Footnotes of an America United

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

 The New York newspaper The Village Voice reports that the war in Afghanistan is causing agony among some feminists.  The paper cites the case of Hibak Osman (ph), director of something called the Center for the Strategic Initiatives of Women, located here in Washington.

Last year in a speech at the U.N., Osman said that the only war she could justify was one to oust the Taliban in Afghanistan.  Now, though, she says, "I was just making a point," adding,  "but do I support war?  No no. War is not OK under any circumstances." 

And how bad are the living conditions in Afghanistan?  Craig Nelson of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the bathroom conditions are, "not for the squeamish or shy, so much so that a reporter for Japan's Kyoto News has bought her own toilet seat, and can frequently be seen carrying it over her shoulder."

And reporter Don Melvin in Pakistan says the locals have been generally friendly, but when he covers protests, "psychology can be unpredictable and frightening," so  "when people in a demonstration asked me where I was from, I looked them right in the eye and said 'Sweden.'  It seemed to make them happy."

The FBI is turning down help from former agents who have volunteered to help the Bureau, whose manpower has been seriously strained since September 11th.  The Los Angeles Times reports that as many as 350 former agents have volunteered to assist, but have been told thanks, but no thanks.  That "there's not an express need at this juncture," in the words of an F.B.I. spokesman.

Meanwhile, says the paper, the C.I.A. is eagerly bringing back some of the hundreds of former C.I.A. agents who have asked to help in the intelligence effort.

And the White House acknowledged that President Bush has expressed dismay to Saudi Arabia over allegedly inaccurate stories in the U.S. media, saying the Saudis have not cooperated fully in the war on terror.  Meanwhile, this is the kind of thing that appears in the state-controlled Saudi media: a cartoon in the English language Arab news depicting a blood-soaked Ariel Sharon eating a human arm while President Bush kisses his hand.