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August 1998 
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MER - Washington - 8/12:

The Americans are clearly rattled, regardless of what they say in public. The post-Cold War post-Iranian revolution confrontation with religious and nationalist groups opposed to U.S. hegemony, primarily in the Middle East, is now well underway.

The Americans have been dropping their smart bombs, flying their stealth bombers, targeting their cruise missiles, imposing their genocidal sanctions, defining their "no fly zones", and otherwise proclaiming their omnipotence.

They have been hiring and firing U.N. Secretary-Generals, demanding strict adherence to their every desire, defaulting on their international bills, refusing to sign international treaties, wielding their veto against the rest of the world, arming Israel to the teeth, and otherwise imposing their will against any and all.

And whatever the public theatrics of distancing themselves from the Israelis, the U.S./Israel strategic alliance has never been closer and no American government has ever had so many former Israeli and Zionist government officials as does the Clinton/Gore Administration.

That there would be a growing counter-reaction to this state of affairs should come as no surprise. And as the recently leaked Pentagon report forecasting such developments makes plain, no one in the know is really surprised.

After the American/Israeli invasion of Lebanon that lead to the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983, the American military departed Beirut.

With the World Trade Tower attack after the Gulf War has come a major U.S escalation in repression and covert operations. After the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia in 1996, the American presence in "the Kingdom" has been pushed into the Arabian desert behind barbed wire fortifications.

And now after the Nairobi/Dar Embassy destructions the Americans are fortifying their Embassies and withdrawing behind barricades far and wide. One small but important informational tidbit. The Israelis were extra quick to race to Nairobi with search teams, and there was a reason why. It seems Israeli intelligence had been specifically asked last month to assess the credibility of information that just such an attack against the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi was being planned; and the Israelis expressed considerable skepticism about its credibility.

Neither Mossad nor the CIA are as invincible against the new generation of "terrorists" as they were against the KGB of old.

Even in the most friendly of locations, the Americans are now jumpy and insecure -- precisely a goal of the "terrorists". The following report comes from the Associated Press today:



CAIRO, Egypt (AP by Eileen Alt Powell)

U.S. diplomats who worked in outlying buildings were moved into the fortified embassy compound in Cairo. New checkpoints appeared around the American Embassy in Kuwait. At least four U.S. diplomatic missions temporarily closed.

The heightened security, including some steps not made public, followed Friday's twin bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and a State Department warning that others were at risk.

Diplomats in several countries said ambassadors in the Middle East and Africa had held staff meetings to review security procedures, not only at U.S. embassy buildings but also at their residences.

In most cases, embassy officials declined to discuss specifics of upgraded security activities - for security reasons.

"We don't think it's appropriate to disclose any security arrangements, whether we have or have not taken them,'' said Bill Blaine, spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain.

Still, the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain updated its phone-in ``hot line'' service for Americans, urging them to stay vigilant after the East African bombings.

On Tuesday, the State Department issued a statement in Washington saying it had "received information that there may be a threat to U.S. interests in Egypt, Malaysia and Yemen.''

It gave no reason for the warning, but said the threatened actions "could include attacks on buildings.''

The response in Egypt was "to temporarily relocate some staff from peripheral U.S. government facilities,'' an embassy statement said.

Embassy spokesman David Ballard said this involved diplomats and Egyptian employees who worked with the U.S. Agency for International Development at a building several blocks away from the U.S. Embassy.

Most were moved into the embassy compound, which is surrounded by a high stone wall and guarded by U.S. Marines and Egyptian security forces.

In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the U.S. Embassy today leased - and shut down - an adjacent gas station to prevent it from being used by a would-be attacker. The embassy has suspended public operations since Monday.

The American Embassy in the Yemen capital, San`a, also was closed. Yemen military jeeps today patrolled the area around the embassy, and extra guards were posted at the perimeter.

In Kuwait, the embassy closed to the public on Sunday while diplomats reviewed security procedures, said spokesman Claud Young.

Since then, new checkpoints staffed by Kuwaiti and American security officers have been set up around the embassy, which stands alone on a large lot surrounded by a high wall and concrete barriers.

The U.S. Embassy in Riyadh today issued a statement saying diplomats and U.S. military personnel stationed in Saudi Arabia were ``making improvements and changes wherever possible to lessen their vulnerabilities.'' It gave no specifics.

A similar statement was issued by the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, where extremists car-bombed embassies in 1983 and 1984.

Assistant Secretary of State Patrick Kennedy said Tuesday that about a half dozen embassies had suspended operations, but he declined to name them. They appeared to include those in Yemen, Malaysia, Sudan and Uganda.

In the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, the gates of the U.S. Embassy were chained and locked after the bombings, and no one has answered telephone calls to embassy numbers this week. But uniformed Sudanese police still stand watch outside.

American diplomats were pulled out of Sudan in January 1996, when Washington said it couldn't guarantee their security. They periodically return to provide consular and other services.

The embassy in Kampala, Uganda, also has been closed since Monday, and traffic was blocked from an adjacent road to ensure the embassy's security, police said.

The U.S. Embassy in Swaziland was evacuated for several hours Tuesday after a phoned bomb threat. Sniffer dogs searched the embassy and offices nearby and found nothing.

As would be expected, security was especially tight in Tanzania and Kenya. At the temporary U.S. Embassy headquarters in a Nairobi suburb, armed guards used mirrors and dogs to search all cars seeking to enter the compound.



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