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October 2, 2001


"Drafted with a small coterie of loyal aides, mainly civilian political appointees at the Pentagon, the plans argue for open-ended war without constraint either of time or geography and potentially engulfing the entire Middle East and central Asia... The plans put before the President during the past few days involve expanding the war beyond Afghanistan to include similar incursions by special ops forces - followed by air strikes by the bombers they would guide - into Iraq, Syria and the Beqaa Valley area of Lebanon, where the Syrian-backed Hizbollah (Party of God) fighters that harass Israel are based."

MID-EAST REALITIES - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 10/02: The powers that be in Washington may have recalled both the word "crusade" and the name "Infinite Justice"... but the realties of the situation are very much in keeping with those initial impulses now pulled back for fear of their negative associations for Arabs and Muslims. There is great pressure throughout official Washington, includiing from those directly associated with the powerful Israeli/Jewish lobby which includes many of the hawish Pentagon planners, to strike far and wide, long and hard, at all foes wherever they may be. "If you are not with us, you are against us!" -- they wrote the line.

The only Arab head of state so far to dare to visit Washington was King Abdullah of Jordan, and the hawks made a fool of him. Adullah returned home a few days ago proclaiming far and wide that he had obtained a promise from President Bush that no Arab country would be attacked. No sooner did he utter the words when Washington publicly rebuked him saying the King had "misuderstood" and that what the King said was not something the President had said. It was a most usual public rebuke for the essentially Western King; and it may be a foretaste of far more serious things to come for Jordan and the Palestinians.

The Saudis too are having a tough time with Washington. They've switched signals half a dozen times so far since 11 Sept causing the American Pentagon Chief to say today he's heading on over to "The Kingdom" to try to get things straightened out. Key members of the royal family do not want the Americans conducting this crusader war from Prince Sultan Airbase. But with considerable help from long-time Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Prince Bandar bin Sultan (that's right, son of the Defense Minister) it's likely the Americans will prevail, just as happened in 1990 when King Fahd tried to say not so fast but found himself cornered by the same Cheney, Powell, Bandar triumverate --,this time coming in the personage of Donald Rumsfeld speaking for Bush the Second.


Ed Vulliamy in Washington

[The Observer - September 30, 2001]: As war begins in Afghanistan, so does the assault on the White House - to win the ear and signed orders of the military's Commander in Chief, President George W. Bush, for what Pentagon hawks call 'Operation Infinite War'. It is a sinister reworking of the original codename for the mobilisation against the Taliban, Operation Infinite Justice, that had to be changed because it offended Islam, which holds that this is something that only Allah - and not B-52 bombers - can dispense.

The Observer has learnt that two detailed proposals for warfare without limit were presented to the President this week by his Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, both of which were temporarily put aside but remain on hold.

They were drawn up by his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz - a highly intellectual right-winger who rose through State Department and Pentagon ranks under Ronald Reagan to become one of the chief architects of the 1991 Gulf War.

Drafted with a small coterie of loyal aides, mainly civilian political appointees at the Pentagon, the plans argue for open-ended war without constraint either of time or geography and potentially engulfing the entire Middle East and central Asia.

The proposals have opened up an abyss in the Bush administration, since they run counter to plans carefully laid by Secretary of State Colin Powell, who has had the upper hand against the Pentagon for the first three weeks since the disaster, but is starting to lose his commanding position within the Oval Office.

The Pentagon notion starts with the basic proposal that the US should begin its war on terrorism in Afghanistan as it has - along with British troops - using special operations units to scout out targets, ready to pinpoint them with lasers when the bombers fly over. Where it differs is that the dominant thinking in the administration over the past few days is that the plot to attack the World Trade Centre and Pentagon spread well beyond Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden into what Attorney-General John Ashcroft on Friday night called 'a series of individuals and a series of networks around the world'.

Senior Pentagon officials believe that such a diagnosis demands a military response to match. 'This is the green light,' said one on Friday, 'to do away with fundamentalist terrorism worldwide, for good.'

The plans put before the President during the past few days involve expanding the war beyond Afghanistan to include similar incursions by special ops forces - followed by air strikes by the bombers they would guide - into Iraq, Syria and the Beqaa Valley area of Lebanon, where the Syrian-backed Hizbollah (Party of God) fighters that harass Israel are based.

In Iraq, any site suspected of being a chemical weapons facility or proliferation plant of any threatening kind would be bombed, in an escalation of the almost weekly current harassment of Iraqi installations by British and US fighter jets.

In Syria and Lebanon, as in Afghanistan, special ops would guide air strikes, and also be called on to mount guerrilla-style raids on training camps and to carry out assassinations. While a presidential executive order - which Bush is under pressure to revoke - bans overseas assassinations, the Pentagon points out that the US can act as it pleases in self-defence. If action in Lebanon led to an Israeli reinvasion of the southern part of the country, it would be supported by the US.

Asked whether the Hamas organisation on the West Bank and in Gaza would be too controversial for inclusion among possible targets, one source said: 'never say never'.

The plans involve overt and 'visible' military action by the 10th Mountain and 82nd Airborne divisions in Afghanistan. These would act as cover for units under the Pentagon's Joint Special Operations Command, which would operate in other places. They include the Delta Strike Force - specialists in commando raids and freeing hostages - and Army Rangers who work covertly across rugged terrain. There would also be attacks from the air by the 160 Night Stalkers helicopter squadron and the USAF's AC-130 gunships and helicopters.

According to one suggestion, the teams would be added to by Arab and Arab-American fighters, who would scout terrain, locate camps and hideouts and scatter sensors disguised as rocks along roads and trails used by terrorists.

Sources even said that operations could be mounted with permission from governments in semi-hostile nations which have nevertheless pledged their co-operation in the present crisis, such as Algeria and Sudan. Special US units could be deployed in conjunction with domestic troops against terrorist cells in allied Western countries, notably Britain, Germany, France and Spain.

Colin Polwell's arguement - backed by National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice - is that such a campaign would be disastrous, isolating the United States and breaking up the coalition he has carefully built, making more than 80 calls to heads of foreign governments since the attacks on 11 September.

But the Pentagon militants prefer to speak of 'revolving alliances', which look like a Venn diagram, with an overlapping centre and only certain countries coming within the US orbit for different sectors and periods of an unending war. The only countries in the middle of the diagrammatic rose, where all the circles overlap, are the US, Britain and Turkey.

Officials say that in a war without precedent, the rules have to be made up as it develops, and that the so-called 'Powell Doctrine' arguing that there should be no military intervention without 'clear and achievable' political goals is 'irrelevant'.

Ironically, The Observer has learnt that the Pentagon hawks' principal obstacles apart from Powell is the military itself, much of which remains loyal to the view of its erstwhile chief, Powell, that 'American GIs are not pawns on some global game board'.

Officials speak of bitter arguments this week between President's Bush's political appointees and the generals and officer class who hold a deep distaste for front-line action.

While happy to support operations in Afghanistan, military sources say that the US risks being dragged into a quagmire of wars far deeper than Bosnia or Kosovo if it begins to strike in Iraq, Syria or Lebanon.

The final arbiter between the Pentagon and Powell camps is likely to be Vice-President Dick Cheney. Cheney is traditionally an enemy of Powell's and a close ally of Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, but has been said to be moving closer to the Secretary of State's views over the road to war. The Observer's sources, however, indicate the reverse - that Cheney will remain with his friends and support an expansion of the war beyond Afghanistan.

The driving force behind the influential hard line is an axis of old-time hawks gathered around an erstwhile colleague of Wolfowitz at the Pentagon, Richard Perle. Perle has declined various offers to join the Bush administration, but acts as an influential adviser in his role as chairman of the Advisory Defence Policy Board.

Perle and Rumsfeld also head a think-tank called Project for the New American Century, which sent a letter to President Bush laying out the Pentagon's position and urging the removal of Iraq's Saddam Hussein as a precondition to the upcoming war.

'Failure to undertake such an effort,' it said, 'will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war against terrorism.' In a straightforward swipe at Powell, it continues: 'Coalition building has run amok. The point about a coalition is "can it achieve the right purpose?" not "can you get a lot of members?"'

The prestigious group of Washington hawks behind the letter include former US ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick and William Schneider, former adviser to Rumsfeld and now chairman of the Defence Science Board - both of whom have formidable influence over White House thinking.

President Bush said of his foreign policy team: 'There's going to be disagreements, I hope there's disagreement.' But the bitter divisions in Washington are long-standing. Wolfowitz and Powell first disagreed over military intervention in the Gulf War, which Powell initially opposed. They also held opposing views on the Shia rebellion against Saddam Hussein which followed in its wake. Powell refusing to support it while Wolfowitz saw it as an opportunity.

They next clashed over the Balkans: while Powell used his full influence to forestall US military intervention in Bosnia, Wolfowitz was one of the first senior politicians to advocate it.

Feelings are no friendlier between Powell and Vice-President Dick Cheney, with matters coming to a head over Rumsfeld's appointment to the Pentagon. After being appointed to office earlier this year, Powell set about installing his candidate for Defence Secretary, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, who Bush has put at the head of the new Office for Homeland Security.

Cheney, who effectively chose the cabinet, vetoed Ridge and nominated his old mentor from the days of the Ford administration, Rumsfeld. Then, together, they chose Wolfowitz, who had rocketed through the ranks of the Reagan and Bush senior administrations.

There was an ironic twist: also brought into the inner circle was Zalmay Khalizad, an Afghan and Reagan veteran whose speciality was championing armed insurgencies. Khalizad was one of the early supporters of Bosnia's Muslims and had made his name managing the Reagan administration's backing for the mujahideen - and Osama bin Laden - against the Red Army in his native Afghanistan.

That was the time that the then Pakistani head of state Benazir Bhutto had warned President Reagan: 'You are creating a Frankenstein.'

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October 2001


Bio and Nuclear Threats Escalate As Purposeful Leaks Proliferate to Mass Media
(October 26, 2001)
The timing of newsstories like this in the major Western media should be suspect now more than ever. For more than ever in fact governments and intelligence agencies are using the mass media by leaking things at times of convenience and more importantly with their own twists and turns.

"Stop Israel!" Pleads Israeli Professor
(October 26, 2001)
One Israeli, not invited by the naive and misguided American Jewish "liberals" to the USA, speaks up from Israel with tremendous courage and conviction. Her name is Tanya Reinhart and she deserves to be taken very seriously -- though far too many don't even know about her.

"Palestinian Statehood" - Another Grotesque Deception Unfolds
(October 25, 2001)
The political smokescreens are lifting a bit as the pressures build to go beyond mere words, yet at the same time a purposeful distorting haze is taking over. Bottom line: the kind of "Palestinian State" Yasser Arafat has maneuvered his people toward and is being cornered into implementing is a grotesque distortion of their aspirations and of what use to be meant by the term "Palestinian State."

"A Pen Bought And Sold" - A Saudi Poem Revisited - MER FlashBack
(October 21, 2001)
Change comes in the Middle East, as elsewhere, in complex ways. There is the regular daily news of course; and in the region especially it is inextricably intertwined with an ever-more-sophisticated and propagandistic journalistic establishment.

(October 24, 2001)
Both of the Georges are oh so full of themselves cocky -- just the personality type so many American's truly love. One is (to the amazement of many who wonder how in the world the U.S. chooses such persons to lead it) the President of the United States.

Massacres and Devastation Escalate Further In Palestine
(October 24, 2001)
The Palestinians are essentially defenseless with their backs up against the wall, the firing wall. Their "leadership" has been so corrupted and infiltrated that the Arafat regime has hardly any credibility with its own, not to mention anyone else.

Torture Now Coming to USA?
(October 22, 2001)
Adopting the tactics (as well as the goals) of the Israelis, and the methods long taught by the CIA in Latin America as well as the Middle East, the brave new world post 11 September is changing the face of the American homeland in ways nearly all Americans would have seriously resisted just a few long weeks ago.

Millions Likely To Die in Afghanistan U.N. Warns
(October 21, 2001)
As for Afghanistan, the American CIA worked behind the scenes to bring on the Soviet invasion of 1979, then engaged the Soviet Empire in a way that brought about the near-total devastation of Afghanistan and a huge uncounted death toll.

It's "New Imperialism" says leading British MP
(October 21, 2001)
Much pressure is building at the United Nations to not open itself to still more charges of being complicitous in "genocide", not to mention to do something to stop being seen as "an extension of the American State Department" (the actual private words of a senior U.N. official).

"Comply! Resistance Is Futile!"
(October 20, 2001)
British MP (Member of Parliament) George Galloway calls it the "new imperialism" (his article coming later today). On the whole the Anglo-British press is working up quite a frenzy (with notable exceptions like The Guardian and The Independent in the UK, sometimes The Nation in the U.S.).

The "Arafat Era" Collapsing or About To Be Reborn?
(October 20, 2001)
Yasser Arafat is losing both his grip on power (extended to him by the Israelis and the Americans for the past decade since the Gulf War) and his credibility (with his own people) at the same time.

The Coming Arab Crash
(October 19, 2001)
The west's most important friends in the Arab Middle East - Fahd of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah of Jordan, Mubarak of Egypt and the PLO's Yasser Arafat - are probably the world's most vulnerable political quartet.

Saudi Amb Bandar Badly Fails, Saudi Royals in Paralysis, US Relations in Doubt
(October 19, 2001)
Prince Bandar bin Sultan's 20+ year strategy has now substantially failed. Years ago, very much behind-the-scenes of course, the very controversial and in some circles much despised Saudi Ambassador in Washington began a relationship with the some of the most conservative and militant circles in Washington, very much including those associated with the powerful Israeli/Jewish lobby.

Worse Than Worthless Wartime "Promises"
(October 18, 2001)
The list of broken and disingenuous "promises" made to the Arabs by Western political leaders is something befitting a "Saturday Night Live" parody skit -- if only they would dare!

"New Era" Says Sharon Reacting In Character to "Gandhi" Assassination
(October 17, 2001)
He had called the Palestinians "lice" and "vermin" and "cancer", and he had urged their "transfer" or "extermination". Just Monday he has tendered his resignation as Minister of Tourism, insisting that Ariel Sharon was being too moderate and too compromising.

(October 17, 2001)
As for the British, what's going on in both Palestine and Kashmir, the two most likely potential nuclear flashpoints in our world today, can be traced back directly to what the British did in these areas when they were the "Empire"

(October 17, 2001)
For some time now Palestinians have been warning that because of Israel's assassination of Palestinian leaders, "crossing the red line" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they would respond.

Red Cross Bombed in Kabul Before Presidential Red Cross Visit in Washington
(October 16, 2001)
You gotta love the chutzpa of the Americans. Today the President went a few blocks from the White House to the Headquarters of the American Red Cross -- a little photo op designed to further enlist "the children of America" in his recently announced effort to help the children of Afghanistan. But just as President Bush was getting ready to do his Red Cross pictures reports came in from Afghanistan that the major Red Cross center in Kabul, complete with large Red Cross emblem on its roof, was destroyed by American bombs.

Saudi/U.S. "Meltdown"? And Neutralizing Al Jazeera With A Firm Embrace
(October 16, 2001)
While American and British officials rush to make one TV appearance after another with continual reassurances everything is going "as planned", that's not quite the reality of the situation as this article in today's Guardian makes quite evident.

What Can We Do About Terrorism? by Lt. Col Robert M. Bowman (ret)
(October 15, 2001)
"Mr. President, you did not tell the American people the truth about why we are the targets of terrorism. You said that we are the target because we stand for democracy, freedom, and human rights in the world. Baloney! We are the target of terrorists because we stand for dictatorship, bondage, and human exploitation in the world."

Pentagon Far More Confused and Uncertain Than Americans Realize
(October 15, 2001)
The Bush administration is growing increasingly alarmed by the direction of the military campaign in Afghanistan after a week of almost continuous bombing has failed to dislodge either Osama bin Laden or the Taliban leadership.

Al-Qaeda Weekend Statement
(October 15, 2001)
This isn't really about "secret messages". Anyone with a $300 satellite dish can watch the statements in full, in Arabic, on al Jazeera; and the text is widely available on the Internet, in this case from London and the BBC!

Hundreds Dead in Nigeria
(October 14, 2001)
Hundreds of people have been killed in religious clashes after anti-U.S. protests turned violent, sources have told CNN. The demonstrations against the U.S.-led missile strikes on Afghanistan began peacefully on Friday but spiralled into a killing spree during Saturday, CNN's Lagos bureau chief Jeff Koinange said.

akistan's Benazir Opens Campaign in Washington as Pakistan Trembles Anarchy
(October 14, 2001)
Benazir Bhutto came to Washington this week to open her campaign for a third term as Prime Minister of the world's second largest, and only nuclear armed, Muslim State -- her first two terms she was overthrown, political and financial corruption was rampant, and her arranged husband remains in a Karachi prison.

Iraq Likely To Be Next "Phase"
(October 14, 2001)
A powerful coalition of "hawkish" government officials, lobbyists (especially those connected with the Israelis and the arms corporations), conservative press publications and columnists, many of the national Jewish organizations, as well as millions of Christian fundamentalists associated with Pat Robertson and his daily TV "700 Club" program, is mobilized to make sure that "America's new war" does not end with Afghanistan and al-Qaeda.

Saudi Royals Bugged, Embarrassed, Unstable
(October 13, 2001)
The following information is about to come out in THE NEW YORKER MAGAZINE on Monday and is being leaked in Washington this weekend to stir up interest and try to get publicity for the magazine and author on the Sunday talk shows tomorrow.

Attacks and Demonstrations Escalating in Arab and Muslim Countries
(October 13, 2001)
Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in various cities in the Middle East to protest the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan. Many more thronged to mosques for Friday prayers throughout the region and heard anti-American sermons.

Western Commando Forces Getting Ready
(October 13, 2001)
This article in The Telegraph today is a good outline of what now seems likely to be immediately ahead in Afghanistan, pushed forward by weather considerations as well as by current expectations that American-sponsored key governments in Pakistan, Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan, as well as the Arafat Regime, will all be able to weather the political storms with much expanded and mostly covert continual help from the western governments and intelligence services.

"War of the Worlds" by Mark Bruzonsky
(October 11, 2001)
In the case of America's new war, the full might of the USA is being mobilized not against the armies of other nation states, but against the fanatical descendants of a puritanical militant Islam whose calling has become relentless opposition to American hegemony and passionate assertion of their own quaintly medieval religious constructs.

Arafat Begs Israelis To Save Him
(October 10, 2001)
It's a most complicated political dance than ever at this historical crossroads. But bottom line Yasser Arafat and his regime have now, even more than before, thrown their future to the Israelis and the now omnipresent CIA...

Uri Avneri - Fronting for Arafat and for a Castrated "Palestinian State"
(October 10, 2001)
The Israeli writer and activist Uri Avneri is "on tour" in the USA on his way to Washington. It shouldn't come as a surprise that a few naive or on- the-take "peace groups" -- Jewish and otherwise -- have invited him to speak.

After Afghanistan, U.S. has Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine in its Sights
(October 10, 2001)
In this case there should be no one saying down the road that they didn't know what was being planned. The Americans have said publicly and in many different ways right from the start of this "new war" that it wasn't going to end with Osama bin Laden, with the Taliban government, or with Afghanistan.

The "Palestinian State" Charade
(October 9, 2001)
Most of the Arab regimes, including that of Yasser Arafat, have proved themselves so co-opted and so gullible over the years that you can't blame the Americans for continuing to try their little tricks and deceptions -- just look how well, at least from their point-of-view, such things have worked in the past..

Anthrax Terrorism Now Likely
(October 9, 2001)
Federal officials suspect foul play rather than an environmental source is at the root of two Florida anthrax cases that have left one man dead and hundreds of co-workers lining up for medical tests.

Biological Attack? Inept or Demonstration?
(October 9, 2001)
Is someone sending a message that they can do it, a kind of primative, and deadly, deterrence attempt to try to protect themselves? Might this be an "inept attack" as today's TIMES in London suggests in its headline? As the third case of Anthrax in Florida is reported this morning, something seems to be up as the following reports indicate.

Bush versus bin Laden - Syria Elected to Security Council
(October 8, 2001)
It's all quite amazing really, President George W. Bush versus Osama bin Laden. On the one hand you have the most powerful man in the world commanding the full might of not only the world's only superpower but a whole entourage of Western European allies, the new Russia, and to a considerable extent at least behind-the-scenes many Arab and Muslim "client regimes".

Arafat's Army Opens Fire On Its Own - More Anthrax in Florida?
(October 8, 2001)
The Palestinian leadership rushed to distance itself Monday from Osama bin Laden while its police forces opened fire on university students protesting the U.S.-led military strikes on Afghanistan.

FBI Knocked...He's Not Home But You Can Find Him at the White House
(October 8, 2001)
Now the world will become much more confusing and dangerous, and the opponents of the American Empire will obviously be forced even deeper underground -- both literally and figuratively -- becoming even more insular and isolated among themselves leading to who knows what kind of future blowback.

US Journalist Warns: "Do not try to change the government in Afghanistan!"
(October 7, 2001)
Late friday evening one of the leading American journalists who is an expert on the Middle East and Islamic affairs was asked a question on CNN to which she immediately briefly answered...and that was that...no more was asked or answered.

"Our Friends are Killers, Crooks and Torturers"
(October 7, 2001)
Surely the British Prime Minister should know better than to try to simplify such a complex world we live in to that understandable by a third-grader. If not we have a little weekend reading Mr. Blair should be doing, starting in one of his own newspapers which we surely hope, especially now, he can find a few moments to read on a regular basis, The Independent.

History Corrected - U.S. Wanted Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan
(October 6, 2001)
The world believes that there was an invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union on 24 December 1979 and then, in response, the U.S. and Muslim countries rallied to help Afghanistan repel the invaders. Wrong...just as so much of the widely accepted history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the actual realities of U.S. involvements in the Middle East are wrong because of the manipulation of history by various governments and intelligence agencies -- most especially the U.S. and Israel, the CIA and the Mossad.

(October 6, 2001)
"Could it be that the stygian anger that led to the attacks has its taproot not in American freedom and democracy, but in the US government's record of commitment and support to exactly the opposite things - to military and economic terrorism, insurgency, military dictatorship, religious bigotry and unimaginable genocide (outside America)?"

(October 5, 2001)
The government in Afghanistan, popularly known as The Taliban, has finally taken what could be a significant step. Just hours ago through its official representative in Pakistan the Afghan government has publicly offered to turn Osama bin Laden over...not to the United States, but to another Islamic country.

(October 5, 2001)
"The women in the audience -- academics, union members, mental health workers and advocates for female inmates, embraced her anti-American rhetoric, repeatedly interrupting her with cheers and standing ovations."

(October 5, 2001)
Now we know that a few years ago, when President Bill Clinton was meeting privately one-on-one with the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, the U.S. "hired" the agents of the infamous Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) to assassinate Osama bin Laden.

(October 3, 2001)
The United States and Britain yesterday called off military strikes against terrorist targets in Afghanistan at the last minute. Washington officials say today that a severe attack of last-minute cold feet by some key Arab members of the coalition caused President Bush to postpone the operation.

(October 3, 2001)
Osama bin Laden, arch nemesis of America today, is blowback from recent history -- the Gulf war, the permanent stationing of American forces in Arabia, and other American policies in the region, including the deceptive "peace process" fronting for Israel's brutal subjugation of the Palestinians.

(October 3, 2001)
The American Secretary of Defense is rushing to the Middle East, goal #1 to try one more time to "convince" the Saudis that Prince Sultan Airbase and its super-modern regional control center -- just completed in fact during the summer at a cost of many billions -- is needed for the new war.

(October 2, 2001)
"Drafted with a small coterie of loyal aides, mainly civilian political appointees at the Pentagon, the plans argue for open-ended war without constraint either of time or geography and potentially engulfing the entire Middle East and central Asia... The plans put before the President during the past few days involve expanding the war beyond Afghanistan to include similar incursions by special ops forces - followed by air strikes by the bombers they would guide - into Iraq, Syria and the Beqaa Valley area of Lebanon, where the Syrian-backed Hizbollah (Party of God) fighters that harass Israel are based."

(October 2, 2001)
Anyone with an ear tuned to Washington's politicians, lobbyists, and opinion molders can hear it quite loudly and clearly at this point. After taking down Osama bin Laden's al Queda network (said to be in some 50+ countries), after changing the government in Afghanistan, the American-led crusade (now more politely known by Colin Powell's term "campaign") will attempt to march on through the Middle East, next stop Baghdad.

(October 2, 2001)
It took them who intially talked of "crusade" nearly three weeks to figure out that all the "coalition building" wasn't going nearly as well as they keep saying in public and that doing something about all the Israeli oppression and "terrorism" against the essentially imprisoned Palestinian population would be a good idea in the post 11 September world and before the bombs start falling on Muslims here and there.

(October 1, 2001)
The situation is now so tense in Israel in dealing with the "Palestinian Authority" -- which it should be remembered the Israelis themselves created just a few years ago -- that Shimon Peres is getting more and more desperate.

(October 1, 2001)
The Palestinian opposition is usually very weak and confused. Had that not been the case for some time now Yasser Arafat would never have been able to do the things he has done for so long now, especially since the Gulf War; nor would Arafat have have been able to retain power these past few traumatic years, however weakened himself at this point.

(October 1, 2001)
Yes, it will be very interesting to see if and how Noam Chomsky answers the at first blush surprising attacks from Christopher Hitchens, who has now not only endorsed the new war but also at least parts of the "New World Order" that underpins it.

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