LIES, TRICKS, DECEPTIONS...then and now?
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LIES, TRICKS, DECEPTIONS...then and now?

December 17, 2001

LIES, TRICKS, DECEPTIONS...then and now?

"Will the real OSB please stand up"

MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 12/17/2001: Like on the American TV game show, it's now "Will the Real Osama Bin Laden (he has now been dubbed OSB putting him in a class like IBM or JFK it seems) please stand up?"

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?

Who knows the answers for sure at this point. BUT, we do know this: the timing and many other factors relating to this whole affair are in themselves very suspicious; AND the source for this tape, and its conveniently supplied and timed story, has many past tricks and deceptions to its credit; though we no doubt learn about only a few of them and usually much after the fact when it's too late to really matter.


Take for instance a forgotten episode from not that many years ago in which the same cast of players were involved. Flashback to 1990 and the campaign to whip up support for American military intervention in Saudi Arabia to "liberate" Kuwait (for the Royal al-Sabah family then comfortably esconced in a Saudi hotel) and overthrow Saddam and his regime. By the way, at this time OSB was himself sitting with the Saudi Royals in Riyadh, discusing with none other than King Fahd and entourage what should be Saudi policies. This was the period in which the al-Queda of the future and the OSB of history was born; a direct result from what happened in those days not all that long ago.

The political climate was quite different at the time. Bush 41/Cheney and Powell (then Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs) needed a Senate resolution of war to back their war plans of the day, and it was a close divide on Capitol Hill. Then, perfectly timed, a young Kuwaiti woman was brought before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the lined-up TV cameras of the world, to plead the case. She had witnessed first-hand she said the brutality of the Iraqis in Kuwait, including throwing babies out of their incubators and described in detail wanton acts of cruelty. It was powerful threater fitting for the West Wing TV drama of today. Tears flow. Blood boiled. The desire to pursue good over evil rose perceptibly like a thermometer. And then, by a narrow vote, the Senate gave Bush/Cheney/Powell and the American militarists what they wanted. And a new phase of history in the Middle East, and in world affairs, was launched -- "New World Order I".

But when the political and military smoke cleared, not to mention the deaths of more than a million Iraqis, it turned out that the woman who told her captivating story had not only made most of it; but she was actually in the US at the time, not Kuwait, and she was in fact the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the U.S.! Yes, hard to believe we know; but nevertheless true. In fact, working in tandem with the CIA and the Pentagon, the Kuwaits had hired a very expensive American Public Relations firm which had designed the political strategy to manipulate the American people, the media, and the Congress. And no, no one was ever held accountable -- like white collar crime, such political crimes by the rich and powerful were overlooked even though the very credibility of the American Congress was undermined. Indeed, it's all rather conveniently forgotten by the ever-compliant corporate media who job it should be to uncover, remember, and reveal.

Additionally, then like now, there was much help and advice behind the scenes and under the table for the war makers from the legendary Jewish/Israeli lobby, whose power to manipulate and control Congress and the media is well-known if not well understood.

Moral of the story? When dealing with the new/old cast of characters -- now Bush 43/Cheney/Powell/Rumsfeld -- and the same powerful, secret and manipulative institutions now with much improved technological capacities -- at the very least one should be exceedingly skeptical and aware of what has happened before. Armed with thoughtful history and penetrating analysis, who can be blamed then for thinking that quite possibly building support for "New World Order II" is following the same patterns and using the same tactics of "New World Order I", perpetrated pretty much by the same cast of characters and for the same reasons.

A few of the more interesting articles relating to this subject follow. And as much as we hate to ever quote Harvard's Alan Dershowitz, we'll make an exception this time (mostly because he's much more credible when talking about legal matters than he is when talking about political or historical ones).


By Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

[Pravda, Moscow, 14 December 2001]: The interviews took place in Afghanistan, the first in October with the Qatar-based Arab TV station, Al-Jazeera, and in November, filmed by an "amateur", found in a house in Jalalabad. The first interview was never revealed, or shown, due to a secret agreement between Richard Cheney and the Emir of Qatar. The second is strange.

The first is an exclusive interview between a frightened Al-Jazeera reporter and an exultant and defiant Osama Bin Laden which took place in Afghanistan on 20th October, the contents of which were used by British Prime Minister Tony Blair on 14th November, in his public accusation that Osama Bin Laden was behind the September 11th attacks.

The video reached the British and US governments through the work of their respective secret services, after they discovered that a video of the interview had been made and distributed throughout the Middle East, whose leaders are reported to be increasingly worried about the growing influence of Al-Jazeera in the area. Contacts from the British and US secret services obtained copies of the video, which has never been shown.

Al-Jazeera decided not to broadcast the interview after a private meeting took place in October between US Vice President Richard (Dick) Cheney, and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin-Khalifah Al Thani. The Qatar royal family finances Al-Jazeera and has close ties with the USA.

In the interview, an aggressive and determined Osama Bin Laden refuses to answer the reporter's questions and he himself dictates the theme of the discourse. He manages again to portray his message that the attacks against America were justified by this country's support for Israel, which stole lands from the Palestinians and continues its campaign of terror today.

He declares that "the battle has been moved to inside America and we must continue until we win this battle, or die for the cause and meet our Creator". Linking these attacks with their cause, he declared "Evil terror is that which America and Israel are practising against our people, and what we are practising is good terror which will stop them from doing what they do".

Osama Bin Laden and Islamist extremists have tried to explain the cause behind the international terrorist movement with the justification that while Israel refuses to adhere to UN Resolutions which instruct this country to leave the Palestinian lands it occupied and to cease the practice of building colonies on them, settled by Jews, the stakes would be raised in their fight to claim back the lands which were taken from them.

However, there is nothing concrete in this interview which incriminates Osama Bin Laden, the references to the September 11th attacks being too vague, and after the event.

In the second video, which mysteriously appears in a private house in Jalalabad, filmed by an amateur and screened on Sky News on Thursday, the evidence incriminating Osama Bin Laden in the terrorist attacks on September 11th would be face value.

However, Arabic-speaking Pravda.Ru contacts were present watching this video clip and it can be stated that what was claimed and seen are two different things. What was seen were video shots of Osama Bin Laden (no doubt it was him, unless the video industry used its best technicians to produce a professional-looking montage), speaking in the distance with a group of fellows, talking about the September 11th events in great detail.

Whether or not the voice was his can be debatable. The Arabic-speaking contact of Pravda.Ru in Lisbon pointed out that anyone could have dubbed on the voices because there are no close-ups of the lips of the people while speaking. What he could hear was a lot of mumbling and during the mumbling, the supposed translation comes up with some incriminating phrases.

Why such potentially damning evidence should have been left in a house in Kandahar, conveniently discovered after a supposed victory by the US-led alliance, giving for the first time the only real evidence against Osama Bin Laden, is highly suspicious.

Also suspicious is the fact that Osama Bin Laden mentioned names of those held responsible for the hijackings. If Osama Bin Laden has the means and intelligence to fight the Soviet Union during ten years, to play cat and mouse with the USA for another ten years and to see the Taleban walking home, armed after what was supposed to be one of the mightiest military attacks in history, himself only he knows where, the second video seems too good to be true.


The CIA may have set up the terrorist leader to incriminate himself

By Ed Vulliamy and Jason Burke

[The Observer, London, Sunday December 16, 2001] In the cavernous front room, beneath flickering neon lights, they gathered to watch. Outside, darkness had fallen, but though the Ramadan fast was over the men who sat riveted to the screen of the single television in Jalalabad's Afghan Hotel were not in the mood for the customary celebration.

On the screen flickered a blurred picture: a tall, grey-bearded man in a white turban talking in Arabic to a number of other similarly attired associates. These fuzzy, broken images were the 'smoking gun' - bin Laden's long-awaited, albeit apparently unwitting, personal confession.

The men in the Afghan Hotel had a more pressing, more local interest too. According to the American authorities who solemnly released the tape last week, it had been found nearby, in a ruined building once used by Arab fighters from bin Laden's al-Qaeda organisation. It had been seized when Mujahideen fighters entered their city a few hours after al-Qaeda's Taliban protectors had left.

That, the viewers knew, was certainly possible. By the morning after the 'liberation' of Jalalabad, fighters loyal to Commander Hazrat Ali had seized safehouses and training complexes linked to al-Qaeda. Ali has cooperated with the Americans and the story that he had passed the tape on to the CIA was very plausible.

But then doubts began to surface. Why had bin Laden broken his tight security to talk? Why had he not used one of his normally favoured media outlets? Was the tape genuine? Was this indeed bin Laden at all?

The tape was certainly damning. It showed bin Laden laughing and boasting about the 11 September attacks as he talks to his interviewer, a Saudi cleric who has travelled through war-racked Afghanistan to see him. Bin Laden, flanked by two key aides, describes how the planes did far more damage to the World Trade Centre than he ever imagined. 'We calculated in advance the number of casualties from the enemy... that the floors that would be hit would be three or four floors,' he says. 'I was the most optimistic of them all.'

Bin Laden also indicates that the men who carried out the plot knew that they were on a 'martyrdom operation' but did not have details of the mission until the last minute.

This weekend, as the debate the tape has provoked continued across the Islamic world, several intelligence sources have suggested to The Observer that the tape, although absolutely genuine, is the result of a sophisticated sting operation run by the CIA through a second intelligence service, possibly Saudi or Pakistani.

'They needed someone whom they could persuade or coerce to get close to bin Laden and someone whom bin Laden would feel secure talking to. If it works, you have got the perfect evidence at the perfect moment,' said one security source. 'It's a masterstroke.'

The focus of suspicion is the Saudi dissident preacher who appears to have taped the interview, conducted according to the timecode on the video on 9 November, in what appears to be a guesthouse in the Afghan city of Kandahar. Though unidentified in the one-hour recording, security sources have told The Observer that the interviewer, who appears to be disabled from the waist down, is Ali Saeed al-Ghamdi, a former assistant professor of theology at a seminary in Mecca. Saudis who watched the tape said the interviewer's accent betrayed roots in the south-west of their country, either the lower Hejaz or Asir province, where most of the 15 Saudi hijackers were from. Bin Laden bows down to greet the cleric, who has not stood up to greet him. Only someone who was incapable of rising would not be on his feet in the presence of such a famous and revered man, Islamic experts said yesterday.

Al-Ghamdi, who is known to Saudi intelligence services, is a marginal figure who tried to make a name for himself through inflammatory anti-Western speeches before being banned from preaching in 1994, one Saudi close to the government said. In the late Nineties he preached in obscure mosques along the highway leading from the port city of Jedda - where bin Laden grew up - to the holy city of Mecca, but his firebrand oratory drew only small audiences.

Senior Saudi government figures and religious scholars tend to dismiss such men as insignificant. 'They are not big-time and they don't have the legitimacy and the religious scholarship that the big guys have,' said Nawaf Obeid, a Saudi security analyst. 'They make a name for themselves with how extreme they are. They aggrandise themselves by claiming they are with bin Laden.'

Security sources stress that, despite his Islamist credentials, al-Ghamdi would still be a potential point of contact for Pakistani, Saudi or Egyptian intelligence.

'He was known because he was suspected of being involved in the gathering of international finance for al-Qaeda. He is a peripheral figure who wants to be something bigger and is frustrated. It's a classic profile. They could have turned him,' one security official for a Gulf intelligence agency contacted in Peshawar said. Experts told The Observer that the tape bears a marked resemblance to secretly filmed evidence used by the FBI against major American Mafia figures in recent years.

And though US security officials said there was 'no confirmation' that the tape was made by an 'intelligence source', a Pentagon official confirmed to The Observer that 'curious circumstances' surrounded al-Ghamdi, who appeared to be aware of the taping.

Whatever its provenance, the video has polarised opinion in the Arab world. 'The vast proportion of people always believed he did it and condemned him for it. They have not altered their view,' said Abdul Wahab Badrakhan, the deputy editor of al-Hayat newspaper. 'Only those with a fanatical mindset would deny what they can now see.'

One such man is Syed, a 38-year-old man who fought alongside bin Laden in Afghanistan during the Eighties. 'There is no way Osama would have done something like this,' he said. 'He was a quiet man with great reverence for human life. The Osama I see happily describing people dying is not the Osama I knew and loved.'

Images of the 44-year-old Saudi-born dissident, who studied civil engineering as a young man, laughing as he talks of how he used his specialist knowledge to calculate how much damage the planes would do, have been difficult for supporters to explain.

General Hamid Gul, a hardline former head of Pakistan's ISI spy agency, suggested that the figure in the video might be a lookalike. Others have queried the translation of the poor-quality Arabic soundtrack and the way that certain key elements - such as the location where the film was made - are inaudible.


[National Post - Canada - 16 December 2001]: Alan M. Dershowitz, a professor of law at Harvard University and an appellate lawyer, has represented such clients as Claus von Bulow, Mike Tyson and O.J. Simpson. In an exclusive to the National Post, he analyzes the legal merits of the Osama bin Laden videotape, released on Thursday.

- - - Now that the world has seen and heard Osama bin Laden and his fellow Islamic extremists taking credit and praising Allah for the mass murder of thousands of innocent people, few reasonable people will doubt the moral culpability, despicability and dangerousness of these misguided Muslims. But does the tape actually strengthen the legal case against bin Laden, Zacarias Moussaoui and others likely to face trial in connection with the outrages of Sept. 11?

In assessing the legal implications of the tape, it is as important to focus on what is missing from the tape as what is present on it. There is nothing on the tape that reveals bin Laden possessed information only a person guilty of planning this horrible crime would possess. In other words, the truth of the incriminating statements made on the tape is not self-proving: It relies on believing bin Laden is telling the truth.

Contrast this tape with tapes that are sometimes introduced in organized-crime or drug cases that are self-proving. Such tapes contain information that is not in the public domain and could be known only by the criminal. Such information might include the calibre of bullets used, the location of transit points for drugs, the names of undisclosed associates, etc. The bin Laden tape, in contrast, includes only information known to everybody. For example, bin Laden's assertion that Mohammed Atta was the leader of the hijackers has been widely reported and cannot be independently confirmed.

It could be argued bin Laden's statement that several of the hijackers were unaware of their mission until just before they boarded the plane is precisely the kind of information that would be known only to the planner. But there is no independent evidence that this claim is true. It is exactly the sort of statement that would be made by someone falsely seeking to claim credit for something he did not plan, since it suggests unique knowledge that can never be disproved. It, too, had been widely reported in the press before bin Laden made his statements. In other words, it is entirely possible bin Laden is boasting and claiming credit for a "success" for which he had little personal responsibility and no advance knowledge.

Why, one may ask, would bin Laden lie to his fellow Muslim idealogues? What motive might he have for taking credit for so horrible a deed if he was not, in fact, responsible? There are no easy answers to these questions, but it will be argued by some that in that part of the world people often take credit for the terrorist acts of others. There is a long history of multiple groups claiming credit for a single act of terrorism -- even of groups claiming credit for explosions that turned out to be accidents. It is possible this tape, despite its poor quality, was intended as a recruiting device, and that claiming credit for the largest attack on the United States was seen as helping the recruiting effort. It is also possible bin Laden was responsible for creating the terrorist holding company that commissioned specific groups to design and carry out terrorist acts against the United States, without himself knowing the specifics in advance. It is also possible -- I would say probable -- that bin Laden was directly involved in planning the attacks, but this tape by itself does not prove legal guilt, as I hoped it would.

There may well be other evidence proving bin Laden's culpability, but the tape alone consists primarily of dreams, Koranic quotations, boasts, congratulatory statements and information that has been widely reported or cannot be confirmed independently. If a prosecutor sought to have the tape admitted against bin Laden himself, it would almost certainly come in under a well-established exception to the hearsay rule. It would be an admission of criminal conduct by the defendants, and any such admission can be introduced into evidence, even if it lacks other indications of truthfulness. But if a prosecutor sought to have the tape admitted against a defendant who did not appear on it and it did not fit into a well-recognized exception to the hearsay rule (such as the co- conspirator exception), then it would have to contain indications of truthfulness. If it passed that test, the fact finder would still have to be persuaded bin Laden was telling the truth rather than boasting before a friendly and supportive audience.

Even if the tape does not conclusively prove bin Laden planned the attacks, it leaves no doubt at all that he applauds them and is pleased so many innocents were murdered. His attitude, as distinguished from the facts, is self-proving. Anyone can see it in his face and hear it in his voice. If the tape is not a smoking gun of legal guilt, it is certainly a smoking gun of moral despicability. No jury viewing that tape would want to acquit bin Laden, and few judges would have the courage to exclude the tape from evidence, even if they were to conclude its prejudicial impact might outweigh its probativeness.

It is entirely possible the first test of the tape's admissibility may be sought not by the government but by a defendant. Mr. Moussaoui, a French Moroccan now imprisoned in the United States, was the first person indicted in connection with the attacks. His lawyers may well seek to introduce the tape in defence of their client. There are two aspects of the tape that could be considered exculpatory, at least in some respects. First, although bin Laden names Mohammed Atta as the leader of the terrorists, he never mentions Mr. Moussaoui. Second, bin Laden claims several of the hijackers did not know the object of the plan until they were about to board the airplanes (though he says they knew they would be martyrs). This claim could be used to support an argument Mr. Moussaoui was unaware of the specific aim of the conspiracy. There is other evidence, of course, that points to his guilt, including the fact (if true) that he sought flying instruction that did not include landing an airplane. Moreover, if he was aware the plan included hijacking, he would be guilty of a serious crime even if he did not know the precise target of the hijackers. It might be a closer case if he did not know the hijackers planned to crash the plane into buildings or even to kill anyone, but the latter seems highly unlikely.

It will be interesting to see how this tape plays out in the Moussaoui case and in others that are likely to follow, even if there never is a trial for bin Laden or any of the people speaking on the tape.

On a larger level, the tape will serve as an important public-relations weapon in the political, diplomatic and psychological war against terrorism in general and bin Laden in particular. The court of public opinion has no rules of admissibility for tapes or other types of information. And although the vast majority of reasonable viewers and listeners will see this tape for what it is -- an immoral man using religion to justify mass murder -- they must also remember bin Laden is almost certainly a liar and he may have had a corrupt motive to lie about at least some of his claims.

We're still waiting for the self-proving evidence that does not rely on believing bin Laden is telling the truth.

Comment on these article(s)

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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