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Resounding Silence in US Media

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  • Clore Daniel C
    News for Anarchists & Activists: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo Published on Friday, November 30, 2001 in the Toronto Globe & Mail What is the U.S.
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 30, 2001
      News for Anarchists & Activists:

      Published on Friday, November 30, 2001 in the Toronto Globe
      & Mail

      What is the U.S. Response to Quashing of Revolt?

      by John Ibbitson with a report from Murray Campbell

      WASHINGTON -- Before you can have a debate, two people have
      to disagree. But if the United States is complicit in
      possible war crimes committed by Northern Alliance forces in
      Afghanistan, the U.S. reaction is indifference.

      Murmurs abroad that U.S. forces may have been guilty of
      failing to intervene to prevent atrocities at a fortress
      near Mazar-e-Sharif have been met with resounding silence in
      the United States.

      A computer database search of U.S. newspapers from recent
      days reveals an almost total absence of stories examining
      the issue.

      One rare exception was an article in yesterday's Boston
      Globe, which asked: "What legal obligations do U.S.
      personnel advising the Alliance forces have to halt abuses?"

      It quoted concerned officials from the Red Cross and Human
      Rights Watch.

      Richard Hartung, director of the New-York based World Policy
      Institute, said he is concerned both about possible war
      crimes being committed in Afghanistan -- including civilian
      casualties from the bombing campaign -- and the silence that
      has greeted the issue, which he attributes to a cowed U.S.

      "I don't know whether they are intimidated or whether they
      have just been drawn into the war, but they are being much
      less critical" than usual for wartime, he said in an

      As a result, he said, "people don't have any basis to make a
      judgment or show their concern."

      He also suggested that rage over the losses of Sept. 11 may
      have engendered a callousness that makes Americans
      indifferent to alleged atrocities against the Taliban.

      Sidney Jones, Asia director of Human Rights Watch in New
      York, said there has been little debate over the events at
      Mazar-e-Sharif, or over the war in general.

      "It's as though this war is taking place in an atmosphere
      awash with patriotism, to the point where questioning
      aspects of the war is seen as somehow unpatriotic," she said
      in an interview yesterday.

      There has been domestic criticism of the U.S. war effort,
      especially on the home front -- for instance, critics from
      all sides of the political spectrum have castigated
      President George W. Bush for establishing military tribunals
      that exempt foreign nationals charged with terrorism against
      the United States from the protections of the U.S. justice

      But this has not been matched by criticism of the effort

      Dan Clore

      Now available: _The Unspeakable and Others_

      Lord We├┐rdgliffe:
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      "It's a political statement -- or, rather, an
      *anti*-political statement. The symbol for *anarchy*!"
      -- Batman, explaining the circle-A graffiti, in
      _Detective Comics_ #608
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