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US Admitted Bombing Red Cross Purposely * ABM Delay Disingenuous

02 November 2001

Happy Halloween?

So, the news is getting weirder. Flyby News received a posting from the Portside listserve, reporting on an interview on MSNBC, October 31, 2001, when the a senior US military official admitted to INTENTIONALLY bombing the Red Cross. This represents a complete change for the US rationalization, which had previously claimed it had "accidentally" bombed the Red Cross in Afghanistan. "On Tuesday, a senior U.S. military official told NBC News that the Red Cross warehouses were not hit by accident, saying they were bombed because Taliban troops had commandeered the food stored there." A doctor who said he was injured in the bombing attack that struck the Red Crescent dispensary said the 11 people killed and six injured included patients and staff at the facility.

The full story was originally posted at
Should you find a current posting, please send an email to

[For the NY Times article on the strikes of the UN for the second time, and earlier US denial, see See item 3 ]

1. World opinion turning against the war
2. A Jordan Editorial "Our Say...Shameful war"
3. Public Declaration on Peace and Security
4. Postponement of Missile Defense System Tests is Disingenuous
5. Bin Laden reported meeting with CIA in July 2001


1) World opinion turning against the war

Bombing casualties cause concern around the world

Some nations shift stance after air campaign

Wednesday October 31, 2001 -- The Guardian (London)

The British public's support for a pause in the bombing of Afghanistan is being reflected across many countries in Europe and the Middle and Far East.

Many governments who signed up to the United States' war against terrorism prompted by the events of September 11 are now urging caution. Some are still supportive of forthright action, others are calling for restraint while a few are now openly hostile to any continuance of military action.

Images of impoverished Afghans being bombed out of their homes has led to street protests in some countries.

Here the Guardian looks at how the mood of different nations has shifted - how some nations' support has wobbled, while others has remained steadfast.


Signs have been mixed. Initial strong support from President Megawati Sukarnoputri turned to "great concern" after bombing began. "No individual, group or government has the right to try to catch terrorist perpetrators by attacking the territory of another country," she said. Although Megawati has recently reaffirmed her commitment to combating terrorism, her foreign minister, Hasan Wirayuda, said it would be "emotionally explosive" to continue attacks during Ramadan.


While protests have been muted, unease over the US bombing campaign is growing in the only Muslim member of Nato, bringing together an unlikely alliance of conservative Islamists, hardline nationalists and the small but vocal Turkish far left movement. Polls show between 57% and 70% of Turks are opposed to the country's direct involvement in Operation Enduring Freedom.


Italians have been among Europe's most lukewarm supporters of military action, with more than 200,000 people participating in a peace march two weeks ago.

Saudi Arabia

Initially the ruling royal family was prepared to "fully cooperate" in tracking down "the perpetrators of this criminal act" of September 11. However relations with the US have soured with American criticism of Saudi links with Bin Laden. "We are not at all happy with the situation," interior minister Prince Naif said recently of the bombings.


Anti-war protests organised by the small but powerful communist party, have become louder as bombing intensified. Polls show Greeks to be by far the least sympathetic of all European nations. Around 30% of the population view the September 11 carnage as retribution for a superpower's misguided policies over decades.


President Mohammad Khatami harshly condemned the attacks on the US and expressed desire to be involved in the fight against terrorism. But Iran's spiritual leaders have recently reaffirmed traditional antipathy to US, "the great Satan".


Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt pledged "total solidarity" with the US and UK at the outset but has sounded more cautious recently. Foreign minister Louis Michel has accused Tony Blair of being too "bellicose" and said his country will not "blindly follow" Washington and London.


Prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has been a strong supporter of a global campaign against terrorism but opposed the bombing of Afghanistan from outset.


President Hugo Chavez, during a live TV broadcast, displayed photographs of Afghan children reported to be bombing victims and pleaded for an end to "the killing of innocents".

South Africa

Yesterday the government urged the US to show restraint and expressed "grave concern over the disastrous humanitarian tragedy that is unfolding in Afghanistan".


General Pervez Musharraf has been the US's linchpin and supportive from the start. However his language has become more cautionary as protests among sections of the population have become violent. "The operation must be as short as possible. We must try to achieve our objectives through military means, and if we are unable to do that within a certain duration, switch to a political strategy that would give us the same objectives," he said.


India threw its weight behind the US-led war on terrorism and offered to provide facilities for American military forces. But yesterday defence minister George Fernandes cast doubt on US objectives and indicated the campaign was a "long-term gamble."


Initially talked of solidarity in the war against terrorism. But as bombing persisted concern has deepened. Last week half of its elected Mps signed a statement calling for an end to the bombing.


Substantial turnaround in opinion since bombing began when 55% were in favour of allied air strikes and around 35% against. This week's poll showed 54% against bombing and 36% in favour.


Support is still solid, with the government last week pledging extra military backing. Recent polls show substantial majority of population behind the operation. But there is concern. The foreign minister, Hibert Vedrine, yesterday admitted the military campaign "isn't yet working", but said there was no alternative strategy on offer.


The government of prime minister Jose Maria Aznar's rightwing People's party has been an enthusiastic backer of the war against international terrorism, which it hopes will also bring armed Basque separatist group Eta to its knees. But an anti-war campaign is gaining support amongst students, who protested in Madrid's streets last week.


Have reiterated their "full support" of the campaign, but are increasingly worried about the effects on Afghanistan's civilian population. Public opinion in non-Nato members Sweden and Finland in particular is beginning to demand an end to the bombing. "We're all worried about this, and we regret the civilian casualties," said the Finnish prime minister Paavo Lipponen.


Germans are divided on the war. At the beginning of October 59% supported the US military action. However a poll last week indicated 54% were in favour of a pause so that humanitarian assistance could be provided. Sixty per cent are against German soldiers' participation in a land war. China. No signs so far of a wobble in Chinese support. While Chinese government spokesmen say routinely that they hope civilian casualties will be avoided, they have not addressed specific reports of "collateral damage".


According to a poll this week, 63% of the Japanese public approves of the military action by the United States, Japan's main ally. But divisions have started to appear over the extent to which Japan should become involved in the campaign.


Dutch support for military action has remained solid, although the prime minister, Wim Kok, has expressed concern about the use of cluster bombs and civilian casualties.


President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has been President Bush's number two global ally after Tony Blair and shows no signs of wavering. In return the US has sent a team of military advisers to help combat the threat posed by the Islamist Abu Sayyaf group.

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Editor's Note:
Police and peaceful demonstrators clash in Hartford, see


2) A Jordan Editorial "Our Say...Shameful war"
The Star * Jordan's political, economic and cultural weekly,5596,100_2446,00.html
Oct (25 - 31) 2001 12, Issue No. 66

27 - Oct - 2001 /05:49 PM GMT

Our Say...Shameful war

US leaders have robbed their people of the moral high ground by unleashing a ruthless killing machine against the hapless Afghani people.

Oct 27, 2001, 03:52 PM
By Osama El Sherif, Responsible Editor Jordan (Star) -

If the United States is seeking to punish those responsible for the 11 September carnage in New York and Washington, then its war in Afghanistan is definitely off the mark. What promised to be a "different" kind of war, targeting terrorists with pinpoint accuracy, is turning
out to be a crude and bloody military campaign against a poor and backward country with civilians as the primary casualty. US leaders have robbed their people of the moral high ground by unleashing a ruthless killing machine against the hapless Afghani people. America's war in Afghanistan is desecrating the memory of those innocent thousands who perished in the World Trade Center tragedy because this war is being waged in their name.

War is ugly because more often than not it destroys the innocent, the young, the vulnerable and the poor. It is only after the fact that people discover the true and long-lasting tragedies of war; millions of displaced people, destruction of infrastructure and means of survival, civil strife and lawlessness, unraveling of social and cultural values and bonds, etc. As the war against Afghanistan enters its third week, international aid organizations are predicting the combined effects of the bombings and the onset of winter threaten the lives of at least five million Afghanis who will be trapped in their own remote villages in uncompromising conditions.

`America keeps telling the people of Afghanistan that it is indeed their friend. It drops food and flyers as well as bombs and missiles. Both are missing their targets. It is now evident innocent civilians have been bombed and that not all those who need food are receiving it. From the ground America appears as a potent but evil power to the starving and helpless people of Afghanistan. For that power to be dropping food and bombs it must appear crazy as well.

So far, after three weeks of unrelenting bombing, we know very little about the damage the terrorist network that masterminded and carried out the 11 September attacks had sustained. But we know that at least three million Afghanis have been displaced and are now living in refugee camps in Pakistan. We know that another five million are starving and have no access to clean water or medical aid. We know that civilian deaths and injuries as a result of the strikes are in the thousands. Kabul, Kandahar, Jallalabad, Hirat and other cities and towns in Afghanistan are in ruins facing a slow death. And yet the war is still in its opening chapters.

America wants to topple the rule of the Taliban and of course capture or destroy Osama Bin Laden. Both goals are elusive because both targets remain defiant and will fight until death. As America and its allies muster a huge flotilla of ships and submarines from which they can launch jets and missiles to strike targets in Afghanistan, the question of what else is there to bomb becomes ironically valid. The absence of legitimate military targets has caused an unusual number of miss hits in such a short time. Until now the US has successfully bombed hospitals, international aid storage facilities, UN employees working on de-mining the country, housing complexes, an entire village, few mud houses and tents. It has also bombed its own Northern Alliance. We fear that more bombings by mistake incidents are on their way with tragic consequences for innocent civilians.

President Bush has said America's war is 'just' and Americans going to war were fighting for a 'noble cause'. He must be speaking about an entirely different war. What is happening in Afghanistan today puts every American, every nation, and every citizen of this world to shame.

c The Star 2000-2001

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Related Editorials:

"This War is a Farce"
written by John Pilger in The Mirror (UK):

"Surprise! It's also a dirty war for oil"
by Nicholas Woomer in the Michigan Daily.


3) Public Declaration on Peace and Security

To the President of the United States

Mr. President,

Prior to September 11, the U.S. government had embarked on a unilateral course that frequently disregarded several peace and security treaties. In light of the horrific and tragic events in New York City, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania, the undersigned people and non-governmental organizations call upon the United States government to reverse actions that jeopardize international agreements to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) bans the development, production and stockpiling of biological and toxic weapons. The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) places limits on the testing and deployment of defensive systems in order to prevent the stockpiling of nuclear weapons. Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) aims at the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) bans all nuclear weapon test explosions and all other nuclear explosions. We believe that U.S. adherence to these treaties would promote greater security and peace worldwide.

However, the United States government is undermining all four treaties by rejecting a Verification Protocol on the BTWC that was to be finalized in November in Geneva and by developing a large bioweapons research system that may be in violation of the BTWC; by developing missile defenses and seeking to withdraw from the ABM Treaty; by deploying modified bunker-busting nuclear weapons, conducting research aimed at making nuclear weapons more useable, and maintaining more than 2,000 nuclear warheads on high alert despite recently reaffirming a commitment to the NPT; and by refusing to ratify the CTBT. The U.S. also is researching space-based weapons and is resisting international efforts to ban the placement of weapons in outer space. These actions by the United States threaten peace and security globally by provoking the development of hostile weapons by other countries in an escalating arms race.

Therefore, we urge that:

1) The United States rely on multilateral negotiations and the existing body of international law and treaties to resolve international conflicts.

2) The United States, at the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention Review Conference beginning on November 19th, make an unqualified commitment to uphold Article I, which prohibits all development, acquisition, and stockpiling of biological agents for hostile purposes, and unequivocally endorse prompt completion of the draft BTWC Verification Protocol.

3) The United States abide by the terms of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

4) The United States meet its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, in particular Article VI that calls for complete nuclear disarmament, as unanimously confirmed by the International Court of Justice.

5) The United States maintain its nuclear testing moratorium and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.


To sign on to this letter, send an email on or before November 6 stating your name, organization if relevant, and country. They will send the signed Declaration to President Bush before his meeting with Russian President Putin on November 12. They also hope to influence the next Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention negotiations starting November 19.

The Declaration was launched on Friday, October 26, 2001 at a symposium on "War and Weapons" in Washington D.C. In this symposium, activists and experts on biological, nuclear and chemical weapons, land mines, small arms, military pollution, and the U.S.-sponsored Plan Colombia discussed the threats to humanity posed by weapons of mass destruction.

For more information contact:

Chela Vazquez
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP)
2105 First Avenue South
Minneapolis MN 55404 USA
Tel. office: (612) 870-3441
Fax: (612) 870-4846


4) Postponement of Missile Defense System Tests is Disingenuous

OCTOBER 29, 2001
CONTACT: Union of Concerned Scientists
Stephen Young (202) 223-6133
Paul Fain (202) 223-6133
Postponement of Missile Defense System Tests is Disingenuous
Testing Program Not Currently Limited by ABM Treaty

WASHINGTON - October 29 - The Pentagon's recent announcement that it has postponed three missile defense "tracking tests" because they could violate the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty is intended to bolster the Bush administration claim that the Treaty -- rather than technology -- is preventing the US from developing an effective defense against long-range missiles. But the postponement is disingenuous because none of these tests would address any of the numerous critical technical issues facing the development of a national missile defense system against long-range missiles. Separate Bush administration plans to begin deploying five interceptors in Alaska next spring in violation of the ABM Treaty also have no useful purpose.

"The Bush administration is trying to invent reasons to force a withdrawal from the ABM Treaty, and seems to be looking hard for a test that the Pentagon is technically capable of conducting that would violate the treaty," said Dr. Lisbeth Gronlund, a physicist and UCS Senior Staff Scientist. "In fact, the US could conduct a vigorous test program without withdrawing from the ABM Treaty for several years."

The tests the Pentagon says it is postponing are three "tracking tests" in which an Aegis ship-based radar would track a long-range ballistic missile. The Aegis radar is currently part of the air defense system intended to protect the ship from attacks by aircraft, and will also be used as part of the Navy Area theater missile defense currently under development for use against short-range missiles.

Two of the tracking tests were to take place during the next long-range intercept test originally scheduled for October 24. According to the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, that intercept test has been postponed for technical reasons, and should take place in late November.

The intercept tests the Pentagon has been conducting -- in which an interceptor missile fired from Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific attempts to intercept a mock warhead released by a missile launched from Vandenberg, California -- are not prohibited by the ABM Treaty. However, to prevent its signatories from giving air defense or theater missile defense systems the capability to also intercept long-range missiles, the ABM Treaty prohibits radars like the one on Aegis ships to observe long-range missiles during intercept tests. Thus, the tracking tests -- in which the Aegis radar was scheduled to track both the target missile and the interceptor missile during the intercept test -- would violate the treaty.

"These tests would not address any of the fundamental and challenging questions about the technical feasibility of either a mid-course or a boost-phase defense against long-range missiles," said Dr. David Wright, a physicist and UCS Senior Staff Scientist. "There is no compelling technical reason to conduct these tracking tests now."

The United States and Russia are reportedly discussing modifications to the ABM Treaty that might allow some Bush administration testing plans to go ahead while remaining in the treaty. However, the five interceptors the Bush administration plans to begin deploying in Alaska next spring would also serve no purpose for testing the system and would offer no useful defense against a missile attack.

"The deployment of five interceptor missiles in Alaska as part of an untested and unworkable rudimentary missile defense system would be an unambiguous, pointless violation of the ABM Treaty," said Stephen Young, UCS Senior Analyst.

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Related Information:

United States Department of Defense NEWS TRANSCRIPT
On the web:
Media contact: or +1 (703) 697-5131
Public contact: or +1 (703) 697-5737

Presenter: Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz
Friday, October 26, 2001

Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz Interview with Far Eastern Economic Review
(Interview with Michael Vatikiotis and Murray Hiebert, Far Eastern Economic Review.)


5) Bin Laden reported meeting with CIA in July 2001

Bin Laden Met With CIA Agent in July Radio France International -

According to information's collected by Radio France International, and Le Figaro, Oussama Ben Laden met with an American CIA agent last July while he was being treated for a kidney ailment at the American Hospital of Dubai.

For the complete story see

Sources :

Radio France Internationale


Also reported by
Elizabeth Bryant
Published 10/31/2001

Radio reports new CIA-Bin Laden details
Elizabeth Bryant
Published 11/1/2001

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