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January 1999
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To: Readers and Supporters of MID-EAST REALITIES
Date: 1/5/99
Website: http://www.MiddleEast.Org
Re: MER and 1999

In a little twist from what they say on the so-called Public Broadcasting System (PBS) in the US during their bi-yearly fund-raising drives, "If MER doesn't do it, who will?"

It's an apt question of course because in today's world the means of information is as important as the means of production. Control of resources goes hand-in-hand with control of thinking. Those who are most visible writing about, commenting on, and provide analysis about the events of our time to a very considerable extent control how our world looks and feels to most people. And that of course explains why so many governments, especially those in the Middle East, work so hard at controlling what information is easily available, how and where it is presented, and who is able to provide it -- thus shaping and molding public perceptions and public opinion to their desires. In Western countries, especially the U.S., big money, big corporations, and the institutions they either control directly or through their advertising dollars, usually make these same determinations.

As you know we have recently been forced to suspend regular publication of MID-EAST REALITIES. We did this very reluctantly and with considerable regret; but we are working hard to do something about this situation; and we very much need your help and your support.

One of the additional "realities" about the Middle East that few wish to openly and honestly discuss is that nearly all of the organizations and institutions that deal publicly with Middle East affairs are controlled and manipulated in one way or another by the sources of funding they continually court or which helped establish them in the first place. And these sources of funding are, with very few exceptions, tied into governments in one way or another, organizations and persons associated with the Israeli/Jewish lobby in one way or another, or those working in tandem or under-the-table with the various Arab "client-regimes" in one way or another.

The main reason we have so few organizations and media persons able and willing to speak up knowledgeable and honestly about what is really happening in the Middle East, as well as about what is really happening in Washington about the Middle East, is this financial predicament. If one allows oneself to be manipulated and twisted into conformity -- at minimum to cut many corners, pull many punches, and refrain from discussing many subjects -- funds of various kinds are available. If one insists on being independent, honest, and forthright about what is really happening in our world and in the U.S. capital -- and of course these are the basic hallmarks of MER which explain our growing following around the world -- the opposite is the case; and indeed all kinds of pressures result to push one under or force conformity.

Now we think we are all facing this situation together; and so we need your help not only to continue, but to expand. We have established MER on the Internet, as well as the weekly half-hour TV program we'd like to also start showing on the Internet. And among other things MER has made it possible for all of us come together and to help all of us know and understand what is really going on -- both in the region and in Washington which increasingly dominates the region. Information is power. Without it people are lost and confused. And expert analysis of information is like a gourmet chef preparing one's dinner from the selected, but raw, ingredients. Special dinners have to be paid for. So does good information and analysis.

Some of you can afford to contribute substantially to this unique and vital effort, some less so. We want to keep making MER widely available to all; we do not want to set up specific subscriptions and access restrictions. We want all who are concerned and interested to be able to continue benefiting from MER -- as the many messages and calls we keep receiving make so clear. Read for yourself at: http://www.MiddleEast.Org/commentsx.htm which we have now updated.

It is all of us collectively now who in effect publish MER; and that is why it is so uniquely insightful and valuable. Not the oil companies through their grants to such places as the Middle East Institute. Not the Arab regimes through their many means of providing funds to various Arab and Muslim "client organizations", among them the "Arab Network of America" on TV and Zogby's "Arab-American Institute" so often quoted by the Washington media. Not the Israel-oriented Jewish organizations that either control or manipulate so many publications and media outlets including B'nai B'rith International and the "Washington Institute for Near East Affairs", also so often quoted by the Washington media. And not the U.S. government which now has so many ways of providing funds and support to so many groups, more and more indirectly and often covertly, including the U.S Institute for Peace and many think-tanks scattered throughout Washington which rely in one way or another on the Congress, the CIA, or the Pentagon for their support.


At this time, since we have already laid the groundwork and set MER in motion, your financial support is the key. As we told you on 21 December, we need to raise at least five thousand dollars right away to cover last year's unpaid expenses if we are to be able to resume and hopefully then expand MER, including the weekly TV program a few clips of which we do now have on the Internet. We're raised about half of this and we need your help urgently with the rest. Checks should be made out to MER and sent to:

POBox 18367
Washington, D.C. 20036
We expect this year just started is going to be an exceedingly difficult and historic one. So we have no time to loose. The forces of misinformation and disinformation are stronger than ever; and they are being provided with more funding and capabilities all the time. The U.S. and Israeli governments, and the cooperating Arab "client regimes" including that of Yasser Arafat, are working harder and harder to support those who will do their bidding and to undermine those who will not. In general you know this depressing situation, and that's probably why you are among the many thousands of MER readers all over the world. Let's make sure we continue to do something about this by at least revealing what is going on with ever-growing sophistication, expertise, forthrightness, and occasional humor.

Indeed, what we really should do in the year ahead is not only continue MER, but expand it, including adding a search capability o the Web site so that everyone can easily search through the entire library of articles and editorials for subjects of interest.

Meanwhile, for the time being, we have been republishing the best of MER's past articles, editorials and statements -- especially since many of you have come to MER since those items were originally published going back to 1996.

And we urge all of you who have not done so recently to visit our unique web site which we will continue expanding and improving if you support makes this possible -- http://www.MiddleEast.Org.

Thank you again very sincerely for your support, your encouragement, and in general for your ongoing concern.

For latest MER Update Click Here to Listen or call 202 333-5000, 7097500#.

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