FBI Knocked...He's Not Home But You Can Find Him at the White House
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FBI Knocked...He's Not Home But You Can Find Him at the White House

October 8, 2001

MID-EAST REALITIES - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 10/08: 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. The same U.S. that 22 years ago made the Afghan's into target fodder for the Soviets (by secretly actually urging on the Soviet invasion), then abandoned the decimated Afghans when the Soviet Empire fell, then watched in complacency as starvation and disease began to grip the country, then radicalized the Afghans as the Saudis and Paks helped bring the Taliban to power, and now having tremendous exxacerbated the refugee and famine crisis is dropping a little food aid at the same tme it is bombing them into submission...and planning on who is next.

In recent history, going back to that crucial historic year of 1967, the United States, or its main regional ally Israel, has at one time or another bombed the following Arab Muslim countries in the Middle East region: Libya Lebanon Iraq Iran Syria Jordan Egypt Sudan Palestine Afghanistan Somalia

And this doesn't even begin to deal with covert matters relating to the CIA and black off-the-record ops; nor with the U.S.-instigated invasion of Iran by Iraq shortly after the Iranian revolution leading to nearly a decade of terrible blood-letting at that time; nor with Chechnya or the Balkans. By conservative count, more than 3 million Arabs and Muslims have been killed by actions directly attributable to either the U.S. or Israel during this period of history, the number of wounded and destroyed lives far greater.

It is in this context that the events of the moment can be better understood rather than thinking of everything in a historical vacuum a la CNN. And it is this context that these two interesting articles make sense:


By Hanna Rosin and John Mintz
[Washington Post, 2 October 2001]: On Sept. 20, FBI agents showed up at the house of Hamza Yusuf, a Muslim teacher and speaker in Northern California. They wanted to question him about a speech he had given two days before the Sept. 11 attacks, in which he said that the U.S. "stands condemned" and that "this country has a great, great tribulation coming to it." "He's not home," his wife said. "He's with the president." The agents thought she was joking, Yusuf said. But she wasn't. That day Yusuf was at the White House, the only Muslim in a group of religious leaders invited to pray with President Bush, sing "God Bless America," and endorse the president's plans for military action. "Hate knows no religion. Hate knows no country," Yusuf said that day outside the White House. "Islam was hijacked on that September 11, 2001, on that plane as an innocent victim." Yusuf's mixed message created awkwardness for the White House -- and revealed a dilemma for the suddenly very visible Muslim leadership in America. The president invited Yusuf because he is one of the "leading Muslim clerics," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. When the president meets with a group, "you should never assume . . . that he would ever agree with anything anybody in that group has said," added another Bush spokesman, Ari Fleischer. Before the Sept. 11 attacks, Yusuf's speeches would occasionally stray into anti-American rhetoric, hitting apocalyptic themes. At least one other Muslim leader invited to the White House since the attacks also has made provocative remarks about America. But now Yusuf has joined other American Muslim leaders as they have closed ranks behind the message that Islam is a peaceful religion and that extremists are outside its fold. No one suggests that Yusuf had anything directly to do with the attacks, and he has not endorsed violence against American targets. But some Islamic experts said Yusuf is one example of a Muslim leader who speaks of peace to the American public though he has used incendiary language in private. The contradictory idioms are, in part, an outgrowth of the American Muslim community's reluctance to air its disagreements in public, said Ali Asani, an Islamic studies professor at Harvard University. Muslims "are so sensitive about the perception of Islam," Asani said. "Even when there are disagreements within the Muslim community about extremism, they will project to the outside that we are all monolithic and peaceful." Asani, who has watched the spread of rhetoric such as Yusuf's with dismay, added that it was time for a reckoning. After Sept. 11, the more extreme leaders went "on alert," said Asani. "They realize that they are part of the problem, that the Sept. 11 incident can be the result of this kind of thinking they have been propagating for so many years." Yusuf said he partly regrets the speech, adding that it was "tragic timing" and that he would never give it now, after the attacks. "I don't want this country to be destroyed," he said. "I don't want to have punishment come to this country. I'm not a wrathful person." Yusuf was born in California to an American Catholic father and a Greek Orthodox mother. He converted to Islam at age 17, and studied with Muslim scholars in the Middle East. Then he returned to college in this country and began teaching Arabic and Islamic affairs at a center in California. He is known among his students as a charismatic teacher who can speak to the experiences of young second-generation Muslims. His Sept. 9 speech was not the first time Yusuf drew criticism. In 1995 he said, "the Jews would have us believe that God had this bias to this little small tribe in the middle of the Sinai desert, and all the rest of humanity is just rubbish. I mean, that is the basic doctrine of the Jewish religion and that's why it is a most racist religion." "Those are old speeches," Yusuf said yesterday about those remarks. "I've spent 10 years in the Arab world and I've learned their language. . . . Anti-semitism, anti-anything does not reflect my core values. If people were fair, they would see my spiritual growth, as a person, as a religious scholar." He gave his Sept. 9 speech in Irvine, Calif., to a gathering to support Jamil Al-Amin, a Muslim cleric facing charges in the slaying of a sheriff's deputy during an Atlanta shootout and the wounding of a second deputy. The case of Al-Amin, known previously as the 1960s black radical leader H. Rap Brown, has rallied Muslim activists around the country who say he is being railroaded. "He's a man who by necessity must speak the truth," Yusuf said of Al-Amin in the speech. "That is a dangerous man. . . . Within this government are elements who will do anything to silence the truth. They'll assassinate either the person or the character." He told his audience that that was merely one example of the injustice and immorality rampant in America. "This country is facing a very terrible fate," he said. "The reason for that is that this country stands condemned. It stands condemned like Europe stood condemned because of what it did. And lest people forget that Europe suffered two world wars after conquering the Muslim lands. . . . [Europe's] countries were devastated, they were completely destroyed. Their young people were killed." Yusuf also mentioned the conviction of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind Egyptian cleric convicted of sedition and sentenced to life in a U.S. prison in connection with a plot to bomb Manhattan's Lincoln and Holland tunnels and other New York landmarks. "That sheikh was unjustly tried, was condemned against any standards of justice in any legal system," Yusuf said, citing Rahman's lawyer, former U.S. attorney general Ramsey Clark. "Now [he] sits in jail because it was a foregone conclusion." Yusuf said yesterday that the attacks had taught him a lesson. "One of the things I have learned is that we in the Muslim community have allowed a discourse of rage," he said. "This has been a wake-up call for me as well, in that I feel in some ways there is a complicity, that we have allowed a discourse centered in anger." Another popular Muslim cleric invited to the White House after the attacks also has made controversial remarks. Muzammil Siddiqi, who also spoke at a service at the Washington National Cathedral after the attacks, harshly criticized U.S. support for Israel at a rally outside the White House last October, at which marchers chanted in praise of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist group. "America has to learn," Siddiqi said at the rally. "If you remain on the side of injustice, the wrath of God will come. Please, all Americans. Do you remember that? Allah is watching everyone. God is watching everyone. If you continue doing injustice, and tolerate injustice, the wrath of God will come." Siddiqi could not be reached for comment.


[TIME Magazine advance - New York - Sunday, October 7]: The inside story of how President George W. Bush decided to open the humanitarian front begins in the first few days after the attacks, TIME reports. In peace, even the worst Presidents have time to plan; in war, the best barely have time to react. The food aid idea came together in what an official calls an "organic" fashion, meaning in no particular order at all. But sources tell TIME that the package has its roots in the vengeful attacks on Arab Americans right here at home in the days after Sept. 11. Details appear in TIME's new issue on newsstands Monday, October 8th.

"The war on Osama bin Laden is being waged not just with guns but also with butter," report Washington bureau chief Michael Duffy and a TIME team who offer a behind-the-scenes look at how Bush decided to open the humanitarian effort. To understand the timing and intent of the bombardment, a senior Pentagon official says, look at the back side of a dollar bill. The eagle clutches an olive branch in its right claw and arrows in its left. Food aid and firepower, the official says, "are going to happen very nearly simultaneously. We want to send two images to the world at once."

Two weeks ago, a senior Administration official told TIME, the President asked National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to tackle the hunger problem. After consulting with Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other allies in the region, the Bush Administration decided that the most effective way to hold the coalition together would be a campaign to convince skeptical Muslims of Americais compassion. "It is one thing to talk about it; it's another thing to do something about it," says a senior White House official.

By Tuesday of last week the Administration realized it could get the biggest p.r. lift by combining the U.S.is existing $170-million-a-year Afghanistan aid program with a new $320 million package, and rolling it out all at once. "Wednesday we were still making sure we could move the money around and get something big," says an Administration official. "The public impact had to be large, so we went from numbers in the area of $100 million to $125 million, to $320 million. Let's do it right." That figure is largely for effect -- the U.S. is distributing only $25 million now, and holding the rest until after the start of bombing, TIME reports.

"We have to make sure the food drops help starving people and don't fall into the Taliban's hands," a senior Pentagon officer said Saturday. "And we can't put our troops delivering the food at too great a risk." Pentagon experts charted routes for the planes to avoid Afghan antiaircraft batteries, and planned to destroy those they couldn't avoid. Said an official as the plan was coming together, "It is not a simple operation."

Airlift experts expect it may take weeks to drop the food and medicine in all the right places in Afghanistan, and Washington will want as many Pakistanis and Muslims as possible to hear about the airlift over the coming days and weeks, TIME reports.

Bush's gambit -- filling the skies with bullets and bread -- is also a gamble, Pentagon officials concede. The humanitarian mission will to some degree complicate war planning. What the brass calls "deconfliction" - making sure warplanes and relief planes do not confuse one another - is now a major focus of Pentagon strategy. "Trying to fight and trying to feed at the same time is something new for us," says an Air Force general. "We're not sure precisely how it is going to work out."

The joint humanitarian and p.r. campaign is likely to be carried out, U.S. officials say, at the same time that air strikes on Taliban positions begin - if not in the same hour, then at least within the same news cycle.

U.S. officials tell TIME that their immediate plan is to scare bin Laden and his aides out of hiding; gather as much intelligence as possible about their whereabouts; deploy commandos in and around Afghanistan to strike quickly if bin Laden can be found; and reassure Muslim leaders constantly that American war aims are limited.

Several well-placed officials also told TIME that U.S. Special Forces are ready to move on al-Qaeda at any time; all they need is a solid sighting of bin Laden. "They' re waiting for the right moment inside Afghanistan," said a senior U.S. official. "There is no other constraint."

Comment on these article(s)

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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