From the beginning, the rational response to these
horrors was to take this problem to the United
Nations, and seek to reach a general agreement on the
necessary measures to combat terrorism. Why did the
United States not do this? Why do they refuse to
support the establishment of an international criminal
court? How can international law prevail when each
proclaims his own gun rule?
--Ken Coates & Tony Simpson, email appeal, 10/26?/2001 (Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation russfound.org).
This is a shame; I thought the link to genocide was quite clear. If an war is being waged in a way that directly disrupts a necessary humanitarian effort, and thousands or millions die as a result, this could arguably be considered a crime against humanity, democide, genocide -- take your pick. The key is the question of intentionality, i.e., are the military actions being taken in full knowledge of their potentially catastrophic human consequences? It appears that they are, and therefore that criticisms aimed at heading off the catastrophe may well be justified. The conscious imposition of famine and resulting mass death has certainly received some attention in the genocide studies literature (e.g., Ukraine, Ethiopia). I did try to make the link to genocide explicit, and I think the message deserves to be posted. Hope you will do so.
--Adam Jones (email 10/15/2001).
US action against Afghanistan and its inaction toward Israel has put the governments Washington describes as moderate in a very delicate position. Public opinion is now protesting US double standards and the racist stereotyping of Arab and Muslim peoples. This is precisely the situation Arab and Muslim leaders warned against when they urged Washington and its partners in the coalition against terrorism to make a clear distinction between terrorism and Islam. If this distinction is not made apparent, they cautioned, the coalition will fracture. The Arab countries will be unable to rally popular support, for they cannot argue credibly that it is not targeting innocent Arab and Muslim civilians. Above all, concrete steps must be taken to curb the Sharon government's mass murder of the Palestinian people if Arabs and Muslims are to believe that no special agenda is at work.
--Ibrahim Nafie (Al-Ahram Weekly 10/25-31/2001).
In [Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam] Zeevi's death, the Israeli political fringes have met the centre, cultural diversity has become branches of a single settler culture, political trends have receded back to the tribal womb, and the supporters of Zeevi's post-1967 transfer solution have joined hands with the perpetrators of the transfer of 1948. The climate is ideal for Sharon's policy of terror against the Palestinians in Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Tulkarm and Ramallah.
--Azmi Bishara, Knesset Member (Al-Ahram Weekly 10/25-31/2001).
All of this produces a kind of hysteria which leads to what can only be described as a lynch mob spirit. You can see it coming not just from the government but from the major media.
--Howard Zinn (SocialistWorker 10/26/2001).
The propaganda war claims they're going after Bin Laden or the Taliban - or somebody.
In the real war they're bombing mud huts, roads, water supplies, the Red Cross and UN workers, and blocking the only food shipments that might keep millions of civilians from starving after years of war and drought. And they're driving out hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the bombing.
--Global Circle News (10/25/2001).
At the Rendon Group, a public-relations firm with offices in Boston and Washington, pleasant news arrived the other day with a $397,000 contract to help the Pentagon look good while bombing Afghanistan. The four-month deal includes an option to renew through most of 2002.
--Normon Solomon (ZNET10/26/2001).
The 35-year-old American claims to be a lieutenant in a U.S. Navy intelligence unit — a spy who says he knew in advance about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
--Nick Pron (Toronto Star 10/23/2001).
Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October.
--George Arney (BBC 9/18/2001).
"To date, our anti-terrorism offensive has arrested or detained nearly 1,000 individuals as part of the Sept. 11 terrorism investigation," Ashcroft said. "Those who violated the law remain in custody. Taking suspected terrorists in violation of the law off the streets and keeping them locked up is our clear strategy to prevent terrorism within our borders."
As for the new police powers contained in the legislation headed for Bush's desk, "a new era in America's fight against terrorism, made tragically necessary by the attacks of Sept. 11, is about to begin," Ashcroft said.
Support Democracy in DC!: The District of Columbia must have the same right as states and cities to protect unmarried couples and their families.
--ACLU Action Alert
With no fuss and without a word in public at all, the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CPC) has repudiated the bold plan of its leader, General Secretary Jiang Zemin, to open the party to capitalists and entrepreneurs.
--Xu Yufang (10/23/2001).
...AS OTHER REGIONAL LEADERS VOICE SUSPICION OF U.S. Commenting on the 11 September terrorist attacks, Chavash President Nikolai Fedorov suggested that they were a natural outgrowth of the failure of the "international community, and particularly the G-7, [who] have failed to offer a real alternative to several generations in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan.... Sure, we can respond with further retaliatory strikes -- but I think that will only swell the ranks of the terrorists who are prepared to die and take with them as many 'infidels' as possible." Other regional leaders saw the U.S.'s retaliatory air strikes against Afghanistan as part of a complex plan to expand its sphere of influence. Addressing a session of the Vologda Oblast administration, Governor Vyacheslav Pozgalev said that the West is "hypocritical when it talks about an international war against terrorism," regions.ru reported on 15 October, citing "Rosbalt." He continued: "Today's situation was created especially for Russia. Now a war is ongoing without borders or laws. Through the southern borders, the Taliban will forge directly into Russia. We are the ones that are threatened. This is a conscious act of world imperialism." Meanwhile, in Samara Oblast, the local committee of the Communist Party is distributing an appeal protesting U.S. air strikes. According to the appeal, the roots of terrorism lie in U.S.-NATO policy and "it is not excluded that after Iraq, Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan, the U.S. will start a war against Russia with its reserves of oil, gas, and timber." JAC
--Julie A. Corwin (Radio Free Europe 10/17/2001).
Gennady Zyuganov, leader of the parliamentary CPRF faction, spoke out in favour of the intensification of Russia's role in the Middle East, noting that "there are no serious obstacles in its way." Receiving a group of journalists from Arab countries on Tuesday, Zyuganov noted that the Russian government "should more actively develop its relations with Arab countries." The CPRF leader expressed himself in support of the "Palestinian people who have the lawful right to create a state of their own." He believes that Russia ought to take such a stand in the UN Security Council and the Human Rights Committee "to restore justice in the Middle East." Zyuganov also stressed that "related UN resolutions should undoubtedly be carried out." The leader of the Communists addressed former Russian citizens who left Russia for Israel and have not taken up arms to participate in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He said "it is hopeless to fight against a nation that struggles for its lawful rights and for the creation of its own sovereign state." Zyuganov pointed out that "we should be guided by the principles of good-neighbourliness and live in peace with our neighbours. Then peace will come to every home."
The Iranians will make a terrible mistake if they do invade Afghanistan, even with Russian and Indian support. Afghanistan is the graveyard of invaders. The mighty Soviet Union was defeated and brought crashing down by Afghan mujihadin. An Iranian invasion would quickly draw Pakistan, the US, and Saudi Arabia onto the side of Taliban. It would end welcome efforts between Washington and Tehran to thaw their long cold war - and intensify decade-old rivalry between Iran and Pakistan.
--Eric S. Margolis (Sound Vision 9/13/1998).
But the beneficial results of the national policy of the Russian Communists are not confined to the territory of the R.S.F.S.R. and the Soviet republics associated with it. They are also seen, indirectly, it is true, in the attitude of the neighbouring countries towards the R.S.F.S.R. The radical improvement in the attitude of Turkey, Persia, Afghanistan, India and other Eastern countries towards Russia, which was formerly a bogey to these countries, is a fact which even so valiant a politician as Lord Curzon does not now venture to dispute. It scarcely needs proof that if the national policy outlined above had not been systematically carried out in the R.S.F.S.R. during the four years of the existence of Soviet power, this radical change in the attitude of the neighbouring countries towards Russia would have been inconceivable.
The Bush administration, racing to strike a deal on offensive and defensive strategic arms with Russia, has postponed a series of antimissile tests that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said today might be interpreted as violating the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty.
--Tom Shanker & David E. Sanger (NYTimes 10/25/2001).
"The United States has been interested in that area [Uzbekistan] for quite a long time, and there have been quite a few exercises," said Charles Heyman, a retired British Army major who is now editor of Jane's World Armies, a publication that analyzes the abilities and operations of armies worldwide. "Some have been publicly disclosed and some have not. The real details are very, very hard to come by."
--C.J. Chivers (NYTimes 10/25/2001).
U.S. authorities have arrested or detained more than 900 people in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks. So far, no one has been charged directly with plotting or participating in them.
Asked Tuesday why no charges had been brought in the United States when German authorities had pinpointed three fugitives believed to be responsible for planning the attacks, Justice Department spokeswoman Mindy Tucker said, “When we feel it’s appropriate to bring charges against individuals, we will do so.”
As the FBI and other investigative agencies probe the terrorist attacks on America, the Department of Justice has identified dozens of people as suspects, material witnesses, or people they want to question in connection with the investigation. Here are some:
On September 29, 2001 – in a vital story that has gone unnoticed by the major media – the San Francisco Chronicle reported, “Investors have yet to collect more than $2.5 million in profits they made trading options in the stock of United Airlines before the Sept. 11, terrorist attacks, according to a source familiar with the trades and market data.
--Michael C. Ruppert (copvcia Oct. 2001).
The difficulty, of course, will be in tracing the transactions to their real source. The trading is sure to have been done under false names, behind shell corporations, and in general to have been thoroughly obfuscated. If in fact the Black Tuesday attacks -- and the associated securities transactions -- were made under orders from Osama bin Laden, then we are dealing with an expert in masking ownership of corporations and making covert deals. This doesn't mean that unraveling the threads of these transactions will be impossible, but it probably won't be quick or easy.
--Dan Radlauer (ICT).
I have, all my life, been opposed to war, to racism, to poverty,and to military solutions that claim to solve social and political conflicts. I do not believe in an eye for an eye for there is no end to the path of revenge. I do not subscribe to nationalism that separates us from them, me from you, the United States from the world. And I do not believe it is possible to put an end to evil as has been so assertively promised. The attempt to do so will no doubt invite our nation to do evil things and then we stand on no higher ground.
--Holly Near (Art & Activism).
The cost of the war on terrorism since Sept. 11 is estimated to be $40 billion, just for this year. That includes at least $20 billion for the military; $7 billion for recovery and relief in New York and at the Pentagon; $3 billion to fight bioterrorism; $2 billion for more security at dams, power plants and federal buildings; and $600 million to secure our airports and aircraft....
So who's going to pay? Middle-and lower-income Americans. Eighty percent of Americans now pay more in payroll taxes than they do in income taxes. The House Ways and Means bill doesn't cut payroll taxes, even temporarily. To the contrary, it would increase the odds that payroll taxes would have to be hiked.
--Robert B. Reich (LATimes 10/23/2001).
"These are really ugly numbers," said Ethan Harris, co-chief U.S. economist at Lehman Brothers. "Every economic forecaster out here knew that Sept. 11 would hurt the durable goods numbers and home sales numbers, but nobody had a forecast this low. It's not the damage to September, it's the way this is going to feed into the rest of the economy as we go forward.
--Sherri Day (NYTimes 10/25/2001).
The real question is whether New Yorkers will attempt to pull together as one — as they cheered as one for the Yankees on Monday night — in the face of this continuing grave threat to the city. What will happen, for example, when the cops and firemen — heroes all — and the teachers and other municipal workers begin lining up for contract negotiations in an environment dominated by multibillion-dollar budget gaps and a dismal national economy?
--Bob Herbert (NYTimes 10/25/2001).
The painful irony is that the homage our nation pays is
just lip service. While we've been singing the praises
of workers, Congress is about the business of severing
--AFL-CIO Pres. John J. Sweeney (Washington Post 10/24/2001).
The defense establishment has little regard for unions, and usually takes the side of its contractors in labor-management disputes. For example, Avondale, a New Orleans shipyard company that received 80% of its funds from the U.S. Navy, was permitted to use federal money to finance its six-year fight against the metal trades unions.
--Harry Kelber (Labor Educator 10/22/2001).
Ms. Lee's supporters say her vote took courage because it could
marginalize her in Congress. But Ms. Lee, a former state assemblywoman and senator who was former Representative Ron Dellums's chief of staff, has voted alone before. In 1999, she was the sole House vote against President Bill Clinton's plan to use force against Serbia. In 1998, she was one of five House members to vote against bombing raids on Iraq.
--Evelyn Nieves (NYTimes 10/22/2001).
I believe that unfortunately until September 11th Afghanistan was a forgotten tragedy not only in Muslim countries but all around the world. But suddenly it's become the centre of the international community and the media and it's not about caring about the people of Afghanistan or the women. Everyone knows why it is happening there in Afghanistan.
There has been some outrage even in the Muslim countries but it was not enough in Western countries and many other countries. There is some reason for this especially in many Muslim countries, for example, Iran and Saudi Arabia - they are also countries with fundamentalist regimes in power and their own people are under oppression and they don't have the right raise their voice against their own governments let alone talking about other countries.
--Sahar Saba, RAWA (BBC 10/18/2001).
We urge you to unite with thousands of concerned citizens from across the country and call President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell and our D.C. Representative, Eleanor Holmes-Norton and ask them to:
* Exercise the Rule of Law, not the Rule of Force, in bringing those responsible for the September 11th attacks to justice. War is not the answer.
* End the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan to allow aid workers to return and restore the delivery and distribution of essential aid to Afghan civilians. Food drops and bombs are not the answer.
* Strongly support the United Nations' special representative, Frances Vendrell, and the UN-led peace process in Afghanistan.
* Defend civil liberties and condemn attacks on American Arabs, Muslims, Sikhs and all others.
--Oct. 24 National Call-In Day (Washington Peace Center).
The Bush administration is in the early stages of discussing covert intelligence operations or actions by U.S. commandos, or their foreign surrogates, around the world. These actions likely would not come until President Bush meets his first objective: ousting the ruling Taliban in Afghanistan and eliminating Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network. The locations include:[Paraguay, Columbia, Argentina, Brazil, Philippines, & Iraq]
Administration officials said several Rumsfeld aides believe the armed forces need an anti-terrorist commander for a war that may last for decades.
--Rowan Scarborough (Washington Times 10/23/2001).
Congressional negotiators balked at a White House proposal that would give the president new powers to keep the government open if Congress could not meet because of a crisis.
--Dana Milbank (Washington Post 10/23/2001).
Israel rejected a U.S. demand that it withdraw immediately from Palestinian-controlled areas, saying it is acting in self-defense.
--Peter McGill (Bloomberg 10/23/2001).
Two Muslim fundamentalists have been charged with plotting to strike U.S. targets in the Middle East shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States, Lebanese court officials said Tuesday.
--AP (Las Vegas Sun 10/23/2001).
"You and Interpol member countries have been fighting terrorism long before Sept. 11...The first arrest warrant against (Saudi-born militant Osama) bin Laden did not come from the United States but from Libya in 1998," he said.
--Interpol Secretary-General Ronald Noble
(Lagos This Day 10/23/2001).
The Irish Republican Army announced Tuesday that it has begun to disarm for the first time, saying it wants to prevent the collapse of the fragile peace process after months
--AP (NYTimes 10/23/2001).
- Tony Blair and George Bush appeared to have struck an historic deal at the weekend which could chart the European and US military map for years to come.
he President's embrace of the EU defence force comes as a success and surprise for Blair, since it runs counter to the position of the newly forged 'iron triangle' within Bush's administration, comprising Cheney, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz.
British sources have also told The Observer that Blair had petitioned the President to put the Real IRA on the list of proscribed organisations in the US, banning it from legal fund-raising.
--The Observer (2/25/2001)
- LONDON, England -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair has denounced Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein as one of the world's most dangerous rulers.
Ahead of his first meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush, Blair defended both countries' airstrikes on Baghdad on Friday.
Blair's North American visit begins on Wednesday in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, after which he will travel to Washington where he will meet Vice President Dick Cheney.
He will then hold talks with Bush at Camp David, Maryland, before returning to London on Saturday.