News Release

Foreign Policy and Terrorism

ZIEBA SHORISH-SHAMLEY
Founder and director of the Women’s Alliance for Peace and Human Rights in Afghanistan, Shorish-Shamley said today: “It is unfortunate that it took a tragedy of this magnitude for the world to take notice of the ongoing tragedy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Several years ago, I quit my position as a university professor to try to bring attention to the predicament of women in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, until now, we have been largely ignored. The world community must address the question of women’s rights seriously and not let various parties with their own agendas use it when it suits their geopolitical goals and drop it when it does not…. The U.S. had a policy for Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan when U.S. officials permitted a large percentage of the military assistance to be channeled to the most reactionary elements of the mujahideen…. This time around, the men and women of Afghanistan must be allowed to determine their own future.”
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ANITA WEISS
Weiss was in Pakistan on September 11. She is co-editor of Power and Civil Society in Pakistan (Oxford University Press, 2001) and professor of international studies at the University of Oregon. She said today: “It should be noted that none of those named [as the terrorists] thus far are from Afghanistan, yet many Americans are supportive of the U.S. taking military action against Afghanistan. U.S. action, which would kill innocents, is going to lend credence to the sentiment held by some in Muslim countries that the U.S. is out to hurt Muslims, citing U.S. policies toward Chechnya, Israel and especially Kashmir. Dismissing the deaths of innocent Afghans as just ‘collateral damage’ would buttress the feelings held by many Pakistanis who see the U.S. as the biggest supporter of state-sponsored terrorism.”

LINDA PANETTA
Regional director of the School of the Americas Watch, Panetta was one of five acquitted yesterday of charges stemming from protests aimed at closing the School of the Americas during the Republican convention last year. Municipal Court Judge Felice Stack, just before throwing out the charges, said that what she learned about the SOA was “very enlightening and somewhat shocking.” Panetta said today: “If George W. Bush really wants to stop terrorism, he should close the School of the Americas. Millions of our tax dollars are supporting the SOA, which is training human rights abusers for Latin American militaries that are terrorizing the poor. I’ve just returned from Colombia, where I met impoverished farmers who told us about how their loved ones had been taken, tortured, even had their bodies dismembered because they spoke out against human rights abuses and environmental degradation from the U.S.-sponsored fumigation campaign.” SOA, based in Georgia, recently changed its name to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167