November 14, 2001

The Big Brother Files #10: The Fury of War and Its Consequences


Hello everyone

Once again there are so many threads and developments to follow all at once and things are moving so fast - the situation is very "fluid" in Pentagon speak - that it is hard to reflect in these compilations an entirely up-to-the minute accurate picture of where things are moving. Much of this compilation below focus on aspects on the US-led war in Afghanistan based mostly on articles published last week. Now with the routed Talibans running away from the punishing bombings they have been taking for over 4 weeks, it is possible that the worst of the military campaign will be over much sooner than anticipated by the Pentagon strategists - which seems like an excellent news, unless it means that the vengeful wrath of the U.S. military will now be turned against poor suffering Iraqi people, a move for which they did not have time yet to prepare the world public opinion. As you'll see below they definitely have an uphill battle in front of them in this regards since most people on Earth (except in the media-brainwashed US, Israel and India - but for different reasons there) strongly oppose the US-imposed illegal military solution. And that is definitely a positive development!

Much more to come in the next compilations - as usual!

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000


CONTENTS

1. U.S. is Dropping World's Biggest Non-Nuclear bomb in Afghanistan
2. Bombing With Blindfolds On
3. Gallup Poll Shows World Opposes Military Action
4. Genocide As Collateral Damage, But With Sincere Regrets
5. Peace


NEWS AND ARTICLES OF SPECIAL INTEREST:

Taliban Forces Retreat; Bin Laden Hunt Intensifies
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/14/international/asia/14DIPL.html
As nearly half of Afghanistan tumbled out of the hands of the Taliban, the overarching political question of who will govern the nation remained unanswered.

Chomsky slams US, India's rights record
http://www.dawn.com/2001/11/06/top3.htm
American dissident and renowned scholar Prof Noam Chomsky is accusing the U.S. "of being the world's biggest rogue state", and "declared that the real terrorism was being perpetrated on innocent people of Afghanistan where he quoted UN figures to suggest a million or two could perish due to starvation induced by the US-led war against Osama bin Laden." "He linked Washington's present bombing campaigns in Afghanistan to its other foreign policy quests including the anti-missile defence programme, saying militarization of space and the assault on Afghanistan were part of a hegemonistic design." He also said "that the United States was a leading terrorist country which borrowed its anti-terrorism manual from the Nazis."

Powell says U.S. will deal with Iraq eventually http://www.cnn.com/2001/US/11/07/ret.powell.iraq/index.html
Secretary of State Colin Powell said Wednesday the United States would deal with Iraq's weapons program as part of its war against terrorism once it had finished the campaign in Afghanistan.

Extending the War to Iraq?
http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO111B.html
Canada sends "Gun Boats" to the Persian Gulf. Canadian "Gun Boats" are not equipped to Wage a War against a landlocked Country. (...) Hidden Agenda ... Canadian officials knew exactly what they were doing when they sent the Canadian Navy to the Gulf. The Canadian government's decision was, in this regard, fully consistent with the Bush Administration's stated intent to "broaden the war by targeting other countries that host terrorists, or terror groups.

Robert Fisk: Hypocrisy, hatred and the war on terror (08 November 2001)
http://argument.independent.co.uk/commentators/story.jsp?story=103717
If the US attacks were an assault on "civilisation", why shouldn't Muslims regard the Afganistan attack as a war on Islam?'

Global warming to hit key food crops - UN agency
http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/13168/newsDate/8-Nov-2001/story.htm
Harvests of some of the world's key food crops could drop by up to 30 percent in the next 100 years due to global warming, a U.N. agency said. CLIP Billions of people across the tropics depend on crops such as rice, maize and wheat, for their very survival.(...) These new findings indicate that large numbers are facing acute hunger and malnutrition unless the world acts to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions Up 3.1 Percent in 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20011109/sc/energy_emissions_dc_1.html
Carbon dioxide emissions spewed by the United States and its territories jumped 3.1 percent last year, one of the biggest annual increases in a decade, a government report said on Friday. Carbon dioxide emissions, which accounts for more than 80 percent to total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, reached 1,583 million metric tons of carbon equivalent, according to the Energy Department's analytical arm. CLIP

Negotiators Agree on Climate Package (Saturday November 10)
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20011110/ts/climate_talks_9.html
(...) The accord assigns each country a target and sets an average 5.2 percent emission reduction from 1990 levels to be achieved by 2012. Approval of the text would likely clear the way for ratification by the required 55 countries, including those that emitted 55 percent of the polluting gases in 1990, the baseline year. Delegates said they hoped the treaty would come into force next year. In the final hours of the conference, Australia, Japan, Russia and Canada objected to five points on how market-based mechanisms would function. The mechanisms are designed to help countries meet their targets by buying or selling carbon credits on an international financial market, or by reducing their quota by expanding forests and farmland that soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. CLIP

President Bush has said his administration is drawing up its own plan to control greenhouse gas emissions, and has announced funding for more studies and technology research. But Washington has repeatedly delayed unveiling the plan, and the chief U.S. delegate, Undersecretary of State Paula Dobriansky, says there is no timetable for its preparation. Scientists say glaciers are already melting and rain patterns are shifting because of global warming. Over the next century, temperatures could rise as much as 10 degrees, leading to more intense storms, droughts and a potentially disastrous rise in sea levels.

Full coverage Global Warming
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/fc/World/Global_Warming/

Whose War Is It Anyway?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A62300-2001Nov8.html
In the worldwide media, the question isn't "When will the war on terrorism be won?" but "Whose war is it?" The world is rapidly re-militarizing, following U.S. leadership (Note from Jean: Total worldwide military Spending in 2000: $800 billions, "officially"!). What does the rise of militaries around the world mean for the planet's future? How much longer do we have before the Sept. 11 fire spreads by the fuel that the U.S. military is now providing? In Germany and Japan debate focuses on the momentous decision in both countries to remilitarize. Along with opinion makers in Britain, commentators in those allied countries are reassuring the United States that they remain committed to the war. CLIP

Bush and Putin Agree to Reduce Stockpile of Nuclear Warheads (Nov 14)
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/14/international/14PREX.html
They pledged to cut their nuclear stockpiles by roughly two-thirds (to around 2000 nukes each). This at least is a good news, albeit they will take 10 years to do so!

The Geopolitics of War
http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20011105&s=klare
Michael T. Klare explores the symbiotic relationship between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and how that relates to past and present US military presence and actions in the Middle East region.

Oil War II, the Sequel: The Empire Strikes Back in the Caspian
http://www.indymedia.org
The World Trade Center attack. Caspian Oil and Gas and the Afghanistan Pipeline Connection

Paper Says Bin Laden Claims He Has Nuclear Weapons
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20011110/wl/attack_binladen_dc_7.html

Terrible Images of a "Just" War
http://www.counterpunch.org/parry1.html
The realities facing civilians at "ground zero" Afganistan in the "War on Terrorism".

Great political cartoon about the Nancy Oden airport incident
http://seattlep-i.nwsource.com/horsey/viewbydate.asp?id=522

Bush Orders: Terror Trials by Military
http://www.truthout.com/11.14A.Terror.htm
Martial Court for citizens: another Orwellian piece in the NWO plan for world domination?...




WITH THE TALIBANS RETREATING ON ALL FRONTS, THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES MAY ALREADY SEEM OUTDATED BUT IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW BECAUSE IT SHOWS JUST HOW HARD THEY HAVE BEEN PUMMELED WITH MASSIVE BOMBINGS

From: http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?ItemID=12293

November 8, 2001

Weapons of Mass Destruction
U.S. is Dropping World's Biggest Non-Nuclear bomb in Afghanistan

by Laura Flanders

They have the destructive power of an atomic bomb, but they can barely make a dent in U.S. news coverage. I'm talking about the 15,000-pound bombs the United States is using against Afghanistan this week. The so-called Daisy Cutters, named BLU-82, are the world's biggest non-nuclear device.
In many places, the development received a 10-second mention on the evening news, five or six items down in the program lineup. Newscasters broadcast video footage of an enormous black dust cloud rising above an Afghan mountain range, accompanied by the assurances of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that the "stepped up" assaults would hasten the collapse of the Taliban regime.

AP describes (http://commondreams.org/headlines01/1106-02.htm) the Blu-82, nicknamed "Big Blue," as being "as large as a Volkswagen beetle, but heavier." Digging for the less charming details, one finds that the bomb got its other name, "Daisy Cutter," because of the shape of the crater it leaves -- and that it has the ability to clear a 3-mile-long path. Dropped from huge transport aircraft, "Big Blue" releases a cloud of inflammable ammonium nitrate, aluminum dust, and polystyrene slurry which is then ignited by a detonator. The result is a firestorm that incinerates an area the size of five football fields, consumes oxygen, and creates a shock-wave and vacuum pressure that destroys the internal organs of anyone within range.

"As you would expect, they make a heck of a bang when they go off," General Peter Pace, vice-chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff told a press conference (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-000088971nov07.story).
"The intent is to kill people."

The United States has used at least two of these "Big Blues" so far. David Williams described one attack (http://www.femail.co.uk/pages/news/article.html?in_article_id=82812&in_page_id=1262") from northern Afghanistan, where he is reporting for the Daily Mail of London.

"The sound and impact was unmistakably different ... Each of the previous explosions -- and there had been more than 100 -- had been similar in sight and sound," wrote Williams.

"The sound split the air. It was like a thunder clap directly overhead at the height of a ferocious storm. I could see the massive oily black cloud of the explosion as it rolled across the hillside, a mixture of thick smoke, chunks of earth and debris."

"Big Blue" was used in Vietnam, to create instant helicopter landing pads in jungle areas. It was employed in the Gulf War, to detonate minefields, and more controversially, to terrorize Iraqi troops. From the ground, the columns of dust and smoke that the bombs produce are indistinguishable from mushroom clouds. In Iraq, some British patrols reported thinking they were in a nuclear war. This reporter saw U.S. Gulf veterans cry as they recalled watching, from miles away, the deadly impact.

While George W. Bush lectures the world about Osama bin Laden's lust for nuclear weapons, U.S. forces are employing weapons that, while not banned by international treaty, come as close to nukes as one can get without smashing atoms.

The Daisy Cutter attacks come less than a week after the United States crippled Afghanistan's biggest hydroelectric complex. Afghan Education Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said seven U.S. raids last Wednesday and Thursday severely damaged the Kajaki hydroelectric complex in southern Helmand province, knocking out the power supplies of Kandahar and Lashkarga. The report was corroborated by refugees interviewed by Agence France Press (AFP, 11/01/01)

"So far water has not started gushing out of the dam but any further bombing will destroy (it)," Minister Muttaqi told DAWN, Pakistan's English language paper, last week. "It may cause widespread flooding, putting at risk the lives of thousands of people."

According to DAWN (http://www.dawn.com/2001/11/02/top4.htm), Kajaki, 90 kilometers northwest of Kandahar, contains 2.7 billion cubic meters of water and irrigates land farmed by 75,000 families in a desert area.

In their search -- ostensibly -- for Osama Bin Laden and those who facilitated the criminal attack on the United States on September 11, wave after wave of U.S. bombers, including giant B-52s, are carpet bombing frontlines in northern Afghanistan. In another new development this week, U.S. forces are also using 5,000 pound GBU-28 "Deep Throat" bunker-busters, which burrow through as much as 20 feet of rock before exploding underground.

The Geneva Protocol is not unclear. You don't have to be in Afghanistan. You can read it on the Web at http://deoxy.org/wc/wc-proto.htm

CLIP

The press talked for weeks about whether it was acceptable for U.S. forces to violate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Is it unreasonable to expect at least equal attention to the question of whether U.S. assaults are violating international law?




From: http://www.commondreams.org/views01/1106-05.htm

Published on Tuesday, November 6, 2001 in the Boston Globe

Bombing With Blindfolds On

by James Carroll

WHEN I FIRST LAID eyes on a B-52 bomber in the mid-'50s, I was struck by the motto of the Strategic Air Command emblazoned on the fuselage: ''Peace is our profession.'' Such words on a fearsome warplane were a consolation, and I wanted to believe them. Even as a boy, though, I was instinctively attuned to the moral complexity of bombing, and I wasn't that surprised when, during Vietnam, that motto was revealed to be a big lie. The profession of those planes was to wreck havoc, period.

Last week, B-52s were sent into action over Afghanistan, a first exercise in ''carpet bombing.'' The unleashing of this crude ghost plane, which drops imprecise ordnance from 40,000 feet, is a chilling harbinger. Whatever the broad justifications of the US-led war against terrorism, the way in which that war centers on an increasingly brutal bombing campaign cries out to be reconsidered.

What are the purposes and effects of bombing? That straightforward question has hardly ever been answered truthfully by our government. The air war in Afghanistan is being conducted behind a veil of secrecy - but a veil of secrecy shielding Americans, not the Afghans on whom the bombs explode. Our government insists that civilians are not being targeted and that Taliban claims of large numbers of civilian casualties are propaganda.

But however much we long to be consoled by a distinction between military and civilian targets (''carpet bombing'' notwithstanding), the history of bombing suggests that that distinction itself is a lie. ''A History of Bombing'' is the title of a book by the Swedish writer Sven Lindqvist, and his findings are instructive.

One of the first countries to be bombed from the air, ironically, was Afghanistan during Britain's imperial adventurism in 1919. After World War I, the British air staff declared that it would impose civilian-protecting limits on bombing, but an internal memo defined that declaration as having been made ''to preserve appearances'' because ''the truth [is] that air warfare has made such restriction obsolete and impossible.''

Thus the dilemma presented itself at the very onset of the age of bombing. In 1940, the British definition of a ''military target'' was extended to include industrial centers and the homes of industrial workers - which meant city centers could be hit. American strategists resisted such blatant targeting of civilians for a time, but by the end of World War II, the United States blithely engaged in mass fire-bombing of entire Japanese cities, especially Tokyo.

Even then, lip service was paid to the consoling distinction between military and civilian, as if still being observed. It is stunning to recall, with Lindqvist, that when Harry Truman announced to the world that America had used the atomic bomb, he defined its target as having been ''an important Japanese army base.''

The atomic bomb was dropped on the ''base,'' he said, because ''we wished in the first attack to avoid as much as possible the killing of civilians.'' At least 95 percent of the 100,000 killed immediately at that ''base,'' also known as Hiroshima, were civilians, as Truman surely knew. But he also knew the importance of ''preserving appearances.''

The US lies about bombing in Vietnam, where dead civilians were routinely added to the military body count, are well known. After the revelations of the immorality of that war, Americans had a right to assume that ''carpet bombing'' by B-52s was a thing of the past. During the Gulf War, with the advent of ''smart'' bombs and laser-guided missiles, ''ethical'' bombing that spared civilians seemed to have arrived, but those claims, too, turned out to be false. And the B-52 operated there as well.

The NATO air war against Serbia in 1999, despite great claims for its ''humanitarian'' purpose, was distinguished by strategy that kept bombers flying high enough to protect pilots but too high to protect civilians on the ground. History suggests that war managers have never told the truth about the real purposes and effects of their bombing campaigns.

And now? Last week the moral bankruptcy of bombing was on display when Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld refused to rule out American use of nuclear weapons in this war. We should be clear what this means: The United States is prepared, under some circumstance, to cross the nuclear threshold into the realm of massive civilian death - what, to protect civilian life?

How does the motto ''Peace is our profession'' translate into Arabic? These contradictions suggest that a kind of moral blindness has accompanied the phenomenon of bombing from the start. Indeed, moral blindness is necessary for it, blocking our view, for example, of the way US bombing, at very least, is creating conditions of humanitarian catastrophe this winter.

I believe that bin Laden is counting on such blindness and that with our bombing, we have not disappointed him.




Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2001
From: EarthAction <earthaction@earthaction.org>
Subject: Gallup Poll Shows World Opposes Military Action

Responding to the letter in the posting that asserts that much of the US public is pro-bombing, I found this Gallup Poll interesting, as it shows a large percentage of US citizens who are for a civil-society approach, and also a large percentage (22%) who felt as though US foreign policy has
endangered them.

Erik Hoffner
EarthAction International

---

Gallup Poll Shows World Opposes Military Action

From the Sunflower
http://www.wagingpeace.org

An international Gallup Poll showed that a majority in 32 out of 35 countries (the US, Israel and India in opposition) favored a criminal justice response, rather than military action response to the 11 September acts of violence.

The numbers were clear: 67%-88% in NATO/Western countries and 83%-94% in Latin America favored a non-military approach.

30% of US respondents also supported this option even though the mainstream US media consistently ignores this.

Of the European countries polled, France had the highest support for military action with 30% in favor. In the UK, 18% favored military action, and in Greece 8%.

All of the European countries were well above 60% in support of extradition of the terrorists to stand trial. (source: http://www.gallup-international.com/terrorismpoll_figures.htm -
23 October 2001)

---

EarthAction is a global network of over 2,000 organizations in more than 160 countries that work together on global environment, peace, development and human rights issues.
More details at http://www.earthaction.org




Recommended by "Wade Frazier" <res0k62m@verizon.net>

ZNet Commentary

Available through http://www.zmag.org/weluser.htm

Genocide As Collateral Damage, But With Sincere Regrets

November 10, 2001

By Edward Herman

The Bush Afghan war calls up memories of the Vietnam war in both actions and rhetoric: the massive use of superior arms heavily impacting civilians, deliberate food deprivation, wholesale terror allegedly combatting "terrorism," but always "sincere regrets" for any "collateral damage."

In the earlier war, although the propaganda claim was that we were saving South Vietnam from aggression, the U.S. leadership and military knew very well that the U.S. puppet regime in the south had negligible internal support, and in consequence the most ferocious forms of U.S. violence were directed at the people in the south.

Virtually all the napalm and chemicals used during the war struck the south, which was also regularly attacked by B-52 bombers, and much of its territory was made into "free fire zones." As good propaganda servants of the state, however, the mainstream media never noticed the contradiction--virtually unlimited violence against the people allegedly being saved from aggression. In the classic military explanation of the treatment of Ben Tre: "We had to destroy the town in order to save it."

In South Vietnam, the United States carried out a large-scale program of attempted food deprivation to starve out the indigenous National Liberation Front (NLF) soldiers.

Under this program, charmingly labelled Operation Ranch Hand, millions of gallons of Agent Orange and other dangerous chemicals were sprayed repeatedly on peasant rice crops, in a policy that U.S. Admiral William Leahy had opposed during World War II on the ground that it would "violate every Christian ethic I have ever heard of and all known laws of war." (We were already on the road to "humanitarian bombing" and the new "ethical foreign policy" when this policy was installed in the Kennedy years).

This chemical warfare killed many thousands of peasants and their family members, and left a memorial in an estimated 500,000 Vietnamese children with serious birth deformities (Peter Waldman, "Body Count," Wall Street Journal, Dec. 12, 1997).

At the time, critics of this illegal and vicious policy stressed the fact that soldiers would have priority access to the diminished food supply. The distinguished Harvard nutritionist Jean Mayer was only one among many who pointed out that this policy "first and overwhelmingly affected small children" ("Crop Destruction in Vietnam," Science, April 15, 1966).

But this had no effect on policy: food deprivation pushed ahead with little opposition from the liberal media or the international community. So did intensive high level bombing and the use of napalm and fragmentation bombs.

While it was regularly claimed by the U.S. military that they regretted and were trying to avoid civilian casualties, there were also occasinal admissions that the people supported the NLF and that making this support "costly" and driving them into the cities was deliberate policy. The several million dead and severely wounded and traumatized Vietnamese civilians were still "collateral damage," as the policy did not aim to kill them but merely to induce this stubborn populace to accept a minority government acceptable to U.S. officials.

In Iraq, under the UN sanctions regime, also, the 500,000 plus Iraqi children and overall million plus dead civilians, whose death was "worth it" for Madeleine Albright, and hence for the mainstream media, are, once again "collateral damage."

The stated aim has been to get rid of Saddam Hussein, not to kill children, so the deaths of large numbers of children are regretfully but understandably and acceptably costs of a policy with a clearly benevolent end. As in the old saw attributed to the Reds, the means are justified by the ends, even if these entail mass deaths of innocent victims.

In the imperial system there is another rationale employed to justify mass deaths resulting from policy, even when these approach genocidal levels. That is, as the leaders of the victims always have the option of surrender, THEY are responsible for any deaths that follow their refusal, not the party actually doing the killing directly.

The Vietnamese were regularly offered the option of abandoning the struggle to overthrow the minority government imposed on the south by the United States; so that if they refused, what option had the United States but to kill, to protect South Vietnam against "internal aggression" (the phrase was then U.S. Ambassador to the UN Adlai Stevenson's Orwellian masterpiece)?

How else resolve the choice between U.S."credibility" and the killing of millions of innocent civilians?

Similarly, Saddam Hussein could give up power voluntarily, and although the UN has never mandated his removal as the objective of the "sanctions of mass destruction" imposed on Iraq by that organization, if the United States adds in this objective at its own discretion who can object, except the impotent victims and weaklings of the left?

In Kosovo we saw the familiar process employed once again: Yugoslavia at Rambouillet was invited to surrender, not only by agreeing to a NATO takeover of Kosovo, but under Appendix B to allow the NATO occupation of all of Yugoslavia.

This was explicitly designed to "raise the bar" to assure Yugoslav rejection, because "the Serbs needed a little bombing," in the words of a State Department official. (Saddam also needed a little bombing after he invaded Kuwait in August 1990, so he was not allowed to extricate himself there by negotiations.)

The Kosovo solution by NATO bombing and occupation has been applauded by Western liberals on the ground that the Kosovo Albanians were repatriated--ignoring that they only needed repatriation as a consequence of the NATO war itself--and that the demon responsible for all the Balkan difficulties, Slobodan Milosevic, has been brought to trial--which rests on a comprehensive misreading of recent Balkan history, with an especially noteworthy neglect of the crucial role of the NATO powers in destabilizing Yugoslavia in a manner that assured ethnic cleansing, and protecting the ethnic cleansing, and continuing to protect it today in occupied Kosovo, when done by the right people.

Which brings us to the U.S. war against Afghanistan, where we have a rerun of the now standard rationales for mass killings as collateral damage.

Once again the enemy has been invited to surrender, in a manner that assured rejection--demanding that the Taliban deliver up Bin Laden, but refusing to provide evidence of his involvement in the September 11 terrorist attacks. In the imperial tradition, the refusal to do as instructed means that any future deaths from bombs is the fault of the Taliban leadership.

A unique feature of the war against Afghanistan is that as it began this devastated and poor country was facing the prospect of mass starvation, following incessant wars and three years of drought. World humanitarian institutions such as Oxfam, the WHO, UNICEF, Conscience International and others were already focused on Afghanistan as a desperate case, with 7-8 million people facing starvation.

The U.S. decision to bomb Afghanistan was therefore, in itself, a major act of terrorism, as it caused the immediate flight of thousands from Afghan cities, disrupted food supply by humanitarian groups, and immediately worsened the crisis.

The Bush administration also forced Pakistan to close its borders, directly impeding food supply operations. The bombing itself caused further flight and cutbacks in food distribution, along with the familiar "errant bombs" and "tragic errors" striking civilians directly.

Most notable was the repeated bombing of well-marked Red Cross food supply facilities in Kabul, and the admission that this was intentional as the Taliban allegedly controlled the site. Red Cross officials denied Taliban occupation or interference, but whoever is correct on this point, we see the continuity with the spirit of Operation Ranch Hand in the intent to deprive the Taliban of food, despite the fact that a food deprivation policy will always impact first and foremost children and other noncombatants.

The multiple attacks on the Red Cross sites also suggests that Bush administration officials may not view the effects of the escalating mass starvation as bad--it will put pressure on the Taliban food supply, even as it kills large numbers of noncombatants. The similarity to the Vietnam War policy of depriving the NLF of food, whatever the human cost, is clear.

The U.S. mainstream media are not bothered by this at all, any more than they have been bothered by the 5,000 Iraqi children terminated each month as collateral damage. Remember how intensely interested the mainstream media were in the plight of the Kosovo Albanians expelled and fleeing during the bombing war, and how indignant they were?

Now, with the already starving Afghan civilians put to flight by U.S. bombing and threats, the media focus on the bombing tactics, their effectiveness and prospects, and the condition of the fleeing and starving Afghans is barely noticed; indignation is entirely absent. What a difference the locus of responsibility for the plight of refugees makes for the direction of media attention and moral fervor!

Just as the media essentially suppress the evidence that the U.S. war's impact on the Afghan starvation crisis is to exacerbate it, making it a policy of mass killing, so they are oblivious to the hypocrisy of the food drop program and its PR character. I still have photos of GIs in Vietnam handing lollipops to Vietnamese children orphaned in the U.S. destruction of Vietnam in order to save it. The media back then showed such photos as evidence of our kindness, without blanching.

Now, we have air drops of food packages that are a minuscule offset to the war-induced fall in humanitarian aid, and with sublime irony, of the same yellow color as the cluster bombs, also dropped in great number, and deadly to anyone touching them.

In short, the media are, once again, serving as key instruments in making national policy palatable and apologizing for and normalizing their government's mass killings of innocent civilians. We offered the enemy the surrender option, our patience is once again exhausted, and once again "the United States sincerely regrets this inadvertent strike on..." (fill in the blanks), which was clearly unintentional, and collateral damage.




PEACE

By Sheila Simpson
gbrown@mars.ark.com

In the heart beats a longing
For a new thought to begin
In the heart lies a mystery
There is where the war begins
Mother left you, lonely, pinning
Father wasn’t much at home
Education somehow missed you
A soldier’s uniform you put on
Wearing all that heavy metal power
Gave you status, people often stared
Sealed a wall around your heart now
Letting no one ever in

So you went and conquered others
With a bayonet and a gun
In your heart there was a coldness
And your eyes let nothing in
Death and violence now you courted
Dying was not hard to watch
Wounded children, bleeding mothers
You were groomed to orders take
But in your heart their sang a robin
A song you would not hear
Not until you lay dying
in a ditch in on foreign land

Wounded by a sniper’s bullet
Blood was slowly trickling down
Staining your neat karki uniform
As you watched the life pour from you
Slowly robin sang his longing song
In the moment of your dying came
The clearest light of peace
All the faces of your enemies
Now appeared as friends
All indifference’s soon melted
Like the guns and shinning sword
In that moment you remembered
The reason why you came
To love one another sang the
Simple robin’s song







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