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[Note: The following news and opinions primarily came from email sent by our friends. Thank you Sirius and all the others who have forwarded these messages to us. Due to the large volume of email we are receiving, we can only post a sampling here, but we thank everyone for sending stories like this. We read them all and post what we can as time permits.]

Hearts and Minds: Avoiding a New Cold War (Rahul Mahajan and Robert Jensen, Alternet.org, October 18, 2001)
“There is tremendous justified anger in the Islamic world at U.S. foreign policy. For the vast majority of the populace, it has not translated to anger at the United States as a nation or at Americans as a people. For groups like al-Qaeda, it has. Their aims and methods are rejected by that majority, but the shared anger at U.S. domination provides these terror networks their only cover. A strategy to successfully "root out" those networks must isolate them from the populace by eliminating what they hold in common. It is necessary to get the cooperation not just of governments of Islamic nations but of their people as well. The only way is to remove their sources of grievance.”

Kabul's Poorest Have No Escape from U.S. Bombs (Islam Online, October 16, 2001)
“ ‘I do not know whether they are going to eliminate the terrorists or create them. We are not terrorists, they have been forcing us to become terrorists," said auto parts salesman Nabi, who used to be a schoolteacher. . . ."There could be other alternatives. Bombardments won't be the sole solution. They should view other options.’ ”

The Real Price of Oil (Mark Hertsgaard, MotherJones.com, October 15, 2001)
“Lawmakers first proposed making the administration's controversial plan -- which includes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge -- part of a federal anti-terrorism bill. Though that amendment failed late last month, drilling advocates are likely to continue invoking terrorism fears as they argue for more oil development. . . .Bush, of course, has long maintained that his energy plan will increase America's "energy security" -- meaning the nation's access to relatively inexpensive electricity and fuel. To that end, he has proposed a package of measures intended to encourage greater production of oil, along with other fossil fuels and nuclear power. In a victory that surprised even Republicans, the House of Representatives in August endorsed much of Bush's approach, including $33 billion worth of tax incentives for oil companies. . . .It's questionable, however, whether these steps will in fact guarantee stable energy prices.”

U.S. buys up all satellite war images (Duncan Campbell, The Guardian, October 17, 2001)
“The Pentagon has spent millions of dollars to prevent western media from seeing highly accurate civilian satellite pictures of the effects of bombing in Afghanistan, it was revealed yesterday. . . .The decision to use commercial rather than legal powers to bar access to satellite images was heavily criticised by US intelligence specialists last night. Since images of the bombed Afghan bases would not have shown the position of US forces or compromised US military security, the ban could have been challenged by news media as being a breach of the First Amendment, which guarantees press freedom.”

The Unbearable Ludicrousness of Polling (Arianna Huffington, Alternet, October 18, 2001)
“ Take the latest numbers that show President Bush enjoying a 92 percent approval rating. Or, as Cokie Roberts gushed on ‘This Week’: ‘He's at the highest approval rating of any president in history ... Franklin Roosevelt didn't hit this level.’ . . .But FDR shouldn't feel too bad. Even the pollsters admit that, as the fine print in this week's Washington Post/ABC News poll put it, ‘Results of overnight polls that attempt to measure opinions about fast-changing news events should be interpreted with extra caution.’ In other words, the results are meaningless. . . .Tellingly, in polls taken just after Sept. 11, two-thirds of those polled said the government was ill-prepared for the terrorist attacks. But the latest surveys show that over two-thirds think that the government is now ‘doing everything to prevent terrorism.’ Has the government really done a total about-face in the last month? Or are we just crossing our fingers? . . .A poll in Wednesday's USA Today seems to indicate that we are. It showed that ‘67 percent of Americans were satisfied with the way things are going in the country.’ Can you imagine a more meaningless finding? Anthrax spores are shutting down the Senate, the CIA is 100 percent sure there will be future terrorist attacks, and seven out of 10 of us are ‘satisfied’? Will a nuclear assault leave these folks ‘ecstatic’?”

A grubby vengeful war (Madeline Bunting, The Guardian, October 18, 2001)
“What makes the humanitarian situation so frightening is the scale. Over 7m people are believed to be at risk. What the war risks doing is turning a desperate, fragile situation into one of the biggest humanitarian disasters of recent decades.”

Of course it’s a war on Islam (Faisal Bodi, The Guardian, October 17, 2001)
“Soon after September 11, it was reported that Britain and the US were drawing up a secret 10-year plan to combat the forces of "radical Islam", a blueprint for a new cold war to be fought principally by means of espionage, subversion and economic sanctions, backed by periodic and, theoretically, limited military incursions. . . .Operation Enduring Freedom is in fact a war against liberty, a war against those Muslims who cling to the hope that, just like their counterparts in the west, they too will one day be able to determine and direct their own fate. Ever since independence, Muslim societies from Marakesh to Mindanao have had their aspirations for self-rule repressed by western-backed elites and dictators.”

The coming Arab crash (Said Aburish, The Guardian, October 18, 2001)
“The threats to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Arafat are real. What makes the present situation worse than ever before is America's determination to involve Arab leaders in an alliance against fellow Muslims. The popularity of the pro-west leaders is so thin that any material move to hitch their fate to the anti-Bin Laden coalition will create an irreversible march towards disaster.”

A shameful silence as the bombs drop (Jonathan Steele, The Guardian, October 17, 2001)
“Except for Christian Aid and Muslim Aid, which have come out against the bombing, many aid agencies, particularly those which get grants from the British government, have kept quiet for fear of a cut in their funds. Others look at polls which seem to show strong support for bombing. Shame on them for not taking the lead and trying to change the public's view. Every aid agency in Afghanistan knows military action is causing needless death, increases the number of refugees and exacerbates the task of delivering food and medicine. In the name of the people they claim to want to help, they should break their silence now.”

War is Peace (Arundhati Roy, OutlookIndia.com, October 18, 2001)
“In America, the arms industry, the oil industry, the major media networks, and, indeed, US foreign policy, are all controlled by the same business combines. Therefore, it would be foolish to expect this talk of guns and oil and defense deals to get any real play in the media. In any case, to a distraught, confused people whose pride has just been wounded, whose loved ones have been tragically killed, whose anger is fresh and sharp, the inanities about the 'Clash of Civilisations' and the 'Good vs Evil' discourse home in unerringly. They are cynically doled out by government spokesmen like a daily dose of vitamins or anti-depressants. Regular medication ensures that mainland America continues to remain the enigma it has always been-a curiously insular people, administered by a pathologically meddlesome, promiscuous government. . . .And what of the rest of us, the numb recipients of this onslaught of what we know to be preposterous propaganda? The daily consumers of the lies and brutality smeared in peanut butter and strawberry jam being air-dropped into our minds just like those yellow food packets. Shall we look away and eat because we're hungry, or shall we stare unblinking at the grim theatre unfolding in Afghanistan until we retch collectively and say, in one voice, that we have had enough?”

47 Questions and Answers: Talking points about the war in Afghanistan
“In the course of our discussions since the bombing of Afghanistan began, we [ZDNet] have encountered certain questions over and over. Here we assemble those questions and provide short answers to each. In some cases we also provide a link or two for additional immediately relevant information or commentary.”

Bush Lights a Candle. Murdoch Burns a Cross (Ahmed Amr, Media Monitors Network, October 16, 2001)
“The FOX network is as detrimental to the national interest as the Bin Laden Cult. Rupert Murdoch is a sleazy racist tabloid publisher who has way too much influence on our governors. Unplug FOX and boycott any product advertised on their network. Watching FOX is like going to a KKK rally. This is a free country. Let Murdoch burn all the crosses he wants. Just make sure he doesn't continue doing it in your living room. Never ignore the fact that the New York Times is an ethnic newspaper that is considered a belligerent in the Middle East conflict. Diminishing the power of Sulzberger's rag will do a lot to neutralize the power of the Israeli lobby over our foreign policy.”

September apocalypse: who, why and what next? (Karen Armstrong, The Guardian, October 13, 2001)
“Throughout the Muslim world there is widespread bitterness against America, even among pragmatic and well-educated businessmen and professionals, who may sincerely deplore the recent atrocity, condemn it as evil, and feel sympathy with the victims, but who still resent the way the western powers have behaved in their countries. . . .This atmosphere is highly conducive to extremism, especially now that potential terrorists have seen the catastrophe that it is possible to inflict, using only the simplest of weapons. Even if President Bush and his allies succeed in eliminating the threat posed by Osama bin Laden and his network, hundreds more terrorists will rise up to take their place, unless we in the west address the root cause of this hatred.”

Gagging the sceptics (George Monboit, The Guardian, October 16, 2001)
“Earlier this year the director of the FBI named the chaotic but harmless organisations reclaim the Streets and Carnival Against Capitalism in the statement on terrorism he presented to the Senate. Now, partly as a result of his representations, the Senate's new terrorism bill, like Britain's Terrorism Act 2000, redefines the crime so broadly that members of Greenpeace are in danger of being treated like members of al-Qaida. The Bush doctrine - if you're not with us, you're against us - is already being applied. . . .The charge of "anti-Americanism" is itself profoundly anti-American. If the US does not stand for freedom of thought and speech, for diversity and dissent, then we have been deceived as to the nature of the national project. Were the founding fathers to congregate today to discuss the principles enshrined in their declaration of independence, they would be denounced as "anti-American" and investigated as potential terrorists. Anti-American means today precisely what un-American meant in the 1950s. It is an instrument of dismissal, a means of excluding your critics from rational discourse.”

"THIS WAR MAY NEVER END" SAYS AMERICAN VICE-PRESIDENT
MID-EAST REALITIES - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington, DC - 10/21/01:  Much pressure is building at the United Nations to not open itself to still more charges of being complicitous in "genocide", not to mention to do  something to stop being seen as "an extension of the American State Department" (the actual private words of a senior U.N. official). While much of the  Western world, especially the American "homeland", continues to believe the carefully crafted "war time" propaganda statements coming from the White House, Pentagon, and State Department (as well as from #10 Downing), there are others who recall that two of the highest ranking U.N. officials resigned a few years ago in protest over the "genocide" they believed the U.N. had become complicitous to in Iraq -- on the scale of more than 1 million civilians killed, 5000 babies dying needlessly monthly, and an advanced country reduced  to begging. Echos from Rwanda and the Balkans still reverberate at the U.N. as well. And now the warnings are that if a major new food and relief program is  not begun within weeks the Anglo-American crusade now underway could result in  millions of dead Afghanis by next year, most by famine and disease. Some of  the world's best international aid organizations are using a possible figure of 7.5 million!

Why would an American Ambassador apologize to Sharon? (Ahmed AmrMedia, Monitors Network, Sunday, October 21, 2001)
“So far, Bush has indeed been guilty of appeasement. The president has consistently rolled over for that thug Sharon, with disastrous results. This administration is largely responsible for sanitizing a notorious war criminal, whose hands are every bit as bloody as Osama Bin Laden.  If the American government continues subsidizing Israeli repression, they will be reinforcing the appeal of extremist elements on the Arab Street. Until September 11th,  no one predicted how lethal such resentments could get. But the wizards at the State Department, an Israeli occupied branch of our government, determined that the risk of a carte blanche to Sharon was a 'no cost option.'  Just now, the United States is realizing that the appeasement of Israel carries a much larger price tag than anyone ever imagined.  The Likudnik Jewish Supremacists are every bit as demented in their visions as the extremist Islamic supremacists who labor for Bin Laden.  They are just more clever in marketing their point of view with the able assistance of ethnic media marvels like the New York Times and FOX news. . . .When more Americans finally get around to how a phenomenon like "Bin Laden" and his "suicide cult" came knocking on our doors, they will arrive at the horrific conclusion that it has everything to do with a dangerous combination of campaign financing and foreign lobbyists.  Because of the pro-Israeli ethnics who dominate any discussion of the Middle East, Americans seem to have no idea of how the 'Gulf War' played in Arab homes. . . .Israeli war crimes against the native Palestinians were routinely forgiven because they were administered by a government 'democratically' elected by Jewish supremacists.  Begin was a terrorist. Shamir was a terrorist.  Sharon continues to his long career as a war criminal.  These were the men who introduced the language of terror to the Middle East.”

The Trans-Israel Highway (Devorah Brous)
“Before the holy land is reduced to no more than a war zone, and a consumer wasteland of asphalt, gas stations, and shopping centers… Help stop this ceaseless, racist stampeding of nature in the name of progress. As self-sufficient farmers are uprooted from houses, groves, and sustenance for yet another road, let us remember that unsustainable overdevelopment causes irreversible damage to this very fragile ecosystem. How many more avocado fields must be bulldozed to "relieve congestion and shorten travel times?”

This is our Viet Nam (Madeline Bunting, The Guardian, October 22, 2001)
“The first body bags are now on their way home to the US, adding to the number of American families stricken by grief and loss. Once again - for what? Predictably, relentlessly, this conflict shows every sign of becoming the Vietnam of our generation - the graveyard of strategic interests and ideals, as well as lives. And it will divide the west as bitterly as Vietnam did.”

The tragic reality of Israel (A.N. Wilson, ThisIsLondon.com, October 2001)
“Those of us Gentiles who have seen ourselves as friends of Israel over the years, have gradually watched any hope of a peaceful ‘solution’ being destroyed by the policy of Israeli settlements in land that no international lawyer believes to be theirs. This policy, if pursued by any other nation on earth would be universally condemned and they would be forced to withdraw. . . .Of course we do not want the Israelis to be ‘driven into the sea’ (as in the ominous phrase of 1967). But the 1948 experiment, - claiming the ‘Israelis’ had the ‘right’ to exist as a state just because a few brave terrorists such as Menachem Begin killed some British army officers - this was lazy thinking, and it was doomed to failure. One now sees that Israel never was a state, and it can only be defended by constant war. Is that what we want?”

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