Footnotes of an America United

ABC News President David Westin, facing criticism for saying that he had no opinion on whether the Pentagon was a legitimate target for a terrorist attack, has now reversed himself.  Westin made the original comments in an answer to a question at Columbia Journalism School last week. 

In an e-mail to the Media Research Center, which first noted his remarks, he said, "Upon reflection, I realize that my answer did not address the specifics of September 11.  Under any interpretation, the attack on the Pentagon was criminal and entirely without justification.  I apologize for any harm that my misstatement may have caused."

And Walter Isaacson, chairman of CNN, has ordered his overseas staff to make sure they balance their reports on civilian casualties in Afghanistan with reminders that the Taliban harbors murderous terrorists.  

Isaacson said CNN correspondents must, "redouble our efforts to make sure we don't seem to be simply reporting from their vantage or perspective."  CNN has been criticized for doing just that in the past, especially during the Gulf War, when critics complained that correspondent Peter Arnett reported Iraqi propaganda about civilian casualties and targets as if they were fact.  

Britain has suffered its first casualties of the Afghanistan bombing, but the three Britons who died last week turned out to be Muslims who were in Kabul to fight for the Taliban.  

Two of the men hailed from the town of Luton near London, which is home to the third largest mosque in the country and to a Muslim population reportedly seething with rage at the U.S. and Britain and strongly supporting the Taliban.

The Times of London quotes one Muslim activist in Luton as saying, "We as Muslims don't perceive ourselves as British Muslims.  We are Muslims who live in Britain.  And we hate America and the British government for the bombing."

And Patricia Ireland, former head of the National Organization for Women says, there's been too much white-guy talk since the September 11 attacks.  The majority of voices, she says, has been those of, "rich, white, able-bodied and apparently straight men."  She added, "Guy talk is:  Usama bin Laden wanted dead or alive?"  Other voices were needed she said, especially to insist that service women be able to get abortions while overseas.