Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Qai'dat al-Jihad, an Islamic group linked to Bin Laden's al-Qaeda, recently sent a letter to the Arabic newspaper Al Hayat stating, among other things, that "god has given permission to resume activities."

I know I haven't been as active on this weblog as I should, but now I really feel dumb. I wasn't even aware that a divine moratorium was in place.

::Times of India Bin Laden safe, planning new attacks: Report via Dack

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

More Propaganda...

While calling on Israel publicly to end its offensive against Palestinians in the West Bank "without delay," the Bush administration has privately signaled to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that he can phase out the operation gradually, two US officials said yesterday.

The Defense Department official in Washington was more explicit. Powell's itinerary, he said, was designed "to give Sharon some more time."

A State Department official agreed. "The Israelis are not listening so much to what we say, but are watching what we do," the official said. "And what we're doing is giving them more time to withdraw."

::John Donnelly and Charles A. Radin, Boston Globe via Common Dreams: Powell's Trip is Called a Way to Buy Time for Sharon Sweep

Monday, April 08, 2002

Another outstanding overview from Brendan O'Neill:

So what is the state of post-Taliban Afghanistan? Is it a human rights triumph where freedoms have been regained, or just a mess? A security nightmare that needs heavy policing, or a state with some non-threatening security issues? One thing is certain: the Bush administration's contradictory statements about Afghanistan over the past two months show that US policy is driven less by concern for democracy and human rights, than by political expediency.

. . . interim government, it points out Afghanistan's 'unpretty' problems. When the UN talks about deploying more peacekeepers, Rumsfeld says Afghanistan doesn't have any 'serious' security issues because he is 'opposed [to] enlarging the [UN] mission' - but when it comes to justifying further US intervention, Rumsfeld holds forth on Afghanistan's ongoing 'security nightmare'.
And when President Bush wants to convince us that all 'people who love freedom [should] be concerned about Iraq', as he did on 13 March 2002, then he'll say he's no longer 'concerned' about small fry like bin Laden. But when US commanders want to justify bombing caves from on high and sending US troops (or more often Afghan allies) into places like Shah-i-Kot, they talk of al-Qaeda as a 'deadly threat' that has yet to be 'destroyed'.

::Brendan O'Neill, Spiked Online: When nation-building destroys