[sixties-l] Antiwar News...(# 24) (fwd)

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    Date: Fri, 02 Nov 2001 12:51:29 -0800
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: Antiwar News...(# 24)

    Antiwar News...(# 24)

    --Now, More Than Ever: A Global Movement for Global Justice
    --Bombs Destroy Afghan Cities
    --Trail of sick and weary refugees flees the war-zone
    --US, beware the consequences in Afghanistan
    --'Brutality smeared in peanut butter' - Why America must stop the war now.
    --Precision, My Ass
    --A Non-Western Voice
    --Jailed Pakistani Dies in Cell
    --Flyer that should be dropped over the United States
    --The New Newspeak
    Also of interest (links only):
             *WAR AGAINST THE WAR
             *Patriotism, Then and Now
             *cartoon by Tom Tomorrow
    (Anti-war links/resources at the end.)

    Now, More Than Ever: A Global Movement for Global Justice

    By Jeremy Brecher

    In the months before September 11, the Bush Administration undermined
    one effort after another to address world problems on an international
    basis. It skipped out on the Kyoto Protocol on global warming,
    scuttled efforts to control biological weapons, refused to support a
    war crimes tribunal, withdrew from efforts to limit nuclear
    proliferation, and announced withdrawal from the treaty against
    anti-ballistic missiles.

    In contrast, a swelling global justice movement demanded adequate
    responses to problems ranging from genetically modified organisms to
    AIDS drugs for poor countries, from global warming to the destruction
    of indigenous lifeways by global corporations. While its most visible
    expressions were large global demonstrations in places like Quebec and
    Genoa, its real strength lay in its linkage of people at the
    grassroots around the world - its "globalization from below." This
    movement was mobilizing for massive demonstrations at the IMF/World
    Bank meetings in Washington, DC at the end of September.

    The terrorist attacks on September 11 posed this movement new and
    unanticipated questions. In contrast to the Vietnam War, the Gulf War,
    or the bombing of Serbia, there was an attack on and a threat to the
    United States in reality, not just in the rhetoric of American
    leaders. To treat mass murder and war crimes committed on American
    soil as somehow equivalent to past resistance to American imperialism
    would have been grotesque and, at least for the movement in the US,

    Almost from day one, activists began improvising an appropriate
    response. They defined the attacks as criminal acts, not acts of war.
    They defined the appropriate response as mobilizing international law,
    not unilateral military violence. They opposed attacks that would harm
    people who had not committed the crime. They emphasized protection for
    those, including but not limited to Muslims and Arabs, who had almost
    immediately become the targets of bigotry and violence.

    Over the course of two weeks, a peace movement calling for "justice
    not vengeance" emerged in the US. Its base included students,
    religious communities, peace activists, and many from the global
    justice movement. Similar movements have emerged around the world to
    oppose an accelerating cycle of violence. [for more information, visit
    www.indymedia.org, www.zmag.org, and sites linked to them.] Organizers
    cancelled the Washington demonstrations planned for late September,
    while going ahead with associated educational activities and
    initiating a major discussion about responses to the post-September 11

    In the face of calls to equate vengeance with patriotism, it was easy
    to fear that the fragile unity of the broad coalitions that have
    challenged globalization in the US might rapidly turn into a battle
    between peacniks and warniks. Notwithstanding some divergences of
    response, that hasn't happened.

    On the one hand, even those most critical of US imperialism have
    mourned the lost, condemned the terrorist attacks, and supported
    international cooperation to bring the perpetrators to justice. On the
    other hand, even trade unions with "hard hat" constituencies have
    largely rejected "bomb them back to the stone age" responses: The
    Steelworkers union's September 12th statement, for example, demands
    "justice for the victims, their families and humanity, and strongly
    urges that all available resources be used to track down and punish
    those individuals and organizations responsible," but warns that "care
    must be taken not to repeat this most recent tragedy by harming
    innocent men, women and children who, because of geography, find
    themselves in harm's way."

    The Bush Administration now seems to be backing off from the threat of
    a Gulf War-style juggernaut. It's hard to weigh how much this results
    from the unlikelihood of success, the probable risks, other countries'
    objections, fear of war's impact on the deflating global economy, and
    the sheer irrationality of such an enterprise. Even without massive
    retaliation, millions of war-battered and desperately poor Afghanis
    have already fled their homes and been cut off from food aid as a
    result of the threat of US attacks. And the world still faces a "War
    on Terror" redolent of the "War on Drugs," with the US asserting its
    right to use military force against any country that doesn't accept
    whatever demands it chooses to make.

    While no one in the Bush Administration has uttered the words "New
    World Order," at least in public, it's hard not to hear echoes of the
    past. George Bush, Senior's "New World Order," as I described it a
    decade ago, "aimed to create a consortium of powerful political
    regimes, corporations, and military establishments which would
    cooperate to preserve their access to the resources of the Earth, the
    products of past human activity, and the fruits of future labor. . . .
    The predictable consequences were repression of insurgencies and
    increasing concentration of wealth on a global scale."

    The Bush Administration is already moving to make the new
    international coalition not just a coalition to protect against
    terrorists but also a coalition to protect against the critics of
    unrestrained economic globalization. In the wake of the September 11
    attacks, US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick recalled that
    "Throughout the Cold War, Congress empowered presidents with trade
    negotiating authority to open markets, promote private enterprise and
    spur liberty around the world - complementing U.S. alliances and
    strengthening our nation." He called for new global trade negotiations
    and "trade promotion authority" (the pleasant-sounding new P.R. term
    for Fast Track). "America's trade leadership can build a coalition of
    countries that cherish liberty in all its aspects." People and
    governments around the world need to ask whether they are being signed
    up to fight terrorism, to promote US trade policy, or to initiate a
    new "New World Order."

    Zoellick also absurdly and abusively linked the terrorist attacks on
    the US with opposition to US trade policy. "On Sept. 11, America, its
    open society and its ideas came under attack by a malevolence that
    craves our panic, retreat and abdication of global leadership. . .
    This president and this administration will fight for open markets. We
    will not be intimidated by those who have taken to the streets to
    blame trade - and America - for the world's ills." This is
    guilt-by-association without even an association.

    The global justice movement blames neither trade nor American for the
    world' s ills. Rather, it is grounded in an understanding that no
    community or country can solve its economic problems by trying to beat
    out others - that the result of such competition is instead a race to
    the bottom in which all lose. It argues that the world's people and
    environment will suffer unless a global people's movement imposes
    rules on countries and corporations to block the destructive effects
    of that competition. It calls for worldwide cooperation to protect
    human and labor rights, the environment, and people's livelihoods.

    This same kind of understanding must now be applied to global
    conflict. The September 11 attacks show that the era is over in which
    nation states - even the world's single military superpower - can
    protect their people. There is no longer such a thing as national
    security -- security must be global to be secure. Broad human
    interests require limits on the use of violence by anyone in the
    world, whether they initiate their attacks from caves in the
    wilderness or war rooms in national capitals. The
    so-recently-unilateralist President Bush's frenetic coalition-building
    is an implied tribute to this view: It reflects a recognition that
    even the US can't by itself deal with the real threats it faces.

    The future remains uncertain. New attacks by either terrorists or the
    US are always possible. But we shouldn't assume that purveyors of
    violence will be able to monopolize public attention forever. The
    Oklahoma City bombing cornered national attention for a few weeks,
    then faded to just one more news story. George Bush, Senior's poll
    ratings were nearly as high after "victory" in Kuwait as George W.
    Bush's are today; a year later in the midst of a recession he was
    voted out of office. The Seattle demonstrations that kicked off the
    current phase of globalization from below came hard on the heels of
    "victory" in the bombing of Serbia.

    Much as the Bin Ladens and the Bushes may have other ideas, the
    fundamental conflict in the world today remains globalization from
    above vs. globalization from below. If the Bush Administration
    sincerely seeks to bring the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks
    to justice without committing new crimes along the way it will receive
    worldwide support. If it tries to use the "War against Terrorism" as a
    cover for a new consortium of political regimes, military
    establishments, and private economic interests imposing their will on
    the world - a new "New World Order" -- it will find the ground
    crumbling beneath its feet.

    Jeremy Brecher is the author of Globalization from Below and Strike!
    and the producer of the video Global Village or Global Pillage?


    Bombs Destroy Afghan Cities

    Via Workers World News Service
    Reprinted from the Nov. 1, 2001
    issue of Workers World newspaper



    By Fred Goldstein

    Under the guise of fighting terrorism, the U.S. military is
    bringing massive destruction and devastation to the people
    of Afghanistan. Pentagon claims that it is not targeting
    civilians are of little solace to the hundreds of thousands
    of people whose cities, livelihoods and means of survival
    are being destroyed in the relentless bombing campaign,
    which has gone on now for 17 days.

    According to the Washington Post of Oct. 23, "Pentagon
    officials say more than 3,000 bombs have dropped on
    Afghanistan since Oct. 7." These bombs have rained down on
    all the major population centers of the country.

    All the talk about precision bombing of military targets in
    order to avoid "collateral damage" is just so much Pentagon
    smokescreen for a war that is being deliberately escalated
    to terrorize and disrupt the mass of the population.

    There are daily raids on the capital city of Kabul. The
    Pentagon just expressed its "regrets" that two 500-pound
    bombs dropped by a Navy F-14 Tomcat had landed in a
    residential area of the city on Oct. 20.

    Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld denied that Navy F-18
    planes had bombed a hospital in Herat the next day, even
    though a United Nations observer witnessed and confirmed the

    These denials and regrets follow the same script as the
    statements made after the destruction of the village of
    Karam, the bombing of a Red Cross storage facility, the
    bombing of a UN mine-searching headquarters, a previous
    bombing of Kabul suburbs, and so on.


    But in addition to the bombing of civilians is the
    devastation being brought to the cities themselves. The
    Boston Globe of Oct. 24 carried a dispatch from Quetta,
    Pakistan, a border town just east of Afghanistan. Entitled
    "Airstrikes Forge a Ghost Town," the article describes the
    destruction: "When darkness falls, it is absolute; there's
    no electricity.... This city is not only a Taliban garrison-
    it is home to half a million people, or was before the air
    assault began.

    "The city's electrical grid was knocked out in airstrikes
    last week," continued the Globe. "That has essentially
    deprived the city of water, since the electrical pumps do
    not work. Some people on the outskirts of the town were
    trying to dig wells in their backyards."

    Haji Mussajan, a 60-year-old farmer, said he abandoned his
    orchard on the outskirts of Kandahar to seek shelter,
    bringing his daughter and infant granddaughter with him. "
    'We left in fear of our lives,' he said. 'Every day and
    every night we hear the roaring and roaring of planes, we
    see the smoke, the fire.... Life there is totally ruined.'"

    Mohammed Nabi, 55, who left the city, told the Globe that
    Kandahar "has a deserted look... And of those who remain,
    everyone is talking only about how they can get away... Even
    if it is an accident, you are still dead."

    The Financial Times of London carried a story from the
    Pakistan border on Oct. 24 about the city of Herat. " 'There
    is no life left in Herat,' said a woman holding a four-year-
    old child in her arms. 'All the men are dying. No one can
    live there anymore,' she said.

    " 'Since Friday there has been no halt in the attacks,' said
    Muhammed Wali, a Herat shopkeeper now stranded with his wife
    and two children. 'The bombardment has been huge.'"

    The French press agency AFP carried a dispatch Oct. 24 from
    Quetta saying that, "At least 20 Afghan civilians, including
    nine children, were killed as they tried to flee a town
    under attack by U.S. warplanes, according to survivors who
    managed to escape to Pakistan. The refugees were on the
    outskirts of the southern Afghan town of Tirin Kot on Sunday
    when the tractor and trailer they were traveling on was
    struck by a bomb. Some of those who survived managed to
    cross the border today and have been hospitalized in

    This is the planned and inevitable result of sending up to
    100 bombing missions a day, augmented by cruise missiles,
    over this impoverished country already ravaged by 20 years
    of war.

    Any policy that calls for dropping 3,000 bombs in 17 days on
    or near the population center of a country can only be
    described as a policy of terror.


    The horrific attacks on thousands of innocent civilians that
    took place in the United States on Sept. 11 are being
    matched many times over by the wholesale destruction of
    urban life in Afghanistan. Over a million people are being
    driven from shelter, their jobs, their sources of food and
    medicine. Hundreds of thousands are in grave peril.

    The people of the U.S. must understand that the Sept. 11
    attacks, as horrible as they were, arose out of the long
    history of the oppression of the people in the Middle East
    and Central Asia by the forces of imperialism, in particular
    the U.S. government, the Pentagon and the multinational

    Washington has for decades supported the absolute rulers of
    the hereditary monarchy in Saudi Arabia, guardians of the
    profits of U.S. oil companies.

    The U.S. ruling class has backed the settler state of Israel
    in its 53-year occupation of Palestinian land, which has led
    to the killing and jailing of tens of thousands of
    Palestinians who are fighting against poverty and colonial

    Washington killed 200,000 Iraqis in the Gulf War and has
    killed five times that many since then by the deadly


    Indeed, the suffering of the Afghani people is the doing of
    the U.S. government. The CIA beginning in 1979 led a 10-year
    war against a progressive socialist regime in Kabul that
    championed the rights of women, the workers and the peasants
    against the landlords. Threatened with counter-revolution
    supported from outside, this government asked for the
    assistance of Soviet troops.

    The USSR withdrew and the progressive regime in Kabul was
    finally destroyed after an $8-billion effort by
    international imperialism, in alliance with reactionary
    forces in the Middle East and Central Asia--the Saudi
    monarchy, the right-wing Islamic military regime in
    Pakistan, and many other counter-revolutionary forces,
    including the Taliban.

    Afghanistan was then subjected to more years of civil war as
    various counter-revolutionary elements fought to control the
    country. These are the forces that Washington is trying to
    fashion into a puppet regime in Kabul, if it can bring about
    the defeat of the Taliban.

    The reactionary clerical regime of the Taliban has cruelly
    suppressed women and all modern manifestations of society,
    but that is no excuse for the U.S. to destroy and take over
    the country. Washington is trying to destroy the state not
    in order to liberate anyone, but to establish its domination
    over the region and pave the way for greater exploitation by
    the transnational corporations.

    The anti-war movement in the U.S. has a duty to fight to end
    the suffering of the Afghani people at the hands of the
    terror bombing campaign. It must fight to get the U.S.
    military out of Central Asia and the Middle East and keep it
    from backing oppressive governments in the area.

    The people of the region must be free to settle their
    affairs without imperialist intervention. Otherwise, this
    struggle that is already decades old will never end.


    Trail of sick and weary refugees flees the war-zone


    The Irish Times
    Wednesday, October 24, 2001

    Miriam Donohoe, in Chaman, on the misery of a mother
    and her suffering infant stuck on the Pakistani border

    AFGHANISTAN: We never got the little boy's name. The
    ill one-year-old was carried over the border into
    Pakistan at Chaman yesterday in the arms of his
    haunted mother, Sima, one of thousands fleeing war and
    hunger in Afghanistan. Trailing behind were Sima's
    four other children, the eldest only 11.

    The widow was sweating under her long blue burqa. She
    told how she had come with her children from Herat
    through Kandahar and on to the border to escape the
    American bombs.

    Her biggest concern was her youngest child, who was
    clearly very ill. The children were exhausted after
    their long journey. She spoke of houses in Herat being
    destroyed by nightly bombing. "There is nothing left.
    People are leaving."

    But that is as far as the interview with Sima went.
    Border guards, armed and carrying sticks, told us our
    time was up and the helpless mother was ushered on.

    "You have three minutes to interview refugees and then
    we will send them back to Afghanistan," a senior
    border guard said with a mean smirk.

    This family was one of the lucky ones. They managed to
    get across the chaotic and unwelcoming southwestern
    border, crossing at Chaman, near Quetta, on the same
    day the Pakistan government announced it was not going
    to bow to UN demands to open the border to allow in
    those Afghans seeking asylum.

    The flow of Afghans toward Chaman, in Baluchistan
    province, has risen significantly in the past week as
    more people poured out of the country to flee the
    US-led military onslaught.

    But yesterday the Pakistan President, Gen Pervez
    Musharraf, said Pakistan already had 2.5 million
    Afghan refugees and would be taking no more. The
    Pakistan government said hundreds of newly arrived
    refugees are being repatriated back to Afghanistan in
    recent days to tented villages being set up with UN
    help just inside Afghanistan. Mr Shafi Kakar, a
    government official in Pakistan's Baluchistan
    province, said an agreement was reached with
    Afghanistan's Taliban rulers to accept the refugees'
    return. The Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mr Riaz
    Mohammed Khan, confirmed the arrangement. "The Taliban
    will keep refugees away from the borders, and they
    have agreed to set up two refugee camps inside
    Afghanistan," Mr Kakar said.

    The scene at Chaman has become chaotic in the last
    week as thousands of Afghans press up against the
    border demanding sanctuary. Border guards opened fire
    on refugees in a bid to control the masses on Sunday
    and Monday.

    Yesterday, while it was calmer, it was still menacing
    at the border which was clearly more tightly
    controlled after two days of clashes. The reported
    rush of refugees in previous days was reduced to a

    But women and children and elderly were coming
    through, many carrying luggage and children in

    In no man's land scores of border guards could be seen
    roaming around with sticks and rifles. There were
    barbed wire fences everywhere. The guards chased and
    in some cases beat young children who dared to tease

    A group of journalists given a pass to go to the
    Chaman crossing were stopped at a sentry point one
    mile from the actual border. The area between this
    point and the border is a desolate no man's land,
    where up to 1,000 people are trapped waiting to cross

    Thousands more are said by the UNHCR to be waiting
    behind the official border to pass into Pakistan.
    Despite being officially closed to refugees, the old
    and sick, especially women and children, were being
    let through. But they were discouraged from talking to
    journalists. Many were afraid to talk about the
    Taliban, and scampered off as soon as the Afghan
    ruling regime were mentioned. Beyond the border the
    white Taliban flag was flying.


    US, beware the consequences in Afghanistan

    Christian Science Monitor
    October 22, 2001
    By Edward Girardet

    GENEVA - American and British airstrikes on alleged Taliban targets will
    hardly eliminate Islamic extremism or terrorism on Afghan soil. If
    anything, they may be proving counterproductive. Not only are the attacks
    inflicting rising civilian casualties, but they are also inciting a
    potential new onslaught of anti-Western militants - many angered by what
    they see as an attack against Islam - in other parts of the Muslim world.

    As a journalist who has covered Afghanistan since before the 1979 Soviet
    invasion, I still wonder what the United States hopes to achieve with its
    attacks, and how it sees the possible consequences. While American and
    European diplomatic sources maintain that military and political leaders
    are brainstorming behind the scenes over what needs to be done, these
    leaders are also uncertain of what the ultimate result will be.

    Clearly, Washington wants to be seen taking action. It claims military
    intervention is required to pressure the Taliban to end its support for
    Islamic extremists, such as Osama bin Laden. But a week ago, the allies
    also began bombing Taliban front lines, a move that could help put the
    opposition Northern Alliance in power without its having to engage in
    healthy compromise or coalition-building. A British military source
    notes: "Perhaps we should be doing a bit of reading of the history

    As a nation already devastated by 23 years of war, Afghanistan offers
    little of tactical relevance. The only real threat to the allies is
    possible US-made Stingers or surface-to-air missiles left from the Soviet
    war. More adept at guerrilla warfare, both the Taliban and the Northern
    Alliance rely on conventional, highly mobile weapons, such as
    Kalashnikovs, mortars, and rocket launchers, to combat each other. Supply
    lines may present the most valid targets.

    It is doubtful, however, whether the bombing or the just-launched
    special-forces operations on the ground will significantly affect the
    ability of the Taliban or Al Qaeda to stay in business. The destruction
    of power plants will only make life more difficult for ordinary Afghans.
    The Taliban will use fuel-driven generators, and even these are not
    really necessary to people who have endured war and deprivation for

    What is certain is that the US-led attacks are causing growing civilian
    casualties. Further, the US is dropping cluster bombs; though they're not
    intended for civilians, it is likely that ordinary people, including
    children, will be hurt and killed by them - which does little for
    Washington's moral standing.

    As the Soviet Army learned, real power doesn't lie in bombing. It lies in
    the ability to provide sufficient privileges, such as cash payoffs or
    access to smuggling profits, to those who matter - notably war lords,
    commanders, and clan leaders. Much, too, depends on effective
    divide-and-rule approaches among the tribal and ethnic groups on the

    This is what the British did so well with Afghanistan's ruling tribes
    during the 19th and early 20th centuries, and what the Pakistanis, Arabs,
    and the likes of Osama bin Laden have done with the Taliban. You have to
    make sure the right people are paid off to foster coexistence.

    This is not to suggest that the US and the international community should
    seek to buy off Afghan political leaders or commanders. The point is for
    outsiders to have a better understanding of how Afghanistan works. And
    for intervention to be successful, the real beneficiaries must be the
    Afghan people.

    What Afghanistan needs most is a regional peace settlement, facilitated
    by the United Nations or a respected neutral country, coupled with a
    massive reconstructive Marshall Plan that will end once and for all the
    country's enduring conflict. There also needs to be pressure on the
    regional players - such as Pakistan, Iran, India, and the former Soviet
    Central Asian states - to support the creation of an interim coalition
    government without meddling in Afghanistan's internal affairs. The
    European Union or the United States could fulfill this regional role.
    Unlike the bombing, this is the only sort of international action that
    will make a difference.

    Washington decisionmakers from the 1980s should remember that the US
    bears heavy responsibility for Afghanistan's continuing war and the rise
    of Islamic militants. During the Soviet occupation, Washington provided
    about $3 billion worth of aid to the Afghan resistance, primarily through
    Pakistan. Much of this was creamed off by the Pakistani military, with
    the bulk of the remaining aid channeled to extremist groups dominated by
    Pashtuns, Afghanistan's ethnic majority.

    By abandoning Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal in 1989, Washington
    allowed Pakistan's military Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to call the
    shots. The ISI helped pave the way for the Taliban takeover of Kabul in
    1996. If the US has learned anything, it is the need to ensure that
    Pakistan does not again dominate Afghanistan. Similarly, the US should
    rely far less on Pakistan - which has its own agenda - for intelligence
    and logistical support.

    While many war-exhausted Afghans are willing to tolerate US involvement
    in the region, they need to know that peace and reconstruction will be
    part of the long-term plan. Dropping bombs and humanitarian relief
    packages at the same time - little more than a naive propaganda ploy, say
    some aid agencies - is hardly the way to disperse intelligent aid.

    Some 6 million Afghans, roughly a third of the population, are desperate
    for massive humanitarian assistance to survive this winter. Afghanistan
    urgently needs to be opened up to large-scale humanitarian relief, both
    in Taliban- and non-Taliban-controlled areas.

    There are already strong indications that rising anti-Taliban sentiment
    in the cities may oblige the Taliban to open up, but aid officials do not
    believe it will happen during the bombing. As it is, they warn, tens of
    thousands of Afghans may already be condemned to death in the more
    isolated parts of central and western Afghanistan.

    Bringing peace to the region is not a matter of dealing with black and
    white, good and bad. Nor does it mean imposing the Northern Alliance as a
    replacement regime. Even though the alliance has become more diverse,
    drawing rising numbers of Pashtun commanders, many of them recent
    defections from the Taliban, it still does not represent an
    across-the-board coalition of ethnic and tribal groups.

    Another problem is that, while there are some good commanders in the
    alliance, others have well-known histories of human-rights abuse. One of
    these is Abdul Rashid Dostum, a ruthless former pro-Soviet militia
    commander whose ethnic Uzbek soldiers were involved in large-scale
    murder, rape, and looting during the 1990s.

    The alliance further includes heavily conservative influences such as
    Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, who was supported by Arab money and volunteers during
    the Soviet occupation. The alliance also boasts former members of
    Gulbudin Hekmatyar's extremist Hezb-e-Islami, whose leader is now said to
    be making a comeback from exile in neighboring Iran.

    As anti-Taliban leader Ahmed Shah Masood noted before his assassination
    last month, there can be no military solution to the Afghan conflict. Any
    political settlement will have to include representatives from both the
    Northern Alliance and the Taliban.

    As in the past, there is increased discussion of bringing back Zahir
    Shah, the octogenarian ex-king. One of the country's few remaining
    national symbols, his role would be to convene a traditional loya jirga,
    or grand council. Consisting of respected individuals, local leaders,
    religious scholars, and commanders, the council would seek to appoint a
    representative interim government.

    While the fundamentalist groups, as well as the Pakistanis, have long
    opposed the king's return, many Afghans remember, rightly or wrongly, the
    Zahir Shah years of the 1960s and early 1970s as a period of peace. It is
    doubtful, however, that a loya jirga could be held before the onset of
    winter in a few weeks.

    If and when an interim government is appointed, the international
    community faces the challenge of what to do. Clearly, the United Nations
    and the international aid community would have to help run the
    administration. Over the years, thousands of Afghan doctors, teachers,
    engineers, and agronomists have fled the country. Few are likely to
    return. And there are almost no journalists left capable of operating
    Radio Television Kabul or setting up a new free press.

    The United States and its allies must commit now to a workable peace
    settlement that includes rebuilding the country in the interests of
    Afghans. Even if this takes the form of "buying" the peace - through
    massive humanitarian and development aid - it will certainly prove
    cheaper than an ineffective war. If not, Americans will have to pay
    later, just as they are now paying for a disastrous policy of neglecting
    Afghanistan after 1989.
    Edward Girardet is a former special correspondent of the Monitor. He is
    editor of the Essential Field Guide to Afghanistan and a director of
    Media Action International, a Geneva-based humanitarian organization.


    'Brutality smeared in peanut butter'


    Why America must stop the war now.

    By Arundhati Roy
    Guardian Unlimited
    Tuesday October 23, 2001

    As darkness deepened over Afghanistan on Sunday
    October 7 2001, the US government, backed by the
    International Coalition Against Terror (the new,
    amenable surrogate for the United Nations), launched
    air strikes against Afghanistan. TV channels lingered
    on computer-animated images of cruise missiles,
    stealth bombers, tomahawks, "bunker-busting" missiles
    and Mark 82 high drag bombs. All over the world,
    little boys watched goggle-eyed and stopped clamouring
    for new video games.

    The UN, reduced now to an ineffective acronym, wasn't
    even asked to mandate the air strikes. (As Madeleine
    Albright once said, "We will behave multilaterally
    when we can, and unilaterally when we must.") The
    "evidence" against the terrorists was shared amongst
    friends in the "coalition".

    After conferring, they announced that it didn't matter
    whether or not the "evidence" would stand up in a
    court of law. Thus, in an instant, were centuries of
    jurisprudence carelessly trashed.

    Nothing can excuse or justify an act of terrorism,
    whether it is committed by religious fundamentalists,
    private militia, people's resistance movements - or
    whether it's dressed up as a war of retribution by a
    recognised government. The bombing of Afghanistan is
    not revenge for New York and Washington. It is yet
    another act of terror against the people of the world.

    Each innocent person that is killed must be added to,
    not set off against, the grisly toll of civilians who
    died in New York and Washington.

    People rarely win wars, governments rarely lose them.
    People get killed.

    Governments moult and regroup, hydra-headed. They use
    flags first to shrink-wrap people's minds and smother
    thought, and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury their
    willing dead. On both sides, in Afghanistan as well as
    America, civilians are now hostage to the actions of
    their own governments.

    Unknowingly, ordinary people in both countries share a
    common bond - they have to live with the phenomenon of
    blind, unpredictable terror. Each batch of bombs that
    is dropped on Afghanistan is matched by a
    corresponding escalation of mass hysteria in America
    about anthrax, more hijackings and other terrorist

    There is no easy way out of the spiralling morass of
    terror and brutality that confronts the world today.
    It is time now for the human race to hold still, to
    delve into its wells of collective wisdom, both
    ancient and modern. What happened on September 11
    changed the world forever.

    Freedom, progress, wealth, technology, war - these
    words have taken on new meaning.

    Governments have to acknowledge this transformation,
    and approach their new tasks with a modicum of honesty
    and humility. Unfortunately, up to now, there has been
    no sign of any introspection from the leaders of the
    International Coalition. Or the Taliban.

    When he announced the air strikes, President George
    Bush said: "We're a peaceful nation." America's
    favourite ambassador, Tony Blair, (who also holds the
    portfolio of prime minister of the UK), echoed him:
    "We're a peaceful people."

    So now we know. Pigs are horses. Girls are boys. War
    is peace.

    Speaking at the FBI headquarters a few days later,
    President Bush said: "This is our calling. This is the
    calling of the United States of America. The most free
    nation in the world. A nation built on fundamental
    values that reject hate, reject violence, rejects
    murderers and rejects evil. We will not tire."

    Here is a list of the countries that America has been
    at war with - and bombed - since the second world war:
    China (1945-46, 1950-53), Korea (1950-53), Guatemala
    (1954, 1967-69), Indonesia (1958), Cuba (1959-60), the
    Belgian Congo (1964), Peru (1965), Laos (1964-73),
    Vietnam (1961-73), Cambodia (1969-70), Grenada (1983),
    Libya (1986), El Salvador (1980s), Nicaragua (1980s),
    Panama (1989), Iraq (1991-99), Bosnia (1995), Sudan
    (1998), Yugoslavia (1999). And now Afghanistan.

    Certainly it does not tire - this, the most free
    nation in the world.

    What freedoms does it uphold? Within its borders, the
    freedoms of speech, religion, thought; of artistic
    expression, food habits, sexual preferences (well, to
    some extent) and many other exemplary, wonderful

    Outside its borders, the freedom to dominate,
    humiliate and subjugate ^ usually in the service of
    America's real religion, the "free market". So when
    the US government christens a war "Operation Infinite
    Justice", or "Operation Enduring Freedom", we in the
    third world feel more than a tremor of fear.

    Because we know that Infinite Justice for some means
    Infinite Injustice for others. And Enduring Freedom
    for some means Enduring Subjugation for others.

    The International Coalition Against Terror is
    largely a cabal of the richest countries in the world.
    Between them, they manufacture and sell almost all of
    the world's weapons, they possess the largest
    stockpile of weapons of mass destruction - chemical,
    biological and nuclear. They have fought the most
    wars, account for most of the genocide, subjection,
    ethnic cleansing and human rights violations in modern
    history, and have sponsored, armed and financed untold
    numbers of dictators and despots. Between them, they
    have worshipped, almost deified, the cult of violence
    and war. For all its appalling sins, the Taliban just
    isn't in the same league.

    The Taliban was compounded in the crumbling crucible
    of rubble, heroin and landmines in the backwash of the
    cold war. Its oldest leaders are in their early 40s.
    Many of them are disfigured and handicapped, missing
    an eye, an arm or a leg. They grew up in a society
    scarred and devastated by war.

    Between the Soviet Union and America, over 20 years,
    about $45bn (30bn) worth of arms and ammunition was
    poured into Afghanistan. The latest weaponry was the
    only shard of modernity to intrude upon a thoroughly
    medieval society.

    Young boys ^ many of them orphans - who grew up in
    those times, had guns for toys, never knew the
    security and comfort of family life, never experienced
    the company of women. Now, as adults and rulers, the
    Taliban beat, stone, rape and brutalise women, they
    don't seem to know what else to do with them.

    Years of war has stripped them of gentleness, inured
    them to kindness and human compassion. Now they've
    turned their monstrosity on their own people.

    They dance to the percussive rhythms of bombs raining
    down around them.

    With all due respect to President Bush, the people of
    the world do not have to choose between the Taliban
    and the US government. All the beauty of human
    civilisation - our art, our music, our literature -
    lies beyond these two fundamentalist, ideological
    poles. There is as little chance that the people of
    the world can all become middle-class consumers as
    there is that they will all embrace any one particular
    religion. The issue is not about good v evil or Islam
    v Christianity as much as it is about space. About how
    to accommodate diversity, how to contain the impulse
    towards hegemony ^ every kind of hegemony, economic,
    military, linguistic, religious and cultural.

    Any ecologist will tell you how dangerous and fragile
    a monoculture is. A hegemonic world is like having a
    government without a healthy opposition. It becomes a
    kind of dictatorship. It's like putting a plastic bag
    over the world, and preventing it from breathing.
    Eventually, it will be torn open.

    One and a half million Afghan people lost their lives
    in the 20 years of conflict that preceded this new
    war. Afghanistan was reduced to rubble, and now, the
    rubble is being pounded into finer dust. By the second
    day of the air strikes, US pilots were returning to
    their bases without dropping their assigned payload of
    bombs. As one pilot put it, Afghanistan is "not a
    target-rich environment". At a press briefing at the
    Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary,
    was asked if America had run out of targets.

    "First we're going to re-hit targets," he said, "and
    second, we're not running out of targets, Afghanistan
    is ..." This was greeted with gales of laughter in the
    briefing room.

    By the third day of the strikes, the US defence
    department boasted that it had "achieved air supremacy
    over Afghanistan" (Did they mean that they had
    destroyed both, or maybe all 16, of Afghanistan's

    On the ground in Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance -
    the Taliban's old enemy, and therefore the
    international coalition's newest friend - is making
    headway in its push to capture Kabul. (For the
    archives, let it be said that the Northern Alliance's
    track record is not very different from the Taliban's.
    But for now, because it's inconvenient, that little
    detail is being glossed over.) The visible, moderate,
    "acceptable" leader of the alliance, Ahmed Shah Masud,
    was killed in a suicide-bomb attack early in
    September. The rest of the Northern Alliance is a
    brittle confederation of brutal warlords, ex-
    communists and unbending clerics. It is a disparate
    group divided along ethnic lines, some of whom have
    tasted power in Afghanistan in the past.

    Until the US air strikes, the Northern Alliance
    controlled about 5% of the geographical area of
    Afghanistan. Now, with the coalition's help and "air
    cover", it is poised to topple the Taliban. Meanwhile,
    Taliban soldiers, sensing imminent defeat, have begun
    to defect to the alliance. So the fighting forces are
    busy switching sides and changing uniforms. But in an
    enterprise as cynical as this one, it seems to matter
    hardly at all.

    Love is hate, north is south, peace is war.

    Among the global powers, there is talk of "putting in
    a representative government". Or, on the other hand,
    of "restoring" the kingdom to Afghanistan's 89-year
    old former king Zahir Shah, who has lived in exile in
    Rome since 1973. That's the way the game goes -
    support Saddam Hussein, then "take him out"; finance
    the mojahedin, then bomb them to smithereens; put in
    Zahir Shah and see if he's going to be a good boy. (Is
    it possible to "put in" a representative government?
    Can you place an order for democracy - with extra
    cheese and jalapeno peppers?)

    Reports have begun to trickle in about civilian
    casualties, about cities emptying out as Afghan
    civilians flock to the borders which have been closed.
    Main arterial roads have been blown up or sealed off.
    Those who have experience of working in Afghanistan
    say that by early November, food convoys will not be
    able to reach the millions of Afghans (7.5m, according
    to the UN) who run the very real risk of starving to
    death during the course of this winter. They say that
    in the days that are left before winter sets in, there
    can either be a war, or an attempt to reach food to
    the hungry. Not both.

    As a gesture of humanitarian support, the US
    government air-dropped 37,000 packets of emergency
    rations into Afghanistan. It says it plans to drop a
    total of 500,000 packets. That will still only add up
    to a single meal for half a million people out of the
    several million in dire need of food.

    Aid workers have condemned it as a cynical, dangerous,
    public-relations exercise. They say that air-dropping
    food packets is worse than futile.

    First, because the food will never get to those who
    really need it. More dangerously, those who run out to
    retrieve the packets risk being blown up by landmines.
    A tragic alms race.

    Nevertheless, the food packets had a photo-op all to
    themselves. Their contents were listed in major
    newspapers. They were vegetarian, we're told, as per
    Muslim dietary law (!) Each yellow packet, decorated
    with the American flag, contained: rice, peanut
    butter, bean salad, strawberry jam, crackers, raisins,
    flat bread, an apple fruit bar, seasoning, matches, a
    set of plastic cutlery, a serviette and illustrated
    user instructions.

    After three years of unremitting drought, an air-
    dropped airline meal in Jalalabad! The level of
    cultural ineptitude, the failure to understand what
    months of relentless hunger and grinding poverty
    really mean, the US government's attempt to use even
    this abject misery to boost its self-image, beggars

    Reverse the scenario for a moment. Imagine if the
    Taliban government was to bomb New York City, saying
    all the while that its real target was the US
    government and its policies. And suppose, during
    breaks between the bombing, the Taliban dropped a few
    thousand packets containing nan and kebabs impaled on
    an Afghan flag. Would the good people of New York ever
    find it in themselves to forgive the Afghan
    government? Even if they were hungry, even if they
    needed the food, even if they ate it, how would they
    ever forget the insult, the condescension? Rudi
    Guiliani, Mayor of New York City, returned a gift of
    $10m from a Saudi prince because it came with a few
    words of friendly advice about American policy in the
    Middle East. Is pride a luxury that only the rich are
    entitled to?

    Far from stamping it out, igniting this kind of rage
    is what creates terrorism. Hate and retribution don't
    go back into the box once you've let them out. For
    every "terrorist" or his "supporter" that is killed,
    hundreds of innocent people are being killed too. And
    for every hundred innocent people killed, there is a
    good chance that several future terrorists will be

    Where will it all lead?

    Setting aside the rhetoric for a moment, consider the
    fact that the world has not yet found an acceptable
    definition of what "terrorism" is. One country's
    terrorist is too often another's freedom fighter. At
    the heart of the matter lies the world's deep-seated
    ambivalence towards violence.

    Once violence is accepted as a legitimate political
    instrument, then the morality and political
    acceptability of terrorists (insurgents or freedom
    fighters) becomes contentious, bumpy terrain. The US
    government itself has funded, armed and sheltered
    plenty of rebels and insurgents around the world.

    The CIA and Pakistan's ISI trained and armed the
    mojahedin who, in the 80s, were seen as terrorists by
    the government in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. Today,
    Pakistan - America's ally in this new war - sponsors
    insurgents who cross the border into Kashmir in India.
    Pakistan lauds them as "freedom-fighters", India calls
    them "terrorists". India, for its part, denounces
    countries who sponsor and abet terrorism, but the
    Indian army has, in the past, trained separatist Tamil
    rebels asking for a homeland in Sri Lanka - the LTTE,
    responsible for countless acts of bloody terrorism.

    (Just as the CIA abandoned the mujahideen after they
    had served its purpose, India abruptly turned its back
    on the LTTE for a host of political reasons. It was an
    enraged LTTE suicide bomber who assassinated former
    Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1989.)

    It is important for governments and politicians to
    understand that manipulating these huge, raging human
    feelings for their own narrow purposes may yield
    instant results, but eventually and inexorably, they
    have disastrous consequences. Igniting and exploiting
    religious sentiments for reasons of political
    expediency is the most dangerous legacy that
    governments or politicians can bequeath to any people
    - including their own.

    People who live in societies ravaged by religious or
    communal bigotry know that every religious text - from
    the Bible to the Bhagwad Gita - can be mined and
    misinterpreted to justify anything, from nuclear war
    to genocide to corporate globalisation.

    This is not to suggest that the terrorists who
    perpetrated the outrage on September 11 should not be
    hunted down and brought to book. They must be.

    But is war the best way to track them down? Will
    burning the haystack find you the needle? Or will it
    escalate the anger and make the world a living hell
    for all of us?

    At the end of the day, how many people can you spy on,
    how many bank accounts can you freeze, how many
    conversations can you eavesdrop on, how many emails
    can you intercept, how many letters can you open, how
    many phones can you tap? Even before September 11, the
    CIA had accumulated more information than is humanly
    possible to process. (Sometimes, too much data can
    actually hinder intelligence - small wonder the US spy
    satellites completely missed the preparation that
    preceded India's nuclear tests in 1998.)

    The sheer scale of the surveillance will become a
    logistical, ethical and civil rights nightmare. It
    will drive everybody clean crazy. And freedom - that
    precious, precious thing - will be the first casualty.
    It's already hurt and haemorrhaging dangerously.

    Governments across the world are cynically using the
    prevailing paranoia to promote their own interests.
    All kinds of unpredictable political forces are being
    unleashed. In India, for instance, members of the All
    India People's Resistance Forum, who were distributing
    anti-war and anti-US pamphlets in Delhi, have been
    jailed. Even the printer of the leaflets was arrested.

    The rightwing government (while it shelters Hindu
    extremists groups such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad
    and the Bajrang Dal) has banned the Islamic Students
    Movement of India and is trying to revive an anti-
    terrorist Act which had been withdrawn after the Human
    Rights Commission reported that it had been more
    abused than used. Millions of Indian citizens are
    Muslim. Can anything be gained by alienating them?

    Every day that the war goes on, raging emotions are
    being let loose into the world. The international
    press has little or no independent access to the war
    zone. In any case, mainstream media, particularly in
    the US, have more or less rolled over, allowing
    themselves to be tickled on the stomach with press
    handouts from military men and government officials.
    Afghan radio stations have been destroyed by the
    bombing. The Taliban has always been deeply suspicious
    of the press. In the propaganda war, there is no
    accurate estimate of how many people have been killed,
    or how much destruction has taken place. In the
    absence of reliable information, wild rumours spread.

    Put your ear to the ground in this part of the world,
    and you can hear the thrumming, the deadly drumbeat of
    burgeoning anger. Please. Please, stop the war now.
    Enough people have died. The smart missiles are just
    not smart enough. They're blowing up whole warehouses
    of suppressed fury.

    President George Bush recently boasted, "When I take
    action, I'm not going to fire a $2m missile at a $10
    empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It's going to
    be decisive." President Bush should know that there
    are no targets in Afghanistan that will give his
    missiles their money's worth.

    Perhaps, if only to balance his books, he should
    develop some cheaper missiles to use on cheaper
    targets and cheaper lives in the poor countries of the
    world. But then, that may not make good business sense
    to the coalition's weapons manufacturers. It wouldn't
    make any sense at all, for example, to the Carlyle
    Group - described by the Industry Standard as "the
    world's largest private equity firm", with $13bn under

    Carlyle invests in the defence sector and makes its
    money from military conflicts and weapons spending.

    Carlyle is run by men with impeccable credentials.
    Former US defence secretary Frank Carlucci is
    Carlyle's chairman and managing director (he was a
    college roommate of Donald Rumsfeld's). Carlyle's
    other partners include former US secretary of state
    James A Baker III, George Soros and Fred Malek (George
    Bush Sr's campaign manager). An American paper ^ the
    Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel - says that former
    president George Bush Sr is reported to be seeking
    investments for the Carlyle Group from Asian markets.

    He is reportedly paid not inconsiderable sums of money
    to make "presentations" to potential government-

    Ho hum. As the tired saying goes, it's all in the

    Then there's that other branch of traditional family
    business - oil. Remember, President George Bush (Jr)
    and Vice-President Dick Cheney both made their
    fortunes working in the US oil industry.

    Turkmenistan, which borders the north-west of
    Afghanistan, holds the world's third largest gas
    reserves and an estimated six billion barrels of oil
    reserves. Enough, experts say, to meet American energy
    needs for the next 30 years (or a developing country's
    energy requirements for a couple of centuries.)
    America has always viewed oil as a security
    consideration, and protected it by any means it deems
    necessary. Few of us doubt that its military presence
    in the Gulf has little to do with its concern for
    human rights and almost entirely to do with its
    strategic interest in oil.

    Oil and gas from the Caspian region currently moves
    northward to European markets. Geographically and
    politically, Iran and Russia are major impediments to
    American interests. In 1998, Dick Cheney - then CEO of
    Halliburton, a major player in the oil industry -
    said, "I can't think of a time when we've had a region
    emerge as suddenly to become as strategically
    significant as the Caspian. It's almost as if the
    opportunities have arisen overnight." True enough.

    For some years now, an American oil giant called
    Unocal has been negotiating with the Taliban for
    permission to construct an oil pipeline through
    Afghanistan to Pakistan and out to the Arabian sea.
     From here, Unocal hopes to access the lucrative
    "emerging markets" in south and south-east Asia. In
    December 1997, a delegation of Taliban mullahs
    travelled to America and even met US state department
    officials and Unocal executives in Houston. At that
    time the Taliban's taste for public executions and its
    treatment of Afghan women were not made out to be the
    crimes against humanity that they are now.

    Over the next six months, pressure from hundreds of
    outraged American feminist groups was brought to bear
    on the Clinton administration.

    Fortunately, they managed to scuttle the deal. And now
    comes the US oil industry's big chance.

    In America, the arms industry, the oil industry, the
    major media networks, and, indeed, US foreign policy,
    are all controlled by the same business combines.
    Therefore, it would be foolish to expect this talk of
    guns and oil and defence deals to get any real play in
    the media. In any case, to a distraught, confused
    people whose pride has just been wounded, whose loved
    ones have been tragically killed, whose anger is fresh
    and sharp, the inanities about the "clash of
    civilisations" and the "good v evil" discourse home in
    unerringly. They are cynically doled out by government
    spokesmen like a daily dose of vitamins or anti-
    depressants. Regular medication ensures that mainland
    America continues to remain the enigma it has always
    been - a curiously insular people, administered by a
    pathologically meddlesome, promiscuous government.

    And what of the rest of us, the numb recipients of
    this onslaught of what we know to be preposterous
    propaganda? The daily consumers of the lies and
    brutality smeared in peanut butter and strawberry jam
    being air-dropped into our minds just like those
    yellow food packets. Shall we look away and eat
    because we're hungry, or shall we stare unblinking at
    the grim theatre unfolding in Afghanistan until we
    retch collectively and say, in one voice, that we have
    had enough?

    As the first year of the new millennium rushes to a
    close, one wonders - have we forfeited our right to
    dream? Will we ever be able to re-imagine beauty?

    Will it be possible ever again to watch the slow,
    amazed blink of a newborn gecko in the sun, or whisper
    back to the marmot who has just whispered in your ear
    - without thinking of the World Trade Centre and


     From Seattle publication "Eat the State."

    > Precision, My Ass
    > by Maria Tomchick
    > It was early evening and the villagers were just sitting down to dinner.
    > It was a cold, clear night, but not as quiet as usual, because the village
    > was swollen with refugees who had escaped from the bombing of Jalabad, 30
    > miles away. As the prayers finished and the food was served, the meal was
    > suddenly interrupted by the sound of two jets flying overhead, followed
    > quickly by the roar of bombs exploding.
    > Men ran from their houses to check on the damage, but the women and
    > children stayed indoors. Only a few people were injured. The bombs must
    > have fallen by mistake; there was no military target nearby. This place
    > was safe. But the jets turned and made a second pass over the village, and
    > then a third, each time dropping more ordnance onto the homes of Karam, a
    > rural, mountain village in Afghanistan.
    > Surviving residents and several reporters say that the village was
    > completely destroyed by US bombs. Over 100 people, perhaps as many as 200,
    > were killed--mostly women, children, and old people. Many of the bodies
    > still remain interred in the ruins.
    > The US government says that Karam was once a training camp for Al Qaeda.
    > In fact, the site was used to train mujahideen during the 1980s and was
    > run by Sadiq Bacha to train members of the Hezb-i-Islami faction with CIA
    > support.
    > Some of those men later joined the Taliban, but the base was never used by
    > Al Qaeda. It was closed and abandoned in 1992, before bin Laden moved to
    > Afghanistan. In the 1990s, families moved in and built mud and rock houses
    > on the site. During the winter, nomads also made Karam their temporary
    > home. Obviously, the US military relied on old, outdated, and incorrect
    > information.
    > This has happened before: take, for example, the October 9th bombing of
    > the Afghan Technical Consultants offices, a UN agency responsible for
    > removing landmines in Afghanistan. The US government claims that ATC was
    > near a military radio tower, but UN officials say the tower was a defunct
    > and abandoned medium and short wave radio station that hadn't been in
    > operation for over a decade. And the ATC had even given its address to
    > higher-ups at the UN to pass on to the US military, so the ATC offices
    > would not be hit.
    > Four men were killed in the explosion, including two security guards:
    > Najeebullah, a father of five young children, and Safiullah, a father of
    > four. The other two victims were Nasir Ahmad, a newly married medical
    > nurse, and Abdul Saboor. Only two days before, Saboor had volunteered to
    > make the perilous trip from Pakistan into Afghanistan on foot to deliver
    > much-needed cash salaries to UN employees. Just two hours after he arrived
    > at the ATC offices, his body was blown apart in the explosion, along with
    > the money that was sent with him.
    > How often has the US military made this kind of mistake? It's impossible
    > to know, since the Taliban have expelled all western reporters and
    > Pakistan has closed its border with Afghanistan, making it hard for
    > reporters to get into the country. Pakistani border guards are beating
    > Afghan refugees with sticks and firing guns at them to keep them from
    > crossing into Pakistan, where their stories of the bombing may further
    > enrage the Pakistani populace.
    > But the refugees who can afford to pay bribes or are well enough to make
    > the hike over mountainous terrain are finally making it into Pakistan and
    > telling their stories. Here is a small collection of the civilian deaths
    > told to reporters so far. None of these accounts come from Taliban
    > sources; all are from refugees and western or Pakistani reporters.
    > In Jalalabad, the Sultanpur Mosque was hit by a bomb during prayers, with
    > 17 people caught inside. Neighbors rushed into the rubble to help pull out
    > the injured, but as the rescue effort got under way, another bomb fell,
    > killing at least 120 people.
    > In the village of Darunta near Jalalabad, a US bomb fell on another
    > mosque. Two people were killed and dozens--perhaps as many as 150
    > people--were injured. Many of those injured are languishing without
    > medical care in the Sehat-e-Ama hospital in Jalalabad, which lacks
    > resources
    > to treat the wounded.
    > More civilian deaths are being reported in the villages of Torghar and
    > Farmada, north and west of Jalalabad. At least 28 civilians had died in
    > Farmada, which has an abandoned Al Qaeda training camp nearby. In
    > Argandab, north of Kandahar, 10 civilians have died from the bombing and
    > several houses have been destroyed. The same has happened in Karaga, north
    > of Kabul.
    > A five-year-old child was killed while sleeping in his family's home
    > outside Kandahar when two bombs fell on a munitions storage area half a
    > mile away. The explosion threw shells and rockets in all directions and
    > one of those shells smashed through the mud-brick wall of his bedroom,
    > slicing open young Taj Muhammed's abdomen and burning his six-year-old
    > sister, Kambibi. Taj suffered for 12 hours at a nearby hospital before he
    > died.
    > On Oct. 7, the first night of the bombing, US planes targeted the Hotel
    > Continental in Kabul. Taliban commanders have stayed at the hotel, but
    > civilians also stay there on a regular basis. In the first wave of
    > bombing, at least one private residence in Kabul suffered a direct hit and
    > others were damaged. On the same night, bombs were dropped on the houses
    > of Taliban leaders in Kandahar. Two civilian relatives of Mullah Muhammad
    > Omar were killed: his aged stepfather and his 10-year-old son.
    > On Oct. 8, the second night of the bombing, three missiles were aimed at
    > the airport in Jalalabad, but only one hit the target. The other two went
    > astray and exploded nearby, killing one civilian, and injuring a second so
    > severely that he needed to be driven to a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan,
    > to have shrapnel removed from a deep wound in his neck and his spinal
    > injuries treated. He's not expected to survive. A third 16-year-old boy
    > injured in the same attack was also taken to a hospital in Peshawar; he
    > lost his leg and two fingers, and he says that many more people were
    > injured and may have died in the same incident.
    > On Oct. 11, a bomb aimed at the Kabul airport went astray and hit
    > Qala-e-Chaman, a village one mile away, destroying several houses and
    > killing a 12-year-old child. Three other houses collapsed from the
    > explosion, and at least four civilians were injured. On the same night,
    > another missile hit a house near the Kabul customs building, killing 10
    > civilians.
    > As of Oct. 12, the UN had independently reported at least 20 civilian
    > deaths in Mazar-i-Sharif and 10 civilian deaths in Kandahar.
    > On Oct. 13, Khushkam Bhat, a residential district between Jalalabad
    > airport and a nearby military area, was accidentally bombed by US planes
    > trying to down a Taliban helicopter. More than 100 houses were flattened.
    > At least 160 people were pulled from the rubble and taken to hospitals.
    > On Oct. 16, two bombs fell on two Red Cross warehouses in the center of
    > Kabul. The warehouses, bombed in full daylight, were clearly marked with
    > red crosses on their roofs. US spokesmen claim that the warehouses were
    > hit because there were military vehicles parked nearby. But those were Red
    > Cross transport trucks.
    > On Oct. 17, a bomb scored a "direct hit" on a boy's school in Kabul, but
    > fortunately didn't explode. A US plane, however, dropped a bomb at Mudad
    > Chowk, a residential area of Kandahar, which did explode, destroying two
    > houses and several shops, and killing at least seven people. In Kabul,
    > four bombs fell near the city center; casualties are as yet unknown.
    > On Oct. 18, a bomb killed four members of a family in the eastern suburb
    > of Qalaye Zaman Khan when it demolished two homes. A half a mile away,
    > another bomb exploded in a housing complex, killing a 16-year-old girl.
    > The UN reports that Kandahar has fallen into a state of "pre-Taliban
    > lawlessness," with gangs taking over homes and looting shops.
    > On Oct. 19, the UN announces that at least 80% of the residents of
    > Kandahar have left the city to escape the bombing and are swamping the
    > surrounding villages, where there are no resources to care for them. Some
    > have moved on to the border and crossed into Pakistan. One refugee said
    > that there are bodies littering the streets of Kandahar and people are
    > dying in the hospitals for lack of drugs. "We know we will lead a
    > miserable life in Pakistan, in tents," he said. "We have come here just to
    > save our children."
    > The civilian death toll is in the hundreds, probably thousands, and sure
    > to rise with two new developments. US Air Force pilots have been given the
    > go ahead to fire "at will"--at anything they desire, without pre
    > authorization from strategists peering at satellite and surveillance
    > photos. In fact, there are now regions of the country that have been
    > designated "kill boxes," patrolled night and day by low-flying aircraft
    > with the mission to shoot anything that moves within the area. There has
    > been no mention of how Afghan civilians will know where such "kill boxes"
    > are and how to avoid them.
    > In addition, US planes are now dropping cluster bombs. Cluster bombs are
    > like landmines on steroids; they fall, release hundreds of small
    > "bomblets," which disperse and explode, slicing through people, cars,
    > trucks, and even certain types of buildings. Notably, about 8-12% of the
    > brightly-colored bomblets don't explode on impact, leaving behind
    > attractive but deadly toys for children to play with later. Thousands of
    > Afghan children were killed or maimed by similar bombs and attractive
    > booby traps dropped by the Soviets in the 1980's.
    > As if that weren't horrible enough, the UN says that many of the US's
    > air-dropped food packets have landed on minefields; this will lure
    > starving refugees to gruesome deaths. After two decades of war,
    > Afghanistan still has 10 million landmines buried in the ground.


    A Non-Western Voice


    By Irina Malenko

    "Non-Westerners of the world, unite!" Since the 11th of September events in
    America the media are full of condemnation and condolences. What I had hoped
    them to be full of, was the simple question: "Why?" Because without asking
    this question the world is going nowhere.

    What I feel after the 11th of September here in Ireland, is exclusion and
    discrimination. No, I am not a Muslim and I do not look much different from
    the Irish people. And yet, there is an invisible division line, sadly,
    created by the majority of the Irish people, perhaps, even not realizing it.
    It is their division between "us" and "them", "non-Westerners", on behalf of
    the "civilized" West.

    They demand - yes, demand!- us to grief for the Western innocent victims
    while themselves, they didn't have a single second of silence for
    non-Western innocent victims of the Western governments who were and still
    are being murdered "in the name of democracy and freedom". If you don't bow
    to this demand of compulsory extra-grief - and I refuse to grief more for
    one sort of the victims than for another!- you are labeled as "uncivilized"
    or even "terrorist".

    Can you imagine Iraqis or Yugoslavs demanding from Westerners to grief for
    their loved ones? Even though they have undoubtedly more moral rights to do

    I can't. That must be a prerogative of "civilized" nations! Where were you
    with your "civilization" when your own governments in cold blood murdered
    Iraqi and Yugoslav children? Where were others of you when your governments
    were applauding to these killings? I feel sick to my stomach watching oh so
    many times how Bill Clinton who can never wash off his hands all the
    innocent blood that he has shed around the world in his 8 years in the
    office, was cheered and greeted in Ireland as "The Peacemaker".

    Let's face it: our, non-Western victims, do not count for the majority of
    you. You don't even like us to say how we feel about it. We are supposed to
    mourn only your deaths. If they do count - and I mean not just for the small
    groups of courageous Westerners who are raising their voice against the
    current barbarity of the "civilized" world, but for all those Irish people
    who had their 3 minutes of silence on Friday, 14.09- , if they do, where are
    you now, when even more innocent human beings are being slaughtered? Simply
    because they were "unlucky" to be born outside of your "civilization".

    With all its beautiful talks against racism (even though Durban has pretty
    much shown to the world who is who on this issue!), the West divides nations
    into categories even after death. It invented 2 sorts of victims. Did
    anybody notice that, apparently, there is the 1st class victims: those from
    the rich countries who deserve minutes of silence, mourning days, candle
    light vigils, tears and millions in solidarity donations - and then there is
    2nd class, "the rest of us", - "the collateral damage", as they nicely and
    civilized put it here.

    What I am about to say, is not going to make me very popular here. But my
    pain and my dismay at the double standards of the Western general public,
    are too strong and it hurts too much to continue to keep quiet. Ashes of the
    "collateral damage" of your civilization are knocking into my heart.

    It is apparently "OK" to kill the innocent "in the name of democracy and
    freedom". It is "OK" to kill the children of one nation "in the name of
    human rights" for another. Is that what your "civilization" is about? People
    of Afghanistan now are yet another "collateral damage" to the most of you.
    Just like in 1999 during NATO aggression against Yugoslavia *(if you still
    remember it!), now we are being told the same fairy tales - that this is
    "not the war against the Afghani (Yugoslav) people, but against terrorism
    (president Milosevic)".

    Whom do they hope to fool? It is the people, not the leaders, who are dying
    daily. Just as the terrorist acts in America weren't "the war on the
    American people", but on their leaders' policy - yet, those leaders are
    still alive and kicking, while nearly 6000 civilians have vanished. Where is
    the difference? The difference is in the Western public opinion on different
    values of different nations' human lives.

    I can only imagine how furious not just the media, but the ordinary citizens
    here would be if anybody would have called the American 11th of September
    victims "collateral damage" in the global fight against Western domination
    and Western state terrorism.

    American terrorist Timothy McVeigh has used the term "collateral damage" for
    his own American victims and was immediately condemned by the outraged
    Americans: how dared he, a private terrorist, to compare his American
    victims with some "uncivilized" non-Western victims of his state

    To suggest that not all human lives are of the same value,
    Is naked racism.

    Yet, the Western governments and media are not just suggesting it: this is
    their preconception of the world. It is clear as daylight from the actions -
    no matter what they say. This is an axiom for them, something that doesn't
    even need a proof. That is why their own leaders whose true place is the
    cells of Scheveningen jail in Holland, in the defendants' box of the Hague
    tribunal, are still being cheered and greeted as "peacemakers".

    After the 11th of September , when we are forced "to make a choice" : either
    to be with Mr. Bush and his understanding of freedom (that is, freedom to
    bomb any other nation, without any need for any international law, and to
    threaten anybody who disagrees) or else., I feel increasingly that I am not
    with the West on this one.

    How can I be? I was just shown once again that myself and people like me,
    are not equal. That for far too many Irish people it is only "an enormous
    tragedy" if there are people of Irish origin among the victims (what about
    enormousness of the tragedy in Rwanda?!) I am a non-Westerner here. It was
    not my choice to feel this way. Just like any human person, I felt a shock
    when I saw other human beings jumping off the skyscraper on the 11th of
    September. I felt pain for their families because I know what it's like to
    lose somebody you love. Now, finally, Americans as a nation feel that too.
    But what is their reaction?

    The reason that I feel a stranger here now, was the choice of those who have
    no respect or compassion for the dead ones of other nations. For the victims
    of their own governments in other countries.

    It was the choice of those who can throw McDonald's food that is left over,
    into the bin, cheerfully shouting: " This is for Ethiopia!" We,
    non-Westerners, have less and less choice in this world, since the
    continuing destruction of any decent alternative that we had, to "The
    Western Way of life" that is being forcefully imposed on us in our home

    What are our choices? Either to flee our homes and to come here, where we
    live so often in hostility while creating wealth for the West, or to die
    slowly from poverty, crime, sicknesses, diseases and oppression at home,
    under our own comprador governments, because of the debts they made to the
    same West, in order to pay for their own luxury lives. Aha, there is also a
    new alternative now: to be bombed to pulp by a deadly mixture of
    ultra-expensive missiles and "humanitarian help" "in the name of
    civilization". "Civilized" nations need to restore their economy from
    depression, you see, - and a war is the best way to do it..

    Let me tell you something. This is not "retaliation".

    If it was right and just to "retaliate" this way for crimes against
    humanity, the whole West should have been leveled to the ground by now. What
    we are witnessing, is last century's imperialism on its way back - under
    that brand-new smiling mask of "Civilization". Sadly, it seems that
    countries that weren't imperialist in the past and that are even now still
    partially colonized, are also joining this "crusade".

    Retaliation? What retaliation? Remember, looking back at the part of your
    own history, which you refuse to recognize: we didn't start the fire!


    Jailed Pakistani Dies in Cell.

    AP. 24 October 2001.

    NEWARK, N.J. -- A Pakistani man arrested by the FBI in its investigation
    of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks was found dead in his jail cell,
    authorities said.

    The 55-year-old man, whose identity was not immediately released, was
    found dead Tuesday morning at the Hudson County Jail in Kearny. An
    autopsy was planned to determine the cause of death.

    A doctor who examined the man's body said a nasal swab showed no signs
    of anthrax, but further tests were planned, county spokesman Jacob
    Delemos said.

    The man was arrested Sept. 19 as part of the investigation into the
    terrorist attacks, a government source who insisted on anonymity told
    The Associated Press on Wednesday.

    He was being held on immigration charges, authorities said. Federal
    immigration officials didn't immediately return calls for comment.

    The man had complained recently of pain in his gums, saw a dentist and
    was given tetracycline, an antibiotic that can be used to treat anthrax,
    Delemos said.

    No prisoners were quarantined, he said.

    Special Agent Sandra Carroll, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Newark office,
    would not say how the man figured into the investigation.

    "We never filed criminal charges against the individual," she said. "I
    can't say whether we considered him an integral part of the Sept. 11
    investigation or not."


    This brief commentary comes courtesy of Bill Blum, author of Killing
    Hope and Rogue State.

    United States military flyer dropped over Afghanistan:

    -------------------------- cut here --------------------------------

    Do you enjoy being ruled by the Taliban?
    Are you proud to live a life of fear?
    Are you happy to see the place your family has owned for generations a
    terrorist training site?
    Do you want a regime that is turning Afghanistan into the Stone Age and
    giving Islam a bad name?
    Are you proud to live under a government that harbors terrorists?
    Are you proud to live in a nation ruled by extreme fundamentalists?

    The Taliban have robbed your country of your culture and heritage.
    They have destroyed your national monuments, and cultural artifacts.
    They rule by force, violence, and fear based on the advice of
    foreigners. They insist that their form of Islam is the one and only
    form, the true form, the divine form. They see themselves as religious
    experts, even though they are ignorant. They kill, commit injustice,
    keep you in poverty and claim it is in the name of God.

    -------------------------- cut here --------------------------------

    Flyer that should be dropped over the United States:

    -------------------------- cut here --------------------------------

    Do you enjoy being ruled by the Republican-Democratic Party?
    Are you proud to live a life of fear, insecurity and panic?
    Are you happy to see the place your family has owned for generations
    taken away by a bank?
    Do you want a regime that is turning the United States into a police
    state and giving Christianity a bad name?
    Are you proud to live under a government that harbors hundreds of
    terrorists in Miami?
    Are you proud to live in a nation ruled by extreme capitalists and
    religious conservatives?

    The capitalists have robbed your country of your equality and justice.
    They have destroyed your national parks and rivers and corrupted your
    media, your elections and your personal relations. They rule by threat
    of unemployment, hunger, and homelessness based on the advice of a god
    called the market. They insist that their form of organizing a society
    and remaking the world is the one and only form, the true form, the
    divine form. They see themselves as morality experts, even though they
    are ignorant. They bomb, invade, assassinate, torture, overthrow,
    commit injustice, keep you and the world in poverty and claim it is in
    the name of God.

    -------------------------- cut here --------------------------------


    The New Newspeak


    By Hamit Dardagah

    Humanitarian assistance=We bomb you. (Have a nice day.)

    Restraint=We bomb you when we are good and ready.

    The War Against Terrorism (TWAT)=Terrorism Against The Afghans (TATA)

    Our vengeance=Retribution

    Their vengeance=Vengeance

    Our hatred=Justifiable anger

    Their hatred=Insanity

    Our violence=We are not responsible for it, they are.

    Their violence=We are not responsible for it, they are.

    Expressing the view that America should be capable of conduct less vicious
    than the terrorists'=Anti-Americanism

    Expressing the view that America should be capable of conduct more vicious
    than the terrorists'=Pro-Americanism

    Anthrax=No joking matter

    AC-130 Gunships=Puff The Magic Dragon

    Enduring Freedom=What Afghans do

    Bombing with "High Jack This Fags" as bomb-casing graffiti=So offensive to
    our fellow human beings that we must take all protest about it seriously

    Bombing with bombs free of graffiti=So beneficial to our fellow human beings
    that we can ignore, dismiss or belittle all protest about it (the protestors
    are in a minority, after all)

    When we murder children=1001 Excuses

    When they murder children=There is no excuse on Earth for harming, let alone
    brutally ending, innocent lives

    Famine relief agencies=Organizations with questionable agendas and strange

    Bombing the starving=Ending hunger

    Bombing the poor=Ending poverty

    Bombing the oppressed=Freeing them

    Bombing men armed with rifles=Demonstrating our Air Supremacy

    Bombing women=Demonstrating our commitment to feminism

    Bombing children=Demonstrating our commitment to the future

    Bombing the freezing=Warming them up

    Bombing=Our answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything

    Not bombing=Doing nothing

    Also of interest (links only):

    Andrew Rowell, AlterNet
    Last week a group of British parliamentarians formed to fight
    the bombing of Afghanistan. Among them is Alan Simpson MP,
    who argues, "We recruited more terrorists than we have killed."

    Robert B. Reich, The American Prospect
    The political debate about terrorism is stuck. The patriots' blind
    insistence on American right no matter what, clashes with the left's
    insistence on blaming the U.S.'s bad historical judgement.
    Robert Reich says both positions are inadequate
    and offers another way.

    Patriotism, Then and Now
    by Donald W. Miller, Jr.

    John Tirman, AlterNet
    If the 50-year history of U.S. policy in southwestern Asia
    teaches us anything, it is that aggressive military actions lead to
    destabilization of countries and the amplification of militant Islamic
    sentiment around the world. A must-read analysis.

    Will Durst, AlterNet
    "We're shooting off laser-guided smart bombs and ready to eat
    ethnically sensitive pre-packaged meals at the same time. Is
    this sending mixed messages?" and other great questions.

    The Modern World, cartoon by Tom Tomorrow

    Anti-war resources:

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

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