Saudi/U.S. "Meltdown"? And Neutralizing Al Jazeera With A Firm Embrace
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Saudi/U.S. "Meltdown"? And Neutralizing Al Jazeera With A Firm Embrace

October 16, 2001



"The US's entire foreign policy structure in the region has been anchored in the strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia. If everything we're hearing is true, then we're facing a total meltdown... The whole war as currently conceived would have to be reconsidered, because Pakistan won't hold if Saudi support starts collapsing"

MID-EAST REALITIES - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 10/16: 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. And it is for these underlying reasons that urgent plans are underway not only to put more and more American officials and "approved" analysts on foreign media television, especially Al Jazeera, but also to use financial incentives, and advertising, to in effect neutralize Al Jazeera with a firm crocodile-type embrace. That's really what Secretary of State Colin Powell worked out with the Emir of Qatar in their one-on-one Washington meetings earlier this month.

Because it is a TV age, because of the increased available of cable and satellite TV, and because of this historic moment with al-Qaeda and Afghanistan, Al Jazeera has become known to the rest of the world, beyond those in the Arab countries who have been turning to it in Arabic for some years now after a deadly diet of directly controlled state TV and radio throughout the last century.

But the reality is Al Jazeera has always been very careful about key subjects that greatly affect the Middle East -- their own regimes and how their affairs are constantly manipulated by a Washington-centered coalition combining the U.S. government, the key Arab "client regimes" (especially Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan), and the Israelis, all of whom have actually been working closely together behind-the-scenes to "stabilize" the region for their own mutual benefit for many years now. It is this basic geopolitical reality that not only explains all the past support from Arab capitals for the disingenuous apartheid-style "peace process" but for the new post-Sept 11th rush to embrace a quisling and unreal "Palestinian State". Bottom line Al Jazeera is a clever safety-valve for a new age designed to much more subtly manipulate and control public opinion in new and more sophisticated ways, closely controlled by a new generation of Arab establishment personalities through their selection of broadcasters and editors. Al-Hayat in London, owned by the Saudi Royal family, as well as a few key sponsored publications -- Middle East International in London and Washington Report on the Middle East in the U.S. two examples -- are also part of this new still evolving new age Arab-establishment-regimes-controlled media structure.

MER has had one direct experience with Al Jazeera. Invited to appear for what was to be "about a 15-minute interview", the publisher of MER was invited to the Al Jazeera studios in downtown Washington. Once there he was told the interview was not going to be live after all, that in fact they could not even say for sure that any or all of it would be used (i.e., watch what you say if you want to get on air), and finally he was told they would not even promise that at least a few minutes of the interview would be broadcast (thus agreeing to their editing) including showing on screen his identification, "Publisher of Mid-East Realities -- MiddleEast.Org". When even this final request was not agreed to Mark Bruzonsky took off his microphone and left the studio.

In another case MER has learned of a much in-the-known Arab Muslim personality who was invited to Qatar for a conference. When it came time to put the person on Al Jazeera he was told there were some subjects that shouldn't be discussed -- subjects he in fact knows very much about specifically relating to the "client regimes" and "client organizations" in Washington and the crucial role played in what is in effect modern-day Rome by the Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin-Sultan.

More to come on these crucial subjects from MER's "Washington Scene":


By Matthew Engel

[The Guardian - UK - Washington - Tuesday October 16, 2001]: Relations between the US and two of its core allies in the war against terrorism, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, approached crisis point yesterday after the Saudi interior minister, Prince Naif, attacked the assault on Afghanistan while Pakistan pressed Washington to ensure that its bombing campaign would be short-lived.

In the latest and most public of a series of disagreements that have evidently taken the US by surprise in the five weeks since the September 11 attacks, Prince Naif told the official Saudi Press Agency that the kingdom wanted the US to flush out the terrorists without bombing. "This is killing innocent people. The situation does not please us at all."

Officially, the state department in Washington remains "very satisfied" with the Saudi approach to the crisis, but this masks increasing alarm not merely about the governmental response but about potential insurrection that could endanger theSaudi regime.

Prince Naif's comments add to the diplomatic pressure being felt by the US in its attempts to maintain support in the region for its policies.

The secretary of state, Colin Powell, who holds talks with General Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad today, took further steps yesterday to bolster Pakistan's support for the war, promising military-to-military contacts.

The sanctions imposed after Pakistan's nuclear test in 1998 still prevent the US selling the country any weaponry or equipment, but by moving towards direct military relations Mr Powell was clearly holding out the prospect of future rewards if the Musharraf regime continued to play ball.

But with strikes ordered across the country by Islamist groups in protest at Mr Powell's visit, Mr Musharraf is aware that his support for the US action can go only so far. "The prolongation of the campaign will be a source of concern to us," the Pakistani foreign ministry said last night.

Further underlining the tension that now racks the region, Indian troops broke a 10-month ceasefire with Pakistan last night when they fired shells into disputed territory in Kashmir, killing a woman and wounding 25.

A clearly worried President George Bush upbraided the two nuclear powers when he said: "I think it is very important that India and Pakistan stand down during our activities in Afghanistan and, for that matter, for ever."

In the most extreme language to emerge from Tehran since September 11, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, said that the US air strikes were "dragging the world into a war".

The warning was in stark contrast to a New York Times report today which revealed that Iran sent a secret message to the Bush administration on October 8 agreeing to rescue any US military personnel in distress in its territory.

At the top of Washington's in-tray of anxieties relating to its coalition partners, analysts now believe that Saudi Arabia - where few western journalists are allowed - may be turning into the gravest challenge.

"It's unbelievable how the feeling here has changed from sympathy to anger in such a short time," a Riyadh-based westerner quoted by Reuters said yesterday. Another resident compared the mood there to that of Iran before the overthrow of the Shah.

Since September 11, Riyadh has refused to allow attacks on Afghanistan from its bases; Prince Abdullah, the country's crown prince and day-to-day ruler, has avoided meeting President Bush; Muslim clerics within the once-monolithic country have issued fatwas against the Americans; and, beneath the bland assurances of amity, there has been growing US frustration about the extent of Saudi cooperation with this investigation too.

US feeling was expressed in a powerful editorial in Sunday's New York Times, which described Saudi behaviour as "malignant" and said the "deeply cynical" bargain between the countries, which for decades had offered American protection for the regime in return for an uninterrupted flow of oil, was now "untenable".

David Wurmser, director of Middle East studies at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, said yesterday: "The US's entire foreign policy structure in the region has been anchored in the strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia. If everything we're hearing is true, then we're facing a total meltdown.

"The whole war as currently conceived would have to be reconsidered, because Pakistan won't hold if Saudi support starts collapsing.

"You can't really separate Bin Laden from the Saudi establishment," Mr Wurmser said. "There are conflicting forces there, and part of the establishment has been working with the Bin Laden faction to embarrass the other half."

However, the state department spokesman, Philip Reeker, yesterday repeated the "very satisfied" mantra that his colleagues have been using for some time. He noted that Prince Naif had said the situation did not please the Saudis.

"I think that quite reflects the attitudes we've been expressing for five weeks now. This situation, clearly, doesn't please us. We would certainly rather be able to focus on other things in our foreign and defence policy."


Would Wage Battle for Islam's Hearts and Minds, Says Charlotte Beers

Longtime ad executive Charlotte Beers, the State Department's chief of public diplomacy, is weighing an unconventional strategy to get the U.S. message across in Afghanistan:

[WASHINGTON - 15 October - AdAge]: Faced with "a battle for the mind" and the need to tell moderate Muslims that the U.S. isn't fighting Islam, Ms. Beers said the State Department is investigating new ways to reach out.

Among the possibilities: advertising on Qatar-based news channel Al Jazeera, Osama bin Laden's favored broadcast venue. "I will choose any channel of distribution, any format that will get the job done," said Ms. Beers, the former chairman of WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson Co., who three weeks ago was confirmed as undersecretary of state for public diplomacy.

"This is probably what I bring to the party. I have seen how such messages and such formats work." 'Battle for the mind' Terrorism, Ms. Beers said, "is a battle for the mind. & The role of public diplomacy is undergoing major reassessment. However one might interpret it, [public diplomacy] is a vital new arm in what will combat terrorism over time. All of a sudden, we are in this position of redefining who America is, not only for ourselves under this kind of attack, but also for the outside world."

Ms. Beers plans to put together an advisory council of Arab and Muslim leaders to help craft what the U.S. should communicate in foreign countries. Among the points to advocate: The U.S. is not opposed to Islam; Mr. bin Laden and his followers misstate the Koran and what Muslim religion says; the U.S. is working to provide humanitarian aid. Speeches, media interviews, advertising and a more direct approach -- building radio stations to beam programs toward target populations -- are among options Ms. Beers is investigating.

The State Department has made no final decision whether to use ads.

Buying time on Al Jazeera "The [immediate] problem is getting the message articulated and understood," Ms. Beers said. "Then I will worry about channels of distribution. I know how to do that. It may be imperfect. It's not like I can call up a channel and run it. But if I have to buy time on [satellite-TV broadcaster] Al Jazeera, I would certainly consider it." The network drew attention last week when Mr. bin Laden, the terrorist leader, used it to release his statements after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan. Ms. Beers' job puts her in charge of both the State Department's public affairs side, which handles messages aimed at a U.S. audience, and the public diplomacy section, aimed at a foreign audience.

Ms. Beers, who was nominated last spring, originally expected to have six months to a year to develop a plan to expand the State Department's target audience from government leaders and opinion makers abroad to a broader population.

Now she has to do that same job immediately and instantly and under challenge as terrorist leaders try to give their own view of America. Ms. Beers said fighting this attack is especially complex because it puts the U.S. government in a position of discussing much more than policy differences.

'Dialogue of great emotional context'

"We are talking about religion with all its connotations and emotional aspects. If you think about the dialogue that the State Department [normally uses] and the government itself speaks to, [here] we are forced into a dialogue of great emotional context & where people discuss their religion, aspects of purity, [and] they accuse us of goals and beliefs that we haven't even heard of in our lifetime."

The message the U.S. needs to deliver, most of it through conventional channels of American foreign service officials delivering speeches and media interviews, is about who the U.S. is and what it stands for, she said.

"We have got to be able to get our messages in their context & messages about who we are, what we believe in, where we stand and basic information messages about what the president said, what the policies are and how the U.S. is running an immense aid program at the same time it is trying to target the Taliban and its supporting organization. "In addition to what our policies are, what we haven't felt the need to communicate is what is the value system," Ms. Beers said.

"What are our beliefs? What do the words freedom and tolerance mean? We are having people who are not our friends define America in negative terms. It is time for us to reignite the understanding of America." Ms. Beers said the communications challenges are made harder by cutbacks at the State Department over the past few years. She said the department will need additional resources.

Ms. Beers is working with the Ad Council to develop public-service spots that could run in the U.S.

She said she hasn't yet worked out an agenda with the council but has some ideas. She declined to detail them just yet. "We will need to refresh the public's participation in a long campaign," Ms. Beers said, "to understand terrorism and to debunk the mythology that surrounds it and to make the American people understand and be vigilant about what is almost an invisible enemy."

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 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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