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"All Things Considered"
National Public Radio
Washington, D.C.

Dear "All Things Considered"

I was pleasantly surprised to hear your coverage this evening (January 25) in which you reported on the death of 154 Afghan civilians in five incidents of bombing by the U.S. air force. As you conceded, if 154 were killed in 5 days of bombing out of the total of 99 days of bombing, the final death toll of civilians must be in the thousands.
My sources in Pakistan say that the total of Afghan civilians killed in the bombing is near 60,000. Of these only 4076 have been documented (by an American) but the rest can only be estimated because they remain buried in hundreds of mud hut villages which were obliterated in the bombing.
You had the moral courage to point out that 65 of those Afghan civilans were killed in the bombing of an Afghan mosque during prayer time near the town of Khost. I couldn't quite catch it, but was that an excuse from your side or from the Pentagon that three Al-Qaida members were among those who were praying in the mosque?
I wonder if the Pentagon realizes what kind of precedent it has set by bombing the mosque. If an enemy is praying among a community, are you saying it is okay to wipe out the whole community?
Will any member of the U.S. air force be penalized for killing all those civilians? Can Rumsfeld or Stufflebeem or Myers be brought to trial for directing those attacks? Surely, the conscience of America must answer if its outcry about terrorism is to be taken seriously by the Muslim world.
Remember, there were no Afghans among the hijackers.


Kaukab Siddique, Ph.D
Phone: 410-638-5965

2002-01-26 Sat 15:01ct