    Afghan women were part of a Muslim society where they had rights. They were
    deprived of their democratic rights when the Soviets took over. They were
    deprived of their rights as women when the Taliban took over. Will they get
    their rights as human beings some day in the future?


    from country joe mcdonald special to radtimes:

    All of America has been and "ungrateful nation" to its Vietnam War
    Combat and Era Veterans and there are 10 million of us. The American
    Peace Movement has almost no Military Veterans leading it. Even worse
    than that the American Peace Movement has no knowledge of basic military
    matters. It is civilians that start these wars. Blaming military
    personnel for war is like blaming fire fighters for fire. I myself have
    been consistently and constantly disrespected for my work with Vietnam
    Veterans. I myself have been excluded and disrespected by the civilians
    who control the American Peace Movement. The civilian dominated
    American Peace Movement and Left Wing has totally lost any tiny bit of
    credibility it ever had with military personnel and military veterans.
    If there is anything that the Peace Movement in America needs today it
    is to listen to its Military Combat Veterans from the Vietnam War but
    they do not even know who they are!

    After all, Military Veterans represent a total cross section of American
    Society in both the enlisted and commissioned ranks. All genders and
    ethic and religious groups. All ages. I happen to not be a Combat
    Veteran myself but have spent the last 30 years of my life working with
    them and advocating for them. I also spent 3 years of my life 24/7/365
    in the United States Navy. Military Veterans have been used and abused
    for so long that many of them are dead now of war related wounds and
    many will not even try to communicate their experiences and wisdom.
    What American civilians need today is something like the Teach Ins that
    were held in the Vietnam War era but this time they should be BOOT
    CAMP. I know that most civilians think that means push ups and learning
    to march and shoot a weapon but that is only because they are ignorant
    of how the military works and what it entails. As my mother, Florence
    Plotnick McDonald, always said: "Ignorance in Bliss", and civilians are
    totally ignorant of military matters.

    Interesting that tax dollars pay for the military experience.
    Interesting that civilians enjoy the benefits of the United States
    Constitution while Military Personnel are governed by something called
    the UNIFORM CODE OF MILITARY JUSTICE and denied their Bill Of Rights.
    As the Vietnam Veterans always say IT DON'T MEAN SHIT and IF YOU AIN'T

    I for one am sick of civilians having all the great ideas for what
    military personnel should or should not do. Like I said before it is
    BOOT CAMP time for civilians or find out the hard way. Until you have
    learned at least the basics of how the military works and what the
    military experience is and what its repercussions are upon military
    families you are just "blowing smoke". And let me add that this is not
    something you can learn in one day!

    cheers, country joe mcdonald

    -- "Ira Furor Brevis Est " - Anger is a brief madness

    country joe Home Pg <http://www.countryjoe.com>
    country joe's tribute to Florence Nightingale
    Berkeley Vietnam Veterans Memorial
    Rag Baby Online Magazine <http://www.ragbaby.com/magazine>


    Council Calls for U.S. to End Military Action in Afghanistan


    Resolution Also Denounces Sept. 11 Attacks

    Daily Cal Staff Writer
    Wednesday, October 17, 2001

    The Berkeley City Council called for an immediate end to U.S. bombing in
    Afghanistan and condemned the
    Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in a series of divisive votes at a meeting Tuesday.
    The resolution opposing U.S. military action, approved Tuesday with lone
    support from the council's five progressives, was first introduced a week
    ago and put Berkeley again under the national spotlight.
    "It was a glib, thoughtless, knee-jerk response that has just ripped our
    city apart and caused tremendous pain when it wasn't necessary," said
    Councilmember Polly Armstrong, a centrist moderate.
    The idea of a resolution opposing military action had been brewing among
    progressives for more than three weeks.
    The resolution, drafted by left-leaning progressive Councilmember Dona
    Spring and supported by her four progressive counterparts, urged President
    Bush and congressional representatives to "help break the cycle of violence
    as quickly as possible" by stopping the bombing and the endangerment of the
    innocent people in Afghanistan.
    Instead, the terrorists should be brought to justice in a world court,
    Spring said. But as Mayor Shirley Dean was quick to point out, it could be
    difficult to deliver a subpoena to the Taliban and Osama bin Laden.
    Dean said it would be nearly impossible to bring the terrorists to court
    and insisted that "you have to take a strong action against the terrorists."
    Dean said that since the resolution was first made public last week, her
    office has received thousands of e-mails from across the country lambasting
    the council. Some of the letters, which include death threats, left her
    staff in tears, she said.
    Comments made by Spring last week, in which she called the United States a
    terrorist, remarks she now disputes having made, thrust Berkeley into the
    center of attention again. It was the third time in as many months that
    city blunders have embarrassed Berkeley before a national and international
    audience, Dean said.
    In August a meeting at City Hall with visiting Japanese boy and girl scouts
    had to be relocated because of the Boy Scouts of America's policy toward
    gays, a move that brought national ridicule. Likewise, a decision last
    month to remove flags from the city's fire trucks put the city on the
    Tensions were high at the meeting, attended by more than 100 city
    residents, some waving flags in support of military action and others
    displaying signs calling for an end to the war.
    Spring, who revised her original proposal after being "disavowed" by Dean
    and her three moderate allies in a biting statement released last week,
    criticized the lack of moderate support for the revised resolution, which
    she said was "seeking to be conciliatory" to the moderates.
    "The item has been revised to be more sensitive to some of the input that
    was gotten from the public," Spring said.
    Moderates on the council said they did not want to take a stand on the
    airstrikes in Afghanistan because the city's residents had many opinions on
    the attacks and had no clear consensus.
    Amid heckling and applause from the crowd, Armstrong ridiculed the
    resolution as another embarrassment to Berkeley.
    "When our country has been wounded, we seem to just flail away in the
    public eye, trying to draw attention to ourselves, and we come off as
    fatuous and embarrassing," she said. "We come off sounding like a bunch of
    But Councilmember Kriss Worthington urged the council to be "equally as
    brave" as Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, who was the lone voice of opposition
    to the "War Powers Resolution" passed shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks.
    Worthington said it is "critical" that Berkeley question the government
    while many Americans are afraid to ask questions.
    He said Berkeley could again make history by condemning the Sept. 11
    attacks, a move he said had not been made by any other council. A competing
    resolution from Armstrong to commend President Bush for his response to the
    Sept. 11 attacks, including his patience in forging an alliance with 60
    countries, was voted down by the council.
    Those who attended the meeting were similarly split in their opinions of
    the military action.
    In response to those who said the bombing was justified to overthrow the
    repressive Taliban, known for its poor treatment of women, Snehal Shingavi,
    a UC Berkeley student and member of the audience, questioned "when has a
    bomb ever helped a woman?"
    Kelso Barnett, who sat on the opposite side of the room, said, however,
    that military action is justified because war was declared against the
    United States on Sept. 11. He said no distinction should be made between
    the terrorists and countries that harbor them.


    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.


    Dozens of civilians killed in new US attack on Afghanistan

    October 18, 2001

    Summary of Al-Jazira coverage by Ali Abunimah

    Dozens of civilians have been killed in the twelfth night of US bombing of
    the Afghan capital Kabul, Al-Jazira television reported today. New attacks
    were under way by early evening. The Al-Jazira correspondent in Kabul
    Taysir Al-Allouni said that several buildings were destroyed in a civilian
    area of the city with their occupants inside.

    At least four US bombs hit the neighborhood of Makrurian in the southwest
    of Kabul, in one incident wiping out an entire family. Makrurian is an
    area of large apartment buildings built for workers during the Soviet

    Eight large explosions were heard near the airport.

    The television showed multi-story apartment blocks in Makrurian with huge
    craters and large piles of rubble near them. The television showed what
    appeared to be a dead child covered in dust and a blanket lying on a bed
    frame. Some of the standing buildings had broken windows and other damage.

    Men, women and children were shown distraught and crying. One man covered
    in dust was pointing at a pile of rubble saying that his mother and
    several other relatives had been inside the building and that they had now
    disappeared. Many other people were reported missing.

    In one building, an 18-year old man and his bride of a few days were
    killed along with their entire family. The television showed people all
    climbing all over the rubble and digging for survivors.

    Al-Allouni said that people in Makrurian were angered by claims by the
    United States that it was not targeting civilians, given the horrifying
    experience they were suffering. Al-Allouni said that the strike on
    Makrurian was causing more people to flee. The television showed people
    loading up old cars in preparation to leave.

    Al-Jazira quoted claims by Taliban officials that a refugee convoy had
    been bombed yesterday near the city of Jalalabad and that twelve people
    had been killed.

    The Al-Jazira correspondent in Kandahar Yousef Al-Shouli carried out a
    filmed interview with the Taliban foreign minister Wakil Ahmad Mutawakkil
    refuting rumors that he had left the country. Mutawakkil said that foreign
    humanitarian aid was welcome in Afghanistan but that all aid would have to
    be channeled through the Taliban government.

    Al-Jazira quoted Red Cross workers in clinics on the Afghan-Pakistan
    border saying that they feared they would not be able to deal with the
    estimated 2000 refugees per day leaving Afghanistan and heading for the
    border. The television showed images of children playing near tents marked


    Give Peace a Website

    [See URL for embedded links.]

    by Jeffrey Benner

    Within a week of the Sept. 11 attacks, Amira Quraishi and a group of her
    friends in New York City had incorporated a nonprofit called Muslims
    Against Terrorism.
    With a messagethe Islam religion does not condone killing innocent
    peoplebut no budget, they turned to the Web to spread the word.
    They started with a spare website that tracked hate crimes and cited key
    passages from the Koran that call for peace, justice and tolerance. Within
    three weeks, the site had slick Flash graphics, a press kit, links to other
    good resources, links to the group's listserv and contact info for
    members. "It's been a whirlwind," said Quraishi, 29, a graduate student of
    Comparative Religion at the University of Pennsylvania. "Nobody set out to
    start an organization, but we realized we had to get the word out that
    Islam condemns terrorism. The fastest way to do that was to put it up on
    the Web. It served the purpose."
    Members of the new group have appeared on MTV News, the CBS Evening News
    and the Ananda Lewis Show. They have been quoted regularly in print media
    as well.
    Other organizations bearing a peaceful message have been using the Web to
    build coalitions and get their word out as well.
    Polls show support for the military action in Afghanistan topping 90
    percent. But that still means millions of Americans oppose it. The Web
    allows them to find one another easily and organize with an efficiency like
    never before.
    During the Vietnam War, organizing a nationwide peace movement took years.
    During the Gulf War, months. This time, it's taken days.
    "We couldn't organize without the Web, said Rabia Harris, coordinator of
    the Muslim Peace Fellowship in Chicago.
    "The Muslim community is highly decentralized," Harris said. "We need the
    Web to get all the mosques and groups in contact. The Internet makes it
    possible to connect very quickly. It's invaluable."
    Harris herself made a good connection recently. She happened across the
    Muslims Against Terrorism site while surfing on the Web. Now she is working
    with them to organize a symposium for fellow Muslims on acceptable forms of
    political dissent under Islamic law.
    Despite new groups and connections that have sprung up in the aftermath of
    the attacks, the peace movement and political dissidents had been
    effectively using the Web and e-mail to organize long before Sept. 11.
    Ryan Smith, 25, helps keep things running at San Francisco's Independent
    Media Center, one of many such centers around the country that have become
    rallying places for news and views of the anti-globalization movement. He
    made clear he spoke for himself, not the IMC.
    "There is no new peace movement," Smith said. "The anti-globalization
    movement is just shifting gears. There is an existing infrastructure, tons
    of mailing lists and websites."
    But the terrorist attacks and the U.S. response have sparked new interest
    in the IMC. Web traffic has quadrupled at the San Francisco site over the
    past month, and some new faces have shown up at the door. "We've had some
    old hippie types coming out of the woodwork," Smith said.
    Richard Deats, who has been part of the peace movement for many years, said
    the Web makes mobilizing against this war different. He is co-director of
    the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a coalition of peace organizations from
    different religious faiths with 100,000 members in 40 countries.
    "The Web has immensely changed the way we organize," Deats said. "In the
    Gulf War, we didn't have a website. Now it drives everything we do."
    Deats has posted an "action packet" on the site that provides information
    and resources on non-violent responses to terrorism.
    "We're trying to get across to the public that this horrible crime was not
    an act of war, and we should go after it like we do other crimes," Deats said.
    His group is part of a national coalition of peace organizations that are
    planning rallies in cities across the country on the seventh day of every
    Another large peace organization, the American Friends Service Committee
    (AFSC), has used the Web to collect signatures for ads they are placing in
    major U.S. newspapers.
    The full-page ad, already placed in the New York Times and Washington Post,
    urged a diplomatic, peaceful response to the attack. It bore 1,500
    signatures, many of them collected via the Web, along with a $25 required
    "The Web has revolutionized the way we do business," said committee
    spokeswoman Janis Shieldes. "It has let us get in contact with like-minded
    organizations more quickly. It's instrumental in getting people familiar
    with who we are and what we do."
    The AFSC is also using the Web to push its relief drive for Afghan
    refugees. Its first shipment of blankets is due to be air-dropped to
    refugees soon.
    Shieldes added, "We've really tried hard to incorporate the Web into our
    outreach strategy, to make people aware there is a voice for peace out there."


    Why The Left Opposes Foreign Intervention


    October 19, 2001
    by James Ostrowski

    Libertarians oppose foreign intervention, unrelated to national defense, for
    such reasons as:

    Non-intervention tends to keep foreign disputes narrow and localized. World
    Wars, with their inevitable globally disastrous consequences, are avoided.

    An interventionist state is a large, powerful, and snooping state. It has a
    large standing army, inconsistent with the traditional republican reliance
    on a citizen militia. It requires heavy taxation to support the defense
    bureaucracy and tends towards repression of civil liberties since the
    warfare state cannot brook dissent.

    The warfare state leads inexorably to the welfare state as the apparent
    success of military central planning leads to demands for domestic central
    planning. Thus, from those who think society should be run like an army
    barracks, we get the "war on poverty", and the "war on drugs".

    Libertarians deny that such as Stalin, Clinton, Churchill, Wilson,
    Roosevelt, Truman, and Johnson, already busy violating the rights of their
    own subjects, have any training, experience or competence, in coming to the
    rescue of those whose rights are being violated by their own hack
    politicians and dictators. These gentlemen's humanitarian rescue missions
    resulted in Hitler taking power in Germany, Eastern Europe being enslaved by
    communism, genocidal chaos in Southeast Asia, bombing Serbia back to the
    Stone Age, millions upon millions of civilian and military casualties, and,
    by the way, the current mess in the Middle East!

    Foreign intervention leads to "blowback". Because, in the words of Frederic
    Bastiat, people are not clay, they always react and respond to the state's
    use of power against them in ways that result in unintended and negative
    consequences from the state's point of view. The widespread use of state
    power erodes private morality, as people learn from the state's actions and
    rationalizations that it is acceptable to use force against others to
    achieve their goals. These two factors are the foundation of modern

    Why, however, do leftists oppose foreign intervention? I got a glimpse into
    a possible answer when I picked up the local alternative paper. It carried
    an article by "Michael Moore," not otherwise identified. Later, I was able
    to confirm on the web that he was the Michael Moore, the moderately
    successful left-wing film maker.

    In a long article about September 11th, he criticized Jimmy Carter's
    intervention into Afghanistan in 1979. I agree with him and am glad that
    Carter, who managed to pack eight years of incompetence and statist evil
    into one four-year term, gets some of the blame for recent events. Moore's
    reasoning differs from mine, though. He quotes approvingly from a book by
    William Blum, Rogue State:

    "Besides the fact that there is demonstrable connection between the
    Afghanistan war and the breakup of the Soviet empire, we are faced with the
    consequences of that war: the defeat of a government committed to bringing
    the extraordinarily backward nation into the 20th century. . . "

    Bringing Afghanistan into the 20th century is exactly what the Soviet-backed
    government did. The Black Book of Communism, in a chapter written by
    Sylvain Boulouque, described how this was accomplished:

    "[R]epression of the old regime's supporters led to the death of about
    10,000 people and the imprisonment of between 14,000 and 20,000 for
    political reasons. . . . the government began an antireligious crusade.
    The Koran was burned in public, and imams and other religious leaders were
    arrested and killed. . . All religious practices were banned, even for
    the tiny 5,000-strong Jewish community. . . Faced with widespread
    resistance, the Afghan Communists and their Soviet advisers began to
    practice terror on a large scale. Michael Barry describes one such
    incident: [the machine-gunning of 1,700 males in one village with live
    burial of the wounded]. . . In Kabul...torture was common; the worst form
    entailed live burial in latrines...'One hundred and fifty [Afghans] were
    buried alive by the bulldozers and the rest were doused with gasoline and
    burned alive. . . Executions in the countryside, where the Communists
    sought to wipe out the resistance through a genuine reign of terror,
    including a bombing campaign, led to the death of approximately 100,000
    additional people."

    After the Soviets intervened with troops in December, 1979, things changed
    little, mass murder-wise:

    "105 villagers [in Logar Province] who were hiding in an underground
    irrigation canal were burned alive by Soviet troops^the searching of
    villages was accompanied by acts of blind barbarism, with women and old
    people killed if they showed any signs of fear.... Women were thrown naked
    from helicopters and entire villages were destroyed to avenge the death of
    one Soviet soldier.... Villages were also systematically bombed to prevent
    the resistance forces from launching any sort of counterattack. . . All
    evidence suggests that poison gases were used regularly against the civilian
    population. . . This description of the atrocities committed by the
    Soviets in Afghanistan continues on, page after page, in the relentlessly
    clinical style of the Black Book of Communism. I'll spare you all the
    nauseating details. Every trick in the Commie playbook was utilized,
    including poisoned water supplies, 20 million land mines injuring 700,000
    people, systemic rape, grotesque forms of torture, and mock executions. Ah,
    the 20th century, when the flight from reason crash-landed into the

    If Michael Moore, or any leftist, was asked what he thought about these
    atrocities, he would probably point out the hideous tactics of the
    Mujahideen. Likewise, if Zbigniew Brzezinski, or any neoconservative, was
    asked what he thought about the hideous tactics of the Mujahideen, he would
    probably point out the aforementioned crimes of the Communists. Can't
    anyone around here give a straight answer to a simple question? I say, "A
    plague on both your houses."

    Libertarians do join the left in opposing America's global military empire,
    but we do so free of illusions about the motives of our allies. The left
    has a different vision of the world a 20th century vision, unfortunately.
    James Ostrowski is an attorney practicing at 984 Ellicott Square, Buffalo,
    New York 14203; (716) 854-1440; FAX 853-1303. See his website at


    Professor criticizes U.S. actions


    by Tom Polansek
    The Daily Illini
    Friday, October 19, 2001

    America's military retaliation in Afghanistan was not prompted by the
    terrorist attacks against the United States on Sept. 11, University law
    professor Francis Boyle said Thursday night.
    Boyle, who specializes in international law, believes the United States
    began military strikes against Afghanistan to obtain extended access to oil
    and natural gas deposits in Central Asia.
    "The people who run this country are cold, calculating people," Boyle said.
    "They know exactly what they're doing and why they're doing it. The movers
    and shakers, they've paid tremendous attention to Central Asia and the oil
    resources there."
    The Pentagon is hammering out a deal with the government of Uzbekistan,
    which neighbors Afghanistan, to build a U.S. military base there, Boyle said.
    "Clearly, what is going on in Afghanistan is not self-defense," he said.
    "Retaliation is never self-defense."
    The actions of the United States in Afghanistan constitute armed aggression
    and are illegal, Boyle said. International law requires that there be a
    court hearing to determine the guilt or innocence of an individual accused
    of terrorist acts, as Osama bin Laden is, he said.
    Boyle criticized Congress for not creating a panel with subpoena powers to
    fully investigate the Sept. 11 attacks.
    "We are not going to get that investigation," he said. "Yet we are waging a
    war on Afghanistan based on evidence that Secretary of State Colin Powell
    said was not even circumstantial."
    Muslim and non-muslim countries around the world are condemning U.S.
    military actions because they are not justified under international law,
    Boyle said.
    He said that attacks by the United States against Afghanistan will result
    in a "human catastrophe" and predicted that at least 100,000 people will
    die in the war unless American citizens demand that it end.
    The Progressive Resource/Action Cooperative organized Boyle's presentation
    at the Illinois Disciples Foundation, 610 E. Springfield Ave. in Champaign.
    The foundation's board of directors passed a resolution against the U.S.
    military action in Afghanistan on Sept. 18. The resolution, posted on the
    foundation's Web site, stated that the foundation will use its resources to
    "urge restraint on the part of the U.S. government in this dangerous period
    of national anger and shock." The resolution further said it will "call
    upon those bodies responsible for upholding international law to hold the
    U.S. accountable to these laws in its response to the recent attacks."
    "Thoughtless military retaliation against presumed enemies or their
    supporters and the use of assassination as a legitimized tool of diplomacy
    will not further or protect civilization, but rather, signal its formal and
    complete demise," the resolution stated.
    Steve Kline, freshman in LAS, attended the presentation and said Boyle's
    idea of why the United States was bombing Afghanistan was "a complete
    "The way he phrased it it sounded like a very valid explanation," Kline
    said. "I want to check out some of the facts he presented, though."


    U.S. bears sole blame for Sept. 11, Trask says

    Haunani-Kay Trask says America should focus on the needs of its own people

    By Pat Omandam
    Honolulu Star Bulletin - October 18, 2001

    The United States has only itself to blame for the Sept. 11 terrorist
    attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, said outspoken
    Hawaiian studies professor Haunani-Kay Trask. Moreover, Trask said,
    the United States should stop using its military might to police the
    world so it can open up foreign trade markets. It should stay out of
    the Middle East and elsewhere and instead focus on the needs of its
    own native and poor people, she said.

    "The United States is angry because somebody came back and blew up
    their World Trade Center," said the University of Hawaii professor
    and sovereignty activist. "I would be angry, too. But what made them
    do that? It is the history of the terrorism that the United States
    unleashes against native people all over the world.

    Trask's comments, which come at a time of increased patriotism across
    the country, were given yesterday at a University of Hawaii at Manoa
    forum sponsored by Professors Opposed to War and the University Peace
    Initiative, comprised of students, faculty and staff of the UH system.

    Organizers say these public forums are meant to educate and stimulate
    critical thinking on why this war on terrorism is occurring and what
    it means in the long term for the United States. Members seek
    nonviolent, globally responsible and lasting solutions to end

    Trask was attending a U.N. conference on world racism in Durban,
    South Africa, Sept. 11, and said she was shocked and horrified
    watching the attacks unfold on television. The first words out of her
    mouth, she said, were what 1960s activist Malcolm X said when asked
    about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22,
    1963: "Chickens have come home to roost."

    "What it means is that those who have suffered under the imperialism
    and militarism of the United States have come back to haunt in the
    21st century that same government," Trask said. "The Third World has
    responded to the First World, and it is bitter and it is hateful.
    It's crazy, that war out there."

    Trask said the United States began the 20th century with the 1893
    overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom and, a century later, it begins the
    next one trying to install a new government in Afghanistan. She said
    the United States' foreign policy of supporting state-sponsored
    terrorism to impose U.S.-friendly governments in countries like
    Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Guatemala and Vietnam
    led directly to the Sept. 11 attacks.

    "Everywhere, the United States has overthrown leftist governments.
    Everywhere, the United States has overthrown native governments," she
    said. "Why should we support the United States, whose hands in
    history are soaked in blood?

    "About 100 students gathered on the Manoa Campus Center steps to hear
    the discussion and to be challenged by Trask and others to get
    involved. It remains to be seen whether such anti-war activism will
    rise to the level of protests found on the Manoa campus during the
    Vietnam War."Most of us swallow very easily what we're fed by our
    government and by the media," said Susan Hippensteele, a women's
    studies professor who also spoke at the forum. Hippensteele said
    there has never been good public dialogue on why these attacks

    But a review of U.S. foreign policy shows why people have resorted to
    these desperate acts of violence against America. She said President
    Bush's war on terrorism is more a war on public opinion to generate
    irrational fear and panic among American citizens so they do not
    question the policies of the Bush administration.

    Hippensteele and others urged students to seek alternative sources of
    information on the Internet so they can ask tough questions of
    elected officials and be the watchdog that the American public should
    be."Democracy can not be on cruise control," added Ruth Y. Hsu, an
    associate English professor and moderator of yesterday's event.


    U.S. Raids Flatten Kandahar Bazaars, Civilians Hurt

    Reuters. 20 October 2001

    CHAMAN -- Afghan refugees fleeing U.S. air raids said on Saturday the
    strikes destroyed shopping bazaars in the heart of the Taliban
    stronghold of Kandahar, causing several civilian casualties.

    The bombs hit the southern city on Thursday and Friday, spearing
    shoppers with shards of shrapnel in attacks apparently targeting
    government buildings such as the religious police, or the Ministry for
    Protection of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

    "On Thursday night around 10 p.m. and yesterday at 2 p.m. and again last
    night, there was heavy bombing," said Mohammed Ghaus who, together with
    his wife and five children, crossed into Pakistan on Saturday.

    "The bazaar around the Keptan intersection in the city center was
    flattened. My neighbor's house was destroyed. That's why we left."

    There were civilian casualties, he said, but he did not know how many.

    Other new arrivals, streaming across the Chaman checkpoint in their
    hundreds on Saturday, told similar stories.

    Abdul Wadood, 30, said the shopping area in Kandahar's central Madad
    district was badly damaged when it was struck by bombs on Friday, the
    Muslim day of prayer.

    "My two sons, aged 13 and 15, were outside in the bazaar. They were both
    hit in the legs, thighs and arms by metal splinters -- the doctors
    called it 'foreign bodies'," he said. "But he said they will recover."

    Wadood and Ghaus said the attacking aircraft appeared to be targeting
    government offices in the city center, but civilian homes and shops had
    been hit.

    The Afghan Islamic Press said on Friday seven people were killed and 15
    wounded when a bomb fell near Madad square.

    Mohammed Zaman, 45, said he saw people wounded in the legs and arms
    after Friday's attacks in the afternoon and at night on the center of
    town. He said several projectiles hit the bazaar.

    "The bombing was very heavy," he said.

    At Chaman hospital, the district health officer, Dr. Achtar Mohammad,
    said 10 wounded Afghans, all civilians, had been admitted over the past
    five days.

    They included two women from Kandahar wounded by splinters and admitted
    on Friday.

    Two teenage boys, one with a headshot wound and the other with his legs
    fractured, were also being treated.

    Some of the wounded had already received treatment in Kandahar,
    including one man who had had his leg amputated.

    "We are expecting more -- we're ready for it," Achtar said.

    Anti-war resources:

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

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