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September 22, 2001

humanitarian disaster

Cuban President Fidel Castro:
"The Tragedy Should Not Be Used To Recklessly Start A War"

No one can deny that terrorism is today a dangerous and ethically indefensible phenomenon, which should be eradicated regardless of its deep origins, the economic and political factors that brought it to live, and those responsible for it.

The unanimous irritation caused by the human and psychological damage brought on the American people by the unexpected and shocking death of thousands of innocent people whose images have shaken the world is perfectly understandable. But who have profited? The extreme right, the most backward and right-wing forces, those in favor of crushing the growing world rebellion and sweeping away everything progressive that is still left on the planet. It was an enormous error, a huge injustice and a great crime, whoever organized or are responsible for such action. Full Article

US attacks: Lessons for school history?

Education correspondent Mike Baker considers whether the attacks on the United States have prompted a need for world history to be taught in schools.

Has there ever been a more important time to understand the lessons of history?

After the attacks on the USA, we suddenly find ourselves needing to know more about parts of the world, and about different religious and political beliefs, which we had previously ignored.

For we must not only trust that our political and military leaders understand the fragile and complex history of the Middle East, Central Asia and Islamic fundamentalism - it is equally important that public opinion is well-informed too, as it is a powerful force shaping and limiting the responses available to President Bush and the coalition leaders. Full Article

Aid shortage adds to Afghan woes

( BBC ) The main supplier of food aid to Afghanistan is coming under strong pressure to resume its imports, as a humanitarian disaster looms.

The agency - the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) - stopped wheat imports to the beleaguered country 10 days ago, citing security risks. Full Article

Not the end of the world or just more of the same

( Justin Podur ) It was the thought that the US was being led into a trap that was the most frightening. The thought that the terrorists were working a coordinated strategy. That they had more and worse terror attacks up their sleeve. That they were anticipating the US reaction, that they had more in store, that they were calculating popular Islamist revolts would occur in Muslim countries when the US attacked. The US attacks would be followed by massive Islamic revolts and further terror attacks, to be followed by escalated US attacks, until Naomi Klein wrote about the 'end of video game wars', observing that North America finally understood what bombing really meant and that the game was over.

But now it looks like the end of the world isn't at hand, and the video game wars aren't over. Hearing Bush's speech how could one not remember the ultimatum given to Yugoslavia in 1999? How could one fail to recall how the demands made-- for full access to the whole country for the US, to turn over everyone the US asks for, and everything unconditionally-- were made so that they could not be met? How could one fail to see how everything was being set for bombing? Hearing about the Taleban's offer to invite bin Laden to leave voluntarily being taken not as a first step in a diplomatic solution but instead being categorically rejected, how could one not recall the rejection of a diplomatic solution to the Iraqi crisis ten years ago? How could one fail to see how everything was being set for bombing? Full Article