Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. In this US election year, Democracy Now! is more important than ever. For 20 years, we’ve put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power. We lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. A generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar if you donate right now. That means when you give $10, your donation will be worth $20. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you every day.

Your Donation: $

As US Bombs, Afghan Refugees Speak Out On the Impact of Decades of War in Their Country

October 19, 2001
Story
WATCH FULL SHOW

After reports of heavy civilian casualties from the overnight bombing north-west of Jalalabad, the Pentagon decided to spend millions to buy the rights to satellite pictures of the area, preventing western media from seeing the devastation.

The Taliban has allowed western media into the country only once since the conflict, and then only for a quick tourof a bombing site. Hundreds of reporters are gathered, cut off from the action, in a sliver of Afghanistan controlledby the Northern Alliance.

The Pentagon has also refused journalists access to aircraft and staging bases they have had during most militaryactions.

All of this makes it almost impossible for Westerners to see how the Afghan people are being affected by the U.S.attack.

What we do know is that thousands of refugees are trying to leave Afghanistan. More than 6,000 refugees have crossedinto Pakistan at the official border post at Chaman in the past three days, and thousands more are believed to bemaking their way along unguarded desert paths into Baluchistan. Some of them are carrying wounded family members offriends.

Around 50,000 refugees are thought to have entered Pakistan but many more have fled to the mountains of Afghanistanto escape the bombing.

One woman who reached Quetta yesterday said, "Everyone who can is getting out."

Aid agencies are warning of a catastrophe unfolding inside Afghanistan, with millions of people too poor or sick toundertake the grueling journey to the border.

We’re joined right now by an independent filmmaker from Canada, who was able to visit Afghan refugee camps last yearand spent much of his time with the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan.

Guest:

  • Velcrow Ripper, Canadian filmmaker, producer of "Scared Sacred."

Tape:

  • RAWA member
  • RAWA orphans
  • Afghan refugees in slums
  • RAWA demo

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.