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Woman in Burka

October 08, 2001

Intolerant liberalism:
The west's arrogant assumption of its superiority is as dangerous as any other form of fundamentalism

( Madeleine Bunting ) The bombs have hit Kabul. Smoke rises above the city and there are reports that an Afghan power plant, one of only two in the country, has been hit. Meanwhile the special forces are on standby, and the necessary allies have been cajoled, bullied and bribed into position.

That is not all that was carefully prepared ahead of yesterday's launch of the attacks. Crucially for a modern war, public opinion formers at home have been prepared and marshalled into line with a striking degree of unanimity. The voices of dissent can barely be heard over the chorus of approval and self-rightous enthusiasm. Full Article

Reaction By Noam Chomsky

So far, the US-UK response is about what had been expected. What has been reported is attacks by cruise missiles and high-altitude bombers, accompanied by some food drops outside of Taliban-controlled areas (most of the country), such a transparent PR gesture that there is no attempt even to conceal it. The attacks appear to have been based entirely outside the Muslim world, presumably because of fear of protests. It is far too early, and we have much too little information, to say anything with confidence, but it is not unlikely that the mood is captured by story from Cairo in the Boston Globe with the headline "Protests, horror greet US assault," quoting an Egyptian waiter as saying "I give you food and I kill you? It makes me crazy to think about that." Full Article

Conflict Building Up in Oil-Rich Caspian

( Franz Schurmann ) Secretary of State Colin Powell got a lot of flak when he decided not to attend the Durban conference on global racism. And he got even more when he pulled out the American delegation in protest against labeling Israel a racist state. Yet he had good reasons for what he did as the number one adviser to President Bush who is the de facto president of the world.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has become a horror but it is not a threat to the welfare of Americans and the people of the world. But what is going on elsewhere in the Middle East is a big threat to both. It's not difficult to spot the threat if you are, say, over 30 years of age. People of this age group, be they in Boston, Brussels or Beijing, remember that just a decade ago there were fewer vehicles on the road in Boston and Brussels, but much fewer in Beijing. The experts all predict that in the years to come the number will be even greater all over the world. Full Article

Latin Americans Disagree With Leaders on War

Latin Americans -- only now recovering from decades of terrorism, civil conflict and the violence of drug trafficking -- know all too well that a war against a faceless enemy is a dangerous quagmire.

Opinion polls show that: 8 out of 10 Mexicans do not want to participate in any multinational military strike; 8 out of 10 Brazilians oppose any military response; 6 out of 10 Argentines want to remain neutral; 9 out of 10 Venezuelans oppose participating in any military strike. Full Article