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Asunto:PAN- Genocide In Afghanistan / THE WORLD WILL NOT FORGIVE US / Seven Million Afghans May Die Preventable Deaths This Winter***
Fecha:Miercoles, 7 de Noviembre, 2001  21:14:12 (-0700)
Autor:Ricardo Ocampo-Anahuak Networks <anahuak>

From: "Virginia Sanchez" <virsanchez@...> 
Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2001 9:43 AM 
Subject: Genocide In Afghanistan 
Please forward. 
Seven Million Afghans May Die Preventable Deaths This Winter 
Geov Parrish is a columnist at the Seattle Weekly. 
Editor's Note: This article was originally published by, and is republished with permission. 
Does anybody in this country get it? 
Does anybody understand what the United States is on the verge of doing? 
Experienced, respected food aid organizations warn that even before 
the bombing of Afghanistan began on October 7, some 7,500,000 Afghans were 
-- through a gut-wrenching combination of poverty, drought, war, 
dislocation, and repression -- at risk of starving to death this winter. 
When the bombing began, almost all delivery of food from the outside world 
stopped. Now, roads and bridges are destroyed, millions more people are 
dislocated, and the snow is steadily approaching from higher elevations and 
from the north. 
For weeks, aid organizations, along with voices from throughout the 
region, have been begging the United States to call off its bombing 
campaign, at least for long enough so that aid agencies can conduct 
the massive transfer of food into and throughout Afghanistan that is 
necessary to prevent death on a scale the world has not seen in a long, long 
time. On our newscasts, it's politely referred to as a "humanitarian 
crisis." That's a euphemism that makes "collateral damage" seem humane. 
Seven and a half million people at risk of dying in a matter of months. 
That's almost four times the number of people Pol Pot took years to kill. 
Thirty-five times the number that died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, combined. 
If 5,000 died on September 11 (a number that reports are now suggesting is 
vastly inflated), we're talking the equivalent number of deaths to ten World 
Trade Centers, every day, for 150 days. Slow, painful deaths. Entirely 
avoidable deaths. Deaths whose sole cause is not the United States, but most 
of which can still be prevented -- except that the United States is refusing 
to allow them to be prevented. 
It repulses me to say this, but I suspect a lot of Americans don't care. 
They'd rather see the United States "get" Osama bin Laden (though there's no 
actual evidence that we're any closer to that today than we were two months 
ago, and probably the task is harder as he becomes more popular and 
protected). A lot of people in this country do not care that a staggering 
number of innocent people are on the verge of being condemned to death, or 
that most of the world will blame the United States. Correctly. 
We should care. If the object of this war was to thwart terrorism -- to 
bring existing terrorists to justice, and to isolate them politically and 
culturally so that others won't throw in their lot -- in less than a month, 
the United States has perpetrated one of the most abject failures in 
military history. It still does not know where any of Al Qaeda's leadership 
even is. It is on the verge of succeeding in its goal of creating a unified 
Afghanistan government -- unfortunately, Afghans are uniting behind the 
Taliban, as warlord after warlord sets aside long-standing differences to 
stand shoulder to shoulder to fight the American invaders. Tens of thousands 
more young Muslim men are lining up to cross the borders into Afghanistan to 
join them. The ones that survive the experience will carry a lifetime of 
hate: living, breathing proof that within a month, America bombed a country 
but lost its war in spectacular fashion. 
A situation is unfolding in which there is absolutely no moral ambiguity at 
all, and for which many people will want to hold each of us as accountable 
as the world held post-war Germans. Where were you? 
That's today. What will happen if millions of Afghans die this winter? How 
much future terrorism will the dunderheads of the Bush Administration have 
inspired then? If several million Islamic sisters and brothers starve to 
death, innocent civilians trapped between winter and the rage of America, 
how many of Islam's 1.2 billion adherents -- or the five billion other 
people on earth -- are going to take George Bush's proclamations about 
eradicating "terrorists" and "evildoers" to heart, and label him, and us, as 
the prime examples? 
In less than two months, the United States government has gone from 
the moral high ground of being victimized by one of the most heinous crimes 
in world history, to being within a week or two of quite visibly committing 
a crime so much larger as to obliterate the world's memory of September 11. 
Remarkably, almost nobody in the United States seems to have either noticed, 
understood, or cared. While even progressives wring their hands over the 
ambiguity of a war fought under the auspices of America's legitimate right 
to defend itself, a situation is unfolding in which there is absolutely no 
moral ambiguity at all, and for which many people will want to hold 
each of us as accountable as the world held post-war Germans. Where 
were you? What did you say? How could you allow this to happen? Or, a more 
likely reaction in the Islamic world: Why should millions of you not die as 
well? America will have set out to isolate one man, and instead killed 
millions and isolated itself. And much of the world will not rest until we 
are brought to our knees. 
Seven and a half million people. The snowline is creeping down the 
mountainsides. The food is almost gone. The infrastructure is in shambles. 
There will be no "independent verification" of the body count. There wasn't 
in the Holocaust or Rwanda or Cambodia, either. 
The judgment of the world did not need one. The clock is ticking. Where were 
Originally published at: 
© 1999-2001 The Florence Fund 
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