October 21, 2001
Colonialism and Terrorism
By Amon Hotep
America's new drive on terrorism is simply more of the same old order. Listening to the cowboy rhetoric of Bush: "wanted dead or alive"; "smoke them out"; and the rhetoric of born again Puritan Blair, this is just another colonialist crusade that keeps changing labels. From War on drugs to war on terrorism, these former colonial powers are still on their quest for world dominance under their misguided concept of morality.
Had these countries paid reparations for their past and present brutalities, they would have been cautiously threading this dangerous path. Full Article
Does terrorism pay?
By Mohamed Sid-Ahmed Al-Ahram
While Western leaders, led by Bush and Blair, insist the campaign against Bin Laden is against terrorism, not Islam, it was Bush himself who introduced a religious dimension to the campaign by calling it a "crusade." Many Western politicians and commentators have since come up with similar statements which contend, openly or tacitly, that Islam has something to do with terrorism and that the very notion of jihad implies a form of terrorist activity. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi went as far as to describe Islam as a backward civilisation, then apologised when he realised that trying to ride that particular wave would harm his image rather than help him win the next elections. And, at a time when the British government was trying hard to win over the support of Islamic countries for the international alliance against Bin Laden, former Tory Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher criticised British Muslims for not reacting with sufficient outrage to the terrorist incidents of 11 September, the clear implication being that their lack of compassion derived from their religious persuasion. Full Article
Imposter, Puppet or Freedom Fighters
By Oba Ranu
The events that have occurred since the bombing of the World Trade Center on September 11 have forced many people to examine who are the imposters, puppets or freedom fighters. Full Article
Obsession with bin Laden crosses all frontiers
by Robert Fisk
After Osama, "Godfather of Terror" – our very own cliché – comes Osama, "Saviour of the Muslim World", Osama, the "New Saladin", Osama "V Mahdi". Amid the blue moped fumes of the Peshawar bazaar, his face beams out of a hundred bookshops, turbaned, wise, half-smiling, disembodied.
On the front cover of Khaled Choudhury's Osama bin Laden: Freedom Fighter or Terrorist? – readers may guess which conclusion the author draws – Mr bin Laden gazes down at us from the sky above the snows of the Afghan mountains. Printed by Shaheed Publishers (shaheed means martyr) Choudhury's slim, hard-cover volume is dedicated "to all Islamic Fighters". Full Article
Washington's failed attempts to stage-direct this war
by Galal Nassar
As the US strikes entered their second week, one feels as though they are following a protracted wrestling match between US forces and Bin Laden, in which Bin Laden is now several points ahead. Not only have the strikes so far failed to achieve any of their political or military objectives, they have cast a longer shadow over the US's tarnished image. Aware of the power of the US media, Bin Laden has put into effect a media strategy that has undermined the efficacy of the most important weapon in America's offensive arsenal. His pre-filmed speech was prepared to be broadcast immediately after Bush's address to the nation, and the broadcasts of his followers' subsequent speeches and the televised images of civilian casualties in Afghanistan have enabled him to influence global opinion in a way Saddam Hussein and Milosevic never did.
Needless to say, now that it has its US media services under control, Washington is casting about for ways to pressure Qatar to undermine Bin Laden's strategy and impose a form of blackout on the humanitarian consequences of the strikes. Until it succeeds, Bin Laden and the Taliban will probably continue to score more points in the current media war. Full Article
Hearing On US Interests In The Central Asian Republics
Centre for Research on Globalisation
We are reproducing below House of Representative transcripts pertaining to "US Interests in Central Asia". The latter provide detailed evidence regarding the economic and strategic objectives underlying the US government's decision to bomb Afghanistan. The document is reproduced with a view to informing our readers on the Administration's hidden agenda. The CRG does not necessarily share or endorse the conclusions of the document. Full Article
War Is Peace
By Arundhati Roy outlookindia.com
The world doesn't have to choose between the Taliban and the US government. All the beauty of the world—literature, music, art—lies between these two fundamentalist poles.
As darkness deepened over Afghanistan on Sunday, October 7, 2001, the US government, backed by the International Coalition Against Terror (the new, amenable surrogate for the United Nations), launched air strikes against Afghanistan. TV channels lingered on computer-animated images of Cruise missiles, stealth bombers, Tomahawks, 'bunker-busting' missiles and Mark 82 high-drag bombs. All over the world, little boys watched goggle-eyed and stopped clamouring for new video games.
The UN, reduced now to an ineffective abbreviation, wasn't even asked to mandate the air strikes. (As Madeleine Albright once said, "The US acts multilaterally when it can, and unilaterally when it must.") The 'evidence' against the terrorists was shared amongst friends in the 'Coalition'. After conferring, they announced that it didn't matter whether or not the 'evidence' would stand up in a court of law. Thus, in an instant, were centuries of jurisprudence carelessly trashed. Full Article
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