"British troops will lead an international coalition alongside America to wage war on Afghanistan in the next 10 days..." British Plan for Afghan onslaught, Observer, September 23, 2001 http://www.observer.co.uk/waronterrorism/story/0,1373,556734,00.html
"Military strikes on Afghanistan being contemplated by the Bush administration could create a dangerous political vacuum in the region, government officials and analysts fear." Waging War in Afghanistan Could Rattle Region, NYT, September 23, 2001 http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/23/international/asia/23ASSE.html?todaysheadlines
"Clumsy reprisals will simply inflame Muslim opinion and that is bin Laden's objective... If the West goes down the way of revenge, as Bush especially seems ready to do, than it will lose" 'A foolish crusade', Peter Oborne, Observer, September 23, 2001
1.Response to Attack on USA - Scientists for Global Responsibility
2.US Planned To Attack Taliban BEFORE WTC/Pentagon Attacks - BBC
3.What if the answer was in our own back yard and we never did anything about it?
1. Response to the Terrorist Attack on the USA, September 11th, 2001
A Statement from the Coordinating Committee of Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR), UK www.sgr.org.uk
SGR expresses deep sympathy for the thousands of people, from many countries, who were killed and injured in the terrorist attacks on the USA on September 11th, 2001. SGR unreservedly condemns these attacks and supports attempts to identify the perpetrators and bring them to trial. However, SGR is deeply concerned about the possibility of military action taken in retaliation to this attack by US and other forces. Further, we feel that there are important lessons which should be drawn concerning global security and global inequality, and that these are not getting adequate attention in media coverage of the issue.
US Government Response
The US Government, understandably outraged by these attacks, has chosen to brand them as the opening shots of a 'war', thus psychologically preparing the ground for military retaliation against the alleged perpetrators in Afghanistan. SGR believes that such actions run the severe risk of inflaming a tense situation with the likely result being that more innocent civilians will die in the 'crossfire'.
Already, western aid agencies have been told to evacuate from Afghanistan, hence abandoning refugees created by Afghanistan's civil war and the ongoing drought in the region. US threats are creating a situation which is already adding to considerable suffering in the area and where the UN aid agencies have already only three weeks supply of food aid (1). SGR urges European Governments to restrain the US from precipitous action.
It is essential to see this attack in a wider context. Global spending on armaments is approaching $1 trillion ($1,000,000,000,000) annually. Meanwhile global inequality is increasing, with nearly half the world now living in poverty.
Such spending on weapons, which has decidedly not increased world security, has to be compared with the much smaller sums given to an increasing range of natural disasters such as the flooding in Bangladesh in 1991 which killed approximately 140,000 people and the 1998 landslides in Venezuela which killed 30,000 people. Such a reality can only breed hostility against those who control the world's money supplies: and the World Trade Centre provided a physical symbol for those feeling resentment. Moreover, the US Government has been selective in regard to whom it criticises for human rights violations: it has condemned certain Arab countries but is rather quieter about violations carried out by Israel. Its apparent double standard is shown even more starkly when it is remembered that the US supplied arms to Iraq during the Iraq-Iran war and to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in its war against the Soviet Union.
It is very important to realise that the attacks of 11 September and any other terrorist attack on the USA would not have been prevented by the missile defence systems proposed by President Bush. Critics of these systems, including SGR, have consistently pointed this out. These events show that the greater threat to the USA is from terrorist attacks and not from intercontinental ballistic missiles from 'rogue states'. SGR repeats our urgent call to President Bush that this programme should b abandoned to prevent a global arms race which will decrease, not increase, global security.
Terrorist Use of Biological, Chemical and Nuclear Materials
These events have highlighted the power and unpredictability of terrorist threats. These threats could have involved, and may in the future involve, the use of biological, chemical or fissile nuclear material. SGR calls on all states, particularly the USA, to take serious steps to bring into force a strong enforcement regime for the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention this year. Commercial concerns expressed by the USA during the recent failed negotiations on this issue should not be used as an obstacle. The black market trade in the fissile material from which nuclear bombs could be made has greatly increased since the break-up of the Soviet Union. Even countries such as South Africa have admitted that they cannot account for all the fissile material they have produced. In 1991, Scientists Against Nuclear Arms (a forerunner to SGR) warned that reprocessed nuclear fuel could be converted into weapons grade material. A recent report by the respected nuclear scientist Frank Barnaby has reiterated this. SGR therefore calls for much stronger action, not only into seizing illegally traded fissile materials, but also to restrict and quickly eliminate the reprocessing of nuclear fuel.
Lessons can be learnt from the USA which stopped the reprocessing of nuclear fuel in the 1970's. In the UK, the planned approval of the Sellafield MoX plant - whilst the eyes of the world are elsewhere - should be halted. It carries the risks of making even more dangerous plutonium vulnerable to terrorist seizure and creates the need for a completely unnecessary and dangerous world-wide plutonium shipment network - including shipment by air. The recent attacks also raise the possibility that nuclear power plants themselves could be terrorist targets, with horrific consequences (2). Military action against Afghanistan runs the severe risk of destabilising a region which contains nuclear weapons - in Pakistan and India. The possibility of nuclear weapons under the command of an extreme faction has to be avoided at all costs. Important lessons need to be learnt from these attacks. Whilst we need greater co-operation between nation states to guard against terrorism and to bring its perpetrators to trial with principles of international law (3), we also need urgently to take major steps in reducing the reasons which cause such actions: religious and cultural intolerance, and economic and social inequality. These root causes of terrorism, not imprecise military action to avenge their effects, are the major issues to address as we begin the 21st Century.
(1) The lack of action to support humanitarian measures should be contrasted against huge sums already allocated for the 'war' against terrorism. On Friday 14th September the US Senate approved spending of 40,000 million dollars for reparations and a "war" against terrorism. 5,000 million dollars have been agreed to support the US airline industry. Some of this financial allocation should be used for increased international aid for refugees in Afghanistan and Iraq and other states directly affected by recent conflicts. In stark contrast, the US has failed to meet its UN commitments. In March 1999, Kofi Annan, General Secretary of the UN, urged Washington to pay up 1300 million dollars of unpaid arrears to enable the UN to do its job properly. On May 11, 2001, the House of Representatives froze US repayments to the UN. The US currently owes the UN over 220 million dollars.
(2) International Atomic Energy Commission meeting Vienna, September 17, 2001: spokesperson David Kyd: At present all nuclear plants present a clear target for terrorist attacks and the security of radioactive material must be taken very seriously indeed. Most nuclear plants would not withstand direct hit of large, fuelled airliner.
(3) Support the setting up of the International Criminal Court via the Treaty of Rome. Almost alone amongst world states, the US has refused to support the International Criminal Court and the 1998 Treaty of Rome, fearing cases against itself. The US should change this stance to support this global effort to set up an international court where offenders including terrorists could be tried consistent with internationally agreed principles.
2. US Planned To Attack Taliban BEFORE WTC/Pentagon Attacks
Report By George Arney, BBC News Online: World - South Asia 9-18-1
A former Pakistani diplomat has told the BBC that the US was planning military action against Osama Bin Laden and the Taleban even before last week's attacks. Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October.
Mr Naik said US officials told him of the plan at a UN-sponsored international contact group on Afghanistan which took place in Berlin. Mr Naik told the BBC that at the meeting the US representatives told him that unless Bin Laden was handed over swiftly America would take military action to kill or capture both Bin Laden and the Taleban leader, Mullah Omar.
The wider objective, according to Mr Naik, would be to topple the Taleban regime and install a transitional government of moderate Afghans in its place - possibly under the leadership of the former Afghan King Zahir Shah.
Mr Naik was told that Washington would launch its operation from bases in Tajikistan, where American advisers were already in place. He was told that Uzbekistan would also participate in the operation and that 17,000 Russian troops were on standby.
Mr Naik was told that if the military action went ahead it would take place before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest.
He said that he was in no doubt that after the World Trade Center bombings this pre-existing US plan had been built upon and would be implemented within two or three weeks.
And he said it was doubtful that Washington would drop its plan even if Bin Laden were to be surrendered immediately by the Taleban.
3. What if the answer was in our own back yard and we never did anything about it?
JEAN GRECO, Fairfield bureau chief, Ottumwa Courier
FAIRFIELD - Tucking the kids into bed at night takes on new meaning in light of Tuesday's apocalyptic nightmare. Those willing to die for a cause bedded in a faraway land brought to an end one of our most basic rights as human beings, the ability to move about without fear. We shall never be the same.
Over the eight years in which I have lived in Fairfield, I have heard and read a great deal about the beneficial effects of transcendental meditation. According to dozens of documented studies, TM can help alleviate or even mitigate a myriad of health problems including heart disease, hypertension, high blood pressure, a bad back, emotional trauma, or I as I have been apprised more recently, attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity or even the want to use drugs and commit crimes.
In St. Louis, a judge assigns certain offenders to learn TM as a condition of probation. In an elementary school in Washington, D.C., a principal has instituted the offering of TM instruction for students. In Mozambique, the president learned to meditate and offered the same to his cabinet.
As published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, another study suggests TM can reduce or eliminate hostile tendencies by actually changing the physiology. People involved in stressful situations, after meditation will be more clear; the creativity for problem solving will be engaged.
When civil unrest escalated in Kosovo, organizers of Fairfield's TM movement renewed calls to go to the dome for the twice a day group practice of meditation. The more people meditating together, the greater the chance for coherence in the world, they say.
There are documented studies that suggest when thousands of meditators descended upon Washington, D.C. to group meditate in 1993, crime was reduced in Washington.
It has something to do with the intangible field of consciousness, in much the same way people report a benefit from group prayer. The research may be arguable, but isn't it impressive that so many meditators cared enough to try and prove it. Meditating for peace? Meditating for a drop in the crime rate?
When the community of Littleton, Colorado was wrestling from disbelief over the in-school massacre, young members of Fairfield's TM community, organizing as End School Violence Now, went to that area to tell kids they know a better way. They also went to the United Nations with the message of ending conflict.
Meditators have been in town for a long time. Despite rumor after rumor that they are leaving, that the university is closing up shop, that has not happened. The mantra of the TM organization has been the same over the last nearly 30 years, "we've got something that works" and for remaining loyal to that, you have to give credit if not admiration.
We are about to go to war here, the likes of which we have never seen. When the fourth plane went down near Pittsburgh, my thoughts channeled to the nation's young men. I have always said I would help my sons do whatever it takes not to fight in a war, unless it were an out and out act of aggression such as it was at Pearl Harbor. Now that the unthinkable has happened, I want to rephrase: I don't want a war. Surely none of us do. Where would it be fought? Is any soil appropriate? Who is the enemy? Where are the battle lines? Where would it stop?
I've spoken with dozens of people since 9:03 eastern standard time Tuesday. We all agree on two things:
1) What we have been doing as human beings in the universe is not working if one of us could work so hard to take out the other.
2) A third World War is incomprehensible.
Transcendental meditators have a good message to us, the government: "we want peace, we know how to help you find it, you don't have to pray to our God, or any God, you can do that however you see fit."
All that is required is settling your mind. Thoughts and body and resting for 20 minutes with your eyes closed and thinking about nothing. In the profoundness of it, you might find yourself, or the deepest levels of nature, which could be you anyway. In the process, coherence in the world will be created even among those who would never dream that anyone is meditating for coherence. It requires a leap of faith to believe, but harkening back to point one above, we are where we are on September 14, 2001, because we have been doing as we have been doing.
It's hard to find fault with the technique, if that is indeed all it takes to radiate harmony for the world. And you don't have to adopt the trappings of the TM lifestyle or even be part of a "movement." "We need more transcendental meditators and advance meditators, yes, that is true," Linda said. "That much is obvious in light of Tuesday."
If it's really just all about getting the numbers of meditators up, that all we need to do is to learn this simple technique and then practice it for creating coherence in the world, now is a good time to drop the barriers, drop the obstacles and let's get going.
All over the planet, we need a way to think and act like a world. So what if the answer was in our own back yard and we never did anything about it?
(c) 2001 Ottumwa Courier, Jean Greco, Used by Permission
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How to eliminate terrorism permanently?
Its our choice now. The time for 'conservative' thinking is over. A scientifically proven method of peacefully eliminating terrorism and war already exits and can be implemented straight away if the desire is there. See: http://www.indiadefence.com/SupremeMilitaryi.htm (Includes references from in the Journal of Conflict Resolution)
Please take a few minutes to follow these two links:
Ending civil war in Mozambique - http://www.mg.co.za/mg/news/2000jan1/13jan-tm.html
A review of related scientific literature - http://www.subcontinent.com/sapra/military/m_1999_05_01.html