In the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan yesterday the surviving remnants of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qa’eda fled across frozen mountain tops in a bloody rout by U.S. backed forces that left hundreds of Al Qa’eda dead.
The capture of a network of caves thought to house Osama bin Laden came after two weeks of guerrilla fighting andrelentless US carpet bombing that flattened nearby villages and killed hundreds of civilians. U.S. bombing has killednearly 4,000 Afghan civilians since October 7.
War Secretary Donald Rumsfeld traveled to Afghanistan yesterday to meet with the interim prime minister, HamidKarzai. He also told U.S. troops that their task is to continue ensuring that terrorists face punishment for theSept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Rumsfeld repeatedly warned that the military mission in Afghanistan was far from over, and that the so-called war onterrorism would be broader still. U.S. officials have said that Somalia, the Sudan, and Iraq among other countriescould be the next to face military attack. U.S. military advisors met just a week ago with Somali officials toidentify possible military targets in the event of U.S. military strikes.
Well, It’s become a staple of commentary in the mass media and among politicians to observe how the world has changedsince September 11. But for those on the receiving end of U.S. foreign policy, in Afghanistan and elsewhere over thelast 50 years, the world the U.S. is trying to shape looks much as it did before.
- Noam Chomsky, Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a leadingscholar and critic of US foreign policy and the author of many books, including ??9-11, just published by SevenStories Press.