[sixties-l] Antiwar News...(# 32) (fwd)

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Date: Fri Nov 16 2001 - 18:14:53 EST

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    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: Antiwar News...(# 32)

    Antiwar News...(# 32)

    --Meddlesome U.S. Foreign Policy Brought Attackers to America
    --Pressure To Curtail War Grows
    --Taliban claims mounting evidence of US using chemical weapons
    --Russia slams U.S. over war effort
    --US attack kills Afghan children in Kabul
    --Spells and Counterspells: Why Act Now?
    --Why They Hate America---in Britain
    --I Dreamed I Was Walking Into World War Three
    --Diversity's Peace
    --Whispers of Vietnam haunt US war on terror
    --There is no war on terrorism
    --An errant bomb, a mother's life
    --U.S. denies war effort failing
    --The September 11 Declaration
    --The Valor of the Columnists
    (Anti-war links/resources at the end.)

    Meddlesome U.S. Foreign Policy Brought Attackers to America


    Sunday, October 28, 2001

    The attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 should give us pause to
    consider what we are doing in our national foreign policy that so enrages
    millions of people.

    Especially when it comes to the point that a score of young men would
    sacrifice their lives (along with thousands of innocents) to make a statement
    about our foreign policy that very few in our country are thinking about. The
    central question is "Why?"

    Perhaps the reason for the attacks is that stated by President Bush: "We're
    the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world." Rigorous
    thinking about this, however, would lead one to believe this is just
    emotional blather by our political leader to make the common folk feel better
    about being the "good guys."

    Consider, as an alternative reason for the attacks, the statement of May 1998
    from Osama bin Laden. See if this doesn't have a truer ring to it than the
    president's statement:

    "So we tell the Americans as people, and we tell the mothers of soldiers and
    American mothers in general that if they value their lives and the lives of
    their children, to find a nationalistic government that will look after their
    interests and not the interest of the Jews.

    "The continuation of tyranny will bring the fight to America, as Ramzi Yousef
    and others did. This is my message to the American people: to look for a
    serious government that looks out for their interests and does not attack
    others, their lands, or their honor. And my word to American journalists is
    not to ask 'why' we did that, but ask what their government has done that
    forced us to defend ourselves."

    If one can believe these words, our national foreign policy, specifically as
    it relates to Israel, is the cause of the terrorist acts. The U.S. government
    gives Israel over $10 million of your tax dollars every day of the year. This
    has gone on for years and years, and will continue into the future unabated,
    it would seem. Our taxpayer dollars pay for those fighter planes you see on
    the nightly news attacking Palestinians. You paid for those tanks, missiles,
    and other weaponry engaged in destruction of what little infrastructure
    exists in Palestinian territory.

    Our government has condoned an expansionist Israeli state and lauded Sharon
    as a peaceful man, when he should be tried as a war criminal for the massacre
    of hundreds of innocent civilians. Is it any wonder that millions of people
    consider us the dumb big bully always blindly supporting the smart little
    bully regardless of the issues involved? Can we begin to understand why many
    Arabs would feel they need to conduct a war against the U.S. with any means
    at hand?

    Unless and until we change our current foreign policy to one of
    non-involvement toward the political interests of foreign countries, we will
    remain high-profile targets for people in the world who perceive that our
    government is acting regularly against their self-interest. We cannot involve
    our country in the political affairs of other nations without becoming the
    target of wrath by one side or the other.

    Libertarian principle suggests that we ought to leave other countries alone
    in their political interests and mind our own national business. Any
    influence we choose to exert ought to be from commercial ties and
    non-governmental agencies and not the federal government. George Washington
    had it exactly right on Sept. 17, 1796, about our conduct of foreign policy,
    and we would do well to work to restore that concept in our present
    government, Libertarians believe. He said, "The great rule of conduct for us,
    in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to
    have with them as little political connection as possible."
    Gene Linder is chairman of the Libertarian Party of Utah.


    Pressure To Curtail War Grows


    Pakistani Leader Urges Pause for Ramadan

    By Vernon Loeb and Thomas E. Ricks
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Tuesday, October 30, 2001; Page A01

    Pressure on the United States to radically curtail the war in Afghanistan
    grew yesterday as Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, asked for a
    bombing pause during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that begins next
    month. Britain's defense secretary said a pause is under serious

    In the clearest signal to date of Pakistan's unease over the U.S.-led air
    campaign, Musharraf told Army Gen. Tommy R. Franks, the U.S. commander
    overseeing the war, in Islamabad that the Pentagon needed to rethink its
    bombing campaign after 22 days of airstrikes. Musharraf, a key U.S. ally in
    the campaign, cited civilian casualties and a lack of tangible success,
    according to Pakistani officials.

    But Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, briefing reporters at the
    Pentagon, reiterated his opposition to a bombing pause during Ramadan,
    saying that Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia and the al Qaeda terrorist
    network it shelters "are unlikely to take holiday."

    "Given the fact that they have killed thousands of Americans and people from
    50 or 60 other countries, and given the fact that they have sworn to
    continue such attacks, we have an obligation to defend the American people,"
    Rumsfeld said. He noted that "there have been any number of conflicts
    between Muslim countries, and between Muslim countries and non-Muslim
    countries, throughout Ramadan."

    British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon told reporters in London that a bombing
    pause is under consideration. "That is something we are looking at very
    seriously," he said.

    Hoon added, however, that British and American military officials do not
    want to give the Taliban and al Qaeda time to regroup, "knowing that they
    will not face military action during the course of Ramadan."

    Seventy carrier-based strike aircraft, six long-range bombers and Air Force
    F-15E fighter bombers flew airstrikes over Afghanistan yesterday,
    concentrating on Taliban troops north of Kabul, the capital, and around
    Mazar-e Sharif in northern Afghanistan, defense officials said.

    Haron Amin, a spokesman for the opposition Northern Alliance in Washington,
    said the U.S. military has told forces with the rebel coalition that it is
    time for them to attack Mazar-e Sharif, a strategic crossroads city. "There
    has been communication on the ground, and [American forces] have asked us to
    move on Mazar," Amin said. "To operate out of Mazar would help a lot of
    things to go forward."

    Rumsfeld announced that U.S. aircraft have begun dropping ammunition to
    forces of the Northern Alliance, a coalition of rebel groups dominated by
    ethnic Uzbeks and Tajiks that controls a swath of territory in northern

    Expressing satisfaction with the results of the air campaign as it entered
    its fourth week, Rumsfeld and Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of
    the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that U.S. aircraft have devastated Taliban
    air defenses and killed Taliban and al Qaeda troops.

    "We are in the driver seat," Myers said. "We are proceeding at our pace. We
    are not proceeding at the Taliban's pace or al Qaeda's pace. We can control
    that. And we are controlling it in a way that I think is right along with
    our plan that we set out."

    Rumsfeld said he took no exception to recent statements by Sen. John McCain
    (R-Ariz.) about the need for U.S. ground forces, and hinted that the
    establishment of U.S. bases in Afghanistan is being considered.

    USA Today reported yesterday that military setbacks in Afghanistan had led
    the Pentagon to aggressively consider the creation of a forward base in
    Afghanistan for U.S. troops.

    But a senior military planner with knowledge of the discussion said
    establishing a U.S. base inside Afghanistan is unlikely right now, mainly
    for political reasons. "We don't want to be caught at this point with the
    appearance of Americans holding ground," he said.

    The official added that most of the pressure for establishing such a base
    was coming from the Northern Alliance. Putting some sort of semi-permanent
    base in northern Afghanistan is an eventual possibility, he said, but it is
    equally possible that the United States might set up a series of temporary
    forward bases at which Special Forces units could land, refuel and strike
    out on quick raids deep inside Afghanistan.

    A source in contact with Northern Alliance forces in Afghanistan said a
    forward base for American forces, possibly in the Panjshir Valley, was being
    considered to improve the guidance of bombs and missiles and thereby reduce
    the number of unintended civilian casualties.

    Establishing and protecting a base around an airfield in an environment
    lacking most basic necessities is a basic mission of the 10th Mountain
    Division, said retired Maj. Gen. Lawson Magruder III, a former commander of
    that Army unit. There are more than 1,000 troops from the 10th Mountain at a
    base in southern Uzbekistan, just across the border from the Northern
    Alliance-controlled area where U.S. military planners could conceivably
    establish a base.

    "It's a mission they are certainly capable of, and train for an awful lot,"
    said Magruder, who oversaw similar missions with the 10th Mountain in
    Somalia in 1993.

    But he also said that because the 10th Mountain is a light infantry unit, it
    probably would need to have some other units assigned to it to have the
    protection and mobility it would need. He said those likely would be armored
    units and truck companies.

    In their meeting in Islamabad yesterday, Musharraf was blunt with Franks,
    telling the head of the U.S. Central Command that the Pakistani public is
    growing impatient with the bombing efforts and the unintended civilian
    casualties and that a Ramadan pause was needed, Pakistani officials said.

    This sentiment, the officials quoted Musharraf as saying, increases the
    potential for unrest in the overwhelmingly Muslim country. "I think the
    bombing of Afghanistan during Ramadan would certainly aggravate feelings
    everywhere in the Islamic world," Mohammed Riaz Khan, spokesman for
    Pakistan's foreign ministry, told BBC radio.

    The White House announced yesterday that President Bush will meet Musharraf
    on Nov. 10 when both will be in New York attending the U.N. General Assembly

    Anthony H. Cordesman, a former Pentagon official and military analyst at the
    Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said a bombing
    pause would help the Taliban resupply and disperse its assets at a time when
    the radical Islamic militia could be most vulnerable, with winter

    "What you're really saying is, the United States steps out of the war for 28
    days, or however long Ramadan lasts this year, and the rest of the war goes
    on under optimal conditions for the Taliban," Cordesman said.

    He said one alternative to a full pause would be to stop bombing
    Afghanistan's population centers and concentrate only on Taliban forces in
    the field. Another alternative, he said, would be to shift the bombing away
    from Kabul and Kandahar, the Taliban's southern stronghold, and concentrate
    on Mazar-e Sharif in the north and Herat in the west. Both those cities are
    under siege by opposition forces.

    Such a strategy would go some way toward alleviating Pakistan's concern
    about civilian casualties among Pashtuns, which are Afghanistan's largest
    ethnic group and also make up a substantial minority in Pakistan. Most
    Pashtuns in Afghanistan live in the southern part of the country.


    Taliban claims mounting evidence of US using chemical weapons


    AFP (Kabul, October 29)

    The Taliban said on Monday there was mounting evidence that the United
    States is using chemical weapons in its attacks on Afghanistan and said it
    feared depleted uranium (DU) shells were also being fired.
    At a press conference in Kabul, the Taliban's public health minister and two
    Kabul doctors gave details of what they said were numerous cases of people
    dying inexplicably after showing symptoms which may have been the result of
    infection by chemical weapons.

    Dr. Waziri, a surgeon at Kabul's Wazir Akbar Khan hospital, cited the cases
    of three of his patients -- two girls aged 12 and 15 and a boy aged 15 --
    who had been taken to hospital after being injured in bombing attacks.

    All three had only slight injuries but died within hours of arriving at the
    hospital after developing breathing difficulties and internal bleeding, the
    doctor said.

    "These are only three examples," he said. "There have been other cases where
    we suspect chemical weapons have been used. Most of the victims have had
    respiratory problems and internal bleeding for which there is no apparent

    The medics admitted that they could not confirm the use of chemical weapons
    because they did not have the facilities to analyse tissue from the victims.

    Asked why they did not send samples abroad for analysis, Public Health
    Minister Mullah Mohammad Avas said he did not know where a fair assessment
    could be made.

    Of its immediate neighbours, Pakistan had effectively declared war on
    Afghanistan by supporting the US action while the Taliban does not have
    diplomatic relations with Iran, he said.

    He added that approaching the World Health Organisation was not an option
    because the United Nations had shown that it was not impartial in the

    Avas said the Taliban was also worried that US forces were using depleted
    uranium shells and that areas of Afghanistan would be left permanently

    "They used uranium in Kosovo and our concern is that they will do the same
    thing in Afghanistan," he said.

    NATO used nine tonnes of depleted uranium shells in its campaign in Kosovo
    but they have not caused widespread contamination, according to experts from
    the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

    Tank-piercing cannon rounds tipped with depleted uranium and fired by NATO
    warplanes against Serbian tanks had been cited as the possible cause of the
    so-called "Balkans syndrome" -- an allegation that NATO and US officials

    UNEP has ruled out any link between a string of leukemia cases involving
    NATO peacekeepers returning from missions in Kosovo and Bosnia, and the
    depleted uranium munitions.


    Russia slams U.S. over war effort


    Says Americans 'cynically' killing 'peaceful Afghans'

    By Toby Westerman
    Tuesday, October 30, 2001

    While publicly proclaiming its support of the U.S. anti-terror efforts
    against the Taliban regime, Moscow is describing American efforts as
    "cynically" directed against the people of Afghanistan.

    In a scathing attack upon its supposed ally, Moscow characterized U.S. food
    aid as "cynically reassuring the Afghans they won't let them starve to
    death," while dropping "hundreds of cluster bombs, killing the very same
    Afghans the Americans pretend to care so much about. ^" according to
    official Russian sources.

    Moscow cited new, high-tech weaponry developed by the United States,
    including stealth helicopters and microwave beams, and described Afghanistan
    as a "testing ground" for the U.S. At the same time, Moscow strongly
    implied intentional U.S. carelessness and ineffectiveness in the use of
    its weapons

    "Where does the new weaponry come in?" Moscow rhetorically asked, referring
    to the search for arch-terrorist Osama bin Laden. "In truth, you can't
    capture the man with all these silent helicopters, ray guns and cluster
    bombs, but you can very effectively use them against peaceful Afghans,"
    Moscow declared.

    The statements were carried on the Voice of Russia World Service, the
    official broadcasting service of the Russian government.

    The Voice of Russia reflects the position of the Russian government and
    transmits across the globe in several dozen languages, reaching millions
    around the world with its views on world events. It was known as Radio
    Moscow during the Cold War.

    In the broadcast, Russia condemned the U.S. for its use of cluster bombs,
    which have a capability to explode months, even years, after they have been

    Implying willful U.S. negligence, Moscow linked the use of the controversial
    bombs to damage done by an admittedly "stray cruise missile" and cited the
    possible employment of "ray guns," which Moscow declared, "can be used with
    equally devastating effect against innocent civilians."

    As a result "^ civilian casualties grow each day," Moscow stated.

    The question of civilian casualties in Afghanistan is one of the most
    vulnerable aspects of the U.S. attack upon the network of Osama bin Laden
    and his Taliban defenders, following the attacks of Sept. 11.

    U.S. efforts to both attack the terrorist network while seeking to aid the
    Afghan people received an additional embarrassment when food parcels
    intended to aid the war-ravaged population were found to be packaged in a
    somewhat similar manner as cluster bombs.

    Although both were yellow in color, the food packages are rectangular and
    larger than the cylindrically shaped cluster bombs. Some cluster bombs are
    defective and do not explode on impact.

    According to the British Broadcasting Corporation, the U.S. has initiated
    radio broadcasts into Afghanistan warning of the similarities between the
    food packages and unexploded bombs.

    "U.S. psychological operations" assured the Afghan people that the danger of
    confusing food packages with cluster bombs is "minimal," and that the bombs
    and food "were not being dropped in the same areas," according to the BBC

    Throughout the attack on Afghan territory, U.S. officials have consistently
    expressed the position that the people of Afghanistan are not the targets of
    military operations.

    In an Oct. 18 briefing, State Department Deputy Spokesman Philip Reeker
    stated that "^ we're not bombing the Afghan people. ^ We are conducting a
    campaign against terrorism focused on the al-Qaida network, which has been
    given safe haven ^ in Afghanistan by the Taliban regime. ^"

    The U.S. freely admits its use of cluster bombs, but claims their use has
    been infrequent and specifically targeted.

    In a Department of Defense briefing on Oct. 25, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
    of Staff Gen. Richard Meyers stated that the military takes "great pains" in
    targeting cluster bombs to a "particular target," and that "there have not
    been a great number of them (cluster bombs) used. ^"

    Moscow's criticism of U.S. actions in Afghanistan comes amid continuing
    condemnation of its own military actions in the war-torn Russian republic of

    Although recent Russian commitments to the anti-terrorist coalition have
    muted criticism of Moscow's tactics in Chechnya, the U.N. Commission on
    Human Rights condemned Russia in April 2001 for "disproportionate and
    indiscriminate force ^ including attacks against civilians."

    Moscow found the U.N.'s resolution "unacceptable."

    The condemnation was the second in as many years.
    I.J. Toby Westerman, is a contributing reporter for WorldNetDaily who
    focuses on current events in the
    Commonwealth of Independent States and the Balkans.


    US attack kills Afghan children in Kabul

    Live television captures scenes of tragedy, and desperation

    October 28, 2001

    American warplanes struck civilian dwellings in the Makrurian
    neighborhood of the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday morning killing a
    number of people many of them children Al-Jazeera reported.

    In a live report from the city moments after the strike, at
    approximately 9 AM in Kabul, the television showed residents desperately
    digging through the rubble of destroyed houses with small shovels looking
    for bodies of
    loved ones. The television showed several bodies being uncovered from
    under rubble, including the bodies of two young sisters. The television
    showed their father crying and utterly distraught as his daughters were
    pulled from the rubble and laid out on the ground. As people dug for
    bodies, American warplanes circled overhead, and some people ran for
    cover, apparently in fear of more attacks.

    The television showed, in pictures which were extremely difficult to bear,
    bodies of children being laid out inside a building. One of the bodies
    visible was missing limbs. Adults gently laid the bodies out and covered
    them with sheets. In another shot the camera showed a head being
    revealed by a rescuers shovel from a pile of rubble.

    The television showed a teenage boy searching among rubble of a house
    possibly for members of his family.

    As the report was live, and the events were still unfolding, it was
    impossible to say exactly how many people were killed. The Al-Jazeera
    correspondent Taysir Allouni said that one completely destroyed house
    had had nine occupants, of whom only one had emerged alive. In addition to
    the dead people, the television showed a neighborhood of very simple mud
    houses, which are simply pulverized when bombed, and many dazed, injured
    and distraught residents.

    These images, perhaps because they were live and unedited, showed in the
    most direct and shocking way what high explosives do to human beings and
    their homes. These were the most upsetting pictures I have yet seen from
    the war, and at times I found myself having to turn away from the

    In other news, Israeli occupation forces have killed at least four more
    Palestinians over the weekend, bringing the number Israel has killed
    since October 18 to near 50. The Israeli government has announced that it is
    postponing indefinitely its announced withdrawal from the towns and
    cities it reoccupied since October 18.

    Ali Abunimah


    Spells and Counterspells: Why Act Now?

    By Starhawk www.starhawk.org

    The days are short and cold, the streets are univiting. The
    political climate seems as chilly as the winter winds, and everybody
    is saying that 911 changed everything. Why take action now?
    The government, the media, even some of our own allies warn us that
    public opinion is no longer with us, that repression will be high,
    that any action we take will be too costly both personally and
    politically, that we should hold back and wait.
    But The WTO, the IMF, the World Bank, and the other institutions of
    corporate capitalism are not waiting. They continue to meet, to
    argue for a new round of trade negotiations, to impose policies that
    result in a widening gap between rich and poor, and a staggering
    global death toll. And as winter nears, the potential rises for
    massive starvation in Afghanistan if relief trucks cannot deliver
    supplies because of our bombs.
            And so on bad days we hear our own inner voices murmuring,
    'It's hopeless. We've lost. The forces we face are too strong for
    us. Give up."
    These voices seem reasonable, sensible. But any Witch can recognize
    a spell being cast.
    A spell is a story we tell ourselves that shapes our emotional and
    psychic world. The media, the authorities tell a story so pervasive
    that most people mistake it for reality. We're fighting a righteous
    war against the Source of All Evil, and everyone supports Bush, and
    corporate control is the only way to be safe and to provide what we
    need, and to question is Evil, too.
            The counterspell is simple: tell a different story. Pull
    back the curtain: expose their story for the false tale it is. Act
    'as if'.
            Act as if we weren't doomed, as if what we did in the next
    weeks and months could shift the balance of fate.
            Act as if the movement were coming back stronger than ever,
    attracting thousands and hundreds of thousands who have had their
    eyes opened by the war.
            Act as if this movement were the most creative, visionary,
    inspiring, funny, welcoming, transforming and truly revolutionary
    movement that had ever been. As if we had new language, new tactics,
    new ways of communicating that could waken the dormant dissent and
    the sleeping visions in every heart.
            Act as if a whole new public dialogue was beginning outside
    the boxes drawn by our traditional political lines and our TV sets.
            Act as if all the different factions in our movement were
    learning how to support each other, how to work in true coalition and
    act with true solidarity. As if all who should be allies were able
    to come together and work for our common goals.
            Act as of we were going to win.

    November, two years after Seattle, will see the WTO meeting in Qatar
    November 9-13. Imagine hundreds of Seattles springing up in the many
    local and regional actions being planned, opposition rising up all
    over the world.
            The IMF and the World Bank have rescheduled their meeting for
    Ottawa on November 17 and 18. Imagine the demonstrations now being
    called against them and against the war astounding the world,
    confounding the police, shutting down the meetings and revitalizing
    the movement.
            The School of the Americas Watch is having its annual action
    that same weekend in Fort Benning, Georgia. Imagine that action
    getting the attention it deserves, awakening the conscience of the
    people of the United States to the role our government has played in
    training state terrorists around the globe.

            But won't these actions alienate and polarize people? Maybe,
    if they're ill conceived, gratuitously violent, or simply a matter of
    screaming the old slogans of the sixties over bullhorns. Or if
    they're timid, apologetic, whining, they may simply leave people
    bored and yawning. But our silence will not change public opinion,
    will not educate people or get them thinking again about larger
    issues. Actions that are creative, vibrant, confident and visionary,
    actions that directly and clearly confront the institutions we oppose
    and pose alternatives can be empowering both to those who take part
    and to those who hear of them. We need to advance, not retreat, to
    take the political space we want and claim it. If we silence
    ourselves, we're tacitly agreeing that our protests are indeed some
    distant kin to the terrorists' acts. If we insist that our voices be
    heard, that open dissent is not terrorism, but the deepest commitment
    to democracy, once the inevitable vitriol wears off, we'll find that
    we've gained legitimacy and shifted the ground of the dialogue. The
    longer we wait to claim that space, the more rigidified the patterns
    of oppression will grow. We need to act now, while the future is
    still fluid, and set the pattern ourselves.
    Since 911, I've been to more rallies and marches than I can count.
    I've marched with Gandhian pacifists and white-haired women in
    wheelchairs. I've marched with dancing, drumming Pagans. I've
    marched with Socialists and militants screaming about imperialism.
    I've marched with black masked anarchists surrounded by riot cops.
    And you know what? It's been okay. The police have behaved like
    police behave, sometimes restrained, sometimes provocative,
    occasionally vicious-but that's not new. At times we met counter
    demonstrators, but never been more than a handful. And we often
    received unexpected support. I've seen construction workers flash
    peace signs at the Black Bloc.
    Of course, our fears aren't just based on fictions. The authorities
    command real force, real tear gas, real clubs, real guns, real jails.
    Real people do die, go to prison, suffer. So might we.
    But fear makes things worse than they are. Fear limits our vision
    and our ability to take in information, makes the power holders seem
    omnipotent, and leads to our suppressing ourselves, saving the
    authorities the cost and trouble of doing it. And despair leads to
            The counterspell for fear is courage: facing the possibility
    of the worst and then going ahead with what you know is right. The
    counterspell for despair is action in service of a vision. The
    counterspell for paralysis is stubborn, persistent passion.
    Even if we're wrong, if nothing we do does makes a difference,
    courage and passion are a better place to be than hopelessness,
    cynicism and fear. If the authorities repress us, that's better than
    becoming people who repress ourselves. If we see our dreams ripped
    out of our hands, that's better than never daring to dream at all.
            And if we tell our own stories with enough intensity and
    focus, we'll start to believe them, and so will others. We'll break
    the spells that bind us. We'll start to want that other world we
    say is possible with such intensity that nothing can stop us or deny
    us. All it takes is our willingness to act from vision, not from
    fear, to risk hoping, to dare to act for what we love.


    Why They Hate America---in Britain

    by Jonathan David Farley, D.Phil.

    As I write this, I sit only one mile from a people who are at war
    with America. They are not poor, illiterate, or Muslim. In fact, they
    are mostly white, Christian, and middle-class. They are students at
    Oxford University, in England.

    Wadham College (which is part of Oxford University) declared war
    with the United States when America started carpet-bombing Vietnam. The
    stately, ancient Oxford hall boasts a well-kept, manicured lawn, which
    the students still call Ho Chi Minh Quad.

    Of course, the state of hostilities is mostly facetious (Oxford's
    Trinity College and Balliol College have also declared war---against each
    other), but not entirely. The English philosopher and mathematician
    Bertrand Russell, one of the most renowned thinkers of the twentieth
    century, convened a war crimes tribunal in the 1960's, in which he accused
    the United States of crimes against humanity. They may not be shouting,
    "Death to America," but Brits have long scoffed at American imperiousness.

    Since September 11, Americans have asked, "How could anybody hate
    us so much?" And we've mostly been coming to the wrong conclusions.
    (Novelist Salman Rushdie recently wrote that Muslim extremists hate
    America because we eat bacon sandwiches!)

    I'm not an eloquent writer like Mr. Rushdie; nor am I a vegetarian
    extremist. But as a mathematician, I can put two and two together; and,
    at the risk of inflaming American opinion, I'd like to opine why the
    British feel "they" hate "us." That reason is state-sponsored terrorism.

    America has long accused nations like Iraq, Sudan, and Cuba of
    sponsoring terrorism. But, according to ABC News, it was the Joint Chiefs
    of Staff of the U.S. military who, in the 1960's, drafted plans to commit
    terrorist attacks. "We could blow up
    a U.S. ship in [Cuba's] Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," read one report,
    code named Operation Northwoods. The American people would then demand
    that Castro be deposed. Cold "Worriers" still believe Castro wants to
    bring Americans to our knees. (I say, Bill Clinton did enough of that

    During the 1980's, the U.S. fought a secret war in Central
    America, supporting murderous regimes in El Salvador and Honduras that
    used death squads to terrorize civilians, murder priests and rape nuns.
    Many of the generalissimos who conducted this reign of terror were
    trained in the School of the Americas---in Georgia. Their training
    manuals included instructions on how to torture.

    Chile's dictator, Pinochet, who specialized in dropping his
    political opponents out of airplanes, came to power after a
    CIA-orchestrated coup, during which the democratically elected president,
    Salvador Allende, was murdered. The Congo was plunged into forty years of
    chaos after the U.S.-backed dictator, Mobutu, seized power,
    following the murder of the democratically elected prime minister Patrice

    The U.S. government occupied Haiti for decades and, later,
    supported that country's brutal dictators, the Duvaliers. It sustained
    the dictator of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, even after his people
    overthrew him. The Shah of Iran persecuted his own people with our tax
    dollars; yet we pretend that Iranian anti-Americanism is unprovoked.

    (I do recognize that, despite America's faults, at least we have
    the freedom to criticize the government. In Iran, peace activists---like
    my hero Martin Luther King---would be shot.)

       When the U.S. stops sponsoring terrorism, and starts cracking down
    on terrorism at home (the KKK and the LAPD), the English may start
    respecting our moral leadership. As things stand, British newspapers are
    as likely to call George Bush "the mad bomber" as they are Osama bin
    Laden. Despite British involvement in the war, 54% of Britons think the
    bombing should be suspended.

    It's easy to dismiss anti-American mobs in brown countries. But
    we'd be fools to dismiss the English, our closest allies; and a significant
    number of them are saying, America's not at war with terrorism: It's in
    bed with it.
    Dr. Jonathan David Farley is a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar at Oxford
    University and a Green Party candidate for Congress in Tennessee


    I Dreamed I Was Walking Into World War Three

    by ron jacobs

    I don't want to be writing this. I'd rather be chilling out with a book or
    hanging out with the kids, but if we don't oppose this war in greater and
    greater numbers, who will? I was honestly hoping that the crime of 911
    would be handled like other crimes of that nature. You know, like the
    Oklahoma City bombing where the perpetrators (at least some of them) were
    brought to justice and faced their maker. Unfortunately, that was never on
    the agenda of the warmakers. They saw the opportunity to put the falling
    economy on a war footing without any debate in Congress and they took
    advantage of the moment-manipulating our emotions towards a campaign of
    endless war and authoritarian rule -rule that could make rallies against
    their plans illegal and potentially put those of us who organize them in
    Authoritarian rule that will affect every single one of us-in our travel,
    our internet use, our ability to say what we think, and our ability to
    oppose acts of our government we consider wrong. While some of these
    so-called precautions might make sense to a lot of people right now, they
    won't once they are used against those of us who take the Bill of Rights

    What do I mean by endless war? Already the US has notified the UN that
    they may attack other countries. This could mean Iraq, it could even mean
    Cuba--two governments the US has yet to convince to go along with its way
    of thinking. It could mean Palestine, where Israel has set up an
    apartheid-like regime which, among other totalitarian practices against
    Palestinians, locks up Palestinians at will, knocks down their homes and
    forbids them from entering many areas unless they have the right kind of
    pass-and that's during times of relative peace in the country. As we know,
    the resistance to Israeli military occupation and settlements has
    intensified since the election of Ariel Sharon in Israel, as have the
    bombings and other attacks from both sides in the conflict. Or it could
    mean Colombia, where a civil war has been going on for thirty years and
    where the notoriously brutal Colombian military receives millions of
    dollars in aid every month from the US to fight those who oppose the US
    plans for the region.

    I'd like to say a few words to the folks who aren't sure if they are
    against the war, but aren't really for it either. I'm talking about those
    people who know something doesn't feel exactly right or make sense about
    killing Afghanis but feel something must be done to respond to the killings
    of 911. For those of us who are certain about our opposition, read on
    anyhow. The following couple of paragraphs can be like a quick review-a
    renewal of our determination to end this murderous nonsense masquerading as
    justice and goodness.

    To start, we are told that this war is against terrorism. Let's look at

    In the 1950s and 1960s any movement or government that opposed the US was
    labeled communist by the US propaganda machine. Today, the new label is to
    be terrorist. While it is very, very important to acknowledge that the
    acts of 911 were terrorist acts, it is equally important to acknowledge
    that struggles like that of the Palestinians are legitimate struggles for
    self-determination. In Washington's new war, it is the intention of the US
    government and its cohorts to confuse these definitions to serve their own
    ends. Of course, though, they will tell us that any expansion of their war
    will be in self-defense.

    This is a lie! Bombing a country to smithereens is not self-defense.
    Attacking and invading a country that did not attack us is not
    self-defense. Forcing hundreds of thousands of already desperate people
    from their homes and into camps is not self-defense. Destabilizing an
    already tenuous world is not self-defense. It is nothing other than
    unabashed aggression in the name of US hegemony and the war machine.
    Especially when we are told by those very same folks ordering the
    bombardment of Afghanistan that after they finish their destruction and
    whatever comes next, there is a very good chance that the very men we are
    told organized the 911 attacks will still be on the loose and that the
    military must go into other countries and kill some more. When I hear that
    I find it hard to believe that capturing those guys was ever the main
    priority in this campaign.

    Let me digress for a moment: when I was a kid I lived in Pakistan as a
    USAF military dependent. My parents hired a man to watch us kids when they
    were busy. He also cleaned the house and cooked occasionally. As an
    adult, I look back on those days and realize how colonialist that set-up
    was, but at the time I saw it differently. We called the man who worked
    for us Sharif. He spoke three languages--English, Urdu, and Pushtu-and
    enjoined me in many conversations about his life, his religion and his
    culture. Sometimes I would go to his village with him and play with the
    boys my age and then eat dinner. He even invited me to his wedding. I
    often wonder what happened to him and his loved ones or the boys I used to
    play with. Because of my personal connection to this land through those
    memories I die a little bit each time those bombers kill another human in
    that land. In truth, though we all die a little bit each time this occurs.
      We must bring it home--it is human lives our government is taking, not
    some numbers on a scoresheet that will be filled only after the Pentagon's
    goals are achieved.

    We can not let them expand their war. It must end in Afghanistan and it
    must end NOW! No more cluster bombs. No more laser-guided bombs. No more
    cruise missiles. No more B-52 carpet-bombing. No more gatling guns on
    gunships raking death across the mountains and plains. No more death in
    our name. If the masters of war try to expand this war, (and they will) it
    will become very obvious that this is not a war against terrorism as much
    as it is a campaign of terror against those who would thwart corporate
    America's desire for global rule-something it was having a hard time doing
    by using more conventional means like trade agreements and such, although
    Bush and friends insist, in their greed-driven blindness, that free trade
    agreements thwart terrorism, when in reality not only do they increase the
    disparities in the world that drive desperate people to commit desperate
    acts of terror, the agreements themselves are acts of terror in that their
    very nature ensures the suffering of millions by denying them essential
    human needs. This is not to say that terrorism isn't a threat, nor that
    those who perpetrated the crimes of 911 should not be brought to justice^
    it is saying that a war against all of Washington's enemies is an even
    greater threat to all of humanity.

    But what about the Taliban? Aren't they oppressive and against women?

    Yes, they are. But, you know what, war is not going to solve that. Even
    if the Taliban are destroyed and a new government is put into place in
    Afghanistan, there will be grave problems with regards to the rights of
    women and those the Afghani population who are left out of any new
    government. However, no matter what, the current killing going on will not
    alleviate this situation either. Indeed, war and its aftermath usually
    tends to pave the way for even greater violation of human rights -of which
    women's rights are one of the most important aspects. It is my hope that a
    fairer regime will rule Afghanistan in the future, but this war must end in
    order for any meaningful changes in that arena to occur. As for the rest
    of the world, what has this war done in terms of freedom? Not a damn
    thing! Indeed, like I said earlier, here in the US we see more
    restrictions on our freedom to travel, our freedom to converse on the
    telephone and via email, and there are now laws on the books that would
    allow the government, should it so desire, to prosecute me and everyone
    else here as domestic terrorists. Not that that's likely to happen, but it
    could. GW may call this war Operation Enduring Freedom, but I've begun
    calling it Operation Ending Freedom.

    You know, when I listen to the words of bin Laden and his organization or
    the words of GW and the organization he currently runs, they sound
    frightfully similar. Both of these organizations-Al Queda and the US
    government-believe they are absolutely correct and both are willing to do
    whatever it takes to impose their plans for the world on the rest of us, no
    matter what that involves-mass murder via bombing, war, and starvation, or
    political, business and trade practices that deny the humanity of a large
    percentage of the world's population. Neither organization has the best
    interests of humanity in mind. Bin Laden and his organization use
    religion to gain supporters. GW and friends use patriotism, although, like
    American warmakers throughout our history, they'll play the religion card
    too. While both religion and patriotism are legitimate expressions of the
    human approach to life, the manipulation of either to condone killing is
    not only wrong, it is perverse. Unfortunately for the human race, it is
    all too common. Neither of these men and the organizations they lead care
    as much about humanity as they do about their political agenda and neither
    of them deserve our allegiance. Of course, we can't ignore them because
    their battle won't go away and the planet is in the middle.

    I want to take a moment to mourn those who have died in this battle between
    these two organizations of terror-here and overseas. I also want to talk
    about the service women and men (and those who are considering joining)
    involved in this war. These folks are honorable folks. They are not the
    enemy. It is they and their families who will suffer more than other
    Americans in this war. If history is any indication, many of the men and
    women in uniform will return from battle bearing its scars-physical and
    emotional. They will discover that there is no glory in killing and dying,
    and that the patriotism they were sold was little more than a cynical lie
    used by those in power to convince them to leave their families and kill
    other human beings who fell for another version of that same lie. We can
    support them best by ending this war, bringing all of the soldiers over
    there home, and by speaking with those whom we know in the service -family
    and friends-about what the historical role of the US military has been-not
    freedom, but oppression. Not defense, but intrusion.

    One more thing, it's important to address what lies ahead for those of us
    who oppose the killing going on in our name. It is not going to be easy,
    especially right now. People will harass us. At times, we will want to
    quit. At times we will question the point of our resistance. But we must
    never quit. No! We must raise our level of opposition to a greater level
    then. Sometimes we will offend some folks, maybe even our family or
    friends. Sometimes we will be verbally abused or physically assaulted. We
    must not, no, cannot, give in. Like the great fighter for the liberation
    of black people in this country from slavery , Frederick Douglas, said:
       If there is no struggle, there is not progress. Those who profess to
    favor freedom, yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without
    plowing up the ground. They want rain without the thunder and lightning.
    They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This
    struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both
    mental and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing
    without a demand.


    Diversity's Peace

    Tuesday, October 23, 2001
    Emil Guillermo, Special to SF Gate

    In this new and different kind of war, official leaks to various news
    agencies tell us President Bush has authorized the CIA to go after a
    very specific target -- Osama bin Laden.

    The CIA now has a license to kill the big O.

    No surprise there.

    At the same time, Vice President Dick Cheney prepares us for the long
    grind when he says, "I think it's fair to say you can't predict a
    straight line to victory. You know, there'll be good days and bad
    days along the way."

    Again, no surprise.

    The real surprise is how much this new war is sounding less like the
    video game we call the Gulf War and more like that old '60s TV
    staple, "Mission: Impossible."

    On the other hand, the peace movement seems to be developing quite differently.

    Quite by accident, I stumbled onto a protest this past weekend in San
    Francisco. Normally, I don't do protests. I'm a journalist. I write
    columns, not protest signs. Besides, you can fit more words here than
    you can on a piece of poster board.

    But I was walking to another engagement when I happened on the rally
    and was struck by its size and scope.

    On the late TV news, you may have seen about 30 seconds' worth of
    coverage of this event. But there were more than 5,000 people
    gathered -- and there was a real newsworthy difference in the kind of
    people speaking out for a little sanity in the world.

    It wasn't like the demonstrations I'd seen, heard or read about
    during the only other big war whose protests made an impression on me
    -- the Vietnam War.

    But what do you expect from this thing we call the "new war" but a
    totally new and different kind of peace movement?

    In the Vietnam era, age and generation were the dividing lines here
    at home. Trust no one over 30, right? Good thing I was 13. I had a
    lot of upside.

    At the time, young people formed a counterculture whose values were
    different from their "establishment" parents. People wore different
    things than their parents. Most smoked different things. Most wanted
    to do different things with their lives. It was logical that if we
    had different record albums than our parents, we should have a
    different foreign policy.

    And then came the matter of fighting their war. The personal
    connection to protest was different then. It was middle class. It was
    white. That was America then. In hindsight, it often seems as if the
    war just coincided with a major disconnect at the time between young
    and old.

    Of course, I saw some of the remnants of that era on Saturday, all
    older and grayer, more mature -- though some of them would still have
    fit perfectly into a vintage time-warped photograph in a tie-dyed

    But mostly I saw a lot of new energy from young Asians, African
    Americans and Latinos.

    This isn't Vietnam's generational war. If anything, race and
    ethnicity have emerged as the prime coalescing agent in the movement.

    Maybe that's why I heard a lot of rap music emanating from the stage.

    I didn't see Jane Fonda up there.

    I didn't hear Country Joe, either.

    No one said, "Give me an F!"

    Unless the "F" was for Farishta.

    Twenty-one-year-old Farishta Amani, a freshman at Chabot College, was
    up in front. "I have family in south Afghanistan who are getting
    bombed -- and I can't believe the US government would bomb starving
    people," she told the Chronicle. "This will not stop terrorism and
    will only make people more angry."

    After decades of immigration and the biggest boom in ethnic Americans
    ever, there are new truths that emerge in this war that we may not
    have factored in to our thinking.

    In this day and age, the US can't bomb a country without impacting
    some American's ancestral home. The link between homelands there and
    neighborhoods here is so much stronger than it's ever been. Yet few
    stop to understand that when we bomb there, Americans grieve here.

    When young Afghan-Americans speak, there is no lack of patriotism for
    their country, America. But there is genuine compassion for the whole
    situation, not just for a selective part of it.

    People who have family in other places around the globe understand this.

    Other Americans who, because of their origins, have been subjected to
    racial profiling in this county understand this too.

    They can relate to Moslems and Arabs and South Asians and Central
    Asians in America rounded up and held for questioning for days and
    weeks at a time. Many of them are merely innocent people caught in
    the middle of America's war on terrorism.

    They were all in the crowd on Saturday.

    If you need a coalition of countries to wage war, it figures you need
    a coalition of issues and communities to wage peace. So the protest
    signs were mixed and varied. One read, "Stop the War in Afghanistan."
    But another read, "Stop Racial Scapegoating." And another, "Defend
    Civil Liberties."

    Through all these messages runs a racial thread that marks what makes
    this movement for peace different from others in the past. It's
    broader and more diverse than you can imagine. It's a peace movement
    that looks like America.
    Emil Guillermo's book, "Amok" won an American Book Award 2000. He
    hosts "NCM-TV: New California Media," seen on PBS stations in San
    Francisco and Los Angeles. Email him at emil@amok.com.


    Whispers of Vietnam haunt US war on terror


    Asia Times
    October 30, 2001
    By Jim Lobe

    Washington - President George W Bush's six-week-old "war" against terrorism,
    launched hurriedly after the September 11 attacks on New York and the
    Pentagon, appears to be foundering on multiple fronts.

    CNN still carries the slogan "America Strikes Back" on its Headline News
    Channel but Washington now seems much more preoccupied with biological
    warfare - in the form of letter-borne anthrax spores - at home than it is
    with the war against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. The war there
    is not going particularly well, according to virtually all accounts. While
    the head of the US armed forces bragged 10 days ago that a week of bombing
    had "eviscerated" the combat capacity of the Taliban, his operations
    director admitted this week that the military was "surprised" at their

    Others, including Afghanistan experts and leaders of the Northern Alliance,
    which is allied with Washington in its campaign, say that if anything, the
    regime probably has gained confidence since US warplanes launched their
    campaign three weeks ago. Even before the bombing began, senior US officials
    predicted that Taliban commanders would defect once they were exposed to
    Washington's military might as well as US intelligence agents bearing
    promises of power and money. This was to have led to the regime's collapse,
    if not by the end of October, then by the onset of Ramadan in mid-November.
    There have been no defections over the past three weeks. This is a major
    reason why the Northern Alliance has not been able to capture
    Mazar-i-Sharif, the strategic northern city that US war planners had thought
    would fall in the operation's early days.

    "The more these attacks continue, the more you'll find people siding with
    the Taliban to defend the country," said Barnet Rubin, an Afghanistan
    scholar at New York University.

    Most analysts here now believe that the Taliban will be able to hang on at
    least until the month-long Ramadan holidays. At that point, bombing should
    cease lest it feed growing outrage and destabilize friendly governments, say
    leaders of Muslim states allied with Washington - among them Presidents
    Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and General Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan.

    The US effort already seems to be losing the battle for hearts and minds as
    more bombs go astray, hitting residential areas or Red Cross warehouses,
    despite initial denials and belated expressions of "regrets" by Pentagon
    spokespersons. Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported on Friday that at least 23
    civilians, most of them young children, were killed when US bombs hit the
    village of Thori, near a Taliban military base. Amnesty International called
    on Washington to stop using cluster bombs.

    As a result of US bombing, the searing images of the destruction of the
    World Trade Center, in which some 5,000 people died September 11, rapidly
    are giving way to new pictures of daily bombing runs, devastated villages,
    and grieving parents. These scenes make it much harder for Bush to persuade
    Muslims in particular that this war is being waged against a small group of
    terrorists, rather than Islam and its believers.

    "How much longer does the bombing continue?" Senate Foreign Relations
    Committee Chairman Joseph Biden asked this week. "Because we're going to pay
    every single hour, every single day it continues. We're going to pay an
    escalating price in the Muslim world."

    Three weeks into the military campaign, it is clear that this war is not
    going like those in Panama, Iraq, and Serbia/Kosovo over the past 12 years
    that helped Washington forget its humiliation in Vietnam a generation ago.
    That dreaded memory has not yet forced its way into general public debate,
    but in some ways this war is beginning to resemble Vietnam. Like
    Afghanistan, Vietnam was primarily agrarian, dirt-poor, highly
    decentralized, and anything but a "target-rich environment", in the
    Pentagon's felicitous jargon.

    There are major differences between the two situations: Washington has yet
    to introduce ground troops in Afghanistan and will almost certainly avoid
    any long-term deployment of ground forces. Nor has Washington yet brought
    anything like the full weight of its airborne military power to bear on
    Taliban troops. Nevertheless, as right-wing politicians already have begun
    complaining, the situation is like Vietnam in that the military is
    constrained by a political strategy: first constructing a broad-based
    post-Taliban coalition capable of restoring stability.

    This strategy precisely prevents the military from using its full power to
    annihilate Taliban forces in a way that permits the Northern Alliance, which
    represents the Tajik, Uzbek, and Hazara ethnic minorities in Afghanistan, to
    roll into Kabul and set up a new government at the expense of the much
    larger Pashtun population.

    "Ultimately, the first priority is getting rid of Osama bin Laden and the
    Taliban, so you can't let your fastidiousness over what the next government
    in Kabul is going to be overwhelm your first priorities," complained Gary
    Schmitt, director of the right-wing Project for a New American Century, many
    of whose founders now occupy top posts in the Pentagon and National Security

    Like Vietnam-era hawks, people like Schmitt - both inside the administration
    and out - argue for a much more aggressive campaign aimed at achieving
    Washington's military aims as quickly as possible, regardless of diplomatic
    considerations such as reconciling the competing and often contradictory
    interests of nearby countries like Pakistan, Iran, Russia, and India, not to
    mention Afghanistan's internal factions.

    While hawks fret about political and diplomatic constraints on the military,
    doves also are taking flight. Biden's remarks last week were particularly
    significant both because of his position as Foreign Relations Committee
    chairman and because he generally has been seen as a foreign policy hawk. If
    Washington continues bombing much longer, said Biden, it risks being
    perceived in the region and the world as "this high-tech bully that thinks
    from the air we can do whatever we want to do", a warning which, in an echo
    of the harsh debates over Vietnam, spurred charges from Republicans that he
    was "bring[ing] comfort to our enemies".

    An even more damaging factor that carries a whiff of old battles is the
    speed with which a "credibility gap" also is growing up around this war. The
    early assertions about credible threats to Air Force One; the unprecedented
    secrecy surrounding military deployments, let alone operations; the initial
    denials of civilian deaths; conflicting official statements about the
    anthrax scare; the abrupt disappearance of government websites without
    notice or explanation; and the contrast between the early confidence and the
    lack of any tangible progress all recall an earlier time when the public's
    trust in the competence and honesty of the government eroded steadily.


    There is no war on terrorism

    If there was, the SAS would be storming the beaches of Florida

    By John Pilger
    New Statesman (London)
    29 October 2001

    If people were not being killed and beginning to starve, the American
    attack on Afghanistan might seem farcical. But there is a logic to
    what they are doing. Read between the lines and it is clear that they
    are not bombing large numbers of the Taliban's front-line troops.
    Why? Because they want to preserve what the US secretary of state,
    Colin Powell, calls the "moderate" Taliban, who will join a "loose
    federation" of "nation builders" once the war is over. The moderate
    Taliban will unite with "elements of the resistance" in the Northern
    Alliance, the bomb-planters, rapists and heroin dealers, who were
    trained by the SAS and paid by Washington.

    This is known as divide and rule, a strategy as old as imperialism.
    It will allow the Americans - they hope - to reassert control over a
    region they "lost". Other countries, such as Pakistan and the
    neighboring former Soviet republics, are being bribed into
    submission. The "war on terrorism", with its Rambo raids, is merely a
    circus for the folks back home and the media.

    It takes me back to the 1980s when Margaret Thatcher announced there
    were "reasonable" Khmer Rouge. The aim was to bolster a Khmer
    Rouge-led coalition, in exile, which Washington wanted to run
    Cambodia and so keep out its recent humiliator, Vietnam, and the
    influence of the Soviet Union. The SAS were sent to train Pol Pot's
    killers in Thailand, teaching them how more effectively to blow
    people up with landmines. They got on so well together that when the
    United Nations finally turned up, the Khmer Rouge asked for their old
    British comrades to join them in the zones they controlled. The same
    thing may happen in Afghanistan when the UN turns up as the
    facilitator for America "building" an obedient regime.

    Among the international relations academics who provide the jargon
    and apologetics for Anglo-American foreign policy, divide and rule is
    known as "containment". The aim is to destroy the capacity of nations
    to challenge US dominance while allowing their regimes to maintain
    internal order. The nature of the regime is irrelevant. Thus, people
    all over the world have been divided, ruled and "contained", often
    violently: the destruction of Yugoslavia is a recent example; the
    territory administered by the Palestinian Authority is another.

    Real reasons for the actions of great power are seldom reported. A
    morality play is preferred. When George Bush Senior attacked Panama
    in 1990, he was reportedly "smoking out" General Noriega, "a drug
    runner and a child pornographer". The real reason was not news. The
    Panama Canal was about to revert to the government of Panama, and the
    US wanted a less uppity, more compliant thug than Noriega to look
    after its interests once the canal was no longer officially theirs.

    Likewise, the real reason for attacking Iraq in 1991 had little to do
    with defending the territorial sanctity of the Kuwaiti sheikhs and
    everything to do with crippling, or "containing", increasingly
    powerful, modern Iraq. The Americans had no intention of allowing
    Saddam Hussein, a former "friend" who had developed ideas above his
    imperial station, to get in the way of their plans for a vast oil
    protectorate stretching from Turkey to the Caucasus.

    Undoubtedly, a primary reason for the attack on Afghanistan is the
    installation of a regime that will oversee an American-owned pipeline
    bringing oil and gas from the Caspian Basin, the greatest source of
    untapped fossil fuel on earth and enough, according to one estimate,
    to meet America's voracious energy needs for 30 years. Such a
    pipeline can run through Russia, Iran, or Afghanistan. Only in
    Afghanistan can the Americans control it.

    Also, stricken Afghanistan is an easy target, an ideal place for a
    "demonstration war" - a show of what America is prepared to do "where
    required", as the US ambassador to the United Nations said recently.
    The racism is implicit. Who cares about Afghan peasants? No Paul
    McCartney concert for them. Moreover, people can be sprayed with
    bomblets that blow the heads off children, and we in the west are
    spared, or denied, the evidence. It is clear that most of the media
    are suppressing horrific images, as was done in the Gulf slaughter.
    With honorable exceptions, the coverage is, as ever, the opposite of
    Claud Cockburn's truism: "Never believe anything until it is
    officially denied." The Sunday papers carry little more than fables
    straight from the Pentagon and the Ministry of Defence. Talking up a
    land invasion is an important media task, as it was in the Gulf and
    Yugoslavia. Talking up Iraq as a source of the anthrax scare, and the
    next target, is another. Mark Urban, Newsnight's diplomatic
    correspondent, told Jeremy Paxman recently that the Americans were
    studying "secret information" that Saddam Hussein was about to "fire
    off a missile". Evidence? Urban said nothing; Paxman did not press

    There is no "war on terrorism". If there was, the SAS would be
    storming the beaches of Florida, where more terrorists, tyrants and
    torturers are given refuge than anywhere in the world. If the
    precocious Blair was really hostile to terrorism, he would do
    everything in his power to pursue policies that lifted the threat of
    violent death from people in his own country and third world
    countries alike, instead of escalating terrorism, as he and Bush are
    doing. But these are violent men, regardless of their distance from
    the mayhem they initiate. Blair's enthusiastic part in the cluster
    bombing of civilians in Iraq and Serbia, and the killing of tens of
    thousands of children in Iraq, is documented. The Bush family's
    violence, from Nicaragua to Panama, the Gulf to the death rows of
    Texas, is a matter of record. Their war on terrorism is no more than
    the continuing war of the powerful against the powerless, with new
    excuses, new hidden imperatives, new lies.

    The problem for people in the west who do not see the violence of
    Bush and Blair and their predecessors is that they cannot appreciate
    the reaction. "We have sown the wind; he is the whirlwind," wrote
    Jean-Paul Sartre in his preface to Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the
    Earth, "and all that is stirred up in them is a volcanic fury whose
    force is equal to that of the pressure upon them [and] the same
    violence is thrown back upon us as when our reflection comes forward
    to meet us when we go towards a mirror."

    The great people's historian Howard Zinn, Boston University professor
    and former Second World War bomber pilot, helps us to understand this
    in his new book, Howard Zinn on War. The attack on the twin towers in
    New York, he writes, has a moral relation to American and Israeli
    attacks on the Arab Middle East. If the actions of the west's
    official enemies receive enormous attention as terrorist atrocities
    while the terrorist atrocities of the US and its allies and clients
    are starved of political and press attention, "it is impossible to
    make a balanced moral judgement", to find solutions to the cycle of
    revenge and reprisal and to address the underlying issue of global
    economic inequality and oppression.

    Propaganda is the enemy within. "By volume and repetition", a barrage
    of selective, limited information is turned out by tame media,
    information isolated from political context (such as the bloody
    record of the superpower throughout the world). In the absence of
    alternative views, it is no surprise that people's "reasonable
    reaction" is that "we must do something". This leads to the quick
    conclusion that "we" must bomb "them". And when it is over, and the
    corpses are piled high, "only Milosevic stands in the dock, not
    Clinton. Only Saddam Hussein is outlawed, not Bush Senior. Only Bin
    Laden has a $50m price on his head, not Bush Junior and his
    predecessors." It is, says Zinn, "a tribute to the humanity of
    ordinary people that horrible acts must be camouflaged [with words]
    like security, peace, freedom, democracy, the 'national interest'."

    One of Bush and Blair's oft-repeated lies is that "world opinion is
    with us". No, it is not. Out of 30 countries surveyed by Gallup
    International, only in Israel and the United States does a majority
    of people agree that military attacks are preferable to pursuing
    justice non-violently through international law, however long it
    takes. That is the good news.


    An errant bomb, a mother's life

    The Globe and Mail
    October 29, 2001
    By Geoffrey York

    Ghanikhil, Afghanistan -- It was a peaceful Saturday afternoon, disturbed
    only by the distant drone of U.S. jets. An Afghan woman named Kokugul was
    sewing a wedding dress for a relative.

    Then, from out of the blue skies, a U.S. bomb plunged toward her mud-brick
    house. There was a huge explosion, and the house disappeared in a cloud of
    smoke and dust. Kokugul was killed instantly.

    The 25-year-old refugee and mother of two, who had sought safety in this
    remote farming settlement, was buried in a mud-walled village cemetery on a
    bright sunny morning yesterday. The village men placed a layer of logs over
    her shrouded body, covered it with damp soil, and recited a Muslim prayer
    above her grave.

    The U.S. F-18 Hornet had scored a direct hit on her two-storey house, which
    was several kilometres away from any possible target of the U.S. campaign
    against the Taliban. Her village was in opposition-controlled territory,
    about three kilometres from the front.

    It was the first fatal U.S. bombing in opposition territory, and the
    villagers were shocked.

    "There were American airplanes flying around here all day, from the morning
    to the night, but we never believed they would bomb us," said Farhad
    Bashardoost, who lived next door to Kokugul. Most of Kokugul's bombed house
    was a heap of rubble yesterday. Two large scraps of what appeared to be a
    bomb, including a navigational fin, were visible in the debris.

    In the room where she was killed, only three walls were still standing. The
    room was pathetically barren, except for a few photos of her relatives,
    posters of Mecca and Kabul and a clock with the hands stopped at 4:24 p.m.
    -- the time of the bombing. The rubble-strewn floor was littered with
    cushions, blankets and lamps.

    Nine other civilians, including several children, were badly injured in
    Ghanikhil on Saturday afternoon. A bleeding man was carted away in a

    The bombing raids were part of the heaviest day of U.S. attacks on Taliban
    front lines near Kabul since Washington's military action began Oct. 7.

    The bombing of Ghanikhil may not have been the only disastrous error of the
    weekend. As many as three other U.S. bombs killed and injured civilians near
    the front lines around Kabul yesterday morning, according to witnesses.

    It was 5:30 on Saturday afternoon when the first victim of the bombing raids
    was brought to the emergency hospital in the Panjshir Valley, one of the
    main strongholds of the anti-Taliban forces.

    Kate Rowlands, the hospital director, suspected that would be first of many
    casualties. She was right. Within a few hours, a total of 14 patients from
    four different locations had been brought to the hospital or its affiliated
    first-aid posts near the front lines. Seven seriously wounded people needed

    The patients reported that six civilians in their four villages had been
    killed by U.S. bombs, although their claims were difficult to verify because
    most of the villages were dangerously close to the Taliban front lines.

    One of the bombed villages was actually inside the Taliban lines, about a
    10-minute walk from the front. In the confusion of the bombing, the injured
    victims were able to cross the front and reach the opposition side. Three
    wounded people from the village, brought to the emergency hospital for
    treatment, reported that two civilians had been killed by the U.S. bombing.

    "It was a big shock to all of the hospital staff to receive civilian
    casualties from the bombing," said Ms. Rowlands, whose hospital was founded
    by an Italian organization known as Emergency.

    "The U.S. government had said it was going to hit purely military targets,
    but Saturday showed this is clearly not the case," she said in an interview

    She noted the widespread reports of other U.S. bombs that have killed
    civilians or caused extensive damage to humanitarian supplies and relief
    agencies across Afghanistan.

    Opposition commanders, too, were angered by the bombing error at Ghanikhil.
    U.S. spotters are believed to be hidden on a nearby hill, where they provide
    detailed information on Taliban targets. English-speaking voices, presumably
    those of the spotters, could be heard on military radios near the hill last
    week. Yet despite this detailed targeting information, the error still

    When journalists first reached the village Saturday night, the villagers
    were in a fury. Some threw stones at a Russian photographer and manhandled a
    British television crew.

    "Why has America done this to us?" an elderly man asked. "We thought they
    were our friends. We are all civilians here. Tell them to stop bombing us."

    Local authorities were so alarmed by the furious reaction that they assigned
    armed guards to the journalists who visited the isolated village, two
    kilometres from the nearest road.

    Much of the anger had subsided by yesterday. Many villagers said they were
    willing to forgive the Americans, as long as they avoided similar mistakes
    in the future. Many still supported the U.S. bombing raids, which they
    believe have deterred Taliban rocket attacks.

    But others remained upset.

    "I am very angry," said Noor Said, a farmer. "Now the Americans are
    attacking my village. Why are all these foreigners coming to Afghanistan?
    How are they helping us? We are fighting terrorism, so why do you bomb our

    Another villager, 48-year-old Didar, said the Americans should switch to a
    ground campaign and send in infantry instead of airplanes.

    "Using bombs might be a mistake if they cannot hit targets accurately from
    such a height," he said. "Either they made a mistake on Saturday or they
    want to kill all of us."

    The Northern Alliance, the opposition coalition, confirmed the bombing of
    Ghanikhil and said two villagers had been killed.

    "There was a big mistake," said Abdullah Abdullah, the alliance's foreign
    minister. "It was a tragic mistake. Of course we know it wasn't deliberate


    U.S. denies war effort failing

    Afghan operation 'not a quagmire at all,' Rumsfeld says, despite
    growing criticism and mounting number of civilian casualties

    By John Ibbitson
    The Globe and Mail
    October 29, 2001

    Washington -- U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended the progress
    of the U.S. war against Afghanistan's Taliban regime yesterday amid growing
    criticism that the mostly air-based offensive is proving ineffective.

    "I hear some impatience from the people who have to produce news every 15
    minutes, but not from the American people," he said yesterday in an
    interview on CNN's Late Edition.

    "I have said repeatedly that this will be a long, long effort," he later
    told reporters. "It's not a quagmire at all. It's been three weeks that
    we've been engaged in this."

    But amid the growing numbers of civilian casualties, Washington's
    difficulties in dealing with the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance and the lack
    of measurable progress toward capturing accused terrorist Osama bin Laden,
    some have been suggesting the campaign is not going as well as expected.

    Richard Holbrooke, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, asserted
    yesterday that "in the early phase, the bombing was not intensive enough, it
    didn't hurt them hard enough." James Woolsey, former director of the U.S.
    Central Intelligence Agency, said it was time "to take the gloves off with
    the air campaign."

    Republican Senator John McCain, who challenged George W. Bush for the
    Republican presidential nomination last year, warned that "we may have to
    put large numbers of troops into Afghanistan for a period of time . . . to
    wipe out these terrorist networks."

    And Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf urged that the U.S. strikes "be
    brought to an end as soon as possible," saying that if the United States is
    "unable to achieve its military goals in a certain time, we need to switch
    to a political strategy."

    Mr. Rumsfeld, though, said the U.S.-led campaign is proceeding as expected.
    Echoing other U.S. officials, he conceded to CNN that Afghanistan's rulers
    "have a lot of very seasoned, tough people." But he denied speculation that
    the bombing has hardened Afghan support for the Taliban, and refused to rule
    out bombing during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which begins in

    White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card also appeared on television
    yesterday, telling NBC that "this is a long war that will be fought through
    many different battles. It could take years, but we're going to do
    everything we can to rout terrorists out of Afghanistan and then get them in
    the rest of the world."

    Military leaders of the Northern Alliance, fighting the Taliban in the
    northern reaches of Afghanistan, have bitterly complained that U.S. and
    British forces are not hitting entrenched Taliban positions hard enough.

    But Mr. Rumsfeld insisted that the United States is being "very energetic"
    in supporting the Northern Alliance. There were reports over the weekend of
    more intensive air attacks against those positions, suggesting that
    Washington is attempting to soften Taliban defences in preparation for a
    push by Alliance forces.

    The Defence Secretary said he is confident that conventional weapons will
    help Washington undermine and ultimately overthrow the Taliban regime. But
    he also refused to rule out the use of tactical nuclear weapons. "The
    United States has historically refused to rule out the use of weapons like
    that," he said.

    That position is consistent with U.S. military policy since the dawn of the
    nuclear age. During the Cold War, Washington reserved the right to employ
    nuclear weapons against the Soviet Union in the event of a conventional
    attack against North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces in Europe. During
    the 1991 war in the Persian Gulf, then president George Bush reserved the
    right to use weapons of mass destruction against Iraq if it employed similar

    The next year, however, Washington and Moscow agreed to eliminate all
    ground-launched, short-range tactical nuclear weapons, which are generally
    defined as having an explosive capacity of less than 100 kilotons.

    Another challenge to the U.S. campaign emerged last night in Pakistan, where
    a group of armed pro-Taliban Pakistani tribesmen took over the isolated
    Chilas military airstrip in the North West Frontier province, aviation
    officials said.

    "I heard an armed group was there since evening," an aviation official in
    nearby Gilgit told Reuters. A military spokesman was not immediately
    available to comment.

    General Musharraf has been struggling to contain opposition from militant
    Pakistani Muslims against the bombing. Last week, one hard-line group vowed
    to send thousands of armed Pakistanis to fight alongside the Taliban.

    On the ground in Afghanistan yesterday, stepped-up air attacks left at least
    13 civilians dead, according to witnesses. In northern Kabul's Qali Hotair
    neighbourhood, an Associated Press reporter saw the bodies of four children
    and two adults. Neighbours said 10 people were killed in total.

    The Pentagon had no immediate comment. But Mr. Rumsfeld did concur with
    press reports that said the CIA is prepared to assassinate terrorist leaders
    identified with the Sept. 11 attacks, or who may be planning future attacks.


    The September 11 Declaration

    [This is an unsigned declaration for use in whole, in part, or in spirit,
    by anyone working for peace.]

    The shock of September 11, and the speed with which it has led
    our already precarious world to the very edge of ruin, is absolutely
    terrifying. We should be terrified. But we must not be defined by
    our fear. We must meet fear with courage. We live in cynical times,
    so we must sustain hope. We live in dangerous times, so we must
    demand peace. We live in unmerciful times, and so we must
    inculcate and awaken love. The problem of the 21st Century
    remains the crisis of hatred and the catastrophe of war, and in the
    aftermath of September 11 the one truth that remains absolutely
    clear is that the only alternative to Nonviolence is death.

    If ever there was the possibility of fighting a "just" war, the 20th
    Century proved that this possibility no longer exists. The wars of
    the last hundred years, large and small, hot and cold, devastated
    much of our world - physically, economically, politically, and
    spiritually - and directly led to the deaths of tens of millions of
    human beings. Even the most "just" of these wars, World War II
    and the struggle against Fascism, ended with the firebombing of
    Dresden and the atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The
    terror of war, like the war of terror, serves only chaos.

    Casual platitudes about so-called "collateral damage" are as
    infuriating coming from Presidents as they are coming from
    terrorists. We cannot bear the loss of even one more person. All of
    us would like to believe that we are fair and generous within our
    common family of Humankind. But the truth remains that men,
    women, and children everywhere cry out for justice and peace,
    families - and even whole nations - are everywhere decimated, and
    countless innocents are destroyed because of the prejudice, greed
    and indifference that we continue to let continue. We must begin to
    see that while any of us are not safe, all of us are not safe.

    Terrorism is not a country or an ideology, nor are human beings
    anywhere in this world born subject to it. Terrorism is the delusion
    that no one in the world is innocent, and it is trained by the
    injustice of a world that recognizes innocence only in its rhetoric.
    Peace is not simply the absence of conflict: It is the living
    presence of justice. Our world should be a beloved community.
    Where are the best minds of our generation? We fear they are
    stagnating in the neglected poverty of all our Detroits and Los
    Angeleses; dying in the forced ruins of all our Iraqs and
    Afghanistans. Our struggle must be guided by the sense that war
    and its injustices cannot be allowed to continue, or we may be the
    last generation in the experiment of living.

    We can no longer afford to allow rape to remain the organizing
    philosophy of our world. We must begin to allocate our world's
    resources based on our world's needs. The people of the West and
    North are befuddled with the haze of the manifest fantasy of
    modernity through materialism, and democratization through
    corporate rule. For the majority of people in the world, reality is
    quite different. Instead of trying to create a world that is corporately
    responsible, our corporations must be made publicly responsible.
    Democracy and social justice cannot exist when a minority
    completely controls such enormous wealth, and wields such
    enormous power. The people of the Global South suffer the ravages
    of environmental destruction, dictatorial governments, massive
    poverty and indebtedness, and war. If all of these problems cannot
    be blamed on the West, then at the very least the profits all of
    these problems generate for Western governments and
    corporations should make us all shake with shame. Instead of
    addressing these injustices, the so-called War on Terrorism
    promises to compound them with more environmental destruction,
    more support for dictators, more trade that impoverishes rather
    than enriches, and - worst of all - more, and more destructive,

    Nor are the children of the West immune from the impoverishment
    of militarism and materialism. Too often we are told to confuse the
    blessings of life that come from hard and honest work with the
    illusion of a so-called productivity defined only through enslaving
    our social and family structures to the false gods of unreasonable,
    corporate profits and massive, individual indebtedness which only
    serves to make the already rich even richer. The military might
    needed to defend the superfluous abundance of the world's elites
    from the rest of us impoverishes all of us. The $345 billion the
    United States will spend on its military in 2001 - without even
    counting how much the War on Terrorism will begin to cost - is the
    largest, single expenditure of any country on any item in the entire
    world. This military budget is larger than most nations' entire
    economies, but despite its enormity it failed to prevent September
    11. Is there any greater, wasteful extravagance than a military that
    impoverishes its own people and cannot even protect them from

    The answers to these problems do not rest in a greater militarism
    or a greater materialism. It is justice and peace that are inexorably
    linked, not justice and war. The idea of justice through war is a self-
    apparent absurdity that satisfies only the most superficial need for
    vengeance, and leads further and further down the spiral of racial
    death. We demand an end to the wars of militarism and
    materialism that elites from every nation wage against we the
    peoples of our world. We demand an end to the hatreds and
    violence that this violence itself breeds. We demand an end to
    these things because if we do not end them they will end us.

    To prevent our own destruction, we demand:

    1) An immediate end to all hostilities and military activities in
    Afghanistan, and the immediate funding and implementation of a
    realistic and effective program of emergency assistance aimed at
    preventing the deaths of the over 7 million Afghanis in immediate
    danger of starvation. Is war so precious that we can face the very
    real possibility of the mass destruction of Afghani civilians with so
    little concern? Have we forgotten the words of President Reagan,
    who told us that "a hungry child knows no politics?" Or the words of
    President Kennedy, who told us that we should "never negotiate
    out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate?" It may be that
    negotiations will not work, but it is certainly true that they have not
    even been attempted. And the difference between turning terrorists
    over to the international community rather than to the U.S. is not
    so substantive as to demand the destruction of Afghanistan;

    2) The immediate creation of a permanent International Criminal
    Court with jurisdiction over War Crimes and Crimes Against
    Humanity, including the crimes of International Terrorism. In order
    to be effective, this court must have the police powers necessary to
    enforce its indictments and rulings on paramilitary groups, such as
    terrorists, as well as on abusive governments, such as the Taliban.
    We must not allow ourselves to fall into the hypocrisy of pursuing
    terrorists who target civilians while allowing governmental leaders
    who target them to operate freely. The creation of this court is a
    necessary requirement to sustaining a war against terrorism that
    does not itself create more terrorists. We must not allow the
    pursuit of terror to be committed outside of the civil and civilizing
    force of Law. Unlike the rule of force, the law protects civilians, as it
    protects civility. Bringing criminals to justice through the law
    educates and informs our lives, and, unlike war, the law, properly
    exercised, provides freedom from fear. If we would fight terror with
    "Wild West Justice," with extrajudicial wars and assassinations,
    then we will demonstrate that the only thing we respect is power,
    thereby teaching that power is all we will respond to - planting the
    seeds for future terror;

    3) The creation of permanent International Weapons Inspection and
    Elimination Commission aimed at reducing and eventually
    eliminating destructive conventional weapons such as small arms,
    landmines and cluster bombs, as well as weapons of mass
    destruction, including chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.
    We must learn from both the successes and the failures of this
    effort in Iraq, recognizing that some governments in some states
    will likely work to impede our efforts, but also recognizing that our
    efforts must be clear and achievable, and they must remain
    grounded in impartial, international supervision, as well as in the
    context of a regional arms control that increases international
    security rather than an isolated arms control that only threatens
    individual state security;

    4) The immediate end to all military aid going toward paramilitary
    organizations in all parts of the world, and the immediate end to all
    military aid going toward any government that fails to embrace and
    implement the basic rights delimited in the Universal Declaration of
    Human Rights (UDHR). We cannot fight terrorism by funding it. The
    profits made by selling arms to dictatorial and human-rights
    abusing regimes and paramilitary groups are unconscionable, and
    the uses of these arms against civilians is simply unacceptable.
    Governments that cannot or will not protect the basic rights of their
    peoples must not be provided the means for denying those rights
    through violence. The side of angels is not readily apparent in
    conflicts, and the line between fighting to "defend" freedom and
    fighting to further terror seems often to be simply one of rhetoric;

    5) Realistic, effective, and sustained efforts at poverty reduction
    throughout the world, including an end to the use of broadly-
    targeted economic weapons, such as "sanctions," that
    disproportionately effect and forcibly impoverish civilian populations.
    The end of Communism has not brought a corresponding end to
    poverty in former Communist nations, or in the Global South.
    Indeed, poverty, and the gaps between the most poor in our world
    and the most rich, have only increased. The only non-Western
    nation to fully join the developed world remains Japan, itself, like
    the other "developed" nations, a former colonial power. It would
    seem that white, like might, continues to make right in the world
    today. Our foreign policies, economic and political, must be made
    democratic and responsive to human need. Non-democratic
    Capitalism, and other forms of economic warfare waged against our
    battered planet, cannot be sustained in a just world;

    6) The recognition that separatist movements, independence
    movements, and national unity movements must remain grounded
    in a mutual respect for the basic dignity of all parties to the
    conflicts, and that their resolution - whether in Palestine,
    Chechnya, Kashmir, Kosovo, Sudan, Tibet, Taiwan, Sri Lanka,
    Indonesia, the Philippines, and other areas - must be centered in
    and supported through the vigorous and impartial direction of the
    international community. Because of its immediacy to September
    11, and because Palestinians remain the world's oldest refugee
    population, we further demand:

    i) The immediate end to Israeli occupation of the Palestinian
    Territories, alongside the introduction of international peacekeeping
    troops directed with protecting both the Palestinian and Israeli
    peoples from continuing attacks;
    ii) The immediate dismantlement of all Israeli settlements in the
    Occupied Territories. These settlements are illegal under
    international law, and have been recognized as such by the entire
    world community, including the U.S., since 1967. Far from being a
    "negotiating point," they are a source of humiliation and conflict,
    and their indefinite continuation represents a direct challenge to the
    continuation of a Palestinian people;
    iii) The immediate creation of a Truth and Reconciliation
    Commission, as with South Africa, aimed at bridging differences
    and laying the ground for realistic and effective solutions that can
    guarantee the long-term peace and security of both the Palestinian
    and Israeli peoples;

    7) That all the nations of the world reaffirm and immediately begin
    to implement and protect the rights and ideals of international law
    and human dignity delimited in the Universal Declaration of Human
    Rights. These basic social, economic, and political rights do not
    come from governments, or from economic or political ideologies
    and systems. They are the inalienable birthright of all of humanity,
    and they can no longer be denied to any of our family by any
    government or transnational organization.

    If the moral history of the last hundred years teaches us anything,
    it is that the senseless brutality of September 11, and the
    senseless brutality of the world's current, unfolding response to it,
    signal future crimes of still greater inhumanity. We join our mothers
    and fathers who wrote a generation ago, in fear of the world that
    has sadly come to pass, that if we appear to demand the
    unattainable, we demand it to avoid the unimaginable. We say with
    the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., that the choice before our world
    today is no longer between violence and nonviolence - it is either
    nonviolence or nonexistence.


    The Valor of the Columnists


    October 30, 2001
    by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

    The war appears to enjoy wide support, which gives the warmongers an
    opportunity to appear populist in their writing. National Review, for
    example, seems to have suddenly discovered that wisdom of the common man in
    contrast to the "cultural elites" who are said to have the most doubts
    about the war. Completely out of character, Ramesh Ponnuru, Rich Lowry, and
    the gang have risen to the defense of the workers and peasants.
    What National Review doesn't mention is the absence of support among the
    working class for the foreign policies that got us into this mess in the
    first place. I'd venture a guess that there's less than 1 percent backing
    among full-time workers who earn less than $30,000 per year for permanent
    stationing of American troops in Saudi Arabia, for example.
    War populism is one thing. Far more bizarre is a related phenomena: the
    rise of blood-soaked rhetoric among the non-enlisted punditry class as a
    substitute for the display of classical virtues. This style is called
    various names, like Jacksonian or Churchillian. In this model of writing,
    nothing you say is too outrageous. The stronger your rhetoric, the more
    elevated the language ("we must vanquish the forces of evil"), the more
    courage, valor, and moral conviction it is said to represent, even when
    what you are advocating is immoral.
    The idea is to appear, as you type into your word processor, to be
    unflinching in the face of the enemy, to contemplate and mentally conquer
    the possibility of horror. The ultimate objective is to break down the
    normal sense of morality that readers have ("Isn't it wrong to punish or
    kill innocent people?") and replace it with a new wartime ethic and
    language ("No robust defense of national interests can rule the
    possibility, however regrettable, of civilian casualties").
    Another trope is the use of the first person plural. "We must send in
    ground troops." "Our resolve must not lag." Never mind that the writer is
    neither a decision maker nor a fighter. This by itself is strange. If I
    said, "We must increase the production of Cadillacs," the normal response
    would be to ask what executive position at GM I hold. The listener would be
    confused to discover that I hold no position at all. Writers who use the
    first person plural to discuss US foreign policy do this all this time, but
    hardly anyone raises a question.
    Let go on to an example. Rich Lowry has issued a call "to send U.S. troops
    in on the ground to capture key cities and hold that which we consider
    strategically essential.... there is no avoiding these hard decisions,
    because there are no free lunches, including in Afghanistan." Thus do we
    see how the courageous Rich, as a mere web journalist, has conquered the
    national reluctance ("hard decision") to send young men and women into a
    poor land, where there are hardly any paid lunches, to conquer and occupy
    civilian areas.
    Rich is himself impressed by an even more vivid example of this style of
    thinking: Senator John McCain in an article for the Wall Street Journal:
    "War is a miserable business. The lives of a nation's finest patriots are
    sacrificed. Innocent people suffer and die. Commerce is disrupted,
    economies are damaged. Strategic interests shielded by years of patient
    statecraft are endangered as the exigencies of war and diplomacy conflict.
    However heady the appeal of a call to arms, however just the cause, we
    should still shed a tear for all that will be lost when war claims its
    wages from us."
    Very chilling indeed. But McCain would have us believe that his frankness
    and courage have permitted him to deal with the awful realities to a
    greater extent than mere mortals.
    "We must expect and prepare for our enemies to strike us again.... We
    cannot fight this war from the air alone. We cannot fight it without
    casualties. And we cannot fight it without risking unintended damage to
    humanitarian and political interests.... We must destroy them, wherever
    they hide. That will surely increase the terrible danger facing
    noncombatants, a regrettable but necessary fact of war.... We shouldn't
    fight this war in increments.... War is a miserable business. Let's get on
    with it."
    Bracing stuff. We are supposed to respond with awe at his supposed
    toughness of mind. And yet even McCain couches matters just a bit more
    than is necessary in these times. He is still too guarded and not fully
    embracing the grim reality. For example, there's no need to talk of
    "unintended damage" to "humanitarian...interests" when he really means
    imposing massive suffering and death on wholly innocent people.
    And what's with this "unintended" qualifier? Let's say I wave a gun around
    the room and shout: "When I shoot this, I may unintentionally kill you." In
    court, will I be convicted of involuntary manslaughter or murder? McCain is
    talking here about doing exactly what he intends. Let's not pussyfoot around.
    McCain has stepped up the rhetoric, but not enough. If he and his editorial
    cohorts are really serious about this war, and truly committed to appearing
    brash and brawny to the readers of the world, they must move beyond
    euphemism altogether. Thus do I offer my own contribution to the escalation
    of courage notable among the writers of our time:
    "Now is the time for us to stand up for honor and decency against vile
    foreign elements that threaten our way of life. Let us murder every foreign
    Muslim man, women, and child, and starve those we can't find with cruel
    blockades, allowing anyone who remains to die miserable deaths from
    disease, even if it means hurting our economy and sending thousands of
    American men and women to their own violent deaths, leaving their own
    children and spouses abandoned. Let us flatten every mud hut, kill every
    goat and goatherd, blow the arms off little children with our bright yellow
    cluster bomblets. Do it with strength and honor, and do it now.
    "This may incite more terrorism at home. We will endure it. Our cities may
    be bombed, our water poisoned, our highways wrecked, our hospitals turned
    into morgues. No price is too high.
    "And, friends, we may never get Bin Laden. May we never stop trying. The
    Taliban may actually grow in strength, as governments attacked by
    foreigners tend to do. We will not flinch. We may cause every decent person
    in the entire world to despise America. But we will show the world that no
    insult can break our will. Our government may never again allow a foreign
    visitor or product to pass our borders. We will adjust and prevail.
    "Yes, we will have to give up our liberty, property, and even family
    members. The money we earn from our jobs will be taken by the government
    and spent to create more weapons of mass destruction to be dropped on
    foreign people's homes, hospitals, and water-treatment plants. They will
    thirst but have no drink, because we paid to destroy their clean water.
    They will hunger but find no food, because we made it possible to destroy
    their crops and any means of transport.
    "Your son, whom you have nursed from sickness to health many dozen times
    from infancy through his teen years, may be slaughtered on some godforsaken
    mountain between China and the Caspian sea, because that's where your
    government sent him to kill or be killed. Your daughter, whom you
    comforted through adolescence and later dressed so beautifully for the
    prom, may be ripped to shreds. So great is your courage and determination
    that this is the price you will pay.
    "This war may never end. Every bomb we drop will create more enemies, and
    thus more people who must be killed. We will go anywhere to do this. If we
    discover that the Czech Republic or Costa Rica or even Berkeley,
    California, harbors these enemies, they too will become targets of our
    wrath. There is no place safe from the sword of justice!
    "Your fellow citizens who have lent aid and comfort to the enemy, in
    thought, word, or deed, will be humiliated, robbed, jailed without trial.
    As for war supporters, we are safe so long as we never disagree with our
    government's official line, which is the very definition of truth.
    "To eliminate freedom and replace it with a police state is what our high
    ideals require of us. For we know that no matter what happens, it is the
    fault of our enemies, for they dare to believe of themselves what we
    believe of ourselves. Let us get on with the war!"


    Anti-war resources:

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

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