Footnotes of an America United

There were these footnotes to the story of America's war on terrorism.

New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's performance since the September 11th massacre at the World Trade Center has won him wide acclaim -- so much so, he was invited to address the U.N. And one Chicago newspaper columnist reports that firefighters in that city are considering a write-in campaign for Giuliani as the Windy City's next mayor.

But Mayor Giuliani's performance has not impressed the Reverend Al Sharpton, who was especially offended at Giuliani's interest in extending his term in office. Quote -- "We elected you mayor, not messiah," said Sharpton over the weekend, adding -- quote -- "You didn't bring us together. Our pain brought us together. We would have come together if Bozo was the mayor."

More controversy reported from attempts to fly the American flag on campus. The Worcester, Massachusetts "Telegram" says Margaret Post, a secretary at Holy Cross College, took a flag to work and hung it in the second-floor hallway in honor of Todd Beamer, the hero of the flight that crashed near Pittsburgh on September 11th, after he and others tried to overwhelm the hijackers. She was a close friend to Beamer.

But the chairman of the college sociology Department, Roy Singleton, ordered her take it down. She refused, so he took it down and handed it to her. She went home in tears. Singleton has since apologized, but gave no explanation for his actions beyond saying the flag -- quote -- "stirred certain emotions in me."

A man named Hafiz Sadiqlia Hassani, who says he was once the bodyguard for Taliban leader Mullah Omar, has described to the "London Daily Telegraph" how the Taliban tortured people who, for example, disobeyed their rules against watching TV or playing cards. Quote -- "We would beat them with staves soaked in water until the room ran with their blood or their spines snapped."

He described one victim as -- quote -- "beaten so much, such a pulp of skin and blood, that it was impossible to tell whether he had clothes on or not. Every time he fell unconscious, we rubbed salt into his wounds to make him scream," end quote. Hassani said he eventually escaped into Pakistan.

And as notes, what word does Reuters, which refuses to use the word "terrorist" apply to the Taliban? Reuters calls them -- quote -- puritanical."