Arafat in Bunker; Israeli Missiles Seek Bin Laden; Propaganda Campaigns Escalate
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Arafat in Bunker; Israeli Missiles Seek Bin Laden; Propaganda Campaigns Escalate

December 13, 2001


MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington, D.C. - 12/13/2001: Greatly emboldened because there have not been the kinds of major demonstrations and violent clashes in Arab and Muslim countries that some predicted, the U.S. and Israel have decided to push forward with crushing military power, still more covert CIA actions, and further administrative and financial restrictions worldwide. At the same time the Bush Administration has agreed to an unprecedented Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) campaign to begin a major advertising campaign offering financial rewards for the capture of Palestinians in the occupied territories who are accused of having been involved in "terrorism that resulted in the death of Americans". And for former initially CIA-sponsored "Radio Free Europe", now based in Prague in the Czech Republic, is considerably expanding its political propaganda messages thanks to further U.S. Congressional millions urged on by the Israeli/Jewish lobby to reach more countries in the Middle East.

Since last night the following Palestinian places have been attacked, according to the settler affiliated Israeli Arutz-7 newsline which uses right-wing Zionist catch-phrases and names:

"The Palestinian Department of Science in Shechem (which served as a cover for an explosives manufacturing plant), the PLO airport's radar and control tower, the only helicopter pad in Shechem, Force 17 buildings in Gaza, the PA's naval police headquarters, and more. The army also took control of a few neighborhoods in Ramallah, and positioned tanks aimed at Arafat's office windows only 200 meters away. Around noon, IDF forces destroyed the main antenna of Voice of Palestine Radio - one of the PA's central symbols - and bulldozed others of the installation's buildings. "If the PA doesn't stop its incitement," an army source said, "we'll stop it for them." Irregular radio and television broadcasts continue from other stations, however.

Later in the afternoon, the army took over the home of Tanzim head Marwan Bargouti and turned its top floors into an army post. He has not lived there for a while, for fear that Israeli forces would kill him, but his family does; the army said that his wife and children are free to live in the lower floors. Bargouti and his Tanzim are responsible for a good share of the terrorism on Israel over the past 14 months.

The IDF also divided up the Gaza Strip into three areas. The Netzarim junction was blocked, stopping traffic (except along a narrow coastal strip) to and from Gaza City which lies to the north; the Gush Katif junction was similarly blockaded, stopping traffic to and from Khan Yunis to the south; while in the middle lie Dir el Balah and other villages. The army carried out a similar action in April of this year after mortar attacks on the city of Sderot. Areas in Rafiach were also surrounded and cut off today."


RAMALLAH - WORLD TRIBUNE - Thursday, December 13, 2001 Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has gone into hiding after an Israeli missile attack damaged his headquarters here earlier today.

Israel's military launched a major offensive meant to destroy the Palestinian Authority security and weapons infrastructure in the wake of a Palestinian attack on a Jewish community in the West Bank. Ten Israelis were killed in the Palestinian ambush on an Israeli bus at the entrance to the Jewish settlement of Emanuel on Wednesday evening.

PA sources said Arafat was evacuated from his Ramallah headquarters on early Thursday and taken to a secret location. The sources said the complex was damaged by an Israeli missile attack, Middle East Newsline reported.

Arafat has prepared an underground bunker in the Ramallah area to survive any Israeli attack, PA sources said. Other bunkers were built for Arafat in the Gaza Strip.

On Thursday, the PA's Voice of Palestine ended transmissions and Palestinian sources said the radio and television broadcast station was destroyed by Israeli tank fire. Both radio and television broadcasts later continued via other facilities.

Israeli air and ground forces operated throughout early Thursday in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The targets included the Palestinian weapons industry in the West Bank city of Nablus.

"We also struck the Palestinian Scientific Committee, the code-word for the Palestinian weapons industry," Maj. Gen. Dan Harel, head of the military's operations directorate, said. "There, they produce weapons and bombs."

Israeli troops have also entered several Palestinian areas in the Gaza Strip. The radar facility at the moribund PA airport at Dahaniya was destroyed. The Gaza Strip was divided into three separate cantons controlled by the military.

Israeli AH-64A helicopters and F-16 multi-role fighters struck PA police and naval installations throughout Gaza. Israeli tanks shelled several West Bank cities.

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced that Israel would sever all relations with PA Chairman Yasser Arafat. But the ministers did not decide to exile or assassinate Arafat.

"We have reached a point where Arafat no longer serves as an address to deal with terrorism," Israeli Justice Minister Meir Shetreet said.

Before his departure, Arafat ordered the closure of the offices of the Islamic opposition in a last-minute move to stave off the toppling of his regime. PA sources said security officers arrived at several Hamas and Jihad offices to prevent them opening.

But Islamic opposition sources dismissed the Arafat decision. The sources said the Hamas and Jihad offices were scheduled to be closed over the weekend for the Id El Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the Muslim fast month of Ramadan.

Hours later on Thursday afternoon, PA officials announced that Arafat had rescinded the closure order. The officials said the rescinding of the order was in response to the Israeli military offensive against the PA.

Palestinian sources said U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and Western leaders telephoned Arafat and appealed to him to crack down on Palestinian insurgents. The sources said PA officials sent messages to both Israel and the United States urging a halt in Israeli bombing to allow Arafat to round up suspected Palestinian insurgents.

In Washington, the Bush administration said Israel has not relayed to the United States any intention to destroy the PA or exile Arafat. Assistant Secretary of State William Burns - on tour of North African Arab states - said the United States would continue to negotiate with Arafat.

"The United States has not seen any indication that Israel is trying to get Yasser Arafat," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said.

The Israeli offensive came hours after Palestinian insurgents from Hamas as well as Arafat's Fatah movement attacked the Jewish settlement of Emanuel. Ten people were killed and more than 30 were injured when a commuter bus was bombed and riddled with bullets at the entrance of the commu


The U.S. Air Force is using an Israeli air-to-ground missile to help blow up the last strongholds of Saudi fugitive Osama Bin Laden.

U.S. defense officials said the air force is using the AGM-142 missile to target Bin Laden lairs in the Tora Bora mountains. The AGM-142 Have Nap missile is the U.S. term for Israel's Popeye. The Popeye is manufactured by Rafael, Israel Armament Development Authority.

The missile provided to the U.S. Air Force is a joint venture of Rafael and Lockheed Martin. The United States has bought several hundred million dollars worth of AGM-142.

The AGM-142 is said to have a range of about 80 kilometers. The missile employs a television seeker to deliver nearly three tons of explosives to its target. The missile was outfitted with a warhead meant to penetrate earth and rock.

The Popeye was examined by the Pentagon in 1986 after U.S. Air Force jets failed to damage Libyan weapons facilities. Officials said the U.S. Air Force is directing the missile toward the opening of caves believed deployed by Bin Laden.


U.S. officials said Afghanistan's new interim leader, Hamid Karzai, has a long history of contacts with both the CIA and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence service, known as ISI. The connections are said to be the reason Karzai was the candidate most acceptible to the United States and Pakistan. Karzai will head the new government over the next six months.

Karzai and several brothers own a chain of restauraunts in Chicago, San Francisco, Boston and Baltimore. They have residences in Quetta, Islamabad and Peshawar. A native of Kandahar, Karzai has spent much of his life in Quetta.

Karzai met the late CIA Director Bill Casey when Casey made one of his numerous trips to Pakistan during the U.S. covert operation to back mujahideen rebels against the Soviet Union during the 1980s.

His ties to ISI are based on connections to former ISI Director Akhtar Abdur Rahman Khan and date to the early 1980s.

Karzai, a moderate Msulim, and his father, Abdul Ahad Karzai, were befriended by ISI in the early 1980s. Ties between Karzai and the Pakistani spy agency became strained, however, after assassins murdered the elder Karzai in Quetta in what was viewed as a hit by Taliban leaders. Karzai believed ISI, through its connections to the Taliban could have prevented the killing.

The ISI reestablished contact in September and began supplying logistics support and arms for anti-Taliban southern tribes in Afghanistan, including Gul Agha, the former governor of Kandahar and Haji Abdul Khaliq, two key commanders in the final battle for control of Kandahar.

Karzai has met several times with Pakistan military officials during recent anti-Taliban military operations.

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December 2001


U.S. and Israel Now Have Iraq In Their Sights
(December 31, 2001)
Britain's Telegraph Newspaper is well-plugged in with both the Americans and the Israelis, and is helping fan the flames of the likelier than not upcoming collision with Iraq. At the moment the U.S. is short of cruise missiles.

Sub-Continent Rushes Toward Conflagration
(December 31, 2001)
Pakistan and India are readying their military forces - including their ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons - for war.

Israelis Preparing The Way for 2002 - Now a Potentially Cataclysmic Year
(December 31, 2001)
Yasser Arafat remains under town siege in Ramallah, and his personal as well as historical nemesis, Ariel Sharon, continues to attempt to provoke more Palestinian hatred and violence which he will then use to justify still further Israeli military escalations, potentially cataclysmic in the year about to begin.

"We Will Win Nuclear War"! Crisis Escalates Further!
(December 31, 2001)
As the year turns, not since fourty years ago, not since1962 and the "Cuban Missile Crisis", has the world faced the possibility of an iminent orgastic nuclear war between two major countries.

The "Muslim" Bomb - Both Pakistan and Iran now Targeted in addition to Iraq
(December 30, 2001)
The Israelis have a vast arsenal of nuclear weapons; and in fact helped instigate the very regional arms race they are now so worried about; then fueled it further by ongoing attempts to crush and subjugate the Palestinians while colonizing still more territories.

Now, let's talk about terrorism, shall we?
(December 30, 2001)
If you are still shaken by the horrifying scenes of September 11, please observe a moment of silence for the 5,000 civilian lives lost in the New York, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania attacks. While we're at it...

"Internationals" Victorious For The Day Over Israeli Army
(December 30, 2001)
You've got to hand it to these international activists, they are succeeding at the moment at least in drawing attention to what the Israeli occupation is really all about, they are putting their bodies on the line, they have now finally after so many years and provocations begun to organize and demonstrate for real. But there are a few serious problems in this.

India-Pakistan War Brews - Potential Nuclear Conflagration Looms
(December 29, 2001)
No matter what American and Israeli officials now say in public, at some point the "war against terrorism" as defined in Washington and Jerusalem was likely to begin to quickly expand in unforeseen ways in both the Middle East and the sub-continent.

Islamic Militants Attack Israeli Patrol, Defying Arafat's Truce Call
(December 29, 2001)
Ignoring Yasser Arafat's truce order, two members of the militant Islamic Jihad group on Friday attacked an Israeli army patrol in the Gaza Strip in a failed suicide mission.

(December 28, 2001)
"I wouldn't be the least surprised if there were a nuclear explosion in Israel or the United States." Congressman Chris Shays (R-Conn.) Chairman of the House subcommittee on national security

The Real "OBSTACLE TO PEACE", and Egypt Targets Women - MER FLASHBACK
(December 28, 2001)
It's front-page news! Bill Clinton says Israeli settlements are an "obstacle" to peace. But this isn't the real story; nor are settlements the real obstacle.

(December 26, 2001)
Both India and Pakistan in recent days have deployed substantial combat forces to important strategic areas along their borders and with tension continuing to mount the Indian army has ordered residents in border villages to leave.

Pakistan warns of nuclear conflict with India!
(December 25, 2001)
As in Palestine, the Kashmir conflict originally resulted from Western policies in the last century. Now both conflicts threaten to explode into wars of mass destruction in this century.

The Terrible State of the Palestinians
(December 24, 2001)
After all his bluster and threats, Yasser Arafat remains essentially an Israeli prisoner in Ramallah, one of the militarily-surrounded Palestinian Bantustans that Arafat himself helped create when he put his pen to various Israeli schemes for which he received, quite literally, billions of dollars in payoffs and arms which he then distributed to cronies and entourage to keep himself in power.

Holy Land ShowDown - Will He or Won't He?
(December 24, 2001)
An atmosphere of tension and expectation has descended on Bethlehem as Palestinians wait to see whether their leader, Yasser Arafat, will successfully defy an Israeli ban on his travelling to the town for a highly symbolic Christmas Mass.

Israel Searches Convoy for Arafat...Political Brinksmanship Awaits Clock
(December 24, 2001)
As the clock ticks toward Christmas Eve and Midnight a grand game of political brinksmanship is underway between the two old protagonists, Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat.

Israel Prepares For Arafat's "Walk" or Copter to Bethlehem
(December 23, 2001)
It's even possible Arafat could tomorrow win this round in what has evolved into a kind of personal Sharon-Arafat political wrestling match. We're all anxiously waiting to see just how this drama is going to unfold Monday; and whether Arafat can even approach the political skill and timing of Mahatma Gandhi.

Arab Regimes Helped Bring Sharon To Power - MER FlashBack
(December 23, 2001)
It was the Arab client regimes themselves, especially the Hashemites in Jordan and the Egyptians, who actually helped bring Ariel Sharon to the pinnacle of power in Israel. This from MER archives four years ago:

"It's a humiliation for the entire Palestinian people"
(December 23, 2001)
"This is an example of the arrogance of occupation. It's a humiliation for the entire Palestinian people, Christians and Muslims... Sharon is playing with fire -- he wants blood and tears instead of Christmas carols."

Yasser's Historic Moment Monday To Walk Peacefully Into History
(December 22, 2001)
As we said the other day, we're all aware that Yasser Arafat's record of doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons in the right way is rather tarnished, to say the least. But even tarnished almost consumed historic figures sometimes have their possible moments of historic redemption.

War Year 2002 - Stage Set for "Transferring" Palestinians, "Jordan is Palestine"
(December 22, 2001)
If major wars and more "terrorist incidents" break out in the Sub-Continent and elsewhere in the Middle East region, as now seems likely in the weeks and months immediately ahead, that is just what Ariel Sharon and the "right-wing" Israelis -- with at least acquiescence from Barak, Peres and the so-called "left-wing" Israelis -- have been waiting for.

Darkness in the Once Holy Land
(December 21, 2001)
"The Oslo agreements were a sham... The understanding on the Palestinian side was that Oslo would eventually lead to Israeli withdrawal from the territories. In fact, the accords turned into a state-run land grab of astounding proportions..."

Arafat Threatens to Walk to Bethlehem - NewsFlash!
(December 21, 2001)
Just a week ago now MER wrote of the urgent need for Arafat to "do a Gandhi". "Message to Arafat - Do a Gandhi, right now, before it's too late!" was the title of the MER article published last Friday at this time. And it seems MER's impact is even greater than we imagined!

U.S. and Israel Cozier And More Intertwined Than Ever
(December 21, 2001)
The United States plans to offer Israel an expanded missile defense cooperation relationship. The cooperation is meant to follow the model of the current U.S.-Israeli Arrow-2 joint program.

Time to Suspend Israel from the U.N. General Assembly
(December 20, 2001)
The General Assembly could act seriously today; it has the power. And there is the precedent as well -- South Africa in the days of Apartheid. The U.S. has no veto in the GA; something that under today's conditions, and precisely because of last week's "astounding" Security Council veto, should be acted upon.

"So let's hope the president will resist the siren calls for new wars"
(December 20, 2001)
Warnings have already come, and in public, from all over. The Germans, the French, the U.N., there's already quite a long list. But the Americans are definitely planning to march forward on their crusade...there are many "phases" already not just planned but in various forms of execution.

Peres Himself "Shudders"; and "Evil" Israeli-Style Unleashed
(December 19, 2001)
Shimon Peres ought to know. This is hardly the first time the Israelis have been caught at what for most of the world deserve to be categorized as "war crimes." And for every time they have been caught there are ever so many other times that the dastardly things they have done have been successfully hidden from view, so far that is.

Thank You Der Spiegel
(December 18, 2001)
We've yet to see the full English translation of yesterday's important article by Publisher Rudolf Augstein of Der Spiegel. But right away we can certainly comment that it's about time German intellectuals and journalists realized that precisely because of their past they have a special obligation to stand up against racism and facism and brute militarism -- from whatever quarter it rears its ugly tentacles.

LIES, TRICKS, DECEPTIONS...then and now?
(December 17, 2001)
Was what the world watched a few days ago, originally broadcast direct from the Pentagon no less, the real OSB and the whole truthful story of the conveniently found and timed tape? Was this just a part of the real but more more complex and convoluted story? Was there a CIA Sting involved as has been reported by the establishment British press in London over the weekend?

Destroying Saddam/Bathist Regime Being Planned by US, Israel
(December 17, 2001)
When you send a recently retired Marine Corp General and regional Commander to the Middle East as your "Peace Negotiator" it's war not peace you have in mind. But the popular press is ever-so-gullible and compliant of course.

Neighborhood Bully - A Former U.S. Attorney General on American Militarism
(December 15, 2001)
When I picture a high-ranking government official, I think of someone who is corrupt. I think of a corporate shill. I think of someone who is not a friend to the people of this country. I think of Lord Acton's famous line about power corrupting, and absolute power corrupting absolutely.

Israeli Stage Set For Regional War and Destruction
(December 15, 2001)
"Arafat's real crisis is among his own people. They see him as just an Israeli sheriff who happens to speak their language."

Message to Arafat - Do a Gandhi, right now, before it's too late!
(December 14, 2001)
Palestinian support groups in the US and elsewhere are pathetically weak, terribly lead, and still engaged most of the time in rather juvenile uninformed internal debates about who is who and what is what. But even so, once and awhile there's a good idea circulated in their incestuous and bloated email forums, though there is hardly ever any follow-through in any serious way.

Arafat's Last Stand... European Betrayal... Devastation and Catastrophe...
(December 14, 2001)
"Arafat came as collaborator as much as liberator. For the Israelis, security - theirs, not the Palestinians' - was the be-all and end-all of Oslo. His job was to supply it on their behalf."

Arafat in Bunker; Israeli Missiles Seek Bin Laden; Propaganda Campaigns Escalate
(December 13, 2001)
Greatly emboldened because there have not been the kinds of major demonstrations and violent clashes in Arab and Muslim countries that some predicted, the U.S. and Israel have decided to push forward with crushing military power, still more covert CIA actions, and further administrative and financial restrictions worldwide.

Israelis Spies Held by U.S. While Israelis Unleash More Death and Destruction
(December 13, 2001)
The very day the White House went to great lengths to position the Israeli flag right behind the President, and to purposefully highlight the Star of David to the greatest degree possible, the whole subject of Israeli espionage against the U.S. has also unfurled once again.

Israeli Spying in USA, Part I
(December 13, 2001)

Israeli Spying in USA, Part II
(December 13, 2001)

Israeli Spying in USA, Part III
(December 13, 2001)

Israeli Spying in USA, Part IV
(December 13, 2001)

Boycott the USA Says Famous Egyptian
(December 12, 2001)
When Egypt's most popular television commentator, Hamdi Qandil, called for a boycott of U.S. goods, which his government opposes, it got past the censor. But he was stopped from repeating it.

Israel: The 51st State?
(December 12, 2001)
September 11th, 2001, has become the tragedy of opportunity for Israel; a perfect turning point in which the "war against terrorism" analogy has been fully exploited by Ariel Sharon's radical right-wing government to sustain, even intensify, the horrors of Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories.

What Drives A Bomber to Kill the Innocent Child? MER FLASHBACK
(December 11, 2001)
I once asked the head of the Lebanese Hizbollah if he could explain to me how the mind of a suicide bomber works. Sayed Hassan Nasrallah was dressed in his black turban and robes. He had formerly been the Hizbollah's military commander in southern Lebanon and from his legions had emerged the first Arab suicide bombers who would - after more than a decade and a half - sap the morale of Israel's retreating army.

"...Symbol of Hatred and Fury of This Filthy War"
(December 10, 2001)
They started by shaking hands. We said 'Salaam aleikum' - peace be upon you - then the first pebbles flew past my face. A small boy tried to grab my bag. Then another. Then someone punched me in the back. Then young men broke my glasses, began smashing stones into my face and head.

Robert Fisk Nearly Beaten to Death
(December 9, 2001)
Robert Fisk is one of the world's preeminent experts about the Middle East and world affairs. He is the longest serving Western correspondent in the region. He is also an extraordinarily courageous person who always conducts himself with great determination, fortitude, and professionalism.

Just Call Me 'Uncle Jim', Saudi Propaganda, Academia Subverted - MER FLASHBACKS
(December 4, 2001)

Lies About "Peace" and a "Palestinian State" - Then and Now
(December 1, 2001)
More than twenty years ago now another American President was promising a complete "settlement freeze" and a "transitional period" leading to a "Palestinian State". The notion that George W. Bush is doing so for the first time, sui generis, is not only blatantly historically fallacious but downright disingenuous.

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