: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/1115-06.htm

Published on Thursday, November 15, 2001 by the Inter Press Service

U.S. Policy Towards Taliban Influenced by Oil - Authors
by Julio Godoy

PARIS - Under the influence of U.S. oil companies, the government of
George W. Bush initially blocked U.S. secret service investigations on
terrorism, while it bargained with the Taliban the delivery of Osama bin
Laden in exchange for political recognition and economic aid, two French
intelligence analysts claim.

In the book ''Bin Laden, la verite interdite'' (''Bin Laden, the forbidden
truth''), that appeared in Paris on Wednesday, the authors, Jean-Charles
Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, reveal that the Federal Bureau of
Investigation's deputy director John O'Neill resigned in July in protest
over the obstruction.

Brisard claim O'Neill told them that ''the main obstacles to investigate
Islamic terrorism were U.S. Oil corporate interests and the role played by
Saudi Arabia in it''.

The two claim the U.S. government's main objective in Afghanistan was to
consolidate the position of the Taliban regime to obtain access to the oil
and gas reserves in Central Asia.

They affirm that until August, the U.S. government saw the Taliban regime
''as a source of stability in Central Asia that would enable the
construction of an oil pipeline across Central Asia'', from the rich
oilfields in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, through Afghanistan
and Pakistan, to the Indian Ocean.

Until now, says the book, ''the oil and gas reserves of Central Asia have
been controlled by Russia. The Bush government wanted to change all

But, confronted with Taliban's refusal to accept U.S. conditions, ''this
rationale of energy security changed into a military one'', the authors

''At one moment during the negotiations, the U.S. representatives told the
Taliban, 'either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you
under a carpet of bombs','' Brisard said in an interview in Paris.

According to the book, the government of Bush began to negotiate with the
Taliban immediately after coming into power in February. U.S. and Taliban
diplomatic representatives met several times in Washington, Berlin and

To polish their image in the United States, the Taliban even employed a
U.S. expert on public relations, Laila Helms. The authors claim that Helms
is also an expert in the works of U.S. Secret services, for her uncle,
Richard Helms, is a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency

The last meeting between U.S. And Taliban representatives took place in
August, five weeks before the attacks on New York and Washington, the
analysts maintain.

On that occasion, Christina Rocca, in charge of Central Asian affairs for
the U.S. Government, met the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan in Islamabad.

Brisard and Dasquie have long experience in intelligence analysis. Brisard
was until the late 1990s director of economic analysis and strategy for
Vivendi, a French company. He also worked for French secret services, and
wrote for them in 1997 a report on the now famous Al Qaeda network, headed
by bin Laden.

Dasquie is an investigative journalist and publisher of Intelligence
Online, a respected newsletter on diplomacy, economic analysis and
strategy, available through the Internet.

Brisard and Dasquie draw a portrait of closest aides to President Bush,
linking them to oil business.

Bush's family has a strong oil background. So are some of his top aides.
From the U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, through the director of the
National Security Council Condoleeza Rice, to the Ministers of Commerce
and Energy, Donald Evans and Stanley Abraham, all have for long worked for
U.S. Oil companies.

Cheney was until the end of last year president of Halliburton, a company
that provides services for oil industry; Rice was between 1991 and 2000
manager for Chevron; Evans and Abraham worked for Tom Brown, another oil

Besides the secret negotiations held between Washington and Kabul and the
importance of the oil industry, the book takes issue with the role played
by Saudi Arabia in fostering Islamic fundamentalism, in the personality of
bin Laden, and with the networks that the Saudi dissident built to finance
his activities.

Brisard and Dasquie contend the U.S. Government's claim that it had been
prosecuting bin Laden since 1998. ''Actually,'' Dasquie says, ''the first
state to officially prosecute bin Laden was Libya, on the charges of

''Bin Laden wanted to settle in Libya in the early 1990s, but was hindered
the government of Muammar Qaddafi,'' Dasquie claims. ''Enraged by Libya's
refusal, bin Laden organized attacks inside Libya, including assassination
attempts against Qaddafi.''

Dasquie singles out one group, the Islamic Fighting Group (IFG), reputedly
the most powerful Libyan dissident organization, based in London, and
directly linked with bin Laden.

''Qaddafi even demanded Western police institutions, such as Interpol, to
pursue the IFG and bin Laden, but never obtained co- operation,'' Dasquie
says. ''Until today, members of IFG openly live in London.''

The book confirms earlier reports that the U.S. Government worked closely
with the United Nations during the negotiations with the Taliban.

''Several meetings took place this year, under the arbitration of Francesc
Vendrell, personal representative of UN secretary general Kofi Annan, to
discuss the situation in Afghanistan,'' says the book.

''Representatives of the U.S. Government and Russia, and the six countries
that border with Afghanistan were present at these meetings,'' it says.
''Sometimes, representatives of the Taliban also sat around the table.''

These meetings, also called ''6+2'' because of the number of states (six
neighbors plus U.S. And Russia) involved, have been confirmed by Naif
Naik, former Pakistani Minister for Foreign Affairs.

In a French television news program two weeks ago, Naik said during a
''6+2'' meeting in Berlin in July, the discussions turned around ''the
formation of a government of national unity. If the Taliban had accepted
this coalition, they would have immediately received international
economic aid.''

''And the pipe lines from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan would have come,'' he

Naik also claimed that Tom Simons, the U.S. representative at these
meetings, openly threatened the Taliban and Pakistan.

''Simons said, 'either the Taliban behave as they ought to, or Pakistan
convinces them to do so, or we will use another option'. The words Simons
used were 'a military operation','' Naik claimed.

Copyright © 2001 IPS-Inter Press Service

New York Times Magazine - November 4, 2001
The Uncomfortable Question of Anti-Semitism

When I was growing up, my father would go to bed with
a transistor radio set to an all-news station. Even
without a radio, my father was attuned to the menace
of history. A Jew born in Vienna in 1924, he fled his
homeland in 1938; his parents were killed in the
Holocaust. I sometimes imagined my father was
listening for some repetition of past evils so that he
could rectify old responses, but he may just have been
expecting more bad news. In any event, the grumbling
static from the bedroom depressed me, and I vowed to
replace it with music more cheerfully in tune with
America. These days, however, I find myself on my
father's frequency. I have awakened to anti-Semitism.

I am not being chased down alleyways and called a
Christ killer, I do not feel that prejudicial hiring
practices will keep me out of a job and I am not
afraid that the police will come and take away my
family. I am, in fact, more grateful than ever that my
father found refuge in this country. But in recent
weeks I have been reminded, in ways too plentiful to
ignore, about the role Jews play in the fantasy life
of the world. Jews were not the cause of World War II,
but they were at the metaphysical center of that
conflict nonetheless, since the Holocaust was part of
Hitler's agenda and a key motivation of his campaign.
Jews are not the cause of World War III, if that's
what we are facing, but they have been placed at the
center of it in mysterious and disturbing ways.

I was born in 1963, a generation removed and an ocean
away from the destruction of European Jewry. My mother
was born here, so there was always half the family
that breathed in the easy air of postwar America. You
don't have to read a lot of Freud to discover that the
key to healthy life is the ability to fend off reality
to a certain extent. Deny reality too much, of course,
and you're crazy; too little and you're merely
miserable. My own private balancing act has involved
acknowledging the fate of my murdered grandparents and
trying to live a modern American life. I studied
English literature in college and in graduate school,
where I toyed with a dissertation on Milton, a
Christian concerned with justifying the ways of God to
man. I dropped out of graduate school to become a
writer, but I always felt about my life in America
what Milton says of Adam and Eve entering exile -- the
world was all before me.

Living in New York, pursuing my writing life, I had
the world forever all before me. I chose within it --
I married and had a child. For 10 years I worked at a
Jewish newspaper. But my sense of endless American
possibility never left me -- even working at a Jewish
newspaper seemed a paradoxical assertion of American
comfort. My father's refugee sense of the world was
something that both informed me and that I worked to
define myself against. I felt it was an act of mental
health to recognize that his world was not my world
and that his fears were the product of an experience
alien to me. I was critical of the Holocaust Museum in
Washington. I didn't want ancient European
anti-Semitism enshrined on federal land. But now
everything has come to American soil.

Recently, I read an interview with Sheik Muhammad
Gemeaha -- who was not only the representative in the
United States of the prominent Cairo center of Islamic
learning, al-Azhar University, but also imam of the
Islamic Cultural Center of New York City. The sheik,
who until recently lived in Manhattan on the Upper
West Side, explained that ''only the Jews'' were
capable of destroying the World Trade Center and added
that ''if it became known to the American people, they
would have done to Jews what Hitler did.'' This
sentiment will be familiar to anyone who has been
watching the news or reading the papers. In Kuwait,
there were reports that New York rabbis told their
followers to take their money out of the stock market
before Sept. 11; in Egypt, the Mossad was blamed for
the attack. It is easy talk to dismiss as madness, I
suppose, but because so many millions of Muslims seem
to believe it, and because airplanes actually did
crash into the World Trade Center, words have a
different weight and menace than they had before.

So does history, or rather the forces that shape
history -- particularly the history of the Jews. It
would be wrong to say that everything changed on the
11th of September for me. Like the man in the
Hemingway novel who went bankrupt two ways --
gradually and then suddenly -- my awareness of things
had also been growing slowly. My father's sister
escaped in the 1930's from Vienna to Palestine -- now,
of course, called Israel -- and I have a lot of family
there. I grew up knowing that Israel, for all its
vitality, was ringed with enemies; I knew how perilous
and bleak life had become after the collapse of the
Oslo peace process a year ago and how perilous and
bleak it could be before that.

I knew, too, that works like the ''Protocols of the
Elders of Zion,'' the Russian forgery about demonic
Jewish power, have been imported into Arab society,
like obsolete but deadly Soviet weapons. By grafting
ancient Christian calumnies onto modern political
grievances, Arab governments have transformed Israel
into an outpost of malevolent world Jewry, viewing
Israelis and Jews as interchangeable emblems of cosmic
evil. So when the Syrian defense minister recently
told a delegation from the British Royal College of
Defense Studies that the destruction of the World
Trade Center was part of a Jewish conspiracy, I wasn't
really surprised.

I'd gotten a whiff of this back in early September,
while following the United Nations conference on
racism and discrimination in Durban, South Africa,
where the Arab Lawyers Union distributed booklets at
the conference containing anti-Semitic caricatures of
Jews with fangs dripping blood -- a mere sideshow to
the isolation of Israel and the equating of Zionism
with racism that ultimately led to the United States'
withdrawal. Singling out Israel made of a modern
nation an archetypal villain -- Jews were the problem
and the countries of the world were figuring out the
solution. This was hardly new in the history of the
United Nations, but there was something so naked about
the resurrected Nazi propaganda and the anti-Semitism
fueling the political denunciations that I felt
kidnapped by history. The past had come calling.

I felt this in a different form reading coverage of
Israel in European papers. Though public expressions
of anti-Semitism are taboo in a post-Holocaust world,
many Europeans, in writing about Israel, have felt
free to conjure images of determined child killers and
mass murderers. Earlier this year, the Spanish daily
La Vanguardia published a cartoon depicting a large
building labeled ''Museum of the Jewish Holocaust''
and behind it a building under construction labeled
''Future Museum of the Palestinian Holocaust.'' The
cartoon manages to demonize Jews and trivialize the
Holocaust simultaneously. Tom Gross, an Israel-based
journalist, recently pointed out to me that a BBC
correspondent, Hilary Andersson, declared that to
describe adequately the outrage of Israel's murder of
Palestinian children one would have to reach back to
Herod's slaughter of the innocents -- alluding to
Herod's attempt to kill Christ in the cradle by
massacring Jewish babies. After leading an editor from
The Guardian on a tour of the occupied territories,
Gross was astonished at the resulting front-page
editorial in that highly influential British paper
declaring that the establishment of Israel has exacted
such a high moral price that ''the international
community cannot support this cost indefinitely.''

I understood that the editorial, speaking of the cost
of the establishment of Israel -- not of any
particular policies -- implied that Israel's very
right to exist is somehow still at issue. (One cannot
imagine something similar being formulated about, say,
Russia, in response to its battle with Chechen rebels,
however much The Guardian might have disagreed with
that country's policies.) And this reminded me
inevitably of the situation of the Jews in 1940's
Europe, where simply to be was an unpardonable crime.

I had somehow believed that the Jewish Question, which
so obsessed both Jews and anti-Semites in the 19th and
20th centuries, had been solved -- most horribly by
Hitler's ''final solution,'' most hopefully by
Zionism. But more and more I feel Jews being turned
into a question mark once again. How is it, the world
still asks -- about Israel, about Jews, about me --
that you are still here? I have always known that much
of the world wanted Jews simply to disappear, but
there are degrees of knowledge, and after Sept. 11 my
imagination seems more terribly able to imagine a
world of rhetoric fulfilled.

There are five million Jews in Israel and eight
million more Jews in the rest of the world. There are
one billion Muslims. How has it happened that Israel
and ''world Jewry,'' along with the United States, is
the enemy of so many of them? To be singled out inside
a singled-out country is doubly disconcerting. There
are a lot of reasons why modernizing, secularizing,
globalizing America, whose every decision has
universal impact, would disturb large swaths of the
world; we are, after all, a superpower. Surely it is
stranger that Jews, by their mere presence in the
world, would unleash such hysteria.

And yet what I kept hearing in those first days in the
aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center is
that it was our support of Israel that had somehow
brought this devastation down on us. It was a kind of
respectable variant of the belief that the Mossad had
literally blown up the World Trade Center. It could of
course be parried -- after all, the turning point in
Osama bin Laden's hatred of the United States came
during the gulf war, when American troops were
stationed in Saudi Arabia. But it had a lingering
effect; it was hard to avoid a certain feeling that
there was something almost magical about Israel that
made it toxic for friends and foes alike.

This feeling will not go away, if only because our
support of that nation makes it harder to maintain our
coalition. Israel has somehow become an obstacle to
war and an obstacle to peace simultaneously.

Lately, of course, bin Laden has added treatment of
Palestinians to his list of grievances, and this may
revive the sense that Israel bears some measure of
responsibility. Large lies can be constructed out of
smaller truths. The occupation of the West Bank by
Israel, though it grew out of a war Israel did not
want, has been a nightmare for the Palestinians and a
disaster for Israel morally, politically and
spiritually. It is a peculiar misery to feel this way
and to feel, at the same time, that the situation has
become a weapon in the war against Israel. Bin Laden
would not want a Palestinian state on the West Bank,
because he could not abide a Jewish state alongside

Neither could many of our allies in the Muslim world,
who keep euphemistically suggesting that if only the
''Mideast crisis'' were resolved, terrorism would
diminish. It has a plausible veneer -- and indeed, it
would be an extraordinary achievement if the
Palestinians got a homeland and Israel got safe
borders. But since most of the players in the Middle
East do not accept the existence of Israel, since
''solving the Mideast crisis'' would for them entail a
modern version of Hitler's final solution, the phrase
takes on weird and even sinister overtones when it is
blandly employed by well-intentioned governments
calling for a speedy solution. And this Orwellian
transformation of language is one of the most
exasperating and disorienting aspects of the campaign
against Israel. It has turned the word ''peace'' into
a euphemism for war.

grew up in a post-Holocaust world. For all the grim
weight of that burden, and for all its echoing
emptiness, there was a weird sort of safety in it too.
After all, the worst thing had already happened --
everything else was aftermath. In the wake of the
Holocaust, American anti-Semitism dissipated, the
church expunged old calumnies. The horror had been
sufficient to shock even countries like the Soviet
Union into supporting a newly declared Jewish state.
Israel after 1967 was a powerful nation -- besieged,
but secure. American Jews were safe as houses.

I am not writing this essay to predict some inevitable
calamity but to identify a change of mood. To say
aloud that European anti-Semitism, which made the
Holocaust possible, is still shaping the way Jews are
perceived; Arab anti-Israel propaganda has joined
hands with it and found a home in the embattled Muslim
world. Something terrible has been born. What happened
on Sept. 11 is proof, as if we needed it, that people
who threaten evil intend evil. This comes with the
dawning awareness that weapons of mass destruction did
not vanish with the Soviet Union; the knowledge that
in fact they may pose a greater threat of actually
being used in this century, if only in a limited
fashion, is sinking in only now.

That a solution to one century's Jewish problem has
become another century's Jewish problem is a cruel
paradox. This tragedy has intensified to such a degree
that friends, supporters of Israel, have wondered
aloud to me if the time has come to acknowledge that
the Israeli experiment has failed, that there is
something in the enterprise itself that doomed it.
This is the thinking of despair. I suppose one could
wonder as much about America in the aftermath of the
Sept. 11 attacks, since many American values will now
be challenged and since, in fighting a war, you always
become a little like your enemy, if only in accepting
the need to kill. I grew up at a time when sex
education was considered essential but what might be
called war education, what a country must do to
survive, was looked upon with a kind of prudish
horror. I suppose that will now change. In any event,
Israel has been at war for 50 years. Without that
context, clear judgment is impossible, especially by
those accustomed to the Holocaust notion that Jews in
war are nothing but helpless victims -- a standard
that can make images to the contrary seem aberrant.

I have a different way of looking at the Israeli
experiment than my friends who wonder about its
failure. It is connected to how I look at the fate of
European Jewry. When the Jews of Europe were murdered
in the Holocaust, one might have concluded that
European Judaism failed -- to defend itself, to
anticipate evil, to make itself acceptable to the
world around it, to pack up and leave. But one could
also conclude in a deeper way that Christian Europe
failed -- to accept the existence of Jews in their
midst, and it has been marked ever since, and will be
for all time, with this blot on its culture. Israel is
a test of its neighbors as much as its neighbors are a
test for Israel. If the Israeli experiment fails, then
Islam will have failed, and so will the Christian
culture that plays a shaping role in that part of the

I am fearful of sounding as though I believe that the
Holocaust is going to replay itself in some simplified
fashion -- that my childhood fantasy for my father is
true for me, and it is I who am straining to hear
Hitler's voice break over the radio. I do not. Israel
has a potent, modern army. But so does the United
States, and it has proved vulnerable to attack,
raising other fears. The United States spans a
continent, and its survival is not in doubt. But
experts who warn us about American vulnerability refer
to areas the size of entire states that will become
contaminated if a nuclear reactor is struck by a
plane. Israel is smaller than New Jersey.

I am aware that an obsession with the Holocaust is
seen as somehow unbecoming and, when speaking of
modern politics, viewed almost as a matter of bad
taste if not bad history. I do not wish to elide
Israel's political flaws by invoking the Holocaust.
But that very reluctance has been exploited and
perverted in a way that makes me disregard it. ''Six
million Jews died?'' the mufti of Jerusalem, a
Palestinian Authority appointee, remarked last year.
''Let us desist from this fairy tale exploited by
Israel to buy international solidarity.'' (The
utterance is particularly egregious because the
mufti's predecessor paid an admiring visit to Hitler
in 1941.) The demonizing language that is used about
Israel in some of the European press, and about Jews
in the Arab press, is reminiscent of Europe in the
1930's. I grew up thinking I was living in the
post-Holocaust world and find it sounds more and more
like a pre-Holocaust world as well.

en years ago, I interviewed Saul Bellow in Chicago and
in the course of the interview asked him if there was
anything he regretted. He told me that he now felt,
looking back on his career, that he had not been
sufficiently mindful of the Holocaust. This surprised
me because one of his novels, ''Mr. Sammler's
Planet,'' is actually about a Holocaust survivor. But
Bellow recalled writing ''The Adventures of Augie
March'' -- the grand freewheeling novel that made his
reputation -- in Paris in the late 1940's. Holocaust
survivors were everywhere, Bellow told me, and, as a
Yiddish speaker, he had access to the terrible truths
they harbored. But, as Bellow put it, he was not in
the mood to listen. ''I wanted my American seven-layer
cake,'' he told me. He did not wish to burden his
writing at that early moment in his career with the
encumbering weight of Jewish history. ''Augie March''
begins, exuberantly, ''I am an American.''

I, too, want my American seven-layer cake, even if the
cake has collapsed a little in recent weeks. There is
no pleasure in feeling reclaimed by the awfulness of
history and in feeling myself at odds with the large
universalist temper of our society. Thinking about it
makes me feel old, exhausted and angry.

In the Second World War, American Jews muted their
separate Jewish concerns for the good of the larger
struggle to liberate Europe. I understand the
psychological urge to feel in sync with American aims.
But Israel sticks out in this crisis as European Jewry
stuck out in World War II, forcing a secondary level
of Jewish consciousness, particularly because the
anti-Zionism of the Arab world has adopted the
generalized anti-Semitism of the European world.

The danger to America, which has already befallen us,
and the danger to Israel, which so far remains
primarily rhetorical, are, of course, connected. And
though it is false to imagine that if Israel did not
exist America would not have its enemies, people
making the link are intuiting something beyond the
simple fact that both are Western democracies.

In ''Cultures in Conflict: Christians, Muslims and
Jews in the Age of Discovery,'' Bernard Lewis points
out that after Christians reconquered Spain from the
Muslims in the 15th century, they decided to expel the
Jews before the Muslims. The reason for this, Lewis
explains, is that although the Jews had no army and
posed far less of a political threat than the Muslims,
they posed a far greater theological challenge. This
is because Jews believed that adherents of other
faiths could find their own path to God. Christianity
and Islam, which cast unbelievers as infidels, did not
share this essential religious relativism. The
rabbinic interpretation of monotheism, which in seeing
all human beings as created in God's image recognized
their inherent equality, may well contain the seeds of
the very democratic principles that the terrorists of
Sept. 11 found so intolerable.

Is it any wonder that in the minds of the terrorists
and their fundamentalist defenders, Americans and Jews
have an unholy alliance? Expressing my separate Jewish
concerns does not put me at odds with our pluralistic
society -- it puts me in tune with it, since it is
here of all places that I am free to express all my
identities -- American, Jewish, Zionist. And if Jews
kicked out of Spain clung, at peril of death, to a
religion with such an ultimately inclusive faith in
the redeemable nature of humanity, who I am to reject
that view? Perhaps the optimistic American half of my
inheritance isn't at odds with the darker Jewish
component after all. In this regard, the double
consciousness that has burdened my response to our new
war need not feel like a division. On the contrary, it
redoubles my patriotism and steels me for the struggle

Jonathan Rosen's most recent book, ''The Talmud and
the Internet: A Journey Between Worlds,'' has just
been published in paperback.


November 15, 2001

With the Northern Alliance
By Tim Judah
Khoja Bahaudin, northern Afghanistan

A few weeks ago President George W. Bush said something to the effect that he didn't want to fire off $2 million missiles to hit $10 tents in Afghanistan. Well, I think he said that, but I can't check, because now I am living in a $10 tent in northern Afghanistan. There is no electricity, no clean water, no paved roads, not much food, and it is only the aid agencies that are staving off famine here. In this part of opposition-controlled northern Afghanistan, close to the border with the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan, it has barely rained for three years and choking dust swirls everywhere, entering every pore.

read more


Boston Globe
November 13, 2001

Conservatives Denounce Dissent
by Patrick Healy

A conservative academic group founded by Lynne Cheney, the wife of Vice
President Dick Cheney, fired a new salvo in the culture wars by blasting 40
college professors as well as the president of Wesleyan University and
others for not showing enough patriotism in the aftermath of Sept. 11.

''College and university faculty have been the weak link in America's
response to the attack,'' say leaders of the American Council of Trustees
and Alumni [ http://www.goacta.org/ ] in a report being issued today. The
report names names and criticizes professors for making statements ''short
on patriotism and long on self-flagellation.''

Several of the scholars singled out in the report said yesterday they felt
blacklisted, complaining that their words had been taken out of context to
make them look like enemies of the state.

''It's a little too reminiscent of McCarthyism,'' said Hugh Gusterson, an
associate professor of anthropology at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology. He was named in the report for his comments at a campus peace
rally where he made a connection between American suffering after Sept. 11
and the suffering in war-torn Afghanistan.

Lynne Cheney, who was a powerful voice for conservative intellectuals as
chief of the National Endowment of the Humanities during the first Bush
administration, is not an author of the new report. But it is peppered with
quotations stating her views, and it was prepared by two close allies. She
was until recently the chairwoman of the council, a private nonprofit
organization based in Washington. Her agenda - to promote Western
civilization and American culture as the bedrocks of US education -
continues to guide the group's activities.

The report lists 117 comments or incidents as evidence that campuses are
hostile to the US government and out of step with most Americans who,
according to polls, support the war in Afghanistan. ''Indeed,'' the report
says, ''the message of much of academe was clear: BLAME AMERICA FIRST.''

While there have been some campus antiwar protests recently - such as the
burning of two American flags at Amherst College - these have been
relatively rare, and most were criticized by college officials concerned
about other students and alumni who lost loved ones in the Sept. 11 attacks.

Anne Neal, an author of the report and council official, said that while she
is sure many professors and students support the US government, they are
afraid that if they speak out, liberal colleagues might shout them down.

''For the most part, public comments in academia were equivocal and often
pointing the finger at America rather than the terrorists,'' Neal said.
''It's hard for non-tenured professors to speak up when there's such a
chorus on the other side.''

Among the scholars named in the report, however, several said yesterday the
council was carrying out its own political agenda: painting higher education
as a bastion of political correctness and trying to silence any criticism of
the Bush administration.

''These kinds of attacks will only discourage professors from speaking out
and opening up dialogues about what's happening overseas, and why,'' said
Kevin Lourie, a professor at the Brown University School of Medicine.

The council cited Lourie for writing, in a Brown news service opinion
article, that the United States may be ''paying an accumulated debt for
centuries of dominance and intervention far from home.'' Lourie said he was
attempting to explain how other nations and societies may view the United

Douglas Bennet, the president of Wesleyan, was named for a Sept. 14 letter
to the Wesleyan community. The letter condemned the terrorist attacks, but
the council singled out one passage in which Bennet voiced his concern that
''disparities and injustices'' in American society and the world can lead to
hatred and violence, and that societies should try to see the world
''through the sensitivities of others.''

Bennet complained that the report's authors took his comments out of
context. He said that he strongly supports the Bush administration's
response to the terrorist attacks and that an American flag has hung on the
door of his house since Sept. 11.

''I don't know where this group gets off extracting language from my
statement,'' Bennet said. ''They're trying to perpetuate cliches that belong
to an earlier era. I don't think it'll wash - we all have important, real
work to do as a nation.''

Message from The Dalai Lama

Dear friends around the world:

The events of this day cause every thinking person to stop their daily
lives, whatever is going on in them, and to ponder deeply the larger
questions of life. We search again for not only the meaning of life, but the
purpose of our individual and collective
experience as we have created it--and we look earnestly for ways in which we
might recreate ourselves as a human species, so that we will never treat
each other this way again.

The hour has come for us to demonstrate at the highest level our most
extraordinary thought about Who We Really Are. There are two possible
responses to what has occurred today. The first comes from love, the second
from fear. If we come from fear we may panic and do things--as individuals
and as nations--that could only cause further damage. If we come from love
we will find refuge and strength, even as we provide it to others. This is
the moment of your ministry. This is the time of teaching. What you teach at
this time, through your every word and action right now, will remain as
indelible lessons in the hearts and minds of those whose lives you touch,
both now, and for years to come.

We will set the course for tomorrow, today. At this hour. In this moment.
Let us seek not to pinpoint blame, but to pinpoint cause. Unless we take
this time to look at the cause of our experience, we will never remove
ourselves from the experiences it creates. Instead, we will forever live in
fear of retribution from those within the human family who feel aggrieved,
and, likewise, seek retribution from them.

To us [Buddhist thinkers] the reasons are clear. We have not learned the
most basic human lessons. We have not remembered the most basic human
truths. We have not understood the most basic spiritual wisdom. In short, we
have not been listening to God, and because we have not, we watch ourselves
do ungodly things.

The message we hear from all sources of truth is clear: We are all one. That
is a message the human race has largely ignored. Forgetting this truth is
the only cause of hatred and war, and the way to remember is simple: Love,
[in] this and every moment.

If we could love even those who have attacked us, and seek to understand why
they have done so, what then would be our response? Yet if we meet
negativity with negativity, rage with rage, attack with attack, what then
will be the outcome?

These are the questions that are placed before the human race today. They
are questions that we have failed to answer for thousands of years. Failure
to answer them now could eliminate the need to answer them at all. If we
want the beauty of the world that we have co-created to be experienced by
our children and our children's children, we will have to become spiritual
activists right here, right now, and cause that to happen. We must choose to
be a cause in the matter.

So, talk with God today. Ask God for help, for counsel and advice, for
insight and for strength and for inner peace and for deep wisdom. Ask God on
this day to show us how to show up in the world in a way that will cause the
world itself to change. And join all those people around the world who are
praying right now, adding your Light to the Light that dispels all fear.

That is the challenge that is placed before every thinking person today.
Today the human soul asks the question: What can I do to preserve the beauty
and the wonder of our world and to eliminate the anger and hatred--and the
disparity that inevitably causes it--in that part of the world which I

Please seek to answer that question today, with all the magnificence that is
You. What can you do TODAY...[at] this very moment? A central teaching in
most spiritual traditions is: What you wish to experience, provide for

Look to see, now, what it is you wish to experience--in your own life, and
in the world. Then see if there is another for whom you may be the source of
that. If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another. If you
wish to know that you are safe, cause [others] to know that they are safe.
If you wish to better understand seemingly incomprehensible things, help
another to better understand.

If you wish to heal your own sadness or anger, seek to heal the sadness or
anger of another.

Those others are waiting for you now. They are looking to you for guidance,
for help, for courage, for strength, for understanding, and for assurance at
this hour. Most of all, they are looking to you for love.

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.
Dalai Lama