"Aid officials estimate that up to 7.5 million Afghans might be threatened with starvation." - from article below Friends, The evidence seems to be that more people will die in Afghanistan this winter than died in all of Hitler's concentration camps. During these last few weeks when something might still be done about it, the US-UK Axis continues the bombing raids and drops token food packages - not enough to feed a single village. And these are dropped in the wrong places, often in fields infested with land mines. There is no possibility that the Axis leaders are unaware of the genocidal consequences of their acts, and the token food drops amount to a cynical propaganda ploy to distract public attention from those consequences. Add this to the 1.5 million Iraqi's killed by Axis sanctions, and millions killed by IMF/CIA actions in Rwanda and elsewhere in Africa -- we are witnessing history's greatest intentional holocaust. Following a brief report on the humanitarian disaster, and another about U.S. cover-up measures, there's a longer piece from ZNet. disgusted, rkm http://cyberjournal.org ============================================================================ To: "MER" <•••@••.•••> From: "MER" <•••@••.•••> Subject: Millions Likely To Die in Afghanistan U.N. Warns Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 22:24:21 -0400 ---<snip>--- U.N. SET TO APPEAL FOR HALT IN THE BOMBING By Jason Burke, Peshawar [The Observer - Sunday October 21, 2001]: The United Nations is set to issue an unprecedented appeal to the United States and its coalition allies to halt the war on Afghanistan and allow time for a huge relief operation. UN sources in Pakistan said growing concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country - in part, they say, caused by the relentless bombing campaign - has forced them to take the radical step. Aid officials estimate that up to 7.5 million Afghans might be threatened with starvation. 'The situation is completely untenable inside Afghanistan. We really need to get our point across here and have to be very bold in doing it. Unless the [US air] strikes stop, there will be a huge number of deaths,' one UN source said. The move will embarrass Clare Short, the International Development Secretary, who said last week that there was no 'cause and effect' between the bombing and the ability of aid agencies to deliver much-needed food and shelter. Aid workers yesterday strongly rejected Short's statements. 'Basically the bombing makes it difficult to get enough supplies in. It is as simple as that,' an Islamabad-based aid official told The Observer . Dominic Nutt, a spokesman for the British charity Christian Aid, called Short's remarks sickening. 'Needy people are being put at risk by government spin-doctors who are showing a callous disregard for life,' he said. 'To say that there is no link is not just misleading but profoundly dangerous.' Christian Aid report 600 people have already died in the Dar-e-Suf region of northern Afghanistan due to starvation, malnutrition and related diseases. Other agencies confirmed that the sick, the young and the old are already dying in refugee camps around the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif. The World Food Programme has calculated that 52,000 tonnes of wheat must be distributed in Afghanistan each month to stave off mass starvation. Since the aid programme was restarted - on 25 September - only 20,000 tonnes have been supplied and 15,000 distributed. The concern is that the coming winter will make relief efforts more difficult. The first snows have already fallen on the Hindu Kush mountains and the isolated highlands of Hazarajat. But though the WFP is accelerating the supply of food, it says it is unlikely to be able to bring in more than two-thirds of what is required. And it is clear that little aid is reaching the most remote areas where the need is greatest. A new assessment by aid workers on the ground in Afghanistan will be presented to UN co-ordinators in Islamabad this week. It shows that the effects of the three-year drought that has hit Afghanistan are far worse than previously thought. Areas in the north-east are of particular concern. In the western city of Herat food deliveries are barely keeping up with demand from the 1,000 people a day who are arriving at refugee camps. 'We are getting a significant amount of food into the country and we are desperately trying to get it to more remote areas. The usual distribution networks are hugely disrupted. At the moment a trickle is getting through,' said Michael Huggins, a spokesman for the WFP. He said the WFP operation was hampered by a lack of truck drivers willing to carry food through Afghanistan because of the bombing raids, high fuel prices and communication difficulties. The Taliban have also caused problems for aid agencies. A series of offices have been looted in major cities, prompting French agency MÈdecins Sans FrontiËres to shut down its entire Afghan operation. There have been a number of attempts to steal vehicles from aid agencies. The Taliban have also delayed relief convoys by demanding high taxes on their passage. Although the expected influx of refugees to Pakistan has yet to occur, there are signs of larger shifts of population than before. The last three days have seen more than 10,000 people cross the border from Afghanistan around the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar. Refugees report a breakdown in law and order in Kandahar. 'It is impossible to live there now,' one said. ---<snip>--- ---------------------------------- MiD-EasT RealitieS - http://www.MiddleEast.Org Phone: 202 362-5266 Email: •••@••.••• Fax: 815 366-0800 To subscribe email to •••@••.••• with subject SUBSCRIBE ============================================================================ Delivered-To: •••@••.••• From: "Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space" <•••@••.•••> To: <Undisclosed-Recipient:;@mindspring.com;;;> Subject: U.S BUYS UP ALL SATELLITE WAR IMAGES Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2001 11:55:47 -0400 US buys up all satellite war images Duncan Campbell Guardian (UK) Wednesday October 17, 2001 The Pentagon has spent millions of dollars to prevent western media from seeing highly accurate civilian satellite pictures of the effects of bombing in Afghanistan, it was revealed yesterday. The images, which are taken from Ikonos, an advanced civilian satellite launched in 1999, are better than the spy satellite pictures available to the military during most of the cold war. The extraordinary detail of the images already taken by the satellite includes a line of terrorist trainees marching between training camps at Jalalabad. At the same resolution, it would be possible to see bodies lying on the ground after last week's bombing attacks. Under American law, the US defence department has legal power to exercise "shutter control" over civilian satellites launched from the US in order to prevent enemies using the images while America is at war. But no order for shutter control was given, even after the bombing raids began 10 days ago. The decision to shut down access to satellite images was taken last Thursday, after reports of heavy civilian casualties from the overnight bombing of training camps near Darunta, north-west of Jalalabad. Instead of invoking its legal powers, the Pentagon bought exclusive rights to all Ikonos satellite pictures of Afghanistan off Space Imaging, the company which runs the satellite. The agreement was made retrospectively to the start of the bombing raids. The US military does not need the pictures for its own purposes because it already has six imaging satellites in orbit, augmented by a seventh launched last weekend. Four of the satellites, called Keyholes, take photographic images estimated to be six to 10 times better than the 1 metre resolution available from Ikonos. The decision to use commercial rather than legal powers to bar access to satellite images was heavily criticised by US intelligence specialists last night. Since images of the bombed Afghan bases would not have shown the position of US forces or compromised US military security, the ban could have been challenged by news media as being a breach of the First Amendment, which guarantees press freedom. "If they had imposed shutter control, it is entirely possible that news organisations would have filed a lawsuit against the government arguing prior restraint censorship," said Dr John Pike, of Globalsecurity, a US website which publishes satellite images of military and alleged terrorist facilities around the world. The only alternative source of accurate satellite images would be the Russian Cosmos system. But Russia has not yet decided to step into the information void created by the Pentagon deal with Space Imaging. --- Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space PO Box 90083 Gainesville, FL. 32607 (352) 337-9274 http://www.space4peace.org •••@••.••• ============================================================================ Delivered-To: •••@••.••• Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2001 15:08:47 -0700 From: ZNet Commentaries <•••@••.•••> Subject: Albert / Whats So Complex About It? / Oct 19 To: •••@••.••• Today's commentary on the web: http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2001-10/19albert.cfm ZNet Commentary What's So Complex About It? October 19, 2001 By Michael Albert In the past few weeks I have minutely explored, often with Stephen Shalom, multifold concerns about September 11 and the "war on terrorism." With him I have tried to calmly and soberly respond to all kinds of concerns people feel. I recommend doing it. We all need to become adept at rebutting the insanely manipulative media messages that crowd into so many people's minds, and into our own as well. But going straight to the uncomplicated heart of the matter sometimes has merit, too. The U.S. bombing of Afghanistan is a barbaric assault on defenseless civilians. It threatens a nearly incomprehensible human calamity. It is pursuing abominable goals. The bombing is not a "just war," as Richard Falk labels it in The Nation, but a vigilante attack. No, it is not a vigilante attack; it is a vigilante lynch-mob assault writ large. No, it is not even a vigilante lynch mob assault writ large--even vigilante lynch mobs go after only those they think are culprits and not innocent bystanders. The bombing of Afghanistan is a gargantuan repugnance hurled against some of the poorest people on the planet. And this gargantuan repugnance is undertaken not out of sincere if horrendously misguided desires to curtail terrorism--since the bombing undeniably manifests terror and feeds the wellsprings of more terrorism to come--but out of malicious desires to establish a new elite-serving logic of U.S. policy-making via an endless War on Terrorism to replace the defunct Cold War. This is rehashed Reaganism made more cataclysmic than even his dismal mind could conceive. When people say, but doesn't the U.S. have a right to defend itself?. I understand their hurt, pain, anger, and confusion. But I also have to admit that I want to scream that the U.S. is increasing the likelihood that a million or more souls will suffer fatal starvation. Is that self defense? Put differently, what kind of thinking sees denying food to humans as self defense? The answer is thinking like Bush's, thinking like bin Laden's, thinking that treats innocent human lives as chess pieces, as checkers, as tidily winks, in pursuit of its own deadly agendas. Thinking that is willing to rocket a plane into a building to take 6,000 innocent lives, or thinking that is willing to drop bombs into an already devastated country abetting cataclysmic starvation. Or, more often, it is thinking that has been systematically denied the most basic information relevant to the issues at hand, and that is too fearful, depressed, angry, or cynical to admit disturbing truths. You think I exaggerate? Jean Ziegler, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said October 15, "The bombing has to stop right now. There is a humanitarian emergency." Lest anyone miss the point, he continued, "In winter the lorries cannot go in any more. Millions of Afghans will be unreachable in winter and winter is coming very, very soon." As Reuters reported (and AP carried as well, but not any U.S. newspaper or other major media outlet, as best I can tell), "the United Nations has warned of a catastrophe unless aid can get through for up to seven million Afghans." Ziegler continues, "We must give the (humanitarian) organizations a chance to save the millions of people who are internally displaced (inside Afghanistan)," adding that he was echoing an (essentially unreported) appeal made by U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson a few days earlier, who was in turn echoing reports that go back to before the bombing. Ziegler called the bombing "a catastrophe for humanitarian work." Or in the words of Christian Aid Spokesman Dominic Nutt (quoted in the Scotsman but again in no U.S. papers): "We are beyond the stage where we can sit down and talk about this over tea. If they stop the bombing we can get the food aid in, it's as simple as that. Tony Blair and George Bush have repeatedly said this is a three-stringed offensive--diplomatic, military and humanitarian. Well the diplomatic and military are there but where is the humanitarian? A few planes throwing lunchboxes around over the mountains is laughable." So what's complicated in all this? Perhaps someone with a more subtle mind than mine can clarify it for me. But assuming one has the above information at hand, to me it all seems to boil down to this. If we bomb (or even just threaten to bomb), they are more likely to starve. If we don't bomb (or threaten to bomb), they are less likely to starve. If we choose bombing, we are telling the innocent civilians who may starve--not thousands but millions of them--you just don't count. Compared to Washington's agenda, you are nothing. And what is Washington's agenda? Remarkably the stated aim is to get bin Laden and to try him or perhaps just execute him ourselves. We could stop the bombing and have him tried in a third country, the Taliban has noted, but that's not acceptable. So for this minuscule gradation of difference, we are told that Washington is willing to risk 7 million people. Behind the rhetoric, to me the real goals appear to be to delegitimate international law, to establish that Washington will get its way regardless of impediments and that we can and will act unilaterally whenever it suits us -- the technical term for which is to be "credible" --and to propel a long-term war on terrorism to entrench the most reactionary policies and notions in the U.S. and around the globe, and, along with all that, to terminate bin Laden and others. Risking seven million people's lives for these aims is worse than doing it only for the minuscule gradation of trying bin Laden ourselves rather than having a third country do it, because the additional reasons are all grotesquely negative, supposing such calculus is even manageable by a sane mind. When I was a kid and first learned about Nazi Germany, like many other kids, I asked how could the German population abide such horrors. I even wondered if maybe Germans were somehow genetically evil or amoral. I have long since understood that Germans weren't different than Brits or Americans or anyone else, though their circumstances were different, but for those who still don't understand mass subservience to vile crimes induced by structural processes of great power and breadth, I have to admit that I mostly just want to shout: Look around, dammit! We live in a highly advanced country with means of communication that are virtually instantaneous and vastly superior to what the German populace had. We don't have a dictator and brownshirts threatening everyone who dissents. Dissent here isn't pleasant and involves some sacrifice and risk, but the price is most often way less than incarceration, much less death. That's fact one. Fact two is that our country is risking murdering a few million civilians in the next few months...every serious commentator knows it, no serious commentator denies it...and we are pursuing that genocidal path on the idiotic or grotesquely racist pretext that by so doing we are reducing terrorism in the world, even as we add millions to the tally of civilians currently terrorized for political purposes and simultaneously breed new hate and desperation that will yield still more terror in the future. Does anyone remember "destroying the city to save it"? What's next? Terrorize the planet to rid it of terrorists? For people of my generation, in the Vietnam War the U.S. killed roughly 2 million people over years and years of horrible violation of the norms of justice, liberty, and plain humanity. The utterly incomprehensible truth is that the U.S. could attain that same level of massacre in the next few months, and, whether it happens or not, is quite sanguine about doing so, as is virtually its entire intelligentsia, its mainstream media pundits, and so on. It is possible, with considerable effort, for the average person to discover that this "war" is potentially genocidal. One can easily get much more background, context, and analysis from ZNet, sure--but of course only one out of roughly every five hundred or one thousand U.S. citizens has encountered ZNet--but one can get that single insight, the possibility that genocidal calamity is imminent, even from the NY Times or Washington Post or any major paper that one might read, if one digs deep into it and reads it very carefully. Of course, the fact that such information isn't prime time news in every outlet in the land reveals how supinely our media elevate obedience above performance. They are seeing the AID and UN reports and calls for a bombing halt, of course, and seeing the articles in periodicals around the world, and they are simply excluding it from U.S. communications. But even with this massive media obfuscation, how hard is this war to comprehend, supposing one actually tries to comprehend it? Shortly after September 11 there was a letter in the NYT that a grade school child wrote to the editor, and I paraphrase from memory: "If we attack them aren't we doing to them what they did to us?" This child wasn't a genius, just a normal elementary school student. The Times probably ran the letter to show how cute kids can be, but of course the child was correct, not cute. The real question is why don't more of us see what the child instantly saw, even now, weeks later, with the horror before our eyes? Yes, a never-ending trumpet beat of patriotism proclaiming U.S. virtues and motives contributes to our blindness. Of course accumulated confusions, augmented daily, cloud our understanding and push the sad facts of potential starvation out of our field of vision. And yes the human capacity for self deception to avoid travail contributes, no doubt, to the process. But I suspect most people's blindness is largely due to resignation. The key fact, I suspect, isn't that people don't know about the criminality of U.S. policies, though there is an element of that at work, especially in the more educated classes, to be sure. But even among those carefully groomed to be socially and politically ignorant -- which is to say those who have higher educations -- I think many people do know at some broad level Washington's culpability for crimes, and of those who don't know, many don't in part because they are deceived, sure, but also in part because they are more or less actively avoiding knowing. And in my view the key factor causing this avoidance isn't that people are sublimating comprehension to rationalizations due to cowardly fearing the implications of dissent and wanting to run with the big crowd instead of against it. I think instead that people can find deep resources of courage, when they think it will do some good. Witness those firemen, average folks, running up the stairs of the WTO. No, to me the biggest impediment to dissenting is that people feel that they can't impact the situation in any useful way. If one has no positive hope, then of course it appears easiest and least painful and even most productive to toe the line and get on with life, trying to ignore the injustices perpetrated by one's country, or to alibi them, or even to claim them to be meritorious, while also trying to do what one can for one's kids and families, where we believe we can have an impact. To admit the horror that our country is producing seems to auger only alienation and tears. Here is one of many examples ... at the end of an email that I got from a young woman as I was finishing writing this essay, the author laments: "I've never had a huge amount of trust in governmental actions. But what I do know is that I have no control over anything. And all I can do is hope." It follows that the task of those who understand the efficacy of dissent is of course to counter lies and rationalizations and to clear up confusions by calmly and soberly addressing all kinds of media-induced concerns and confusions that people have, but it is also to demonstrate to people their capacity to make a difference. We have to escort people, and sometimes ourselves too, over the chasms of cynicism and doubt to the productivity of informed confidence. We do not face, as some would claim, a transformed world turned upside down and inside out. There is no new DNA coursing through us and our major societal institutions are as they were yesterday, last week, and last year. In fact, the main new thing in this month's events is that major violence based in the third world hit for the first time in modern history people in the first world. But the problem of civilians being attacked is all too familiar. And all too often the perpetrator is us, or those we arm and empower, including in this case, with bin Laden being a prime example of monstrous blowback. And now the problem is being replicated, writ ever larger, as if by a berserk Xerox machine. What we have to do is precisely what we would want others to do: oppose barbaric policies with our words and deeds, arouse ever greater numbers of dissenters, and nurture ever greater commitment to dissent, until elites cannot sensibly believe that a "War on Terrorism" will lead to anything but a population thoroughly fed up with and hostile to elites. People all over the world are embarking on this path...we should too. --- ZNET Commentaries are a premium sent to Sustainer Donors of Z/ZNet ... to learn more about the project folks can consult ZNet at http://www.zmag.org -- ============================================================================ Richard K Moore Wexford, Ireland Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance email: •••@••.••• website & list archives: http://cyberjournal.org content-searchable archive: http://members.xoom.com/centrexnews/ "A Guidebook: How the world works and how we can change it" http://cyberjournal.org/cj/guide/ A community will evolve only when the people control their means of communication. -- Frantz Fanon Capitalism is the relentless accumulation of capital for the acquisition of profit. Capitalism is a carnivore. 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