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mackswell23 writes: " Apparently the US has decided that there are not enough land mines in Afghanistan. Better drop some more to be sure. See the Human Rights Watch alert below, and also see the New York Times article that HRW refers to at http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/11/international/as ia/11MILI.html?searchpv=past7days The relevant passage states that "The attacks involved about 10 B-52 and B-1 bombers, which took off from the island of Diego Garcia. They dropped "area munitions," including CBU-89 Gators, which are 1,000-pound "cluster bombs." Of course the Times gives no indication that these
"cluster bombs" are in fact anti-tank and anti-personnel land mines, nor does it attempt to give any sort of background information (e.g. the fact that there are already millions of land mines in Afghanistan, or the fact that the US is one of the few nations in the world that has not yet signed the Mine Ban Treaty) as to the significance of dropping these CBU-89 Gator things in Afghanistan. For more information about these lovely little weapons, see http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/dumb/cbu-89.htm

(Of course, this makes the murder of 4 of those responsible for mine clean-up in Afghanistan (the first reported casualties, if you all remember) a very appropriate and poetic and unsurprising convenience.)"

The independent Israeli intelligence site Debka's military and intelligence sources report
that Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin, in
a single 70-minute conversation on September 23,
eleven days after the terrorist assaults in New York
and Washington, agreed on the deployment of tactical
weapons. This is an epic shift in the global balance
of strength.

Putin gave the nod for US forces poised in Central
Asia to jump into Afghanistan to be armed with
tactical nuclear weapons, such as small neutron bombs,
which emit strong radiation, nuclear mines, shells,
and other nuclear ammunition suited to commando
warfare in mountainous terrain.

In return, Bush assented to Russia deploying tactical
nuclear weapons units around Chechnya after Moscow's
ultimatum to the rebels, some of whom are backed by
Osama Bin Laden, to surrender, went by without
response. DEBKAfile's military sources place the US
nuclear weapons in four former Soviet Central Asian
bases: the military air facility at Tuzel, 15 km (10
miles) northwest of the Uzbek capital of Tashkent; at
Kagady in the Termez region; in Khandabad, near the
city of Karshi; and at the military air base in
Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan.

In addition to the nuclear weapons units, Russian
bombers carrying small neutron bombs were moved to
Russian military air bases around the border of the
breakaway province, in Stavropol northwest of
Chechnya, the Godowta base in Georgia to the south,
and Mozdok in northern Osetia, northwest of Chechnya.

Russian and U.S. military sources refuse to take
questions on these startling events.

Anonymous Comrade writes: "I received the following by e-mail from Declan McCullagh's politechbot.com mailing list:

1. The House Judiciary committee approved the "PATRIOT Act" 36-0, with a
two-year expiration date for wiretapping:

2. The Senate voted last night 96-1 for the USA Act without Sen. Feingold's
privacy amendments:

3. The House Rules committee met early this morning to set a rule that
specified what bill would go to the floor:

4. According to the speaker's office, the bill is the "base Senate text" of
the USA Act with five or six changes that Rep. Conyers had wanted. One of
those is that the wiretap sections expire in December 2004 -- unless the
president decides it is in the "national interest" to continue them, which
would expire them in December 2006.

4. The House voted 211-205 midday today (along party lines) on a
preliminary procedural step allowing the bill to be considered.

5. Now they're about to vote on the rule. The rule does not allow
amendments, just provides for an up-or-down vote on the USA Act v2.0. CSPAN
is carrying this debate.

5. When the House approves the USA Act v2.0 -- I say "when" because I think
it's very likely -- it'll be sent back to the Senate for approval. Because
the changes (besides the expiration date) are minor, the Senate may vote
for it unchanged and send it to the president, something Rep. Senenbrenner
predicts will happen.

6. That means no conference committee is necessary.

7. You can find the USA Act v2.0 here:

http://www.house.gov/rules/sensen_028.pdf (525 KB)

http://www.well.com/user/declan/sep11/usa.act.v2.0 .101201.pdf (a mirror site)

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Louis Lingg writes: "Do they know something we don't? Or is it just a mad, mad, mad capitalist world?

Pakistan's Frontier Post is reporting that despite all the tension, fear and uncertainty, foreign investors helped lift the Karachi stock exchange on Thursday; despite lower volume, market capitalization rose. Also, the Pakistani rupee rose relative to the dollar.

This in the face of anticipated massive, bellicose and probably violent demonstrations by Jehadi militants and Taliban sympathizers on Friday in Quetta, Peshawar, Karachi and other Pak cities? Masters of the dismal science--please explain!"

"Now the Taliban will pay a price'' vowed President George W. Bush as American
and British fighter planes unleashed missile attacks against major cities in
Afghanistan. The US Administration claims that Osama bin Laden is behind the
tragic events of the 11th of September. A major war supposedly "against
international terrorism" has been launched, yet the evidence amply confirms
that agencies of the US government have since the Cold War harbored the
"Islamic Militant Network" as part of Washington's foreign policy agenda. In a
bitter irony, the US Air Force is targeting the training camps established in
the 1980s by the CIA.

The main justification for waging this war has been totally fabricated. The
American people have been deliberately and consciously misled by their
government into supporting a major military adventure which affects our
collective future.


by Michel Chossudovsky,
Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa

Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG) http://globalresearch.ca

Confronted with mounting evidence, the US Administration can no longer deny its
links to Osama. While the CIA admits that Osama bin Laden was an "intelligence
asset" during the Cold War, the relationship is said to "go way back". Most
news reports consider that these Osama-CIA links belong to the "bygone era" of
the Soviet-Afghan war. They are invariably viewed as "irrelevant" to an
understanding of present events. Lost in the barrage of recent history, the
role of the CIA in supporting and developing international terrorist
organisations during the Cold war and its aftermath is casually ignored or
downplayed by the Western media.
read the rest at

hydrarchist writes: ".....check out this interview with Chomsky by Greg Ruggiero of Seven Stories Press .


Q: In order to shape an international alliance, the U.S. has suddenly shifted positions
with a number of countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, offering a variety of
political, military and monetary packages in exchange for forms of support. How
might these sudden moves be affecting the political dynamics in those regions?

CHOMSKY: Washington is stepping very delicately. We have to remember what is
at stake: the world’s major energy reserves, primarily in Saudi Arabia but
throughout the Gulf region, along with not-inconsiderable resources in Central Asia.
Though a minor factor, Afghanistan has been discussed for years as a possible site
for pipelines that will aid the U.S. in the complex maneuvering over control of
Central Asian resources. North of Afghanistan, the states are fragile and violent.
Uzbekistan is the most important. It has been condemned by Human Rights Watch
for serious atrocities, and is fighting its own internal Islamic insurgency. Tajikistan is
similar, and is also a major drug trafficking outlet to Europe, primarily in connection
with the Northern Alliance, which controls most of the Afghan-Tajikistan border and
has apparently been the major source of drugs since the Taliban virtually eliminated
poppy production. Flight of Afghans to the north could lead to all sorts of internal
problems. Pakistan, which has been the main supporter of the Taliban, has a strong
internal radical Islamic movement. Its reaction is unpredictable, and potentially
dangerous, if Pakistan is visibly used as a base for U.S. operations in Afghanistan;
and there is much well-advised concern over the fact that Pakistan has nuclear
weapons. The Pakistani military, while eager to obtain military aid from the U.S.
(already promised), is wary, because of stormy past relations, and is also concerned
over a potentially hostile Afghanistan allied with its enemy to the East, India. They
are not pleased that the Northern Alliance is led by Tajiks, Uzbeks, and other
Afghan minorities hostile to Pakistan and supported by India, Iran and Russia, now
the U.S. as well.

Louis Lingg writes: "The Pakistani site dawn.com is reporting that U.S. ambassador to Pakistan Wendy Chamberlin met with Pakistani Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Usman Aminuddin. They discussed matters pertaining to Pakistan-US cooperation in the oil and gas sector.

'Usman Aminuddin said that a number of US oil and gas companies were successfully operating in Pakistan
and were playing a tremendous role in the oil and gas exploration activities. He invited the US investors to
increase their participation in the petroleum and coal sector activities for the mutual benefit.'"

These three stories give some context and details on the darker realities behind the nice-sounding food drops over Afghanistan

Killer Food Drops

by Laura Flanders

Here's the half of the story that the media and the Bush team bring you: Under cover of darkness, U.S. food packets rained from the sky like manna
upon the hungriest parts of Afghanistan.

Here's the other half -- which requires some independent research and imagination: unguided crates crash to ground in the pitch black. Hungry
Afghans rush to gather them up. Too late. Another explosion, then another. Parents watch in horror as the brightly colored packets tempt their
children onto landmines.

Afghanistan Aid Called Propaganda

PARIS (AP) - Nobel Peace Prize winner Medecins Sans Frontieres condemned the humanitarian operation accompanying
the U.S.-led strikes on Afghanistan as "military propaganda" designed to justify the strikes.

In a statement, the French humanitarian group, known in English as Doctors Without Borders , said
the operation "isn't in any way a humanitarian aid operation, but more a military propaganda operation, destined to
make international opinion accept the U.S.-led military operation."

Medecins Sans Frontieres won the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize for its medical relief work in more than 80 countries. Like
many international aid groups, it suspended its work in Afghanistan shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the
United States.

Aid Agencies Reject 'Risky' US Air Drops

Plea for borders to be reopened after air strikes

by Jonathan Steele and Felicity Lawrence

The launch of military attacks on Afghanistan will worsen the humanitarian crisis in the country and plans for air drops of aid will be "virtually
useless" as an aid strategy, leading British aid agencies warned yesterday.

Instead America and Britain should assign clear corridors on the ground and ensure safe passage for aid to flow in and for refugees to return home
without any danger of being hit by air strikes, senior aid workers said.

Anonymous Comrade writes: ".(

A new internet symbol has been designed as a mark of solidarity and empathy with all people, and especially all Afghan people, living in fear and devastation due to the current climate of hatred.


A one-eyed unhappy face connotes the biblical justification for vengeance, "An eye for an eye". As freedom-lovers, we find this an unacceptable and unethical justification.


Hatred creates a blindness to suffering; and a reasonable prediction that unhappiness will be brought upon all by the blindness of hatred.


Louis Lingg writes: "Pakistani site dawn.com is reporting several interesting developments:

Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf has replaced the Director General of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Mahmud.Ahmed. The FBI established credible links between Lt Gen Mahmud.Ahmed and Jehadi militants. Lt-Gen Ehsanul Haque has taken that post. In the hours before American military strikes on Afghanistan Musharraf promoted a number of moderate officers, replacing those with ties to the Taliban and homegrown Jehadis.

On Monday President Musharraf spoke by phone with Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. They discussed terrorist attacks in Kashmir, public unrest in Pakistan, and events in Afghanistan. Musharraf invited Vajpayee to Pakistan to resume peace talks between the two countries. Secretary of State Colin Powell weighed in suggesting that recent developments might offer India and Pakistan an opportunity "to explore new ways of thinking about stability on the sub-continent".

Finally, Pakistan is expecting a new trade deal with the European Union. Pakistani officials are hoping for increased access to EU markets for textile and garment exports."


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