This morning, we awoke to the news that the U.S. military was bombing Afghanistan.
Our government announced that only “military installations” are being targeted by bombs and missles, yet essential components of the infrastructure of cities, such as power plants and water treatment facilities have in the past been considered “military” targets, and civilians may live among and around these as well as the military installations and “terrorist training” grounds.
There are also well-founded concerns that mistakes might be made. When the U.S. bombed similar “military targets” in response to Osama bin Laden’s embassy bombings a few years ago, a factory producing harmless vaccinations in the Sudan was destroyed based on intelligence information of the sort that informs today’s attacks, depriving millions of much needed medical supplies.
As we watch this conflict unfold into catastrophic proportions, we will continue to be an alternative information source in hopes of providing a more balanced perspective than that of the corporate media. It is of vital importance that we share a compassionate and logical perspective on the downward spiralling futility of violence, even as our families, friends and neighbors are stirred into a war frenzy by selectively presented or false information and nationalist rhetoric issued under the guise of “news.”
A crucial part of our role as a source of information is to portray the activities of our military and intelligence agencies truthfully, even when their tactics are underhanded, and that we explore possible ways in which the underlying agenda of our government might be directed by economic interests to the exclusion of human values.
It has been reported that there is a “100%” chance of another terrorist attack in the United States. The U.S. military’s hostile invasion of a country of starving peasants can only serve to perpetuate this cycle of retribution. Is the possibility that forces behind the September 11th attack might be punished through these actions worth the risk of starting another World War?
There are global stakes on the table here, and important reasons for concern, especially given the prevailing climate of stifling dialogue on this issue. There are several factions competing for control of Afghanistan, and some are known to possess nuclear weapons. Contrary to what is being reported widely, several groups that oppose the Taliban have stated that they will support the Taliban in the interest of national unity in the event of a U.S. invasion.
While the president assures us that the U.S. has the support of the “nations of the world,” we know from past experience that many of our alliances in the Mid-East are tenuous, and contingent upon factors that are not necessarily under our control. While the governments of Britain, Canada, and France dedicate their military support, we know this is not necessarily representative of the sentiments of people living in those nations.
In response, international solidarity among peace movements is growing, and a global anti-war movement is being established that must be reckoned with by the power structures that dictate our participation in this conflict.