Attack Syria Next Insists Former NATO Commander and White House Chief of Staff
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Attack Syria Next Insists Former NATO Commander and White House Chief of Staff

January 8, 2002

America is in a dark, confused, and dangerous state these days. Extremely power and rich the U.S. is also lost and bewildered, with a President who somewhat gleefully has pronounded that the new year of 2002 will be "a war year". Whether it is Somalia or Yemen next "on the list", that list is now quite extensive and includes Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Lebanon, Palestine with many possible permutations and schedules. Meanwhile, Pakistan wobbles under the weight and with its substantial army and nuclear arsenal may find itself soon targeted as well; explaining to some extend why General Musharraf is trying so hard to appease the Americans and get them to restrain the Indians. But this international dance has now become so complicated and exhausting that its likely all parties will be able to continue without either collapse or misstesps ATTACK SYRIA NEXT SAYS FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF, NATO COMMANDER

WASHINGTON (UPI - 8 January 2001)- Former Secretary of State Gen. Alexander M. Haig Jr. said Monday that Syria, not Iraq, should be the next target in the war against international terrorism.

His comments came in an exclusive interview with United Press International's editor at large, Arnaud de Borchgrave.

Here is the transcript of the interview:

Q (de Borchgrave): What did the United States do right in Afghanistan and what did it do wrong? And what lessons have we learned for the future?

A (Haig): We didn't do anything wrong, but among the lessons learned, given the magnitude of the problems we now face in Afghanistan, a major U.S. force on the ground would convince the world we were in for the long-haul recovery of a country devastated by 21 years of warfare.

We lost interest in Afghanistan and left it in the lurch after the Soviets pulled out in 1989, and paid a terrible price for our shortsightedness, witness the emergence of Taliban and its alliance with al Qaida. If we are to thwart another round of warlordism and tribal warfare, such as what followed the Soviet withdrawal, and encourage the Afghans to get on with rebuilding their own nation, U.S. assistance, diplomacy and a muscular military presence will be required.

In Desert Storm, we had too many troops, in Afghanistan probably not enough for the major commitment we have made. President Bush and his team did a superb job winning the war, and we need to remember how he achieved maximum success despite a number of formidable restraints. The United States first had to negotiate with Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan for basing rights to bridge enormous distances to a land-locked Afghanistan.

Q: Is a lack of an institutional memory and a sense of history to blame for the crises that seem to hit us with tedious regularity in that part of the world?

'Clinton's Woefully Inadequate and Weak Iraqi Policy'

A: You have to look at the history of the Middle East in particular. It has been one of failure and frustration, of feudalism and tribalism, of Pan Arabism under Egypt's [Gamal Abdel] Nasser and its flirtation with the Soviet Union, then a flirtation with the Western world which led to more frustration when our great victory over the Iraqi aggressor left Saddam Hussein in power who then became a hero to the Arab masses because of Clinton's woefully inadequate and weak Iraqi policy.

Then you look at Iran, which became the crucible of fundamentalism coupled with terrorism, a situation we totally misread. Prior to his takeover of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini was camping near Paris, giving daily news conferences to a fawning international press corps without a murmur of complaint to France from the United States about the disaster it was coddling in the incredibly na´ve liberal belief that this extremist cleric would be an improvement over the Shah.

Stabbing the Shah in the Back

For years we leaned on the Shah for land reform, which led to the expropriation of the massive land holdings of the clergy, which, in turn, triggered the clergy's revolution against the monarchy. And when the Shah found himself in trouble, we quite literally stabbed him in the back.

It didn't take long for the world to realize that the Shah was an enlightened liberal next to the bloody reactionary regime that followed, and which executed more people in three months than the Shah had done in 30 years.

Then came the hostage crisis during which Carter did nothing to rattle the ayatollahs who hung tough until Ronald Reagan was inaugurated, when they suddenly backed down. After that we saw the killing of 241 U.S. Marines and 58 French soldiers in Beirut on Oct. 23, 1983. But the two culprits - Syria and Iran - got away scot-free.

Q: You mean the United States and its allies never understood that terrorism was a transnational terrorism?

A: Exactly right. We contributed to its attractiveness among people who were frustrated and disenfranchised.

Fundamentalism was the first of two perversions. Nation states converted guerrilla warfare into terrorism to conduct asymmetrical warfare against the world's only superpower.

Sun Tzu said 2,500 years ago that successful guerrillas float on the sea of people. The Bush administration understood early on that the particular perversion we saw with Taliban and al-Qaeda required coalitions to defeat it, but not coalitions for the sake of coalitions.

And as Secretary [of Defense Donald] Rumsfeld has stated with great clarity, the mission decides the coalition and not the coalition deciding the mission, which is what happened in Iraq.

Q: So this should not deter the United States if Iraq is the next target?

A: Or Syria.

Q: So you think Syria's a possibility?

A:- Syria is a terrorist state by any definition and is so classified by the State Department. I happen to think Iran is too. Iraq, Iran, Syria, they're all involved.

If al-Qaeda terrorists need a favor, such as safe houses, you can bet your bottom dollar that Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad would not hesitate to accommodate them. And all these groups are protected by these states which makes them sponsors of state terrorism and therefore potential targets in President Bush's global war against terrorism, when the footprints, that is, are clearly established.

Q: Where are the footprints clearer - Iraq or Syria?

Evidence 'Clearer in Syria Than in Iraq'

A: It's clearer in Syria than in Iraq. This doesn't mean that Iraq isn't a more venal threat. If it's proven that Iraq has provided aid and succor to international terrorist groups - and we're not just talking al-Qaeda, which is just another tentacle that has enjoyed the most success and was leading the attack against the United States, but its defeat in Afghanistan didn't neutralize the venality of other tentacles, such as Islamic Jihad, Hamas and Hezbollah.

Q: And what is the second perversion you mentioned earlier?

A: The first one is guerrilla warfare transformed into terrorism that singles out non-combatants, innocent civilians, including women and children. The objective is to spread fear to break the morale of the target country.

'Perversion' of Islam

The second perversion is what has been done to Islam, a pacific religion that believes in the rule of law and peaceful change.

Q: But radical Islam is at war with the United States. So how does one separate fundamentalism from anti-U.S. and anti-Israel radicalism?

A: That's where the perversion comes in. If they analyze the situation as thoroughly as they should, Muslims will realize they are the first targets. What are the fundamentalists really after? Simply taking over Islam and then turning its back on modernity.

The House of Saud would be the first to go, so the Saudi royal family's policy of exporting Wahhabi fundamentalism to buy peace at home is shortsighted in the extreme and has now been proved to be tantamount to funding terrorist-prone organizations from Indonesia to North Africa.

Q: So what is the Bush administration attempting to do about this kind of extremism?

A: It's an enlightened approach that keeps trying to separate classic Islam from radical Islam. What the fundamentalists are doing is a total negation of their own faith - encouraging and lionizing suicide bombers and killing women and children, hardly in keeping with the teachings of Prophet Mohammed.

Bin Laden's Escape

Q: To what degree has the U.S. campaign against transnational terrorism been hurt by the fact that Osama bin Laden and Mullah Mohammad Omar have eluded U.S. forces so far?

A: Anyone who believes that doesn't understand the nature of this war. We went in there and in 60 days with unprecedented use of precision weapons we wiped out both Taliban and al-Qaeda's extensive infrastructure in that country. To rebuild that in another country will be impossible as the most likely candidates are under a U.S. magnifying glass.

Unlike Kosovo or Bosnia, we had precise targeting with an on the ground presence of Special Forces and anti-Taliban militia, equipped with sat phones and GPS to laser paint targets. It was not accompanied by a large ground presence.

Q: Which you think was a mistake?

A: I didn't say that. We did what we were able to do.

Q: In other words, we didn't have the wherewithal for a large ground presence?

A: With all the commitments that were made by the previous [Clinton] administration, and a continued reduction in our manpower base in all the services, we should be asking ourselves whether or not we have sufficient forces to cope with a global war against terrorism that involves several nation states. Sooner or later something had to give. But President Bush, faced with the unprecedented affront of 9-11, could not wait to take action. So he had to do what we were capable of doing, and he did it brilliantly.



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January 2002


Magazine



Standing Ovation at U Chicago for MER Publisher Mark Bruzonsky Keynote Address. Full text at http://www.MiddleEast.Org/uchicago.htm
(January 31, 2002)
Standing Ovation at University of Chicago for MER Publisher Mark Bruzonsky Keynote Address. Full text at http://www.MiddleEast.Org/uchicago.htm

University of Chicago Speech by MER Publisher Mark Bruzonsky
(January 31, 2002)
Available at: http://www.MiddleEast.org/uchicago.htm

Arab Client Regimes Shaking
(January 30, 2002)
The first thing they do is cover your eyes. They make you strip to make sure you're not carrying anything. They replace your clothes with uniforms that are not clothes at all. They chain you by hand and foot. They drag you away and leave you on your own. They interrogate you. They say you are going to die if you won't talk. They feed you - you're not much good to them if you starve to death.

Torture and the Smile of Policeman Agadi
(January 30, 2002)
A few years ago Dr. Eyad Sarraj startled many when he published an article explaining "Why We Are All Suicide Bombers Now". Dr. Sarraj, Ph.D. from Harvard in psychology and a very cultured and secular individual, is Palestinian and lives in Gaza.

Black Voices For Peace - The Good and the Bad
(January 29, 2002)
Black Voices for Peace in Washington put on a good show last Monday, Martin Luther King's Birthday. For Blacks it was a well put-together and nicely produced program that went on for some 5 hours in a local downtown heart-of-D.C. church.

Arabs Threaten to Threaten; Israelis Act
(January 28, 2002)
The confused, bewildered, impotent, and divided Arab "leaders" -- mostly of course of the "client regimes" -- will be meeting in Beirut in March desperately trying even harder than usual to mask all of these realities.

Pakistan on Brink of Backlash, Chaos, War
(January 28, 2002)
India is likely to strike sooner or later, doing so on behalf of and in coordination with both Israel and the U.S. regardless of what those parties say in public. Whether India will wait for General Musharraf to loose control -- at that could come at any time -- is uncertain to everyone, probably including those in charge in New Delhi.

One War Criminal To Another
(January 27, 2002)
Fearing the possible public explosure of secrets known to very few, it appears one war criminal decided to do in another this week in Lebanon. The cycle of violence begetting violence, revenge leading to still more revenge, has not been broken in the Midldle East.

Zinni Embraces "Daddy Bear" Sharon Condemns "Mafia Godfather" Arafat
(January 27, 2002)
Americans and Israelis are essentially frolicking in bed together, all the more so in the aftermath of 11 September, all the while whispering under the covers about how they have truly screwed everyone else, most especially the gullible, weak, and confused Arabs from Arafat to Mubarak to Abdullah, et. al.

More Bloodshed Now; Possible Armagedon In The Future
(January 27, 2002)
At the moment Israel is Goliath in the Middle East; and American is Hercules in the world. But it will not always be this way; and the seeds of potential cataclysm, indeed of Armagadon, are in fact now growing like weed

U.S. Warns, Squeezes Arafat, Saudis
(January 26, 2002)
By threatening to desert the Arafat Regime the Americans are sending a much larger message to the rulers in the Middle East and especially at this moment to the Saudi Regime. The message: If you dare defy us, if you don't do what you are there to do, if you think you can get along without us support you; well think again.

Arafat Deserted; Region Boiling
(January 25, 2002)
The Arab "leaders" having deserted Yasser Arafat, as well as the Palestinian people. The terrible weakness and divisions of what is known as "the Arab world" are more visible than ever now.

Arafat Again In Exile? Oh No!
(January 24, 2002)
OH NO! Just the thought of Arafat going back into exile, continuing to hold to all the power and money and imagery, and traveling the world again with his sensely slogans, babbling ways, near zero credibility, and terrible record of corruption and ineptitude, is enough to make long-time supporters of the Palestinian struggle for true self-determination and real independence cringe.

Washington Gives Israelis the Wink and the Nod - Plus of course the Means
(January 24, 2002)
While the U.S. and Israeli military, and the CIA and Mossad, forge ever closer ties in the new crusade to remake the entire Middle East in the opening years of the 21st century, just as the Brits and the French did in the opening years of the last century, the Israelis also continue their assassination campaign not only of Palestinians but also of former friends and allies.

PERES, NOT PEACE-MAKER BUT CRIMINAL - Former Aide Charges
(January 23, 2002)
"Your silence and inaction can no longer be justified by any excuse: Shimon, you are a partner in crime... You have imprisoned an entire people for over a year with a degree of cruelty unprecedented in the history of the Israeli occupation. Your government is trampling three million people..."

CONGRATULATIONS, AMERICA YOU HAVE MADE BIN LADEN A HAPPY MAN
(January 23, 2002)
"'We are turning ourselves into the kind of deceitful, ruthless people whom bin Laden imagines us to be" "Minus the torture, the United States is now doing what most Arab regimes have been doing for decades: arresting their brutal "Islamist" enemies, holding them incommunicado, chained and hooded, while preparing unfair trials."

British Support for Israel and Sharon
(January 23, 2002)
Take the Middle East. When Blair welcomed Yasser Arafat to Downing Street following 11 September, it was widely reported that Britain was backing justice for the Palestinians. Editorialists drew a favourable comparison with the bellicose Bush administration.

SAUDI DENOUNCES U.S. AGENDA BEHIND BOMBING CAMPAIGN
(January 22, 2002)
From down under these two articles from the Sydney Morning Herald today, a newspaper with unusually thoughtful converage of world affairs. In Saudi Arabia there is a trembling now and a rush to try to distance themselves form the Americans one way or another.

Thousands of Al Qaeda and Pakistanis may have "escaped" Afghanistan; Bin Laden possibly among them
(January 21, 2002)
Kashmir remains the flashpoint. "The situation is bloody explosive," a senior Pakistani diplomat says, suggesting that Musharraf has not been given enough credit by the Indian government for the "sweeping changes" he's brought to Pakistan.

Thousands demand Arafat's release
(January 20, 2002)
Thousands of Palestinians marched through the Gaza Strip on Sunday protesting at the Israeli blockade of Yasser Arafat's headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah. The Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, has said Mr Arafat is now effectively a prisoner of Israel.

THE RIGHT OF RETURN IS ALIVE AND WELL - ?
(January 20, 2002571570)
What Israel (with continuing U.S. and European help) has done to the Palestinian People "is the largest, most carefully planned and longest ethnic cleansing operation in modern history. The population of 530 towns and villages have been expelled in 1948, removing 85 per cent of the Palestinians in the land that became Israel. Those who did not suffer this fate in the remaining part of Palestine are now in the grip of the most brutal, longest and only occupation in the world."

America grabs for more power and domination, risks future revolution and explosion
(January 16, 2002)
Just as it did in the Middle East in years past, the U.S. is now positioning regimes and its military and economic tentacles to take in the riches of central Asia. That's really what these struggles are really all about in the end, power and wealth. The daily headlines and the various slogans and clashes actually serve to mask and obscure this far deeper and far more important reality.

Hezbollah and Lebanon Next U.S./Israeli Targets
(January 15, 2002566)
The Americans, and Israelis, are out of control now. The rather laughable "Arab League" is in fact scheduled to meet in Beirut in March. They may find themselves facing the wrath and revenge of the Americans who are determined to make the world safe for themselves and the Israelis, and unsafe for all who dare oppose the Empire.

Christian Americans Want Crusade - Was/Is Osama Right?
(January 13, 2002)
George W. Bush let it out of the bag less than a week after 911 when he publicly discussed the new "crusade" upon which American was now engaged. They shut him up quickly...in public anyway. And as for all that American help to the Afghani people... The reality is millions are on the verge of starvation and the country can be lickened to a "slaughterhouse". Someone should ask the Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians, Iraqis...etc. about American humanitarian assistance.

Arab nations leaving Palestinians to face Israel alone
(January 12, 2002)
"The Arab world is unlikely to remain backward and divided forever," says one of the quoted commentators. True enough. But while it does, and while it is saddled with the inept and corrupt "client regimes" who prey on their own people and miserably squander the resources, the culture, and the history, of this once vital region, the whole Middle East is a seething cauldron of still growing hatreds and grievances whose eruptions in the 21st century now well begun are likely to be far greater than all those of the bloody 20th century now past.

Toward a World at War - Syria Fears, Indians Prepare
(January 10, 2002)
While the Syrians, Iraqis and others prepare for the coming American strikes; and while the Indians and Pakistanis prepare for a possible cataclysmic clash; the Israelis are preparing to further manipulate American policies and also preparing to strike out on their own against all who oppose their brutal military subjugation of the Palestinians -- probably to do so when other even bigger fires elsewhere have much of the world's attention.

US Military Heads For Pakistan, Reorganizes to Remain in Region, Prepare the Way for Global American Companies
(January 9, 2002)
The U.S. military is preparing to go much more publicly into Pakistan, and to establish a long-term presence in the region. The American corporations and banks will soon follow. For in the end its really all about great wealth and power on a global scale.

Attack Syria Next Insists Former NATO Commander and White House Chief of Staff
(January 8, 2002)
Target Syria even before Iraq says former NATO Commander and White House Chief of Staff Alexander Haig. American is on the loose, on the rampage, more and more dangerous all the time it seems.

Saudi royal family 'in complete panic' during recent riots
(January 6, 2002)


SUBJUGATING BOTH KASHMIR and PALESTINE
(January 5, 2002)
Both Kashmir and Palestine are bleeding badly. And in the new world of Pax America and the "War on Terrorism" the Israelis are intent on keeping the Palestinians essentially imprisoned on Bantustans while the Indians see this as their moment to undermine the liberation struggle in Kashmir.

The New "New World Order" - Israel and India Gleefully Follow America's Lead
(January 4, 2002)
Both India and Israel are now seizing the moment to enforce their own regional dictate, a la the Americans. Everything is reduced to "they are terrorists". The "you are either with us or against us" mantra has been gleefully seized upon by those who rule in Delhi and Jerusalem. The courageous fighters in Kashmir, along with those in Palestine, are ever so simplistically and erroneous reduced to mini-caricatures of Osama bin Laden. Decades of U.N. resolutions demanding Israeli and Indian recognition of basic Palestinian and Kashmiri rights are cast to the wind. Any semblance of historical awareness -- not to mention real justice, freedom, and democracy -- is not only forgotten but even those who raise the issues and remind the world of the complex historical context, not to mention those who try to help with tangible and financial assistance, now run the risk of being branded "supporters of terrorism"

CIA, Israel, and Arafat force Palestinian newspaper to close
(January 3, 2002544)
"If you're not with us, you're against us." The CIA, the Mossad, the Shinbet, and the military -- these are the groups now in charge. And that of course is what happens when a regime like that of Yasser Arafat's puts its fate, and indeed its very survival, in the hands of the intelligence agencies and under the table financial and political deals that would never be possible if they were known.

Both India and Kashmiri Fighters Issue New Threats
(January 2, 2002)
Threat and Counter-threat in the Sub-continent while Pakistan is essentially an occupied country at this point. General President Musharraff has allowed U.S. forces into the country, the CIA is building up its presence, and tensions throughout Pakistan are growing. There are rumored "contingency" plans to either destroy or grab Pakistan's nuclear weapons should Musharraf's tenuous grip on power in coordination with the U.S. fail.

Israel and U.S. Get Ready To Finally Topple Iraqi Regime
(January 2, 2002540)
It's the CIA, Mossad, and the military that are in charge now; preparing to enforce a Pax Americana Israelica throughout the Middle East region.

The Terribly Bloody Year In Kashmir
(January 2, 2002)
The Kashmir crisis is at the heart of the clash which may or may not yet erupt into nuclear confrontation on the sub-continent. For additional information about the Kashmir crisis use the new search capabilities and check the MER archives.




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