Afghanistan's Starving Children

May 2005
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Photo to Right: poor Afghan children near the border of Pakistan.

It is sad that even three years after the United States allegedly "liberated" the Afghan people that Afghan children are still dying of famine, cold and lack of sustenance.

The people living in Afghanistan are dying. 25% of all Afghan children are still dying by age five. How can this be happening? 

This sickest thing about all this is that Afghanistan produces billions of dollars of the crop opium annually (worth $500,000,000,000 on the street once processed into heroin). 

Where is all that money going?

To understand the truth, you need to see the big picture—the Afghan drug trade. Unfortunately, evil rich men are getting richer while exploiting and destroying the poor families of Afghanistan. —by David J. Stewart

Please notice that the following article is from March of 2005, not from back in 2001. The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan has NOT benefited the people of Afghanistan even three years later. Why is the U.S. sitting idle while billions of dollars of opium are being grown in Afghanistan? According to the UN, Afghan produces 75% of the world's heroin supply. In a ridiculous insult to the Afghan people to bloviate to the world that the United States brought liberated them. Read about the Northern Alliance which the U.S. left in power.

Freezing, starving and dying
Remote Afghan villagers say at least 1,000 children have been killed in devastating winter blizzards

by Tom Coghlan, Chronicle Foreign Service | March 3rd, 2005

Tulak, Afghanistan -- Cut off by the worst winter in 15 years, at least 1,000 children in a remote province of Afghanistan are believed to have died in the past three weeks from cold, chronic malnutrition and disease, according to aid workers.

The overwhelming majority of them are under 5, and there is evidence to suggest that the death toll could be much higher, the aid workers say.

While most of the western province of Ghor in the Hindu Kush mountains has remained inaccessible after blizzards and temperatures as low as minus 22 Fahrenheit cut all road access a month ago, three aid workers from Catholic Relief Service recently reached the interior on horseback.

In the 80-family village of Dehan, a cluster of low mud-brick homes clinging to the steep sides of the barren Gaw Kusht Valley, local men compiled a list for aid workers of 19 children lost to the cold weather.

"I have lost two of my sons," said Mullah Ahmed. "When my 1-year-old son died 25 days ago, he could not breathe, and his body had turned black."

Villagers across the remote Tulak and Shahan districts gave consistent reports of deaths of both children and adults: In Sier Tulak, seven children died from illness, residents said, and two men froze to death trying to reach another village to beg for food. In Ghash Laq Pain, eight children died, and a young man was killed by an avalanche. In Sam Sengi, seven children and three adults have died; in Seia Khak, 11 children and seven adults.

The aid workers, accompanied by a reporter and photographer, visited more than 20 villages and were told of an average five to 10 deaths per village.

Only the 11-family village of Jar-e-Kerminge did not suffer any children's deaths. Here, Ismael Korban, a father of 10, managed to reach the main town of Tulak five hours away through the snow to buy medicine, although he suffered frostbite of the fingers of both hands.

Pneumonia has been the primary killer, its spread made easy by extreme cold and the chronic poverty, poor hygiene and malnutrition of the local population. In one village, aid workers found 23 pneumonia cases.

There are 270 villages in Tulak district and more than 1,000 in Ghor, although it is difficult to ascertain whether the impact has been even across the region.

Ghor is one of the least developed regions of Afghanistan, despite the billions of dollars that have been poured into the country since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Only two international aid agencies work regularly in the province.

Catholic Relief Services workers said that when they managed to reach a village in a previously inaccessible valley by four-wheel-drive vehicle last June, the villagers -- who had never before seen a car -- had tried to feed the vehicle grass.

For seven consecutive years, the region has been gripped by drought. In terms of health and income, it ranks near the bottom in Afghanistan, according to a U.N. report released last week. More than 80 percent of its inhabitants have no safe drinking water. The village of Jehan, for example, is surrounded by feces. No systems of latrines or waste disposal are apparent.

During the winter, people keep livestock in their homes for warmth. In Gar-e-Hasar village, a man complained that medicine he had been taking for months against persistent headaches was ineffectual. The medicine turned out to be for diarrhea.

"Twenty-five years of war and then the drought has destroyed the infrastructure of this region," said Haji Abdul Satir Khan, the governor of Tulak district. "Now, we have suffered this terrible winter, and no one has helped us."

A food drop of 4.5 tons by U.S. forces on Sunday has not been distributed, the local governor said, because it was insufficient to disperse evenly through the population, and so it risked violence.

Some private aid workers privately have expressed frustration at the slow response to what they believe would have been an avoidable situation if the airlifted food had been made available earlier. "There will have to be an inquest amongst the donors and aid agencies into why this was allowed to happen," said one aid worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The United Nations and the Afghan government have both expressed skepticism at the figures for infant deaths in the province, suggesting there has been widespread exaggeration by local people.

"We go through agonies questioning whether the villagers may have exaggerated the figure of infant deaths because they believe that the number may be tied to aid," said Donal Reilly of Catholic Relief Services. "Our people are coming on too many funerals for this to be a big hoax."

Local officials in Tulak dismissed suggestions that villagers would lie about the deaths of their children to attract aid money. However, one official said he believed some locals were failing to clear blocked mountain passes because they hoped that if they waited long enough, aid agencies would pay them to do so.

Aid workers blame the death toll in Ghor on a complete lack of preparation after many mild winters, combined with the toll on the immune systems of people of the province caused by drought, chronic poverty and the lack of medical facilities.

District officials warn that a rise in temperature will cause flooding across the region in the coming weeks.

However, as one official noted, "Their children may have died, but the people are relieved that the snow has ended the drought."



Behind the Starvation in Afghanistan

Droughts are caused by nature. Modern-day starvation and hunger are not. They're caused by the capitalist system of production.  Under it, if you don't have money you can't eat. If international donors are short of food, you die. If food can't get to your area because of war, you die. The major capitalist powers have tens of thousands of planes and trucks, tons of food, but they're not going to use them to help you: no money to be made that way. More, international finance capital is driven to invest where it can make the highest rate of profit. Therefore water exploration, the development of water-storage facilities and irrigation systems, etc., are not on its agenda in poor countries like Afghanistan. Who is going to pay back the loans plus interest? So your children die next time there's a major drought. Magnifying this underlying problem have been the wars which have wrecked the infrastructure if the country in the past two decades, wars which the former Soviet Union, the United States and other imperialist powers either caused or fueled.  Now the U.S./British war is magnifying it still more.

On Aug. 28 the British Guardian reported that 4 million Afghans were at risk of starvation. On Sept. 24 a host of U.N. officials warned that it could be 5 million. Now, after two months of U.S./British bombing it's 7 1/2 million. Bush and the military planners knew this would happen, just as Daddy Bush and Clinton knew that sanctions against Iraq would cause untold human suffering (as many as 1 million Iraqis have died as a result). Human life is very cheap to the Washington political policy-makers and military planners. And their stingy relief efforts can never make up for the lives they've already destroyed, and will continue to destroy, in this holy "war against terrorism". No one knows how many people will ultimately die as a result of the U.S./British war, nor does anyone know how may Afghans have already died from the bombing alone. Scattered reports indicate many civilian deaths; and the bombing of villages, a hospital, the killing of 4 UN mine removal technicians while they slept in their building, the Oct. 16 bombing of two clearly marked Red Cross warehouses in broad daylight, etc., indicates how "targeted" the bombing was. More, we're not supposed to think about what happened to the thousands of ordinary Taliban soldiers, many of whom were forced into the army, who were mercilessly bombed with B-52s. Blowing them to pieces was allegedly "legitimate". What is behind this horror?

Imperialist interests

Imperialist interests means the interests of monopoly capitalism. Since Sept.11 we've seen how this translates at home: a bipartisan $15 billion handout to the airline industry while it threw 140,000 workers out of jobs, an "economic stimulus package" which gives the rich $115 billion more in handouts, but no moves to extend the unemployment laws to cover the majority of workers who aren't even protected, or to raise the miserable minimum wage, or to do anything about homelessness. This is because the politicians of both parties represent the interests of the bourgeoisie, the owners of the mega-corporations and banks. They're stepping up the fight to ensure its profits.

Abroad it translates into the rape of Afghanistan. The underlying motive for this is to ensure profits (particularly oil profits), and to further expand imperialist interests to ensure future profits. But to achieve these underlying goals U.S. imperialism must wage political struggles against rivals. And it used the Sept. 11 atrocity as the excuse for turning one of these political struggles into war. Beneath his religious cloak Osama bin Laden, whose family includes several Saudi big-capitalists, represents would-be bourgeois rivals of the big imperialist powers in several countries, just as the cleric Khomeini represented rising Iranian capital in the '70s.The main political motivation the war is to strike down these would-be bourgeois rivals. Further, although the Taliban was willing to deal with the Western oil monopolists, it also drove a hard bargain and was in the way. So it had to go. More, U.S. imperialism is using the war to gain a bigger military foothold in the region in preparation for dealing with rivals in power, if the need arises, or to attack revolutionary struggles of the oppressed people when they develop.

Turning to the underlying economics, oil production peaked in the countries outside OPEC years ago, and within OPEC the Gulf States still have the largest repository of recoverable oil, with Saudi Arabia remaining the prize. And with dwindling non-OPEC supplies the importance of the oil and natural gas in Central Asia has also risen. For its part, the Saudi royal family knows this, and an important section of it wants to cut a better deal for itself in its dealings with the imperialists. This section also wants to work more closely with Iran and Iraq. The King is dying, and this faction is working to succeed him. But the Monarchy itself is in trouble. While the corrupt princes have fattened themselves the conditions of the masses have deteriorated. This has increased popular unrest. Demands for democracy, jobs, that U.S. troops get out of the country, etc., are being put forward as never before. Alongside this the Wahhabi clergy, a great many of whom support bin Laden, attack corruption and the stationing of U.S. troops from a fundamentalist angle. They and bin Laden have such a large following that the Monarchy is forced to make concessions to them. So for these reasons bin Laden earned the hatred of Washington years ago. He represents class forces which want to grab a bigger portion of the oil revenues and adopt a more independent foreign policy.

Meanwhile, in the 1990s U.S. involvement in Afghanistan centered around construction of oil and gas pipelines to Central Asia. The collapse of the Soviet empire and formation of the Central Asian republics was a golden opportunity for the U.S. multinational corporations and financiers to move in. They made deals, conducted joint military operations with some of the governments, etc. But as in Afghanistan, they had to deal with international competitors, national capitalists who wanted their piece of the pie, etc. Moreover, all of the regimes they deal with are unpopular (or even unstable), and clerical reactionaries, some of whom are allied with bin Laden, have been using the popular discontent of the masses to promote agendas which are not so friendly to the West. Meanwhile, to the south of Afghanistan the Iranian capitalists have all the time been developing under the clerical cloak. They have their own plans regarding Afghanistan (and allies there), and are working to become a stronger regional power. The Pakistani ruling class has also complicated matters by exerting more independence.

To sum up: After the September 11 atrocity the U.S. government immediately opted for war against Afghanistan. This could be explained by the fanaticism of the would-be kings of the world in Washington (Revenge! To hell with the rule of law! We don't care how many bleeps get killed!) But that leaves out that the Bush administration is not only comprised of people whose business is to calculate the strategic interests of all the U.S. monopolists in general, but also that it's packed with oil men well-versed in coldly calculating how the future profits of their industry in particular can be assured. It also leaves out that the Senate and Congress are comprised of people who calculate and legislate in the same way. Take the liberal Jim McDermott, a most "even-handed" and "fair" man, one who can talk for hours on every side of a question. Why did he vote to give Bush and his right-wing fanatics a blank-check for war, war that he knows will kill thousands of innocents? The only answer is that he sees this as a way to achieve more fundamental capitalist interests, including the interests of the oil monopolists in the Middle East and Central Asia. And to achieve these interests rivals and potential rivals must be wiped out, and constraints broken.

The Administration talk that this is a "new kind of war" which will go on indefinitely makes no sense if it's really only a war to defend the U.S. from terrorist attacks. Bin Laden and the other al-Qaeda leaders are on the run, and a beheaded organization might be able to carry out a few scattered terrorist attacks, but dealing with them would be a matter of police work, not war. "Unending war'' only makes sense if it means a series of wars to overcome constraints to U.S. imperialism's agenda for world empire. This requires suppressing domestic opposition.

Repressing dissent

On Oct. 26 the bi-partisan 150 page "Anti-Terrorism" Act was signed by Bush. Some of its features include search and seizure without warrants or warning, almost unlimited rights for the government to snoop anywhere and seize assets (the judicial "overview" is almost meaningless), the right to "disappear" someone it arrests for 7 days, etc. It also puts the CIA back in the business of domestic spying.

And if you're an immigrant, forget about any rights whatsoever. In the days after Sept. 11 the Feds grabbed more than 1100 people. Some they summarily deported with no right to defend themselves. Others were held in secret locations. The government wouldn't release the names of most, it interfered with the right to counsel, it didn't charge anyone with anything to do with Sept. 11, and for 6 weeks or more many family members couldn't find their relatives. Some of these detainees have been released but many hundreds still remain locked up. November some of these detainees had been released.  Although it's possible a tiny handful of these people had some connection to Sept. 11, it's also possible that none of them did. If there are no charges then everyone should be released immediately. More, at minimum the government should financially compensate these individuals for loss of homes, apartments, income, jobs, schooling , etc., due to their imprisonment.

Along with the post-Sept. 11 legislation we're also confronted with numerous executive orders, Justice Department and CIA rule changes, etc. The looting of Somali-owned businesses in Seattle was carried out under executive order 13224 (of Sept. 23). On Nov. 1 Bush ordered that past or present presidents can block access to White House papers forever (a "hide the evidence" order). In mid-November Bush issued another order allowing military kangaroo courts to try, sentence or execute non-citizens the executive branch claims it has "reason to believe" are members of terrorist groups. If that's not enough, these military panels can sentence someone to death even if a third of the members think the person is innocent! Meanwhile the Attorney General has issued a rule that allows the government to listen in on conversations between prisoners and their lawyers, and to intercept mail between them.  Thus from the bi-partisan legislation to Ashcroft's latest rules we're seeing the stepped-up building of an American police state. The pretext is Sept. 11, but since this is a class government the results will ultimately be used against the struggles of the working class, environmental activists, or anyone organizing to oppose imperialist war.

Ending Terrorism

The "war on terrorism" can't end terrorism. The ruling class knows this, and to quote a former British Intelligence officer speaking at an October anti-war rally in London: "I don't know of one officer who thinks it's possible to beat terrorism with terrorism". The Israeli state, for example, has been built on murdering, driving out and terrorizing the Palestinian Arabs since its inception---a more than 50-year long "war against terrorism" by what has become the most militarized state on Earth. But the ordinary Jewish people are not any more secure because of it. The terrorist policies of their state only give rise to resistance. And because of the desperate conditions the Palestinian Arab masses are forced to live under, some are attracted to clerical and bourgeois-nationalist trends (like Hamas) which include terrorist murders of Jewish civilians in their arsenals.

In Afghanistan the medieval Taliban (which the CIA once supported and the State Dept. initially welcomed to Kabul) has been fractured. Bin Laden, the former U.S.-supported "freedom fighter", is holed up awaiting martyrdom. And the masses have lost thousands of sons and daughters and face a brutal winter of hunger because of the U.S.-led war. Thus new seeds for further rounds of terrorism have been sown. Meanwhile, all the old ones continue growing: the decade-long starvation of Iraq, wheeling and dealing with the rich and corrupt monarchies and other repressive regimes in the Middle East while the living conditions of 100 million people deteriorate, support for the terrorist state of Israel, troops in Saudi Arabia, etc. And for years, in order to maintain its prerogatives in the region (and in South and Central Asia) the U.S. has concentrated on undermining and wiping out the secular-democratic movements of the masses against the reactionary regimes (its business partners) through supporting religious fundamentalists. It's helped create the fundamentalist monster which gives rise to most terrorist attacks.

Right now the big powers are trying to finesse into being a "broad-based" Afghan government; "broad" in the sense that it represents the various warlords, corrupt politicians, generals, and elements from the Taliban itself, etc., not in the sense that it represent the interests of the broad masses of people. This cabal includes former president Rabbani (whose forces murdered 50-60,000 people when forced out of Kabul in 1996), General Dostum (notorious for tying rebellious soldiers to tank tracks and shredding them to pieces), southern warlords ideologically close to Hekmatyar (the ultra-reactionary founder or the Wahhabi Islamic Party and main U.S. ally for years), and others. They're all murderers and terrorists in their own right, and all of them will be angling to grab the lion's share of food-aid for their militias. The reactionary King has been brought back to try to keep order in the conflicting ranks, all of which vie to exploit and oppress the masses of people. Some favor doing away with the burqa, others are as bad or worse than the Taliban. But none are going to wage a serious fight for equality of women or other democratic demands.

The imperialist "solution" to terrorism won't work. The only realistic solution is the development in these regions of democratic and revolutionary political trends fighting in the interests of the oppressed and exploited masses. This is the alternative to the reactionary fundamentalism of bin Laden and other would-be exploiters. And it ultimately involves uniting with the working people of all countries to not only resist, but to overthrow the biggest terrorists of all: the imperialists. In Afghanistan our allies in this world-historic struggle are represented by the leftists and revolutionary democrats who continue to struggle in underground conditions. Their ranks may be small and scattered, but they represent the future of the people.

This is a winter of mass hunger, starvation, and continued bloodletting in Afghanistan; a winter of new attacks on the living standards, democratic rights, and environment of the masses of American people; a winter of discontent. Let us stand up and denounce the imperialist overlords who have caused this. Let us unite to build the anti-war movement on a firmer foundation. Let us unite to build a social movement intent on doing away with the imperialist system itself.



It's been three years since Congress discussed removing the government of Afghanistan to make way for an oil pipeline, seven months since the US Government told India there would be an invasion of Afghanistan in October, six months since BBC heard about the planned invasion of Afghanistan, nine months since Jane's Defense got word of the planned invasion of Afghanistan, and of course, only a few months since the attacks on the World Trade Towers that got the American people angered into support of the war that everybody on the planet BUT Americans had been told was on the way.

During these last few months, the same American media that waved non-stop Gary Condit in front of our faces to keep us from finding out that plans for a war were being announced to other governments is now trying to keep the level of fear in the American public so high that they cannot think. The media has been pounding us all non-stop with Osama (you know, the CIA's main asset in Afghanistan) in a fashion eerily similar to the mythical dictatorship's use of Emmanuel Goldstein and the "Two Minute Hate" in George Orwell's "1984". The media's "scare-orrism" has continued with the endless dire warnings regarding the Anthrax being sent in letters, which in retrospect has to be the weakest form of Anthrax, having killed far fewer people in the entire nation in the last two months than are gunned down in Washington DC in any given week. The Anthrax scare fell apart when it became known that the Anthrax was from US military labs.

But the problem with using fear to keep people from thinking is that sooner or later fear tires itself out. People habituate to it. They get used to it. And they start thinking again.

And, as people stop fearing and start to think, they start to notice those things which the government would prefer they don't. Things like the convenient timing of the attacks on the World Trade Towers and the perfect fit into the timetable of the war announced to other nations earlier in the year.

People are remembering that Osama bin Laden is a creation of the CIA, the same CIA once headed by the President's father (who also got us into a pointless war in the oil-rich regions of the middle east), the same CIA that imports drugs and sells them to our children, the same CIA now advocating the use of torture.

People are remembering that the initial Anthrax "attack" on the US Congress occurred just as the draconian USA PATRIOT bill was about to be voted on. People have noticed that the US Congress, out of their own fear, voted to pass that bill without reading it at all! (The second congressional Anthrax attack was sent to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) "coincidentally" right after he announced hearings on the military tribunals directive.)

People are remembering that the first suspects to be arrested after the WTC attacks were not Arabs, but Israelis, and that Israelis (in one case a known Mossad agent) were also arrested inside the Mexican Congress carrying guns. Yet more suspected Mossad agents were arrested with plans for US Nuclear power plants inside the US, but were strangely let go! People are remembering that the Mossad has a past history of staging fake terror attacks to blame on a third party, such as the successful planting of fake radio traffic which tricked the US into bombing Libya, and a failed attempt to blow up a US facility and blame it on Arabs in 1956.

People have been following the case of JDL Chairman Irv Rubin in Los Angeles, who was arrested for plotting to blow up a United States Congrssman. People have been following the case of the Israeli spy scandal, which involves the largest spy ring ever uncoveed inside the United States, along with two companies which are able to rack or tap into any phone in America, including those in the White House. In at least one case, information leaked by one of these companies was used to thwart a drug investigation by the LAPD.

People are noticing that the media has taken a very heavy hand in suppressing the spy scandal, with both Fox News and CNN simply erasing sories from their websites which prove to be embarrassing and which continue to cast doubt on the official version of what happened on 9/11. In one of the stories carried on Fox News, but now erased, a US Official admitted that evidence exists linking the arrested spies to the events of 9/11, but that this evidence had been classified and withheld from the public by the US Government itself.

People are noticing that there is something wrong when the US media and the US Government are covering up for a massive foreign spy ring inside the United States.

People are noticing that the US Government does not really have a case against Osama bin Laden having anything to do with the attacks on the World Trade Towers. After announcing the evidence would be made public, the US Government backtracked, and claimed that the evidence had to remain secret to protect "National Security". Then it turned out that what evidence existed was being destroyed by the NSA and by the FBI! While the only actual video tapes of Osama bin Laden mentioning the WTC attacks consist of denials, a report was recently published in the media that Osama had confessed and claimed to have nukes. Both claims turned out to be hoaxes; an effort to manufacture a phony confession to fill in the gap of any real evidence to justify the bombing of Afghani civilians. The video taped confession claimed to be the source of the transcript does not exist, and the BBC found no mention of nuclear weapons in the original version. Careful examination of what evidence has been presented shows it to be a total farce of unsubstantiated and non-court-worthy claims, circumstantial at best. The latest claim that Osama has nukes is based on a confession extracted under torture, hardly reliable but apparently far more newsworthy than the arrested spies and the phone tapping scandal.

As people stop being made blind by fear, they are starting to realize that bombing the innocents of Afghanistan makes no sense at all no matter what Osama bin Laden may have done, whether he still works for the CIA or not. After all, were American citizens able to prevent the CIA from killing 80 civilians, many of them children, with a car bomb in Beirut in 1985. Had the CIA knocked on the doors of American citizens and asked, "Is it okay if we blow up a bunch of kids to get at this one target", I feel safe in saying that most Americans would have replied that they didn't think it was a good idea (The intended target survived the CIA's bomb). Likewise, had Osama bin Laden knocked on the doors of the Afghani people and said, "Is it okay if we blow up a bunch of kids to get at this one target", I feel safe in saying that most Afghanis would have replied that they didn't think it was a good idea. Doubtless the response was more agreeable from Osama's pals at Langley.

As people stop being made blind by fear, they are taking a closer look at the US Government's purported "humanitarian" effort to feed the starving people of Afghanistan, an effort exemplified by the shutting down of all truck routes into the region and the bombing (twice) of the Red Cross food warehouse, then lying about it afterwards. This has removed all sources of outside food for the starving people living along the proposed oil pipeline route except one' the food packages being dropped from American planes. But there is a problem with those food packages. Ignoring for a moment that most of those packages are either destroyed on hitting the ground or simply fall where they cannot be found, they happen to look like the unexploded munitions the US is also dropping all around Afghanistan. Same size, same color, same type face.

Now, if you are a starving Afghani child, you cannot read English, and you have seen the leaflets that claim those yellow packages being dropped from the planes are a gift of food from the wonderful people of the United States, which package would you pick up? And if perchance you grab the wrong one and lose a hand, or your eyes, how will you feel about those wonderful people of the United States?

This deception of having the unexploded bombs looking like the food packs is not aimed at Osama Bin Laden and it's not aimed at the Taliban; it is aimed at the non-combatant citizens of Afghanistan, including women and children, who are starving slowly to death because of the US-created REDUCTION in humanitarian aid to the region, and who out of that starvation won't hesitate to pick up an unexploded cluster munition, thinking it may be something to eat.

But most of all, as the people of the United States cease to be afraid, they will realize that the greatest danger they face isn't Osama bin laden or starving Afghani women and children, but Presidents connected to oil companies who always seem to get us into wars in regions where oil happens to be, and who are willing to do anything, including destroying the civil protections of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, to get that war and that oil.

There are warning signs everywhere that the real agenda of the attacks on the WTC on 9/11 was to pave the way for a transformation of the United States into something no rational Americans would or could ever support. President Bush has done away with the civil protections mandated by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights by creating a new court system, outside the jurisdiction of the Constitution. Even more alarming is the strident and continuing calls for the use of torture on suspected terrorists coming from sources such as Allen Dershowitz, from the Los Angeles Times, and from that master of South American torture squads, the CIA.

The problem is that while these secret courts and torture squads are supposed to be directed at terrorists, with "terrorists" being defined in the disengenuously named "USA PATRIOT" act as anyone critical of the government! So loose are the definitions being applied under the new laws that people are being denied their Constitutional right to travel freely based on political views or just for carrying the wrong book!

So egregious has been the grab for dictatorial power by the Bush Presidency that even the normally obeisant and MOCKINGBIRD controlled mainstream US press is starting to express doubts, with the New York Times using words like "dictatorial", while MSNBC likens the present regime to that of a third world nation. Even newspapers in Bush's home state are saying he has gone too far. Pravda, the major newspaper of the former USSR, once the most feared enemy of our freedoms, warns that America is losing her freedoms to her own government.

Support for the war in Afghanistan is rapidly diminishing. Even the much-vaunted "coalition" intending to mask the ambitions of a single nation behind the illusion of multi lateral action, has started falling apart.

What is an emerging dictatorship to do? The more people stop being afraid, the more they think. The more people think, the more they realize that something is very wrong with the official version of the WTC attacks. The more people think, the more they realize that something is very wrong with the convenient timing of the attacks with regard to the invasion of Afghanistan already planned and discussed with other nations last March. The more people think, the more they realize that something is very wrong with the manner in which the government is attacking the civil protections in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The more people think, the more they realize that something is very wrong with the demand for the use of torture on "terrorists" and the very loose definitions of what a terrorist is, able to be applied to anyone who disagrees with the policies of the state.

In order to continue the grab for, as the New York Times describes it, "dictatorial" power, the government has to make the people STOP thinking. And the only way to make the people stop thinking is to make them afraid again, so afraid that they CANNOT think.

Which is why I greatly fear that as we head into the holiday season, full of potent American symbols and media coverage of traditional holiday parades and celebrations, that opportunity exists for phony staged terrorist events, staged events designed to keep Americans afraid, keep them surrendering their civil rights, keep them in support of a war for oil, a war for the agenda to, as the current Fortune Magazine describes it, "break OPEC's grip".

Sun Tzu, in "The Art Of War", comments that all war is based on deception. he people of an invading nation have to be deceived into thinking that they act in their own self defense; that they are the ones to have been attacked. The United States government has a long history of using such deceptions to start wars, from claiming that the USS Maine, sunk by a coal bin fire, was sunk by a Spanish mine, to the Gulf Of Tonkin and the torpedoes which never were, to Operation NORTHWOODS, in which the Joint Chiefs planned to stage fake terror attacks to manufacture American support for a war against Cuba.

The present government of the United States NEEDS the American people to be afraid, to be blindly afraid, to react and respond, and not to reason. There is only one way for the government to achieve this, through a phony terror attack such as those planned by Operation NORTHWOODS, and I greatly fear that we will see one in the very near future.

Because once a government resorts to terrorizing its own population to control them, it must keep on doing so. A government that uses terror to control its own population cannot ever stop using terror to control its own population, out of fear that a population no longer afraid will start to think clearly about what is going on. Terror has to become legal. Terror has to become accepted as necessary for domestic policy. Hence the call for torture, secret courts, and the abandonment of the protections of the Bill of Rights.

Terror becomes an addiction to those governments who use it on their own people.

Which is why I am certain we will see more of it. Maybe even a staged nuke attack.


A Criminal Syndicate Has Taken Over America
(by Cynthia McKinney)

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