[sixties-l] Antiwar News...(# 30) (fwd)

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Date: Thu Nov 15 2001 - 03:38:20 EST

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    Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 13:11:03 -0800
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: Antiwar News...(# 30)

    Antiwar News...(# 30)

    --Afghan civilians flee hell on earth
    --Killing Them Softly: Dollars and Starvation for Afghan Kids
    --Health Catastrophe in Afghanistan
    --Thousands protest U.S. airstrikes
    --Kuwait MPs Demand End to U.S. Afghan Strikes
    --Afghans the victims of US terrorism
    --Fight War, Not Wars: The Student Anti-War Movement
    --Bombing and occupation of ICRC facilities in Afghanistan
    --Why America Must Stop the War Now
    --Bombing Halt Now or Mass Starvation by Thanksgiving?
    --Another 13 civilians die in bungled bomb attack
    --Bombing errors prove major test for US resolve
    --Witnesses: Bombs Kill 10 Near Kabul
    --U.S. Bombs Mistakenly Hit Red Cross, United Nations Facilities in Afghanistan
    --Red Cross say US destroyed aid for 55,000 Afghans
    --Stray bomb hits Afghanistan

    Also of interest (links only):
            *Heavy U.S. Strikes Raise Civilian Toll
    (Anti-war links/resources at the end.)

    Afghan civilians flee hell on earth


    By Muhammad Sadik, Arab News Staff

    WASHINGTON/ISLAMABAD, 29 October - It took a split second for a "stray" bomb
    yesterday to wipe out eight members of a single Afghan family, including
    three babies and other children. Images of this and other civilians and
    suffering in Afghanistan continued yesterday to sicken millions of people
    across the world.

    The Taleban were again attacked by US warplanes; and again they showed no
    obvious sign of weakening. As winter nears, the daily pattern of death and
    destruction - with no apparent gain - has become firmly established.
    Refugees continue to flee the hell on Earth that Afghanistan has become in
    their thousands.

    Beleaguered President Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan complained that the
    civilian toll was "excessive," but opposition took on a new and dramatic
    urgency in his own country when the Islamist party threatened a mass sit-in
    to force Musharraf to resign. Then two other radical Muslim youth groups in
    Pakistan's tribal regions publicly threatened supporters of Afghanistan's
    former King, Muhammad Zahir Shah, with death.

    The US operation is foundering in the face of stiff resistance from the
    Taleban, rising bombing errors and mounting civilian casualties, and a
    growing tide of refugees. US warplanes opened up a new front in the war
    against the Taleban, dropping 10 bombs on militia positions in northeast
    Afghanistan, an opposition general said. Atiqullah Baryalai, a vice defense
    minister and general for the opposition Northern Alliance, told foreign
    reporters "some bombs hit their targets and some did not."

    It is the first time since US air raids on Taleban targets started on Oct. 7
    that Taleban positions in northeast Afghanistan, close to the Tajikistan
    border, have been targeted. Al-Muhajiroon group in Pakistan said three
    Britons and two American Muslims were killed while fighting alongside the

    Territory controlled by the opposition Northern Alliance is concentrated in
    the region. Baryalai said the Alliance had given its accord several weeks
    ago for US airstrikes in northeast Afghanistan.

    Foreign reporters taken to the opposition-controlled Ai Khanun hill
    overlooking Taleban positions heard three strikes over a three hour period
    from midmorning yesterday. Jet engines could still be heard flying over the
    region as night fell.

    Two radical Muslim youth groups in Pakistan's tribal regions publicly
    threatened supporters of Zahir Shah with death. "Any person who works for
    the return of the ex-king or takes part in attempts to overthrow the Taleban
    government will be killed, his house burned and his family expelled from the
    zone," the groups said.

    Qazi Hussain Ahmad, the head of the Jamaat-e-Islami, told a rally in the
    eastern city of Lahore that the sit-in in Islamabad, for which he did not
    give a date, would result in the ouster of the Musharraf government and be
    the catalyst for an Islamic revolution.

    And in a further sign of growing anti-US sentiment an estimated 25,000
    people, organized by the hard-line Islamic Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI),
    massed in Lahore demanding the ousting of Musharraf for supporting
    Washington. The Organization of the Islamic Conference yesterday reiterated
    its condemnation of last month's attacks on the US, but expressed concern
    over civilian casualties from the airstrikes on Afghanistan.

    At least 10 civilians were killed as a bomb hit three houses in the
    impoverished Char Qala neighborhood in Kabul. The dead included several
    children, including three babies, witnesses told reporters. One man was
    decapitated. Witnesses in Kabul said the bomb, one of four dropped on the
    capital early in the morning, destroyed three houses in the Char Qala area.

    Eight members of one family - father, mother and their three sons and three
    daughters - were among the dead. Ahib Dad, a 45-year-old father of four,
    held his dead baby son in his arms and wept uncontrollably. "I heard the
    sound of the plane and I came out to see which way it was going. Suddenly it
    bombed our home. I lost two of my children," he told reporters.

    One grieving old man added: "These are infidels they want to eliminate
    Muslims and Islam. There was nothing to be bombed in this house." The
    Taleban claimed last week that more than 1,000 civilians died in US raids
    countrywide - a figure Washington has rejected - and an AFP tally of
    civilian deaths compiled from non-Taleban sources stands at 390 - 37 of them
    in Kabul.

    As the pounding of Afghanistan entered a fourth week, US forces also mounted
    attacks on the key northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, the Taleban stronghold
    of Kandahar and the cities of Herat and Jalalabad. Three people were
    reportedly killed.

    Abdullah Abdullah, foreign minister for the Northern Alliance, said he
    believed some militants had already begun crossing into Afghanistan and
    demanded that Pakistan stop them. "Whatever it is, it has to be stopped,"
    Abdullah told reporters in Jabal Seraj. "Pakistan cannot claim to cooperate
    with the international alliance, get debt relief and then allow thousands to
    cross and fight the people of Afghanistan."

    In a parallel move, other tribesmen have since Thursday - the start of the
    gathering on the border - blocked the historic "Silk Road" to China in
    protest at the US attacks, stranding hundreds of cars and trucks and
    threatening to blow up any vehicle that attempts to force its way through.

    Police said they believed the massacre in Bahawalpur may have been an act of
    terrorist revenge against the US bombings. The killings, commented Jordan's
    King Abdallah, underscore concerns that "Osama Bin Ladens" around the world
    are trying to pit East against West.

    In London, British Prime Minister Tony Blair prepared to urge a confused
    British public to show "moral fibber" by holding firm in the fight against
    terrorism, as ministers stressed Britain was committed "for the long haul".

    "Britain is a very moral nation with a strong sense of right and wrong, and
    that moral fibber will defeat the fanaticism of the terrorists and their
    supporters," Blair was expected to tell the Welsh Assembly tomorrow,
    according to Downing Street.

    A further blow came Friday when opposition commander Abdul Haq, a hero of
    Afghan resistance to the 1979-1989 Soviet occupation, was captured and
    executed by the Taleban.

    The ruling militia refused to allow Abdul Haq's body back into Pakistan for
    burial next to his wife and children - killed in an attack blamed on the
    Taleban - and buried him instead in his home village, an aide said. The
    story of how he was captured and killed emerged from an account yesterday in
    the Washington Post, when a US contact related how Abdul Haq entered
    Afghanistan "on a brazen personal mission to recruit Taleban defectors born
    of frustration over US indifference to his efforts."

    The Post said Abdul Haq expected to find anti-Taleban support in border
    villages, but found instead people outraged with the US campaign and the
    civilian death toll. He was cornered while attempting to escape on horseback
    with a party of 19 and asked for US helicopters to rescue him, said the
    associate, James Ritchie, but they never arrived. "The US hung him out to
    dry," Ritchie told the Post.

    But US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told ABC television yesterday that
    the United States did provide "air assistance" to Abdul Haq before he was
    captured and killed. Rumsfeld would not confirm that air cover was given by
    intelligence operatives, but said the US military was not involved and
    support came "from another element of the government."

    Abdul Haq "requested assistance and received it," Rumsfeld said, adding:
    "The assistance unfortunately was from the air, and he was on the ground.
    And regrettably, he was killed."

    In Amman, King Abdullah warned in an interview with AFP that any attack on
    an Arab country as part of the US-led campaign would result in a "great

    "The heinous crime that was committed in the United States is a crime
    against all of us," he said, but added: "In no way should the Arabs be held
    responsible for these crimes. We have explained to the coalition the great
    catastrophe if an Arab country is hit," Abdullah said, when asked about the
    possibility of an Arab country, notably Iraq, being targeted.

    Islamabad has allowed US warplanes and missiles to fly across its territory
    and granted the use of air bases for emergency landings and possible search
    and rescue missions into Afghanistan.

    The government's stance has been backed by most Pakistanis but is opposed by
    Islamic radicals and sections of the population with ethnic ties to
    Afghanistan's dominant Pashtun tribe.

    Pakistani authorities were monitoring thousands of armed Pashtuns camped
    near the border and waiting for a call from the Taleban to cross into
    Afghanistan and join the anti-US fight. They were in Bajaur tribal area of
    North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and were armed with Kalashnikov
    automatic rifles, small machine-guns and rocket launchers, police said.

    The Interior Ministry said they are led by Soofi Muhammad, head of Tehreek
    Nifaz-e-Sharia Mohammadi (TNSM) group which wants Islamic Shariah law in
    Pakistan. "We will resist if the authorities try to stop us. The jihad will
    start here," a spokesman for the group, Qazi Ihsanullah, told reporters.

    The chief of the Organization of Islamic Conference yesterday expressed
    concern over civilian casualties from the airstrikes on Afghanistan. "The
    condemnation of the attacks on the US made in a resolution at a meeting of
    the foreign ministers of OIC countries last month stands," OIC chief
    Abdelouahed Belkeziz told reporters in Dhaka.

    "But the deaths and damages inflicted by the US-led attacks on Afghanistan
    are causing considerable concern around the world," said Belkeziz, who is on
    a four-day visit to Bangladesh. "OIC always stands against civilian

    At a meeting with Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.Q.M. Badruddoza Chowdhury,
    Belkeziz said "a big fund" was being raised by the OIC to support the
    "distressed people of Afghanistan", the official BSS news agency said. They
    also discussed the Palestinian problem and "the need to protect the
    inalienable rights of the Palestinian people", the agency said without
    giving details.



    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Tony Murphy 212-633-6646

    Monday, October 29, 2001
    email - iacenter@iacenter.org

    Demonstrations in 20 Other Countries
    Rally Photos and Interviews Available

    On Saturday, people in 75 cities throughout the U.S.
    demanded an end to the U.S. war against Afghanistan, as the
    mounting civilian destruction in Afghanistan causes support
    for the bombing campaign to crumble. They were joined by
    thousands more in 40 cities in 20 other countries.

    The coalition known as International A.N.S.W.E.R. -- Act Now
    to Stop War and End Racism -- set that day, Oct. 27, as an
    international day of protest, and in New York, New Zealand,
    Los Angeles, Japan, Boston, England, the Philipines and more
    -- in a count of at least 120 anti-war events in 20
    countries -- the burgeoning anti-war movement came out in

    The streets in cities all over the world saw thousands
    oppose war, racial profiling, and the U.S.' new so-called
    anti-terrorist law, which protesters say is a thin cover for
    an assault on civil liberties.

    Thousands packed the streets in New York and Los Angeles.
    Orlando, Florida saw thousands gather in the Orlando Magic's
    sports arena for "Operation Education." Protesters in New
    Zealand held the U.S.-led coalition attacking Afghanistan in
    violation of international law in an impromptu people's
    court. Denver's capitol was descended upon; two rallies were
    held in Washington D.C.; and in San Francisco protesters
    jammed Mission High School (PHOTO -- Peter Maiden/SF

    On the same day, the worldwide chorus of voices demanding an
    end to the bombing was joined by the Red Cross, after its
    warehouses in Afghanistan were hit for the second time and
    twice in one day. Even Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf,
    whose regime has acted as a U.S. war ally, called for the
    bombing to end.

    "Mosques, hospitals, villages and homes -- the targets being
    destroyed by U.S. and British warplanes are following a
    pattern that can't be chalked up to 'collateral damage,'"
    said Teresa Gutierrez, an A.N.S.W.E.R. organizer based in
    New York.

    "The massive rallies first organized by A.N.S.W.E.R. have
    blossomed into an international movement against war and
    racism. The worldwide demonstrations on Oct. 27 took place
    as a war -- advertised as taking place to stop terrorism --
    is in fact committing terrorism."

    The full list of anti-war activities -- too numerous to list
    here -- includes events in the following cities:

    For fuller descriptions of the 120 events held on Oct. 27,
    go to www.internationalanswer.org/o27.html).


    Killing Them Softly: Dollars and Starvation for Afghan Kids


    The Pentagon's air drops of food parcels and President Bush's plea for
    American children to aid Afghan kids with dollar bills will go down in
    history as two of the most cynical maneuvers of media manipulation in the
    early 21st century. Many U.S. news outlets have been eager to play along. A
    New York Times editorial proclaimed that "Mr. Bush has wisely made providing
    humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people an integral part of American
    strategy." Four days later, on Oct. 12, the same newspaper still had nothing
    but praise for the U.S. government's food aid charades: "His reaffirmation
    of the need for humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan -- including
    donations from American children -- seemed heartfelt."

    While thousands of kids across the United States stuff dollar bills into
    envelopes and mail them to the White House, the U.S. government continues a
    bombing campaign that is accelerating the momentum of mass starvation in

    Relief workers have voiced escalating alarm. Jonathan Patrick, an official
    with the humanitarian aid group Concern, minced no words. He called the food
    drops "absolute nonsense."

    "What we need is 20-ton trucks in huge convoys going across the border all
    the time," said Patrick, based in Islamabad. But when the bombing began, the
    truck traffic into Afghanistan stopped.

    In tandem with the bombing campaign, the U.S. government launched a PR blitz
    about its food-from-the-sky effort. But the Nobel-winning French
    organization Doctors Without Borders has charged that the gambit is
    "virtually useless and may even be dangerous." One aid group after another
    echoes the assessment. The U.S. has been dropping 37,000 meals a day on a
    country where several million Afghans face the imminent threat of
    starvation. Some of the food, inevitably, is landing on minefields.

    The food drops began on Sunday, Oct. 7, simultaneous with the start of the
    bombing. "As of Thursday, a Pentagon spokeswoman said more than 137,000 of
    the yellow-packaged rations had been dropped," the Knight-Ridder News
    Service reported on Oct. 12. "International aid organization officials say,
    however, that around 5 million Afghans are in danger of starvation because
    the nation's borders are sealed and food supplies are diminishing by the
    day -- meaning that only a tiny percentage of the hungry are receiving the
    U.S. food." The borders are sealed because of the continuous bombing.

    Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld wasn't worried about provoking appropriate
    derision and outrage when he told reporters on Oct. 8: "It is quite true
    that 37,000 rations in a day do not feed millions of human beings. On the
    other hand, if you were one of the starving people who got one of the
    rations, you'd be appreciative."

    Avowedly, the main targets of the bombing are the people in the bin Laden
    network and their Taliban supporters. But the rhetorical salvoes will be
    understood, all too appropriately, in wider contexts. "We will root them out
    and starve them out," Rumsfeld said, just before closing a news conference
    with a ringing declaration: "We are determined not to be terrorized."

    Supposedly, bombing Afghanistan is going to make us safer back here in the
    USA. But as soon as the attacks began on Oct. 7, the FBI called for
    heightened alerts across the United States -- because the risk of another
    deadly attack in this country had just increased. What's wrong with this

    Unlike the media herd, longtime foreign correspondent Robert Fisk is
    exploring key questions. "President Bush says this is a war between good and
    evil," he writes in the London-based Independent newspaper. "You are either
    with us or against us. But that's exactly what bin Laden says. Isn't it
    worth pointing this out and asking where it leads?"

    Fisk asks other questions that aren't ready for prime time: "Why are we
    journalists falling back on the same sheep-like conformity that we adopted
    in the 1991 Gulf War and the 1999 Kosovo war? ... Is there some kind of
    rhetorical fog that envelopes us every time we bomb someone?"

    In wartime, media accounts seem to zigzag between selected facts and easy
    sentimentality. Michael Herr, a journalist who covered the Vietnam War,
    later wrote that the U.S. media "never found a way to report meaningfully
    about death, which of course was really what it was all about." Obscured by
    countless news stories, "the suffering was somehow unimpressive." Accustomed
    to seeing its military might as self-justifying, the USA powered ahead. "We
    took space back quickly, expensively, with total panic and close to maximum
    brutality," Herr observed. "Our machine was devastating. And versatile. It
    could do everything but stop."

    In its Oct. 12 editorial, headlined "Mr. Bush's New Gravitas," the New York
    Times concluded that the current president is providing exactly the kind of
    leadership we need: "As he reflected on the sorrow, compassion and
    determination that have swept the country since those horrifying hours on
    the morning of Sept. 11, he seemed to be a leader whom the nation could
    follow in these difficult times."

    Among the leadership qualities most appreciated by editorial writers is the
    Bush administration's aptitude for shameless propaganda. While the Pentagon
    keeps dropping tons of bombs, it scatters some meals to the winds. While the
    U.S. government persists with a bombing campaign that shows every sign of
    resulting in mass starvation, the president urges the young people of the
    United States to send in dollar bills -- "to join in a special effort to
    help the children of Afghanistan."


    Health Catastrophe in Afghanistan

    By Nora Belfedal

    In light of the attacks on the Afghani people carried out by the United
    States and the United Kingdom, humanitarian organizations and the United
    Nations have sent out emergency calls for help. But ironically, the U.S.
    and Britain have also sought to assist people who are in need of healthcare
    as a way of emphasizing that their war is not against the Afghani people,
    but against the "terrorists" who are living there.

    The U.N. office in Geneva and the World Health Organization (WHO) talk of
    an alarming "health crisis". The number of refugees from Afghanistan now
    exceeds seven and a half million (mostly women and children) and most of
    the aid workers who were previously assisting them are gone (Reuters).

    The life-expectancy rate in Afghanistan is 45.3 years for men and 47.2 for
    women according to WHO, while infant mortality is about 25% - one of the
    lowest in the world (WFP).

    After the deaths of four workers at the U.N.-funded Afghan Technical
    Consultants (ATC), and of more civilians in Kabul on October 8 as a result
    of the U.S. attacks, the U.N. and Amnesty International urged America and
    Britain to halt their attacks in order to give humanitarian services time
    to provide food and primary healthcare (Amnesty International). "We are
    losing critical time to bring in the food to distribute before this coming
    winter," says the Director of Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF-Holland,
    Doctors Without Borders).

    Answering to this request and in "respect for" the Muslim holy day, the air
    strikes on Afghanistan were halted for one day - a Friday - last week.
    However, more time is needed to distribute the winter supplies before the
    notorious Afghan winter descends on an unprepared people.

    But access to food, shelter and clothing are not the only problems the
    average Afghani has to face. The spread of contagious diseases, especially
    in refugee camps, has become a major concern for the Afghani people. Five
    thousand cases of cholera and 100 cholera- related deaths have already been
    recorded; yet not all cases can be documented (Reuters). Other deadly
    diseases are also further exacerbating the heath crisis, including malaria
    - which is responsible for at least 3,000,000 estimated cases per year.

    In addition, UNICEF reports that polio and measles are responsible for 21%
    of deaths in Afghani children and that tuberculosis is also a major health
    issue. The Afghanistan National Tuberculosis Institute reports that there
    are between 22,000 and 33,000 tuberculosis-deaths annually (AFP).

    Many other diseases have also been recorded, including dysentery, typhoid
    and yellow fever or Gulran disease (reliefweb.int). In addition, a new
    Ebola-like virus - which causes its victims to bleed to death - has killed
    several people (Reuters).

    Most of the infections mentioned above are caused by the worst drought in
    30 years, very poor sanitation and malnutrition. Only 13% of the Afghan
    population has access to drinkable water says UNICEF. The drought has
    destroyed most fields and killed up to 70% of cattle in many parts of the
    country. According to WFP, millions of Afghans are malnourished and at risk
    of starvation. Aid organizations have stocks of food, but due to the recent
    U.S. strikes, cannot distribute them.

    In addition to health problems, starvation and malnourishment, cold weather
    exposure is another major concern. This winter, WHO anticipates an increase
    in respiratory infections, which usually account for 20% of deaths in small
    children. Last winter saw more than 150 people dying every week says Dr.
    Wahdati, WHO's officer in Afghanistan. He fears that the combination of
    malnutrition, cold and overcrowding this year might devastate this already
    impaired population.

    Another unusual health risk in Afghanistan is hidden land mines.
    Afghanistan is still littered with mines left over by the Soviets during
    the war in the late 70's and early 80's. Many of the refugees heading for
    aid camps either die or are in need of amputations after stepping on the
    hidden mines that litter their paths.

    Children are usually the first victims of the mines because the Russian
    explosives misleadingly resemble toys or butterflies. Forty-five to 100
    Afghans are killed or injured by mines every week. Children represent two
    out of every five victims (www.globeandmail.com).

    In addition, the health situation for women is particularly terrible.
    Studies have shown that communal bereavements negatively affect fetuses and
    that many women give birth to very low weight or premature babies
    (Reuters). Afghanistan has the second highest maternal mortality rate in
    the world, at 1,700 per 100,000 live births (UNICEF). In a study lead by
    Dr. Zohra Rasekh, the majority of Afghani women have reported a physical
    and mental health decline.

    However, even if an Afghani can survive all the health risks in their
    country, they rarely escape from the mental disorders that plague the
    population. As a result of 22 years of non-stop war, the Afghan population
    suffers from many post-traumatic stress disorders. Human rights abuses and
    scenes of violence have further mentally weakened and traumatized Afghanis,
    especially children.

    UNICEF conducted a study and found out that 72% of children have lost at
    least one family member and that two-thirds of them have seen dead body.
    "We are reminded daily of the physical scars of war on children, but the
    results of this study confront us with the fact that the mental wounds are
    as deep," said UNICEF's Executive Director.

    Young children worry about their futures and that of their families, and
    75% of them do not expect to live to adulthood.

    Now the question is what can we do for them? The least thing we can do is
    remember our brothers and sisters in our du'a (supplications) and donate
    money to organizations associations like UNICEF, which can be trusted to
    actually distribute supplies in an ethical manner.

    Another way to help is "^to stay informed of the situation there, to try
    and hear different sides of any story, and to try and come to an
    independent analysis," says Austen David, Director General of MSF-Holland.

    Last but not least, is to volunteer and go abroad to work with humanitarian
    organizations and "stand for the dignity of all human beings." If it is
    impossible to volunteer then "it is always possible to organize discussion
    groups, debates, or support groups," advises Austen. Those groups should
    stay in contact with organizations that will help guide them toward
    properly providing for needy people in Afghanistan, and anywhere else in
    the world (MSF-Holland).


    AFP. Agence France Press. "Tuberculosis spreading in Afghanistan killing
            thousands: experts"
    MSF-Holland, "Q&A: Afghanistan's humanitarian crisis"
    MSF. Medecins Sans Frontieres, "A closer look at MSF in Afghanistan and
            Central Asia"
    UNICEF, "Effects of Landmines on Children"
    Rasekh, Zohra Dr. JAMA, "Women's Health and Human Rights in Afghanistan"
    UNICEF, "Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan Region"
    UNICEF, "Afghanistan: Civil Conflict - Latest Information"
    WFP. World Food Program, "Afghanistan: Fear in the camps"


    Thousands protest U.S. airstrikes

    Associated Press

    Islamabad, Pakistan - Answering militant leaders' calls, tens of thousands
    of Pakistanis marched Friday in major cities to protest U.S. airstrikes and
    in the northwest near the Afghan border to back up Taliban fighters.

    It was Pakistan's biggest day of public demonstrations since U.S.-led
    airstrikes in Afghanistan began Oct. 7.

    "This is a strange occasion of world history," said Sufi Mohammad, the
    cleric in Pakistan who summoned Muslims for jihad, or holy war, in
    Afghanistan. "For the first time, all the anti-Islamic forces are united
    against Islam."

    The show of support for the fundamentalist militia that rules neighboring
    Afghanistan came on the Muslim holy day, typically a fertile time for
    demonstrations because of the massing of people in urban mosques throughout
    the afternoon.

    Nearly 40,000 people marched peacefully through central Karachi, Pakistan's
    largest city, still well short of the million summoned to rally by the
    pro-Taliban Afghan Defense Council. A rally in Quetta, a city of 1.2
    million, drew thousands.

    Others, some armed, were said to be answering Mohammad's call to flood
    Afghanistan and repel any American ground incursions. His son said convoys
    of volunteers would enter Afghanistan on Saturday. It was impossible to
    immediately verify how many were en route.

    Mohammad said 10,000 were on the way, many heavily armed. His supporters
    put the number at 100,000.

    "I cannot tolerate the bombing and the cruelty of Americans. I must go.
    Muslims cannot keep silent," said Mamoor Shah, 18, a medicine salesman who
    arrived with hundreds of others - some heavily armed - in the northwestern
    village of Temergarah on Friday night.

    Though most of Pakistan's 145 million people are going about their daily
    business, President Pervez Musharraf's decision to back the U.S.
    anti-terrorism effort against Afghanistan has outraged many in the Islamic

    Some militant leaders have called for holy war against the United States,
    and hundreds have responded, vanishing across the border into Afghanistan's
    rugged terrain. Others have poured into urban streets, denouncing America
    and Musharraf for cooperating in the effort to root out suspected terrorist
    Osama bin Laden's installations.

    The rally in Karachi, a city of 12 million, choked streets. The only
    reported disorder: damage to a KFC billboard, a symbol of American culture.

    In the border city of Quetta, site of some of the worst disorder in recent
    weeks, about 10,000 people packed a mountain-encircled soccer stadium after
    Friday prayers. Demonstrators sat on the soccer field waving banners -
    "Osama is our hero" and "There are no terrorists in Afghanistan."


    Kuwait MPs Demand End to U.S. Afghan Strikes

    Tuesday October 23, 2001
    By Ashraf Fouad

    KUWAIT (Reuters) - Half the members of Kuwait's
    50-strong elected parliament urged the United States
    Tuesday to end its military campaign against
    Afghanistan (news - web sites).

    Expressing growing regional concern, 25 members of the
    only elected parliament in the Muslim conservative Gulf
    Arab region issued a carefully worded statement after
    some MPs spoke out strongly against the United States
    during a session.

    The statement called on the United States ``to end this
    war and seek solutions which lead to the arrest of the
    perpetrator of this crime (on Sept. 11) and present him
    to justice in an honest and fair trial, guaranteeing
    full rights for all parties.''

    The United States began its military campaign against
    Afghanistan and its ruling Taliban on Oct. 7 to flush
    out Saudi-born dissident Osama bin Laden (news - web
    sites), blamed for the Sept. 11 hijacked airliner
    attacks on New York and Washington.


    The MPs' statement put further pressure on the pro-
    Western government which has been trying to perform the
    difficult task of supporting the United States without
    alienating Islamists and tribal groups.

    Kuwait has condemned the attacks on the United States
    and said it supports the U.S. war on terrorism, but
    some influential Islamist politicians are opposed to
    the campaign and have warned the government against
    aiding America.

    The statement said a global accord on the definition of
    terrorism and a modality for conviction of alleged
    terrorists were among prerequisites for cooperation
    with the military campaign.

    Kuwait's liberals criticized the government after the
    September attacks, accusing it of hesitation in
    supporting Washington and failing to offer full
    assistance to the United States, which led the 1991
    Gulf War (news - web sites) military coalition that
    ended a seven-month Iraqi occupation of Kuwait.

    Many in the Islam world have been angered by the
    strikes, which the Taliban claim have killed scores of
    civilians. Analysts said a prolonged war was angering
    ordinary Gulf citizens, even those who are normally
    opposed to the Taliban.

    Islamist MP Waleed al-Tabtabae said in parliament
    Tuesday the strikes would only lead to fresh terrorist

    ``Hitting the innocent makes us and Muslims hate the
    U.S. policy even more. Hate leads to more terrorist
    operations which we reject,'' the Sunni Muslim MP said.

    The Iran-educated Shi'ite clergyman Hussein al-Qalaf,
    who has long been opposed to the Taliban, condemned the
    U.S-led attacks and, like the statement, called for
    action against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
    (news - web sites).

    ``Is the American blood expensive and the Muslim Arab
    blood cheap? Why does America fail to confront the
    crimes of Sharon (against Palestinians), where is the


    Afghans the victims of US terrorism

    The Irish Times
    October 17, 2001
    By Vincent Browne

    All the news bulletins and news channels nowadays have "anchormen" or
    "experts" parading in front of huge maps of Afghanistan, explaining the
    detail of the military assault on the country.

    We are told of the type of bomber used and from what base, the aircraft
    carriers from where the tomahawk missiles are fired. Sometimes we are
    told of the "payload delivered".

    And not a hint of the devastation these "payloads" deliver to the people of
    Afghanistan. The awful terror they bring, the devastation, the injury, the

    We have become morally desensitised to the abominations that are
    clinically conveyed to us night after night on our television screens.

    Nobody at any of the news conferences challenges George Bush or Tony
    Blair or Donald Rumsfeld or Colin Powell about the outrages they are
    perpetrating. We are all part of the consensus that it is OK to bomb a
    country to a pulp with the vastness of the military might the world has ever

    Nobody asks Tony Blair about the "human rights of the suffering women
    of Afghanistan" that he talked about in that speech at the Labour Party
    conference two weeks ago.

    How did the world get to believe that terror and slaughter delivered by a
    bomb in a car was an atrocity, while much more terror and much more
    slaughter delivered by airplane or missile is morally OK?

    Remember all the talk some years ago about the godfathers of violence
    who sat in their comfortable, middle-class homes in Dundalk or
    Buncrana, while their cowardly minions delivered mayhem to the streets
    of Belfast or Derry or Claudy or Omagh?

    What about the godfathers of violence sitting in their stately mansions in
    the White House or Downing Street or Chequers or Camp David, and their
    minions dropping far larger bombs from the security of thousands of feet
    beyond range of retaliation, causing far more mayhem in the homes and
    streets of Kabul, Kandahar, and Jalalabad?

    And all for what?

    Is it believable that the attack on America of September 11th could have
    been planned, directed and co-ordinated from caves in Afghanistan? Or
    that the organisation that was responsible for that attack originates in
    Afghanistan? A great deal of the emerging evidence suggests otherwise.

    Last Wednesday the New York Times published a lengthy portrait of one
    of the organisers and perpetrators of the September 11th attack,
    Mohammed Atta. Atta came from a middle-class family in Cairo, where his
    father was a lawyer.

    He went to Hamburg for several years to get a degree in urban planning
    and he later worked there. "Officials" were quoted as saying there was
    "strong evidence" Atta had trained in terrorist camps in Afghanistan in the
    late 1990s, but we are not told what that evidence is or what it is he could
    have been trained in that would have had any relevance to what happened
    on September 11th.

    It is clear, however, that his radicalism emerged while he was in
    Hamburg, where he associated with people from the Turkish, Arab and
    African communities. He went to Florida in 2000 and trained as an airline

    There is evidence that he received a large sum of money from someone
    in The United Arab Emirates, who "may" have had an association with
    Osama bin Laden.

    A report in Monday's Los Angeles Times quoted FBI sources as saying
    there were several people involved in plotting further attacks on the US
    and they were "at large in the United States and across Europe and the
    Middle East".

    The Los Angeles Times also reported that several people suspected of
    involvement either in the September 11th attack or in planning further
    attacks were from Saudi Arabia and were resident either there or in the

    CBS News on Monday evening quoted Prof Vali Nasr of the University of
    San Diego as saying the Saudi government had "appeased" Islamic
    extremists by funding and promoting a radical form of Islam that sees the
    US as the enemy.

    Other reports from the US suggest that the real source of terrorism is Iran,
    where there are several persons wanted by the US, and, of course, Iraq
    remains a major suspect as a terrorist sponsor.

    So what is the point of the assault on Afghanistan? Yes, Osama bin laden
    and some of his associates are there, but if the vast bulk of those
    suspected of terrorism by the US are either in the US itself or in Hamburg
    or Iran or Saudi Arabia or Iraq, what good will it do if everyone in
    Afghanistan is obliterated?

    How will it reduce the terrorist threat to US if the vast majority of
    terrorists are in places other than Afghanistan?

    If the anthrax attacks are the work of terrorists, does anyone believe that
    the packages containing it were sent from Afghanistan?

    And just one other thing. If the point of the assault on Afghanistan is not
    to defeat terrorism but get Osama bin Laden and bring him to "justice", why
    has the latest offer by the Taliban to send him to an agreed third country
    been dismissed?

    What would it matter if he were taken to one of America's allies such as
    Egypt or even Pakistan or Turkey and "brought to justice" there?

    The reality is that Afghanistan is being devastated and hundreds are
    being slaughtered, on the net issue of bringing bin Laden and his
    associates to justice in the US rather than to some other third agreed
    country. That's what the slaughter is about. And that's putting it at its


    Fight War, Not Wars: The Student Anti-War Movement

    City On the Hill
    University of California at Santa Cruz
    October 24, 2001

    by Kristin Lee
    Women's/Queer Desk Writer

    Father, father, we don't need to escalate
    You see, war is not the answer
    for only love can conquer hate.
    You know, we've got to find a way
    to bring some loving here today
    --The All Star Tribute's 2001 remake of Marvin Gaye's 1971 song "What's
    Going On,"
    protesting the Vietnam War.

    UC Santa Cruz has always been criticized for relishing in the spirit of the
    "make love, not war" mentality. The recent world events are complicating
    that perception. Students now find themselves in a political atmosphere
    similar to the Vietnam War.

    Despite the presence of cell phones and digital cameras, a recent campus
    protest drew comparisons to late 1960s protests against the Vietnam War.
    Students sporting peace signs, banners, and drums chanted, "An eye for an
    eye makes the whole world blind" and "Not our government, not our war,"
    flooding the UCSC campus last week.

    >From coast to coast, a new generation of collegiate Americans are
    gathering to protest the actions of their government. A new era of
    activists are awakening from their sedated peacetime slumber into a
    tumultuous time of conflict.

    During this time of global crisis, college students around the country are
    questioning US foreign policy and reactions to Afghanistan and the Sept. 11
    terrorist attacks.

    According to the New York Times, there have been rallies on more than 100
    campuses. These rallies are often organized by groups of dedicated
    activists that are veterans of the affirmative action and labor struggles
    of recent years. The Peace Movement has benefited from the recent surge of
    student protests that culminated in the anti-globalization IMF protests in
    Seattle and
    Genoa, Italy.

    Strategy: Provide Alternatives

    The common strategy among the protests is to encourage alternatives to
    bombing. Protestors are also focusing on the importance of educating the
    American public about the history of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle
    East. Only then is it possible to recognize U.S. foreign policy as a
    catalyst for the terrorist attacks.

    Carl Bloice, a longtime activist and board member of The Committees of
    Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, advocates for the
    acknowledgement of the role the United States government played in
    supporting the Taliban and other Afghan reactionary forces. "It is quite
    clear at this point a new alliance of reactionaries is being hatched under
    the rubric of 'nation
    building.' It will only bring increased suffering to the people of
    Afghanistan and increased stability to the region."

    Instead of employing military force in Afghanistan, activists have
    suggested prosecuting Osama bin Laden and other terrorist suspects in an
    international war tribunal such as the one currently prosecuting Slobodan
    Milosevic. They cite United States sanctions against Iraq and Israel's
    occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as Western economic
    policies throughout the third world for creating anti-American sentiment.

    UC Santa Cruz: Gaining Momentum

    At UCSC, the opposition to violent governmental actions is mounting. The
    history, politics, and sociology departments along with a number of student
    organizations have each held teach-ins.

    Student alliances, such as the Afghanistan Student Association and the
    Muslim Student Association, have been active in educating students.

    The most attended anti-war demonstration at UCSC was the October 11
    walk-out/teach-in, held on the one-month anniversary of the World Trade
    Center catastrophe. An estimated 1,200 students walked out of their classes
    and marched from the Bay Tree Bookstore to the base of campus.

    The teach-in included a range of speakers including professors, community
    activists, and students as well as an information table equipped with
    activist resources. The teach-in focused on educating the community on the
    context of the attacks.

    Manuel Schwab, a UCSC politics teaching assistant and featured speaker at
    the Oct. 11 teach in, emphasized the need for education regarding the
    current crisis.

    "There is a tendency for people to become outraged in times of war
    regarding international relations," Schwab said. "But they invariably find
    that the politics that are troubling in a time of war are the politics
    they've quietly condoned in a time of peace."

    Schwab felt encouraged by the education occurring at the teach-in.

      "The thing that I found encouraging about the teach-in was the amount of
    really well-informed, educated speakers who approached their anti-war
    perspectives not from the 'stop the bombing, bombing is wrong perspective,'
    but from a really informed standpoint. If that continues, I think we're in
    great shape," he said.

    Aside from the teach-in, anti-war strategies are being exercised by campus

    The Middle Eastern Education Coalition has set up a letter writing campaign
    in front of the UCSC Upper Quarry Plaza. The letters are being sent to
    government representatives, including Senators Barbara Boxer and Diane
    Feinstein, as well as local representative Sam Farr. With help from the
    Santa Cruz Resource Center for Non-Violence, MEEC created a letter that
    protests U.S. military action in Afghanistan, condemns hate crimes and
    discrimination against Arab and Muslim communities, and opposes any efforts
    that diminish civil liberties. MEEC has collected over 1,590 letters of
    protest in the past week. The group also seeks to educate students about
    the Middle East and South Asia.

    Diego Sotelo, a member of MEEC, seeks to foster compassion and
    understanding towards those in the Middle East. "Because many United States
    citizens consider people from these areas as fundamentally different, it
    makes it easier for them to deal with the bombings," Sotelo said.

    "We're trying to bring it home to them that we're all essentially the same

    Sotelo is incredulous that life in the United States still continues at a
    normal pace while Afghanistan is in such a state of chaos.

    "I can't believe we're still in school while this is going on.
    Participating in the anti-war movement is the only thing that makes me feel
    like I'm doing something to end the terror," Sotelo said.

    UC Berkeley: Divided

    Other UC campuses like UC Berkeley are famous for their involvement in
    antiwar politics and activism. Berkeley has had the most prominent activism
    of the UCs. Sproul plaza, made famous by the 1960s Berkeley demonstrators,
    is once again a hotbed of student protest.

    Susan Lopez-Embury is an activist with RISE to PEACE (Peace through
    Education, Action, Consciousness and Empowerment), a group of students in
    the peace and conflict studies department.

    "I am saddened by the military response our country has taken,"
    Lopez-Embury said. "This inevitably means that people who had nothing to do
    with the Sept. 11 tragedy will die unnecessarily."

    Valerie Kao, founder of the Student Peace Action Network at UC Berkeley,
    noticed the difference emerging amongst student opinion. "For the first
    time there is a pretty strong conservative activist contingency on campus,
    which helps make dialogue possible among people with diverse views," she said.

    Jenessa Peterson, a UC Berkeley philosophy major, has had the opportunity
    to attend daily teach-ins protests and forums. Peterson is unclear of the
    overall political stance of the campus.

    "Berkeley seems to be divided. I think most students are still questioning
    things," she said. "The people you encounter at the teach-ins are those of
    us who haven't decided if we're for or against the bombings."

    Kao linked student opinion to recent media coverage of the situation.

    "I think the majority of the students actually don't know or haven't
    decided where they stand on this . A lot of what they know about the
    situation they get from the mainstream media, which is currently debating
    the caliber of military action, instead of questioning whether military
    action is the right approach in the first place," Kao said.

    UC San Diego: Not Anti-American, Just Anti-War

    >From the Socialist Party to the Green Party, the College Democrats to
    various fraternities and sororities, organizations at UC San Diego are
    uniting to explore anti-war alternatives. The campus has had a variety of
    teach-ins, including a hip-hop event that featured an educational session
    taught by two members of the popular hip-hop group Jurassic 5.

    Mara Lee, an activist with the Peace Coalition, seeks to help the community
    understand that peace activists are not anti-American, just anti-war.

    "We are focusing on helping students realize that they can redefine their
    identity as American citizens," she said. "The Peace Coalition wants to
    make the statement that you can be both pro-America and anti-war."

    New York University: Tense

    The New York University campus community has a unique vantage point on the
    current situation. Even before the Sept. 11 attacks, NYU's campus was one
    of the most politically active in the country. Yet the post -Sept. 11
    political climate has been subdued.

    Joseph Azum, a politics and ethics major, describes the campus atmosphere
    as increasingly tense. "For a long time after the attacks, most of the
    campus was just grieving and politics were the farthest thing from anyone's
    mind," he said. "Of course, in the past several weeks the climate has
    intensified significantly."

    NYU's anti-war protests have recently become more visible. The NYU Peace
    Coalition has organized lectures and handed out information. The Campus
    Green Party and the Arab Student United have made strides to help educate
    people about what is really occurring. But according to Azum, there have
    not been traditional protests.

    "The activism here is less about making noise as it is about making sense
    and really hammering home the possible consequences of engaging in a
    prolonged military action.," Azum said.

    Azum's representation of the NYU campus highlights a common student dilemma
    of being pro-military action, but not pro-war.

    "Seeing as how support of the war is tacit, you don't hear much pro-war
    rhetoric," Azum said. "No one on this campus is ignorant enough to not
    understand the necessity of military action. However, we are also not
    ignorant enough to realize the irony of how the U.S. is just now starting
    to take action against the Taliban and Al-Queda," Azum said.

    At NYU and elsewhere, that is what is being protested more than anything --
    the hypocrisy of bombing a nation in the name of good only when it's
    convenient for U.S. interests.

    University Of Pittsburgh: Sassy

    Leftist activists at the University of Pittsburgh have placed printable
    anti-war leaflets on their politically savvy website. The leaflets: "The
    Top Five Lies About This War" and "More Civilians are Dying: Are You
    Feeling Safer?"

    So, Where Does This Leave Us?

    While specific anti-war protest tactics vary slightly amongst the nation's
    college campuses, the focus on education and promoting alternatives to
    military action is consistent.

    Berkeley's Kao encourages the public to be patient in forging a suitable
    solution to the conflict.

    "One of the questions people ask anti-war protestors frequently is ''what
    do you suggest?'" Kao said. "Yet there is no quick-fix solution."

    Santa Cruz's Sotelo wants citizens to acknowledge the consequences of
    military action.

    "People need to understand that the eye for an eye mentality isn't working.
    If we keep bombing Afghanistan, it only fuels the fundamentalists' anger.
    We're asking for retaliation. It's pathetic," he said.

    Activist Carl Bloice advocates for a greater understanding of motives
    behind the conflict.

    "The reason a new reactionary bloc is being put together by the CIA for
    Pakistan intelligence is that the Bush administration's objective has been
    far about more than bring retribution for Sept. 11 or containing
    terrorism," Bloice said. "Much of the world has awakened to the fact that a
    much bigger game is being played here and is inextricably tied to the
    question of control over the
    mineral resources of Central Asia."

    Bloice noted the similarities between today's anti-war movement and that of
    Vietnam, emphasizing the importance of ''speaking truth to power.'

    "It is critically important that the anti-war movement be able to speak of
    the dangerous course that the Bush Administration has embarked upon while
    making clear its total opposition to attacks on civilian non-combatants and
    its revulsion at the anti-human messages of the perpetrators at the attack
    and their accomplices," Bloice said.

    UCSC teaching assistant Schwab recognizes there is only the necessity for
    an educated community of citizens, but the way that education can serve as
    a catalyst for change. "I think step one of any political movement should
    be to educate oneself. People seem to think that this is an overwhelming
    task, but they can start to understand the groundwork in a day or two of
    readings," he said. "Understanding gives all the tools to counteract. To
    really understand the history is the only way to effectively exercise your

    In light of the President Bush's suggestion of sending ground troops to
    Afghanistan, it is unlikely the current global conflict will be a short
    one. In this time of global crisis, advocates of peace need to become more
    vocal to be heard by a government that supports military action and doesn't
    acknowledge the global community.

    Ravi Rajan, UCSC assistant professor of environmental studies, made a plea
    for peace in his speech at the UCSC walk-out that was celebrated with
    resounding student applause. Rajan said, "For, at the end of the day, the
    world is round, and what goes around, comes around. Whatever we do, let us
    not enter into a holy war whatever the provocation. Instead, let us
    brandish our humanity and grace, and turn the other cheek in the hope that
    one day, it will result in a kiss."

    For more information on the anti-war movement: www.protest.net,
    www.indymedia.org, www.pitt.edu/~leftists


    Bombing and occupation of ICRC facilities in Afghanistan

    26 October 2001
    Press Release 01/48

    Geneva (ICRC) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) deplores
    the fact that bombs have once again been dropped on its warehouses in Kabul.
    A large (3X3 m) red cross on a white background was clearly displayed on the
    roof of each building in the complex. Initial reports indicate that nobody
    was hurt in this latest incident.

    At about 11.30 a.m. local time, ICRC staff saw a large, slow-flying aircraft
    drop two bombs on the compound from low altitude. This is the same compound
    in which a building was destroyed in similar circumstances on 16 October. In
    this latest incident, three of the remaining four buildings caught fire. Two
    are said to have suffered direct hits.

    Following the incident on 16 October, the ICRC informed the United States
    authorities once again of the location of its facilities.

    The buildings contained the bulk of the food and blankets that the ICRC was
    in the process of distributing to some 55,000 disabled and other
    particularly vulnerable persons. The US authorities had also been notified
    of the distribution and the movement of vehicles and gathering of people at
    distribution points.

    The ICRC also deplores the occupation and looting of its offices in
    Mazar-i-Sharif which were taken over by armed men three days ago. Office
    equipment, including computers, and vehicles were stolen. ICRC
    representations both to local authorities and to the Taliban ambassador in
    Pakistan have had no effect.

    The ICRC reiterates that attacking or occupying facilities marked with the
    red cross emblem constitutes a violation of international humanitarian law.


    Why America Must Stop the War Now


    by Arundhati Roy
    The Guardian (UK), 2001-10-23.

    As darkness deepened over Afghanistan on Sunday
    October 7 2001, the US government, backed by the
    International Coalition Against Terror (the new,
    amenable surrogate for the United Nations), launched
    air strikes against Afghanistan. TV channels lingered
    on computer-animated images of cruise missiles,
    stealth bombers, tomahawks, "bunker-busting" missiles
    and Mark 82 high drag bombs. All over the world,
    little boys watched goggle-eyed and stopped clamouring
    for new video games.
    The UN, reduced now to an ineffective acronym, wasn't
    even asked to mandate the air strikes. (As Madeleine
    Albright once said, "We will behave multilaterally
    when we can, and unilaterally when we must.") The
    "evidence" against the terrorists was shared amongst
    friends in the "coalition".

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Where will it all lead?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Bombing Halt Now or Mass Starvation by Thanksgiving?

    Monday, October 29, 2001

    Institute for Public Accuracy
    915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
    (202) 347-0020 * http://www.accuracy.org * ipa@accuracy.org

    SARAH ZAIDI, szaidi@cesr.org, http://www.cesr.org
    Research director of the Center for Economic and Social Rights, Zaidi is
    Pakistani. CESR has produced three comprehensive fact sheets on Afghanistan
    since September 11. She said today: "Relief officials on the ground are
    warning that millions -- literally millions -- of Afghan civilians will
    starve to death this winter unless the U.S. military suspends its attacks
    and allows the UN to re-establish effective food distribution. We are
    talking about women, children and the poorest of the poor, who have no
    means to access food in this war zone."

    JIM JENNINGS, conscience@usa.com
    President of Conscience International, a humanitarian aid organization,
    Jennings was in Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan this May and will soon
    return to resume humanitarian work. He said today: "This is a race against
    time and we are losing. Even before September 11, there was a major
    humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, with millions of people facing severe
    food shortages. And even before the bombing began, Afghanistan had the
    largest number of refugees in the world -- and refugees depend on aid for
    survival. The interruption of vital food deliveries and the withdrawal of
    the staff of humanitarian agencies because of the bombing have created a
    dire situation for the already vulnerable population -- 70 percent were
    already malnourished. The Pentagon is claiming progress, but it has
    acknowledged the food drops are minuscule and it is dragging out its
    bombing campaign. Distribution and timing are crucial -- you could have
    food in Kabul and not distribute it to the people who need it in the
    countryside. Time is of the essence: we must act now before winter. The
    bombing has to halt, we need to get food in or Afghan people will begin
    starving in great numbers at about the same time Americans sit down for
    their Thanksgiving feast."

    DOMINIC NUTT, dnutt@christian-aid.org, http://www.christian-aid.org
    Spokesperson for Christian Aid, Nutt recently arrived in London from
    Islamabad. He said today: "The simple fact is that less than 20 percent of
    what needs to is getting into Afghanistan and even less is getting
    distributed. The only way to deal with this is to have a pause in the
    bombing to stockpile food for the winter. The UN is estimating that 7.5
    million people need food aid. People are starving now in some areas,
    according to our source of information from within Afghanistan. It was
    actually starting when I was in Afghanistan this August -- in Herat and
    Ghor Province. Every village I went to had been affected by drought. Camps
    were having deaths from hunger and hunger-related diseases. There are
    coping mechanisms, but after three years of drought they run out -- people
    have eaten the seed stock. About 85 percent of the people live in rural
    communities -- the roads are bad enough when the weather is good, you can't
    get food to those rural areas in the winter. It's going to get worse and
    worse; you could see entire villages wiped out. Governments have
    effectively sponsored the Taliban regime; it's a bit hypocritical, we
    think, for them to say that now it's crucial that they bomb the Taliban.
    Can't you wait four weeks for us to feed millions of innocent people at
    risk of starvation?"

    For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
    Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167


    Another 13 civilians die in bungled bomb attack

    By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
    29 October 2001

    In the second fatal bombing error in less than 24 hours, US strikes on
    Afghanistan killed at least 13 civilians yesterday among them seven
    children who died as they sat eating breakfast with their father.

    The children were killed in the Qali Hotair neighbourhood of northern Kabul,
    the Afghan capital where the US was apparently aiming at military targets on
    the northern and eastern edges of the city. Reports told of a man who lived
    in the house next to where the seven children were killed, hugging the body
    of his own son who was also killed as other corpses lay in the dust.

    The latest civilian casualties came as the US entered its fourth week of
    strikes against targets inside Afghanistan.

    On Saturday, American missiles killed up to nine civilians when a missile
    mistakenly hit two villages in territory controlled by the anti-Taliban
    Northern Alliance. The Pentagon said that it had no immediate comment on
    reports of the casualties.

    Witnesses in Kabul said the missile strikes took place at 7am yesterday
    morning as the US also launched raids against targets in Mazar-i-Sharif,
    Kandahar, Herat and Jalalabad.

    The mother of the seven dead children stood watching as the bodies of the
    youngsters were pulled from a smouldering building and wrapped in shrouds.
    "What shall I do now? Look at their savageness," she said. "They killed all
    of my children and husband. The whole world is responsible for this tragedy.
    Why are they not taking any decision to stop this?"

    The attack on Kabul happened a day after an apparent errant bombardment hit
    two villages behind the rebel military alliance's battle lines north of the
    capital. A third village behind Taliban lines was also hit. Witnesses said
    up to nine civilians were killed and another 10 were injured.

    Kate Rowlands, the British programme director of the Italian-run Emergency
    Surgical Centre for War Victims, which is inside Northern Alliance
    territory, said the centre was starting to see increasing numbers of
    civilian casualties. Those injured inside the territory held by the Taliban
    were crossing the front line on donkeys to seek treatment.

    "Myself and staff are deeply shocked, especially when you see a
    four-year-old child and old people coming in,'' she said. "We are totally
    against any form of war or violent attacks that involve the death and
    mutilation of innocent civilians."

    While the Pentagon said it could not confirm the casualties, the Northern
    Alliance confirmed that some of the strikes had hit the wrong targets.

    Though the US strikes on Saturday were aimed at the Taliban front line north
    of Kabul, they instead struck three villages Ghanikheil and Raqi on the
    opposition side and Nikhahil, which is behind Taliban lines.

    Villagers in Ghanikheil said two mud houses had been hit. In one of them, a
    family was preparing for a wedding, they said. In the worst-hit house, the
    villagers said that a woman aged 20 was killed and six people were hurt.
    Four others were hurt in the second house, they said. "The sound was huge.
    The plane swooped down I could hear it dive,'' said Amin Ullah, aged 70.
    "I heard the huge explosion."

    The Northern Alliance's "foreign minister", Abdullah Abdullah, has called
    for better co-ordination of US targeting, using information provided by his
    forces. "I would say that it could be much more effective than it is," he
    said. "It has paralysed the Taliban. As a military force the Taliban are
    paralysed. But ... there is lots of room for improvement."


    Bombing errors prove major test for US resolve


    By Andrew Buncombe in Washington, Richard Lloyd Parry in Islamabad and Phil
    Reeves in Jerusalem
    29 October 2001

    The US government insisted yesterday that its Afghan campaign was going
    according to plan, despite repeated bombing errors including the killing of
    seven children at their home in the capital, Kabul.

    It was also a bloody Sunday in Pakistan, where 16 Christians and a policeman
    were murdered in an attack on a church service, and in Israel, where
    Palestinian gunmen killed five people in drive-by shootings.

    With anxiety growing about the direction and accuracy of the American
    campaign, the US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, said yesterday: "It is
    going very much as expected, it is going very much as predicted ... it's not
    a quagmire."

    After refusing to comment on reports of intensive raids around Kabul
    yesterday causing at least 13 civilian casualties, including the seven
    children and their father, Mr Rumsfeld said the US was receiving "better
    intelligence" and was closing in on specific targets.

    Sixteen Christians were killed when five masked men sprayed St Dominic's
    church in Bahawalpur, central Pakistan, with gunfire as a service was
    ending. A police guard was also murdered in the attack, which was the worst
    act of violence in Pakistan since the assault on Afghanistan began three
    weeks ago. Although no one claimed responsibility, it realised the worst
    fears of the Pakistani Christian community that it would become a target for
    Islamist extremists.

    Thousands of pro-Taliban volunteers are said to be on the Afghan border,
    ready to help Afghanistan against possible American ground attacks.

    In Israel, five people died in two separate drive-by shootings in the north
    of the country. Two attackers were also killed. Despite the attacks, Israel
    began to withdraw its forces last night from the Palestinian administered
    towns of Bethlehem and Beit Jala, according to government officials and

    There have been four separate reports of accidental US strikes on civilian
    targets in Afghanistan in the past 48 hours, including the bombing of a
    village in the area controlled by the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance.

    In one incident, a stray bomb hit mud houses outside Kabul yesterday,
    killing 13 people, including eight members of one family. The children's
    mother was quoted as saying: "They killed all of my children and husband.
    The whole world is responsible for this tragedy."

    The Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, said yesterday that the Government was
    considering stopping the bombing during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan,
    although he did not rule out continuing the campaign.


    Witnesses: Bombs Kill 10 Near Kabul


    Associated Press Writer
    October 28, 2001

    KABUL, Afghanistan -- ombs smashed three houses in a warren of sun-baked mud
    homes on the northern edge of this battered capital Sunday, killing at least
    10 people, according to neighbors and witnesses.

    The Associated Press saw the bodies of four children and two men in the
    neighborhood of Qali Hotair. Neighbors said the dead were eight members of
    one family and two of another, and that several others were hurt.

    In one mud house, a father hugged the dead body of his young son, who looked
    barely 2 years old. He wailed and cried, rocking the body of the son.

    Nearby were the bodies of three other small children, their sweaters covered
    in dust. Their mother's pale-blue burqa, or long veil, was draped over them.

    In another room, a man's body was covered with a white cloth. His neighbors
    and family were preparing to wash the corpse, in keeping with Islamic

    In nearby homes, there were scenes of wild grief. One woman slapped her
    hands hard against her head until someone stopped her, holding her hands.
    Others beat their chests and wailed.

    "My children they cry all the time. It never stops," said neighbor Zarmeen
    Bibi, speaking from behind her dirty gold burqa, the
    head-and-body-concealing veil women are required to wear.

    Within hours, the dead were already being buried. A procession of men in the
    traditional shalwar kameez -- long tunics and baggy trousers -- carried one
    body shrouded in a black cloth toward the hillside graveyard. They walked
    slowly, ignoring those around them.

    The women, who are not allowed to take part in funeral rites, watched from a
    distance, weeping.

    "I have lost all my family. I am finished," said one, heedlessly pushing up
    her burqa to speak. Others hugged her.

    "My husband, my son. I have lost all my family. What can I do?" she
    continued, crying.

    "They are targeting our houses, oh my God. Why are they doing this?" another
    women screamed.

    A neighbor boy, 13-year-old Shafiqullah, said he saw two women, one with her
    small daughter, taken to the hospital

    "Then I saw them dig another one, I think it was a daughter, from under the
    rubble," he said, hugging himself. "I am afraid always when I see the jets.
    I don't know where it will land."

    The neighborhood shakes every night from the bombing, said Shafiqullah, who
    like many people in Afghanistan uses only one name.

    One man, who said he had children of his own, looked down at the bodies of
    the dead children laid out side by side.

    "Believe me -- at night when I hear the planes, I picture my children," he
    said, his eyes welling. "They sleep in a row and I see something like this
    ... I worry will something happen to them because of a mistaken bomb."


    U.S. Bombs Mistakenly Hit Red Cross, United Nations Facilities in Afghanistan


    October 27, 2001

    BOB FRANKEN, CNN ANCHOR: Fighter jets from U.S. carriers are among those, of
    course, pounding the Taliban front lines of northern Afghanistan, but it's
    been a tough week. Sometimes targets have been missed. The Pentagon said,
    for instance, that bombs mistakenly hit a Red Cross compound, and it was the
    second time yesterday. And the United Nations says that earlier, one if its
    demining centers has also been hit.

    It's been a tough week for the United States military, and we have CNN
    military analyst and retired Air Force General Don Shepperd, who joins me
    now. And let's talk about that, General. You have watched as the pointed
    questions have started coming from the Pentagon. You've watched as the
    analyses have begun that, in fact, the military operation has bogged down --
    That it is not doing what it set out to do.

    What's the response?

    MAJ. GEN. DON SHEPPERD, U.S. AIR FORCE (RET.): Yes, those questions are
    coming, Bob, and they're going to continue to come. This is going to be a
    series of ups and downs.

    I don't think it's sunk in yet on the American public what the president,
    the secretary of defense, the secretary of state said early on in this
    conflict. This is going to be a long conflict. This is not going to be the
    Taliban vanishing in two days or two weeks or two months. It may be two
    decades or even longer before this is all wrapped up worldwide. This is
    difficult, and it's not unusual in a war. It happens in every war, almost
    the same way -- early enthusiasm and then some disappointment, wondering why
    it isn't wrapped up sooner.

    FRANKEN: But operatically, forget about the enthusiasm, operationally is
    this a down right now?

    SHEPPERD: The hitting of the targets -- the hitting the wrong targets for
    the second time is something that has to be answered by the Pentagon. They
    say it's a targeting error. We need some more explanation on that, and I'm
    sure it will come from the Pentagon next week. But that does sound like a
    downer for sure.

    We've had some other downers: the execution of the opposition leader, Haq --
    that's certainly a downer -- and the fact that the Northern Alliance has not
    moved rapidly. That may be a downer.

    The effect of military force takes time. One side gets gradually weaker as
    the other side gets stronger, and you have a crossing of the lines at some
    point. I don't know what point that's going to be in this conflict, but it's
    going to happen. The Taliban is going to go.

    FRANKEN: This is a tough question to ask an Air Force general, but have they
    maxed out in terms of the effectiveness of the air campaign? Is it time now
    that they must begin the ground campaign?

    SHEPPERD: The timing of the ground campaign, if a large ground campaign
    comes, it will be left to General Franks. He only can answer that question.
    He knows what's available to him -- all the way from special operations
    forces, all the way up to full divisions from the United States and other
    allies. He is going to decide that, but by no means have we maxed out the
    air campaign. These airstrikes so far, by comparison, have been very light:
    100 strikes a day spread over all of Afghanistan.

    In the Gulf War, there were 2,500 a day; in World War II, 20,000 a day. Now,
    this has been a very, very small air campaign to date, and we are at the
    very early seconds of what may be a long war, Bob.

    FRANKEN: Well, we're running out of time, but is it fair to say that this is
    different in the fact that Afghanistan doesn't have the things to bomb that
    those other places did?

    SHEPPERD: Yes, we are going against dug-in troops now; not many fixed
    targets. The air defense, as far as the missiles and the radars, are gone.
    Some of the warehouses are gone. We are now against the front line troops,
    and that's the tough part. The reason is you have to know where your troops
    are, and where the other side is, and in this coalition alliance out there,
    this is the difficult phase of finding them and then digging them out, and
    it's tough.

    FRANKEN: General Don Shepperd giving us the perspective of somebody who has
    been here, planning combat before, providing military analysis -- thank you
    very much, general.


    Red Cross say US destroyed aid for 55,000 Afghans


    27 Oct 2001

    The international Red Cross says it deplores the latest bombing of its
    warehouses in the Aghan capital, Kabul.

    The Red Cross said the buildings contained the majority of food and blankets
    intended to distribute to around 55,000 Afghans.

    The US Defence Departmant has admitted that warplanes mistakenly dropped
    eight tons of bombs on the warehouse.

    The Pentagon say that one missile missed its target and hit a residential


    Stray bomb hits Afghanistan


    There's increasing international concern at the number of civilian
    casualities in Afghanistan.

    Earlier today, a stray U-S bomb killed at least 10 people when it hit a
    northern village in territory controlled by anti-Taliban forces.

    At least six people were injured.

    Last week, nine civilians were killed when US warplanes dropped cluster
    bombs on a village in the Taliban-controlled western city of Herat.

    And yesterday, the U-S accidentally bombed six Red Cross warehouses.


    Also of interest:

    Heavy U.S. Strikes Raise Civilian Toll
        WASHINGTON - The United States has launched some of its heaviest
        air strikes yet against targets in northern and southern
        Afghanistan, bringing new reports of civilian casualties Sunday
        and with them risks of fresh strains to the unity of the U.S.-led
        anti-terrorism coalition.

    Anti-war resources:

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

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