Monday, September 17, 2001

  • Thousands of Civilians Try to Flee Afghanistan, Fearing U.S. Attack

    Officials from Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban movement have started to flee the capital, Kabul, amid growing expectations of U.S. attacks. Fear of reprisal has triggered a rush to get families out of the cities. Thousands of people have flooded over the eastern border to the already overflowing refugee camps of Pakistan. These who couldn’t leave were bracing for war, stocking up on food, as prices soared and the Afghan currency slid. [includes rush transcript]

  • Sounds of the Street; Activists Mourn the Dead While Denouncing the March to War and Attacks on Muslim and Arab Americans

    Racist violence against Arabs or people of Arabic descent has increased around the world. The BBC is reporting that an Afghan taxi driver has been paralyzed after an attack in London. In New York, a caller threatened to harm hundreds of students in an Islamic school. In Texas, a mosque was firebombed. In Wyoming, an angry group of shoppers chased a woman and her children from a Wal-Mart. In Bridgeview, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, police stopped 300 marchers as they tried to march on a mosque. Marcher Colin Zaremba, 19, told the Associated Press, "I’m proud to be American, and I hate Arabs, and I always have." [includes rush transcript]

  • European Nations Worry about United States’ Headlong March to War

    A team of senior Pakistan officials is to fly to Kandahar today to press the ruling Taliban to hand over Osama bin Laden and help prevent a potential catastrophe in the region. The Taliban, however, continue to insist neither they nor bin Laden had the capacity to organize an international plot that saw trained pilots hijack large passenger jets and Boston in Washington. [includes rush transcript]

  • Robert Fisk Recounts His Interviews with Osama bin Laden, as Well as Father of Alleged Hijacker

    Journalist Robert Fisk, Mideast correspondent for The Independent of London, joins us to discuss his interviews with Osama bin Laden in 1994 and 1997. Fisk recalls a disturbing remark by bin Laden in their last meeting: "'We believe that God used our holy war in Afghanistan to destroy the Russian army and the Soviet Union.' He said, 'We did this from the top of the very mountain on which you are sitting, Mr. Robert. And now we ask God to use us one more time to do the same to America, to make it a shadow of itself.'" Fisk also discusses his recent interview with the father of Ziad Jarrah, one of the suspected hijackers in last week’s attacks. [includes rush transcript]

  • First Racist Revenge Killings, as Mourners and Activists Hold a Vigil in Union Square

    Two Asian men were murdered this weekend in what appear to be the first racist revenge killings for last week’s attacks. One was a Pakistani Muslim, the other an Indian Sikh who may have been attacked because his beard and turban reminded his attackers of Osama bin Laden, the man who has been accused of being behind last week’s attacks. Meanwhile, at a vigil held in Union Square in New York on Friday night, mourners and peace activists spoke out against anti-Arab violence. [includes rush transcript]

  • Congress Swiftly Passes Open-Ended Resolution Authorizing Military Action Abroad

    In the wake of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Congress moved swiftly to condemn the attacks and pour money into the military, $40 billion by this weekend. On Saturday, Congress also passed resolutions in the House and Senate authorizing, quote, "the use of force against terrorists." The votes were 420 to one in the House, only East Bay Congress Member Barbara Lee voting against the resolution, and 100 to zero in the Senate. Bush administration officials and congressional leaders have pounded on the theme that the U.S. is at war, with little discussion of what it means to pass an open-ended resolution authorizing military action abroad. Administration and congressional officials also said this weekend they’re considering loosening a 25-year-old ban on the assassination of foreigners and a more recent ban on the CIA using human rights abusers as agents. And the Justice Department and FBI are sending a wide-ranging set of proposals to Congress this week that would include more power to conduct wiretaps, detain foreigners and track financial interactions. Civil liberties advocates worry these measures could constitute a massive erosion of civil liberties and the right to privacy. We speak with Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights. [includes rush transcript]