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ANTIWAR STATEMENT

Stop the Bombing!
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Support Our Troops: Bring Them Home Now!

The September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, DC should be condemned.  The killing of 6,000 innocents in those attacks cannot be justified, and those responsible for the attacks who are not part of the wreckage should be brought to justice.

However, the US government has responded to the September 11 terrorist attacks with terrorist acts of its own against the people of Afghanistan.  The bombing in Afghanistan, much of it in or near major population centers, has killed an unknown number of noncombatants, terrorized the rest of the population, and disrupted relief efforts that will result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

At first, the stated objective of the bombing campaign in Afghanistan was to force the Taliban government to turn over Osama bin Laden to US authorities.  The Taliban government responded by asking the US to present its evidence that bin Laden was responsible for the September 11 attacks, and proposed that bin Laden stand trial in Afghanistan or in another country (other than the US).  The Bush administration's response: "Our demand is nonnegotiable."  The failure of the US government to even attempt to bring bin Laden to trial through diplomacy made it far less likely that the Taliban would be [willing and] able to offer its assistance.

Now the objective is to overthrow the Taliban government. However, the bombing campaign and the immediate prospect of the so-called Northern Alliance coming to power, which many Afghanis regard as only slightly less evil than the Taliban, is unlikely to inspire a popular uprising against the Taliban.  Instead, it is uniting a part of the population around the Taliban and pacifying others.

The US is a power broker with an interest in controlling access to vast oil reserves in the Middle East and Central Asia. To achieve its aims, the US has supported Israel and reactionary Arab governments in the Middle East, and has kept up a murderous sanctions regime against Iraq.  These policies have created a political climate in the Middle East that breeds anti-US terrorism.  No confidence should be placed in the US [government] to solve this problem through the application of military force in Afghanistan.

Doug Mann, Organizer of the MCTC Socialist Club <http://educationright.tripod.com>