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Green Party USA Condemns Bombing of Afghanistan

Green Party USA
OFFICIAL PRESS STATEMENT #3

Green Party USA Condemns The Bombing Of Afghanistan

PO Box 1406, Chicago, IL 60690 www.greenparty.org email: gpusa@igc.org

GPUSA Media Information Center: (212) 592-0740

October 19, 2001

GREEN PARTY USA CONDEMNS THE BOMBING OF AFGHANISTAN

The Green Party USA condemns the U.S. and British bombing of Afghanistan as inhumane and an act of “state terrorism” against a starving and impoverished nation. The killing of innocent civilians, whether intended or not, is a violation of international law. The U.S. bombing of Afghanistan must cease immediately.

“Greens everywhere are mobilizing in an antiwar movement to force an end to the cycle of violence,” said Mitchel Cohen, Green Party USA media coordinator. “The Green Party USA has officially endorsed anti-war protests that will occur in a number of cities set for Saturday, October 27th, and our members are participating in numerous efforts to stop these bombings and save people’s lives,” Cohen said.

Greens believe that all human life is equally valuable, whether a person works in lower Manhattan or lives in the desert outside Kabul. We mourn the lives of those hundreds of innocent civilians murdered by U.S. bombs in Afghanistan, just as we continue to mourn the thousands killed in the Sept. 11th attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. These were criminal acts, as are ALL acts of terror against innocent civilians, whether committed by individuals or by governments (including the United States). Those responsible for acts of terror – including “state terror” -- should be brought to justice under international law.

Our call for justice, however, must not be confused with calls for “revenge,” which will only lead to the deaths of more innocent civilians. “Justice should be the result of a fair, impartial and transparent trial conducted under international law at which credible evidence is produced,” said Brooklyn Green Pete Dolack. Thus far, that evidence against any specific individual, including Osama Bin Laden, has been questionable. For a nation to embark upon bombing another country -- in the case of Afghanistan, one that had been armed and financed by the U.S. government – for any reason, but especially without producing clear evidence while killing innocent civilians in the process, is an arrogant and inhumane act.

Furthermore, pounding Afghanistan’s population will only generate new waves of retaliatory attacks. As columnists Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman have noted, the bombardment of Afghanistan “is a policy that will diminish U.S. security, ignores overriding humanitarian concerns, and precludes more sensible approaches to achieving justice and promoting security in the United States and around the world.”

“The devastation to the environment and civilian population caused by cluster bombs and by the use of Depleted Uranium artillery (contained in Tomahawk missiles) will be a lingering and insidious nightmare against the environment and Afghanistan’s people,” said Barb Sweeney of New Mexico, a member of the Green Party USA’s International Relations committee.

And, added Mitchel Cohen, “It’s painfully ironic that among the very first civilians killed in Afghanistan by the U.S. bombing were four United Nations workers employed as part of a non-governmental organization project to clean up landmines there.” The U.S. remains one of the few nations in the world still refusing to sign the international treaty banning the use of landmines.

“It’s important to ask ‘Who benefits?’ The immense oil empire of the Cheney and Bush dynasties sow a trail of suffering and destruction wherever there are profits to be made and resources to control,” Sweeney said.

A good deal of evidence has now come to light that it was the CIA which trained, funded, armed and defended Osama Bin Laden and the forces he assembled in Afghanistan – the same forces now accused of attacking the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Many of those who have been brought back into power in George W. Bush Jr.’s administration were the ones responsible, during George Bush, Sr.’s presidency, for training and financing the very organizations they now hunt under the banner of “terrorism”.

“These officials are using the events of Sept. 11th as a pretext for activities that have nothing to do with ‘preventing terrorism,’ and everything to do with promoting ‘territoryism’ -- securing territory for a trans-Afghanistan oil pipeline, and for cracking down on opponents of the ‘New World Order’,” said Cohen. “Many Greens believe that all the death and destruction is the ‘collateral damage’ not of legitimate liberation movements but of a struggle between different factions of the global ruling class over the fate of oil politics in the Arabian Peninsula and in Central Asia. It’s all about oil, corporate profits and globalization,” Cohen said.

The Green Party USA encourages those who are non-violently resisting the U.S. military bombardment of Afghanistan, and the dictates of multinational oil corporations and the International Monetary Fund. “The best way to protect U.S. citizens against terrorist attacks is by forcing our government to follow international law and end its military conquests in the Middle East and rest of the world,” Cohen said.

Since 1986 the Green Party has been guided by the 10 Key Values of Social Justice, Community-Based Economics, Non-violence, Decentralization, Future Focus/Sustainability, Feminism, Personal and Global Responsibility, Respect for Diversity, Grassroots Democracy, and Ecological Wisdom.

For additional information, call the GPUSA Media Information Center at (212) 592-0740.

Previous Green Party USA press statements on this subject and on related issues are available at GPUSA’s website: www.greenparty.org. Also, link to www.globalcircle.net for additional related information.

-30-

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