Meditation Focus #49

Stabilizing Global Feelings and Averting a Global War


What follows is the 49th Meditation Focus suggested for the two consecutive weeks beginning Sunday, October 14, 2001.


1. Summary
2. Meditation times
3. More information on this Meditation Focus


As the world gradually comes to grip with finding the best ways to respond to the cascading consequences of the September 11 attacks against innocent people on the U.S. territory and as we watch helplessly the daily bombings against military targets in Afghanistan in a effort to root out the terrorist organization deemed responsible for this tragedy as well as the Taliban government in league with it, there is growing fear in the U.S. and in the UK that more terrorist actions, perhaps involving bacteriological and/or chemical weapons, are imminent. Prominent among these consequences are the mounting number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan and the impending humanitarian catastrophe because of the critical shortage of food, as well as the risk that the popular fury in various Muslim countries over this bombing campaign will be used by extremist voices to further inflate anger, destabilize several of these countries and perhaps even precipitate the whole world into a much larger conflict with the Western world. Although nary a voice in the mainstream media dares mention the possibility that this whole terror scenario and the resulting war campaign may have been orchestrated with ulterior motives that are only now beginning to surface in various Internet fora, the possibility do exist that the whole world is being led into a global war scenario to fulfil the extremely destructive and selfish agenda of secretive interests.

Faced with this possibility, lightworkers and other spiritually-motivated people bear the key responsibility to not only express their concerns whenever they can and be a voice of restraint and compassion, but also to hold the "line of sanity", from a spiritual/energy standpoint, and radiate as often and as powerfully as they possibly can the healing vibrations of Peace, Love and Harmony so as to help stabilize the global emotional response of our brothers and sisters to all these events and perceived threats, and thus deny to the opposition forces the fertile ground necessary to accomplish their destructive deeds and dark plans. Current opinion polls still show in many Western countries a wide support for current governmental actions and plans as a result of the fear-mongering threats to security presented by government officials through an acquiescing media. Our assistance to the powerful Forces of Good arrayed in the invisible realm to defeat those plans could be immeasurably helpful in tilting the karmic balance towards a bright future of mutual caring and true global peace for all beings on Earth. But the fact is that we ought to take a leading role in standing for what we all ARE, as Beings of Light embodied to accomplish a mission of mercy and redemption in this long-suffering world.

So now more than ever, you are invited to dedicate your prayers and meditations, as guided by Spirit, every day during the coming two weeks to contribute in stabilizing global feelings towards the frequency of steadfast confidence in the Forces of Good, allegiance and dedication to the truth, and continuous improvement towards expressing our innate Lighted nature as compassionate beings of Love, for the Highest Good of All.


i) Global Meditation Day: Sunday at 16:00 Universal Time (GMT) or at noon local time. Suggested duration: 30 minutes. Please dedicate the last few minutes of your Sunday meditation to the healing of the Earth as a whole. See the Earth as healthy and vibrant with life, and experience the healing of all relations as we awaken globally to the sacredness of all Life and to our underlying unity with All That Is.

ii) Golden Moment of At-Onement: Daily, at the top of any hour, or whenever it better suits you.

These times below are currently corresponding to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT:

Honolulu 6:00 AM -- Anchorage * 8:00 AM -- Los Angeles * 9:00 AM -- Mexico City, San Salvador & Denver * 10:00 AM -- Houston * & Chicago * 11:00 AM -- Santo Domingo, La Paz, Caracas, New York *, Toronto *. Montreal *, Asuncion & Santiago 12:00 AM -- Halifax *, Rio de Janeiro & Montevideo 1:00 PM -- Reykjavik & Casablanca 4 PM -- Lagos, Algiers, London *, Dublin * & Lisbon * 5:00 PM -- Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Geneva *, Rome *, Berlin *, Paris * & Madrid * 6:00 PM -- Ankara *, Athens *, Helsinki * & Istanbul * & Nairobi 7:00 PM -- Baghdad *, Moscow * 8:00 PM -- Tehran * 8:30 PM -- Islamabad 9:00 PM -- Calcutta & New Delhi 9:30 PM -- Dhaka 10:00 PM -- Rangoon 10:30 PM -- Hanoi, Bangkok & Jakarta 11:00 PM -- Hong Kong, Perth, Beijing & Kuala Lumpur +12:00 PM -- Seoul & Tokyo +1:00 AM -- Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne +2:00 AM -- Wellington +4:00 AM

+ means the place is one day ahead of Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time.
* means the place is observing daylight saving time (DST) at the moment.

You may also check at to find your current corresponding local time if a closeby city is not listed above.


This section is for those who wish to understand in more details the situation outlined in this Meditation Focus. For those who wish to read on, we would encourage you to view the following information from a positive perspective, and not allow the details to tinge the positive vision you wish to hold in meditation. Since what we focus on grows, the more positive our mindset, the more successful we will be in manifesting a vision of healing. We provide the details below because we recognize that the knowledge of what needs healing can assist us to structure our awareness to maximise our healing effect.

From the UNHRC - The UN Refugee Agency - website
(Currently caring for 22 millions people worldwide)

Current top Story: UNHCR expresses 'frustration' over obstacles in preparing for possible influx of refugees (Thursday, 11 October 2001)

The UN Refugee Agency expressed growing 'concern and frustration' Thursday at what it called numerous obstacles in preparing campsites in Pakistan for up to 300,000 new Afghan refugees.


"We are in a real race against time, and right now we are losing," High Commissioner Ruud Lubbers said in a statement. "Obviously, we hope there are no new refugees fleeing to neighbouring states, but there is every possibility that we could soon start seeing large numbers of new arrivals."

Lubbers said the possibilities of aiding Afghans inside their country was a limited option at the moment.

"In any event, it is our responsibility to work with [surrounding] asylum countries to be prepared in the event of a refugee influx," the High Commissioner continued. "Unfortunately, we are not receiving the support – in the region or internationally – that we need."

The refugee agency and its partners have set an initial planning goal of building and equipping camps to handle up to 400,000 new arrivals in Pakistan and Iran.

"Compounding the problems is the insistence of the Pakistani government that any new camps be built in dry, remote and insecure tribal areas along the Afghan border," the relief agency statement said.


In a related development, the refugee agency urged donor countries to quickly provide the $50 million needed for the first phase of the contingency plans to provide shelter for up to 400,000 people. While $29 million has been pledged to date, less than $23 million has been received to date, UNHCR said.

"We have repeatedly stressed the need for international burden-sharing in this emergency so that the neighbouring states, who have already made enormous sacrifices, can be more generous in their response as well," Lubbers said.

He added that any supplies pre-positioned by UNHCR in Pakistan and Iran could be transferred to Afghanistan itself if there was no major influx into neighbouring states.

Other stories:

UNHCR welcomes Nobel Peace Prize award to U.N.

Refugee returns to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia remain at a trickle

Campsite preparations for Afghan refugees halted for fifth day Friday



Saturday, 13 October 2001

US warned of catastrophe in wake of air assault

WASHINGTON, Financial Times, London Ed1 via NewsEdge Corporation : Grim evidence of widespread hunger and the migration of refugees in Afghanistan emerged this week to underscore the urgent need for the restoration of conventional food and medical aid supplies.

As US officials reviewed daunting immediate and long-term needs in light of this week's interruption of supplies because of the air raids, the controversy over the delivery of individual rations in air-dropped "flutter" packages receded.

It was replaced by warnings of the danger of a "humanitarian catastrophe" in a country the size of Texas, in which, the United Nations claims, 1.5m Afghans face starvation this winter, as many as 7.5m risk severe food shortages, 3m refugees live in exile, while another 1m have been internally displaced.

No assessments have yet been made of the impact on civilians of this week's air attacks.

Senator Paul Wellstone told a Senate foreign relations committee that the US-led international coalition assembled by President George W. Bush could be pulled apart if a "humanitarian catastrophe is attributed to our military operations".

Andrew Natsios of the US Agency for International Development warned that there was worse to come. Deaths attributable to malnutrition would increase, he said, so that people tempted to leave home to avoid the armed conflict had to be persuaded to stay.

"We do not want population movements. 50 per cent of the people will either die during the movements or when they arrive in the camps they will be so debilitated they cannot be revived," Mr Natsios said.

On Wednesday, Mr Natsios held a lengthy discussion with Lord Robertson, Nato secretary general, in which the sole topic was, "What we do after we win."

While there is little doubt about the ability of western countries and allies to provide funds, there are growing questions about shipping and storing crucial supplies before the onset of Afghanistan's bitter winter.

The air campaign launched last Sunday has compounded the accumulated effects of 20 years of conflict and four years of devastating drought.

Barely a month remained for farmers to plant winter wheat crops, and they needed seed to replace their own reserves which had been used for food, aid officials warned.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, home-grown wheat seed for the winter crop and next spring's planting season would account for only 10,000 metric tons of the 400,000 tons needed.

AID's Mr Natsios said the protracted drought had caused near-total failure of rain-fed crops in more than half the country. Half the irrigated land was fallow because of damage to irrigation systems.

Mr Wellstone said that in addition to halting the cycle of drought and famine, the coalition had a duty to help restore social, economic and political order and renew shattered infrastructure. Without such aid, a vacuum would be created for radical extremist groups to exploit, and "may even make the American people more vulnerable in the end," he warned.



Medecins Sans Frontieres criticizes U.S. aid drops

Kyodo via NewsEdge Corporation : PARIS, Oct. 9 (Kyodo) – The international medical-aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) on Monday criticized the "humanitarian" airdrops by U.S. aircraft immediately following U.S. and British military strikes on Sunday against targets in Afghanistan, calling the aid operation "virtually useless and maybe even dangerous."

In a statement, the MSF described the distribution of cases of food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies as a propaganda "designed to gather international approval of the attacks led by the United States."

The MSF also rejected calls by U.S. and British governments to join their efforts to organize humanitarian aid "alongside the military coalition." Instead, the MSF called for an "independent humanitarian action" to deliver aid to Afghanistan.

The organization was founded in 1971 and received the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize. It has been working in Afghanistan since 1979.



Aid groups question U.S. airdrops

WASHINGTON (AP) – Some humanitarian groups said Wednesday that the U.S. military airdrops of food in Afghanistan might turn out to be ineffective and possibly counterproductive.

Bush administration officials said the drops were a small part of the necessary humanitarian assistance, and agreed that one purpose was to win the support of the Afghan people.


Planes loaded with the food aid are dropping 37,000 yellow ration packets a day, each containing two meals. Nicolas de Torrente, executive director of Doctors without Borders-USA, said that food drops by partisans in a fight can jeopardize aid workers who must maintain their neutrality.

If aid is not perceived to be free of political objectives, he said, "it can be claimed by one or both sides as a part of the war effort. Aid and aid workers can then become targets of war."

Kenneth Bacon, a former Pentagon spokesman who now heads up Refugees International, said the airdrops were better than nothing. "But they appear to be intended more to send a political message to the Afghan people and to the Muslim world than to reach large numbers of people at risk of starvation," he said.

The committee's chairman, Delaware Democrat Joseph Biden, said the United States must be prepared to spend billions of dollars, not just the $320 million announced by President Bush.

Administration officials agreed that more was needed to head of starvation in Afghanistan, a country that was already suffering from drought and war even before the U.S. bombing campaign.

"The great bulk of the food needs will be delivered by truck," said Natsios, adding that 1.5 million Afghans risk starvation by winter's end. "This is only a small part."



U.S. military defends its food drops in Afghanistan from criticism

BERLIN (AP) – The U.S. military on Wednesday defended its daily humanitarian deliveries to Afghan civilians from criticism by aid groups that the packages of food being dropped from the sky are propaganda.

Planes loaded with the food aid were in the air Sunday at the same time that jets were bombing military targets in Afghanistan in retaliation for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Since then, the C-17 cargo planes have blanketed isolated areas with 37,000 yellow plastic ration packets daily, each containing two meals.


International aid agency Oxfam joined the criticism, saying the air drops are expensive and inefficient. Oxfam's New Zealand executive director Terri-Ann Scorer said the rations will only feed "37,000 for one day and yet there are 5 or 6 million people who need food to survive the winter."

Loomis said the aid is just part of a $320 million package for Afghanistan announced by President Bush Oct. 4. About 100,000 packages of a planned 500,000 have already been dropped.



Witnesses confirm that dozens were killed in bombing

War against terrorism: Casualties
(13 October 2001)


They describe the village of Darunta, where at least two civilians were killed and many more were injured. They tell of a mosque, where dozens, perhaps as many as 150, worshippers were killed by bombs on Thursday. Spokesmen for the ruling Taliban militia made similar claims on Thursday and they were denied by British and American officials, including the British International Development Secretary, Clare Short.

Accounts are still few but they are consistent to prove what the coalition Allies are desperate to deny: that the attacks did take place, and that many civilians were killed. They suggest that, despite early reports of its accuracy the coalition bombing campaign is taking a tragically high toll in innocent lives.

Mr Karwakhel entered Karam in the early afternoon of Thursday, he told the Dawn newspaper in Peshawar. In a few hours there he witnessed two funerals – one of a group of 10 people, the second a group of five. The whole village, he said, was occupiued in burying the dead. He was told that, including surrounding villages, 150 civilians were killed in the area. "Out of the total civilian casualties," he said, "about 100 were killed in Karam village alone."

Some 45 of the 60 houses, simple structures of dried mud, were destroyed; apart from the human casualties, there were many injured cattle and the stunned villagers were still occupied in pulling them out from under the collapsed houses.


The second confirmed tragedy was in the town of Jalalabad where 19-year-old Mohammed Rahim was passing through on his way to Pakistan. He passed the Sultanpur Mosque and saw similar scenes: coffins containing bodies laid out for burial. Local people told him that a bomb had hit the mosque during prayers, and that some 17 people had been caught inside. Neighbours rushed in to pull them out of the rubble and the rescue operation was under way when another bomb fell. "The second one killed 120 people," he told The Independent.


Other second-hand reports from Afhghan refugees arriving in Peshawar speak of civilian deaths in the villages of Torghar and Farmada, respectively north and west of Jalalabad. "I met one family who said they saw 28 dead bodies in Farmada," said Mohammed Tahir.

"They said that the bombs had fallen from a plane and that they had seen it with their own eyes. In Farmada, the Arabs [Osama bin-Laden's followers] used to have a training camp, but they left after the Taliban came to power. That was five years ago, and now they have gone elsewhere."

Such anecdotal accounts suggest that out of date intelligence may be to blame for the tragedies – it seems unlikely that a stray bomb aimed at a military installation would hit a remote village. But diplomatic sources suggested on Friday that there was another possible explanation.

According to these sources, Afghan employees of foreign agencies recently returned from Kabul have reported seeing Taliban military facilities deliberately moving into civilian residential areas – either to discourage bombardment or to increase innocent victims and thus moral revulsion at the attacks.




U.S. Bomb Hits Residential Area (October 13)
WASHINGTON (AP) - A U.S. bomb intended to strike a helicopter at the Kabul airport hit a residential neighborhood a mile away in the Afghan capital Saturday, the Pentagon said. CLIP



UN demands pause in bombing to let aid reach starving Afghans
(13 October 2001)

Mary Robinson, the United Nations commissioner for human rights, called on Friday for a halt to Allied air strikes to allow aid to reach up to two million "desperate" civilians trapped in Afghanistan.

In the most high-profile call yet for restraint from the US-led Allies, the former Irish president said many ordinary Afghans were running out of time for aid to reach them.

The plea, made on Ireland's RTE radio, came as Clare Short, the Secretary of State for International Development, said a quarter of Afghanistan's population of 22 million were already hungry. Both Ms Short and Mrs Robinson said the transportation of aid into Afghanistan before winter snows arrived in mid-November was now a priority.

Mrs Robinson said refugees who were trapped in outlying areas or at the Afghan border were in particular need of help. "There is a desperate situation for hundreds of thousands – perhaps up to two million – of the Afghan civilian population who desperately need food," she said. "We must have a pause in order to enable huge humanitarian access and to allow a number of Afghans to come across the borders. This is the real wish of the humanitarian agencies."

The request came as both the Ministry of Defence and the Pentagon hinted at a reduction in bombing to coincide with the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on 17 November. The US did not launch any bombing raids on Friday, the Islamic holy day, but explosions were reported early on Saturday in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Mrs Robinson said there was a duty on the West, and in particular the US, to protect the human rights of Afghans if the Northern Alliance enters Kabul in its battle with the Taliban. She also underlined the need to protect civilians during the US-led raids, which Taliban leaders claim have already killed 200.

She said: "It's very important that the effective power exercised by the US also makes it clear that there must be no impunity from gross violation of human rights by the Taliban or the Northern Alliance."



U.S. military response is wrong -- and it won't work
(Friday, Oct. 12, 2001)

The magnitude of the initial U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan raises legal, moral and practical questions. The use of military force for self-defense is legitimate under international law. Military retaliation is not.

The use of heavy bombers against a country with few hard targets belies the Bush administration's claim that the attacks are not against the people of Afghanistan.

The airstrikes are punishing the wrong people -- the Afghan population. They have already suffered through a 23-year nightmare: communist dictatorship, foreign invasion, civil war, competing warlords and fundamentalist rule.

The Afghan people are the first and primary victims of the Taliban, perhaps the most totalitarian regime on Earth.

It is tragic that the United States is victimizing them further through a large-scale military operation that will almost certainly lead to widespread civilian casualties. The strikes will also do little to root out terrorism.

The Taliban leaders may escape harm in their bunkers or in remote mountain outposts. And the strikes may gain some sympathy for the regime and even Osama bin Laden himself, as people under attack tend to rally around their leaders.

The Taliban regime in Afghanistan has given bin Laden and his supporters sanctuary, but this is not a typical case of state-backed terrorism. As a result of bin Laden's personal fortune and elaborate international network, he does not need (and apparently has not received) direct financial or logistical support from the Afghan government. Destroying the limited government resources in Afghanistan, therefore, may not cripple bin Laden and his cohorts.

Al-Qaida is a decentralized network of underground terrorist cells operating throughout Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. It does not have much in the way of tangible targets that can be struck as if the United States were at war with a government. To target Afghanistan seems to be more an act of catharsis than a rational strategy to enhance U.S. security.

If there is any logic to bin Laden's madness, it is his hope that the United States will overreact militarily, creating an anti-American backlash in the region, which would play right into his hands. This may very well happen.

In order to break up these terrorist cells and bring the terrorists to justice, the United States needs the cooperation of intelligence services and police agencies in a number of Muslim countries. If the ongoing attacks are seen to be excessive and innocent lives are lost, it will be politically difficult for these regimes to provide the United States with the level of cooperation needed.

To win the war against terrorism, we need to re-evaluate our definition of security. The more the United States militarizes the Middle East, the less secure we become. All the sophisticated weaponry, all the brave fighting men and women and all the talented military leadership will not stop terrorism as long as our policies cause millions of people to hate us.

President Bush is wrong when he claims we are targeted because we are a ``beacon for freedom.'' We are targeted because the support of freedom is not part of our policy in the Middle East, which has instead been based upon alliances with repressive governments and support for military occupation. If the United States supported a policy based more on human rights, international law and sustainable development and less on arms transfers, airstrikes and punitive sanctions, we would be a lot safer.

America's greatest strength is not its far-flung military might but the fortitude and compassion of its people and the democratic values they uphold.

Stephen Zunes is an associate professor of politics and chair of the Peace & Justice Studies Program at the University of San Francisco.



U.S., Others Should Reject Landmine Use in Afghanistan

(New York, October 12, 2001) The United States should not use antipersonnel landmines in Afghanistan and should take extra care not to drop food into areas that have been mined by others, Human Rights Watch urged today.

In a new backgrounder released today (see at, Human Rights Watch said that only two of Afghanistan's twenty-nine provinces are believed to be free of mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO). The most heavily affected provinces are Herat and Kandahar, the latter being the Taliban's chief stronghold. The provinces bordering on Pakistan and Iran, which are the most common destinations for refugees fleeing the country, are also heavily mined; they include Farah, Paktia, Kabul, Zabul, Ghazni, and Paktika. Even the capital, Kabul, is mine-affected.

"Afghanistan is already one of the most heavily mined countries in the world, and the United States should not be making it worse," said Joost Hiltermann, executive director of the Arms division of Human Rights Watch. "Landmines are indiscriminate weapons that will still kill civilians even if the Taliban is ousted."

Landmines may already kill or maim more civilians in Afghanistan than in any other country. In the year 2000, there were on average about eighty-eight recorded mine/UXO casualties per month. It is believed that the actual number of mine victims could be 50 percent to 100 percent greater, taking into account those deaths and injuries that go unreported. And the toll is likely to grow significantly with the rapid and chaotic movement into unfamiliar territory of civilians who fear U.S. airstrikes and military operations by the various Afghan forces.

The New York Times reported on its website October 11 that American B-52 and B-1 bombers dropped "area munitions," including CBU-89 Gators. The CBU-89 Gator is a mixed-mine system containing both antipersonnel and antivehicle mines. If confirmed, these drops would mark the first time the U.S. is known to have used antipersonnel mines since the Gulf War ten years ago.

Human Rights Watch has not been able to verify whether U.S. food drops have in fact landed in mined areas. But since Afghanistan has been heavily mined by various parties over two decades of war, the United States should take extra precautions to avoid mined areas.

While virtually all combatants in Afghanistan in recent decades are thought to have used mines, most were laid by Soviet and pro-Soviet Afghan government forces from 1979-1992. The Taliban claims to have stopped the use of antipersonnel mines in 1998, declaring it un-Islamic and punishable by death. There has been no credible evidence of use by Taliban forces since 1998, though some allegations have emerged in recent weeks. The opposition United Front are believed to be continuing their use of antipersonnel mines. "Even if no new landmines are laid, efforts to demine the country will undoubtedly be scaled back for the duration of the armed conflict," said Hiltermann. "The grim reality is that the mine situation in Afghanistan can only be exacerbated by the current crisis."

A total of 142 countries have joined the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, which prohibits the use production, stockpiling, and transfer of antipersonnel landmines under any circumstance and requires destruction of stockpiled and emplaced mines. On Tuesday, Algeria became the latest country to ratify the treaty, which has been ratified more quickly than any multilateral treaty in history. The United States has not joined.

As a founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), Human Rights Watch is a staunch supporter of the call for a total ban on the use, production, stockpiling, and transfer of antipersonnel landmines. It serves as Coordinator of the ICBL's civil-society based verification initiative, the Landmine Monitor.

OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH DOCUMENTS RECOMMENDED: Afghanistan and Refugees: Need for Humanitarian Action Statement by Human Rights Watch to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee October 10, 2001 Afghanistan: Armed Conflict Poses Risk of Further Ethnic Violence Human Rights Watch warned today that the potential for ethnic violence in Afghanistan is likely to rise as armed conflict between the country's warring factions escalates. October 7, 2001 Press Release Afghanistan: Poor Rights Record of Opposition Commanders A number of commanders associated with the emerging coalition of opposition forces in Afghanistan have a record of serious human rights abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a backgrounder released today. October 6, 2001 Press Release Military Assistance to the Afghan Opposition October 6, 2001 Human Rights Watch Backgrounder (download PDF version - 6 pages)


See also:

Afghans 'dying of hunger' (Saturday, 13 October)

The hungriest and poorest Afghans are dying of hunger and cold, aid workers say, at rates far higher than aid agencies consider to be crisis levels. CLIP



Of special interest this Saturday October 13, 2001:

US admits killing civilians,1361,573485,00.html

- US officials dampen anthrax fears
Panic over the spread of anthrax today gripped New York and other American cities following yesterday's news that an NBC worker in New York had contracted the disease.

- Thousands march for peace
More than 20,000 protesters today joined Britain's biggest protest yet against military action in Afghanistan by the US and its allies.

UK doctors and vets on anthrax alert,1361,573398,00.html

Bioterror: Public health officials warn that unexplained signs of illness could be the first indication of a silent terror attack. CLIP

Health professionals were told to be particularly suspicious of illness in previously healthy people and to raise the alarm immediately, so that blood or nasal samples could be sent for laboratory checks. In people incubation could last from a few days to two months before symptoms showed. CLIP

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