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Since our last update ZNet has had a host of additional articles and other materials posted. Truth be told, is getting to the point where there is so much new each time, that we need some more effective way to communicate these free updates -- which we are now thinking about. Some of the new content is reports on the WSF 2002, with pieces by Albert, Rebick, Klein, Adams, Karliner, Grubacic, etc. These are all linked prominently from the top page...try, for example, these three... http://www.zmag.org/content/VisionStrategy/albertwsf.cfm http://www.zmag.org/content/VisionStrategy/RebickWSF.cfm http://www.corpwatch.org/issues/PID.jsp?articleid=1708 There are pieces on Argentina, Enron, and repression, by such folks as Scheer, Palast, Hunter, Brecher, Prashad, the Green Party, and Pilger, etc. Try, for example these four... http://www.zmag.org/content/Economy/scheer_enron_police.cfm http://www.gregpalast.com/detail.cfm?artid=114&row=0 http://www.zmag.org/content/LatinAmerica/hunter0209.cfm http://www.zmag.org/content/Race/pilger0127.cfm There are essays on other topics Galeano, Solomon, Blakeney, Monbiot, Cockburn, and others, plus many pieces on unfolding events in the Mideast, and of course in the "War on Terrorism," more aptly called massacres and manipulations in the name of fighting terrorism. Try these four, for example... http://www.zmag.org/content/TerrorWar/galeano_awards.cfm http://www.zmag.org/content/Activism/BleakneyBono.cfm http://www.zmag.org/content/ForeignPolicy/MonbiotBlackHawk.cfm http://www.zmag.org/content/VisionStrategy/open_letter_.cfm Various ZNet subsites have been updated as well, as usual -- including our highlights from other alternative media site, global economics coverage, latin america watch, our stategy/vision pages, and many others, all linked from the ZNet top page. So pay us a visit...try the interactive components...and consider becoming a ZNet Sustainer. About the latter, I should like to request that each frequent ZNet user who isn't already a ZNet Sustainer at least go to the pages describing our Sustainer Program and check out the possibility. You can click the link for the Sustainer Program on the ZNet top page, or you can go directly to http://www.zmag.org/Commentaries/donorform.htm Thanks for all your support... ----- To conclude, for those who wonder what the results of the massacre of Afghanistan will be...this article clarifies n very few words. Beyond the collateral deaths by bombing, the far larger calamity which is not accidental at all, but waas entirely predictable and predicted, involves food, shelter, and lonely, ignominious death. The U.S. chose policies that all concerned agreed could kill millions. Only the unforeseen early collapse of the Taliban prevented holocaust, but even with that unforeseen luck, the outcome is far worse than most contemplate. ----- By the BBC's David Loyn in western Afghanistan Monday, 4 February, 2002 Tens of thousands of people face starvation this winter in western Afghanistan - despite a huge international aid effort. About seven million people depend on aid in Afghanistan - but the disruption to supplies during last year's fighting broke a vulnerable food chain. Tuberculosis is spreading among people weakened by hunger. The worst affected area is the mountainous province of Badghis, in western Afghanistan. Half of the houses in the remote mountain village of Siah Sangh are empty. Some villagers have taken refuge in squalid camps around the nearby city of Herat. Other have died of hunger or related diseases. Aid vehicles carrying food and medicine plough through mud and dirt tracks, trying to reach villages like Siah Sangh. Lack of doctors But when we get to the end of the road, all we can do is walk - as do most people who live in these inaccessible areas. Our guide is a boy aged only 13 or 14, who carries a Kalashnikov rifle. He has spent the morning walking to the village, carrying medicine for his brother. He doesn't know what his brother is suffering from - but the medicine he is carrying is for tuberculosis. There is no doctor in his village, but he says he's lucky to live only a few hours' walk from the clinic. Asked why he carries a gun, he replies that it is for hunting, to shoot a bird that might be food for his family. Graves Climbing up a narrow canyon, we reach a graveyard on the hill above that seems to dwarf the village. We find a woman praying beside the grave of the one-year-old baby she lost this winter. "My child died of hunger. He was pale and weak, he could not move and he died because we did not have anything to give him." Until last summer, there were still a few sheep and cattle in Siah Sangh. But now the last animals have been sold, and families have resorted to selling their own daughters for grain. Food as money The dowry system has always given girls a value, but it is the first time that seven-year-olds have been sold off for a few sacks of wheat, villagers say. Grain is the new currency in the mountains. Much of the food which has come in this weekend has gone straight to "grain lenders" in the bazaar. Last year they gave villagers food as credit. Now the villagers have to repay their creditors before they can eat themselves. An Oxfam aid worker explains the system: "When we are distributing the food a very big part of this food is going back to pay the shopkeepers," he says. "Even if they are hungry they have to pay their debts back to the shop keepers." The only answer for Oxfam is to pump in more food to fill the backlog. They lost three months during the fighting and in that vacuum people died. Informal camps have developed around grain distribution points because many people are too weak to carry their food home. As a desperate last resort, some have turned to eating a sort of clover which grows in the grass and barren fields - where wheat, barley and watermelons were once cultivated. ==================================== This message has been brought to you by ZNet (http://www.zmag.org). Visit our site for subscription options.