WDIE Masthead

Year 2001 No. 171, October 10, 2001 ARCHIVE HOME SEARCH SUBSCRIBE

No to Anglo-American Aggression against Afghanistan! For a Just and Peaceful Solution!

Campaigners across Scotland Condemn Military Strikes

Workers' Daily Internet Edition : Article Index :

Campaigners across Scotland Condemn Military Strikes

Anti-War Protesters in Glasgow Arrested

"Not in Our Name" Vigil in Newcastle-upon Tyne

Further International Condemnation of Anglo-US Attacks

Public Meeting For Media Workers against the War

British Muslims Condemn Attacks

Islamic Conference Warns Strikes Must Avoid Civilians

Majority of UN Member States Denounce Use of Force as a Measure to Eliminate Terrorism

UN Calls for Civilians to Be Protected

For Your Information
Tony Blair's War Cabinet
Taleban Condemns Aggression as Terrorist Act

Viewpoint:
The War Has Begun

Letter to Kim Jong Il on Occasion of 56th Anniversary of WPK

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Campaigners across Scotland Condemn Military Strikes

Anti-war campaigners gathered across Scotland on Monday to protest at the Anglo-US attacks on Afghanistan.

More than 400 campaigners gathered in Glasgow’s George Square on the red tarmac to hear speakers condemn the air strikes against Afghanistan. Many protesters lit candles in memory of the dead in the US and for those who they fear are now dead or dying, unseen, in Afghanistan.

Mohammed Narveen Asif, an Afghan refugee, insisted the bombing of his homeland was as morally reprehensible as the attacks on New York and Washington. He said: "Bombing Afghanistan in this way is not the answer. Thousands of innocent people are going to be killed needlessly."

Wearing her traditional headscarf, Maarya Sharif, 20, a mathematics student, said: "I’ve had friends here in Glasgow who have been picked on because of what they are wearing and another girl got a bottle smashed over her head. Despite saying it’s a war against terrorism, it is Muslim people who are in the firing line, the majority of whom are innocent. People stare at us now when we walk down the street, when we’re at university and when we’re at work. Now it seems that they’re asking themselves if we are terrorists, if we are with them."

Rita Traynor, a pensioner, held a "stop the war" banner aloft. The 78-year-old said: "I object strongly to people being killed for no reason. This is nothing less than a sanitised bombing, because the people dropping the bombs don’t see the devastation caused on the ground." Rita Traynor said she would join in the protests against the coalition campaign for "as long as necessary", insisting that the US-led coalition’s campaign served for "revenge rather than justice". She added: "How many innocent lives will be shed before we turn round and say that it is too many? The Afghans who are being targeted just now have nothing to do with bin Laden or the Taleban. This is an unjust and highly immoral war."

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Anti-War Protesters in Glasgow Arrested

Six people were arrested outside a Ministry of Defence building in Glasgow on Monday following a protest against the Anglo-US military strikes.

Police were called after reports the demonstrators had bound themselves together with piping and unfurled a banner. A police spokeswoman said: "Six people in total were charged, three men and three women. They have been released from custody and a report will go to the Procurator Fiscal." The spokeswoman added that two men, aged 54 and 19, and two women, aged 20 and 29, were arrested following an incident on the ledge of a first floor window. Meanwhile, a 25-year-old woman and a 32-year-old man were arrested in connection with incidents on the ground.

A spokesman for the Faslane Peace Camp said the protesters unfurled a banner asking: "What do the dead eat?" The spokesman added: "We condemn the indiscriminate killing of civilians. Bush and Blair are nothing short of murderers themselves. If they have proof against Osama bin Laden they should bring him to trial through the international law courts."

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"Not in Our Name" Vigil in Newcastle-upon Tyne

On Monday, October 8, at 6pm around 150 people gathered for Vigil at the Monument, Newcastle to oppose the attack launched the previous evening on Afghanistan. It was held under the slogan: "Not in Our Name". A number of people held up banners and placards demanding that the war be stopped and a just and peaceful solution found to problem of terrorism.

The vigil lasted about one hour. It was ended with a three-minute silence symbolic not only of the victims of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre but also for the people of Afghanistan and elsewhere who are and will be victims of war and starvation caused by the Anglo-American attacks on Afghanistan. A few words were then spoken to address those on the vigil and urge people to go back and discuss the issues widely and to take part in future planned events.

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Further International Condemnation of Anglo-US Attacks

Iran Condemns Attacks as Unacceptable

Following the US and British military attacks on Afghanistan, the Iranian foreign ministry immediately made a statement saying, "These attacks which have been launched regardless of the world public opinion, especially the Muslim nations, and will damage the innocent and oppressed Afghans are unacceptable," the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reports. Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi also noted that the United States should avoid any action which may encroach on the territorial integrity of Iranian airspace.

On October 8, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a national televised speech, "We condemn the attack on the country and people of Afghanistan." He added, "How is this oppression justified? How can you allow innocent civilians to be killed or injured and many more are to be forced to leave their homes to take refuge in the wilderness, starving without food?" "America is lying when it propagates the aim of its attacks against Afghanistan to be a struggle against terrorism," he was quoted as saying.

Vietnam Calls for Fight against Terrorism on the Basis of the UN Charter and International Law

On October 8, Vietnam's foreign ministry spokeswoman said, "Vietnam strongly protests every terrorist move and supports every effort to rid the world of terrorism," the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reports. She stressed, "Vietnam holds that the fight against terrorism in whatever form must comply with the United Nations Charter and international laws."

"Vietnam is profoundly concerned about the on-going war in Afghanistan which is threatening the lives of many innocent people," the spokeswoman said. She concluded, "Vietnam hopes that all concerned parties will restrain themselves in order to avoid war escalation and soon seek proper options to end the war and restore peace."

On October 4, addressing the United Nations General Assembly plenary debate on "Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism", Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Thanh Chau emphasised the role of the United Nations and respect for international law in solving the problem of terrorism. He said solidarity and unity among peoples around the world is badly needed to achieve the goal of ending terrorism. The Ambassador said, "To this end, a comprehensive strategy should be worked out to deal with the political, diplomatic and development issues of genuine concern. And the UN, as a universal organisation where every nation, big or small, acts on an equal footing should play a key role in the process through discharging the functions entrusted to it in the UN Charter, in accordance with international laws and other relevant international conventions."

Malaysia Opposes Waging of War

On October 8, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said conventional war would not overcome terrorism and defeat the terrorists and would only result in the innocent becoming victims, the Bernama news agency reports. Mahathir said if the terrorists were killed or captured but the cause for their terrorism still remained, there was no guarantee that others would not resort to terrorism as well.

"In view of this the Malaysian Government does not agree to war being waged against countries said to be harbouring terrorists," Mahathir was quoted as saying. "This will only bring disaster to the country concerned without even an iota of success in the effort to eliminate terrorism or terrorists," the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister said Islamic countries should call a conference among themselves and later a global conference to discuss the problem of terrorism and its interpretation. "Today there are many interpretations to it, particularly in connection with the terrorism committed by certain governments against foreigners. International laws should be drawn up to check terrorism and the terrorists," he added.

Also on October 8, Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said, "It is important at this crucial stage of this situation that the UN be brought into this. I think there is a need for the international community to be together in the fight against terrorism."

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Public Meeting For Media Workers against the War

A public meeting will be held in London at 7.30 pm on Wednesday, October 10, at the Camden Centre, Bidborough Street, WC1, near Kings Cross tube, with John Pilger, Paul Foot, Rosie Boycott and John Foster (NUJ) speaking, and others to be announced.

Media Workers Against the War is seeking support from media trade union branches and individuals working in the media. Initial supporters include: John Pilger, Paul Foot, Hilary Wainwright, Henderson Mullin, Tim Gopsill, Miles Barter, Jack Tan, Rob Steen, Mike Marqusee, Charles Shaar Murray, Anna Chen, Palash Dave, Jonathan Neale, Tariq Ali, Phil Turner, Alan Gibson, Zoe Hardy, Carolyne Culver, Mike Holderness.

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British Muslims Condemn Attacks

British Muslims have spoken out against the Anglo-US attacks on Afghanistan.

Muslim Parliament leader Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui said the US should have given diplomatic efforts longer to take effect. "The first casualty of this attack has been the rule of law," he said. "The Americans have lost their credibility. They had this opportunity to somehow recover the moral high ground. The only people who will be happy will be the American arms industry and oil companies. It's a very, very sad day. They should have explored all other options."

Asked if the military action would have the support of ordinary British Muslims, he said: "The Americans should have carried the world opinion with them but I don't think this has been the case. There are a lot of question marks and I think they have missed a lot of opportunities."

North London-based Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, leader of the fundamentalist Al Muhajiroun (The Exiles) group, said the strikes were themselves a terrorist act. He said that there was "overwhelming condemnation" of the response in the Arab world. "You cannot behave like terrorists to deal with terrorists. We can deal with terrorists in very civilised ways," he said. "We would like to see Osama bin Laden on trial but there's no proof been established until now."

The Muslim Council of Britain said that the air strikes in Afghanistan will only widen the gulf between the West and Islam.

The Council's secretary general Yousuf Bhailok wants British Muslims to protest at the military action with peaceful demonstrations and vigils. He said: "British Muslims want justice to be done for the horrifying events of September 11. These day and night strikes – which are already leading to innocent civilian deaths amongst the long-suffering Afghan population – will not achieve this purpose. In Islam, all innocent human life is precious."

He added: "These attacks will only lead to further polarisation in the world. This will not be a fitting memorial to those who died in the September 11 atrocities. We are now hearing talk of 'widening the war' to encompass other Muslim countries. We fear that these events could spiral out of control."

The MCB's deputy secretary general, Mahmud Al-Rashid, said more efforts should have been made to negotiate with the Taleban to hand over chief terror suspect Osama bin Laden. "They are certainly not going to get rid of international terrorism by bombing Afghanistan."

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Islamic Conference Warns Strikes Must Avoid Civilians

The Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) is holding an extraordinary meeting in Qatar this week. Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said it will ask the world community not to view terrorism as synonymous with Islam.

"We want this mind-setting and stereotyping about terrorism being synonymous or equal to Islam be rid of because now the Muslims all over the world are suffering," he told reporters after receiving his South African counterpart Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma yesterday.

He said the issue of terrorism would have to be viewed in the context of bringing about a settlement to the West Asian conflict and the Palestinian problem. Any strike intended against Afghanistan would only add misery to innocent people, particularly children and the elderly, he said. Also, he said, there was no guarantee that attacking Afghanistan would once and for all get rid of Osama bin Laden whom the United States named as the mastermind of the September 11 attacks.

Syed Hamid said the OIC meeting would also discuss the definition of terrorism. He said it was perplexing that while the action of some parties or sectarian group was being labelled as terrorism, a similar act by another group was deemed as otherwise. "So, it is important for OIC to define terrorism," he added.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani condemned last month's attacks on New York and Washington but said US-led retaliation against Afghanistan should not harm civilians.

"We assert our utter rejection of these attacks and assert that confronting them must not touch innocent civilians and must not extend beyond those who carried out those attacks," the emir of Qatar said in opening remarks to the emergency meeting of the OIC.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri on Tuesday predicted his country could be next. "We think that the United States may use this opportunity to...take vengeance against the Iraqi people because Iraq is not ready to surrender its territory to become a colony for the United States, Britain and Israel," he told reporters.

Analysts and officials forecast a final communiqué would voice solidarity for the impoverished Afghan people.

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Majority of UN Member States Denounce Use of Force as a Measure to Eliminate Terrorism

On October 5, the United Nations General Assembly plenary debate on "Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism" concluded its week-long proceedings with the majority of member states opposing the use of force as a measure to eliminate terrorism and demanding that a proper definition of terrorism to be worked out.

In his closing remarks, Assembly President Han Seung-soo of south Korea pointed out: "It is unprecedented in the history of the United Nations for 167 member states and four observers to participate in the debate on a single agenda item." UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, speaking to reporters on the results of the debate, pointed out that in the course of the week, all member states wholeheartedly condemned the terrorist attacks of September 11. "I think what is important is the whole international community has come together to fight the scourge of terrorism," Kofi Annan said.

The results of the plenary debate belie the statement by George W. Bush and Tony Blair that the US and British attacks against Afghanistan are supported by the "collective will of the world". The majority of interventions by representatives of UN member countries, as well as geographic and other groups of member states, called for the United Nations in general, and the General Assembly in particular, to play the crucial role in providing solutions to the problems of terrorism. Member states stressed the need for the General Assembly to strengthen the international legal framework and the rule of law to combat terrorism.

During the debate, Javad Zarif, the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister said, "Terrorism is a heinous product of the outdated paradigm of international relations. That paradigm was founded on the 'will to power' and the arrogance that was associated with it: that 'might makes right'." The international community, he said, "must eradicate terrorism by changing the prevalent mentality that provided a fertile ground for the growth of this menace". He added, "Everyone who is serious about fighting terrorism, especially those in a position of global power, would be well advised not to resort to statements and policies emanating from emotions intertwined with the arrogance of power that could only further entrench the mentality that produced terrorism."

The permanent representative to the UN of the Republic of Cuba, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, said that the United Nations General Assembly, as the UN's most universal and representative body, must be the forum for the international fight against terrorism. The crucial role of the General Assembly cannot be replaced by NATO or other military organisations, nor any group of states or "amorphous and unpredictable" coalitions, nor the Security Council dominated by the powerful through veto power, Bruno Rodriguez said. The Cuban representative emphasised that the fight against terrorism must not be selective and that all forms and manifestations of terrorism, including state terrorism, must be addressed.

Only the US and NATO powers emphasised the role of the UN Security Council in the "war on terrorism", and in particular the recent Security Council resolution requiring specific counter-terrorism measures by member states. As well, the right to individual and collective self-defence as stated in the UN Charter was presented by the US and NATO powers as justification for unleashing aggression against Afghanistan or other countries or peoples of the world.

The interventions by representatives of Britain and the European Union made clear that the NATO powers seek to impose a definition of terrorism on the international community which will provide a justification to criminalise and attack the struggles of any peoples in defence of their rights, especially those struggles for social and national liberation. Yet most interventions highlighted the need for the General Assembly to take up the task of working out a definition of terrorism which will open the path to solving the problem of terrorism while protecting the right of all peoples to fight for their right to self-determination and national and social liberation. This call came both as a call for work to be taken up in earnest on a comprehensive international convention on terrorism, as well as the convoking of an international conference with representatives of all member states to take up the question of defining terrorism. Many member states pointed out that this is not, in fact, a new call. Representatives of many Arab nations in particular pointed out that their countries have called for such a conference for over 30 years. The US and its allies, particularly Britain, have consistently opposed such a conference, saying debate on a definition would result in a "political quagmire".

The conclusion of the debate reflected the divide between the agenda which the US, Britain and other NATO powers call the "war on terrorism" and the aspirations of the world's people to solve the problem of terrorism as reflected in the stands of many of the member states. According to UN General Assembly spokesman Jan Fischer, Assembly President Mr Han took the decision not to proceed with a final declaration after consulting the chairs of the five geographical groups of UN member states. According to news sources, it was clear there would be no consensus as numerous amendments to the declaration were submitted to the General Assembly president in the course of the week.

Han Seung-soo, speaking at the close of the debate, called on the General Assembly's Legal (Sixth) Committee to meet October 15 in order to expedite its work on the comprehensive terrorism convention, which is expected to deal with defining terrorism, and present a report on that work by November 15. The Assembly's annual high-level debate, which includes foreign ministers and is usually attended by many heads of state and government, is scheduled for November 10-16.

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UN Calls for Civilians to Be Protected

UN spokeswoman Stephanie Bunker called for innocent civilians to be protected during the raids as the Anglo-US aggression against Afghanistan was launched.

She said that four local Afghan workers had died on the spot when a US missile struck a building in Kabul belonging to the largest UN-funded agency which clears mines in Afghanistan, the Afghan Technical Consultancy. The deaths were the first independently confirmed civilian casualties of the aerial bombardment. Speaking in the Pakistan capital Islamabad, she said it was vital to distinguish between combatants and innocent civilians who do not bear arms.

Some leading aid organisations have said the strikes are putting future aid operations in jeopardy. "What sense is there in shooting with one hand and distributing medicines with the other? How will the Afghan population know in the future if an offer of humanitarian aid does not hide a military operation?" the medical charity Medecins sans Frontieres said in a statement.

Aid agencies say they have stopped deliveries into Afghanistan since the strikes began because of security concerns. A spokesman for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said a 42-truck convoy of relief supplies was now stranded in the strife-torn Pakistan border city of Quetta.

The UN is bracing for an exodus of as many as 1.5 million Afghan refugees out of the country, mostly into Pakistan.

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For Your Information

Tony Blair's War Cabinet

The war cabinet includes the most senior ministers but also includes officials who will advise the Prime Minister.

The war cabinet comprises: The prime minister, deputy prime minister John Prescott - who will chair it in Mr Blair's absence - foreign secretary Jack Straw, defence secretary Geoff Hoon, Chancellor Gordon Brown, Home Secretary David Blunkett, leader of the House Robin Cook and international development secretary Clare Short.

The key officials include:

Admiral Sir Michael Boyce – The chief of the defence staff, Tony Blair's most important military adviser. He is believed to have reservations about US plans for a national missile defence system. He will be giving the Prime Minister detailed assessments of the military options, their likely success and the likely fallout. He has direct access to the Prime Minister and will be talking to him on a daily, if not hourly, basis.

Alastair Campbell – The Downing Street communications chief, Tony Blair’s most trusted adviser. Alastair Campbell was an experienced Fleet Street political journalist before joining Tony Blair in Downing Street. He is the man who advises Tony Blair on everything from what media appearances to make, to the words he should utter. He was "parachuted" into Brussels to sort out the NATO press team during the Kosova conflict. He is primarily a political adviser who will weigh up all the pros and cons for the government of Britain's involvement.

Anji Hunter –Tony Blair's personal assistant. She has recently been given a powerful role co-ordinating contacts between all government departments. She will be advising Tony Blair on how his decisions will be received by other ministers and other governments.

Jonathan Powell – The Downing Street chief-of-staff, advises Tony Blair on a daily basis. He was a career diplomat before working for the Prime Minister. He has comprehensive contacts in Washington and has played a key behind-the-scenes part in the Northern Ireland peace process negotiations. His brother Charles was a key foreign policy advisor to former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Sir John Kerr – Foreign Office chief civil servant. He has close contacts with foreign governments. He was recently criticised by a powerful Commons committee over the arms-to-Africa affair.

John Scarlett – Former MI6 officer, at the centre of the intelligence networks which will be advising the Prime Minister on the possible perpetrators of the New York atrocities. He is currently the chairman of the joint intelligence committee which co-ordinates all intelligence reports and informs ministers.

Sir David Manning – Former ambassador to NATO and Israel, now the head of the cabinet office defence and overseas secretariat. He is also a key foreign policy adviser and will be giving the Prime Minister advice on his possible options and how they will be received around the world. He is well known and respected in the White House.

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Taleban Condemns Aggression as Terrorist Act

On October 7, soon after US and British forces launched strikes against Afghanistan, Taleban ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef, issued a statement saying, "We condemn the terrorist act against the Afghan nation. Afghanistan is the victim of American arrogance and expansionism. It wants to snatch from the Afghan Muslim people the present Islamic system."

He continued, "These brutal attacks are horrendous, terrorist acts, as inhuman as any in the world. America will never achieve its political goals by launching bestial attacks on the Muslim people of Afghanistan."

"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has always chosen the path of talks and reason to solve problems," the Ambassador added, "but America has always chosen a militaristic approach. However, such a brutal attitude by America will unify the whole Afghan nation against aggression. The Afghan nation will rise against this new colonialism."

He said people had been killed in the cities of Kabul, Kandahar, Jalalabad, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif and Konduz.

On October 8, the Taleban government decided to resist the attacks by the United States and its allied forces, the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) reported. The decision was made at an emergency meeting of the Taleban cabinet held in Kabul to take stock of the situation after the previous night's bombings and missile attacks. The cabinet of the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan has unanimously decided to offer full resistance to any attack by foreign forces on the country, Taleban spokesperson Mullah Ameer Khan Mutaqqi told AIP.

The spokesperson said that the cabinet meeting discussed military and political strategies to counter the foreign aggression, the report states. He said that the Taleban have been strengthening their defences to pre-empt an attack. He added that the Afghan people would fight the Americans as strongly as they fought against the Russians. He also said that the Taleban's position on the issue of the handing over of Osama bin Laden remains unchanged, though he reiterated that their government would always be ready for negotiations. We believe in the solution of problems through talks, he said.

Prior to the Anglo-US military attacks, Ambassador Zaeef issued a statement reiterating the Taleban’s offer to detain and try Osama bin Laden. The ambassador to Pakistan pointed out that proceedings could even begin before evidence was presented so long as the US made a formal allegation. "Under Islamic law, we can put him on trial according to allegations raised against him and then evidence would be provided to the court," he said. A White House spokesperson gave the response: "The President's demands are clear and non-negotiable," adding, "The first step is that they hand over Bin Laden and his lieutenants."

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Viewpoint:

The War Has Begun

A front-page editorial in the official Cuban news daily "Granma", 8 October 2001, reads as follows.

ON October 7, at 9 p.m. Afghan time, the war began. Or rather, the military attack on Afghanistan began. The word "war" suggests a conflict between two more or less equal parties, in which the weakest has at least a minimum amount of technical, financial and economic resources with which to defend itself. But in this case, one of the sides has absolutely nothing. But let’s call it a war anyway. That’s what the person who ordered the military operations called it.

This is really a singular kind of war. An entire country has been converted into a proving ground for the most modern weapons ever invented. The specialists and experts in research centres and military workshops who spent billions of dollars to create instruments of death will follow every detail of how their sinister creatures have performed.

No matter what the pretext, this is a war with the most sophisticated technology aimed at people who don’t know how to read or write; a war of a $20 trillion USD annual gross domestic product versus a country that produces 1,000 times less; a war that will be transformed, for economic, cultural and religious reasons, into a war of the former colonisers versus the formerly colonised, of the most developed versus the least developed, of the richest versus the poorest, of those who call themselves civilised versus those who the "civilised" consider backward and savage.

It’s not a war against terrorism, which could and should be defeated by other more effective, rapid and lasting means available to us; it is a war in favour of terrorism, whose military operations will make it more complicated and more difficult to eradicate terrorism. A cure worse than the disease.

Now we will be showered with news about bombs, missiles, air attacks; movements of armoured vehicles filled with troops of ethnicities allied with the invaders; aerial landings and movements of the attacking countries’ elite ground troops; occupation of cities, even the capital, in a relatively short time; whatever television footage is permitted by the censors or leaked despite them. The battles will be against the natives of that country and not the terrorists. There are no battalions or armies of terrorists. This is a sinister method and concept of fighting, a phantom.

The events mentioned here will be accompanied by triumphalism, chauvinist exaltations, boasting, bragging and other expressions of arrogance and of a supposed cultural and racial superiority.

Then comes the great question: will the resistance end, will all the antagonism disappear, or will the real war begin, the one defined as long and interminable? We are sure that this is the biggest question that those who pride themselves on having launched this irresponsible war must ask themselves today.

Millions of refugees have fanned out everywhere, and the worst times are yet to come. We await the course of events.

Our people will be informed with the greatest possible objectivity about every event that takes place, giving space in line with its importance in the press, on radio and television, without altering the pace of our activities and normal information and recreation programmes, and without abandoning the enormous social and cultural development efforts we are carrying out, nor the careful and strict attention to all production and service activities. The latter are now more important than ever, considering the consequences that current events could have on the already deteriorated world economy, whose effects cannot be escaped by any country, even though none is better prepared, organised and aware than we are to face any difficulty that may appear. And we will continue to pay attention to our defence, as we have always done.

Once again, we will see hesitation and panic in the world. Later, as the foreseeable problems present themselves, there will be a raised awareness and a universal rejection of the war that has just begun. Sooner or later, even US citizens, impacted today by the horrible tragedy, will understand that.

Even now when opposition and condemnation of terrorism and war, which has been the essence of our position – a position currently shared by many people around the world – has been battered by the expected commencement of military operations, we will continue to fight with all our strength for the only possible solution: the cessation of military operations and the eradication of terrorism through co-operation and the support of all countries, the unanimous repudiation and condemnation of international public opinion, under the leadership of the United Nations.

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Letter to Kim Jong Il on Occasion of 56th Anniversary of WPK

October 10, 2001 (Juche 90)

Kim Jong Il
General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea
Chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission
Pyongyang

Dear Comrade Kim Jong Il,

On the joyous occasion of the 56th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea, on behalf of our Central Committee and entire Party, I should like to send to you personally, to your Central Committee and Party, and to the heroic Korean people, our warmest congratulations and heartfelt best wishes.

Throughout its history and in the previous decades in which its roots were struck the Workers’ Party of Korea, the vanguard of the Korean working class, under the great leadership of President Kim Il Sung and now under your wise leadership, has always functioned as a true political guide of the working people, enjoying deep trust and support from the masses of the people by putting forward the lines and policies which meet their demands and interests and by implementing them to the end without vacillation whatever the difficult and complex circumstances.

At no time has this been more evident than in the last difficult decade, which has seen the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea become not only the focus of the imperialists’ military threat and economic blockade but the unfortunate victim of successive natural calamities. And now new dangers threaten the Korean people, with the terrible misfortune of the terrorist attacks on the United States being used as a pretext by the imperialists not only for attempting to block the historic developments towards reunification of the Korean homeland but for renewed threats of aggression, including dangerous new moves of military alliance with Japan, directed against the DPRK, as part of the loudly trumpeted efforts of the US imperialists to dominate the entire Asian region.

We are confident that, as ever, the Workers’ Party of Korea under your leadership will successfully unite the broad working masses around it to overcome these latest dangers. In this you have our whole-hearted support and solidarity in our common cause.

Once again, our congratulations and warm good wishes for your work.

With warmest regards.

Chris Coleman, National Spokesperson of Central Committee

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