With every unguided bomb that drops, with every pinpoint missile gone astray, with every child maimed and with every redoubled cry of Taliban defiance, the military assault on Afghanistan becomes more of an obstacle to justice in its broadest sense, less a legitimate part of the solution. Nor are civilians the only victims. Not by a long chalk. In fighting in this way, by repeating the mistakes of the past, the US makes victims of history, of compassion and of its allies - and of the rightness of its cause.
--Gurardian UK (11/2/2001).
The [CNN] memo went on to admonish reporters covering civilian deaths not to "forget it is that country's leaders who are responsible for the situation Afghanistan is now in," suggesting that journalists should lay responsibility for civilian casualties at the Taliban's door, not the U.S. military's.
More than three centuries after they were accused, tried and hanged as unrepentant witches on Gallows Hill in Salem, Mass., five women have been officially exonerated by the state.
A diverse coalition of 48 humanitarian, religious, human rights and civil liberties organizations today released a set of recommendations for responding to the September 11th attacks. The groups stressed the importance of abiding by human rights and humanitarian law in acting to bring the perpetrators to justice and preventing future attacks.
--Human Rights Watch (11/1/2001).
Some elders in Khost province of Afghanistan have stepped up their efforts to garner support for the ex-Afghan monarch Muhammad Zahir Shah.
Afghans entering Pakistan over the last week from the area said that no particular group or party is sponsoring the meetings. The people have lost confidence in the leadership of both the ruling militia and its opposition Northern Alliance, one Afghan said.
--Wahdat (Out There News 11/1/2001).
A top European Union official said on Wednesday that Uzbekistan shared the EU's vision of a post-Taliban government in Afghanistan that would embrace all ethnic groups in the fractured nation. Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel, whose country currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, met President Islam Karimov and senior ministers in this Central Asian state, which borders on northern Afghanistan.
--Jang News (11/1/2001).
The United Nations representative for Afghanistan, Lakhder Brahimi, met the leader of the National Islamic Front of Afghanistan (NIFA), Pir Syed Ahmad Gailani, here on Tuesday to discuss setting up an interim government to replace the Taliban in Afghanistan....
The meeting lasted for about two hours in the presence of the chief of United Nations Special Mission for Afghanistan (UNSMA), Francesco Vendrell, Dr Ashraf Ghani, an Afghan national from the World Bank mission, and some members of NIFA. It was Brahimi's first contact with any Afghan leader based in Pakistan after being appointed the UN special representative for Afghanistan.
--Out There (10/29/2001).
The supreme leader of Taliban, Mulla Muhammad Omar, has issued decree for the assassination of all pro-king Afghan warlords both in and out of Afghanistan.
--Jang News (11/1/2001).
The Taliban militia has arrested several tribal elders in the country's eastern Kunar and Nangarhar provinces who were accused of having sympathies for the former monarch Zahir Shah.
--SAHAAR (Out There News 10/31/2001).
"The world has been divided into two camps: one under the banner of the cross, as the head of infidels, (US President George W) Bush, has said, and one under the banner of Islam," said Bin Laden in a statement sent to the Qatari-based Al-Jazeera satellite channel.
--(Times of India 11/1/2001).
The secretary [Rumsfeld], asked he was concerned about reports that Pakistan had taken nuclear weapons scientists into custody on suspicion they had ties to Al Qaeda, said the United States had certain knowledge that that the terror network "had an appetite" for obtaining weapons of mass destruction of various types, including nuclear materials.
Pakistan is clandestinely continuing to supply the Taliban regime with military supplies, US officials have affirmed, confirming the assessment of Indian intelligence agencies first reported in the Indian media.
--Chidanand Rajghatta (Times of India 11/1/2001).
From South Africa to Britain, and from many parts of the Arab world, hundreds of Muslims are booking flights, boarding ships and hitching rides on rickety trucks, trying to get into Afghanistan. Their goal: to fight for the Taliban against the United States.
--AP (Arab World News 10/29/2001).
The 1972 treaty, which 143 nations have ratified, prohibits the development, production and possession of biological weapons. But the treaty has always lacked a means of verifying compliance. The administration's rejection of the draft agreement last summer effectively torpedoed its prospects. Countries that have signed the treaty are to meet again to discuss ways of strengthening it in Geneva on Nov. 19.
Afghanistan's ruling Taliban on Wednesday declared that they would neither meet the UN Secretary General's Special Representative, Lakhdar Brahimi, nor allow him to "interfere in the internal affairs of our country".
--Out There News (10/31/2001).
Foreign Minister Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Interior Minister Muhammad Yunas Qanooni of the Burhanuddin Rabbani government have developed serious differences that may come as a blow to the Northern Alliance....
Abdullah said that the Rabbani government is the legitimate authority in Afghanistan and that the formation of an interim government under former king Zahir Shah would confront Afghans and the international community with renewed problems. To call the Loya Jirga meeting at this moment will be premature. It will further disintegrate the divided leadership of the country, he said
THOUSANDS of Pakistanis wielding guns, rockets, swords and axes streamed across the Afghan border yesterday pledging to fight against America...
Yesterday, hundreds of pro-Taliban Pakistanis seized the remote northern town of Chilas about 210 miles north-east of Peshawar, demanding the government stop supporting the US-led strikes on Afghanistan. They took over most government offices.
Pro-Taliban Pakistanis also continued their control of a stretch of the key Karakoram Highway for the fourth consecutive day, severing northern Pakistan's links with China. The Pakistani interior ministry said troops were being sent to oust the rebels and open the road.
--Philip Smucker (Telegraph 10/29/2001).
US and Israeli commandos are training together to seize Pakistani nuclear weapons in the event of military ruler Pervez Musharraf being ousted by the jehadi forces.
--Chidanand Rajghatta (Times of India 11/1/2001?).
Women's opinions, unlike those of the plethora of men with vested interests in Afghanistan, are globally united; The bombings must stop. Not today, not tomorrow, nor in 10 year's time, but right now before the world is plunged one step further towards a conflict which brings terror, not freedom, to all; and women, most especially Afghan women such as RAWA, have a rightful place at the table where the future of Afghanistan is set to be planned.
--Lynette Dumble (ZNet 10/31/2001).
The war against terrorism is a fraud. After three weeks' bombing, not a single terrorist implicated in the attacks on America has been caught or killed in Afghanistan....
If ever a weapon was designed specifically for acts of terrorism, this [the cluster bomb] is it. I have seen the victims of American cluster weapons in other countries, such as the Laotian toddler who picked one up and had her right leg and face blown off. Be assured this is now happening in Afghanistan, in your name....
The hypocrisy does not stop there. 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.
--John Pilger (London Mirror 10/31/2001).
A western intelligence source told AFP the current overall presence of US military personnel in opposition-held Afghanistan is "likely to be in the region of around 40 men."
--Chidanand Rajghatta (Times of India 10/31/2001).
In the United States, some seem increasingly frustrated by the slow pace of the military campaign, and conservative politicians have begun to talk about escalating it by using ground forces on a larger scale. In Britain and other European countries, however, public opinion seemed headed in the other direction. The European public appears more concerned about civilian casualties than ending the war swiftly.
--Michael R. Gordon & Eric Schmitt (NY Times 10/31/2001).
In a sign of the expansion of the war effort, Pentagon officials also said today that Mr. Rumsfeld has notified President Bush that the Pentagon will soon have mobilized more than 50,000 members of the National Guard and Reserve troops....
--Jamed Dao & Thom Shanker (NY Times 10/31/2001).
But while at least 500,000 recently laid-off workers struggle to keep their heads above water and get no federal help, House Republicans are pushing a “stimulus” package that would award 14 Fortune 500 corporations a total of $6.3 billion in tax rebates. It’s not because the 14 companies are on the verge of financial collapse or even mildly distressed; last year, they reported $33.2 billion in pre-tax profits.
--Harry Gelber (Labor Educator 10/30/2001).
For example, it's not too surprising that calculations by Citizens for Tax Justice show General Motors, with its 380,000 workers, getting a check for $800 million. But it's quite amazing that TXU (formerly Dallas Power and Light), a company with only 16,000 employees, would get a check for $600 million. And there are a number of medium-sized companies that, like TXU, are in line for surprisingly big benefits. These companies include ChevronTexaco, Enron, Phillips Petroleum, IMC Global and CMS Energy. What do they have in common?
--Paul Krugman (NYTimes 10/31/2001).
$1.4 billion for IBM
$833 million for General Motors
$671 million for General Electric
$572 million for Chevron Texaco
$254 million for Enron
--"War Profiteering" Action Campaign (MoveOn.org).
The attorney general said he was creating a new foreign terrorist tracking task force headed by a veteran FBI official that will foster better coordination between intelligence, law enforcement and immigration officials....
He said the task force will be headed by Steven C. McCraw, the deputy assistant director of the intelligence branch of the FBI's Investigative Services Division.
--AP (NYTimes web 10/31/2001).
We hereby request disclosure of the following information concerning the individuals "arrested or detained" in the words of Attorney General Ashcroft, in the wake of the September 11 attack and referred to by the President, the Attorney General and the FBI Director in various public statements.
--Center for National Security Studies (The Nation 10/29/2001).
Predominantly from the western provinces of the [Saudi] kingdom, they [the suspected hijackers] were also all adherents to the Salafist school of Islam, which believes in following literally the doctrines and practices of the earliest disciples of the Prophet Mohammed....[See NVUSA page G for more on Salafist GIA]
[One suspected hijacker] Al-Hamzi had already aroused the suspicion of the CIA before September 11 when he was spotted with Khalid al-Midhar, another Saudi, at a meeting with suspected Al-Qaeda members in Malaysia in January 2000. Shortly afterwards, al-Hamzi and al-Midhar began flying lessons together in San Diego. Al-Midhar was in seat 12B on the flight. Another al-Hamzi brother, Salem, was on the same plane, in seat 5E.
--Sunday Times UK (10/28/2001).
Our call for justice, however, must not be confused with calls for
"revenge," which will only lead to the deaths of more innocent civilians. "Justice should be the result of a fair, impartial and transparent trial conducted under international law at which credible evidence is produced," said Brooklyn Green Pete Dolack. Thus far, that evidence against any specific individual, including Osama Bin Laden, has been questionable. For a nation to embark upon bombing another country -- in the case of Afghanistan, one that had been armed and financed by the U.S. government - for any reason, but especially without producing clear evidence while killing innocent civilians in the process, is an arrogant and inhumane act.
--Green Party (10/19/2001).
Vice President Dick Cheney was in Dutchess County Monday, hunting at the Clove Valley Rod & Gun Club in Union Vale.
''There's security all over,'' said Union Vale Supervisor Lisette Hitsman. ''You can't drive 500 feet on Clove Road without running into a police car.''...
Monday the vice president was at the rod and gun Club on Clove Mountain Road for several hours. It wasn't clear what Cheney was hunting for; hunters at the private club generally shoot pheasant and ducks....
Peter and Edna Bonk, who live on Clove Valley Road just south of the club, were out for an afternoon walk and waved to Cheney's motorcade at it drove by. The 14-car motorcade left the gun club shortly after 3:30 p.m. and headed south on Clove Valley Road.
--Elizabeth Lynch (Poughkeepsie Journal
Cheney, Hitsman, Lynch, Bonk? Positively Pynchonesque.
U.S. radio broadcasts into Afghanistan now include a safety warning: airdropped food parcels are square, unexploded cluster bombs are can-shaped, and both are yellow, so it is important to tell them apart.
The Red Cross warehouses in Kabul destroyed last week were not hit by accident, a senior U.S. military official told NBC News. They were bombed because Taliban troops had commandeered the food stored there, the source added.
Note: The above paragraph was subsequently deleted from the MSNBC web page. The following paragraph was written by Howard Kurtz for the Washington Post 10/30/2001:
As for the war, if Jim Miklaszewski is right, the Pentagon could be facing a bit of a credibility gap. The United States has said that its bombing of a Red Cross warehouse on two different occasions was an accident. But the NBC correspondent last night quoted a senior military source as saying the bombing was deliberate because Taliban forces were stealing food from the warehouse. Which, if true, would render the original explanation, well, inoperative.
The U.S.-based ChevronTexaco oil company told analysts recently that operations at Karachaganak may be stopped until 2002 because both Kazakhstan and Russia are applying value-added taxes to the field's output. The giant deposit in western Kazakhstan on the border with Russia has been a source of contention for at least eight years....
Like many of the big projects in the region, Karachaganak has a long, tortured history. The field was exploited in Soviet times, but output dropped sharply after 1991. Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom tried but failed to gain a share in the western project to restore production levels. It is unclear whether the current dispute is related to any lingering ambitions for control.
(Radio Free Europe
Kazakhstan's giant Karachaganak field, located close to the Russian border and 240 miles from Russia's Orenburg gas field, is believed to contain 2.4 billion tons of condensate (17.5 billion barrels) and 16 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas. Peak production at the field is expected to reach 260,000 bbl/d of liquids and 10 billion cubic meters (353 billion cubic feet (Bcf)) of gas annually. However, development of the field has been hampered because the former Soviet Union intended for this gas to be processed at Orenburg in Russia and exported via pipelines from Russia. Since Kazakh gas now is a competitor with Russian gas, the Orenburg plant has accepted only a fraction of Karachagnak's potential output. In addition, although Russia's Gazprom originally agreed to take a 15% stake in the consortium developing Karachaganak in exchange for processing and exporting the gas, it has since left the project.
--US Energy Information Administration (
The Karachaganak field, a giant gas/condensate and oil field in western Kazakhstan, was discovered in 1979. It was developed and operated by the Soviets until the break up of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. To stimulate further field development activities, the Kazakh authorities entered into an agreement in 1992 giving BG and Agip exclusive rights to negotiate a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA)....
In August 1997, Texaco acquired a 20% share of Karachaganak from BG and Agip. In November 1997, LUKOil took over the 15% share of the project formerly held by Gazprom.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, Texaco Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Peter Bijur said: "We salute the accomplishment of this great cooperative venture, and the commitment of President Nazarbayev to develop Kazakhstan's energy resources. Karachaganak will enable Texaco to enhance significantly our international reserves. The field also represents a key element of Texaco's wider expansion in the Caspian region, which is an important feature of our strategic plan for expanding our position in the global energy market.
--Texaco Press Release
Baker Hughes Inc. has won a contract from the Karachaganak Petroleum Operating consortium to provide all integrated services for their Karachaganak field. The three-year contract, with an option for an additional three years, covers all rigsite and associated offsite services. Baker Hughes will provide completions, wireline logging and drilling products and services. The KPO consortium comprises AGIP S.p.A., BG Exploration and Production Ltd., Texaco Inc. and LUKoil.
--Houston Business Journal (
Now Baker Hughes is focused on providing drilling, formation evaluation and production technology used within oil and gas wells. Six divisions provide best-in-class products and services to the worldwide petroleum industry.
However, calling it a Muslim holy war is a smokescreen to cover up the real cause of the struggle. The bottom line in Chechnya is oil. It is one of the richest oil producing regions in the former USSR. It has vast natural gas deposits. It is a major chemical processing center. It has a vital pipeline running through its territory to the Caspian Sea port.
--Gus Hall (Peoples Weekly World
Oil is one of the hotest topics when people hear about Azerbaijan. Meanwhile, it is also very confusing for many people, even experts. To help you quicker understand what is going on, the editor of VAR website decided to offer the following map as a supplement to all the oil-related materials on this page.
--Virtual Azerbaijan (
- US Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce HONORARY COUNCIL OF ADVISORS: James Baker III, Lloyd Bentsen, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Dick Cheney (Resigned in November, 2000), Henry Kissinger, John Sununu; CHAIRMAN EMERITUS T. Don Stacy; COCHAIRMEN OF THE BOARD: Richard Matzke, Vice Chairman, Chevron Company; Reza Vaziri, President, R.V. Investment Group; BOARD OF DIRECTORS: The business affairs of USACC are managed by its Board of Directors which is composed of distinguished individuals with an interest in the U.S.-Azerbaijan relationship. Ambassador Richard Armitage, President, Armitage Associates (Resigned in February, 2001)...
- Azerbaijani and Georgian officials said last week that Moscow has interfered in the internal affairs of their countries to the detriment of stability there and in the region as a whole.
--Paul Goble (Radio Free Europe 3/10/1997)
Earlier today, Georgia's President Eduard Shevardnadze said his country has protested to Russia over an air raid yesterday in a portion of the breakaway republic of Abkhazia controlled by Georgian forces. Shevardnadze said in Tbilisi that it was the third protest made by Georgia to Russia in the past month.
--Radio Free Europe (