October 2001 link archive

Read a dispatch from one of the seven Western journalists invited by the Taliban to visit Kandahar.

CNN chairman Walter Isaacson has ordered his staff not to coddle the enemy by overplaying images of civilian devastation, saying it "seems perverse to focus too much on the casualties or hardship in Afghanistan."

Rupert Murdoch apologizes to Christiane Amanpour, after a New York Post columnist called her a "CNN war slut."

Murdoch's Post has also taken heat for running a cartoon showing tabloid rival Mort Zuckerman sending off an anthrax letter to the Post. It depicts him as a sore loser in the circulation wars.

The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh reports on the U.S. plan to steal Pakistan's nuclear weapons arsenal if Gen. Musharraf loses power. Also, check out the magazine's impressive 9/11 archive.

Read a just-filed FOIA request for disclosure of information on the more than 900 people detained by U.S. authorities since September 11. The Economist reports that only two of those in custody seem likely to have had direct involvement in planning the hijacks.

Partisanship Returns "What happened?" Gephardt asked. "Things changed," Hastert said with a shrug.

Locals react to an influx of foreign military personnel, as the Coalition Coordination Center sets up shop in a Florida trailer park.

Bombs, Not Food The U.S. is warning Afghans not to confuse unexploded cluster bombs with food rations, as both have yellow exteriors. Plus, the dogs of war.

Read Debka's take on Abdul Haq's capture and execution. It has bin Laden and his men outfoxing Haq, the CIA and Pakistan's military intelligence. Also new on Debka: "Russia Prepares 1-Million Man Army for Afghanistan." Guess who's signing the check?

Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency is the hidden hand in Afghan politics. And its secret knowledge could spell success or failure for U.S. military operations there.

A New York Times account of the nighttime raid by special operations forces in southern Afghanistan 10 days ago, paints a much different picture of the opposition encountered than earlier reports in the Telegraph and Independent.

It's "death on the installment plan," writes Alexander Cockburn of the U.S. action in Afghanistan: "malnutrition, infant mortality, disease, premature death for the old and so on. The numbers will climb, and there won't be any 'independent verification' such as the Pentagon demands."

And as of now, no independent verification on the Pentagon's announcement that "some" al-Qaeda leaders have been killed.

For the Bush administration's war script, Churchill's the man.

A jackalette attempts to verify Gov. Jesse Ventura's claim that talk radio is the only news source one needs to stay informed.

How TV news coverage of anthrax pours oil on the fire, making a market for products like this.

A Kabul doctor's bomb-by-bomb account of the airstrikes and their effect on morale: "I'm trying to describe the Taliban reaction to the American bombing. You know? They weren't interested in the attacks. It was very intriguing and strange for me to see this."

As al-Qaedaites pay up to $30,000 to be smuggled out of Afghanistan, Pakistani jihad brigades flood into the country.

The coalition is reduced to "chasing shadows" in the hunt for bin Laden. Plus, what makes "Sammy" run?

William Rees-Mogg calls bin Laden "the Sorcerer's Apprentice of the Islamic fundamentalist revolution. Osama bin Laden is not a serious revolutionary; he is a poseur, a silly but lethal boy."

Many of the suicide hijackers were also Saudi rich kids.

The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh reports that an elite U.S. military unit, training with the Israelis, is preparing to steal Pakistan's nuclear weapons arsenal if Gen. Musharraf loses power.

Good Guy, Bad Cop A Pakistani who studied in the U.S. asks: "How does this 'good guy' at home become the 'ugly American' overseas?"

Even in a time or crisis, politicians remember to take care of business. More on just how well business is being taken care of.

In lobbying for the Joint Strike Fighter, Lockheed-Martin spent more to get more.

Poet of Paranoia Examining novelist Don DeLillo's work, Jeffrey MacIntyre writes that DeLillo "has long anticipated a world in which acts of terror would achieve unprecedented historic consequences."

In a Killing the Buddah essay, Peter Manseau argues that the perception of Islam as anti-American was not born on September 11, but forty years ago, when Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali.

John Pilger sees a hidden U.S. agenda behind the war on terrorism. Not so, says Jason Ross. (scroll down)

How the war on terrorism is beginning to resemble the war on drugs.

Say What? Even though Arabic is the world's fifth-most widely spoken language, the F.B.I. and C.I.A. need translators. The problem has existed since before the WTC bombing in 1993, when the F.B.I. had documents in Arabic, but no one to translate them.

Sources at the two agencies tell the Washington Post that they suspect domestic terrorists are behind the anthrax mailings. One organization mentioned in the article is Aryan Action. There's a statement of support for bin Laden and al Qaeda on their Web site.

If the feds want to hook up with Aryan Action, they'll be at Hammerfest -- a Woodstock for "hatecore" bands -- this weekend. Read a review and see photos of last year's gathering. Plus, the globalization of high-decibel hate.

A Northern Alliance official says that Abdul Haq's capture and execution by the Taliban resulted from a betrayal by Pakistan's intelligence service.

In 1994, Haq warned that some day the U.S. might have to send troops to deal with terrorists in Afghanistan: "And if they step in, they will be stuck. We have a British grave in Afghanistan. We have a Soviet grave. And then we will have an American grave."

The Pentagon depicted last week's Special Forces raid into Afghanistan as an unmitigated success. But the truth was much different, according to the Telegraph and Independent, which report that U.S. troops encountered fierce opposition, forcing them to beat a hasty retreat.

U.S. reporters neglect to ask about the above story at the next day's Pentagon press briefing.

A "senior defense official" conducts a background briefing on enemy denial and deception.

NOsama? The Chinese Internet news site, Zhongxin Wang, reports that bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar were assassinated by members of their retinue at an underground base near Kandahar on October 16.

Legal eagles debate the pros and cons of giving bin Laden his day in (a U.S.) court.

Following up on an earlier story, the Times of London quotes intelligence sources who say that bin Laden and al-Qaeda have acquired nuclear materials, but that they're not capable of mounting an attack.

A plan to air already taped segments of a TV show in which a psychic contacts victims of the WTC attacks was scrubbed only hours after it was announced.

The New York Times debunks reports that the attacks left up to 15,000 children orphaned. According to New York state and city officials, there isn't "a single documented case of a child who lost both parents. Just a handful of verified cases in which children lost their only parent."

If you're afraid of getting anthrax from touching a tabloid, read about the first-person accounts in this week's issues here.

How network newscasts underreporting of foreign affairs left viewers unaware of the animosity towards America leading up to 9/11.

The Taliban take their show on the road, quietly colonizing Pakistani border areas that provide safe haven from U.S. attacks.

(Geo) Politics as Usual Michael Klare writes that while war is being waged in Afghanistan, the true center of the conflict is Saudi Arabia, "the single most valuable geopolitical prize on the face of the earth."

Authorities say they are now sure that 15 of the 19 suicide hijackers were Saudis.

The lonely life of an Afghan communist.

Cellular Stowaway Italian police discover an Egyptian man, suspected of being an al-Qaeda hijacker, stowed away inside a shipping container with a bed, laptop computer, two mobile phones, cameras, a Canadian passport and a certificate saying he's an aircraft mechanic.

An enterprising curator has established a museum like no other, featuring the logos used by TV stations, magazines and newspapers to brand their coverage of the terrorist attacks.

He's Back! Arianna Huffington on "The Gary Conditization of the Terror Story."

Stock traders get bullish on bioterror.

Listen to an interview with Joel Meyerowitz, who has been given special access to photograph ground zero for the Museum of the City of New York's archives. A reporter accompanies Meyerowitz on his rounds.

Junk mailers reassess tactics, as solicitations designed to look like handwritten letters become ominous. "Direct Mail Is Safest Of All Mail," proclaims the industry's trade group.

Daylight come an we droppin de bomb. Don't miss this Osama-inspired sing-along.

Read a New Yorker profile of Qatar, its Emir and the country's biggest export, Al-Jazeera.

The Times of London examines the post-Soviet Union's "nuclear K-Mart" and the shopping trips taken by bin Laden and associates.

Informer says Al Qaeda shopped for spores.

Game Over John Le Carre handicaps the war on terrorism: "What victory can we possibly achieve that matches the defeats we have already suffered, let alone the defeats that lie ahead?"

President Bush dodges an anthrax-test question three times, and the Pentagon fesses up to bombing an old folk's home on the outskirts of Herat.

Enduring Blackout This war for freedom doesn't extend to the press.

"Take Penacilin (sic!) Now" See copies of the anthrax letters sent to Daschle, Brokaw and the New York Post.

My Sergeant, My Terrorist Read the story of an al-Qaedaite who once joined the U.S. Army and served in Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg. On leave he fought with the Mujaheddin in Afghanistan and on weekends trained other Islamic fundamentalists in surveillance, weapons and explosives.

The prophet Jonah (Goldberg) speaks, and bin Laden is all ears.

Bioterror? No problem! Or, A Patent is a Terrible Thing to Waste: Cursor columnist Steve Perry writes that the Bush administration's deference to pharmaceutical companies leaves the U.S. helpless against a larger-scale anthrax attack.

The greeting card industry rallies to help Americans cope. American Greetings sees a sales spike and Hallmark offers reassurance: "it is important to remember that greeting cards are rarely considered suspicious mail."

Following his recent pillorying by Garrison Keillor, Gov. Jesse Ventura advises Minnesotans to boycott local newspapers and TV news. He also promises to get his media adversaries "running and hiding as fast as the Taliban."

In an essay on the consequences of the war, novelist Arundhati Roy asks: "Will burning the haystack find you the needle? Or will it escalate the anger and make the world a living hell for all of us?"

The Pentagon hires a PR firm to spin U.S. airstrikes to the world.

The unbelievable lightness of anthrax spores. And for now, smallpox is only a game.

CIA officials now claim that bin Laden "was not one of ours," but in "Anthrax, Mujaheddin and the CIA," David Corn points out that the U.S., via Pakistan, armed numerous factions that clearly considered America the next enemy after the Soviets.

Zbigniew Brzezinski was asked if he had any regrets pertaining to Afghanistan policy: "Regret what? What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?"

A former provinical governor, who fought alongside bin Laden and his Arab army in the war against the Soviets, says that U.S. authorities "just laughed" at his 1996 offer to cooperate in snatching bin Laden.

Two Arab-Americans defend Al-Jazeera, writing that it's "simply telling the truth about what's happening in Afghanistan, while CNN and company have switched from 'all-Condit, all the time' to 'all-anthrax, all the time,' making do with videophone reports from journalists in the Northern Alliance's desolate no-man's land, describing the night sky and reading the latest Pentagon press release."

The editors of TomPaine.com on what's missing from the coverage when the media reports on itself as if it were the news.

Doug Ireland on why the Democrats will get trounced in 2002.

Critics writing on Salon square off over "The Concert for NYC." One calls it a pointless gesture and another responds by telling him to "kiss my royal Irish ass."

Leonard Cohen lives and the Rev. Howard Finster dies.

Osama the Moderate A rival group of Muslim terrorists, Takfir wal-Hijra, regards bin Laden as an infidel and a sellout. In 1995 they tried to murder him, showering his Sudan residence with bullets on their way home from killing 12 Muslims at a local mosque.

Books about Bin laden dominate the bazaars of Pakistan, as Taliban support there hits 83%.

A "Top Ten" list of the most baffling contradictions in the war on terrorism.

Interrogators get the silent treatment from four prime suspects in the attacks.

Cranking Up The anthrax investigation takes a right turn. Plus, al Qaeda, American style.

What will it take for the Justice Department to classify extremist anti-abortion groups as domestic terrorists? Clayton Waagner joins Eric Rudolph on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list.

Waagner gets top billing at armyofgod.com: "I'm an abortionist-bomber, that's what I do." More on domestic terrorists.

The London Daily Telegraph reports that Iraq relocated its chemical weapons factories after the first case of anthrax in America. And, U.S. hawks' detailed plan for overthrowing Saddam.

Rush Limbaugh sounds off, Howard Mortman on the media's new status symbol, and the high cost of covering the war on terrorism.

Going Forward? Two scenarios for what the world might look like in October 2002.

From the Front War photographers chronicle their experiences in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Salon's David Talbot on Andrew Sullivan's jihad: "Since Sept. 11, the British journalist has declared himself the mullah of the media world, sitting in judgment of American writers' patriotism."

The Observer reports that the UN is set to issue an unprecedented appeal to the U.S. and its allies to halt the war on Afghanistan and allow time for a huge relief operation. Also, who is terrorizing America with anthrax?

War During Lifetime A government official tells the Washington Post that President Bush has given the CIA a "green light to do whatever is necessary" to take out bin Laden and al Qaeda. And, VP Cheney says the war on terrorism "may never end. At least, not in our lifetime."

The Guardian has obtained the transcript of a conversation between bin Laden supporters, during which one claims that China paid bin Laden several million dollars for access to unexploded cruise missiles left over from the U.S. attack on his bases three years ago.

Debka reports that 15 Chinese soldiers, fighting in Afghanistan with the Taliban, were killed by U.S. actions.

Hearts & Minds Because political arguments that smack of "turn the other cheek" will fall on deaf ears, and have little impact on those who committed the 9/11 atrocities, the best solution is to remove the grievances that terrorists feed on. More hearts and minds.

The leading suspect in a plot to bomb the U.S. embassy in Paris tells a French investigator of the Taliban's pact with bin Laden that approved Al-Qaeda's acts of terrorism.

Defense officials acknowledge that U.S. forces are on the ground in Afghanistan. A woman whose husband is a sniper in Bravo Company says that his daily e-mails and phone calls stopped yesterday.

The Navy has apologized for an anti-gay slur that was scrawled on an Afghanibomb. The AP pulled this photo after a gay rights group complained.

Read the incredible story of a man who was kept off a United Airlines flight for carrying a copy of "Hayduke Lives!," an Edward Abbey novel with a cover illustration of a hand holding several sticks of dynamite.

Time Inc. thanks mailroom workers for enduring the stress of anthrax scares.

Tower Video Two men were detained in PA with a tape that had footage of Chicago with zoomed-in shots of the Sears Tower.

Saudi Shakedown Seymour Hersh writes that Saudia Arabia's corrupt royal family "has brokered its future by channelling hundreds of millions of dollars in what amounts to protection money to fundamentalist groups that wish to overthrow it."

Read a "Frontline" interview with the Saudi ambassador to the U.S.

"The most important element of the war against terror has not even been discussed," writes Anatole Kaletsky in the Times of London. "That element is a coherent, patient and relentless strategy to free the world from its addiction to Middle Eastern oil."

More Anthrax Than Envelopes While Iraq is suspected of possessing at least 8 tons of concentrated liquid anthrax, the former deputy director of "Biopreparat," who defected in1992, has described how the Soviet Union churned out two tons of anthrax a day.

Find out how New York's celebrity assistants are weathering the anthrax scares, and how high-flyers are shelling out $795 a pop for "Executivechutes." Order yours here.

Read an interview with Susan Sontag, who discusses the fallout from her controversial New Yorkers response to the terrorist attacks.

Sincerely, Osama An Italian newspaper has published letters allegedly written by bin Laden to supporters in London, calling on Al Qaeda members to acquire weapons of mass destruction and urging them to "kill, fight, create traps and destroy" Americans.

Eat & Run Taliban soldiers discover that there's no free lunch.

The Pentagon is sending propaganda broadcasts to the Taliban from a flying radio station, a specially outfitted EC-130 known as "Commando Solo. "

One of the propaganda lines, "Our bombs are so accurate we can drop them right through your windows," contradicts two (1, 2) reports on the DoD's own Web site.

Suddenly Sulaiman Read a profile of the former Kuwaiti school teacher who came out of nowhere to become Al Qaeda's spokesperson -- the voice of bin Laden.

Iranian radio reports that U.S. troops have landed near Kandahar, as flying gunships bombard area.

Robert Altman blames Hollywood: "Nobody would have thought to commit an atrocity like that unless they'd seen it in a movie."

Nation of Islam head Minister Louis Farrakhan, who has condemned the terrorist attacks as "vicious and atrocious," calls on President Bush to lay out the evidence against bin Laden.

Rev. Donald Spitz, spokesman for the antiabortion Army of God, says that anthrax scare letters arriving at more than 100 family planning and abortion clinics on Monday "made my day."

Robert Scheer writes that Saudi Arabia would be a logical bombing target if President Bush was serious about punishing nations that support terrorism: "When one peruses the list of directors of businesses and foundations that allegedly supported Al Qaeda, it reads like a who's who of Saudi society." Wayne Beyer agrees.

Todd Gitlin responds to the critiques of American foreign policy by Edward Said and Arundhati Roy following the terrorist attacks.

Hitchens on Hitchens: O Brother Where Art Thou?

CNN submits six questions for bin Laden after an Al Qaeda representative contacts Al-Jazeera and invites the two networks to ask away. Complete questions here.

Rusmfeld follows Rice onto Al-Jazeera to make the U.S. case to the Arab world.

Last week the FBI was floating a story that only six of the hijackers knew that they were on a suicide mission. It didn't take off at the time, but now it's back.

A Taliban commander who fled Afghanistan says that Arab militants from Al Qaeda have gathered in Jalalabad, angering pro-Taliban Afghans. Plus, is bin Laden readying a run for the border?

The Guardian reports that the Pentagon has spent millions of dollars to purchase the images taken by the civilian satellite Ikonos, in an effort to prevent western media from seeing pictures of the effects of bombing in Afghanistan.

The low-flying AC-130 gunship has joined the fray. Dubbed "Spooky ll," its three guns can fire 1,800 rounds a minute, covering an area the size of eight football fields with a round in each square yard. View spooky photos.

Chris Kromm dubs the war on Afghanistan "Operation Infinite Disaster."

Michael Kelly writes that the media's obsession with the anthrax scare confuses mass fear with mass murder and "is an embarrassment -- and, worse, an insult to the dead and the destroyed of September 11."

See the final shots taken by Bill Biggart, the only photojournalist to die covering the WTC disaster.

In an attempt to give mail room employees "a little more peace of mind," the Arizona Daily Star says no go to snail mail.

The cost of homeland defense? According to one estimate it could be $1.5 trillion over the next five years.

Bin Laden's goal, writes Pat Buchanan, is to drive America out of his region by first drawing us deeper in. And the Independent editorializes that "the longer this war continues, the more difficult it will become."

The Bush administration has a breathtakingly broad mandate for war, not only in Afghanistan but across the world. In his latest Cursor dispatch, columnist Steve Perry asks, where from here?

More War, Less Military David Corn writes that since we are stuck with a "war on terrorism," we might as well put it to good use.

Gregg Easterbrook on how U.S. consumers are driving terrorism.

An interviewer poses this question to the editors of intelligence insider Debka.com: "Why should we believe what you post?"

National security adviser Condoleezza Rice appears on Al-Jazeera, the news network whose footage she wants U.S. broadcasters to think twice about before airing.

Advertising Age reports that the U.S. is considering buying ads on Al-Jazeera as part of an effort to reposition America in the eyes of the world.

Got Anthrax? The biological warfare attacks of recent days are a formidable tactical move, writes Cursor columnist Steve Perry.

The New York Times has obtained transcripts of the communications between pilots and controllers for the flights that crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Investigators believe that hijackers may have used personal ads in Mira! (Look!), a Spanish-language tabloid published by American Media, to communicate with Al Qaeda members in Spain.

A report from Palm Beach County, the country's dubious headline capitol and new "ground zero."

It could happen there: Ameriscare goes worldwide.

Contributors to the literary environmental magazine Orion react to the events of 9/11, including essays by William Kittredge, Wendell Berry and Scott Russell Saunders. Plus, remember 9/10?

Writing in the New Statesman, John Pilger argues that the ultimate goal of the attacks on Afghanistan is not the capture of a fanatic, but the acceleration of western power.

Read more at Pilger's "Hidden Agendas" Web site.

Correspondents for Britian's Channel 4, CNN and the AP report what they saw on the Taliban's press junket. View the AP photos. Also, Robert Fisk on the "collateral damage."

After complaints from gay organizations, the AP withdrew a photo taken on the USS Enterprise that shows a Navy officer scrawling a misspelled message -- "high jack this fags" -- on a bomb bound for Afghanistan.

U.S. intelligence sources float the charge that Iraq is behind the anthrax attacks, claiming that sophisticated technology is needed to process spores for "airborne infectivity" and "they aren't making this stuff in caves in Afghanistan."

The Taliban prepare for underground combat in those caves.

Military observers say that the Pentagon's photos of bombing damage reveal far less than meets the eye. Plus, cutting through the fog of war.

Judith Miller, the New York Times reporter at the center of an anthrax scare, details her experience for the Guardian.

On war, free speech and the International House of Pancakes.

A confused viewer writes that it's hard to tell the difference between major network war coverage and "Mad TV."

Seymour Hersh reports in The New Yorker that the U.S. military missed an opportunity to kill Taliban leader Mullah Omar on the first night of the bombing, enraging Defense Secretary Rumsfeld.

A key to bin Laden success: franchising! His family's "Bin Laden Group" is also in the business, as master franchisee of Hard Rock Cafe's in the Middle East.

British tab snares an interview with one of 42 bin Laden offspring.

Speculators who shorted United Airlines stock are yet to claim $2.5 million in profits. Their plan to take the money and run may have been foiled by the U.S. stock market shutdown that followed the attacks.

The availability of Al-Jazeera to satellite dish owners in the U.S. makes it next to impossible to stop its images from being broadcast. After weeks of denying interviews, government officials are now rushing to appear on Al-Jazeera.

Norman Solomon writes that the Pentagon's air drops of food parcels and President Bush's plea for American children to aid Afghan kids are cynical maneuvers of media manipulation.

The black lesson to be learned from terrorism -- it works.

A company that tried to capitalize on the 9/11 attacks is equal parts ambulance chaser and loan shark.

Memo to George: Operation Hide Dick is working like a charm.

A Notre Dame professor and "academic oddball," whose scholarly specialty is the intersection of religious fervor and armed violence, recounts her face to face experiences with Muslim guerillas and cautions that America is not just up against bin Laden's group, but faces a much wider "trans-national jihad."

A New York Times reporter responds to the anthrax scare at the paper: "It's just another day at the office. Welcome to the 21st century, man."

The Third Way As an alternative to diplomatic and military options, Pornbomb.org offers a plan for destablizing the Taliban.

Anthrax (the band) "In the twenty years we've been known as "Anthrax," we never thought the day would come that our name would actually mean what it really means."

Home to 250,000 people of Arab descent, Detroit has recently become prime recruiting ground for law-enforcement and intelligence agencies looking to hire Arabic speakers. The New Yorker's Mark Singer profiles the Arab-American community in Dearborn, Michigan.

Arab-Americans might come under increased scrutinty after Fox broadcasts a special edition of "America's Most Wanted," featuring the government's 22 most-wanted terrorists. The show averages 2,500 calls a week, but that number could skyrocket, even though it's unlikely that any of the terrorists are in the U.S. Read a "NewsHour" report on AMW.

Lifting the Veil Though the nationwide investigation into terrorist activity in the U.S. remains shrouded in secrecy, the Los Angeles Times pieces together emerging details -- some alarming and others bizarre -- to offer insight into the manhunt.

The high-tech hunt for bin Laden, when he met the Taliban and why the CIA is sweet on him.

A minor riot erupted when Swedish speed metal guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen played the 'Star Spangled Banner' during a recent concert in Brazil. His keyboardist provides the incredible details.

On the fine line between the patriotic pitch and opportunistic marketing.

Read about the big story that's getting little coverage.

The five major TV networks acquiesce to a Bush administration request, jointly agreeing to abridge any future videotaped statements from bin Laden or his followers and remove language the government considers inflammatory.

William Saletan writes that the U.S. is making a mistake by ignoring bin Laden's message instead of actively refuting it. Tony Blair does take a shot at refuting it in this interview with Al-Jazeera.

"None that Matter" A man who lost his brother in the World Trade Center attack writes that those "three little words," uttered by Cokie Roberts on NPR, "tell us worlds about the values informing the operation of U.S. intelligence, the State Department and the Pentagon.

The Washington Post reports that the Taliban is O & O by bin Laden. He supposedly has given the regime $100 million in the last five years, with a major source of his income being a shakedown racket that pays Al Quaeda to stay out of certain Persian Gulf countries. Note the eight unattributed quotes in the article, compared to zero attributed ones.

In this must-read interview, Egypt's Mohamed Heikal, "the Arab world's foremost political commentator," draws on almost 60 years as a journalist to offer his perspective on the current crisis.

Burning Calories Fruit haulers traveling from Afghanistan to Peshawar describe rising anger against the West. "We don't want their food parcels," one driver said, "people are burning them in the street."

Decamped An eyewitness tells of being in an Afghan hospital when three men were brought in with shrapnel wounds: "They were brought from the camp in the mountains, where many of the Arabs are. They were Osama bin Laden's men."

Rhetorical Parallels Is there a linguistic hot-line between the White House and bin Laden's camp?

In an analysis that "contradicts every public statement made by the Defense Ministry since Russia first offered to help Washington," Moscow News reports that Russian troops have entered Afghanistan and are waiting with the Northern Alliance for orders to attack Kabul.

As Pakistan and Afghanistan become "media carnivals," government enforcers keep reporters at arm's length from the U.S. military buildup in Uzbekistan.

Can you say Kyrgyzstan? A Stratfor analysis concludes that "With a substantial militant threat emerging north of the Afghan theater, the U.S. ground campaign must expand deeply into Central Asia from spring to summer 2002."

Rock the Body? In defending the decision to withold his public schedule from the media, Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura says that he, along with the Mall of America and the Metrodome, could be the target of a terrorist attack.

He's the Man "Even when thousands of innocent, nameless people lose their lives hundreds of miles from Minnesota, it's still all about him."

Bin Who? In a Sydney Morning Herald analysis, Gay Alcorn writes that "To date, it has suited the Bush administration to put a face on terror. But now that the bombing has begun and the public relations war is fully under way, the words are changing."

Michael Moore finds the silver lining in the war on Afghanistan.

War is a drag for a Paris Match reporter held in Afghanistan. Plus, "Freed From Taliban Hell."

Toxic Tabs! Advertising Age reports that "panicked consumers" are flooding supermarkets with calls, afraid that they may contract anthrax from picking up tabloids. One ad exec said people even fear that "if they go into stores they are going to contract the disease."

The CEO of American Media goes on TV and tries to bring tabloid readers to their senses.

Iowans respond to reported anthrax connection.

Surprise Attack An FBI source speculates that only about six of the hijackers -- those with pilot training -- knew that they were on a suicide mission.

The Boston Globe and Boston Herald report on hijackers' salacious activities in the days leading up to the flights.

The Smoking Gun documents a New Jersey man's filing of an application at 2:40 p.m. on September 11 to trademark the term "World Trade Center" for a future TV or movie production.

Was Al-Jazeera's translator spinning bin Laden's speech? And, what Arabs hear when they listen to bin Laden.

Over or Under? As they run out of targets, the biggest challenge facing U.S. bombers is avoiding commercial flights that criss-cross their routes.

What's Next According to "senior Pentagon officials" it's low-flying Army helicopter gunships, like these, to find and attack forces allied with bin Laden's network and the Taliban government.

Tha above article notes the use of the helicopters in "some of the military's most challenging operations since the Gulf War," but fails to mention the Somalia debacle chronicled by Mark Bowden in "Blackhawk Down." The best-selling book grew out of a Philadelphia Inquirer series.

Cockburn and St. Clair on how the 3,000 inhabitants of Diego Garcia island, a launching pad for strikes on Afghanistan, were forcibly relocated 1,000 miles away when the U.S. moved in.

Relief workers say that dropping food aid onto the world's biggest minefield is a bad idea.

Four UN workers who attempted to clear those mines were reported killed in Monday's raid.

Is there any sensible alternative to the Bush administration's long-range "war against terrorism"? Yes, says Steve Perry in a recent Cursor dispatch.

Spinsanity calls Robert Scheer on his claim that the U.S. provided a "gift of $43 million to the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan." The money went to a UN program, but Scheer's charge has been widely quoted.

A decade ago it was CNN, but this time around Al Jazeera has become the window on the war. Tony Blair appeared there on Monday to counter bin Laden.

Al Jazeera is partly owned by Quatar's Emir, who last week told Sec. of State Colin Powell to mind his own business, after Powell asked him to tone down the pro-Taliban coverage.

A U.S. official says of bin Laden's media campaign: "I'm a little disturbed that his press people may be as good as ours."

Read an interview with the Media Channel's Danny Schechter, on the difficulty of explaining world affairs in 1 minute and 10 seconds.

Former CIA officer Phillip Agee speaks on the USA and international terrorism, and Seymour Hersh reports on the C.I.A. and the failure of American intelligence.

The Globe and Mail draws a straight line from the 1981 slaying of Anwar Sadat to the recent terrorist attacks in the U.S. Seven of the State Department's 15 most-wanted terrorists are Egyptian.

Robert Fisk on the rhetorical fog of war: "President Bush says this is a war between good and evil. You are either with us or against us. But that's exactly what bin Laden says. Isn't it worth pointing this out and asking where it leads?"

Fisk notes that the only Hollywood film ever made about Afghanistan was this one.

The perfect tabloid story hits too close to home. A map shows the proximity of suicide hijacker's residences to American Media's tabloid empire.

Wassup? As marketers try to get a handle on the new commercial Zeitgeist, one ad executive explains what's different now: "People aren't in the mood to walk into a bar and scream 'Wassup.' People don't want to be stupid anymore."

Over Taliban radio, a Northern Alliance defector tells his former cohorts: "Nobody can kill us we are ready to fight with you. We're dug into the hills."

In bin Laden's video, the Israeli-Palestinian struggle and sanctions against Iraq are given added emphasis in an attempt to tap into widely-held resentments among Arab Muslims.

Officials at Al-Jazeera, bin Laden's favorite channel, say that its correspondent in Kabul received the video on Sunday, calling the timing a coincidence.

Air Wars CNN's affiliation deal with Al-Jazeera gave it exclusive use of the network's images for six hours, but as soon as the air strikes began, other networks grabbed the feed and ran with it.

The West is "playing politics on the hoof," writes Robert Fisk, "and allying ourselves to some of the nastiest butchers around."

The hunt for intelligence on bin Laden's training camps. He reportedly has look-alikes traveling throughout Afghanistan to sow confusion over his whereabouts.

Jane's says that the U.S. failed to act on an "unprecedentedly detailed" Russian intelligence report on Al-Qaeda that was released in March.

Bombs Away: Cursor's Steve Perry looks at the first strikes in Afghanistan, and examines the administration's new Bosnia Card.

Back In the USSR How the war on terrorism, like the cold war before it, will impact everything.

This war is a festival of lies, writes Peter Preston in the Guardian, and they will only get worse.

Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura: "Anything we tell our media is as good as telling Osama bin Laden." More on Ventura's mission to "ground zero," that went from goodwill to ill will.

Shop Till He Drops A dizzying array of bin Ladenbilia is helping consumers satisfy their twin obsessions.

How the news "crawl" colonized television screens, becoming a ubiquitous presence following the terrorist attacks.

Follow the Zelig-like history of the World Trade Center "tourist." And, read what an earlier Internet celebrity said about the terrorist attacks.

Pakistani groups condemn U.S. strikes.

Intelligence insider Debka reports that U.S and Russian troops will fight side-by-side in Afghanistan, Chinese Muslim troops will fight against them and that the U.S. has deployed tactical nukes in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Plus, 30 to 50 "terror activists" in the U.S.

Wired: "Debka is beating out big-name news sources on several key stories."

Bin Laden's second in command is fingered for planning the terrorist attacks. He's a tall guy too. The Brit's case against Al Quaeda is here.

An Observer reporter skirts a Pakistani ban to interview bin Laden's Pashtun supporters, traveling from Peshawar to the Khyber Pass.

Tangled Web How an Internet hoax claiming that 4,000 Israelis called in sick from their jobs at the World Trade Center on 9/11 led to the belief in many Muslim countries that Israel was behind the attack.

What Price Patriotism? An aggressive stimulus package is needed, argue Robert Borosage and William Greider, but if we are truly at war, "the government must also do this in ways that renew social trust and a sense of equity. Patriotism cannot endure if the reigning ethos continues to be 'winner takes all."'

Residents of Osama bin Laden's hometown in Saudi Arabia react to their native son.

While the misidentification of the suicide hijackers was downplayed in the U.S. media, it was big news in Saudi Arabia, sowing distrust and prompting many to initiate legal action against the U.S. government for defamation.

Who's Talking Now? In a Washington Post article on the likelihood of another terrorist attack following a U.S. strike against Afghanistan, unnamed sources are mentioned 11 times, compared to only two mentions of named sources.

The war of words between Noam Chomsky and Christopher Hitchens is now archived.

Right Turn on Reds Read the full-page ad that lapsed leftist and former anti-war activist David Horowitz is taking out in college newspapers across the country, imploring students to support the "war on terrorism." Where does Horowitz get all the money to run those big ads?

Lying in Wait An Aral Sea island that served as a dumping ground for the USSR's biological weapons contains enough anthrax spores to kill the world's population several times. It has been left unguarded since Russian troops withdrew in 1992. Here's a map.

Terrorible! Television's post-attack coverage has incorporated a jumble of contextless info-blurbs "crawling" across the bottom of the screen, and even that's more informative than what's presented above it.

Listen to an interview with Iranian born writer Salar Abdoh. His novel The Poet Game, which was published last year, involves an Iranian secret agent who infiltrates a terrorist group that's plotting to blow up New York City monuments. Abdoh was teaching a class one-block from the WTC when the attacks occurred.

New York City officials tell gawking celebs to steer clear of "ground zero."

Viva Las Infidels Five of the hijackers traveled to America's gambling mecca at least six times between May and August. A Vegas stripper who lap-danced for one of them said: "But he wasn't just a bad tipper -- he killed people."

He's everywhere! With bin Laden in the Pamir mountains, Oruzagan (with Mullah Omar) and the Dara Kayan valley.

If he ends up in the Pamir mountains, here's the plan.

Cursor's Steve Perry looks at Attorney General Ashcroft's attempts to influence anti-terrorism legislation and the Powell/Rumsfeld debate -- "the pennant race story of post-attack coverage."

The Wrong Man? Jane's reports that the apocalyptic vision which grew out of the union between bin Laden and al-Zawahiri is more resonant of the latter's "modus vivendi" than of bin Laden's.

75 cases of Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever, a deadly, ebola-like virus, have been reported on Pakistan's border with Afghanistan. Health officials say it emanates from within Afghanistan, raising fears that an influx of refugees could result in many more cases.

For women, lesbians and gays, many U.S. allies are almost as scary as the Taliban.

Richard Cohen on how the media blew the terrorism story.

Lending a Hand "They're all coming to Washington to put their hand in the trough, and trying to exploit this tragedy so they can get more subsidies, bailouts, deregulation, tax breaks," says Ralph Nader. Coming soon, Nader's campaign memoir: "Crashing the Party."

Will Durst rebrands the cable channels for the post 9-11 era.

MN Gov. Jesse Ventura lashes out at critics who questioned his ABC-financed trip to NYC two days into a state workers strike.

The only media outlet allowed to acompany Ventura as he toured "ground zero" was ABC's "Good Morning America." After reporters challenged the arrangement, Ventura vowed -- once again -- to quit talking to the local media.

More on Ventura's "dog and pony" administration.

"It's absurd for the U.S. government to even toy with the notion that it can stamp out terrorism with more violence and oppression," writes Indian novelist Arundhati Roy. "Terrorism is the symptom, not the disease. Terrorism has no country. It's transnational, as global an enterprise as Coke or Pepsi or Nike."

Now that it has actual villians, Hollywood is trying to figure out what to do with them.

The Washington Post reports that in 1999 the CIA trained 60 commandos from the Pakistani intelligence agency to capture or kill bin Laden, but the plan was aborted after the successful military coup led by Gen. Pervez Musharraf. He's now the "President and Chief Executive," and yes, he has e-mail.

During a May appearance on Pakistan's "Face the Nation," Musharraf was asked what Pakistan was doing to address U.S., Chinese and Russian complaints about the "military training camps" in Afghanistan: "It is our immediate neighbour, and not the neighbour of America or Europe. What happens there is of direct concern to us and not to anyone else."

Robert Fisk on how the Afghanistan segment of "America's New War" is shaping up to look very much like the old wars fought there.

Mullaha Abdul Salem Zaeef, meet Larry King.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the CIA has been authorized to offer money to would-be defectors from the Taliban, as the U.S. tries "to weaken or even topple the Taliban regime before the first shot in the war on terrorism is fired."

Rugs or Money? Slate's Timothy Noah finds it conveivable that people who use the term "Afghani" are trying to steer clear of "Afghan," because "it makes them think of a wool coverlet or a large dog. But 'Afghani' refers not to the people of Afghanistan, but rather to its currency. Hence, referring to the people of Afghanistan as 'Afghanis' is roughly equivalent to referring to the people of the U.S. as 'dollars.'"

Counterpunch on Tom Ridge's Tarnished Star. Widely hailed as a war hero, the new director of the Office of Homeland Security has his own Vietnam problem.

The editor of Al Quds sees no chance of bin Laden surrendering -- to anyone: "He told me that he'd lived long enough and he would like to die as soon as possible. He would like to die as a martyr."

Meet the world's second-most-wanted man. Interpol joins the hunt.

No News is Bad News Antiwar activists draw parallels between the buildup to the Gulf War and the current crisis.

Noam Chomsky responds to Christopher Hitchens.

After being sacked by the National Review, Christianity-conversion advocate Ann Coulter says editor Rich Lowry and his deputies "are just girly-boys."

A Seattle reporter and native Iranian tempts fate by donning Islamic garb for three days.

The New New World Order Why the War on Terrorism falls short as an organizing diplomatic principal.

Refugees tell how Kandahar began emptying out immediately after the BBC broadcast news of the terrorist attacks.

Aid Trumps Airstrikes The Times of London reports that the humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan is delaying military action.

Are soccer moms also influencing America's military strategy?

At the height of information overload, Salon rolls the dice and goes virtually all-premium for news and politics articles.

Imagining an instant message exchange between President Bush (XprezbushX) and Osama bin Laden (BinLaden9151).

Jalala Land View highly-detailed satellite images of bin Laden's Darunta Camp complex near Jalalabad.

U.S. officials now question the story about bin Laden calling his adoptive mother before the attacks. He reportedly said that "In two days, you're going to hear big news and you're not going to hear from me for a while."

Corresponding Crises Already jolted by an advertising recession, the news media gears up for costly war coverage.

A Columbia Journalism Review editor writes that "the jingoistic displays on TV over the last two weeks have violated every canon of good journalism." And, why the media might be chilling, in a time of more killing.

November, 2001 Link Archive