Mail to:
Greg Moses

Nonviolence USA:

A website for scholarship
in the theory and practice of nonviolence
in the USA.


(Pages A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S)

Reflections conducive to a nonviolent future,
following the massacre of Sept. 11, 2001.

Page S

  • "Even in Vietnam I didn't see anything like this. It's pathetic," said Major Bob Nugent, an Army intelligence officer. This one-sided carnage, this racist mass murder of Arab people, occurred while White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater promised that the U.S. and its coalition partners would not attack Iraqi forces leaving Kuwait. This is surely one of the most heinous war crimes in contemporary history....

    The massacre of withdrawing Iraqi soldiers violates the Geneva Conventions of 1949, Common Article III, which outlaws the killing of soldiers who are out of combat. The point of contention involves the Bush administration's claim that the Iraqi troops were retreating to regroup and fight again. Such a claim is the only way that the massacre which occurred could be considered legal under international law. But in fact the claim is false and obviously so. The troops were withdrawing and removing themselves from combat under direct orders from Baghdad that the war was over and that Iraq had quit and would fully comply with UN resolutions. To attack the soldiers returning home under these circumstances is a war crime.
       --Joyce Chediac (5/11/1991).

  • Ignorance and misunderstanding of the Middle East and the Islamic world are rife in the United States, and must be addressed by the educational system at all levels. We urge our association’s members to share their expertise about the Middle East, Islam, and the Islamic world with the communities in which they live and work, and to make every effort to communicate their invaluable knowledge and understanding to representatives of the media and to policy makers.
       --Middle Eastern Studies Assn. (9/21/2001).

  • Murabahah can only be used as a mode of financing when the client needs funds to actually purchase some commodities. For example, if the client wants funds to purchase raw material for his factory, the Bank can sell him the raw material on the basis of Murabahah. If however, the funds are required for other purposes, e.g. paying the price for commodities already purchased, electricity bills or staff salaries, Murabahah cannot be effected because Murabahah requires a real sale of commodities, and not merely advancing a loan.
       --Islamic Financing ( Islamic.com).

  • It is the opinion of the author that Islamic finance needs a new paradigm to approach the 21st Century. The main challenges facing Islamic financial institutions are many. Let us highlight a few of them.
       --Dr Saad Al-Harran ( islamic-finance.net).

  • Afghanistan is in ruins after 23 years of war and the situation is about to become more critical for the country’s desperate and war-weary citizens, says Sigurd Hanson, who oversees the International Rescue Committee’s refugee aid programs in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
       --International Rescue Committee (Afghanistan).

  • I urge you to vote AGAINST H.R. 2500 should it emerge from conference committee with amendment S.A. 1562, the Combating Terrorism Act, attached, and to vote against the forthcoming Mobilization Against Terrorism Act a.k.a. Anti-Terrorism Act, the draft Public Safety and Cyber Security Enhancement Act (PSCSEA), and any similar legislation expanding wiretap powers, online monitoring, warrantless pen register or trap and trace authority, censorship, or restrictions on encryption.
       --Sample Letter from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

  • The people who planned, financed and carried out these attacks are criminals. This was a crime against humanity and those responsible must be found and held accountable under the rules of international law. It is imperative for all of us to put our voices behind peace and justice and to stop the untoward rush of the U. S. government to armies and weapons. This is not a time for a John Wayne cowboy response it is a time for nonviolent responses. It is a time to commit ourselves to reason and justice.
       --Shiva & Grossholz (Diverse Women 9/24/2001).

  • Common sense should tell you it would not be wise in the coming weeks to be hanging out with the Taliban. But Mr. Bush and Mr. Powell have also made it abundantly clear that the U.S. will not be able to bomb the terrorists into submission. The president was wise to ask for patience as more complex responses are fashioned. Provoking a wide and futile war would be as insane as the attack on the trade center.
       --Bob Herbert (NYTimes 9/24/2001).

  • But the United States is a very complex system. It's very hard to describe because, yes, there are elements of democracy; there are things that you're grateful for, that you're not in front of the death squads in El Salvador. On the other hand, it's not quite a democracy. And one of the things that makes it not quite a democracy is the existence of outfits like the FBI and the CIA. Democracy is based on openness, and the existence of a secret policy, secret lists of dissident citizens, violates the spirit of democracy.
       --Paul Wolff, etal. (COINTELPRO 9/1/2001).

  • Powell does not want to acknowledge any evidence of sponsorship of bin Laden by Iraq because that would demand a crushing blow at an Arab state. It might limit the diplomatic convoy of consensus he is assembling, which will travel at the rate of its most grudging member.
       --William Saffire (NYTimes 9/24/2001).

  • Israel’s military intelligence service, Aman, suspects that Iraq is the state that sponsored the suicide attacks on the New York Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington. Directing the mission, Aman officers believe, were two of the world’s foremost terrorist masterminds: the Lebanese Imad Mughniyeh, head of the special overseas operations for Hizbullah, and the Egyptian Dr Ayman Al Zawahiri, senior member of Al-Qaeda and possible successor of the ailing Osama Bin Laden.
       --Jane's Security (9/19/2001).

  • Ironically, the KLA’s head of élite forces, Muhammed al-Zawahiri, is the brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the military commander for Saudi-born terrorist leader, Osama bin Laden. The US Clinton Administration has, of course, declared bin Laden "public enemy number one" for his alleged involvement in the bombing of the two US embassies in East Africa in 1998. And Ayman al-Zawahiri has been implicated in the assassination attempt in 1995 against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Little wonder that numerous US policy analysts, even those who are hostile to Yugoslavia as a basic stance, are extremely uncomfortable with the Clinton Admin-istration’s close ties with the KLA. There is no doubt that the involvement of the two brothers al-Zawahiri in the two movements is not coincidental.
       --KLA page (@ Tripod).

  • Contrary to the claims of US officials, these were not sophisticated training facilities, but improvised structures to put up the trainees. The only sophisticated parts of these camps were the ammunition storage depots, which were being used during the Afghan war of the 1980s for storing the arms and ammunition given by the CIA before their distribution to the Mujahideen by the ISI. Since CIA officials used to visit these camps, set up with their assistance, during the 1980s, they were well aware of their location and of the location of the ammunition storage depots. It was, therefore , surprising that the American bombings of August 20,1998, failed to hit any of the storage depots. They destroyed only the improvised residential portions. This doesn’t speak well of the much-vaunted Cruise missiles (Tomahawks).
       --SAPRA India (1998). Also posted at americanfriends.org

  • "Controversies must be resolved not by recourse to arms but by peaceful means of negotiation and dialogue," the pope said during a welcoming ceremony, in remarks praising Kazakhstan for closing a nuclear facility here and for banning all atomic testing after the former Soviet republic gained independence 10 years ago. "I can only encourage this type of commitment," he said in Russian.
       --Pope John Paul II (NYTimes 9/22/2001).

  • What would an accord that was up to this challenge look like? The best existing model is the Chemical Weapons Convention, which Mr. Powell supported and Mr. Cheney and Mr. Rumsfeld opposed. Under the convention, any member nation can demand, on short notice, that an international team inspect a given building in any other member nation.
       --Robert Wright (NYTimes 9/24/2001).

  • Ordinary Afghans have already suffered for years from wartime devastation. Increasing the suffering could fuel more terrorism. A successful American operation against terrorism based in Afghanistan would have to help people there establish a legitimate government and rebuild their country.
       --Barnett R. Rubin (NYTimes 9/22/2001).

  • A noted military scholar, Sir Michael Howard, former Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford, made the point compellingly in The Times of London a week ago. Tracing examples of terrorism over the last 130 years, he said one of the terrorists' principal aims has always been "to provoke . . . savage acts of suppression" that win sympathy for their cause.
       --Anthony Lewis (NYTimes 9/22/2001).

  • But the outline of the war plan often emerges from the private conversations between two newcomers to the world of the battlefield, George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice, his national security adviser.
       --"From Many Voices, A New War Council" (NYTimes 9/22/2001).

  • The 1971 Montreal Sabotage Convention is directly on point here, and provides a comprehensive framework for dealing with the current dispute between the United States and Afghanistan over the tragic events of 11 September 2001. Both States are contracting parties to the Montreal Sabotage Convention, together with 173 other States in the World . The United States is under an absolute obligation to resolve this dispute with Afghanistan in a peaceful manner as required by UN Charter Article 2(3) and Article 33 as well as by the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, as well as in accordance with the requirements of the Montreal Sabotage Convention-- all of which treaties bind most of the States of the World. In addition, the United States should offer to submit this entire dispute to the International Court of Justice in The Hague (the so-called World Court) on the basis of the Montreal Sabotage Convention, and should ask the Government of Afghanistan to withdraw its Reservation to World Court jurisdiction as permitted by article 14(3) of the Montreal Sabotage Convention. Furthermore, all other contracting parties must invoke the Montreal Sabotage Convention against both the United States and Afghanistan in order to produce a peaceful resolution of this dispute.
       --Francis Boyle (email 9/21/2001).

  • Fellow citizens, we'll meet violence with patient justice -- assured of the rightness of our cause, and confident of the victories to come. In all that lies before us, may God grant us wisdom, and may He watch over the United States of America.
       --Pres. Bush (whitehouse.gov 9/20/2001).

  • In Bush's speech we got no doctrine, no strategy, no evidence. What we did get was a lot of Wild West rhetoric -- dead or alive material. In Afghanistan, 25 percent of the people were already dependent solely on foreign-aid food, and all international workers have left because of the U.S. threats. Today, the process of starvation begins. Bush said he would use everything at the U.S.'s disposal, but apparently that doesn't include Washington's formidable arsenal of diplomacy -- instead he outright rejected negotiations or discussions. While condemning 'self-appointed rulers,' Bush rallied to the defense of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt -- all examples of absolute monarchies or self-perpetuating regimes."
       --Phyllis Bennis (email 9/21/2001). See also full text of 9/18/2001 analysis.

  • Ending their silence after a week of mourning the victims of terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, a broad range of religious leaders, social activists, entertainers, student organizations and business leaders are publicly beginning to urge President Bush to show restraint in his response and to carefully calibrate the use of U.S. military power.
       --Eric Pianin, WashingtonPost.com (MSNBC 9/20/2001).

  • I resent those who call themselves patriots and paint the rest of us traitors. I resent being made to feel that I don't care for the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks simply because I don't think that global war is a good idea. I've seen this posturing in the build-up to other wars, and I know that it doesn't make us a better nation. Every nation is patriotic; it is not patriotism that sets us apart. So please excuse me if I hesitate to support a global war against terrorism.
       --Barry Gan (9/20/2001)

  • But first, let's keep the record straight. The atrocities of 11 September were a crime against humanity. The evil men who planned this mass-murder should (repeat: should) be brought to justice. And if that means the end of the Taliban – with their limb-chopping and execution of women and their repressive, obscurantist Saudi-style "justice" – fair enough. The Northern Alliance, the confederacy of warlords, patriots, rapists and torturers who control a northern sliver of Afghanistan, have very definitely not (repeat: not) massacred more than 7,000 innocent civilians in the United States. No, the murderers among them have done their massacres on home turf, in Afghanistan. Just like the Taliban.
       --Robert Fisk (Independent 10/3/2001).

  • As George W. Bush calls for an all-out war against "Terrorism," we wonder why he hasn’t closed the SOA, where millions of taxpayer dollars are being used to fund a training school for terrorists in our own backyard.
       --School of the Americas Watch (soaw.org).

  • "It is perhaps the Party's greatest achievement over the past decade to have succeeded in drawing a line between the kind of freedoms that threaten its control and the kind that don't, enabling ordinary Chinese to lead lives that are fuller and freer than at any time before while allowing the state to focus its energies on potentially threatening behavior such as advocating democracy or holding political discussions. The controls aren't as visible as they were in Mao's era--they are simply more carefully targeted. But it would be a mistake to underestimate the extent to which they are there. Control is the Communist Party's ultimate priority, and any step, whether backwards or forwards, to the left or to the right, can be explained in terms of its desire to keep control."

    "That is why China's future is almost impossible to predict. For all its outward appearance of modernity and freewheeling hedonism, China remains a police state that ultimately relies on force to secure the loyalty of its citizens. And that makes it inherently unstable. It doesn't mean the Communist Party is about to fall tomorrow. It almost certainly won't. The point is that because China is a dictatorship, it is impossible to tell."
       --Liz Sly (Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Sept. 1999).

  • At the CIA, it happens often enough to have a code name: Blowback. Simply defined, this is the term that describes an agent, an operative or an operation that has turned on its creators. Osama bin Laden, our new public enemy Number 1, is the personification of blowback.
       --Michael Moran ( MSNBC). See also bibliography on covert action in Afghanistan.

  • Thirdly, Casey committed CIA support to a long-standing ISI initiative to recruit radical Muslims from around the world to come to Pakistan and fight with the Afghan Mujaheddin. The ISI had encouraged this since 1982, and by now all the other players had their reasons for supporting the idea.
       --Ahmed Rashid (Center for Public Integrity, CPI 9/13/2001).

  • In other words, backed by Pakistan's military intelligence (ISI) which in turn was controlled by the CIA, the Taliban Islamic State was largely serving American geopolitical interests. The Golden Crescent drug trade was also being used to finance and equip the Bosnian Muslim Army (starting in the early 1990s) and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In last few months there is evidence that Mujahideen mercenaries are fighting in the ranks of KLA-NLA terrorists in their assaults into Macedonia.
       --Michel Chossudovsky (Centre for Research on Globalisation, CRG 9/12/2001).

  • But the Taliban and Ben Laden are not Afghanistan. They're not even the government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of ignorant psychotics who took over Afghanistan in 1997. Bin Laden is a political criminal with a plan. When you think Taliban,think Nazis. When you think Bin Laden, think Hitler. And when you think "the people of Afghanistan" think "the Jews in the concentration camps." It's not only that the Afghan people had nothing to do with this atrocity. They were the first victims of the perpetrators. They would exult if someone would come in there, take out the Taliban and clear out the rats nest of international thugs holed up in their country.
       --Tamim Ansari ( 9/15/2001).

  • In Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism (Pluto Press: 1999), ABC journalist John Cooley documents how radical Afghan militants were trained in Virginia to fight the Soviet Union, using US tax dollars in the 1980s. According to Cooley, these militants were trained at Camp Peary - CIA facility in Virginia. The Federation of American Scientists has published unclassified documents that explain Peary's role: to provide "advanced weapons and explosives training"
       --Peace Poster. Also see book review, borrowed from LATimes 1/16/2000.

  • But unfortunately we must say that it was the government of the United States who supported Pakistani dictator Gen. Zia-ul Haq in creating thousands of religious schools from which the germs of Taliban emerged. In the similar way, as is clear to all, Osama Bin Laden has been the blue-eyed boy of CIA. But what is more painful is that American politicians have not drawn a lesson from their pro-fundamentalist policies in our country and are still supporting this or that fundamentalist band or leader. In our opinion any kind of support to the fundamentalist Taliban and Jehadies is actually trampling democratic, women's rights and human rights values.
       --Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan: RAWA (9/14/2001). See also a hefty collection of materials about US foreign policy at thirdworldtraveler.com

  • The Taliban has offered to do just that, once it receives evidence from the United States, but Washington does not take the offer seriously. ("Disingenuous, even laughable" is the way one United States official described it to me.) More recently, as the Taliban scrambled to avert sweeping financial and commercial sanctions imposed by the United Nations at the insistence of Washington, the Taliban's leaders floated a proposal that a panel of Islamic judges be convened in Afghanistan to determine bin Laden's fate—presumably to decide whether to extradite him to a third country for trial or to exonerate him. United States officials were divided on whether the Taliban was attempting to find a face-saving way to expel bin Laden or was merely playing for time; the Clinton Administration rejected the proposal peremptorily. The United States was equally perplexed by a letter allegedly written by bin Laden to Mullah Omar—and leaked by the Taliban's official press on October 29th—in which bin Laden offered to leave Afghanistan in exchange for a guarantee that his new location would be known to only two Taliban officials, including his son-in-law.
       --Mary Ann Weaver (New Yorker 1/24/2000).

  • Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.
       --Bill Blum's translation (Le Nouvel Observateur, Jan 15-21, 1998, p. 76, French Edition). Submitted via email.

  • In this light, we must investigate the past and future tenses of this Event. What are some of the past events that are implicated in it, and how will it reshape our future? I approach this question by examining the way our event-horizon (the way we experience reality) has been, in important ways, transformed into what I will call a televisual horizon.
       --Jeffrey Paris ( Full Text).

  • But though the perpetrators deserve to be punished, in some ways this narrow focus allows us to avoid dealing with the underlying issues. When violence becomes so prevalent throughout the planet, it's too easy to simply talk of "deranged minds." We need to ask ourselves, "What is it in the way that we are living, organizing our societies, and treating each other that makes violence seem plausible to so many people?"
       --Rev. Michael Lerner (Tikkun)

  • Osama bin Laden's ragtag army in the mountains far from Kabul and Islamabad may seem easy targets, but the support he has throughout the rural countryside would make it difficult to apprehend his band. His popularity is largely based on his charitable work during the war, providing an array of services to the poor and the wounded and the survivors of martyred guerrillas.
       --Walt Contreras Sheasby (Full Text)

  • A word on “scapegoating”: that is to point to the way in which “Islamic fundamentalism,” however reprehensible, has come to stand in for all other causality and determination. We should continue to keep “Islamic fundamentalism” in quotation marks if we use it.
       --Priyamvada Gopal (email)

  • The more I read, [and] the more I thought about World War II, the more I became convinced that the atmosphere of war brutalizes everyone involved, begets a fanaticism in which the original moral factor (which certainly existed in World War II--opposition to a ruthless tyranny, to brutal aggression) is buried at the bottom of a heap of atrocities committed by all sides.
       --Howard Zinn, You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train (1994, p. 98.)

  • The Bush administration today announced a major expansion of its power to detain immigrants suspected of crimes, including new rules prompted by last week's terrorist attacks that would allow legal immigrants to be detained indefinitely during a national emergency.
       --New York Times (Sept. 18, 2001)

  • 58,000 men of my generation were killed in Vietnam because of irresponsible behavior by the Johnson administration rushing that Tonkin Gulf resolution through Congress, exactly what we're seeing now. And we need to pull back and stop and think and ask the hard questions and demand to see the evidence first, before we march off to war.
       --Francis Boyle (O'Reilly Factor 9/13/2001)

  • In the aftermath of the ruthless attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, we implore the leaders of the United States to ensure that justice be served by protecting the innocent citizens of all nations....
       --To sign this petition go to: PetitionSite.com

  • Exploiting the widespread grief and horror at the tremendous loss of innocent life in the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington, the U.S. government is preparing to embark on what they are saying will be a massive, protracted military campaign. They are now saying that this war effort will last at least a year and involve probably more than one poor Middle Eastern country. We must do everything possible to stop this bloody U.S. military retaliation and escalation. Many more innocent people -- citizens and soldiers -- stand to die if we do not stop this war drive.
       --StopTheWarNow@aol.com (Full Text)

  • Open and unmitigated attacks on civilian targets do not advance radical/revolutionary causes and must be repudiated. Rather, such attacks inevitably antagonize the populace, weaken any existing popular support, and help legitimize heightened levels of repression by the imperialist state against *all* progressive/radical/revolutionary political activity, including increased restrictions on the civil rights of the people.
       --Black Radical Congress (ZNET)

  • All of this is simply a plea for the United States to look for ways to empower cultures/countries to deal with terrorism and its causes rather than to bully them. Terrorism must be dealt with and justice must be meted. I share both the sadness and the anger of most Americans as we respond to perhaps the greatest act of terrorism in history. Yet we need to respond both within the context of our own Christian values and the common sense of being sensitive to those not like ourselves. One of my great comforts is that those two almost always seem to coincide.
       --Rev. S. Ross Jones (Letter from Damascus Gate)

  • Islam also teaches that peace should be established in the human societies of this world. To participate with God in the establishment of peace, Muslims are called upon to be engaged in jihad, meaning "striving." The basic jihad is the struggle of the self, to speak about one's faith, to bring it in obedience to God, and to make sure that one is living a holy and righteous life. Another struggle is jihad as "holy war" fought only when the faith is being attacked or when Muslims are not allowed to practice their faith. Very few Muslims call for the "jihad of the sword" even in circumstances they believe to be wrongful.
       --Richard T. Nolan (ENS)

  • However, we caution and remind the U.S. Government leaders that all faiths of the world are taught that violence begets violence. Mahatma Ghandi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. have proven the power of non-violence. Our great chiefs like Blackhawk and Chief Joseph, in the face of great adversity, were men of peace and non-violence. Blackhawk, who correctly observed at that time, when he asked the question, "Why is it that you Americans always insist on taking with a gun what you could have through love?"
       --American Indian Movement (9/15/2001)

  • These past few weeks I've been thinking that it might be to our advantage as social movements to be openly, explicitly nonviolent.
       --Justin Poder (ZNET)

  • Pacifism is not passivity. Pacifism is direct action, direct resistance, refusing to cooperate with violence. That takes a lot of bravery. It takes much more courage than to use a gun or drop a bomb.
       --Coleman McCarthy (Mokhiber & Weissman)

  • "I agonized over that vote," said Ms. Lee, 55, a Democrat from a liberal, even leftist district that includes Oakland and Berkeley. "We've got to bring these perpetrators to justice. But I'm saying that I have not yet seen the evidence. And until then, in Congress, we must show restraint."
       --Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA): the only vote not to authorize military action on Sept. 14, 2001. Quoted in the NYTimes, "In One Vote, a Call for Restraint" (9/15/2001). Read an interview at Mother Jones.

  • He weeps for the wounded and weeps for the dead
    All of those who will surely pass away
    If war beings again

       --Dan Buzi, American Sobriety.


  • The Bush administration warned Saturday that the leftist Sandinista party in Nicaragua, which hopes to return to power in elections next month, has maintained ties over the years with Iraq and Libya.
       --AP (10/6/2001.

  • For its part, the United States appears intent on "Salvadorizing" the conflict. Colombia, as was the case with El Salvador in the 1980's, is currently the hemisphere's leading recipient of U.S. military aid as Washington, in its attempt to prevent a guerrilla victory, is once again intent on supporting a repressive military that is closely allied to right-wing death squads. Such a policy will inevitably result in the continued suffering of the Colombian people, many of whom are routinely subjected to massacres, torture, disappearance, kidnapping and forced displacement.
       --Garry M. Leech (INOTA columbiareport.org.

  • I hope we are in a "teachable moment" on the complex question of a global Americanism. One thing we need is a global press. There are, for instance, sportscasters who refuse to refer to any team as "ours." Likewise, it would be helpful to see reporters stop treating the US govt as the home team. It was terribly ironic Saturday that the only network to recognize the reality of the Washington, DC, Peace Rally was CSPAN. Everyone else seemed to be airing a kind of "coach's corner" on the playbook of war strategy. A global press would show more interest in the people of the world, rather than fawning over the aspirations of a govt.

    In Alarcon's language, the "idealism" of the American free press has been overtaken by the practice of a wholly retained PR team which trembles before the people because it has helped make the people into a mob. It was just too scary to see no courage at all from the press in the first weeks of this "new age of terrorism" and I hope we have learned enough from recent history to not repeat that americanist practice again.

    As if the American press does not know it, American nonviolence has always a thing or two to say.
       --gmoses (10/5/2001).

(Pages A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S)

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