"UNHOLY WARS: AFGHANISTAN, AMERICA, AND INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM": CORRESPONDENT JOHN COOLEY DISCUSSES THE INVESTIGATION IN GERMANY,OSAMA BIN LADEN'S FINANCIAL ASSETS, AND HIS BOOK, THE MOST DETAILED ACCOUNT OF THE CIA'S INVOLVEMENT WITH THE MUJAHADEEN : SHOULD THE US FUND THE NORTHERN ALLIANCE, THE OPPOSITION TO THE TALIBAN?: A DEBATE:BUSH ADMINISTRATION PUSHES FREE TRADE AGENDA TO SHORE UP ALLIANCES IN THE MIDDLE EAST:WARFARE OVER WELFARE: HOW THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S WAR PREPARATION HURTS THE POOR:THOUSANDS GATHER TO HEAR VIETNAMESE MONK AND PEACE ACTIVIST THICH NHAT HANH SPEAK ON "EMBRACING ANGER" AND WORKING FOR PEACE.
"UNHOLY WARS: AFGHANISTAN, AMERICA, AND INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM": CORRESPONDENT JOHN COOLEY DISCUSSES THE INVESTIGATION IN GERMANY, OSAMA BIN LADEN'S FINANCIAL ASSETS, AND HIS BOOK, THE MOST DETAILED ACCOUNT OF THE CIA'S INVOLVEMENT WITH THE MUJAHADEEN :Two weeks after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, investigators have not yet identified any knowing accomplices in the United States or uncovered a broad support network that assisted the 19 hijackers. This according to a senior law enforcement official in yesterday's New York Times. The official, who is actively involved in the investigation, said that a key to unraveling the plot might lie not in the U.S., but in Germany. A team of agents had been dispatched to pursue leads there. Based on investigators' portraits of the suspected hijackers and their movements before the Sept. 11 attacks, the official said, federal agents are investigating whether the plot had its origins in Germany and then branched out to hubs in Newark, Boston, Florida and Maryland. Now of course, we don't know if any of this is true. What we just read is according to an un-named source quoted in the New York Times. That is the problem: so much of what you're going to read in the papers and hear on television, is based on un-named sources. Some of it may turn out to be true, and a lot of it probably will not. Germans were shocked to learn that three hijackers had reportedly lived unobtrusively in the city of Hamburg- in one case for at least eight years. According to the Financial Times, Germany's chief prosecutor is saying that for many months the city has been the base for a cell of Islamic extremists involving the three hijackers, an alleged ringleader who may have now fled to Pakistan, and possibly others. German police are currently investigating financial ties between two of the hijackers and a Syrian businessman who controls a Hamburg bank account belonging to a founder of Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network. Meanwhile, the Group of Seven leading industrial nations yesterday pledged to pursue a comprehensive strategy to disrupt terrorist funding around the world. The G7 finance ministers considered a new United Nations resolution that would stiffen sanctions against financial centers that failed to comply with money-laundering guidelines and require authorities to report suspicious financial activities. Their meeting came a day after President Bush froze assets in the US belonging to Osama bin Laden and 26 other people and groups suspected of supporting him. US officials are planning to travel to Gulf capitals later this month to press their investigation directly with banking authorities and financial institutions. We're joined right now by John Cooley, a U.S. correspondent who has covered North Africa and the Middle East for 40 years, and who has written a book called: Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism. Guest: John Cooley, U.S. correspondent and author who has covered North Africa and the Middle East for 40 years and author of Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism. SHOULD THE US FUND THE NORTHERN ALLIANCE, THE OPPOSITION TO THE TALIBAN?: A DEBATE Long after Soviet forces withdrew from Afghanistan in 1979, the country remained mired in violent upheaval. Many Afghans who oppose the fundamentalist Islamic regime of the Taliban, which took power in 1996, support the Northern Alliance party, which grew out of the Mujahedeen. The official head of the Northern Alliance is the ousted president Burhanuddin Rabbani, who claims to be the head of the Government and controls most of the country's embassies abroad and retains Afghanistan's UN seat after the U.N. But others say the Northern Alliance, which is the main opposition party to the Taliban, is also responsible for gross human rights abuses and corruption. The Afghan Northern Alliance follow a milder form of Islam than the Taliban. The group is made up of an ethnically and religiously disparate group of rebel movements, mainly non-Pashtun ethnic groups. Pashtuns are the majority ethnic group in Afghanistan. General Ahmed Shah Masood was the dynamic leader of the alliance until he was killed, just two days before the World Trade Center and Pentagon were attacked. The Northern Alliance say that there is undoubtedly a relationship between his death and the attack. As leader, Masood made a series of alliances with former opponents, some of whom the Taliban had driven into exile. But until recently the alliance has lacked the manpower, training and equipment to do much more than hold its own against the Taliban. Masood's death might well have meant the end of the alliance if the bombing of the World Trade Center and Pentagon had not inspired possible US moves to take military action against Osama Bin Laden and his Taliban backers. The alliance's political leaders are confident now that their enemy will be eliminated and have stated that they are willing to fight alongside the Americans against the Taliban. We are joined now by...Noor Delawari, who fled Afghanistan for the US the year Afghanistan's monarchy was overthrown. In 1993 Noor Delawari traveled to Italy with Congressman Dana Rohrabacher to meet the former Afghani king, Mohammad Zaher Shah, who ruled Afghanistan for 40 years. At that meeting Afghanistan's former king launched a peace initiative for Afghanistan called the Loya Jirgah, or the Afghan Grand Assembly, which describes its aims as ending the Afghan conflict, appointing a head of state, and establishing a transitional government. Guests: Noor Delawari, an advisory board member of the Afghanistan foundation, and President of Delawar international banking system, and chair of the Afghanistan Relief Organization. Sonali Kolhathar, Vice President of the Afghan Women's Mission. Jim Ingalls, board of directors of Afghan Women's Mission, staff scientist at Caltech, author. [listen to the entire second hour] SECOND HOUR NEWS HEADLINES BUSH ADMINISTRATION PUSHES FREE TRADE AGENDA TO SHORE UP ALLIANCES IN THE MIDDLE EAST The Senate passed legislation today that would remove all trade barriers between the United States and Jordan after the Bush administration persuaded a pivotal Republican senator to drop his objections. Meanwhile, in a speech on Monday to the Institute for International Economics, Robert B. Zoellick, the United States trade representative, encouraged Congress to grant the president fast track authority. And Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve chairman, told the Senate Banking Committee last week that the United States should use the outpouring of international support to develop support for a new round of global trade talks. Guest: Lori Wallach, Director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. Related link: Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch Story: WARFARE OVER WELFARE: HOW THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S WAR PREPARATION HURTS THE POOR In the last two weeks the thousands of people affected by the attacks on the World Trade Center have received unprecedented levels of assistance from federal state and local agencies. Agencies have generally made drastic cuts in red tape to facilitate the flow of aid and employed extremely generous standards in determining who receives it ' including housing, food, and disaster assistance. The aid has gone to victims of the disaster regardless of income, and therein lies the irony. For the Giuliani administration continues to discourage poor people from applying for public aid and housing assistance in New York. Outside of New York millions of poor people around the country are running up against federal and state imposed time limits on the receipt of public assistance ' the result of the infamous 1996 Welfare Act, which placed strict limits on who can receive assistance and for how long. The so-called Welfare Reform Act will come up for re-authorization at a moment when the Bush dministration and Congress are pouring billions of dollars into military and intelligence agencies and telling the public that the US is in for a drawn out military struggle that will require public sacrifice on a number of fronts. But who will be forced to sacrifice the most? Guests: Francis Fox Piven, Professor of Social and Political Science at CUNY and author of the landmark Regulating the Poor and many other books and articles on public assistance and public policy. Cheri Honkala, Executive Director of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union in Philadelphia, one of the nation's first welfare rights groups. Related link: Kensington Welfare Rights Union THOUSANDS GATHER TO HEAR VIETNAMESE MONK AND PEACE ACTIVIST THICH NHAT HANH SPEAK ON "EMBRACING ANGER" AND WORKING FOR PEACE One of the things we have tried to do here on Democracy Now! is bring the voices of people from New York and around the world who have been victimized by terror but continue to speak for peace. As people in the US struggle with the question of how to respond to the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks and the certainty of US military action in Central Asia, these voices are more important than ever. One of the most important of those is Thich Nhat Hanh. Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk. During the US war in Vietnam, he worked tirelessly for reconciliation between North and South Vietnam. He championed a movement known as "engaged Buddhism," which intertwined traditional meditative practices with active nonviolent civil disobedience against the South Vietnamese Government and the US. Martin Luther King, Jr. nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. Hanh's Buddhist delegation to the Paris peace talks resulted in accords between North Vietnam and the United States, but his pacifist efforts did not end with the war. He also helped organize rescue missions well into the 1970's for Vietnamese trying to escape from political oppression. He now lives in exile in a small community in France called Plum Village. Thich Nhat Hanh has written more than seventy-five books of prose, poetry, and prayers and continues to be banned from his native country of Vietnam. He spoke last night at the historic Riverside Church in Manhattan, where Martin Luther King first spoke out publicly against the Vietnam War. The subject of his talk was "Embracing Anger." Tape: Thich Nhat Hanh, speaking at the historic Riverside Church in Manhattan last night.