Groups Denounce War in Afghanistan; American Airlines and a Mistaken Identity

And there were these footnotes to the story of America at war.

A coalition of Catholics has declared the nation's war on terrorism "immoral." The Washington Times reports 68 groups and individuals issued a statement earlier this month denouncing the war in Afghanistan, saying U.S. operations violated the church's "just war" doctrine.  The group claims the war effort killed 3,700 innocent civilians in Afghanistan – and that those deaths violate Church teachings against "indiscriminate attacks on innocent people." The statement was signed by the president of the Maryknoll Sisters, officers of the group Pax Christi U.S.A., the president of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, and the co-director of the Franciscan Mission Service. In contrast, the U-S Conference of Catholic Bishops supports the war. 

American Airlines, which was victimized by terrorists on Sept. 11 and suffered a near-miss last week, gave the boot Tuesday night to an Arab-American passenger who, in the opinion of the crew, looked suspicious. The man had boarded a Baltimore to Dallas flight, and told security officials he had a very important and respectable job. He even offered to provide phone numbers of people who could vouch for him. But wary airlines officials grilled him for more than an hour.  Now, the bad news for American. His story checked out. The man was a Secret Service agent headed for duty at President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, and the Secret Service has launched an investigation into his detention. So is The Council of American -Islamic Relations, which calls the incident an unmistakeable case of racial profiling.

Richey Kemmling, president of the College Republicans at the University of Washington, has tried twice to get the University's Student Senate to pass resolutions in favor of the war against Usama bin Laden and the terror network. Kemmling says he thought the resolution would bring students together. Instead, he stands accused of racism – and the resolutions have failed. Say university senate member Alex Narvez, “Our purpose for existing is to make things more equal and get rid of institutional racism – and, in this war, a certain ethnic group was singled out. There are a lot of innocent people in Afghanistan."

Finally, The Clinton Presidential Library has been seeking donations – and contributions have come from many quarters. The gifts involve more than just money, however. The Associated Press reports that donors have sent such things as a knitted sweater, a military medal and subscriptions to Soap Opera Digest and Hustler Magazine.