September 11 / Afghanistan / Fundamentalism

Here are some articles on September 11 and its causes and consequences. I've found them all to be helpful, though I don't endorse any of them in its entirety.

The Geopolitics of War (United States petroleum interests in Saudi Arabia and Osama bin Laden.) By Michael T. Klare, The Nation, November 5, 2001

There are many ways to view the conflict between the United States and Osama bin Laden's terror network: as a contest between Western liberalism and Eastern fanaticism, as suggested by many pundits in the United States; as a struggle between the defenders and the enemies of authentic Islam, as suggested by many in the Muslim world; and as a predictable backlash against American villainy abroad, as suggested by some on the left. But while useful in assessing some dimensions of the conflict, these cultural and political analyses obscure a fundamental reality: that this war, like most of the wars that preceded it, is firmly rooted in geopolitical competition.

September apocalypse: who, why and what next? By Karen Armstrong, The Guardian (U.K.), October 13, 2001

On religious fundamentalism and its causes.

Epistemic upheaval (An interview with Amitav Ghosh.) The Hindu, December 2 and 16, 2001.

The first part addresses the justifications that some have sought to provide in order to legitimize the events of September 11. The second addresses the ideological consequences of September 11.

Ten Challenges for Anti-War Politics By Martin Shaw, Radical Philosophy, January/February 2002 

It is said that generals always fight yesterday's war, but this is even truer of anti-war movements. Although the 'war against terrorism' is billed as a 'new kind of war', the anti-war rhetoric has seemed even more familiar than the military practice. In this article I bring my experience of thinking about peace politics to bear on the largely inherited attitudes implicit in anti-war responses to the crisis since 11 September 2001. I write as someone who publicly opposed the military thrust of the 'war on terrorism' from George Bush's first pronouncements. But I proceed by making ten challenges to common lines of anti-war argumentation, and propose alternative foundations for a coherent critique of the war.

Porto Alegre II: Call of Social Movements February 2002

In the face of continuing deterioration in the living conditions of people, we, social movements from all around the world, have come together in the tens of thousands at the second World Social Forum in Porto Alegre. We are here in spite of the attempts to break our solidarity. We come together again to continue our struggles against neoliberalism and war, to confirm the agreements of the last Forum and to reaffirm that another world is possible.

How Carter and Brzezinski Helped Start the Afghan Mess Interview with Brzezinski, January 1998

According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. Brzezinski wrote a note to the president in which he explained that this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.
   An interview with Brzezinski, published in a French magazine, was omitted from the version
available in the U.S. To read the original French version, click here. (Le Nouvel Observateur, Jan 15-21, 1998, p. 76)

Afghanistan: A Forgotten Chapter By John Ryan, Canadian Dimension, November/December 2001

Interesting history of the last 30 years in Afghanistan. Amazing if true.

The Warlords Win in Kabul  By Omar Zakhilwal and Adeena Niazi, The New York Times, June 21, 2002. 

On the final night of the loya jirga, our hearts sank when we heard President Hamid Karzai pronounce one name after another. A woman activist turned to us in disbelief: "This is worse than our worst expectations. The warlords have been promoted and the professionals kicked out. Who calls this democracy?"

Ten proposed new laws for this crisis

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