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Table of Contents

Bush Was Allied With Taliban Until August, Book Says

by Julio Godoy A new book by two French intelligence analysts claims that at the behest of U.S. oil companies, the Bush administration initially blocked FBI investigations into terrorism, while it bargained with the Taliban for the delivery of Osama bin Laden in exchange for political recognition and economic aid

Quick Taliban Retreat Makes Pakistan Situation More Volatile

by Syed Saleem Shahzad The quick retreats of the Taliban from Mazar-e-Sharif and the dramatic withdrawals from the capital Kabul and Jalalabad have exploded like a bombshell among Pakistani military decision makers. The developments are in stark contrast to what the Pakistani intelligence services had reported to President General Pervez Musharraf -- that the war would drag on much longer and that Pakistan would maintain a strong bargaining position with the U.S. and its allies over the composition of a new Afghan government

U.S.-Backed Rebels Accused of Wholesale Slaughter

by James Ridgeway Welcomed here as a heroic, victorious force just yesterday, the Northern Alliance today is being painted as a gang of murderers on the loose. The Pakistani press reports two alliance massacres of Taliban soldiers

One Giant Step Towards A Police State

by Randolph T. Holhut While most Americans were busy hanging flags and fretting about anthrax, your elected representatives in Washington decided to repeal a large chunk of the U.S. Constitution

UN Rejects Normal Peacekeeping Role For Afghanistan

by Thalif Deen According to published reports, some 40 countries so far have volunteered troops for a proposed multinational force. These include Turkey, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Jordan, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Denmark. Canada reportedly has earmarked some 3,000 troops for deployment in Afghanistan, and ordered one-third of them on 48-hour standby. According to British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jack Straw, discussions were under way among "a coalition of the willing." The establishment of such a coalition, he said, would be much faster than a UN peacekeeping force

The Politics of Oil

by Michael T. Klare Osama bin Laden does not talk about oil when he calls for a holy war against the enemies of Islam. Neither does George Bush, when he calls for a global war against terrorism. Both major protagonists in the current conflict stress moral and religious themes in their public pronouncements, claiming that this is a struggle between good and evil. But both bin Laden and Bush are well aware that the conflict also represents a struggle for control over the greater Persian Gulf region -- the location of about two-thirds of the world's known petroleum reserves

India Offers Cheap, Superior Anthrax Vaccine

by Ranjit Devraj In 1999, the United States hauled India before the dispute settlement tribunal of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and compelled it to begin work on legislation to introduce product patents. However, following the anthrax scare, U.S. lawmakers have been calling for the lifting of patents on ciprofloxacin held by the German drug-maker Bayer Corp, which do not expire till December 2003

Japan Says It Will Ratify Kyoto Protocol

by Suvendrini Kakuchi A major concern for the Japanese government now is how to bring the United States, the world's biggest polluter, back to the accord after the Bush administration turned its back on the Kyoto Protocol, saying it was against America's economic interests. Activists say the decision by European countries to throw their weight behind the Kyoto protocol forced Japan to go along despite its deference to the United States position

U.S. Can't Just Hit and Run

by Robert Scheer To leave Afghanistan as a festering wound, as we did before, will spread, not contain, the disease of terrorism, even if Bin Laden is eliminated. The Marines have landed, and in the eyes of the world, that makes the United States responsible for the future quality of life in one of the world's most conflict-ridden countries. What is required is the very thing -- a commitment to nation-building -- that Bush campaigned against in last year's election

Al Qaeda a Cult, Not Religious Group

by Paulo Pontoniere "The most disturbing aspect about the Al Qaeda members is how normal they appear, when in fact they all fit the profile of the 'true believer,' an individual whose low self-esteem and confusion push him to seek refuge within a charismatic mass movement," Post says. In this sense, the manual is not just a nuts-and-bolts how-to for terrorists. It also plays a role in the brainwashing of Al Qaeda members, encouraging them to subordinate their individual will to the charismatic power of the group's leader, Osama bin Laden

Could Irradiated Mail Cause Super-Anthrax?

by J.A. Savage What might happen if the irradiation process isn't fully effective? According to NIRS Project Coordinator Cindy Folkers, "If spores are not destroyed with irradiation, mutation is risked," their Nov. 2 letter pointed out. As Folkers asks, "Might you end up with something worse if you irradiate anthrax?"

U.S. Bomb "Mistake" Hits Independent Arab TV

by Laura Flanders The Al-Jazeera office was obliterated by U.S. bombing around 3AM, according to the network's managing director, Mohammed Jassim al-Ali. Speaking to the Associated Press, he said that none of the network's ten staff members was injured (the office was empty at the time.) But he did suggest that the strike could have been deliberate, because the office sits in a residential area of Kabul

Bush Call For Military Courts Unprecedented

by Abid Aslam "To our knowledge, the move to establish a military tribunal when Congress has not declared war is unprecedented," the ACLU said, adding that it would be "hypocritical of the United States to impose such a tribunal when we have repeatedly protested the use of such courts against U.S. citizens abroad"

UN Warns Of Impending Global Economic Crisis

by Thalif Deen The United Nations is warning of an impending global economic crisis in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. The crisis is expected to have a devastating impact on the world's poorer nations, where the battle to reduce poverty has already been crippled by cuts in development aid, onerous debt burdens, a rise in protectionism, and a rash of civil and military conflicts

Key Afghan Ethnic Group Remains Wildcard

by Jim Lobe As U.S. warplanes batter the Taliban's military infrastructure, Washington may be losing the war for the hearts and minds of potential allies from Afghanistan's leading Pashtun ethnic group, especially in the Taliban's southern heartland

Afghan Children a Lost Generation

by Thalif Deen One out of every four Afghan children dies before the age of five from preventable diseases, he says. Half of all surviving children suffer from malnutrition. In the capital of Kabul alone, 40 percent of children have lost at least one parent. Nationwide, some 700,000 women are war widows. Of the estimated 100,000 victims of landmines, more than two-thirds were children

Why Bush Needs to Spin the War

by David Corn Bush could not have had an easier set-up. A villain out of a James Bond film unleashes murder and mayhem against thousands of civilians -- including many from countries other than the United States. He essentially acknowledges his culpability and threatens more of the same. He calls for uprisings against various Arab states. He is protected by a regime of totalitarian, misogynistic, extremists who maintain official relations with only three other nations in the world. How could Bush be outflanked by this foul individual? How much more can bin Laden be demonized? (He's Lucifer and he has nuclear weapons!)

Corporations Charged With Plundering Patriotism

by Jim Lobe Since Sept. 11, "members of Congress have served up a non-stop buffet of corporate pork legislation," says Ralph Nader. Nader and others say they are incensed by economic stimulus legislation in Congress that provides more than $200 billion in tax breaks and related benefits to big corporations and upper-income taxpayers

Bush Dismantles Environment Rules Using Terrorism Claims

by Danielle Knight Bush administration continues its drive to dismantle domestic environmental protections under cover of its public preoccupation with terrorism and anthrax, advocacy groups warn

Sept 11 Becomes Religious Right New Fundraising Tool

by Bill Berkowitz In early October, the Rev. Lou Sheldon of Traditional Values Coalition said that gay or lesbian partners of victims of Sept. 11, should not be granted aid money because it could be seen as an affirmation of their relationships. "[Relief] organizations should be first giving priority to those widows who were at home with their babies, and those widowers who lost their wives," Sheldon said. "It should be given on the basis and priority of one man and one woman in a marital relationship"

Now Colombia Drug War is Part of Terror War

by Philip Smith Even as Congress grows increasingly queasy about the U.S. drug war adventure in Colombia -- the Senate last week voted to slash President Bush's Andean counter-drug budget by 22 percent -- Bush administration officials and congressional drug war diehards are turning up the "terrorist" rhetoric in an effort to strengthen their cause

Taliban Apparently Fell For Joke Nuclear Bomb Recipe

by David Cassel An abandoned Taliban building in Kabul contained an alarming document that apparently described how to make an atomic bomb. But alarm turned to laughter when a webmaster who'd viewed news footage of the document recognized it as a 1979 parody

Life Under Occupation

by Lori A. Allen When the phone line suddenly goes dead, or I hear the shelling crashing loud enough to startle me over the phone, and my friend's panic-distracted voice talking to family as he hangs up, I open my email in something close to tears and terror and write desperate notes asking him to let me know he's OK, stay close to the ground, not walk past windows, not go outside, I don't know. How should I know how to stay safe from tank shelling, helicopter missiles firing and snipers aiming?

Soy-Based Food May Be Harmful To Infants, Researcher Says

by Kurt Pfitzer While some people believe soy products protect women against heart disease and other ailments, she says, the products might be linked to a number of health risks including breast cancer and accelerated aging in the brain. Estrogen stimulates cell division and growth in some types of breast cancers. Isoflavones, which bind to estrogen receptors, can mimic estrogen in some cases

Israel/Palestine Unspoken Question: Do You REALLY Want Peace?

by Ben Lynfield Ending an eight-year silence on the Israeli-Palestinean conflict, Nusseibeh, a philosopher who is president of al-Quds University in Jerusalem, is calling for wrenching compromises -- before it is too late. He urges that it be adopted before the continued growth of extremism on both sides makes it impossible: a two-state solution without illusions by either side that they can have more than that

Jewish Colonists Begin Moving Out Of West Bank

by Ben Lynfield The flight from the Jordan Valley and from other small, secular remote outposts of the West Bank is hardly a mass exodus. It does not reflect the situation in larger settlements or an ideological shift. But strong supporters of settlement activity acknowledge the flight as a worrisome trend, a threat to Israel's territorial claims and also a challenge to the idea that Zionism is about holding one's own and redeeming the land in a hostile environment

Too Much News Can Be Hazardous To Your Heath

by Andrea Lynn Even in better times, uncertainty management involves a kind of mental balancing act -- "a balance between a desire for information and a need to avoid extreme or pathological anxiety." This moment in time, when cases of inhalation anthrax -- and deaths caused by it -- are being verified, not only is taxing citizens, it also is taxing the experts

Fears of "Talibanization" In Bangladesh

by Sandip Roy Growth of Islamic fundamentalism linked to an outpouring of Saudi Arabian money to the Bangladeshi government, mosques and some political groups in the '70s and '80s

Energy Dept. Reviewing Ban on Radioactive Scrap Metals

by Danielle Knight Radioactive metal could end up in everything from dinner forks and knives to children's dental braces if the Bush administration lifts a ban on recycling scrap metal from nuclear weapons and reactors, activists warn

The Swiss Connection: Bioweapons, Terrorism, And Money Laundering

by Lucy Komisar To protect America from terrorist attack, the United States must investigate illicit trade in biological weapons and trace the movement of terrorist money. A good starting point is a controversial Swiss bank that may have facilitated the sale of hazardous biological materials to Islamic militants

Appeals Court Throws Out Exxon Valdez Penalty

A federal appeals court has overturned a $5.3 billion punitive damages award against Exxon stemming from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. The court called the amount, which was determined by a jury in Alaska, excessive, and ordered a judge to set a lower penalty

The Fall of Enron

by Jim Hightower Some of the new ventures that Lay launched with Enron ended up in the ditch, the company's stock price went into a dive ... and then there's the little matter of the scandal

Women Exiles Await Overthrow of Taliban

by Emily Weinstein Efforts by Afghanistan's factions, its neighbors, and the United States to come up with a suitable regime to succeed the Taliban so far have failed to impress the Revolutionary Association of Women for Afghanistan (RAWA), which works in the country and with refugees in Pakistan to raise political consciousness, educate girls (illegally, within Afghanistan's borders), and assist women victims of atrocities

U.S. Food Drops "Tragic Mistake" Says Senior UN Official

by Thalif Deen The food is delivered in aerodynamic packages that are yellow -- the same color as deadly cluster bombs that have descended like snowflakes over the Afghan landscape, Ziegler says. Making matters worse, much of the food may have landed in minefields, threatening the lives of those who venture to gather them up

The War at 30 Days: Little Progress, Weak Coalition

by Mushahid Hussain A month after the American military campaign began against Afghanistan, there are clear indications that things are not going according to plan and the United States may be getting bogged down in a costly conflict

Bush Would Have Not Won Recount

by John Nichols Had election officials and the courts sought to identify the choice of the electorate, rather than to satisfy the demands of partisans, Gore would have emerged as the winner

Go After Saddam, Bush's Right-Wing Advisory Council Says

by Jim Lobe In an open letter to Bush that has become their current mission statement, 38 PNAC associates urged Saddam's ouster "even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the (Sept. 11) attack." Lebanon, Syria, Iran and the Palestinian Authority should be punished, they added, if these do not take immediate steps to shut down "terrorists," such as Hezbollah and Hamas, opposed to Israel. Washington's closest European allies strongly oppose the idea of going after Saddam in the absence of credible evidence tying the Iraqi leader to the Sept. 11 attacks

Pakistan Religious Militants Close Off Crucial Route

by Nadeem Iqbal Reports emanating from the area say that the blockade has been prompted by Al-Rasheed Trust, an organization that has been placed on a terrorist list by the United States

The Face That Haunts Me

by Joyce Marcel I close my eyes and see the Afghani woman. She, too, is in the arms of her husband. They are a handsome pair, these two -- young, dark-haired, dark-eyed, as much in love as my husband and me. And like us, all they want is to live their life together. But they have not eaten for days, their home has been demolished, and they are crouching for cover behind a rock

Media Self-Censorship Pushing News Coverage to Right

by Laura Flanders Organized right-wing "patriot police" have been hounding network executives since Sept. 11, reports the Times. The president of ABC News, David Westin, apologized after he was criticized by Rush Limbaugh. News executives at CNN, ABC and MSNBC all say they are "conscious" of the conservatives' criticism while making their day-to-day news decisions

Taliban Retreat Dampens Islamic Extremist Movement

by Muddassir Rizvi The Taliban retreat has dampened the fervor over the so-called jihad that had gripped Pakistan in the wake of the Sep. 11 terror attacks in the U.S. and subsequent military ambitions of Washington

U.S. Making The World a More Dangerous Place

by Robert Scheer The Pakistan-India nuclear arms race is the most dangerous confrontation in the world, yet we suddenly ended sanctions against those countries and will reward Pakistan's military dictator with $1 billion in high-tech military assistance for turning against his old buddies, the Taliban

Has War Made Us Safer?

by Robert Scheer All we know for certain is that 15 of the 19 men who commandeered those planes were citizens of Saudi Arabia, a monarchy we have indulged and protected as an ally for half a century. Two others were sons of the United Arab Emirates, another U.S.-protected oil sheikdom that was the conduit for most of the money sent to finance the killers. Another was from Lebanon and the presumed leader was from our ally Egypt. In what seems more like a dangerous tantrum than a war, we are carpet-bombing Afghanistan even though not a single Afghan was among the hijackers

Right Wingers Run Amok

by Molly Ivins So, much depends on how captured Pakistani Taliban fighters are treated, and apparently most of them are being sent to Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum -- my personal fave among our Northern Alliance allies. He's the one who's changed sides nine times. Then we have this claque of right-wingers here pounding the drum for war with Iraq. We haven't even got Bin Laden yet. Could we take this one step at a time?

R.I.P. Bob Eckhardt, Last of a Breed

by Molly Ivins If ever a politician of the 20th century deserved the title "legislator," it was Eckhardt -- legal scholar, craftsman, steeped to his bones in the constitution, law and history. They called him, "The House's lawyer." The only politician I ever knew who could write a bill so that it did precisely what it was intended to do, and did nothing it was not intended to do, with a vision lasting past generations

Let's Not Trash the Constitution, Okay?

by Molly Ivins Absolutely nothing in the Constitution would have prevented us from stopping 9-11, so why would we want to change it? I also think we're arguing from the wrong historical analogies. Yes, during past wars civil liberties have been abrogated and the courts have even upheld this. We regret it later, but we don't seem to learn from that

Better War PR Isn't the Solution

by Molly Ivins Now the big concern is that the Pashtuns will break and run into Pakistan, creating a province seething with discontent, if not actually provoking civil war. Pakistan is estimated to have between 30 and 40 nuclear weapons. no shortage of worries, eh mate?

It's a Good Time to Have Our Wits About Us

by Molly Ivins Americans on the front lines of this war, including the NYFD, are handling their jobs without swooning, and from my own travels around the country, it seems to me most of the rest of us are managing to comport ourselves with reason and dignity, whatever our anxiety levels. Unfortunately, the few nincompoops among us now have fresh occasion for hysteria: the always-timely advice THINK comes to mind. The absolute last thing we need is another round of Arab-bashing

We Don't Need The Patriotism Police

by Molly Ivins The more one reads about Afghanistan, the more apparent it becomes that we cannot afford to underestimate the complexity of this task. For example, the Northern Alliance is not the good guys; they're just a different set of bad guys. And at least two of our allies, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, have done more to nourish the Taliban than has Bin Laden

Homeland Security Czars and Fast Tracking

by Molly Ivins Between panic attacks about anthrax, you should eyeball the "fast track" negotiating authority on trade agreements. The effect of this legislation, which House Republicans are pushing for an early vote, is to allow trade agreements to be enacted without congressional input. No amendments to the agreements will be permitted, Congress can only vote up or down. This will make trade negotiations even more secret and unaccountable

In Aftermath of Sept. 11, Unreality of TV Numbing

by Norman Solomon Journalists and a range of commentators have told us that our world changed profoundly and irreversibly on Sept. 11. Yet the vast majority of what's on television is in the same old groove

Mayor Bloomberg and the Triumph of Business News

by Norman Solomon After billionaire Michael Bloomberg won the race to become New York's next mayor, the French news agency AFP noted that he "was among the first to see how the information age could serve investors in unprecedented -- and lucrative -- ways." In recent months, Bloomberg's campaign spent at least $50 million from his vast personal fortune, made possible by a media environment teeming with reverence for accumulation of wealth

Surprise! U.S. Not Center Of World

by Norman Solomon Satire

Where Were They When It Counted?

by Alexander Cockburn At the time when it counted, when a volley of barks from the watchdogs might have provoked resistance in Congress to the Patriot bill and warned Bush not to try his luck with military tribunals, there was mostly decorum from the opinion-makers, aside from amiable discussions of the propriety of torture

The Torture Boomlet

by Alexander Cockburn Start torturing, and it's easy to get carried away. Torture destroys the tortured and corrupts the society that sanctions it. What about Israel, which called an official halt to torture in 1999? They're still torturing. In July, AP and the Baltimore Sun relayed charges from the Israeli human rights organization Beth T'selem of "severe torture" by police of Palestinian youths as young as 14, who were badly beaten, their heads shoved into toilet bowls and so forth

The Case of the Blind Predator

by Alexander Cockburn Whenever you hear the words "revolution in military affairs" be aware that the Brooklyn Bridge is on the auction block

THIS Is The Silver Lining Of Sept. 11?

by Alexander Cockburn So who's raising a ruckus about these devastations of the Constitution? The mainstream isn't raising a ruckus, even against the notion of torture. For voices of conscience and sanity we have to turn to a thin, red line of anti-imperial leftists, to the radical bar whose overworked members toil for the immigrants and the poor. We can turn to the libertarians, such as Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who has delivered powerful speeches in Congress against Ashcroft's jihad against the Constitution. Ron Paul alone spilled the beans on how a cabal of House Republicans and Democrats rammed through the final version of the Patriot Act without it even being read by House members

Liberty Is Dying, Liberal by Liberal

by Robert Scheer With the exception of a few stalwarts, such as the ACLU, we have witnessed the sorry spectacle of most civil libertarians remaining silent or actively supporting the most sweeping and ill-considered assault on civil liberties since the roundup of Japanese Americans during World War II

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