---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 16:14:58 -0800
From: radtimes <email@example.com>
Subject: Antiwar News...(# 26)
Antiwar News...(# 26)
--Red Cross angry over second bomb attack
--Quetta hospitals near crisis point as war wounded arrive
--Bombs leave children in shock, destroy radio
--Red Cross depots in flames as US aircraft strike again
--Insult and injury in Afghanistan: America's ill-conceived war on terror
--Why Do They Want to Kill Us?
--MILITARY WAR POURING KEROSENE ON THE FIRE
--Evidence of restraint
--US general confirms use of cluster bombs on Taliban
--STARC Global Peace and Justice Packet!!!
--Pakistani Public Reacts to U.S. Bombardment
--Afghanistan: We didn't have to do this
--It's time Americans asked, `Why us?'
--As the refugees crowd the borders, we'll be blaming someone else
--UN acknowledges US targeting of civilian neighborhoods
--Poisoning the Well
Also of interest (links only):
*Afghan War photos
*Afghan war costs $1.2 billion per month
*FBI terror detentions questioned
*A commentary on the Abdul Haq debacle
*Terrorism Cripples U.S. Consumer Spending
*Foreigners Rush to Help Taliban
*Decent People Reject Terrorism and U.S. Bombing at the Same Time
*America's Crisis Can Help Us Connect With Victims of Terror Around the World
*17 Arrested at Connecticut Anti-War Rally
*Jets strike Kabul on day of prayer
*Afghan Exiles Call for Bombing Halt
*U.S. criticized for cluster bomb use
(Anti-war links/resources at the end.)
Red Cross angry over second bomb attack
Sat, 27 Oct 2001
The international Red Cross says it deplores the US bombing for a second
time of aid warehouses in Kabul.
It says the buildings contained food and blankets for thousands of
It says each warehouse was marked clearly with a large red cross.
The US defence department has admitted that warplanes mistakenly dropped
eight tons of bombs on the warehouses.
The Pentagon added that one of the bombs aimed at the complex had missed
and hit a residential area of Kabul.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said: "The ICRC deplores the
fact that bombs have once again been dropped on its warehouses in Kabul. A
large red cross on a white background was clearly displayed on the roof of
each building in the complex.
"The ICRC reiterates that attacking or occupying facilities marked with the
red cross emblem constitutes a violation of international humanitarian law."
The ICRC says it told US authorities of the location of its facilities
following the October 16 attack.
The US had also been notified of the aid distribution taking place from the
compound and the fact that there would be movement of vehicles and
gathering of people at the distribution sites.
The ICRC says it also deplores the occupation and looting of its offices in
the Taliban-held northern town of Mazar-i-Sharif, where office equipment
and vehicles were stolen.
Quetta hospitals near crisis point as war wounded arrive
DAWN, Saturday, October 27, 2001
QUETTA: A steady flow of civilian casualties from US bombings over
Afghanistan are arriving in Quetta's hospitals with medical authorities
warning Friday of a potential crisis to come. Women, children and men with
crushed legs from collapsed buildings, shrapnel wounds, missing limbs and
head injuries are being treated. Dr Shahzad Khan said Quetta's Sandeman
Provincial Hospital was receiving between 60 and 70 civilian war wounded
every 24 hours and "there are many other hospitals in this community facing
the same problem".
Some of the patients have arrived from Afghanistan's capital Kabul and
villages in the more remote areas of the country. But most arrived from the
Taliban stronghold of Kandahar which the wounded described as being reduced
to rubble and scarcely occupied, since the US bombing campaign began on
The airstrikes have left Afghanistan's hospitals struggling to maintain even
a minimum service. Many have a critical shortage of medicines and other key
supplies. Twenty-year-old Abdul Kadar said his mosque in Kandahar had not
escaped the devastation. "It was 9:00 pm and we went to the mosque to offer
prayers when the bombing started. Five people were killed and seven were
injured, all we were doing was offering prayers. We are with the Taliban,"
Khan said Sandeman Provincial had dedicated its orthopaedic wing for
civilian casualties and another wing would shortly be allocated. "They are
coming in groups by dozens and dozens," he said. Dr Saleh Tareen said
hospitals will face a critical period if Pakistan opens its border with
Afghanistan at Chaman, 160 kilometres northwest of here, where thousands of
refugees have been prevented from crossing. Only the worst cases of injured
have been allowed to cross the border and to date just a small emergency
camp has been established at Killi Faizo on the outskirts of the Chaman
"Nobody can say for sure exactly how many people will come but you can be
sure once they open that border post we will receive a lot more patients,"
Tareen said. At Al Hajeri Al Khidmat Hospital the media were not allowed
entry on Friday. But hospital spokesman Jalal Uddin said most of the
patients were women and children and added: "One patient has lost his leg,
and his entire family."
Bombs leave children in shock, destroy radio
DAWN, Saturday, October 27, 2001
KABUL: Windows shattered at Kabul children's hospital, babies cried and tiny
wounded patients went into shock as bombs shook the Afghan capital, and the
ruling Taliban's makeshift radio was shot off the air -- yet again. It was a
night of fear in the Afghan capital as US bombing raids aimed at punishing
the Taliban for offering a haven to Osama bin Laden entered their 20th day.
And even with dawn on the Muslim holy day of Friday, the bombs rained down.
Jets roared over Kabul in the night, releasing bombs in a string of huge
blasts that shook the city. "The explosions came in a single sequence along
with the roar of the planes. They just came boom, boom, boom. It was huge,"
said one resident.
Waking up to a clear and sunny autumn morning, some children followed their
curiosity to see the damage. But the raids weren't over. "He had gone to see
the site of the bombing and got wounded with another relative when a rocket
landed there," said the mother of one wounded boy at the children's
hospital. At least five civilians were killed and six wounded overnight, an
Information Ministry official said, as he apologised for an earlier report
of seven dead, saying this had been revised.
One bomb landed on a Taliban military base near the city centre and another
landed behind the military hospital that stands close to the children's
hospital. There were no reports of injuries from those strikes.
DOCTORS TRAPPED, CHILDREN IN SHOCK: But doctors at the children's hospital
said they had spent a night of terror, unable to contact their families
because of a nighttime curfew and struggling to cope with terrified children
with no power and with supplies running out.
Windows at the rear of the hospital were shattered. Wounded children,
already fearful of the night that brings with it the roar of planes and the
boom of bombs, went into shock, doctors said. The strikes also targeted the
Taliban's mouthpiece, the beleaguered Voice of Shariat radio station. One
bomb hit the site of the new mobile radio transmitter with one-kilowatt
capacity that had been set up after the main transmitter in the eastern
outskirts of Kabul was destroyed by bombs at the start of the US campaign.
"You can only hear it in Kabul and its programmes are for one hour in the
afternoon. The programmes consist of religious hymns and news," Information
Ministry official Nasiri had told Reuters on Wednesday. Two days later it
was gone. And in the morning, a cruise missile killed two residents who went
to see the destruction. "Please go away. More rockets will come. Two
children died in the morning here," said a guard at the former
communications centre where new transmitter had resumed broadcasts.
Red Cross depots in flames as US aircraft strike again
By Mark Baker, Herald Correspondent in Islamabad and agencies
Three Red Cross warehouses in Kabul were in flames yesterday after renewed
air attacks by the United States.
"It has happened again," said Mario Musa, a spokesman for the International
Committee of the Red Cross. "At 11:30am (Afghan time) huge explosions took
place and three of our warehouses are on fire now."
There was no immediate report of casualties, and because it was a Friday
holiday he hoped only a few people would be in the warehouses, which housed
essential food supplies, tents, tarpaulins, blankets and other aid supplies.
US bombs hit Red Cross warehouses in Kabul ten days earlier.
Pressure is growing for a quick end to the US bombing campaign in
Afghanistan as the toll of civilian casualties rises and intensive
diplomatic and intelligence efforts show no sign of achieving the split in
Taliban ranks essential to building a broad-based
Opposition Northern Alliance forces facing strong Taliban resistance north
of Kabul and near the city of Mazar-e-Sharif called on Thursday for more
intensive allied attacks on Taliban front-line positions.
The alliance spokesman, Dr Abdullah Abdullah, said five days of US air
strikes against positions north of Kabul, where the Taliban have deployed
about 6,000 fighters, had not been enough to enable the Northern Alliance
forces to advance.
"So far the level of pressure on the Taliban is not such that they will be
demoralised, lay down their weapons and run away."
Haron Amin, an alliance spokesman in Washington, went further. He publicly
questioned the efficacy of America's tactics. "In order to be able to hunt
down Osama bin Laden you need to destroy al-Qaeda. Both of these tasks
cannot be done without the roll-back of the Taliban.
"Apparently, thus far, the military initiative has failed. All it has
produced is a lot of destroyed buildings and some destroyed planes and
It took a modest "two-star general" working a relief shift at the Pentagon's
daily news briefing to finally admit publicly what has been painfully
obvious for days.
The Taliban "are proving to be tough warriors," confided Rear Admiral John
Stuffelbeem. "I am a bit surprised at how doggedly they are holding on to
Amid growing awareness that the war will be protracted, the British
Government announced yesterday that 200 commandos were ready for action and
another 400 commandos would be put "on high readiness". The Prime Minister,
Tony Blair, has warned of possible British casualties in operations which
Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, chief of the defence staff, said could continue
through the winter.
The gathering cry from the Northern Alliance, and a legion of armchair
strategists around the world, is that there will be no decisive shift in the
balance of power in Afghanistan until and unless the US and its allies send
in ground troops.
This is viewed as an immensely risky proposition that none of the players
seriously expects. The Americans show no evidence of contemplating such a
move. A week after 100 US special forces troops raided targets near Kandahar
in southern Afghanistan and Pentagon officials declared that further raids
were imminent, no more has been heard about unilateral ground attacks and
the Americans have returned to the business they know best - pounding
Afghanistan with bombs and missiles from the relative safety of the skies.
Meanwhile the United Nations said on Thursday that cluster bombs dropped by
US warplanes on a village in western Afghanistan had killed nine civilians.
Insult and injury in Afghanistan: America's ill-conceived war on terror
To a distraught, confused American 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 Civilizations" and
the "Good vs. 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.
By Arundhati Roy
Special to MSNBC.COM
New Delhi, October 20 - As darkness deepened over Afghanistan on Oct. 7, the
U.S. 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.
The UN, reduced now to an ineffective acronym, wasn't even asked to mandate
the air strikes. (As Madeleine Albright once said, "The U.S. acts
multilaterally when it can, and unilaterally when it must.") The "evidence"
against the terrorists was shared among 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 recognized
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 molt and regroup, hydra-headed. They first use flags to
shrink-wrap peoples' minds and suffocate real thought, and then as
ceremonial shrouds to cloak the mangled corpses of the 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 acts.
There is no easy way out of the spiraling 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 Sept. 11th 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 favorite Ambassador, Tony Blair, (who also holds
the portfolio of Prime Minister of the UK), echoed him: "We're a peaceful
So now we know. Pigs are horses. Girls are boys. War is Peace.
THEORY AND PRACTICE
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
Here is a list of the countries that America has been at war with - and
bombed - since World War II: 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 things. 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 U.S.
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 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
worshiped, almost deified, the cult of violence and war. For all its
appalling sins, the Taliban just isn't in the same league.
LEGACY OF WAR
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 forties. 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 $45 billion 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 brutalize 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. They dance to the percussive rhythms of bombs raining down
around them. Now they've turned their monstrosity on their own people.
POUNDED TO DUST
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, U.S. 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, U.S. Defense Secretary, was asked if America had run out of
"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 U.S. Defense 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 planes?)
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 (7.5 million
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.
A CYNICAL ALMS RACE
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 land mines. 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 U.S.
government's attempt to use even this abject misery to boost its self-image,
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 U.S.
government and its policies. And suppose, during breaks between the bombing,
the Taliban dropped a few thousand packets containing nan and kababs 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? Rudy Giuliani, mayor of New York City, returned a
gift of $10 million 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?
WHERE WILL IT LEAD?
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
This is not to suggest that the terrorists who perpetrated the outrage on
Sept. 11th 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?
President George Bush recently boasted, "When I take action, I'm not going
to fire a $2 million 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).
Every day that the war goes on, raging emotions are being let loose into the
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.
To a distraught, confused American 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 Civilizations" and the "Good vs.
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
new-born gecko in the sun, or whisper back to the marmot who has just
whispered in your ear - without thinking of the World Trade Center and
Arundhati Roy was trained as an architect. She is the author of "The God of
Small Things," for which she received the Booker Prize, and "The Cost of
Living." Her latest book is "Power Politics," published by South End Press.
Roy lives in New Delhi.
Why Do They Want to Kill Us?
by Jacob G. Hornberger
Ever since the September 11 attacks, it has almost been taboo, within both
the U.S. government and the mainstream press, to openly examine and analyze
the three specific reasons that Osama bin Laden has given for his holy war
against the U.S. government and the American people.
Suppose someone has told me that he intends to kill me. Even though I intend
to defend myself by meeting force with force, I'm going to ask him an
important question: "Why do you want to kill me?"
Suppose the answer is, "Because I hate you for believing that Jesus Christ
is Lord." My response will be to defend myself because I'm not about to give
up that belief even if it might cost me my life.
But suppose my enemy says, "I want to kill you because you are having an
affair with my wife." The affair would not justify his murder of me, either
legally or morally, but it certainly might explain why he's so angry and why
he wants to kill me. It would behoove me to have this information because I
might decide that continuing the affair is no longer worth it and because
altering my conduct might cause my enemy to alter his.
But the only way I can get to that point is by asking, "Why do you want to
Osama bin Laden and his coterie of terrorists have given three reasons for
their terrorist acts: (1) The stationing of U.S. military personnel in Saudi
Arabia, which they say encompasses the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and
Medina; (2) The 10-year embargo against Iraq, which, it is reported, has
caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children; and (3) U.S.
economic and military aid to Israel.
One response might be: "We shouldn't care about their motives for killing --
all that matters is that our government officials kill them before they kill
us." But that position is problematic for two big reasons: (1) Even if
current terrorists are killed first, wouldn't new ones, driven by the same
motives, surface to take their place? and (2) Isn't it possible that the
terrorists might kill many of us before our government officials find and
kill all of them?
A second possible response is: "The terrorists hate us so much that it
doesn't matter what our government's foreign policy is and therefore there's
no sense in reexamining it." Even if it is true that the terrorists are
motivated by blind hatred, however, is it not always a good idea to
periodically reexamine government policies, especially with the thought of
terminating those that are not achieving their goals and that are actually
producing perverse consequences?
What would be wrong with a reevaluation of the U.S. government's Middle East
policy, even while efforts are being made to bring the people who committed
the September 11 attacks to justice? Couldn't this result in a better
direction for our country -- one that might also alter the mindset and
behavior of people who want to kill us? The following questions could be
asked in such an inquiry:
(1) Why are U.S. troops still stationed in Saudi Arabia, especially given
that the Persian Gulf War ended some 10 years ago? Are the troops really
based on Islamic holy lands, and is that really an important religious issue
for Muslims? What would be the downside to immediately pulling U.S. troops
out of Saudi Arabia?
(2) Has the embargo against Iraq succeeded in altering Saddam Hussein's
cruel and brutal treatment of Iraqi citizens? Has it prevented him from
producing weapons of mass destruction, and might there be a better way to
address that problem? Has the embargo really caused the deaths of hundreds
of thousands of Iraqi children, as UN officials contend and, if so, why
doesn't that alone dictate its immediate termination? What would be the
downside to immediately ending the embargo against Iraq?
(3) Why should the U.S. government continue giving economic and military aid
to Israel? Why shouldn't all foreign aid be privatized, which would mean
that American citizens would no longer be taxed for the purpose of providing
foreign aid to anyone but would be free to privately donate their own money
to anyone they wish, including Israel? What would be the downside to
depoliticizing foreign aid?
Some might suggest that a reevaluation of our government's Middle East
policy would be "appeasing" the terrorists. But wouldn't that be a
short-sighted excuse for continuing what is possibly a failed or bankrupt
policy and for not trying to find what might be a better course of action
for the future?
Some might say that it's not patriotic to question the policies of one's own
government during wartime. I say that genuine patriotism involves not a
blind allegiance to one's government even in war but rather a love of
country that sometimes entails trying to move one's government in a more
positive, constructive direction.
MILITARY WAR POURING KEROSENE ON THE FIRE
Dr Sue Wareham, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
President, Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia)
Published in The Canberra Times, 19 October 2001
To win a war, one needs to know who the real enemy is. If the enemy is not
another nation state but rather a seething hatred which spawns acts of
extreme violence and uses religion to promise heavenly rewards for its
martyrs then already there are grave problems. Bombs and missiles will be
as effective as trying to quench a fire with kerosene.
In the current situation, even deciding when our war on terror has
finished will be impossible. How many terrorists, dead or alive, is
enough? A recent study by the US Congressional Research Service stated
that Osama bin Laden has bases or tentacles in 37 countries. That's a lot
of bombing to do if we are really serious about smoking them all out of
their holes. At least widening the war to target Iraq won't be necessary -
America and Britain have already been bombing that country frequently for
nearly three years. There's been no noticeable improvement in Saddam
Hussein's human rights record or perceptions of security in the region,
but never mind such detail.
However the current war on terror has an even more fundamental problem. It
uses the tools of terrorists. Whether or not a cruise missile is
terrifying depends rather on which way it's pointing. The brave crews who
launch them and the children of Jalalabad and Kabul might have different
This really is a hearts and minds battle, in which every missile launched
and bomb dropped plays into the hands of those whose purpose is to incite
hatred. The evil minds which planned the September 11 atrocities now have
the war they want. Jihad is within view. Violence is the order of the day.
And further violence gives the terrorists the greatest prize of all - a
flood of recruits to the cause.
But it is not just the current pursuit of "justice" which is swelling the
flood of recruits to the cause of anti-US hatred and, in its extreme form,
terrorism. It is in fact the injustices which have gone before with the
full moral and military support of the US and the Western world - the
injustice of dehumanising apartheid-style restrictions imposed on millions
of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, such as checkpoints on the
roads, travel permits and identification cards; the injustice of the
demolition of Palestinian homes and the uprooting of their olive trees as
new Jewish settlements are built in land taken illegally; the injustice of
several thousand Iraqi children under five dying every month since 1990
from economic sanctions; the injustice of judging crimes against humanity
not by their gravity but by who commits them; the injustice of Western
economic policies which treat Third World lives and labour as dirt cheap
commodities - to name but a few. If we were to design a breeding ground
for hatred, we could hardly do better.
Throw in the grave injustices perpetrated by many non-Western governments
against their own people, including in the Middle East, and the sea of
human discontent looks vast.
Even before September 11, the alarm bells were ringing. Denis Halliday,
who was senior UN administrator of the Oil-For-Food program in Iraq until
he resigned in protest, wrote of the political fallout from the sanctions:
"Iraq's younger generation of professionals, the political leadership of
the future - bitter, angry, isolated and dangerously alienated from the
world - is maturing in an environment not dissimilar to that found in
Germany under the conditions set by the Versailles Treaty. A future
generation of Baath Party leaders may lead Iraq onto the path followed by
the Taliban and the fundamentalist right." His warnings continue to fall
on deaf ears in Washington and London, and in Canberra.
If true justice for all people was the real objective, the warships and
bombers would all go home tomorrow. In their place would be the urgent
establishment under the auspices of the UN of an international tribunal to
try those accused of the September 11 crimes (as was done for the alleged
perpetrators of the crimes in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia); ensuring
entry-into-force of the treaty to establish an International Criminal
Court (which neither the US nor Australia has yet ratified); multilateral
and multi-faceted UN-sponsored efforts to combat terrorism (including the
enforcement of existing UN treaties on the suppression of terrorist
financing and the suppression of terrorist bombings, both of which the US
has failed to support); genuine humanitarian relief for the people of
Afghanistan and help to rebuild their war-torn country, including the
clearing of some 10 million landmines left over from previous wars; and
some truthful answers for the people of America to the question "Why do
they hate us?".
In addition, the necessity of eliminating all weapons of mass destruction
appears self-evident to most nations - but not yet to the nation which has
most to gain by this step, the US.
The Indian writer Arundhati Roy, in her recent essay "The Algebra of
Infinite Justice", says of Osama bin Laden: "He has been sculpted from the
spare rib of a world laid to waste by America's foreign policy: its
gunboat diplomacy, its nuclear arsenal, its vulgarly-stated policy of
"full-spectrum dominance", its chilling disregard for non-American lives,
its barbarous military interventions, its support for despotic and
dictatorial regimes, its merciless economic agenda that has munched
through the economies of poor countries like a cloud of locusts." Stern
words, but words which reflect the desperation of countless millions for
whom Operation Infinite Justice or Enduring Freedom or whatever words are
now used to sanitise this unjust and unwinnable war must seem like a cruel
The lasting answers to terrorism will be by the upholding of international
law, and a commitment to global cooperation (with the UN as the best
starting point for this) and real justice for all people. None of these
are utopian or unrealistic. In fact they are the only realistic way
October 24, 2001
by Alan Bock
Poor Victoria (Torie) Clarke, a Pentagon spokesperson, got the tough job
yesterday, that of flak-catcher. When the subject is bombs that seem to be
destroying or disabling the Taliban and al-Qaida infrastructure, Defense
Secretary Don Rumsfeld usually takes the assignment himself and comes off as
affable and confident. Yesterday the subject was acknowledging that maybe
the Taliban was right this time, that a 1,000-pound bomb seems to have
missed its target and fell near what was described as a senior citizens'
home in Herat on Sunday (UN employees said it was a hospital and that it was
"Although the details are still being investigated," Ms. Clarke said,
"preliminary indications are that the weapons guidance system malfunctioned.
As we always say, we regret the loss of civilian life we take great care
in our targeting process to avoid civilian casualties." While the Taliban
claims 100 people died, Ms. Clarke said that estimate was exaggerated. She
had no U.S. estimates, however.
I might be reading too much into the televised news conference such
affairs are seldom as smooth and logical in their flow in reality as they
later seem when their results are converted into print I sensed a certain
emerging testiness, perhaps even skepticism in some of the reporters. Some
of the questions were simply attempts to clarify the few details apparently
available. But some verged on concern that so few details were being made
The paucity of details is perhaps warranted, and at least to be expected
during wartime. There are reasons, including not tipping off the enemy, for
official briefers to be sometimes vague and even evasive. But there is the
American tradition of openness to consider not to mention the fact that
Congress still has not declared war.
WHAT KIND OF WAR?
The current military target seems to be the Taliban, which is as close to a
nation-state as exists in Afghanistan these days, although all concerned
reassure us that the real target is Osama bin Laden. It would be
appropriate, if the enemy is a nation-state and the US Constitution still
means anything, for Congress to declare war. But that could present
conceptual and practical problems.
As awful as the Taliban might be, it has not attacked the United States
directly or declared war on the United States, as Hitler did in the wake of
Pearl Harbor. It is accused of "harboring" Osama bin Laden who is accused
probably correctly, although the official statements to date hardly
constitute ironclad proof of being intimately involved in masterminding
the September 11 atrocities. Evidence is emerging that the regime is quite
tightly connected to bin Laden and his terrorist enterprise, which could
mean that it is not only harboring but facilitating and perhaps even working
hand-in-glove with him.
The simple fact is, however, that the United States has unilaterally
declared the Taliban to be a hostile regime, issued a series of demands it
knew full well would not be met, and refused to negotiate with it. It might
well be that destroying the Taliban is the necessary prelude to getting at
the terrorist networks in Afghanistan. But the formal hostilities were
begun by the United States.
If harboring or facilitating terrorists are the criteria by which the United
States will decide to go to war, however, other possible suspects exist.
Just yesterday US Attorney General John Ashcroft who really should take
some time off to get a sense-of-humor implant said that at least three of
the September 11 hijackers were connected to a terrorist cell operating out
of Hamburg, Germany, allegedly since 1999 at least.
"It is clear that Hamburg served as a central base of operations for these
six individuals [three dead hijackers and three current fugitives] and their
part in planning of the Sept. 11 attack," Ashcroft said. Twelve FBI agents
have been assigned to various locations in Germany to move the ongoing
If the United States is to be consistent, however, when are we to expect the
announcement of bombing runs on Hamburg or at least "pinpoint" attacks on
the apartment where the terrorist cell allegedly stayed?
Of course, the German government is cooperating, probably quite
frenetically, with the US investigation, without even protesting the
presence of foreign law enforcement agents on "its" soil. Would the US
declare Germany a hostile regime subject to bombing if this were not so, or
if it deemed German cooperation insufficiently helpful or enthusiastic?
THE SAUDI CONNECTION
The question might be a little more pertinent in connection to Saudi Arabia.
The bin Laden family itself, of course, has long claimed that it long ago
severed ties with Osama the black sheep of the family and drummed him out of
the family. Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that that is true.
However, as Neela Bannerjee put it in the Sunday New York Times:
"The Bush administration has refrained from criticizing Saudi silence over
the U.S.-led counterattacks against Osama bin Laden, nor has it spoken out
about evidence that Saudi citizens finance Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida
network and other radical Islamic organizations."
"Moreover, although the FBI identified most of the hijackers in the Sept.
11 attacks as Saudis, Saudi Arabia has refused to provide passenger lists of
flights to the United States, an act the Bush administration has been
unwilling to criticize." Furthermore, the Saudi Arabia has refused to allow
the US to use bases planted there during the Gulf War, even as staging
grounds for attacks on networks in Afghanistan.
So is the Saudi regime harboring, facilitating, or aiding and abetting
terrorism? Everyone knows it is, and some Middle East authorities even see
the repressive regime as something of a font of terrorism.
The Saudi regime is repressive and hypocritical, which stirs up
fundamentalist righteous wrath. In part to compensate for this hostility,
it funds terrorist or quasi-terrorist groups. A case can be made that
ousting the Saudi regime would do a lot more toward the ostensible goal of
defusing and reducing terrorism worldwide than ousting the pitiful Taliban
regime. So when does the bombing begin?
A MODEST PROPOSAL
The bombing won't begin, of course, because Saudi Arabia is one of the
world's chief producers of oil (essential to modern Western warfare) and
full of people who are longtime associates of Texas oilmen one of whom
is US commander-in-chief. These facts need to be considered, of course.
But they make the US position notably inconsistent and vitiate the argument
that the real goal is to punish those who contribute to or support
I have a modest proposal, however. The United States could issue something
of an ultimatum to the Saudis: Either cooperate fully in the ongoing
investigations of terrorists and allow US bases in Saudi Arabia to be used
in the military aspects of the conflict or we'll pull those bases right out
It could well be that the Saudis who undoubtedly fear a resurgent Saddam
Hussein less than some spokespeople might claim to do would be privately
pleased with such a demand. The bases might have some military and symbolic
value to the regime, but they are also a source of friction and resentment,
and not just from Osama clones.
SPINNING AND COUNTERSPINNING
Pulling the US bases, of course, would also eliminate one of Osama bin
Laden's ostensible grievances. That's why it would have to be spun as a
demand from a righteously indignant and testosterone-driven United States
rather than as a concession to the evil one. Osama (or his successors or
aides if he's not around personally) would spin it as a victory for them, of
But the United States would have at least a counterspin and possibly (if its
diplomats blustered credibly enough) a preemptive spin. It might even be a
prelude to taking the propaganda aspect of the war seriously, something the
United States, for all its history of wanting to see its wars as righteous
crusades, almost never does.
There's my modest contribution to neutralizing terrorism. I'm sure it would
be more effective than creating more Afghan rubble.
Evidence of restraint
Thursday, October 25, 2001
By Llewellyn Rockwell Jr.
American citizens who have doubts any doubts about the war have been
subjected to an amazing barrage of hate and threats in recent days. But if
you believe the polls that show 90 percent-plus support for this war, it
seems oddly disproportionate to whip up hysteria against a handful of
Rather than defend the anti-war position itself, I want to make a different
argument. If you believe in freedom at all, you should hope that there are
at least some doubters and protesters, regardless of the merit of their
case. Even if you think this war is a great and necessary thing to teach the
terrorists a lesson in American resolve, the preservation of liberty at home
is also an important value.
The existence of an opposition movement is evidence that some restraints on
government still exist. The government, which is always looking for reasons
to increase its power, needs to know that there will always be an
The view that wartime requires complete unanimity of public opinion is not
an American one it is a position more characteristic of Islamic or other
totalitarian states, where differences of opinion are regarded as a threat
to public order, and where the leadership demands 100 percent approval from
the people. These are also states where the head of government requires that
he be treated like a deity, that there be no questioning of his edicts, that
he govern with unquestioned power.
This is the very definition of despotism. Unpopular government is dangerous
enough, popular government far more so. When public officials believe that
there are no limits to their power, no doubters about their pronouncements,
no cynics who question their motives, they are capable of gross abuses. This
is true both in wartime and peacetime. The most beloved governments are most
prone to become the most abusive.
If you think that such despotism is not possible in the United States, you
have not understood the American founding. Thomas Jefferson taught that
American liberty depends on citizen willingness to be skeptical toward the
claims of the central government. "Confidence is everywhere the parent of
despotism," he wrote in his draft of the Kentucky Resolves. "Free government
is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence. It is jealousy and not
confidence which prescribes limited constitutions, to bind down those whom
we are obliged to trust with power."
"In questions of power," he concluded, "let no more be heard of confidence
in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."
Wartime means that government is unleashing weapons of mass destruction
against other human beings and their property. It is the most terrifying of
all the powers of government. The war power, which means the power over life
and death, can create in those who use it a feeling of omnipotence, the
belief that they have absolute power, which gives rise to absolute
corruption, as Lord Acton observed. This is true whether the war actions are
popular or not.
Now, add to that reality an additional element: The population that supports
the war power with its taxes is consumed in nationalistic fervor to the
point that nobody believes that government is capable of making a bad choice
or of abusing its power. That is a sure prescription for abuse, and not only
in wartime the government enjoys this uncritical attitude, and will demand
it in peacetime as well. Typically, in these cases, the abuse of peoples'
rights is not decried but celebrated.
We have seen this happen in American history. Writing in the Wall Street
Journal, Jay Winik reminds us that wartime abuse of presidential power has a
long history. Lincoln imprisoned anti-war activists, including newspaper
editors, judges and attorneys, and otherwise suspended all civil liberties.
Wilson made it a crime to voice dissent on any aspect of the war, including
the way it was financed. The jails were overrun with independent-minded
people. Franklin Roosevelt did the same, and even set up internment camps
for American citizens of Japanese descent.
Incredibly, even ominously, Winik writes about this in defense of the
emergency powers that wartime provides. This is why we need to trade liberty
for security, he says, and he implies that the Bush administration needs to
go much further to meet the (low) standards set by his predecessors.
Winik's ultimate defense, however, involves a claim that is just plain
wrong: "despite these previous and numerous extreme measures," writes Winik,
"there was little long-term or corrosive effect on society after the
security threat had subsided. When the crisis ended, normalcy returned, and
so too did civil liberties, invariably stronger than before."
It's true that the despotism subsided after the wars ended, if only because
government has a difficult time trying to maintain the level of public
support it enjoys during wartime once peace has arrived. But does government
really return to normalcy?
In fact, what changes is our definition of normalcy. In no case after a war
did the government return to its prewar size. The postwar government is
always bigger, more intrusive, more draconian, more expensive, than the
prewar government. It feels smaller because the government is no longer
arresting dissidents. But our standard of what constitutes freedom and
despotism changes during wartime. Nothing has been as corrosive of American
liberty as war.
Wartime tyranny also creates an historical precedent for future violations
of liberty. Every president who desires more power cites his predecessors
who enjoyed similar power, just as the bloody legacies of FDR, Wilson and
Lincoln are being invoked on behalf of Bush today (witness Winik's own
Jefferson said in his first inaugural address: "If there be any among us who
would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them
stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may
be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it." That's why, if you
hate the anti-war movement and want to see it suppressed, you are no friend
to liberty, even in peacetime.
Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. is president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in
Auburn, Alabama. He also edits a daily news site, www.LewRockwell.com.
US general confirms use of cluster bombs on Taliban
By Jim Mannion
October 26, 2001
WASHINGTON As concern mounted over civilian casualties in Afghanistan, US
military leaders on Thursday confirmed the use of cluster bombs there and
said B-52 bombers have and will be used to pound Taliban positions with
large numbers of unguided bombs.
"If the target is appropriate to the kind of bombs we can drop off the
B-52, which are generally unguided and in numbers, then we will do that and
we have done that," said Air Force General Richard Myers, chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff.
US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who joined Myers at a Pentagon press
conference, said B-52 bombers had flown in raid! s Tuesday against
positions held by Afghanistan's ruling Taliban regime.
US bombings, he said, were killing both Taliban troops and members of the
al-Qaeda network, the group blamed for the September 11 suicide attacks in
New York and Washington.
"And they're trying to do it every day and in fact they're doing it every
day. Those trucks that you saw and those buildings you see hit are not
empty," Rumsfeld said, referring to video footage of the air attacks shown
at Pentagon briefings.
Both Rumsfeld and Myers defended the effectiveness of the 19-day-old air
campaign while parrying criticism of civilian casualties, including a UN
report Thursday that nine people were killed in a village outside the
western city of Herat that was hit by cluster bombs.
Myers said he had no knowledge about the incident, which reportedly
occurred late Monday, but confirmed that US forces have used cluster bombs.
"We only use the cluster munitions when they are! the most effective weapon
for the intended target," he said. "There have not been a great number of
them used, but they have been used."
The bombs are designed to open above the ground and scatter anti-tank and
anti-personnel bomblets over a wide area.
Without saying whether any had gone astray, a senior US defense official
told AFP that cluster bombs had been used in the area around Herat where
the village and a nearby military compound were hit.
Myers and Rumsfeld both expressed frustration with what they said were
often trumped-up Taliban claims of civilian casualties. But neither was
prepared to respond to accounts of specific villages reportedly struck by
STARC Global Peace and Justice Packet!!!
From: Eric Romann <email@example.com>
Dear Advocates for Peace and Justice,
After much delay, the STARC Alliance Global Peace and Justice
Campaign Packet titled "After September 11: The Roots of Hate and
Terrorism--A Radical Education Project" is finally finished. You can
find it here attached as an MS Word for Windows document.
[radtimes note-- please request the Word document from Eric directly at:
For the integrity of the document, we ask that you not make any changes.
If you requested a printed copy of the packet, you should be
receiving a copy in the mail in the next few days. If you would still
like a printed copy, please send a request to campaign coordinator
Dana Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the campaign
or to let us known what events you are planning, contact Dana or
STARC Alliance Field Organizer Laura Close at
email@example.com or 503-247-5995. Or visit our organization
and campaign websites, www.starcalliance.org and
And don't forget: November 9 is a National Day of Radical Education
for Peaceful Justice. Best of luck!
In solidarity and peace,
The STARC Global Peace and Justice Campaign
Pakistani Public Reacts to U.S. Bombardment
from The Laissez Faire City Times, Vol 5, No 43, October 22, 2001
by Richard S. Ehrlich
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan ^ As the civilian death toll climbs, Pakistan's
journalists, intellectuals and public are becoming convinced that the U.S.
bombardment of Afghanistan is a display of anti-Moslem hatred.
Each day, Pakistan's leading newspapers publish news reports, opinion
pieces, letters to the editors, cartoons and other commentary which spin
truth, sensationalism and invective at readers who are trying to decide what
While plenty of pro-U.S. and anti-Taliban views are printed alongside
accurate, objective news about America's Afghanistan war, sinews of
propaganda and startling outbursts appear on nearly every newspaper page.
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan packs a population of 140 million people ^
more than half the United States ^ into a land slightly double the size of
Tens of thousands of people, essentially a hardcore minority, have protested
in the streets against the U.S. and British bombing raids on Afghanistan
which began Oct. 7.
But as the war drags on and the civilian body count swells, many more
Pakistanis may be ready to agree with the America-versus-Islam statements
and analysis published in their morning papers.
Periodic Attacks Against Islam
An editorial cartoon in the Nation newspaper, for example, showed a list
which read: "Libya, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, Afghanistan." The
caption explained the six entries as, "Nothing new, periodically the U.S.
attacks an Islamic country."
Four days later, the same cartoonist showed a dead and dismembered Afghan
child in the bombed wreckage of his home.
The caption read: "No, not innocent. According to Americans, he was going to
become another Osama."
Meanwhile, in the middle of a seemingly normal news story about the war, a
Nation reporter began a sentence:
"Apart from the killing of hundreds of [Afghan] civilians in the U.S.
attacks which started on Sunday, the Christian holy day . . ."
Writing in the more respected Dawn newspaper, Muhammad Siddiqi warned
readers that in the United States, "Moslems do not belong in there."
Referring to the rhetoric and behavior of Americans after the Sept. 11
attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, he added, "For Moslems in
general, America will never be the same again. As years pass, there may be a
lessening of hate, but the rancor will never go away."
Advising all Pakistanis who emigrated to the U.S. that they should
immediately evacuate, Mr. Siddiqi said, "America was never ours. It could
not be, for America is Western and Christian. Period."
In the "Literati" section of The News on Sunday newspaper, Kazy Javed's "A
Word About Letters" column reviewed books on Islam.
Mr. Javed suddenly noted: "Even U.S. President George W. Bush has not
hesitated to refer to 'this crusade.'
"The U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Paul Wolfowitz has gone further. He
observed that 'the whole civilized world has been shocked . . . and even
portions of the uncivilized world' ^ a clear reference to the Moslem world
in this context," Mr. Javed added.
Pakistan's Urdu-language newspapers, meanwhile, attract a much wider
"On any given day, you may go through the pages of any Urdu newspaper
published in Pakistan and it is unlikely you will come across many voices of
moderation," said Dawn columnist Khalid Hasan.
Referring to violent, anti-American protests by thousands of demonstrators
in several cities, Mr. Hasan added, "The hysteria that you see in the
streets today has been nurtured by what you read in print here.
"The language [in Urdu newspapers] is belligerent and the appeal is directed
at our most primeval instincts," Mr. Hasan said.
"They thunder forth as the defenders of a faith which they claim is under
challenge from the infidels, not realizing that the course they advocate
leads to the abyss. Their understanding of Islam is superficial and
"If there are any balanced and liberal voices in the Urdu press, they are
few and far between."
Created by Terrorists
Letters to editors, published in various newspapers, are also often
"If a country can be created through terrorism, be inhabited by and large by
terrorists and ruled by terrorists, anything is possible," wrote Muhammad
Anwar of Lahore, referring not to Afghanistan but to Israel.
"Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, with prices on their heads, were
founding fathers of Israel. The Mossad being past master in terrorism can
also bomb the World Trade Center in New York," Mr. Anwar added.
America was "lashing out at Moslems, being blinded with hate and ego," wrote
Abdul Khan of Karachi.
Officials and others who write essays and op-ed pieces about America's
latest war are also shaping public opinion.
"Western media tried to create the impression that Islam and Moslems were
responsible for the great tragedy in New York, although the U.S. president
has tried his level best to tone down the hatred and anger," wrote Radio
Pakistan's former director general Muhammad Abbas.
"The American public wanted blood, egged on by some rash statements of some
in power and a section of the media that preached hatred," wrote Imran Khan,
a former cricket star who now leads the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf party.
Mr. Khan added, "As a Pakistani, my fear is that if some Pakistani fanatics
get involved in terrorist acts in the U.S. ^ there are some four million
Pakistanis overseas ^ will we as a country of 140 million get blamed?
"For the past 10 years, our country has been unable to control internal
terrorism. What if our government cannot destroy the terrorist networks
within? Could we face the same situation as Afghanistan?"
In a sarcastic and emotional opinion piece, Humayun Gauhar referred to the
U.S.-led embargo on Iraq and asked, "If the deaths of thousands of Iraqi
children can be brushed aside as 'collateral damage,' what fancy name shall
I dignify September 11's [World Trade Center] innocents with? Murder?
Massacre? Collateral damage maybe?"
Mr. Gauhar added, "Why are the 22 most wanted people all Moslem? Why are the
targeted countries all Moslem too?"
He concluded, "Taliban and Osama are creations of American, Pakistani and
The U.S. and Britain said they are bombing Afghanistan to destroy its
Islamic, Taliban regime and kill or capture Osama bin Laden and his
terrorist al Qaeda network.
Washington insists they are responsible for the attacks on the World Trade
Center and the Pentagon which killed more than 5,000 people.
The Taliban have repeatedly asked the U.S. for evidence proving Mr. bin
Laden's guilt, so it can consider arresting or expelling him.
America has replied it is unable to offer Afghanistan top-secret proof, but
insisted Mr. bin Laden can legally be arrested on suspicion of involvement
in the attacks.
While both sides fight, Mr. bin Laden's al Qaeda network released a
pre-recorded video message on Oct. 14 which said the U.S. retaliation was "a
crusade against Islam and Moslems."
Richard S. Ehrlich lives in Bangkok, Thailand. His web page is located at
http://members.tripod.com/ehrlich, and he may be reached by email at
Afghanistan: We didn't have to do this
Wednesday, October 17, 2001 Page A - 19
by Stephanie Salter
AS LONG AS WE STILL HAVE IT, I'm going to make the most of the First
Amendment: What we are doing in, above, and to Afghanistan is short-sighted,
counterproductive and immoral. That I am among a mere 6 or 10 percent of
Americans (depending on the poll) who feel this way hurts my heart.
The amount of nonthink, or flat-out denial, that is required to support
Operation Enduring Freedom is painful to contemplate. Sending thousands of
kids -- "our brave men and women in uniform" -- to risk their lives for it
We Americans have never been known for critical thought and analysis.
Context and historical perspective rank low on our national priorities list,
somewhere below foreign language skills but above gas conservation. Add to
that our deliberate myopia and chronic impatience, and you have the U.S.
military trashing big chunks of Kabul, Kandahar and Mazar-I-Sharif in
of a cave-dwelling, mass murderer and his worldwide band of suicidal
Damn the advice from seasoned experts on terrorism and the Middle East;
full speed ahead with the cruise missiles.
After all, we had to do something.
That phrase. It has been uttered so many times since Sept. 11, I expect to
see it printed on our currency any day now. People who call themselves
pacifists, people who admit that they are uneasy with the destruction we are
raining down on Afghanistan -- people who can't see how this frenzy of B-1's
is actually going to get Osama bin Laden -- offer up the phrase as if it
a bona fide moral escape clause: We had to do something.
Lord, yes. We'd waited more than three weeks before we started dropping
bombs. Such restraint. Why don't we at least cut the b.s., and own up to
exactly what it is we are doing?
First, does the phrase "collateral damage" sound familiar? When Persian
Gulf War veteran Timothy McVeigh used it to describe the 168 children and
adults he murdered in the Oklahoma City bombing, we took it as proof of his
evilness, as the justification that we needed to execute him.
What is it proof of when U.S. generals use it to describe the Afghan
civilians that our bombs already have killed? How about the untold numbers
will die from hunger or disease on their way to refugee camps that can't
Likely, because McVeigh shocked us with the term, "collateral damage" seems
to have given way to a new euphemism. As Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
it last week:
"There is no question but that when one is engaged militarily that there
are going to be unintended loss of life." Lest anyone think him cold,
added, "And there's no question but that I and anyone involved regrets the
unintended loss of life."
When U.S. civilians are killed, it's a travesty. When the dead are from
someplace else -- especially a backward, poverty-stricken country such as
Afghanistan -- it's regrettable.
Second, let's be honest about the blowback, the truly lethal, political
time bombs that we plant with every payload among millions of mainstream
Muslims in the Middle East and Asia. George W. Bush can insist that "the
United States is a friend to Islam." How many regrettable losses of life do
reasonable Muslims tolerate before they begin to doubt our friendship?
Without a doubt, after Sept. 11, we did have to do something, something
that takes time, deep and true coalition-building and patient cunning.
we've chosen to play into a mass murderer's hands and prove that our
reverence for human life starts diminishing at America's borders.
It's time Americans asked, `Why us?'
By Raid Qusti, Arab News
JEDDAH, 23 October ^ It is interesting to hear what Americans say
about the events in Afghanistan. One American reader observed that of
the 900 people allegedly killed in bombing raids, none would have
died if the Taleban had handed over Bin Laden. Well, first of all,
the Taleban have told the US repeatedly that they would hand over Bin
Laden if they were shown evidence that he is guilty. But the US
government continues to refuse to do this. Whatever happened to the
cornerstone of American law ^ innocent until proven guilty? Is the US
judge, jury and executioner all in one? Or has that role been given
to the American mass media? If it is true that Bin Laden is indeed
responsible, why not present evidence? By doing so, the US would not
only gain more respect but also more support from Arab and Muslim
The US specifically said that it would hit military targets. If that
is the case, how can the continuous dropping of bombs on houses be
explained? And what about the 2,000-pound bomb that mistakenly hit a
civilian area and killed dozens?
According to CNN, the military claims that terrorists could have been
hiding in those houses. Do they plan to bomb every house in
Afghanistan, killing the innocent and those presumed guilty? What
about the sophisticated intelligence? Or is all that nothing but
newspaper rubbish and hype?
If the US really had a genuine altruistic motive in eliminating
terrorists, why hasn't it removed Saddam Hussein long before now? And
why in the past has it propped up other dictators? What about the
tanks that recently entered the Palestinian territories killing
innocent people? Is that not terrorism? Just what is the US
definition of terrorism? Does it define the word according to its
own "national interests"?
The US ^ the so called "defender of human rights" ^ has not been re-
elected to the UN human rights body. It has also refused to sign the
UN treaty banning land mines. Can any sane person explain where is
the humanity in that? And then George Bush tells reporters in the
White House that he does not understand ^ is even "amazed" ^ that so
many people all over the world hate the US!
No thinking person objects to freedom or real democracy; all thinking
people, however, object to hypocrisy, double standards and
inconsistencies. And American foreign policy is perceived to be
riddled with all three.
Many Americans say that it is easy to criticize the United States for
its foreign policy because it is a superpower. The UK, on the other
hand, has not been criticized for its foreign policy but it was
nonetheless the first country to join the US in its anti-terrorist
campaign. Exactly my point. Demonstrators in Jakarta, Islamabad,
Manama and other cities and towns in the world have been seen burning
the American flag, not the British one. Effigies of George W. Bush
are seen burning and being stamped upon but there have been no
effigies of Tony Blair. Americans need to ask themselves why the
Sept. 11 tragedies happened in the US. Why not the UK, Russia,
France, Germany and China?
How many Americans have asked themselves those questions? And of the
number who have asked, how many have had the courage to answer
truthfully? How many have even listened to a dissenting view?
There was a time in American history when a statesman said to his
opponents, "I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to
the death your right to say it." Where is that kind of honesty and
straightforwardness which is what the world has come to admire and
expect of America? Its unfortunate absence from most of the current
discussions is itself one of the problems. We should note that
British foreign policy has not been criticized because the UK does
not veto every single resolution in the UN Security Council that
calls for an end to Israeli aggression and that Israel should be
punished for its actions.
The UK did not withdraw from the Durban conference because Israel was
accused of being a "racist nation". How can Israeli policies be
viewed as anything but racist? Its Arab citizens are treated as
second-class and lack the same rights as its Jewish ones. It
demolishes people's houses and destroys their agricultural lands
simply because those people are Arabs. It builds settlements on land
whose Arab owners have been expelled at gunpoint. What is this but
racism? No court in America would uphold such actions in the US. Why
do the Americans support them in Israel?
The UK has not given Israel $90 billion in aid over the past decade
so that it can continue to commit atrocities against the
Palestinians. Bullets that kill and maim innocent Palestinian
children are not made in the UK but in the US and are freely supplied
to the Israelis.
King Abdallah of Jordan pointed out in a CNN interview, "None of this
would have happened if America did not have such a biased policy in
the Middle East." Every farmer and every amateur gardener knows that
in order to get rid of harmful weeds, they must be pulled up by the
roots. It is useless to simply cut away the part that is above the
soil; the roots remain underground and in time will sprout again.
Instead of studying the reasons that led to the inexcusable and
horrible tragedies on Sept. 11, instead of getting at the roots, the
anger and hurt of the world's only superpower has led to the killing
of more innocent civilians. What happens in the world media if even
one American citizen is killed anywhere in the world? All major wire
services pick up the story and give it prominence.
But when innocent non-white Afghanis are killed in air raids, they
are merely "military mistakes" ^ or that awful euphemism, "collateral
damage". There is no question that the terrorist acts must be
condemned in the strongest possible terms. Condemning them, however,
does not mean that what caused them should be ignored. By ignoring
the cause, we are leaving the way open to future terrorist acts.
Those who committed the acts in New York and Washington should not be
allowed to tarnish the image of Islam; Islam forbids the killing of
Those who committed the terrorist acts did so because in their souls
they hated America. But they did not hate America because of its
democracy, its freedom and liberty. They hated it because of its
biased and unfair foreign policies that result in the killing,
suffering and displacement of innocent civilians. In the Middle East,
those innocent civilians are usually Palestinians and, to add insult
to injury, the White House and the US media continue to blame the
Palestinians for the problem and call them "terrorists".
If Americans really want to know why their country is hated, I have
given them some things to think about.
It is strange and incomprehensible how Americans inevitably boast of
their freedom when they are in fact restricted by their government's
actions and policies. What did Americans do when they learned that
because of sanctions against Iraq, 500,000 children had died in that
unfortunate country? Only a small group of Americans demonstrated
against sanctions in front of the White House and they were later
People all over the world ask why the majority of Americans ^ if they
are as Bush called them "good people who stand for democracy and
freedom" ^ turn a blind eye and a deaf ear when their government is
the cause of so much injustice; when their government refuses to join
a UN treaty for banning land mines; when their government has caused
the death of hundreds of innocent and defenseless people; when
weapons made in their factories kill innocent children every day?
These are the questions that are foremost in the minds of fair-minded
people all over the world.
As the refugees crowd the borders, we'll be blaming someone else
Mullah Mohammed Omar's 10-year-old son is dead. He was, according to
Afghan refugees fleeing Kandahar, taken to one of the city's broken
hospitals by his father, the Taliban leader and "Emir of the
Faithful", but the boy apparently travelling in Omar's car when it
was attacked by US aircraft died of his wounds.
No regrets, of course. Back in 1985, when American aircraft bombed
Libya, they also destroyed the life of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's six-
year-old adopted daughter. No regrets, of course. In 1992, when an
Israeli pilot flying an American-made Apache helicopter fired an
American-made missile into the car of Said Abbas Moussawi, head of
the Hizbollah guerrilla army in Lebanon, the Israeli pilot also
killed Moussawi's 10-year-old. No regrets, of course.
Whether these children deserved their deaths, be sure that their
fathers in our eyes were to blame. Live by the sword, die by the
sword and that goes for the kids too. Back in 1991, The Independent
revealed that American Gulf War military targets included "secure"
bunkers in which members of Saddam Hussein's family or the families
of his henchmen were believed to be hiding. That's how the
Americans managed to slaughter well over 300 people in an air raid
shelter at Amariya in Baghdad. No Saddam kids, just civilians. Too
bad. I wonder now that President George Bush has given permission
to the CIA to murder Osama bin Laden if the same policy applies
And so the casualties begin to mount. From Kandahar come ever more
frightful stories of civilians buried under ruins, of children torn
to pieces by American bombs. The Taliban and here the Americans
must breathe a collective sigh of relief refuse to allow Western
journalists to enter the country to verify these reports. So when a
few television crews were able to find 18 fresh graves in the
devastated village of Khorum outside Jalalabad just over a week ago,
the US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld could ridicule the deaths
as "ridiculous". But not, I suspect, for much longer.
For if each of our wars for infinite justice and eternal freedom have
a familiar trade mark the military claptrap about air superiority,
suppression of "command and control centres", radar capabilities
each has an awkward, highly exclusive little twist to it. In 1999,
Nato claimed it was waging war to put Kosovo Albanian refugees back
in their homes even though most of the refugees were still in their
homes when the war began. Our bombing of Serbia led directly to their
dispossession. We bear a heavy burden of responsibility for their
suffering since the Serbs had told us what they would do if Nato
opened hostilities although the ultimate blame for their "ethnic
cleansing'' clearly belonged to Slobodan Milosevic.
But Nato's escape clause won't work this time round. For as the
Afghan refugees turn up in their thousands at the border, it is
palpably evident that they are fleeing not the Taliban but our bombs
and missiles. The Taliban is not ethnically cleansing its own Pashtun
population. The refugees speak vividly of their fear and terror as
our bombs fall on their cities. These people are terrified of
our "war on terror'', victims as innocent as those who were
slaughtered in the World Trade Centre on 11 September. So where do we
It's an important question because, once the winter storms breeze
down the mountain gorges of Afghanistan, a tragedy is likely to
commence, one which no spin doctor or propaganda expert will be able
to divert. We'll say that the thousands about to die or who are dying
of starvation and cold are victims of the Taliban's intransigence or
the Taliban's support for "terrorism" or the Taliban's propensity to
steal humanitarian supplies.
I have to admit having been weaned on Israel's promiscuous use of
the word "terror" every time a Palestinian throws a stone at his
occupiers that I find the very word "terrorism" increasingly
mendacious as well as racist. Of course despite the slavish use of
the phrase "war on terrorism" on the BBC and CNN it is nothing of
the kind. We are not planning to attack Tamil Tiger suicide bombers
or Eta killers or Real IRA murderers or Kurdish KDP guerrillas.
Indeed, the US has spent a lot of time supporting terrorists in Latin
America the Contras spring to mind not to mention the rabble we
are now bombing in Afghanistan. This is, as I've said before, a war
on America's enemies. Increasingly, as the date of 11 September
acquires iconic status, we are retaliating for the crimes against
humanity in New York and Washington. But we're not setting up any
tribunals to try those responsible.
The figure of 6,000 remains as awesome as it did in the days that
followed. But what happens when the deaths for which we are
responsible begin to approach the same figure? Refugees have been
telling me on the Pakistan border that the death toll from our
bombings in Afghanistan is in the dozens, perhaps the hundreds. Once
the UN agencies give us details of the starving and the destitute who
are dying in their flight from our bombs, it won't take long to reach
6,000. Will that be enough? Will 12,000 dead Afghans appease us,
albeit that they have nothing to do with the Taliban or Osama bin
Laden? Or 24,000? If we think we know what our aims are in this
fraudulent "war against terror", have we any idea of proportion?
Sure, we'll blame the Taliban for future tragedies. Just as we've
been blaming them for drug exports from Afghanistan. Tony Blair was
at the forefront of the Taliban-drug linkage. And all we have to do
to believe this is to forget the UN Drug Control Programme's
announcement last week that opium production in Afghanistan has
fallen by 94 per cent, chiefly due to Mullah Omar's prohibition in
Taliban-controlled areas. Most of Afghanistan's current opium
production comes you've guessed it from our friends in the
This particular war is, as Mr Bush said, going to be "unlike any
other" but not in quite the way he thinks. It's not going to lead
to justice. Or freedom. It's likely to culminate in deaths that will
diminish in magnitude even the crime against humanity on 11
September. Do we have any plans for this? Can we turn the falsity of
a "war against terror" into a war against famine and starvation and
death, even at the cost of postponing our day of reckoning with Osama
UN acknowledges US targeting of civilian neighborhoods
Tuesday, October 23, 2001
93 Killed in attack on village near Kandahar
The Al-Jazeera correspondent in Kandahar reported that tens of civilians
were killed and injured in an American air raid that targeted a village
west of Kandahar.
Meanwhile, the United Nations acknowledged officially that the American
bombing has hit civilians in Kabul and a hospital was in the western
city of Herat was attacked.
The Al-Jazira correspondent said that 93 people were killed, 18 of them
from the same family were killed when bombs and rockets hit the village
of Jokar approximately 60 kms northwest of Kandahar. According to
eyewitnesses, so of the dead had been killed with bullets which may mean
that American ground forces may be in that area.
The Al-Jazira correspondent said the number of people in the village of
Jokar was swelled by people from the surrounding area who came searching
for water. Eyewitnesses said that five cars were seen in front of one of
the houses in the village which may have led the Americans to believe
that Taliban leaders were inside.
The eyewitness said that the occupants of the house were people who had
fled from air raids on the city of Kandahar to the village in order to
seek safety. Many people also fled the village clinic fearing that it
too would be bombed.
Meanwhile, the United Nations said officially that US bombing operations
target civilian areas in Kabul because the Taliban send forces to
them. The United Nations spokeswoman, Stephanie Banker(ph.), said a
large number of bombs hit civilian areas in Khair Khana neighborhood, close to
medical and food centres. Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad
that the residential neighborhood of Makrurian was also hit.
The spokeswoman considered that these residential neighborhoods and some
of the villages surrounding Kabul had been rendered more dangerous due
to the presence of Taliban. She also admitted that an American air attack
devastated a hospital on the outskirts of the western city of Herat. The
Taliban claimed that the hospital had been destroyed on Sunday, killing
The Daily Attacks
The events follow after 45 Afghans were reported killed in American
attacks on the cities of Kabul, Herat and Kandahar early this
morning. Eyewitnesses said that rockets fired by the Taliban at the town
of Charikar north of Kabul which is controlled by the Northern Alliance,
killed two civilians and injured ten.
The Afghan Islamic News Agency said that American attacks hit a convoy
of trucks carryin fuel from Herat which is close to the Iranian border, to
Kandahar. The agency said that five people were burned to death when the
trucks caught fire.
A spokesman for the Taliban information ministry Abdelhanan Hamat said
that American attack son Herat hit a mosque with worshippers in it and a
number of civilian homes killing 15 and injuring 25. He added that 25
more people were killed in Dar Aman neighborhood south of Kabul. No
independent parties have confirmed these Taliban claims.
The Taliban ambassador in Pakistan, Abdelsalam Zaeef declared that Usama
Bin Laden and and the Taliban leader are alive and well inside
Afghanistan after three weeks of heavy bombing by the United States. Zaeef
traces of chemicals had been found on the bodies of Afghans hit in the
In London, British defence secretary Geoff Hoon claimed that American
and British strikes on Afghanistan had destroyed nine Al-Qaida training
camps had badly damaged nine airports and 24 military camps. He said the
attacks are continuing to put pressure on the Taliban and weakening its ability
to resist advances by the Northern Alliance.
Speaking at a press conference, Hoon added that Britain would soon
decide whether or not to deploy ground forces to Afghanistan. He said that
Britain has forces that are ready to move in the case that it is decided
to deploy them to the field in Afghanistan. These forces include 600
Royal Marines deployed in the Gulf or for joint British-Omani exercises.
The Northern Alliance
The Northern Alliance spokesman said that American warplanes had
attacked their frontline with the Taliban within the framework of coordination
with the opposition forces. Muhammad Atta, one of the principal military
leaders of the Alliance that this morning's air attacks came as part of
"a coordinated air and ground assault" on Kashanda during the night which
is 70 kms south of Mazar Sharif, one of the most important cities in
Atta said that between 10 and 20 Taliban fighters had been killed in the
overnight battles. He said that Northern Alliance forces had succeeded
in "putting great pressure on the Taliban." The Northern Alliance announced
its readiness to move towards the capital Kabul.
Sources: Al-Jazira and Agencies
Poisoning the Well
Published on Friday, October 26, 2001
by Rahul Mahajan
The first principle of humanitarian relief is that it be impartial, that aid
be given on the basis of need without any consideration of political
The United States government, the same government that aroused international
execration by using Red Cross markings on planes used to smuggle arms to the
contras in Nicaragua, has once again made a mockery of that principle with
its conduct in Afghanistan.
Its conduct to this point was bad enough causing the suspension of aid
programs for weeks because of threats of bombing; constructing a
"humanitarian" reason to bomb (air drops are required to feed people, the
planes will be endangered, so we must bomb to suppress air defenses);
causing renewed suspension because of the bombing; and the piece de
resistance, adding insult to injury by dropping 35000 meals a day to replace
programs that had fed millions. That last has been repeatedly criticized by
aid organizations as associating humanitarian operations with military
assault, thus making aid work far more difficult and dangerous as a
spokesperson for Doctors Without Borders put it, "We do not want to be
perceived as a part of the U.S. military campaign."
At a Pentagon news briefing on Wednesday, however, this politicization was
taken to new heights with the invocation of unnamed "sources" claiming that
"there are reports that the Taliban might poison the food and try to blame
the United States," according to Rear Adm. John Stufflebeem, deputy director
of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He went on to warn Afghans
receiving aid, "If it comes from Taliban control, they must be careful."
It scarcely needs mentioning that poisoning one's own populace is senseless,
and that there is no reason to suppose the Taliban is planning anything of
the sort. In fact, it was reported yesterday that officials from the World
Food Program expressed "surprise" at the allegations, with one saying "If
they're talking about the food we deliver, there's not been a single
instance that we know of in which the Taliban have tampered with it. Stolen,
yes, but not tampered."
When contacted, Sam Barratt of Oxfam International, currently working out of
Peshawar, Pakistan, characterized the Pentagon statement as "deeply
unhelpful," adding, "This claim further goes to undermine the position of
aid agencies in the country."
It's well known that our government frequently uses "disinformation" in
wartime. And we find out long afterward. We know now that the story about
Iraqi soldiers throwing Kuwaiti babies out of incubators was a fabrication
created by a Washington PR firm and that the "nurse" testifying about it was
the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States, who wasn't even
in the country at the time. We found that out, but not before an Amnesty
International report about it was circulated to all the media and to all of
Congress, playing a major role in building support for the Gulf War.
In order to combat disinformation effectively, however, we will have to
learn how to recognize it before the war is over, while it's still relevant
to current affairs. And, in fact, we've already seen open evidence of its
use in this crisis. Government officials were forced to admit that reports
that the terrorists targeted Air Force One were untrue (presumably they were
circulated to further anger the American public).
If we do manage to have the courage of our intellectual convictions, the
question still remains, "What is our government trying to do?"
A clue may be found in previous statements by Deputy Secretary of State
Richard Armitage, who expressed concern early on that humanitarian
operations be conducted ''in a manner that does not allow this food to fall
into the hands of the Taliban." Since the Taliban, as the men with guns,
will always be fed while there is any food in the country, this seems like a
hint that the United States would consider interfering with the supply of
humanitarian aid in Taliban-controlled areas, in order to erode public
support for the Taliban. Further hints come today, with the second bombing
of a Red Cross warehouse complex in Kabul. It was entirely plausible that
the first strike was accidental, but the second does make one wonder.
Obviously, there is no way to know, but some vigilance is definitely in
Such tactics are not at all foreign to the U.S. government. Making the
Chilean economy and later the Nicaraguan "scream" was an essential,
deliberate part of destabilizing the Allende and Sandinista governments.
UN agencies have warned that 7.5 million people are dependent on aid for
their survival through the coming winter. UNICEF has estimated that 100,000
children may die. The U.S. government has continued its protracted bombing
campaign in the face of numerous concerted from private aid agencies and
from the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right of Access to Food for a bombing
halt so that supplies can be trucked in. Simultaneously, the noncombatant
toll of the bombings continues to grow a bus in Kandahar, a hospital in
He*rat, numerous private homes, and more.
Notwithstanding its invocation of humanitarian concerns, the U.S. government
has shown a criminal indifference to human life. It has sabotaged one of the
few truly noble, truly heroic efforts in the modern world humanitarian aid.
It has also severely tainted public discourse, to the point where it is
difficult to know what is true and what is not.
Among Afghans and other peoples for whom water is scarce, poisoning a well
is the deepest crime, more powerfully symbolic even than taking a human
life. The reason is that it takes something vital, something necessary to
preserving life, and perverts it into a force of destruction.
That is what our government has now done.
Rahul Mahajan serves on the National Board of Peace Action and is a member
of the Nowar Collective (www.nowarcollective.com). He is the author of the
forthcoming "The New Crusade: America's War on Terrorism" (Monthly Review
Press http://www.monthlyreview.org/mrpress.htm) He can be contacted at
Also of interest:
Afghan War photos
Afghan war costs $1.2 billion per month
Christian Science Monitor
At the present level of military activity, the the war in
Afghanistan is costing about $1.2 billion per month to the
United States. That's a hefty price tag, but not nearly as
much as the Gulf War. (10/30/01)
FBI terror detentions questioned
The FBI has detained nearly 1,000 people in conjunction with
its anti-terrorism investigation -- and has repeatedly refused
to provide any details. Civil liberties groups want to know if
any detainees have been charged with crimes. (10/30/01)
The CIA, the American oligarchy and the war in Afghanistan
A commentary on the Abdul Haq debacle
Terrorism Cripples U.S. Consumer Spending
Foreigners Rush to Help Taliban
AINGARI, Afghanistan - Thousands of armed Pakistanis and
other foreigners are pouring into Kabul and fanning out
toward the front lines to help the Taliban fight any ground
offensive or advance by the opposition Northern Alliance,
according to refugees arriving Sunday in rebel territory from
Decent People Reject Terrorism and U.S. Bombing at the Same Time
By Chandra Muzaffar
America's Crisis Can Help Us Connect With Victims of Terror Around the World
"In spite of the tremendous pain, the intolerable losses that this
apocalyptic crime has visited upon the American public, I wonder if this
trial does not constitute one of those opportunities for regeneration and
self-knowledge that, from time to time, is given to certain nations. A
crisis of this magnitude can lead to renewal or destruction, it can be used
for good or for evil, for peace or for war, for aggression or for
reconciliation, for vengeance or for justice, for the militarisation of a
society or its humanisation." So writes Ariel Dorfman, a powerful voice
against the terror unleashed by Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.
17 Arrested at Connecticut Anti-War Rally
Jets strike Kabul on day of prayer
U.S. jets struck the Afghan capital on Friday, the Muslim
sabbath. Kabul was rocked with huge explosions and bombs
reportedly blasted a Red Cross compound for the second
time this month. (10/26/01)
Afghan Exiles Call for Bombing Halt
WASHINGTON - U.S. warplanes struck northern Taliban positions
anew Thursday and attacked suspected hideouts of Osama bin Laden
in eastern Afghanistan, even as a conference of 1,500 exiled
Afghan leaders in Pakistan pleaded for an end to the air
campaign and called on foreigners such as Mr. bin Laden to leave
U.S. criticized for cluster bomb use
Dallas Morning News
U.S. officials face international criticism after American
aircraft struck an Afghan village with a cluster bomb, killing
eight people and scattering deadly unexploded "bomblets"
through village streets. Cluster bombs are controversial and
the target of a campaign to ban their use. (10/25/01)
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