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Re: [wtcattack] Digest Number 40

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  • Sylvia De Rooy
    I am distressed to see a lot of anger and uninformed posts on this list. Below are some articles on the $$ we gave to Afghanistan last May. Bush s Faustian
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 2, 2001
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      I am distressed to see a lot of anger and uninformed posts on this
      list. Below are some articles on the $$ we gave to Afghanistan last

      Bush's Faustian Deal With the Taliban By Robert Scheer Published May
      22, 2001 in the Los Angeles Times
      Enslave your girls and women, harbor anti-U.S. terrorists, destroy
      every vestige of civilization in your homeland, and the Bush
      administration will embrace you. All that matters is that you line up
      as an ally in the drug war, the only international cause that this
      nation still takes seriously. That's the message sent with the recent
      gift of $43 million to the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan, the most
      virulent anti-American violators of human rights in the world today.
      The gift, announced last Thursday by Secretary of State Colin Powell,
      in addition to other recent aid, makes the U.S. the main sponsor of
      the Taliban and rewards that "rogue regime" for declaring that opium
      growing is against the will of God. So, too, by the Taliban's
      estimation, are most human activities, but it's the ban on drugs that
      catches this administration's attention. Never mind that Osama bin
      Laden still operates the leading anti-American terror operation from
      his base in Afghanistan, from which, among other crimes, he launched
      two bloody attacks on American embassies in Africa in 1998. Sadly,
      the Bush administration is cozying up to the Taliban regime at a time
      when the United Nations, at U.S. insistence, imposes sanctions on
      Afghanistan because the Kabul government will not turn over Bin
      Laden. The war on drugs has become our own fanatics' obsession and
      easily trumps all other concerns. How else could we come to reward
      the Taliban, who has subjected the female half of the Afghan
      population to a continual reign of terror in a country once
      considered enlightened in its treatment of women? At no point in
      modern history have women and girls been more systematically abused
      than in Afghanistan where, in the name of madness masquerading as
      Islam, the government in Kabul obliterates their fundamental human
      rights. Women may not appear in public without being covered from
      head to toe with the oppressive shroud called the burkha , and they
      may not leave the house without being accompanied by a male family
      member. They've not been permitted to attend school or be treated by
      male doctors, yet women have been banned from practicing medicine or
      any profession for that matter. The lot of males is better if they
      blindly accept the laws of an extreme religious theocracy that
      prescribes strict rules governing all behavior, from a ban on shaving
      to what crops may be grown. It is this last power that has captured
      the enthusiasm of the Bush White House. The Taliban fanatics,
      economically and diplomatically isolated, are at the breaking point,
      and so, in return for a pittance of legitimacy and cash from the Bush
      administration, they have been willing to appear to reverse
      themselves on the growing of opium. That a totalitarian country can
      effectively crack down on its farmers is not surprising. But it is
      grotesque for a U.S. official, James P. Callahan, director of the
      State Department's Asian anti-drug program, to describe the Taliban's
      special methods in the language of representative democracy: "The
      Taliban used a system of consensus-building," Callahan said after a
      visit with the Taliban, adding that the Taliban justified the ban on
      drugs "in very religious terms." Of course, Callahan also reported,
      those who didn't obey the theocratic edict would be sent to prison.
      In a country where those who break minor rules are simply beaten on
      the spot by religious police and others are stoned to death, it's
      understandable that the government's "religious" argument might be
      compelling. Even if it means, as Callahan concedes, that most of the
      farmers who grew the poppies will now confront starvation. That's
      because the Afghan economy has been ruined by the religious extremism
      of the Taliban, making the attraction of opium as a previously
      tolerated quick cash crop overwhelming. For that reason, the opium
      ban will not last unless the U.S. is willing to pour far larger
      amounts of money into underwriting the Afghan economy. As the Drug
      Enforcement Administration's Steven Casteel admitted, "The bad side
      of the ban is that it's bringing their country--or certain regions of
      their country--to economic ruin." Nor did he hold out much hope for
      Afghan farmers growing other crops such as wheat, which require a
      vast infrastructure to supply water and fertilizer that no longer
      exists in that devastated country. There's little doubt that the
      Taliban will turn once again to the easily taxed cash crop of opium
      in order to stay in power. The Taliban may suddenly be the dream
      regime of our own war drug war zealots, but in the end this alliance
      will prove a costly failure. Our long sad history of signing up
      dictators in the war on drugs demonstrates the futility of building a
      foreign policy on a domestic obsession.

      Misguiding column (english) by Dan Feder 8:01am Tue Oct 2 '01
      This column is making a stretch that's just a little too far to be
      excused, especially given how widely it's being reproduced on the
      net. As many articles on CNN show, the US gov. has aparently given
      verbal support for the Taliban's poppy production, but provided no
      Colombia-style drug war aid. Instead, Bush added $43m to the large
      donation the US was already giving to a UN food relief program in
      afganistan, most of which consists of US wheat; the reason being that
      by banning poppy production, the Taliban would throw even more people
      into starvation. There are many ethical problems with this, but I
      don't believe the link between the 43m and the poppy ban is as direct
      as Scheer would have us believe. The real criticism should be focused
      on 1) Regan's portrayal of the Taliban as "valient freedom fighters"
      2) the US economic embargo against the Taliban, which as in Iraq and
      Cuba hurts the people more than their rulers and 3) if we want to
      criticize aid, we should look more broadly at how US food aid puts
      countries in a position where they are dependent on imports from the
      US rather than their own agricutlrual infrastructure. Scheer's heart
      may be in the right place, but he's sent scores of leftest screaming
      about the CIA funding the Taliban, which is inacurate enough to make
      us look kind of stupid. www.thestudentunderground.org

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