Measure for measure

Print edition : November 08, 2002

Mohammad Gul carries his child past a war-damaged house in West Kabul on August 26, 2002.-DAVID LONGSTREATH/AP

The bombing of Afghanistan as a reflection of 9/11 and different valuations of life.

 

ONE of Britain's most distinguished foreign correspondents and a person very familiar with the region, Robert Fisk wrote: "So why on earth are all my chums on CNN and Sky and the BBC rabbiting on about the `air campaign', `coalition forces' and the `war on terror'? Do they think their viewers believe this twaddle? Certainly Muslims don't. In fact, you don't have to spend long in Pakistan to realise that the Pakistani press gives an infinitely more truthful and balanced account of the `war' publishing works by local intellectuals, historians and opposition writers along with Taliban comments and pro-government statements as well as syndicated Western analyses than The New York Times; and all this, remember, in a military dictatorship."

A woman with her baby (background), after they were injured in the U.S. bombing in Kandahar, in hospital at Quetta, Pakistan, on October 25, 2001.-AVENTURIER PATRICK/GAMMA

The casing of a CBU-87 cluster bomb found in Tora Bora had a hand-stencilled note on it: "This is gonna shine like a diamond in a goat's ass Gary."1

Air bombardment is the terrorism of the rich. C. Douglas Lummis2

"About ten, another explosion was heard at the Capitol, and soon after, a fire was seen in the western part between the two houses, the north part of which burnt with great fury..."3

We, Americans, have grown so accustomed to being the citizens of a superpower that our collective memory of the above, the burning of Washington in August 1814 has been submerged. The burning of the Capitol and the White House are a nadir in U.S. military history, explaining why so little is known about this event. Add to that, a reality that `our' wars with foreigners have always been carried out on their shores. But, on that hot and humid day of August 24, 1814, British troops quickly routed American militiamen, entered Washington, and that night set the young capitol ablaze in an inferno whose glow was seen miles away by frightened Americans in Leesburg [Virginia] and even Baltimore. The burn marks are visible today on the original stones of the White House. The confusion was complete: terrified residents fled, crowding streets with soldiers and senators, men and women, children, horses and carriages, and carts loaded with household furniture, all hastening towards a wooden bridge crossing the Potomac.

The decision by the British to burn public buildings and destroy public property was as much political as military, aimed at sending the message that nowhere was there safety from the long arm of the British Crown.

Anthony Pitch, who wrote the definitive study, The Burning of Washington, said: "When Americans returned to the ruined Capitol, their melancholy and lamentation was almost biblical."4 But contrary to Britain's intentions, the ruthless destruction galvanised American resistance then, just as similar attacks did on September 11 in New York city and on October 7 in Kandahar, Afghanistan during 2001.

The loss of historical memory and the comfort of living on a continent free of wars made the attacks of September 11 so shocking. This land was quickly overcome with a dangerous mixture of confusion, fear and anger. A weak President was able to turn this into the quick-fix of a revenge attack upon Afghanistan. A quick response was also desired by our culture with its penchant for the fast, the instant, the get-to-the-solution approach. A strong President would have stood tall and demanded the patience and resolve of the American public in tracking down the criminal perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks, using the combined powers of the international intelligence communities.

A weak President opted to wage first an air and then ground war, whose effects have been felt primarily by some of the most impoverished peoples of our earth, average Afghans, who already suffered from a two-year drought and 20 years of war. I say a weak President. Consider the political landscape of September 10, 2001 here: an economic recession; a needless tax cut which turned budget surpluses into a deficit; an administration which distinguished itself by saying `NO' to the rest of the world on a range of important international issues; appointments like that of Attorney-General Ashcroft, who had lost to a dead man in Missouri's senatorial election. What a difference a day makes. It gave Bush an enemy whom the rest of us could not help but acknowledge.5 Suddenly, enemies were everywhere and Bush's political star rose apace.

 

A little after 9 a.m. on September 11, hijacked planes began their deadly assaults on U.S. targets. A little before 9 p.m. on October 7, U.S. and British planes and missiles hit 40 planned targets across Afghanistan with 50 cruise missiles and 40 planes. Questions were raised as to whether a target existed in Afghanistan that was worth Raytheon's $1 million Tomahawk missile.6 Revenge was under way.7 In both instances, thousands of utterly innocent civilians would perish, lives and landscapes would be changed forever whether in Manhattan or in neighbourhoods and villages across Afghanistan.

I have chosen to focus upon Afghanistan because it is the lesser known of the twin tragedies. It is the `Other' tragedy. Them, not us. Natasha Walter wrote eloquently about those `Others' far away, allegedly inured to suffering caused by years of war:

And don't think that just because they have suffered so much during the last generation that their grief is any the less now. Or because they don't get obituaries in The New York Times that each of the civilian lives lost in Afghanistan isn't as precious to their loved ones as the people who died in the Twin Towers. Frankly, that's the way that terrorists think, that some civilian lives matter less than others, and that some or even hundreds, or even thousands of innocent people can be expended in the pursuit of the "greater good".

The days of Vietnam-style `body counts' ended long ago. Now, since nearly all the killing is done from high above, there may be no way to get even a close approximation [of the price of war in terms of casualties]. This is the new way of war. We destroy the enemy's air defences and then bomb at will, never counting the human cost. All we know for sure is that many very real human beings are dead, maimed, or scarred for life... this dulling of conscience is another hidden price we pay for war. In Afghanistan, as in Serbia and the Persian Gulf, it all feels so effortless, so painless, and so right. Why bother to ask the moral questions? Since the price in U.S. lives is so small, why bother our consciences at all?

8

This notion of the `Other' and its construction figured powerfully in the dual elaboration of the so-called West and the Rest9. A fascinating body of literature exists on how the so-called West or First World went about as of the 16th century, constructing in discourse an imaginary description of those who inhabited the rest of the world. Needless to say, these constructed `Others' embodied all the less valued, the distorted, the irrational, the rude and even feared attributes. Such an ideational construct provided the justification for colonialism then and neo-colonialism today. It also underpins differential valuations of life. Such distinction between the `West' and the `Rest' is at the heart of how Bush II decided to carry out the bringing to justice of the 9/11 perpetrators.

As the body count of the World Trade Center (WTC) was revised downward from the initial high of 6,700 to the current 2,819, that in Afghanistan rose from 20 to 37 on October 8 to 3,124 to 3,610 today. The twin lines of ignominy cross around January 15. Table 1 plots the civilian victims in each tragedy. But in truth, the Afghan civilian casualties far exceeded the WTC deaths in real terms already during the second week of the U.S. airstrikes experienced pain parity that is in terms of the collective pain felt by a society. Why? The U.S. population is 13 times larger than the Afghan one (2001) and hence to make Afghan casualties relevant in U.S. terms we need to multiply Afghan numbers by thirteen.10 A calculation of the twin tragedies then reveals 2,819 dead at the WTC and an equivalent pain parity of 43,500 dead Afghan civilians.

Arundhati Roy adds an important point:

The bombing of Afghanistan is not revenge for New York and Washington. It is yet another act of terror against the people of the world. Each innocent person that is killed must be added to, not set off against, the grisly toll of civilians who died in New York and Washington.11

"Amazingly, we still ask the question `Why do they hate us?' with a straight face. In a recent visit to a hospital treating Afghan war victims in the Pakistani border town of Quetta, journalist Robert Fisk encountered a man named Mahmat who had been asleep in his home when a bomb from an American B-52 fell on his village of Kazikarez. `The plane flies so high that we cannot hear them and the mud roof fell on them,' Mahmat said, referring to his wife Rukia and their six children. He told Fisk that Rukia, who lay in the next room, did not yet know that her children were dead. What was particularly disturbing to Fisk was the vision of desperate rage that he saw in Mahmat's eyes. `I could see something terrible: he and the angry cousin beside him and the uncle and the wife's brother in the hospital attacking Americans for the murders that they had inflicted on their family...' ''12

People gather at the "Circle of Honour", the site where the World Trade Centre stood, in memory of those who lost their lives in the September 11 terrorist attack.-

"I was a pilot. Now I am a porter...Fighting has created a desert in this country. One leader is the same as another. The people are not important, only power [is]" spoken at a shop in the Khair Khana neighbourhood in northern Kabul by Saeed Ghana, who flew MIG-21s for the pro-communist government.13

High levels of Afghan civilian casualties have been caused less from mechanical or human errors, malfunction, or faulty intelligence, and more because of the decision by U.S. political and military planners to use powerful bombs in `civilian-rich' areas where perceived military targets were located. Proximity to what these planners defined as military targets caused 3,100 to 3,600 Afghan civilian impact deaths14, or 40,000 to 47,000 deaths in equivalent U.S. terms.

On February 13, Peshawar's daily newspaper, The Frontier Post, got it more right than all the U.S. media war pundits. A brief article titled "Proximity to Taliban was Fatal" said: "The bomb craters are like enormous footsteps a few hundred yards apart, marching in the direction of a Taliban radio transmitter. Along the way, four men died...a fatal proximity to a site considered militarily useful to Afghanistan's Taliban or Osama."

Hundreds of individual stories exist, mostly untold, of how proximity to what U.S war planners deemed a military `target', is at the heart of the death of so many innocent Afghan civilians. Ghulam and Rabia Hazrat lived on the outskirts of Kabul near a Taliban military base. One day, a U.S missile landed in the family's courtyard and the neighbourhood was showered with cluster bombs. Rabia remembers: "There was no warning. I was in the kitchen making dough when I heard a big explosion. I came out and saw a big cloud of dust and saw my children lying on the ground. Two of them were dead and two died later in the hospital."15

Abdul and Shakila Amiri lost their five-year-old, Nazila, in an American air strike on the morning of October 17. Nazila was playing with her younger brother and sister close to their home in Kabul's Macroyan apartment complex, when it was hit by a type of bomb glorified on the pages of glossy magazines hawked from news-stands across America.

Along with the U.S. military planners' decision to bomb perceived military targets in urban areas, the use of weapons with great destructive blast and fragmentation power, necessarily results in heavy civilian casualties. The weapon of choice during the first three weeks of the air campaign was the 500 lb bomb, which has a lethal blast range of 20 metres; later, the 2,000 lb bomb became the weapon of choice and it has a lethal blast range of 34 m. The Navy's favourite has been the 1,000 lb Mark 83 bomb. In order to be safe from a 2,000 lb bomb, a person has to be close to one and a half kilometres away. The JDAM technology consists of a $21,000 kit produced by Boeing, which transforms 1,000 and 2,000 lb conventional `dumb' bombs into `smart' bombs, which rely upon the global positioning system (GPS). When global positioning updates are available, the JDAM-outfitted bomb can strike within 13 m (43 feet) of its target. When updates are not available due to jamming or other problems, it can "still hit within 30 m (or 98 feet)".16 The B1-B bombers flying out of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, can carry 24 to 30 Mark 84 2,000 lb JDAM bombs. Each bomb is 14 feet long and will destroy military targets within a 40-foot radius from the point of impact. Using only an inertial guidance system [INS], the Mark 84 bomb has a circular error radius of 30 m, but with a GPS guidance unit this gets reduced to 13 m.

I am not arguing that in a strict sense, U.S. military planners intentionally targeted civilians. This was not a strategic bombing campaign.17 But, I believe it has been a case of second-degree intentionality. A 1,000-pound JDAM bomb dropped upon a residence or upon a tank parked in a residential area, will necessarily kill people in proximity. And all the more so, since most of the U.S. bombing attacks were carried out at night when people were in their homes. Moreover, most Afghan homes, whether in urban neighbourhoods, mountain or plains villages, are made out of mud-bricks.

An F-14 Tomcat fighter interceptor takes off for a reconnaissance mission over Afghanistan from USS Abraham Lincoln, deployed in the Arabian Sea as part of Operation Enduring Freedom on September 24, 2002.-

Vijay Prashad argues the same point:

To say that the civilian deaths from aerial bombardment are unintentional is sophistry, because if there is a probability that the bombs will hit civilian targets, then ipso facto the civilian deaths are not unintentional. This is tantamount to saying that a drunk driver who did not intend to kill someone in an "accident" should be set free for lacking such intention... aerial bombardment always already intends to kill civilians, despite the best intentions of military planners.

Afghan civilians in proximity to alleged military installations will die, and must die, as `collateral damage' of U.S. air attacks aimed at destroying these installations in order to make future military operations from the sky or on the ground less likely to result in U.S. military casualties. The military facilities of the Taliban were inherited mostly from the Soviet-supported government of the 1980s, which had concentrated its military infrastructure in cities, which could be better defended against the rural insurgency of the mujahideen. This reality is compounded insofar as the Taliban maintained dispersed facilities: smaller units spread out.

Thus U.S. military strategists and their bombers engaged in a very widespread high intensity bombing. Such intense urban bombing causes high levels of civilian casualties. From the point of view of U.S. policy-makers and their mainstream media boosters, the `cost' of a dead Afghan civilian is zero as long as these civilian deaths can be hidden from the view of the U.S. public. The `benefits' of saving future lives of U.S. military personnel are enormous, given the U.S. public's post-Vietnam aversion to returning body bags.

The absolute imperative to avoid U.S. military casualties meant flying high up in the sky, increasing the probability of killing civilians:

...Better stand clear and fire away. Given this implicit decision, the slaughter of innocent people, as a statistical eventuality is not an accident but a priority in which Afghan civilian casualties are substituted for American military casualties.18

19

Another way to document the differential value put upon lives, is to look at the compensation offered for wrongful deaths. The point is sometimes argued that cross-country comparisons of monetary values should be made in purchasing power parity terms. To do this in the Afghan case that is, to make $18,500 in Afghanistan match an equivalent amount in terms of purchasing power in the U.S. would amount approximately to the figure arrived at by multiplying 18,500 by five. But then in fairness, we should also translate into U.S. terms the numbers of Afghan civilian deaths from bombing estimated at 3,100 to 3,600, or in U.S. terms, given a U.S. population 13 times as large, estimated at 40,000 to 47,000 persons.

When we make the comparisons in purchasing power parity terms, we find a very clear gradient in the valuation of life. The Afghan figure is a fraction of the compensation paid for Italian, Chinese, Iranian and South Korean lives that were lost due to U.S. official negligence; almost identical to the paltry amount offered by Union Carbide Corporation to Indians. But then, each Bhopal victim received $3,200 on an average, while an article in The Times of India noted caustically that approximately $40,000 was spent on the rehabilitation of every sea otter affected by the Exxon Valdez oil spill. An Alaskan sea otter is revealed to be worth more than 10 times the value of an Indian citizen.

Such starkly differing monetary valuation of lives by Euro-America has an old history. One need mention only slavery and colonialism, or more recently the scandalous notion that dumping the world's toxic wastes in the Third World would be a `world welfare enhancing policy' (as argued in the famous leaked World Bank memo of 1992 signed by economist Larry Summers who now reigns as president of Harvard University). More importantly, in my view, the West `values' life in direct proportion to a nation's level of material development. This practice is supported by the two commonly used methods in the West of valuing life monetarily: either the discounted future earnings approach or the willingness to pay to extend life approaches that put a higher value upon life in rich rather than in poor countries and, hence, are merely refined versions of the centuries-old White Man's Burden.

Naturally, different vantage points offer different assessments of these failures and successes, but let me briefly try to draw a balance sheet. The stated successes might include:

*dismantling the network of training camps in Afghanistan;

*drying up the source of funds flowing to support Al Qaeda;

*ouster of the Taliban government.

These successes are questionable. The training camps were very low-tech facilities easily re-established elsewhere. Certainly, future operation of such camps will have to be more clandestine and without the support of a host government. But the decentralisation of Al Qaeda caused by U.S. bombing has resulted in a more dissimulated and dangerous structure. Eric Margolis reported that "according to a secret government report revealed last week by The New York Times, the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan not only `failed to diminish the threat to the United States,' but actually complicated the U.S. counter-terrorism campaign by dispersing its radical foes across the Muslim world."20

Twelve-month-old Hameed Dullah, who was injured in the U.S. bombing in Kandahar, in hospital in Quetta, Pakistan, on October 25, 2001.-

A recent leaked United Nations report has warned that Al Qaeda's finances are in good shape and that the early successes in choking off its funding by freezing `terrorist-related assets' have tailed off.21 The ouster of the Taliban has not given way to a popular, multi-ethnic, national government. Ethnic strife continues, possibly even worse than those during the Taliban era, with Pashtun victimisation and rising Pashtun ire towards Karzai and his U.S. backers. Opium production, after a hiatus under the Taliban, is soaring despite Karzai's ban.22 The Karzai regime is an American invention and hence widely seen as a U.S. puppet and is de facto a weak mayoralty dominated by the old Northern Alliance and a coterie of returned exiles supported by 5,000 foreign troops and a special U.S. contingent which serves as Karzai's private body guards. Karzai's weakness is exposed insofar as he does not even have a platoon of troops that is both trustworthy and capable of protecting him.

The unstated `successes' are much more compelling :

*9/11 provided Bush II with a much-needed powerful domestic political boost [and an `enemy'];

*the military campaign has allowed a major U.S. politico-military-economic presence to be established in Central Asia at the heart of the Muslim world, something the U.S. had not possessed since the Shah of Iran was overthrown in 1979 by a militant Muslim movement. What had begun as a limited operation to capture Al Qaeda leaders and disrupt that organisation, has evolved into a full-fledged empire-building scheme with major regional projection. William Blum has summarised such expansion:

Washington's war on terrorism is primarily a euphemism for extending U.S. control in the world. Following its bombing of Iraq, the U.S. wound up with military bases in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar. Following its bombing of Yugoslavia, the US wound up with military bases in Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia, Hungary, Bosnia and Croatia. Following its bombing of Afghanistan, Washington appears on course to wind up with military bases in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and perhaps elsewhere in the region. Thus does the empire grow.23

24

*9/11 has heightened the tensions between an aggressive, consumerist, individualist McWorld and what Benjamin Barber calls `jehad' [or resistance].25 I do not wish to support the `clash of civilisations' argument, but it strikes me that two very different visions of living and happiness do exist in, say, Beverly Hills and Kandahar. We know how expansionist the capitalist individualist consumer system has been through the centuries of modernity.

The failures (or costs) of the U.S. military campaign are formidable. I believe these are:

*a world which is no safer than before 9/11;

*the perpetrators of 9/11 roam free. As others have pointed out, this war against enemies has dispersed the Al Qaeda network once firmly centred in Afghanistan, making for a much more decentralised, horizontal organisation, which is far more difficult to combat. Al Qaeda was disrupted, but not destroyed. And the perpetrators of 9/11 remain at large two exceptions being Mohammed Atef killed by a CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) missile on November 14 and Abu Zubaydah captured in Pakistan in March. The much-ballyhooed discoveries of weapons caches are simply no substitute for apprehending the perpetrators of 9/11. Recently, the inability of U.S. forces to engage and/or locate Al Qaeda and Taliban has demoralised U.S. special forces who state that the hunt for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan is now "a waste of time"26;

*the likely prospect of expanding regional war including a long-drawn-out replay of the Soviet-Afghan war as the Al Qaeda and Taliban have re-grouped. These elements had grossly underestimated the damage that a U.S. air campaign might inflict and hence, suffered near total disorganisation during the months after October 7. The backlash against American actions in Afghanistan is just beginning. Pamphlets in Pashto were widely distributed in late August in Paktia, Jalalabad and Kandahar stating that "the mujahideen were committed to turn Afghanistan into a graveyard of U.S. troops"27

*a deteriorating financial-economic domestic condition, manifested by capital flight from the U.S. towards a resurgent Euro, deteriorating federal budget and international trade balances, and a stalled economy. The U.S military campaign in Afghanistan is estimated to be costing $1 billion a month.28 U.S. government expenditures at all levels will now run close to $100 billion to improve `first responders' and tighten security. This is bankrupting cities and states and siphoning funds away from vital unmet needs such as Medicaid;

*attacks at home on civil liberties of immigrants and citizens and the stifling of dissent;

*the Bush II reaction to 9/11 has increasingly isolated the U.S. from erstwhile allies in Europe and, of course, the Muslim world, exacerbating the administration's `go-it-alone' penchant. Whereas Europe puts greater faith in supranational institutions and covenants, the U.S. elevates its national interest above all else.29 George Monbiot writes about how the U.S. treats the rest of the world as its doormat and Harold Meyerson speaks of the shambles that is the Bush foreign policy;

*Most importantly and troubling, the U.S. has shown no signs of addressing the grievances behind Muslim extremist anger, whether on the issue of Palestine or sanctions upon Iraq.30

Just like father, George W. Bush has used foreign policy to build domestic political support that is, foreign policy is an appendage to domestic concerns and the political is privileged over the economic. Only this time around, the `Fortress America' mentality is far more pronounced. Like father, Bush has pursued a foreign policy that has weakened the U.S. economy and promises to do more so if a war upon Iraq is launched.31

As the tri-colour flags on the antennae of pick-up trucks have faded and become ragged in these months after 9/11, greater clarity is slowly emerging over the human costs of the U.S. air and ground campaigns. Let this be a caution to further military adventurism. When we begin seeing ourselves more as citizens of the world than defenders of a nation, then we may move towards equal valuations of life across space. We might then begin to question past and future uses of air power to achieve military-political ends and understand how such bombing campaigns flow directly from a differential valuation of life in this sense, the bombing of Afghanistan is no different from that of Guernica or Dresden (note: Guernica and Dresden went down in history because we Euro-Americans were the ones who died.32 Who knows about the Spanish bombing Chechaouan, the French bombing the neighbourhoods of Damascus on October 18, 1925 and Madagascar in 1948 killing 89,000 to 100,000 simple people).33 The bombing and killing of average Afghans is the reflection of the carnage perpetrated in Manhattan on 9/11. In both tragedies, thousands of innocents perished.

For reasons I have elaborated elsewhere, the U.S. mainstream corporate media has resisted portraying the carnage caused by U.S. bombs in Afghanistan. Anthony Lloyd, The Times' (London) Foreign Correspondent of the Year, wrote: "Seldom in a modern conflict have the facts been so manipulated as in Afghanistan."34 In late October, CNN Chair Walter Isaacson said that a focus in news reporting on civilian casualties would be `perverse.' Too many people here still believe in the myth of precision-guided munitions, which only or mostly kill the `bad guys.'

The "Others" see it differently.35 Let me end by mentioning one Other, 20-year-old Mahtab, an Afghan refugee living in a squatter camp in Peshawar:

...But it was the bombing that made her leave Kabul on October 18. Her house was hit during a raid and her mother-in-law was killed by shrapnel, she said. "It pierced her heart." She is angry at America, and when she is told that the United States is trying to minimise civilian casualties, she answered with a list of neighbourhoods where innocents have been killed: Khuja Bughra, Maidan Hawai and others. Her patience wore away quickly at this subject. "It is easier to understand if it is you being bombed," she said.36

Marc W. Herold is Associate Professor of Economic Development and Women's Studies, Whittemore School of Business and Economics, University of New Hampshire, Durham, United States.

1. From Mike Williams, "Bomb Damage at Tora Bora Shows Ferocity of U.S Response,'' Cox News [December 12, 2001].

2. In his "Times to Watch the Watchers,'' The Nation [September 26, 1994]: 304.

3. From a letter by Chester Bailey in "From Washington,'' New Hampshire Gazette [September 6, 1814]: 2.

4. Anthony S. Pitch, The Burning of Washington: The British Invasion of 1814 [U.S. Naval Institute Press, 1998].

5. I owe these lines to Dr. Whitney Azoy, "Descartes, Pashtuns and President Bush,'' The Bangor Daily News [August 29, 2002].

6. By one of the Arab world's foremost political commentators, Mohammed Heikal, " 'There Isn't a Target in Afghanistan Worth a $1m Missile','' The Guardian [October 10, 2001].

7. This point has been repeatedly made by Tariq Ali, for example in his "Q and A on the War. An Interview with Tariq Ali by La Jornada,'' Counterpunch [November 9, 2001].

8. Magnus Linklater, "Not News, Just Propaganda,'' The Times [October 12, 2001].

9. Stuart Hall, "The West and the Rest: Discourse and Power,'' in Stuart Hall and Bram Gieben [eds], Formations of Modernity [Cambridge: Polity Press, 1992].

10. The U.S. population in 2001 was 283.2 million, that of Afghanistan 21.8 million. From United Nations Human Development Report 2002: 162, 251.

11. In her " 'Brutality Smeared in Peanut Butter. Why America Must Stop the War Now,'' The Guardian [October 23, 2001].

12. From Aaron G. Lehmer, "Inviting Future Terrorism: Rising Afghan Death Count and U.S. Policy in the Mideast,'' Counterpunch [December 27, 2001].

13. "Praying for Peace in War-Ravaged Country,'' The Northern Echo [December 11, 2001].

14. By impact death I mean death caused at the moment of explosion of the bomb or missile. This seriously underestimates the actual number of deaths as it omits all those injured who later die. My estimates indicate that for every impact death about two persons were injured.

15. Carlotta Gall, "Shattered Afghan Families Demand U.S Compensation,'' The New York Times [April 8, 2002].

16. Loren Thompson, What Works? VIII. The Joint Direct Attack Munition: Making Acquisition Reform a Reality [Arlington, VA.: Lexington Institute, November 1999].

17. Kenneth Hewitt, "Place Annihilation: Area Bombing and the Fate of Urban Places,'' Annals of the Association of American Geographers 73,2 [June 1983]: 257-284.

18. John MacLachlen Gray, "The Terrible Downside of 'Working the Dark Side','' The Toronto Globe & Mail [October 31, 2001]:R3.

19. Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations [London: Allen Lane, 1977]: 156.

20. Eric Margolis, "Anti-U.S. Militants Showing Up All Over,'' Ottawa Sun [June 23, 2002].

21. From Frank Gardner, "Analysis: War on Al Qaeda: One Year On," BBC News, [August 30, 2002, at 16:14 GMT].

22. Scott Baldauf, "Poppies Bloom in Afghan Fields Again,'' The Christian Science Monitor [August 21, 2002].

23. William Blum, "The Truth About the U.S. Bombing of Afghanistan,'' The Ecologist [March 22, 2002].

24. See Anne Marie Squeo, "Budget Plan to Brighten Skies for Defense Contractors,'' Wall Street Journal [February 1. 2002]: A20.

25. Benjamin Barber, Jihad vs. McWorld. How Globalism and Tribalism are Reshaping the World [New York: Ballantine Books, 1995].

26. Roland Watson, "Hunt for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan 'A Waste of Time'," The Times [September 4, 2002].

27. "Four Afghan Troops Die in Friendly Fire," The Balochistan Post [September 2, 2002].

28. Calvin Woodward, "War May be Costing $1 Billion a Month,'' Associated Press [November 11, 2001 at 1:54 PM EST].

29. See Lionel Barber, "Not Against You But Not Always With You," Financial Times [September 3, 2002].

30. Gardner, op. cit.

31. For an elaboration, see Patrick E. Tyler and Richard W. Stevenson, "Profound Effect on U.S. Economy Seen in a War on Iraq," The New York Times [July 30, 2002].

32. Point made by Vijay Prashad, op. cit.

33. These and countless other examples of bombing are described in the masterful volume by Sven Lindqvist, A History of Bombing [New York: The New Press, 2000].

34. In his "Don't Believe all the Major Tells you," The Times [May 10, 2002]. Lloyd is referring to the inane press briefings held in Bagram air base by military personnel.

35. For example, Afghan women refugees interpret the bombing differently, see Saba Gul Khattak, "The U.S. Bombing of Afghanistan: A Women-Centered Perspective" [New York: Social Science Research Centre Viewpoint Essay, December 2001].

36. Barry Bearak, "Escaping Afghanistan, Children Pay the Price," The New York Times [October 31, 2001].

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