OF AMERICA'S "NEW WAR" LIKELY TO BE "INCALCULABLE"
MER - WASHINGTON
- 21 August:
The Arab "client regimes" daddle as
usual, unable to even convene an Arab League meeting, not to mention assert
major influence in the world, even in their region. As the Arabs babble
on Israeli settlements continue to expand, Jerusalem continues to be Judaized,
the Palestinians continue to be turned into a caricature of Indians on
Reservations, and the "New War" will bring even greater U.S./Israeli pressures
to draw them in, creating even greater tensions and dismay within their
own societies...and in the end more "terrorists".
The Arab American "client organizations"
-- dysfunctional as they are -- continue ridiculously complimenting themselves
for managing to sew many patches in "The Quilt" during this "50th anniversary
year" of the first Palestinian catastrophe. Worse yet they keep subjecting
their grassroots, what little there is of it, to Clovis Maksoud's even
more ridiculous rhetorical bombasts that bear little relationship to reality.
True, Clovis relishes the role of Arab mouthpiece; but at best his cheap
words ring terribly hollow and his actions are few and insignificant. Long
ago Maksoud should have been recognized for what he really is -- a pompous,
self-serving, charlatan -- and his terrible misleadership of Arab American
affairs as truly tragic.
Meanwhile, the big leagues American
Jewish organizations remain split between Labor and Likud -- a fissure
which masquerades these days as support, or lack thereof, for Oslo and
the "Peace Process".
But in the end they all know they are
way on top while playing the "Good Cop/Bad Cop" game with the Arabs. And
besides they now have both the Holocaust Museum -- a gift from the U.S.
Congress -- and some $1+ billion from the befuddled Swiss to play with.
As for the Israelis, well the Israelis
could hardly be more pleased with themselves. Not only has their infiltration
of American politics and much of the media brought the U.S. more and more
into their war against Arab, Islamic, and Palestinian nationalism; but
this latest escalation happens just in advance of the 5th anniversary of
Oslo and right in the midst of its inevitable collapse. Note: Bibi is sending
others to attend, he's abit preoccupied further undermining what was a
terrible agreement for the Palestinians in the first place.
Meanwhile, the American media is doing
its usual kabuki "reporting" and "analysis" -- the range of allowed kosher
opinion from extreme right-wing bigots to so-called liberals "reluctantly"
supporting "what has to be done."
At least this article by Robert Fisk
throws a little sense and understanding into this devilish brew. Robert
Fisk was the first major Western Journalist to meet and interview Osama
bin Laden last year. Fisk is convinced there is much more to come and that
the cost of American policies will be "incalculable". [Note: Fisk was exclusively
and extensively interviewed on MID-EAST REALITIES T.V. last year about
the entire Middle East situation and the "Peace Process" -- for details
and to obtain a video email to INFOMERTV@MiddleEast.Org and see http://www.MiddleEast.Org/Fisk.htm].
WILL TAKE HIS REVENGE
in The Independent
FOUR days ago, as President Bill Clinton
was testifying to Kenneth Starr about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky,
foreign diplomats in Pakistan were told that "all foreigners" in Afghanistan
were in danger.
European embassy staff suspected that
the United States, with the help of the Pakistani authorities, was about
to assault Osama bin Laden, the Saudi dissident opposed to Washington's
continued presence in Saudi Arabia. One foreign embassy official in Islamabad
told me the sources were American.
Now we know why. But the results are
likely to be incalculable. President Clinton says that Mr Bin Laden declared
war on the United States. Now Mr Clinton has declared war on him - which
is exactly what Mr Bin Laden, guilty or otherwise of the American embassy
bombings, will have wanted.
Mr Clinton wants to destroy Mr Bin
Laden. Now Bin Laden will want to destroy Mr Clinton. He can count on the
support of millions of Muslims who will never be persuaded that the strikes
against Afghanistan and Sudan were anything but a cynical ploy to distract
attention from Mr Clinton's sexual adventures. They are also aware that
the camp in Khowst, in Paktia province, which the Americans bombed, was
originally set up by the CIA to train Afghan - and Arab - guerrillas in
their war against the Soviet army. For, in the 1980s, Mr Bin Laden and
his men were regarded as "freedom fighters" rather than "terrorists" and
were encouraged to use British-made Blowpipe anti-aircraft missiles against
Mr Bin Laden demands the withdrawal
of US troops from his native country of Saudi Arabia - some of whose officials
give him considerable support. None of this, of course, was finding its
way into the American news reports from Washington last night.
Of one thing we can be sure, that in
the coming days the story will change. We will hear of civilian casualties.
We will ask why Mr Bin Laden survived. We may even hear of secret deals
- rumoured in the Middle East these past five days - between Tunisia, Libya,
Egypt and the United States that would prepare the ground for the lifting
of UN sanctions against Libya in return for its support in the war against
Palestinian "terror": the story that Abu Nidal, the cruellest of Palestinian
militants, has been secretly sent from Tripoli to Cairo in a semi-comatose
Egypt, it is said in the Arab world,
has demanded action against its domestic enemies - which may be why the
United States helped extradite five Egyptians from Albania to Egypt and
And what was the Khowst base that Mr
Clinton bombed in Afghanistan? When I saw Mr Bin Laden last year - ascetic,
cautious, intelligent and very ruthless - we met at a moun-tain camp near
Khowst. He possessed - a few metres from his tent - a massive air-raid
shelter, cut into the rock of a mountainside, protection against anything
bar nuclear attack and built during the height of his war against the Soviet
army. Was this the "base" that Mr Clinton thinks he bombed?
Sudan was bombed, too. But was it not
Sudan which, at America's request, ordered Mr Bin Laden out of Khartoum
in 1996? Was it not Sudan which handed over Carlos the Jackal to French
intelligence agents in August 1994? Was Sudan - a ramshackle dictatorship
if ever there was one - really making precursor chemical weapons?
Meanwhile, the very word "terrorist"
will incite the fury of Arabs. Yes, bombing embassies is an act of terrorism.
But so is murdering Muslim worshippers in a Hebron mosque or assassinating
an Israeli prime minister - carried out by Israelis but never called "terrorism".
Double standards will be on the lips
of every Arab this morning. And if the word "terrorism" is now little more
than racist terminology against Arabs, it also serves to silence the question
Last night not a single hint came from
Washington as to why Mr Bin Laden - now taking the place of Abu Nidal,
Colonel Gaddafi, Ayatollah Khomeini and Colonel Nasser in our book of hate
- should loathe America. No suggestion that he wants US troops to leave
Islam's holiest land.
No clue that he was obsessed - as he
still is - with the Israeli massacre of 106 Lebanese civilians at the UN
base at Qana in 1996, a slaughter (the Israelis said it was a mistake)
for which he also blames the United States.
So President Clinton is declaring war
on "terrorism", is he? If only he would, the Arabs will say today. And
if only he would start by seizing the two leading "terrorists" in Europe's
own backyard: General Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadjic, responsible for
the massacre of tens of thousands of Muslims.
But they are not the sort of "terrorist"
Mr Clinton is looking for.Instead, he has decided to assault his enemies
with their own weapons of violence. And Americans, as well as Arabs, are
likely to pay the price.