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The Many Facets of this NEW War

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This is from The further prophecies of nostradamus' book... The chapter 'the third antichrist' The first paragraph reads "The advent of the Third World War, according to Nostradamus, will be heralded by an attack upon New York City -- city and state -- through both bombs and chemical warfare" the french is then translated "The sky will burn at 45 degrees. Fire approaches the great new city. Immediately huge, scattered flame leaps up."

Yes! This is from a real book, written many years ago.

NEW MOO WAR III continues...............BLAH,BLAH, BLAH.... The Media HYPE tiz screeching ....Sheesh!

There are Many facets of this war, best to be properly aware of all the information, dis-information, propaganda and media hype. This is A Moo War, Make no mistake of this, its for MIC-eye, the retard, genetic deficient RAT....The Military Industrial Complex is running the show....they have their own agenda....learn of this invisible, behind the scenes complex of vile, power mongers......your freedoms, and yes, your safe, comfy life may be at risk if you remain asleep.

So Please Join with LOW FLYING CROWS as we fly our OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM Flag of Truth, hope, compassion and kindliness for everyone everywhere.

OH, AND...don’t forget to plant your Immune booster Garlic garden! Hummmm???......You do know about solar power, don’t ya?



Syria Wins U.N. Security Council Seat By EDITH M. LEDERER Associated Press Writer UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Syria won a seat on the U.N. Security Council on Monday with overwhelming support from the nations of the world, despite being on the U.S. list of countries sponsoring terrorism. The General Assembly elected Syria to the powerful U.N. body for a two-year term on the first ballot. It received 160 ``yes'' votes from the 177 nations voting.

About 20 civilians were killed in the Kabul area during the U.S.-led attack, missiles struck areas where civilians were living and that about ``20 Afghans including women, children and elderly'' were killed.

Missiles and warplanes streaked through the Afghan night and rocked at least three cities in a U.S.-British attack on Osama bin Laden and his Taliban backers

Prime Minister Tony Blair (news - web sites) put Britain's government on official war footing Monday, convening a full ''war cabinet'' that will begin meeting on Tuesday. The United States and Britain attacked Taliban targets in Afghanistan (news - web sites) with missiles and bombs Sunday, almost four weeks after suicide plane attacks on New York and Washington





( Yes! This is going to be a Nasty Global WAR. )

Second person in US tests positive for anthrax. Anthrax found on computer keyboard! 2nd Anthrax Case Found in Florida http://www.cnn.com/2001/HEALTH/10/08/florida.anthrax.case/index.html



SPLAT! WARNING!!

Go to: http://www.anthrax.osd.mil/Flash_interface/default.html Then Go to: The Department of Defense Anthrax Vaccination Slowdown notice. Then go to the Educational Products link And then to the Anthrax Vacinne Information Statement, from the CDC Link Read the PDF file.

CDC: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/Agent/Anthrax/Anthrax.asp Contact the U.S. Department of Defense 1-877-438-8222 Contact the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: 1-800-232-2522 (English) 1-800-232-0233 (Espanol)



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 sysop@zmag.org / http://www.zmag.org/ZNET.htm

A War of Lies by Rahul Mahajan and Robert Jensen A war that is supposed to help feed the desperate people of Afghanistan will in fact help starve them. A war supposedly brought on by Taliban intransigence was actually provoked by our own government. A war that the majority of the American people believe is about their grief, anger and desire for revenge is really about the cold-blooded calculations of a small elite seeking to extend its power. And a war that is supposed to make us safer has put us in far greater danger by increasing the likelihood of further terrorist attacks. Let’s take those points in order. Our undeclared war on Afghanistan is the culmination of a decade of U.S. aggression with a humanitarian façade. Once the natural sympathies of the American people were touched by the plight of the long-suffering Afghan people, public opinion swung toward helping them. In response to this, the administration concocted the most shameless and cynical cover story for military strikes in recent memory. The idea, leaked last Thursday, went like this: ++The Afghan people are starving, so we need to do food drops. (Never ++mind that all those experienced in humanitarian aid programs are opposed to food drops because they are dangerous and wasteful, and, most important, preclude setting up the on-the-ground distribution networks necessary to making aid effective.) ++We need to destroy the Taliban’s air defenses before doing food drops. ++The transport planes may be endangered by the Stinger anti-aircraft missiles that the United States supplied the mujaheddin in the 1980s when they were fighting the Soviet Union, and some of which ended up in the Taliban’s hands. ++We have to destroy the Taliban’s air defense. Because so much of it is mobile, we have to bomb all over. The bombing will seriously hinder existing aid efforts. The World Food Program operates a bakery in Kabul on which thousands of families depend, as well as many other programs. A number of United Nations organizations have been mounting a major new coordinated humanitarian campaign. These efforts were not endangered by the Taliban before, but the chaos and violence created by this bombing -- combined with a projected assault by the Northern Alliance -- will likely force UN personnel to withdraw, with disastrous effects for the Afghan people. To add insult to injury, in the first day the United States dropped only 37,500 packaged meals, far below the daily needs of even a single large refugee camp. With 7.5 million people on the brink of death and existing programs disrupted, this is a drop in the bucket compared to the damage caused by this new war. Those who starve or freeze will not be the only innocents to die. It should finally be clear to all that “surgical strikes” are a myth. In the Gulf War, only 7 percent of the munitions used were “smart,” and those missed the target roughly half the time. One of those surgical strikes destroyed the Amiriyah bomb shelter, killing somewhere from 400 to 1,500 women and children. In Operation Infinite Reach, the 1998 attacks on Afghanistan, some of the cruise missiles went astray and hit Pakistan. Military officials have already admitted that not all of the ordnance being used is “smart,” and even the current generation of smart weapons hit their target only 70 to 80 percent of the time. Contrary to U.S. propaganda, civilian targets are always on the list. There are already reports that Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban, was targeted for assassination, and the Defense Ministry in Kabul -- surely no more military a target than the Pentagon -- and located in the middle of the city, has been destroyed. This is standard U.S. practice. In the Gulf War, virtually every power station in Iraq was destroyed, with untold effects on civilians. A correspondent for al-Jazeera TV reported that power went out in Kabul when the bombing started, although it was restored in some places within hours. Targeting of any pitiful remnants of civilian infrastructure in Afghanistan would be consistent with past U.S. policy. George Bush said we are not at war with the Afghan people -- just as we were not at war with the Iraqi people or the Serbian people. The hundreds of thousands of Afghans who fled the cities knew better. Military analysts suggest that the timing of the strikes had to do with the weather. Another possible interpretation is that the Taliban’s recently-expressed willingness to negotiate posed too great a danger that peace might break out. The Orwellian use of the term “diplomacy” to describe the consistent U.S. policy of no negotiations -- accept our peremptory demands or else -- helps to mask the fact that the administration always intended to launch this war. The same tactic was used against Serbia; at the Rambouillet negotiations in March 1999, demands were pitched just high enough that the Serbian government could not go along. In this case, the Taliban’s offer to detain bin Laden and try him before an Islamic court, while unacceptable, was a serious initial negotiating position and would have merited a serious counteroffer -- unless one had already decided to go to war. The administration has many reasons for this war. ++The policy of imperial credibility, carried to such destructive extremes in Vietnam. In perhaps the last five years of direct U.S. involvement there, the goal was not to “win,” but to inflict such a price on Vietnam that other nations would not think of crossing the United States. ++The oil and natural gas of central Asia, the next Middle East. Afghanistan’s location between the Caspian basin and huge markets in Japan, China and the Indian subcontinent gives it critical importance. A U.S-controlled client state in Afghanistan, presumably under the exiled octogenarian former king, Zahir Shah, would give U.S. corporations great leverage over those resources. Just as in the Middle East, the United States does not seek to own all those resources, but it wants to dictate the manner in which the wells and pipelines are developed and used. ++The potential to push a radical right-wing domestic agenda. War makes it easier to expand police powers, restrict civil liberties, and increase the military budget. This war is about the extension of U.S. power. It has little to do with bringing the terrorists to justice, or with vengeance. Judging from initial polls, the war has been popular as the administration trades on people’s desire for revenge -- but we should hardly confuse the emotional reaction of the public with the motivation of the administration. Governments do not feel emotions. This war will not make us more secure. For weeks, many in the antiwar movement -- and some careful commentators in more mainstream circles -- have been saying that military action was playing into the hands of Osama bin Laden, who may have been hoping for such an attack to spark the flames of anti-American feeling in the Muslim world. Bin Laden’s pre-taped speech, broadcast on al-Jazeera television after the bombing started, vindicates that analysis. “Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists,” Bush said on Sept. 20. Bin Laden’s appeal to the ummah, the whole Islamic world, echoed this logic: “The world is divided into two sides -- the side of faith and the side of infidelity.” The American jihad may yet be matched by a widely expanded Islamic one, something unlikely had we not bombed. Remember, we have seen only the opening shots of what many officials are calling a long-term, multi-front war in which the secretary of defense has told us there will be no “silver bullet.” The administration has clearly been preparing the American people to accept an extended conflict. Bin Laden’s world is Bush’s, in some strangely distorted mirror. A world divided as they seem to want would have no place in it for those of us who want peace with justice. All is not yet lost. The first step is for us to send a message, not just to our government but to the whole world, saying, “This action done in our name was not done by our will. We are against the killing of innocents anywhere in the world.” The next step is for us to build a movement that can change our government’s barbaric and self-destructive policy. If we don’t act now to build a new world, we may just be left with no world. Rahul Mahajan serves on the National Board of Peace Action. Robert Jensen is a professor of journalism at the University of Texas. Both are members of the Nowar Collective (www.nowarcollective.com). They can be reached at rahul@tao.ca.

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,5673,565214,00.html

This war is a festival of lies and they will only get worse

Anything we see of the impact of US strikes will be strictly controlled.

Peter Preston Monday October 8, 2001 The Guardian

So it begins. The flashes of light in the night sky, the distant explosions, the appearance of a "relentless" George Bush talking command and control. We slowly remember what war is like; but we need to remember, too, that truth is the first casualty of conflict, that the briefers, bureaucrats and politicians who act as reasonably "reliable sources" in peace are operating now under different house rules. That they have become wholly unreliable by design. Sit back and apply commonsense to the tales of the first 26 days. Troops massing at this or that frontier post. Air strikes "imminent" (three weeks ago) or "within 48 hours" (eight days ago). SAS teams already staging search-and-destroy missions inside Afghanistan. Commonsense asks a difficult question. Would anyone with braid on his shoulders, anyone who really knows, tell a journalist such things if they were true? Why not send Osama bin Laden a postcard instead? Those of us who yomped through the Ministry of Defence in the Falklands soon got the changed hang of things. Top chaps in dark suits would summon up the full authority of their office and lie like troopers. Who, on reflection, could blame them? General Galtieri took the Guardian and the Telegraph on subscription. If journalists needed scoops, they'd better be fed some duff ones. The Falklands war was more than a distant side-show. It hugely impressed the Pentagon. Ensure that reporters are cooped up on aircraft carriers or minded by MoD male nurses far from the front and, as long as you keep decent clamps on back at the political ranch, there is total information control. Grenada and Panama proved the point and the Gulf was its apotheosis, war watched from afar by video screen. Globalisation meant being further away from, not nearer, the action. More space, less truth. How, then, will this latest, very curious conflict be played out? Pull down the handbooks from their dusty shelves and start pondering. For we are going by the book. The start of the horror - the destruction of the twin towers - was uncontrolled disaster: for the thousands of innocents who died, for dreams of security and illusions of intelligence. The world watched in stunned fascination. The world was out of control. One task in the days since September 11 has been to regain equilibrium. The building of this fabled international coalition against terrorism may or may not prove vital in the end. But, shuttling from summit to summit, it has certainly filled in the time while the military mammoths got their lugubrious act together. There's been a Gulf-style pause. Now, as bombing begins, we can begin to sense a pattern. Would Galtieri pull his troops off the Falklands as the task force sailed ever closer? He had that chance. He failed to take it. Would Saddam quit Kuwait as billions of dollars rolled into the desert? He had the chance. Will the Taliban give up Bin Laden and save their regime? That, obviously, has been the descant of the past couple of weeks. The answer is now written in the night over Kabul. Meanwhile the control freaks have had their thinking caps on. The world's correspondents (one factor) are there in force and deployed: Uzbekistan, Quetta, Peshawar, and the Afghan enclave where the Northern Alliance rules. But, save for the deeply unfortunate Ms Ridley and a handful of Afghan agency reporters, they aren't in Taliban country, let alone camped outside Bin Laden's rural retreat. Suicidal peril and impossibility co-joined. Better still, the Taliban themselves seem to be PR mutts. They can't field a Tariq Aziz figure looking grave, just a deputy ambassador in Islamabad looking perplexed. They have already (losing Bin Laden, then miraculously finding him again) blown what credibility they had. In their self-imposed isolation, they won't be able to take western camera teams to inspect any civilian casualties of air attack. No wrecked Baghdad hospitals; no Serbian buses burned on a bridge. They are sitting, silent targets. That won't stop protest waves round the Arab world today, nor will it necessarily catch Bin Laden. But it does mean that the only clear TV evidence of effectiveness, however carefully selected, will come from the Americans and the Brits. Happenstance has played to the handbook rules. What can go wrong? Plenty, naturally - even apart from bombs gone astray. Bin Laden himself, as yesterday's television interview showed, has a malign gift for PR. He could stage a dismaying series of catch-me-if-you-can for the cameras. Proof of his death or capture will need to be absolute before the briefers celebrate. More terrorist onslaughts are high on the agenda. More American lives in places like Saudi Arabia lie on the line. Hostage-taking (as Jimmy Carter might add) could wreck every equation. Even so, because restraint equals thinking time, a measure of control has returned. The war of perception, vital after September 11, is on a more even keel. The perception is that governments still govern and can seem to call the shots. The HQ hope must be that some finite battle in an unseen field far away will soon be enough to end any shooting war and, with a little help from the Pakistani secret service, leave al-Qaida headless. But then the dissonances of difference begin to impinge. The FBI and CIA, caught ludicrously short by 19 men with penknives, are obliged to exalt the potency of Bin Laden's network. Poison gas, germ warfare, nukes? Some or all of these visions may have a sliver of reality to them, but they also conveniently turn a low-tech enemy into a Bond villain like Ernst Stavro Blofeld. (Indeed, yesterday's Sunday Times did just that.) You may call this reacting to a challenge, and so it is. But it is also, in the nature of spin, the inflation of the adversary who wounded you. Warnings of risk from Scotland Yard become as fearsome as Met Office gale forecasts after 1987. No danger knowingly understressed. No briefer, by training or profession, is more usually unreliable than a secret agent covering his back, and the tale he tells is likely to be self-serving tosh. The trouble is that, even as the jets go in, this is also an amorphous war of jaw-jaw. The braided ones, clutching their handbook, may have devised a scenario they have a prospect of commanding and controlling. We will be, as we were last night, distant spectators of this enterprise. We can only hope it succeeds, and hope as well that we can maintain a decent perspective, a balance of understanding. But that needs thought and fact as well as cheers. Keep calm, or at least, calmer. But believe nothing implicitly, especially from the Blofeld blowhards. Travel carefully and carry a big waste basket

Inside Afghanistan shelling erupts over the frontlines

Ian Traynor in Charikar, Afghanistan Monday October 8, 2001 The Guardian

A three-year-old girl was perched on the handlebars of a bike being pedalled north by her 14-year-old brother; and an old man pushed a wheelbarrow as fast as he could up the road away from the war. They were part of columns of women, children and elderly people fleeing on foot, by car and by bike from the danger zone north of Kabul as the first US air strikes on the capital triggered eruptions of shelling and firing on the frontlines that have long been virtually silent. Twenty-five Grad missiles swooped towards the Taliban lines from the Panjshir valley. Volleys of mortars and 130mm shells were traded, booming off the austere hills north of Kabul. "The war began there around 11 o'clock," said Abdulhasid, 14, as he wheeled his little sister, Aruzu, towards the market town of Charikar a few miles to the north. They were fleeing from Rabat, a village near the Taliban lines beyond Bagram air base, 22 miles from Kabul. The Taliban lines were being reinforced by lorry loads of troops pouring into the region, according to opposition Northern Alliance soldiers glued to their walkie-talkies and radios. Kalandar, 36, a mojahedin fighter and father of five, could not wipe the smile off his face as he savoured the moment for which he and his friends had been waiting five years since the Taliban drove them out of Kabul. "I'll be happy to die for my motherland," he grinned. "This war won't be that long. It'll be over soon. We're happy that at last there will be peace. With the help of this war, peace will come." Women in flight were a ghost-like sight, shuffling in the pitch dark, cloaked in their all-covering burqas, carrying babies in their arms and ragged bundles on their heads. As they shuffled on, the starry night around and over Kabul was lit up by large explosions followed by clouds of black smoke against the dark sky. The attacks started at 9.20pm with flashes of targets being hit in Kabul, reportedly a Scud missile base, the former Afghan defence ministry, and Kabul airport. The Taliban gunners instantly sent up snakes of anti-aircraft fire which missed, prompting bursts of song from mojahedin troops on the Kabul front. Almost immediately the air campaign ignited a war on the ground, with the lines around Kabul coming alive and reports of popular uprisings and firing on Taliban strongholds streaming in from other parts of the country. In the south-western town of Zaranj, the Taliban found themselves battling groups of townspeople trying to seize control. The northern Taliban strate gic stronghold of Mazar-i-Sharif was also reported to be shelled by opposition forces. "We're very happy about the bombs," said Agram, 23, a mojahedin fighter in Charikar. "We're very happy that they're killing the Taliban. The battle on the frontline intensified after the American bombs." Abdulhasid said: "We heard the great explosions in Kabul and then we saw the tracer in the sky over Kabul. Then the Taliban started shooting at our village with mortars and cannon. I couldn't count how many." Kalandar said the focus of the ground battle was the Bagram air base, held by the mojahedin, but with the Taliban on the other side of the runways. It had been a seemingly endless wait for America. But after long days of generals, street urchins, and men in the bazaars quizzing foreigners about when the Taliban will get their comeuppance, the realisation sunk in last night that America had finally decided to act on the declaration of war President George Bush delivered in the wake of the September 11 atrocities. "We're counting the minutes and seconds. Even when a fly flies, we hope it's a plane," said General Del Agha, the chief of staff of the opposition Northern Alliance's Salang Brigade and a former mojahedin intelligence officer, just before the bombing got under way. "Things are different here now. And politics in Afghanistan are changing very, very fast." The talk here is not so much about Osama bin Laden as about the Taliban and about how it is being punished. Abdullah Abdullah, the opposition foreign minister, said yesterday that the two were inseparable. Kabul was plunged into darkness and panic last night after the US strikes knocked out the city's power supplies for 90 minutes. While the columns of refugees from frontline villages lengthened, the next few days look bleak with the certainty of a much bigger exodus from the capital, currently home to more than 1m people. As a month of sabre-rattling ended last night and the war of words gave way to bombs and shells, thoughts were also turning to the poor people of Kabul who might find themselves on the receiving end of the might of the world's sole superpower. "It's difficult, very difficult," said Dr Abdullah. "You're talking about more than a million people." Gen Del Agha said: "We can't throw all the people living under the Taliban into the Arabian gulf but why would the world be helping us if it sees our people as a reflection of Osama bin Laden?" Ahmad Rashad, 24, said: "People just want to live in peace. People just want to be free. The Taliban are very bad people. They don't want Afghans to live better." Until last night the guerrilla army of the Northern Alliance had appeared surprisingly somnolent for the past two weeks. A top officer, General Abdul Basir, explained that this was entirely normal, but that at a single whistle from the top brass, a fierce army of partisan fighters would instantly emerge from their village homes carrying their Kalash nikovs and anti-tank rockets to march off to war over the hills towards Kabul. "We'll be combat ready in one hour when the order comes," he insisted. In the past two days, the Northern Alliance commanders have shown a new spring in their step and a new sense of urgency in their bearing. Hundreds of reinforcements were being poured towards the frontlines north of Kabul yesterday. Artillery pieces were being hauled into position. A posse of top generals from the Northern Alliance arrived in Jabal Saraj, a strategic stronghold between Kabul and the Panjshir valley, and evicted western journalists from their quarters to take it over as a command headquarters. Suddenly the talk was of light aircraft and heli copters being readied to ferry supplies and ammunition to the frontlines because the lack of usable roads makes logistics so difficult. The Northern Alliance's air space over the Panjshir valley was closed for several days to aid US reconnaissance flights. The grinning fighter, Kalandar, said: "We've been fighting for 23 years already. Naturally a man gets tired of war. But we have to." MOO NEWZ!

http://www.nga.org/governors/1,1169,C_GOVERNOR_INFO%5ED_155,00.html

With an anxious nation on high alert for terrorist reprisals, President Bush (news - web sites) installed former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge as head of a new Office of Homeland Security. ``America is going to be prepared,'' Bush pledged. ``I know that many Americans at this time have fears. We've learned that America is not immune from attack. We've seen that evil is real,'' Bush said at an East Room ceremony for Ridge. ``They've roused a mighty giant.'' Ridge, who had already taken a West Wing office and a seat in Bush's Monday morning FBI (news - web sites) briefing, was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (news - web sites). Ridge bent to kiss his daughter, Lesley, and whispered, ``I love you.'' As if to underscore the real threat of additional attack, original plans for Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) to give Ridge the oath of office were scrapped so that Cheney could remain at an undisclosed location. Bush promised that civil liberties would not fall victim to new security. ``We will defend our country and while we do so we will not sacrifice the freedoms that make our land unique,'' Bush said. Ridge said his new task as one to ``detect, prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks - an extraordinary mission but we will carry it out.'' ``The terrorists will not take away our way of life,'' Ridge said. His assignment came a day after the United States and Britain launched attacks against military targets and bin Laden's terrorist training camps in Afghanistan (news - web sites).

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Filed at 2:44 p.m. ET BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) -- The FBI is investigating the possibility that anthrax bacteria found in two Florida men is a result of terrorism, Attorney General John Ashcroft said Monday. The bacteria killed one of the men Friday. It has since been detected in the nose of a co-worker and on a computer keyboard in the newspaper office where both men worked, health officials said. ``We regard this as an investigation that could become a clear criminal investigation,'' Ashcroft said during a news conference in Washington. ``We don't have enough information to know whether this could be related to terrorism or not.'' He said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta was providing expertise, but Florida Lt. Gov. Frank Brogan confirmed that the FBI is ``in control of the investigation.'' Bob Stevens, 63, a photo editor at the supermarket tabloid The Sun, died Friday of inhalation anthrax, an extremely rare and lethal form of the disease. The last such death in the United States was in 1976. On Monday, officials said a co-worker of Stevens, whose name was not immediately released, had anthrax bacteria in his nasal passages. Relatively large anthrax spores that lodge in the upper respiratory tract are less dangerous than smaller spores that get into the lungs. The co-worker was in stable condition Monday at an unidentified Miami-Dade County hospital, according to health officials. He had been tested for anthrax because he happened to be in a hospital for an unrelated illness. The man has not been diagnosed with the disease, and Barbara Reynolds, a spokeswoman for the CDC in Atlanta, said authorities may never know whether he actually had anthrax because antibiotics may have killed it before it was detected. David Pecker, chief executive of the tabloid's publisher, American Media Inc., said the man worked in the mailroom. The FBI sealed off the office building housing The Sun and was combing it for clues. All 300 employees who work in the building were asked to come to a clinic so they could be tested for the bacteria. CDC officials said nasal swabs would be taken, and antibiotics provided. A sample of anthrax was taken from a computer keyboard at the Sun, said Dr. John Agwunobi, the state's secretary of health. It was not immediately whose keyboard was involved. Anthrax cannot be spread from person to person. But the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have raised fears of biological warfare and there is particular concern about the origin of the anthrax here. Stevens lived about a mile from an air strip where suspected hijacker Mohamed Atta rented planes, said Marian Smith, owner of the flight school, said Monday. Several suspected hijackers also visited and asked questions at a crop-dusting business in Belle Glade, 40 miles from Stevens' home in Lantana. Last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson had called Stevens' illness ``an isolated case.'' But on Monday, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer would not rule out terrorism as a possible explanation. ``There is no evidence to suggest anything yet and that's why the FBI is investigating,'' Fleischer said. Michael Kahane, vice president and general counsel of American Media, said the company closed its Boca Raton building at the request of state health officials. ``Obviously, our first concern is the health and well-being of our employees and their families,'' he said. Only 18 cases of anthrax contracted through inhalation in the United States were documented in the 20th century, the most recent in 1976 in California. More common is a less serious form of anthrax contracted through the skin. Anthrax can be contracted from farm animals or soil, though the bacterium is not normally found among wildlife or livestock in Florida. Stevens was described as an avid outdoorsman and gardener. The anthrax bacterium normally has an incubation period of up to seven days, but could take up to 60 days to develop. County medical examiners are looking over any unexplained deaths, but have not found any cases connected to anthrax. The largest experience with inhalation anthrax was in Russia in 1979, when anthrax spores were accidentally released from a military biology facility. Seventy-nine cases of anthrax were reported, and 68 people died. An injectable anthrax vaccine has been around since the 1970s, and the U.S. military has required anthrax vaccinations for service personnel since the Persian Gulf War.

Splat! NewZ: OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM

Oct 8 2001 **********

This is from The further prophecies of nostradamus' book... The chapter 'the third antichrist' The first paragraph reads "The advent of the Third World War, according to Nostradamus, will be heralded by an attack upon New York City -- city and state -- through both bombs and chemical warfare" the french is then translated "The sky will burn at 45 degrees. Fire approaches the great new city. Immediately huge, scattered flame leaps up."

Yes! This is from a real book, written many years ago. *********************** NEW MOO WAR III continues...............BLAH,BLAH, BLAH.... The Media HYPE tiz screeching ....Sheesh!

Thanks to all fall your wonderful comments and assistance during these insane times. LFC's *********************** There are Many facets of this war, best to be properly aware of all the information, dis-information, propaganda and media hype. This is A Moo War, Make no mistake of this, its for MIC-eye, the retard, genetic deficient RAT....The Military Industrial Complex is running the show....they have their own agenda....learn of this invisible, behind the scenes complex of vile, power mongers......your freedoms, and yes, your safe, comfy life may be at risk if you remain asleep.

So Please Join with LOW FLYING CROWS as we fly our OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM Flag of Truth, hope, compassion and kindliness for everyone everywhere.

OH, AND...don’t forget to plant your Immune booster Garlic garden! Hummmm???......You do know about solar power, don’t ya?

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A Great BEST NEWZ FOR THE NON-MOOZ LINK: http://www.zmag.org/ZNET.htm

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Syria Wins U.N. Security Council Seat By EDITH M. LEDERER Associated Press Writer UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Syria won a seat on the U.N. Security Council on Monday with overwhelming support from the nations of the world, despite being on the U.S. list of countries sponsoring terrorism. The General Assembly elected Syria to the powerful U.N. body for a two-year term on the first ballot. It received 160 ``yes'' votes from the 177 nations voting.

About 20 civilians were killed in the Kabul area during the U.S.-led attack, missiles struck areas where civilians were living and that about ``20 Afghans including women, children and elderly'' were killed.

Missiles and warplanes streaked through the Afghan night and rocked at least three cities in a U.S.-British attack on Osama bin Laden and his Taliban backers

Prime Minister Tony Blair (news - web sites) put Britain's government on official war footing Monday, convening a full ''war cabinet'' that will begin meeting on Tuesday. The United States and Britain attacked Taliban targets in Afghanistan (news - web sites) with missiles and bombs Sunday, almost four weeks after suicide plane attacks on New York and Washington

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( Yes! This is going to be a Nasty Global WAR. )

Second person in US tests positive for anthrax. Anthrax found on computer keyboard! 2nd Anthrax Case Found in Florida http://www.cnn.com/2001/HEALTH/10/08/florida.anthrax.case/index.html



SPLAT! WARNING!!

Go to: http://www.anthrax.osd.mil/Flash_interface/default.html Then Go to: The Department of Defense Anthrax Vaccination Slowdown notice. Then go to the Educational Products link And then to the Anthrax Vacinne Information Statement, from the CDC Link Read the PDF file.

CDC: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/Agent/Anthrax/Anthrax.asp Contact the U.S. Department of Defense 1-877-438-8222 Contact the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: 1-800-232-2522 (English) 1-800-232-0233 (Espanol)

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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 sysop@zmag.org / http://www.zmag.org/ZNET.htm

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A War of Lies by Rahul Mahajan and Robert Jensen

A war that is supposed to help feed the desperate people of Afghanistan will in fact help starve them. A war supposedly brought on by Taliban intransigence was actually provoked by our own government. A war that the majority of the American people believe is about their grief, anger and desire for revenge is really about the cold-blooded calculations of a small elite seeking to extend its power. And a war that is supposed to make us safer has put us in far greater danger by increasing the likelihood of further terrorist attacks. Let’s take those points in order. Our undeclared war on Afghanistan is the culmination of a decade of U.S. aggression with a humanitarian façade. Once the natural sympathies of the American people were touched by the plight of the long-suffering Afghan people, public opinion swung toward helping them. In response to this, the administration concocted the most shameless and cynical cover story for military strikes in recent memory. The idea, leaked last Thursday, went like this: ++The Afghan people are starving, so we need to do food drops. (Never ++mind that all those experienced in humanitarian aid programs are opposed to food drops because they are dangerous and wasteful, and, most important, preclude setting up the on-the-ground distribution networks necessary to making aid effective.) ++We need to destroy the Taliban’s air defenses before doing food drops. ++The transport planes may be endangered by the Stinger anti-aircraft missiles that the United States supplied the mujaheddin in the 1980s when they were fighting the Soviet Union, and some of which ended up in the Taliban’s hands. ++We have to destroy the Taliban’s air defense. Because so much of it is mobile, we have to bomb all over. The bombing will seriously hinder existing aid efforts. The World Food Program operates a bakery in Kabul on which thousands of families depend, as well as many other programs. A number of United Nations organizations have been mounting a major new coordinated humanitarian campaign. These efforts were not endangered by the Taliban before, but the chaos and violence created by this bombing -- combined with a projected assault by the Northern Alliance -- will likely force UN personnel to withdraw, with disastrous effects for the Afghan people. To add insult to injury, in the first day the United States dropped only 37,500 packaged meals, far below the daily needs of even a single large refugee camp. With 7.5 million people on the brink of death and existing programs disrupted, this is a drop in the bucket compared to the damage caused by this new war. Those who starve or freeze will not be the only innocents to die. It should finally be clear to all that “surgical strikes” are a myth. In the Gulf War, only 7 percent of the munitions used were “smart,” and those missed the target roughly half the time. One of those surgical strikes destroyed the Amiriyah bomb shelter, killing somewhere from 400 to 1,500 women and children. In Operation Infinite Reach, the 1998 attacks on Afghanistan, some of the cruise missiles went astray and hit Pakistan. Military officials have already admitted that not all of the ordnance being used is “smart,” and even the current generation of smart weapons hit their target only 70 to 80 percent of the time. Contrary to U.S. propaganda, civilian targets are always on the list. There are already reports that Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban, was targeted for assassination, and the Defense Ministry in Kabul -- surely no more military a target than the Pentagon -- and located in the middle of the city, has been destroyed. This is standard U.S. practice. In the Gulf War, virtually every power station in Iraq was destroyed, with untold effects on civilians. A correspondent for al-Jazeera TV reported that power went out in Kabul when the bombing started, although it was restored in some places within hours. Targeting of any pitiful remnants of civilian infrastructure in Afghanistan would be consistent with past U.S. policy. George Bush said we are not at war with the Afghan people -- just as we were not at war with the Iraqi people or the Serbian people. The hundreds of thousands of Afghans who fled the cities knew better. Military analysts suggest that the timing of the strikes had to do with the weather. Another possible interpretation is that the Taliban’s recently-expressed willingness to negotiate posed too great a danger that peace might break out. The Orwellian use of the term “diplomacy” to describe the consistent U.S. policy of no negotiations -- accept our peremptory demands or else -- helps to mask the fact that the administration always intended to launch this war. The same tactic was used against Serbia; at the Rambouillet negotiations in March 1999, demands were pitched just high enough that the Serbian government could not go along. In this case, the Taliban’s offer to detain bin Laden and try him before an Islamic court, while unacceptable, was a serious initial negotiating position and would have merited a serious counteroffer -- unless one had already decided to go to war. The administration has many reasons for this war. ++The policy of imperial credibility, carried to such destructive extremes in Vietnam. In perhaps the last five years of direct U.S. involvement there, the goal was not to “win,” but to inflict such a price on Vietnam that other nations would not think of crossing the United States. ++The oil and natural gas of central Asia, the next Middle East. Afghanistan’s location between the Caspian basin and huge markets in Japan, China and the Indian subcontinent gives it critical importance. A U.S-controlled client state in Afghanistan, presumably under the exiled octogenarian former king, Zahir Shah, would give U.S. corporations great leverage over those resources. Just as in the Middle East, the United States does not seek to own all those resources, but it wants to dictate the manner in which the wells and pipelines are developed and used. ++The potential to push a radical right-wing domestic agenda. War makes it easier to expand police powers, restrict civil liberties, and increase the military budget. This war is about the extension of U.S. power. It has little to do with bringing the terrorists to justice, or with vengeance. Judging from initial polls, the war has been popular as the administration trades on people’s desire for revenge -- but we should hardly confuse the emotional reaction of the public with the motivation of the administration. Governments do not feel emotions. This war will not make us more secure. For weeks, many in the antiwar movement -- and some careful commentators in more mainstream circles -- have been saying that military action was playing into the hands of Osama bin Laden, who may have been hoping for such an attack to spark the flames of anti-American feeling in the Muslim world. Bin Laden’s pre-taped speech, broadcast on al-Jazeera television after the bombing started, vindicates that analysis. “Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists,” Bush said on Sept. 20. Bin Laden’s appeal to the ummah, the whole Islamic world, echoed this logic: “The world is divided into two sides -- the side of faith and the side of infidelity.” The American jihad may yet be matched by a widely expanded Islamic one, something unlikely had we not bombed. Remember, we have seen only the opening shots of what many officials are calling a long-term, multi-front war in which the secretary of defense has told us there will be no “silver bullet.” The administration has clearly been preparing the American people to accept an extended conflict. Bin Laden’s world is Bush’s, in some strangely distorted mirror. A world divided as they seem to want would have no place in it for those of us who want peace with justice. All is not yet lost. The first step is for us to send a message, not just to our government but to the whole world, saying, “This action done in our name was not done by our will. We are against the killing of innocents anywhere in the world.” The next step is for us to build a movement that can change our government’s barbaric and self-destructive policy. If we don’t act now to build a new world, we may just be left with no world. Rahul Mahajan serves on the National Board of Peace Action. Robert Jensen is a professor of journalism at the University of Texas. Both are members of the Nowar Collective (www.nowarcollective.com). They can be reached at rahul@tao.ca.

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,5673,565214,00.html

This war is a festival of lies and they will only get worse

Anything we see of the impact of US strikes will be strictly controlled.

Peter Preston Monday October 8, 2001 The Guardian

So it begins. The flashes of light in the night sky, the distant explosions, the appearance of a "relentless" George Bush talking command and control. We slowly remember what war is like; but we need to remember, too, that truth is the first casualty of conflict, that the briefers, bureaucrats and politicians who act as reasonably "reliable sources" in peace are operating now under different house rules. That they have become wholly unreliable by design. Sit back and apply commonsense to the tales of the first 26 days. Troops massing at this or that frontier post. Air strikes "imminent" (three weeks ago) or "within 48 hours" (eight days ago). SAS teams already staging search-and-destroy missions inside Afghanistan. Commonsense asks a difficult question. Would anyone with braid on his shoulders, anyone who really knows, tell a journalist such things if they were true? Why not send Osama bin Laden a postcard instead? Those of us who yomped through the Ministry of Defence in the Falklands soon got the changed hang of things. Top chaps in dark suits would summon up the full authority of their office and lie like troopers. Who, on reflection, could blame them? General Galtieri took the Guardian and the Telegraph on subscription. If journalists needed scoops, they'd better be fed some duff ones. The Falklands war was more than a distant side-show. It hugely impressed the Pentagon. Ensure that reporters are cooped up on aircraft carriers or minded by MoD male nurses far from the front and, as long as you keep decent clamps on back at the political ranch, there is total information control. Grenada and Panama proved the point and the Gulf was its apotheosis, war watched from afar by video screen. Globalisation meant being further away from, not nearer, the action. More space, less truth. How, then, will this latest, very curious conflict be played out? Pull down the handbooks from their dusty shelves and start pondering. For we are going by the book. The start of the horror - the destruction of the twin towers - was uncontrolled disaster: for the thousands of innocents who died, for dreams of security and illusions of intelligence. The world watched in stunned fascination. The world was out of control. One task in the days since September 11 has been to regain equilibrium. The building of this fabled international coalition against terrorism may or may not prove vital in the end. But, shuttling from summit to summit, it has certainly filled in the time while the military mammoths got their lugubrious act together. There's been a Gulf-style pause. Now, as bombing begins, we can begin to sense a pattern. Would Galtieri pull his troops off the Falklands as the task force sailed ever closer? He had that chance. He failed to take it. Would Saddam quit Kuwait as billions of dollars rolled into the desert? He had the chance. Will the Taliban give up Bin Laden and save their regime? That, obviously, has been the descant of the past couple of weeks. The answer is now written in the night over Kabul. Meanwhile the control freaks have had their thinking caps on. The world's correspondents (one factor) are there in force and deployed: Uzbekistan, Quetta, Peshawar, and the Afghan enclave where the Northern Alliance rules. But, save for the deeply unfortunate Ms Ridley and a handful of Afghan agency reporters, they aren't in Taliban country, let alone camped outside Bin Laden's rural retreat. Suicidal peril and impossibility co-joined. Better still, the Taliban themselves seem to be PR mutts. They can't field a Tariq Aziz figure looking grave, just a deputy ambassador in Islamabad looking perplexed. They have already (losing Bin Laden, then miraculously finding him again) blown what credibility they had. In their self-imposed isolation, they won't be able to take western camera teams to inspect any civilian casualties of air attack. No wrecked Baghdad hospitals; no Serbian buses burned on a bridge. They are sitting, silent targets. That won't stop protest waves round the Arab world today, nor will it necessarily catch Bin Laden. But it does mean that the only clear TV evidence of effectiveness, however carefully selected, will come from the Americans and the Brits. Happenstance has played to the handbook rules. What can go wrong? Plenty, naturally - even apart from bombs gone astray. Bin Laden himself, as yesterday's television interview showed, has a malign gift for PR. He could stage a dismaying series of catch-me-if-you-can for the cameras. Proof of his death or capture will need to be absolute before the briefers celebrate. More terrorist onslaughts are high on the agenda. More American lives in places like Saudi Arabia lie on the line. Hostage-taking (as Jimmy Carter might add) could wreck every equation. Even so, because restraint equals thinking time, a measure of control has returned. The war of perception, vital after September 11, is on a more even keel. The perception is that governments still govern and can seem to call the shots. The HQ hope must be that some finite battle in an unseen field far away will soon be enough to end any shooting war and, with a little help from the Pakistani secret service, leave al-Qaida headless. But then the dissonances of difference begin to impinge. The FBI and CIA, caught ludicrously short by 19 men with penknives, are obliged to exalt the potency of Bin Laden's network. Poison gas, germ warfare, nukes? Some or all of these visions may have a sliver of reality to them, but they also conveniently turn a low-tech enemy into a Bond villain like Ernst Stavro Blofeld. (Indeed, yesterday's Sunday Times did just that.) You may call this reacting to a challenge, and so it is. But it is also, in the nature of spin, the inflation of the adversary who wounded you. Warnings of risk from Scotland Yard become as fearsome as Met Office gale forecasts after 1987. No danger knowingly understressed. No briefer, by training or profession, is more usually unreliable than a secret agent covering his back, and the tale he tells is likely to be self-serving tosh. The trouble is that, even as the jets go in, this is also an amorphous war of jaw-jaw. The braided ones, clutching their handbook, may have devised a scenario they have a prospect of commanding and controlling. We will be, as we were last night, distant spectators of this enterprise. We can only hope it succeeds, and hope as well that we can maintain a decent perspective, a balance of understanding. But that needs thought and fact as well as cheers. Keep calm, or at least, calmer. But believe nothing implicitly, especially from the Blofeld blowhards. Travel carefully and carry a big waste basket

Inside Afghanistan shelling erupts over the frontlines

Ian Traynor in Charikar, Afghanistan Monday October 8, 2001 The Guardian

A three-year-old girl was perched on the handlebars of a bike being pedalled north by her 14-year-old brother; and an old man pushed a wheelbarrow as fast as he could up the road away from the war. They were part of columns of women, children and elderly people fleeing on foot, by car and by bike from the danger zone north of Kabul as the first US air strikes on the capital triggered eruptions of shelling and firing on the frontlines that have long been virtually silent. Twenty-five Grad missiles swooped towards the Taliban lines from the Panjshir valley. Volleys of mortars and 130mm shells were traded, booming off the austere hills north of Kabul. "The war began there around 11 o'clock," said Abdulhasid, 14, as he wheeled his little sister, Aruzu, towards the market town of Charikar a few miles to the north. They were fleeing from Rabat, a village near the Taliban lines beyond Bagram air base, 22 miles from Kabul. The Taliban lines were being reinforced by lorry loads of troops pouring into the region, according to opposition Northern Alliance soldiers glued to their walkie-talkies and radios. Kalandar, 36, a mojahedin fighter and father of five, could not wipe the smile off his face as he savoured the moment for which he and his friends had been waiting five years since the Taliban drove them out of Kabul. "I'll be happy to die for my motherland," he grinned. "This war won't be that long. It'll be over soon. We're happy that at last there will be peace. With the help of this war, peace will come." Women in flight were a ghost-like sight, shuffling in the pitch dark, cloaked in their all-covering burqas, carrying babies in their arms and ragged bundles on their heads. As they shuffled on, the starry night around and over Kabul was lit up by large explosions followed by clouds of black smoke against the dark sky. The attacks started at 9.20pm with flashes of targets being hit in Kabul, reportedly a Scud missile base, the former Afghan defence ministry, and Kabul airport. The Taliban gunners instantly sent up snakes of anti-aircraft fire which missed, prompting bursts of song from mojahedin troops on the Kabul front. Almost immediately the air campaign ignited a war on the ground, with the lines around Kabul coming alive and reports of popular uprisings and firing on Taliban strongholds streaming in from other parts of the country. In the south-western town of Zaranj, the Taliban found themselves battling groups of townspeople trying to seize control. The northern Taliban strate gic stronghold of Mazar-i-Sharif was also reported to be shelled by opposition forces. "We're very happy about the bombs," said Agram, 23, a mojahedin fighter in Charikar. "We're very happy that they're killing the Taliban. The battle on the frontline intensified after the American bombs." Abdulhasid said: "We heard the great explosions in Kabul and then we saw the tracer in the sky over Kabul. Then the Taliban started shooting at our village with mortars and cannon. I couldn't count how many." Kalandar said the focus of the ground battle was the Bagram air base, held by the mojahedin, but with the Taliban on the other side of the runways. It had been a seemingly endless wait for America. But after long days of generals, street urchins, and men in the bazaars quizzing foreigners about when the Taliban will get their comeuppance, the realisation sunk in last night that America had finally decided to act on the declaration of war President George Bush delivered in the wake of the September 11 atrocities. "We're counting the minutes and seconds. Even when a fly flies, we hope it's a plane," said General Del Agha, the chief of staff of the opposition Northern Alliance's Salang Brigade and a former mojahedin intelligence officer, just before the bombing got under way. "Things are different here now. And politics in Afghanistan are changing very, very fast." The talk here is not so much about Osama bin Laden as about the Taliban and about how it is being punished. Abdullah Abdullah, the opposition foreign minister, said yesterday that the two were inseparable. Kabul was plunged into darkness and panic last night after the US strikes knocked out the city's power supplies for 90 minutes. While the columns of refugees from frontline villages lengthened, the next few days look bleak with the certainty of a much bigger exodus from the capital, currently home to more than 1m people. As a month of sabre-rattling ended last night and the war of words gave way to bombs and shells, thoughts were also turning to the poor people of Kabul who might find themselves on the receiving end of the might of the world's sole superpower. "It's difficult, very difficult," said Dr Abdullah. "You're talking about more than a million people." Gen Del Agha said: "We can't throw all the people living under the Taliban into the Arabian gulf but why would the world be helping us if it sees our people as a reflection of Osama bin Laden?" Ahmad Rashad, 24, said: "People just want to live in peace. People just want to be free. The Taliban are very bad people. They don't want Afghans to live better." Until last night the guerrilla army of the Northern Alliance had appeared surprisingly somnolent for the past two weeks. A top officer, General Abdul Basir, explained that this was entirely normal, but that at a single whistle from the top brass, a fierce army of partisan fighters would instantly emerge from their village homes carrying their Kalash nikovs and anti-tank rockets to march off to war over the hills towards Kabul. "We'll be combat ready in one hour when the order comes," he insisted. In the past two days, the Northern Alliance commanders have shown a new spring in their step and a new sense of urgency in their bearing. Hundreds of reinforcements were being poured towards the frontlines north of Kabul yesterday. Artillery pieces were being hauled into position. A posse of top generals from the Northern Alliance arrived in Jabal Saraj, a strategic stronghold between Kabul and the Panjshir valley, and evicted western journalists from their quarters to take it over as a command headquarters. Suddenly the talk was of light aircraft and heli copters being readied to ferry supplies and ammunition to the frontlines because the lack of usable roads makes logistics so difficult. The Northern Alliance's air space over the Panjshir valley was closed for several days to aid US reconnaissance flights. The grinning fighter, Kalandar, said: "We've been fighting for 23 years already. Naturally a man gets tired of war. But we have to."

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MO MOO NEWZ! ************

http://www.nga.org/governors/1,1169,C_GOVERNOR_INFO%5ED_155,00.html

With an anxious nation on high alert for terrorist reprisals, President Bush (news - web sites) installed former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge as head of a new Office of Homeland Security. ``America is going to be prepared,'' Bush pledged. ``I know that many Americans at this time have fears. We've learned that America is not immune from attack. We've seen that evil is real,'' Bush said at an East Room ceremony for Ridge. ``They've roused a mighty giant.'' Ridge, who had already taken a West Wing office and a seat in Bush's Monday morning FBI (news - web sites) briefing, was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (news - web sites). Ridge bent to kiss his daughter, Lesley, and whispered, ``I love you.'' As if to underscore the real threat of additional attack, original plans for Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) to give Ridge the oath of office were scrapped so that Cheney could remain at an undisclosed location. Bush promised that civil liberties would not fall victim to new security. ``We will defend our country and while we do so we will not sacrifice the freedoms that make our land unique,'' Bush said. Ridge said his new task as one to ``detect, prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks - an extraordinary mission but we will carry it out.'' ``The terrorists will not take away our way of life,'' Ridge said. His assignment came a day after the United States and Britain launched attacks against military targets and bin Laden's terrorist training camps in Afghanistan (news - web sites). *************************

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Filed at 2:44 p.m. ET BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) -- The FBI is investigating the possibility that anthrax bacteria found in two Florida men is a result of terrorism, Attorney General John Ashcroft said Monday. The bacteria killed one of the men Friday. It has since been detected in the nose of a co-worker and on a computer keyboard in the newspaper office where both men worked, health officials said. ``We regard this as an investigation that could become a clear criminal investigation,'' Ashcroft said during a news conference in Washington. ``We don't have enough information to know whether this could be related to terrorism or not.'' He said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta was providing expertise, but Florida Lt. Gov. Frank Brogan confirmed that the FBI is ``in control of the investigation.'' Bob Stevens, 63, a photo editor at the supermarket tabloid The Sun, died Friday of inhalation anthrax, an extremely rare and lethal form of the disease. The last such death in the United States was in 1976. On Monday, officials said a co-worker of Stevens, whose name was not immediately released, had anthrax bacteria in his nasal passages. Relatively large anthrax spores that lodge in the upper respiratory tract are less dangerous than smaller spores that get into the lungs. The co-worker was in stable condition Monday at an unidentified Miami-Dade County hospital, according to health officials. He had been tested for anthrax because he happened to be in a hospital for an unrelated illness. The man has not been diagnosed with the disease, and Barbara Reynolds, a spokeswoman for the CDC in Atlanta, said authorities may never know whether he actually had anthrax because antibiotics may have killed it before it was detected. David Pecker, chief executive of the tabloid's publisher, American Media Inc., said the man worked in the mailroom. The FBI sealed off the office building housing The Sun and was combing it for clues. All 300 employees who work in the building were asked to come to a clinic so they could be tested for the bacteria. CDC officials said nasal swabs would be taken, and antibiotics provided. A sample of anthrax was taken from a computer keyboard at the Sun, said Dr. John Agwunobi, the state's secretary of health. It was not immediately whose keyboard was involved. Anthrax cannot be spread from person to person. But the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have raised fears of biological warfare and there is particular concern about the origin of the anthrax here. Stevens lived about a mile from an air strip where suspected hijacker Mohamed Atta rented planes, said Marian Smith, owner of the flight school, said Monday. Several suspected hijackers also visited and asked questions at a crop-dusting business in Belle Glade, 40 miles from Stevens' home in Lantana. Last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson had called Stevens' illness ``an isolated case.'' But on Monday, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer would not rule out terrorism as a possible explanation. ``There is no evidence to suggest anything yet and that's why the FBI is investigating,'' Fleischer said. Michael Kahane, vice president and general counsel of American Media, said the company closed its Boca Raton building at the request of state health officials. ``Obviously, our first concern is the health and well-being of our employees and their families,'' he said. Only 18 cases of anthrax contracted through inhalation in the United States were documented in the 20th century, the most recent in 1976 in California. More common is a less serious form of anthrax contracted through the skin. Anthrax can be contracted from farm animals or soil, though the bacterium is not normally found among wildlife or livestock in Florida. Stevens was described as an avid outdoorsman and gardener. The anthrax bacterium normally has an incubation period of up to seven days, but could take up to 60 days to develop. County medical examiners are looking over any unexplained deaths, but have not found any cases connected to anthrax. The largest experience with inhalation anthrax was in Russia in 1979, when anthrax spores were accidentally released from a military biology facility. Seventy-nine cases of anthrax were reported, and 68 people died. An injectable anthrax vaccine has been around since the 1970s, and the U.S. military has required anthrax vaccinations for service personnel since the Persian Gulf War.

OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM continues..................

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