here for opinions from prior weeks.
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.]
it loud: no more support until Israel agrees to pull out
Toynbee, The Guardian, October 24, 2001)
“Israel does not get the new global message, does not see how little
patience its old friends have for Sharon's dangerous hard line. That is
partly because the message has still not been delivered by presidential
megaphone so that the whole world hears, announcing an end to the double
standards of the west's treatment of Palestinians. As the war progresses
in Afghanistan, the quid pro quo must come for Palestine. It will not
wait: Afghanistan may not be resolved unless Palestine gets justice at
the same time.”
blackmails the West with innocent blood (Bassam
Abu-Sharif, Media Monitors Network)
“Sharon's war against the Palestinian people, and the attack of
the barbaric occupation forces against unarmed Palestinian people, is
the largest blackmail operation to date against the U.S., in order to
prevent it from proposing its peace initiative. The Palestinian people
have turned into a group of hostages Sharon is using to threaten the United
States with. He is killing 5-7 hostages daily from this people, and is
threatening to kill more if the U.S. and Britain continue with the West's
initiative to establish a Palestinian state in exchange for the security
and stability of Israel.”
always about oil
Monbiot, The Guardian, October 23, 2001)
“The invasion of Afghanistan is certainly a campaign against terrorism,
but it may also be a late colonial adventure. British ministers have warned
MPs that opposing the war is the moral equivalent of appeasing Hitler,
but in some respects our moral choices are closer to those of 1956 than
those of 1938. Afghanistan is as indispensable to the regional control
and transport of oil in central Asia as Egypt was in the Middle East.
. . .Afghanistan has some oil and gas of its own, but not enough to qualify
as a major strategic concern. Its northern neighbours, by contrast, contain
reserves which could be critical to future global supply. In 1998, Dick
Cheney, now US vice-president but then chief executive of a major oil
services company, remarked: ‘I cannot think of a time when we have had
a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as
the Caspian.’ But the oil and gas there is worthless until it is moved.
The only route which makes both political and economic sense is through
Afghanistan. . . .As the author Ahmed Rashid has documented, in 1995 the
[Texas based] US oil company Unocal started negotiating to build
oil and gas pipelines from Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan and into
Pakistani ports on the Arabian sea. The company's scheme required a single
administration in Afghanistan, which would guarantee safe passage for
its goods. Soon after the Taliban took Kabul in September 1996, the Telegraph
reported that "oil industry insiders say the dream of securing a
pipeline across Afghanistan is the main reason why Pakistan, a close political
ally of America's, has been so supportive of the Taliban, and why America
has quietly acquiesced in its conquest of Afghanistan". Unocal invited
some of the leaders of the Taliban to Houston, where they were royally
entertained. The company suggested paying these barbarians 15 cents for
every thousand cubic feet of gas it pumped through the land they had conquered.
. . .For the first year of Taliban rule, US policy towards the regime
appears to have been determined principally by Unocal's interests. In
1997 a US diplomat told Rashid "the Taliban will probably develop
like the Saudis did. There will be Aramco [the former US oil consortium
in Saudi Arabia] pipelines, an emir, no parliament and lots of Sharia
law. We can live with that." US policy began to change only when
feminists and greens started campaigning against both Unocal's plans and
the government's covert backing for Kabul.”
The Consequences Of Terrorist Acts In The U.S. (By
Russian Human Rights Organizations)
“As human rights activists in Russia, we are particularly concerned
about the predictable intent to use the new world situation to justify
the resolution of the Chechen problem exclusively by force. Our view on
the subject remains the same: the only way out of the dead-end situation
in Chechnya is a peaceful settlement reached through negotiations. The
resolution of complex problems by force can lead only to an escalation
of terrorism. . . .This terrorist attack was aimed not only against American
cities. A war has been declared against the foundations of contemporary
civilization: against the principles of freedom, democracy, and human
rights. If the peoples and governments of democratic countries heed irresponsible
calls for revenge and retreat from their principles—then we can truly
say that the terrorists have won this war.”
might moves all Nations to War and Peace, Except one
Khodr, Media Monitors Network, October 22, 2001)
“How can it be that in our great democracy the political and economic
interests of corporations, the military-industrial complex, and Israel
become superior and paramount in the corridors of Congress and the White
House than the interest of the American people? Despite the denials one
hears and reads in our media, the answer is quite simple. American affluence,
geographic separation from the world, poor educational system that is
geared more to producing non-thinking analytical students than to students
of life, a media monopoly in the hands of a few corporations more interested
in serving the needs of the "3 Amigos: multi-national corporations,
the military-industrial complex, and Israel" than our citizens by
ensuring that only the indoctrinating edited self serving information
is provided (such information is reflected in the daily superficial conversation
in our nation), its reflected in our apathetic separation from our government
reflected in our voting patterns or if we vote its usually out of ideology
or a superficial understanding of a 30 second commercial, its reflected
in our conformity to fit in, to follow the herd, and avoidance of controversies
and confrontation; its reflected in our separation from religion and the
empowerment of morality, peace, and justice. Thus while we Americans are
the most giving of spirit, money, and blood we don't respond to issues
unless we are massively and emotionally moved to a cause, a cause usually
provided to our minds, eyes, ears, and hearts by the media. . . .Kol Israel
radio reported an angry exchange between Sharon and Shimon Peres where
Sharon angrily shouted to Peres: ‘Don't worry about America. We
control America.’ . . .As an American I am outraged at the doormat,
weak, and subservient policies of or government toward Israel.”
banned on corporate radio
In response to Tuesday's terrorist attacks, Clear Channel,
the world's largest radio network, has sent out a list of some 150 "lyrically
questionable" songs by everyone from the Animals to the Zombies to
its radio stations, recommending that the songs not be aired. Some songs
are overtly violent in their intent, but the majority simply contain metaphorical
language or narrative aspects that connect uncomfortably with the tragedy.
Songs that have been banned include:
- The Beatles "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
- The Beatles "Ticket To Ride"
- Elton John "Benny & The Jets"
- Elton John "Rocket Man"
- Led Zeppelin "Stairway to Heaven"
- Louis Armstrong "What A Wonderful World"
- Peter Paul and Mary "Blowin' in the Wind"
- Peter Paul and Mary "Leavin' on a Jet Plane"
- Rolling Stones "Ruby Tuesday"
- Simon And Garfunkel "Bridge Over Troubled Water"
- Hollies "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"
- Don McLean "American Pie"
- Buddy Holly and the Crickets "That'll Be the Day"
- John Lennon "Imagine"
- Frank Sinatra "New York, New York"
- Neil Diamond "America"
- Phil Collins "In the Air Tonight"
Europe Really Sees the U.S.
“Constantly spoon fed on and by Georges -- the equivalent
of McDonalds cheeseburgers for the brain -- no wonder so many Americans
are so obese and bumbling of mind as well as body. No wonder nearly
all Americans were caught so unawares on 11 September. No wonder nearly
all Americans cheer and fly flags and simplistically talk incessantly
about "we good" and "they evil"; themselves
collectively killing millions while backing the worst thugs and
dictators...all without even knowing what they have done in the recent
past and that what is happening now is, to a very large extent,
a direct result of what has come before.”
Pillage of Afghan Heritage
“Kabul's rich museum has been completely pillaged, all of
its most precious items being either destroyed or stolen. They include
extraordinary and beautiful Gandharan sculptures, the product of a unique
blending of Eastern and Western culture, the so-called Indo-Hellenic style,
which combined both classical Greek and Buddhist influences. . . .Indeed,
the destruction of Afghanistan's cultural heritage over the last two decades
compares only to the way that Genghis Khan and his Mongol descendants
laid waste to much of the country 800 years ago. Even in the midst of
the current conflict however, and despite the ban on digging in northern
Afghanistan, dealers in antiquities are still plying their trade.”
blown apart, infants dying
Lloyd Parry in Quetta, The Independent, 25 October 2001)
“Sami Ullah was asleep when it happened, and so his friends and
neighbours had to tell him about the bomb that struck his house and what
it did to him and his family. How the American planes, which had been
over earlier in the evening, had returned after everyone went to bed and
how, instead of the Taliban base two miles away, they dropped their bombs
on a residential area of the town of Tarin Kot.”
and Tyranny (Seumas
Milne, The Guardian, Thursday October 25, 2001)
“Yet for all the square-jawed resolution on display in western
capitals about the prosecution of this war, there is little agreement
even within the heart of the coalition about what terrorism actually means.
Both the EU and the UN are struggling to come up with an acceptable definition.
The European Commission has produced a formulation so broad it would include
anti-globalisation protesters who smash McDonald's windows; while Kofi
Annan, UN secretary-general, warned wearily that reaching a consensus
would be well-nigh impossible since "one man's terrorist is another
man's freedom fighter". President Bush has pledged that the war will
not cease so long as "anybody is terrorising established governments"
and Britain's latest terrorism legislation outlaws support for groups
opposing any regime, including an illegal one, with violence.”
asked Mr Bush to 'save civilisation'?
Guardian, October 24, 2001)
“ ‘This conflict is a fight to save the civilised world,’ Mr Bush
declared. "This is the urgent task of our time." Another simple
Bush definition, that those who support terrorism are just as bad as the
terrorists themselves, has been repeated from the very first. In his Oval
Office address on the evening of September 11, Mr Bush warned he would
‘make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and
those who harbour them’. . . .These assertions rest on assumptions that
remain largely untested despite the oceans of ink expended on reporting
the ‘war on terrorism’. One big assumption is that Mr Bush is the man
best qualified to be the judge of human progress and the guardian of global
culture. That is a challenging idea.”
what you read . . . it can keep you from flying
“He proceeded through the security checkpoint and sat down
to read near his boarding gate. About 10 minutes had passed when a National
Guardsman approached Godfrey. . . .‘He told me to step aside,’ Godfrey
says. ‘Then he took my book and asked me why I was reading it.’ . . .Within
minutes, Godfrey says, Philadelphia Police officers, Pennsylvania State
Troopers and airport security officials joined the National Guardsman.
About 10 to 12 people examined the novel for 45 minutes, scratching out
notes the entire time. They also questioned Godfrey about the purpose
of his trip to Phoenix. . . .[After missing his first flight] He exchanged
it [Hayduke Lives! by Edward Abbey] for a seemingly benign novel,
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. . . . ‘This time, they
took my Harry Potter book and about four people studied it for 20 minutes,’
Godfrey says. . . . At the appointed time, an escort took Godfrey through
security, while at least 15 law enforcement officials looked on. Rather
than taking Godfrey directly to his gate, however, he was ushered into
a private interrogation room. . . . ‘They patted me down and found nothing,’
Godfrey says. But when he emerged from this room, Burt Zastera, supervisor
of airport operations for United, told him he would not be allowed to
or Torture of 9-11 Suspects Breaks Constitution, Law, and Treaties
Glen Boire, The Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics)
“The Washington Post reported on Sunday that in an effort
to extract information from the detainees, FBI and Justice Department
investigators are considering ‘using drugs or pressure tactics, such as
those employed occasionally by Israeli interrogators, to extract information.
Another idea is extraditing the suspects to allied countries where security
services sometimes employ threats to family members or resort to torture.’
. . . ‘The use of torture or physical intimidation to force a suspect
to reveal information is a clear violation of US and International law,’
says attorney Richard Glen Boire, Executive Director of the Center
for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics. The Fifth Amendment to the
US Constitution guarantees that no person ‘shall be compelled in any criminal
case to be a witness against himself,’ and protects all people on US soil,
whether citizens or not. Torturing a person in order to extract a confession
is inherently coercive and renders any subsequent statements ‘compelled,’
involuntary, unreliable, and wholly unconstitutional.”
CNN of the Arab World
Straus, Alternet, October 26, 2001)
“Well, the United States wants to control the flow of information,
especially now that there is an Arab station broadcasting live from the
front line in Afghanistan. The other thing to remember is that there were
no such outlets during the Gulf War. And now, with such outlets, Arab
viewers are not just watching what's happening in Afghanistan, but they're
watching all kinds of debates, hearing all kinds of views. Al-Jazeera
is giving a bigger voice to Arab public opinion. And the U.S. is not used
to that. The U.S. has been used to pressuring its allies in the region
to stifle dissent and has always disregarded Arab public opinion. But
now that there is Al-Jazeera and other TV stations and newspapers in the
region, public opinion has become too loud and too inconvenient for them
Lama criticizes US foreign policy
“ ‘You can eliminate people but you cannot eliminate human
thought,’ the Dalai Lama
said at a news conference. ‘The way to defeat terrorism in the long run
thought, argument and reasoning. Once you commit violence it is unpredictable
it causes side effects.’ . . . But the Dalai Lama criticized what he described
as the United States' lack of concern for ‘democratic principles’ in its
foreign policy. . . . ‘As far as domestic policy is concerned, they think
democracy, democracy, democracy,’ he said. ‘But American foreign policy
is not much concerned for democratic principles.’ ”
A Peace Movement In Wartime
“I believe it is essential that critics of the War Party
maintain a steady drumbeat of criticism and sometimes opposition.
For starters, Congress hasn’t declared war, despite all the metaphors
and military action, so there’s no justification for wartime repression
of speech and criticism. . . .There may be circumstances in which it is
more effective to criticize particular tactics or actions rather
than getting to the root of what’s wrong with American foreign policy
in every presentation. We should be prepared for the likelihood
that we will sometimes get little attention and will sometimes be
dismissed as cranks. But we should determine that we will not relent
in our determination to change American foreign policy over time
which means we have to be willing to criticize it at almost every step.
. . .In the weeks and months to come we and other Americans will question
everything from the timing of certain attacks to the weapons used to ways
to minimize casualties all the way to the broader question of
whether we should be in a war at all. This is healthy in a free country.
A strong America can not only tolerate impertinent questions, it will
become stronger as a result.”
Laden’s Modest Goals (Joseph
“Notice that unlike most Muslim radicals, he [Osama bin Laden]
doesn’t demand the annihilation of Israel, merely its withdrawal
to its pre-1967 borders. This is by no means an admission of Israel’s
right to exist; he would no doubt be delighted if Israel were wiped off
the map. But this relatively moderate goal is not what one would expect
of him. . . .Notice too that, contrary to our apocalyptic rhetoric, bin
Laden has no apparent animus against "freedom" and "democracy."
He hasn’t suggested, let alone demanded, that we change our way of life
or convert to Islam only that we get out of his part of the world. .
. .If, on the other hand, he has abandoned those goals, he may have adopted
a new purpose: to spark a war between the United States and the entire
Muslim world. Some of our Israeli "allies" also crave such a
war and are calling for a U.S. overthrow of several governments in the
region. But in the event of war, the regimes most likely to topple are
those that have been friendliest to this country just what bin
Laden may be counting on. Do we want to risk that? . . .One perennial
human folly is the belief that the course of a war can be controlled.
Experience thoroughly refutes it. Even victory may carry an unexpected
cost: we have finally paid for winning the 1991 war on Iraq. You
may think the war was just, you may even think it was worth the loss
of the World Trade Center and thousands of lives, but you can hardly say
that you foresaw the consequences. We only just got the bill. In no way
did America’s war justify bin Laden’s crimes. But that’s the point. When
men are enraged, they don’t settle for proportionate justice: they seek
measureless revenge. And our cost-benefit experts didn’t budget for revenge.”
Conservatives Need the Anti-War Movement
H. Rockwell, Jr.)
“Rather than defend the anti-war position itself, I want to make
a different argument. If you believe in freedom at all, you should hope
that there are at least some doubters and protesters, regardless of the
merit of their case. Even if you think this war is a great and necessary
thing to teach the terrorists a lesson in American resolve, the preservation
of liberty at home is also an important value. . . .The existence of an
opposition movement is evidence that some restraints on government still
exist. The government, which is always looking for reasons to increase
its power, needs to know that there will always be an opposition. . .
.The view that wartime requires complete unanimity of public opinion is
not an American one – it is a position more characteristic of Islamic
or other totalitarian states, where differences of opinion are regarded
as a threat to public order, and where the leadership demands 100 percent
approval from the people. These are also states where the head of government
requires that he be treated like a deity, that there be no questioning
of his edicts, that he govern with unquestioned power. . . .Unpopular
government is dangerous enough, popular government far more so. When public
officials believe that there are no limits to their power, no doubters
about their pronouncements, no cynics who question their motives, they
are capable of gross abuses. This is true both in wartime and peacetime.
The most beloved governments are most prone to become the most abusive.”
Is No War On Terrorism (John
Pilger, New Statesman-London, 29 October 2001)
“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
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. . . .
. . . . .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.
and the Four Freedoms (Doris
“Granny D” Haddock, AlterNet, September 28, 2001)
“This is not a time for all good Americans to forget their political
differences and rally behind the man in the White House. The man in the
White House should apologize for the most serious breach of internal security
in the nation's history, not disguise his failure in calls for war. Can
he hope that the fiery explosions in New York and Washington and Pennsylvania
will be more acceptable to us if they are placed in a larger context of
explosions of our own making? I do not rally around that idea. It is "wag
the dog" taken to an extreme level, for he is not covering up his
failure with a fake war, but with a real one.He has taken every opportunity
to make the world less safe, first in North Korea and then in the Mideast
and in Russia and in China. He needs a dangerous world to sell his military
vision of the future. He is getting it. We must not go along with him.
. . .I hope I speak for many common Americans who cannot see our flag
without getting emotional with love for it. Our dream is that it should
always represent the best that human beings can do on this earth. This
is a time for us to rally around its best values and its highest dreams.”
WAR AGAINST AFGHANISTAN! (Prof.
Francis A. Boyle)
“President Bush consulted with Secretary Powell and all of a sudden
they changed the rhetoric and characterization of what happened here.
They now called it an act of war. And clearly this was not an act of war.
There are enormous differences in how you treat an act of terrorism and
how you treat an act of war. We have dealt with acts of terrorism before.
And normally acts of terrorism are dealt with as a matter of international
and domestic law enforcement. . . . Since none of these justifications
and pretexts hold up, as a matter of law, then, what the United States
government today is doing against Afghanistan constitutes armed aggression.
It is illegal. . . . Indeed if you read on the internet certainly not
in the mainstream U.S. news media, you will see that is the position being
taken in almost every Islamic country in the world. Where are the facts?
Where is the law? They aren't there. This is apparent to the entire world.
. . . And the winter is coming in Afghanistan. Latest estimate that I've
seen is that maybe 100,000 or more are going to die if we don't stop this
war. So what's really going on here? Why are we bombing Afghanistan? Why
are we doing this? Is it retaliation? Is it vengeance? . . . In addition,
finally, comes the Ashcroft Police State Bill. No other word to describe
it. . . . Bush failed to get that declaration of war which would have
rendered him a constitutional dictator. But it's clear that Ashcroft and
his Federalist Society lawyers took every piece of regressive legislation
off the shelf, tied it all into this antiterrorism bill, and rammed it
Agenda Behind War on Terror
Pilger Former Mirror Chief Foreign Correspondent)
“Tony Blair has yet to tell us what the violent death of children
- seven in one family - has to do with Osama bin Laden. . . . And why
are cluster bombs being used? The British public should know about these
bombs, which the RAF also uses. They spray hundreds of bomblets that have
purpose; to kill and maim people. Those that do not explode lie on the
ground like landmines, waiting for people to step on them. . . . If ever
a weapon was designed specifically for acts of terrorism, this is it.
. . . None of those directly involved in the September 11 atrocity was
Afghani. Most were Saudis, who apparently did their planning and training
in Germany and the United States. The camps which the Taliban allowed
bin Laden to use were emptied weeks ago. . . . When the Taliban took Kabul
in 1996, Washington said nothing. Why? Because Taliban leaders were soon
on their way to Houston, Texas, to be entertained by executives of the
oil company, Unocal. . . . WITH secret US government approval, the company
offered them a generous cut of the profits of the oil and gas pumped through
a pipeline that the Americans wanted to build from Soviet central Asia
through Afghanistan. . . . A US diplomat said: ‘The Taliban will probably
develop like the Saudis did.’ He explained that Afghanistan would become
an American oil colony, there would be huge profits for the West, no democracy
and the legal persecution of women. ‘We can live with that,’ he said.”
Shapiro, The Nation, October 29, 2001)
“Investigators still hold in custody 150 of the 800 people
rounded up in the aftermath of the attacks. (One detainee died in custody
in New Jersey.) No charges have been filed, no hearings convened. The
names of nearly all those still held remain classified, as do the reasons
for their incarceration. . . . Just as damaging as these detentions is
an October 12 memo from Attorney General John Ashcroft reversing longstanding
Freedom of Information Act policies. . . . One after another, federal
agencies are removing public data from their websites or restricting access
to their public reading rooms. . . . During Vietnam, the famous credibility
gap resided at the Pentagon, with briefings and Congressional testimony
at odds with battlefield evidence. Just weeks into this war, the Bush
Administration is risking a new credibility gap roughly the size of the
District of Columbia.”
want bombing pause
Travis, The Guardian, October 30, 2001)
“British public support for the war against the Taliban has dropped
by 12 points in the past fortnight and a majority now believe there should
be a pause in the bombing to allow aid convoys into Afghanistan. . . .
the prime minister will be alarmed by details of the survey, which show
that support among women has slumped by 17 points from 68% to 51%. Only
a bare majority of women now approve of military action against the Taliban.”