We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Some of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Simple Analysis of Afghanistan War

by Michael Albert - Z Net Tuesday, Oct. 09, 2001 at 7:14 AM

This appeared yesterday (Oct.7) on the Znet update e-mail list. It provides a plain logic interpretation of the situation in Afghanistan. Please copy and give this to anyone who asserts that "we are fighting terrorism" over there.

No one has much clarity, as yet, about today's events. In coming days we will have both coverage and analysis. We know a little, only, at this time.

We know, for example, that according to the CIA Fact Book the population of Afghanistan, a few months back, was just under 27 million people. Life expectancy at birth was 47 years. More than two thirds of Afghanistan's citizens were not only unlikely to reach 50 years of age, but were also illiterate. Telephone service and use was sporadic. There were about 100,000 TVs, or less than one for every 200 citizens. In the whole country, there were 24 kilometers of

railroad-yes, that's what the CIA site I consulted said-and under 3,000 kilometers of paved road, or roughly the same as a single highway across the U.S. If that's off, the point is still evident. There were ten airports with paved runways.

Even worse than the stark poverty of the country, Afghanistan had undergone nearly ten years of war with the Soviet Union and the aftermath of that had been ruinous. Thus, weeks back UN and other international AID agencies announced that without a substantial effort at relief this winter could see up to 7 million deaths from starvation.

Into this already woeful context the U.S. first infused panic that in turn aggravated hunger by demanding that Pakistan close its borders and curtailing food for nearly four weeks. The threat of bombing provoked mass migrations of fearful civilians seeking solace. Not satisfied with that contribution to this desperate country, the U.S. has now added to the mix B1 and B52 bombers, stealth missiles, and who knows what other deadly ordnance. And having

put the population into hysteria and flight, having disrupted meager paths of travel and what little electrification and other services the country had, having closed borders, having curtailed food deliveries, having induced an exodus of AID workers, all at a time of possible calamitous starvation, we have begun dropping along with the bombs enough food to feed about 30,000 people a day, assuming it continues. Asked whether food was dropped in Taliban regions its been reported that the answer offered was no, so, supposing that was accurate, we are dropping the food in regions covering about 10% of the country.

The current strategy of all this is not complex. First throw the nation into turmoil. Aggravate conditions of life and death desperation in the population. Undermine, in that way, support for the Taliban. Collapse the Taliban, and presumably, in time, find and kill bin Laden. Leave to acclaim. Turn the journalistic cameras in another direction. Hope the innocent deaths go unnoticed, obscured by the hoopla proclaiming our largesse.

Of course, international law has been violated. Worse, the

mechanism for attaining illegal vigilante prosecution has been a policy which knowingly and predictably will kill many, perhaps even huge numbers of innocent civilians. We take access to food away from millions and then give food back to tens of thousands while bombing the society into panic and dissolution. This is terrorism, attacks on civilians to gain political ends, with a patina of public

relations. It is utmost injustice, masked by utmost obfuscation.

Why? The answer is not to reduce the prospects of terror attacks. Everyone says their likelihood will increase, in fact, both out of short term desire to retaliate, and, over the longer haul, due to producing new reservoirs of hate and resentment. The answer is not to get justice. Vigilantism is not justice but the opposite, undermining

international norms of law. The answer is not to reduce actual terror endured by innocent people. Our actions are themselves hurting civilians, perhaps in multitudinous numbers.

No, all the rhetoric aside, the answer is that the U.S. wishes to send a message and to establish a process. The message, as usual, is don't mess with us. We have no compunction about wreaking havoc on the weak and desperate. The process, also not particularly original since Ronald Regan and George Bush senior had similar aspirations, is to legitimate a "war on terrorism" as a lynchpin rationale for both domestic and international policy-making.

This "war on terrorism" is meant to serve like the Cold War did. We fight it with few if any military losses. We use it to induce fear in our own population and via that fear to justify all kinds of elite policies from reducing civil liberties, to enlarging the profit margins of military industrial firms, to legitimating all manner of international polices aimed at enhancing U.S. power and profit, whether in the MidEast or elsewhere.

The coming days are not going to be easy. The attacks of Sept 11 produced immediate fear and reflex nationalism devoid of attention to evidence and logic. But progressive voices were heard, and were making great progress, opening ever wider constituencies to consider broader issues of international policy and prospects. There will be a reversal in that momentum in the next few days, but if

progressive voices persist, lost ground will quickly be regained. Questions as to the morality and rationality of answering huge and awful Sept 11 terror with even greater terror, of answering barbaric calamity with barbaric catastrophe, of answering ignorant fanaticism with highly educated jingoism will surface, and such questions will

begin to turn back the tide of this militarism.

Michael Albert

Z Magazine / ZNet


Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 12 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
He's just wrong steveo Tuesday, Oct. 09, 2001 at 8:09 AM
What I find ludicrous kimmcdaniel Tuesday, Oct. 09, 2001 at 10:40 AM
don't mess with US US Tuesday, Oct. 09, 2001 at 1:56 PM
oh, no stevo Tuesday, Oct. 09, 2001 at 2:27 PM
Criminals Don't Respect Law, So Ditch Law? Paul H. Rosenberg Tuesday, Oct. 09, 2001 at 2:47 PM
nice try kimmcdaniel Tuesday, Oct. 09, 2001 at 2:56 PM
What I find LUDICROUS anonymous Tuesday, Oct. 09, 2001 at 3:12 PM
apart from international law debate anti-imperialist Tuesday, Oct. 09, 2001 at 4:08 PM
oh, you're one of those. . . steveo Tuesday, Oct. 09, 2001 at 4:48 PM
American enough viet vet Tuesday, Oct. 09, 2001 at 8:05 PM
Increasing Loss of Logic... Paul H. Rosenberg Tuesday, Oct. 09, 2001 at 10:36 PM
response anti-imperialist Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2001 at 4:34 PM
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy