US Military Heads For Pakistan, Reorganizes to Remain in Region, Prepare the Way for Global American Companies
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US Military Heads For Pakistan, Reorganizes to Remain in Region, Prepare the Way for Global American Companies

January 9, 2002

In the end, especially for those who run the American Empire these days, it's all about massive wealth and power on a global scale.

At the turn of the previous century it was black gold in and around Arabia which propelled the Brits into the Arabian desert and which underlaid the British Empire's plans to establish friendly tribal-based regimes throughout the region. Now at the turn into the 21st century there is tremendous oil, gas, and mineral wealth -- not to mention markets -- in the region of the Caspian sea and south Asian areas of the former Soviet Union.

It was just four years ago in fact now that today's "evil" Taliban were in the U.S., right in George Bush's backyard in Texas in fact, discussing the future of oil, gas, and money -- see the new MER WORLD section of MER. Now it is the American Empire (with both British and Russian coattails) moving into the region big time under cover of "the war against terrorism" just as it was "the war against the Turks" (incidentally known as "the War to end all War" at the time) a century ago.

In the end the goal is to exploit and cash-in on the tremendous oil, gas, and mineral wealth. But first one has to establish compliant and controlled regimes, capitalist in orientation, cut in for a small piece of the action.


By Richard Wolffe in Washington, Mark Nicholson in Kabul and Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad

[Financial Times, London, updated 9 January 2002]: US troops are set to pursue enemy leaders into Pakistan as fears grow that Osama bin Laden and some of his key lieutenants have escaped over the border from Afghanistan.

General Tommy Franks, commander of US forces in the region, said Pakistan had agreed that US troops could cross the border to work with its forces attempting to follow al-Qaeda terrorists and Taliban fighters.

"We could contact [Pakistan] and say: 'We are observing people and we are going to follow them into Pakistan'," he said in an interview with Associated Press.

Pakistan's agreement represents a substantial concession by the country's military forces, which have maintained extensive patrols of the 1,500-mile frontier.

The preparations for expanded US military activity inside Pakistan also reflect a growing concern over intelligence reports that Mr bin Laden escaped across the border after intense air strikes against al-Qaeda caves in the Tora Bora region last month. The agreement underlines how the search for Mr bin Laden - as well as Mullah Mohammad Omar, the Taliban's leader - remains the priority of US forces.

General Richard Myers, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said on Tuesday that the US would not "operate unilaterally inside Pakistan". He added: "If we thought Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan I think we could rely on the Pakistani government and their forces to participate, and our role would probably be a liaison role."

Pentagon officials said on Monday they were shifting their focus from the manhunt for enemy leaders towards crushing pockets of resistance fighters in Afghanistan. The Pentagon said it would stop speculating on the whereabouts of Mr bin Laden and Mullah Omar after their escape in the last month.

In Islamabad, Pakistani officials and western diplomats said the government of General Pervez Musharraf, the military ruler, had decided to allow US troops to enter because in the past few weeks Pakistan has been worried over claims that the two men had entered the country. The agreement allows Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to closing down all the passes along its border.

"Now, policing is a joint responsibility of our troops and American troops," said a senior official last night. "It's much harder for anyone to say that Osama or Mullah Omar slipped over our border unnoticed."

Pakistan warned last week that if its Kashmir dispute with India escalated, some of its troops would be withdrawn leaving gaps through which fighters cou ld flee Afghanistan.

US forces on Tuesday launched air strikes for a fourth day on an al-Qaeda camp in eastern Afghanistan.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the recently-arrived US envoy to Afghanistan, said in Kabul that the US was still receiving reports of Taliban and al-Qaeda "activity" and bombing would continue.


[New York Times, Page 1, 9 January 2001 - Dateline: WASHINGTON, Jan. 8] Even as the air war in Afghanistan wanes and American-backed forces hunt down pockets of Al Qaeda and Taliban resistance there, the United States is preparing a military presence in Central Asia that could last for years, military officials say.

The United States and its allies are building an air base in Kyrgyzstan, a neighboring former Soviet republic, that the commander of the military campaign in Afghanistan described last week as a "transportation hub" to house up to 3,000 troops and accommodate warplanes and support aircraft.

Engineers are also improving runways, lighting, communications, storage and housing at bases in Uzbekistan and Pakistan where American forces are stationed, signaling a long-term commitment, or at least the ability to redeploy forces quickly.

"The job is still not done," said Rear Adm. Craig R. Quigley, senior spokesman at the United States Central Command in Tampa, Fla. "There is great value, for instance, in continuing to build airfields in a variety of locations on the perimeter of Afghanistan that over time can do a variety of functions, like combat operations, medical evacuation and delivering humanitarian assistance."

The Pentagon has also approved a request by Gen. Tommy R. Franks, the commander of the military operation in Afghanistan, to station two aircraft carriers and thousands of marines aboard ships in the northern Arabian Sea through March, officials said. Navy officers expect that request could be renewed every three months.

In another sign that American forces are settling in, each branch of the armed services has adopted policies to rotate troops through the region, typically every 90 days to six months, General Franks said.

However many troops the Pentagon ultimately stations in Afghanistan and nearby, General Franks and the Joint Chiefs of Staff are looking to expand American military engagement by increasing technical support and training exercises with their counterparts in the region.

"Their function may be more political than actually military," the deputy secretary of defense, Paul D. Wolfowitz, said in an interview. He said bases and exercises would "send a message to everybody, including important countries like Uzbekistan, that we have a capacity to come back in and will come back in we're not just going to forget about them."

The willingness of the Pentagon to put a long-term footprint in Central Asia underscores a broader shift by President Bush. During the 2000 presidential campaign, he criticized the Clinton administration's extensive overseas troop deployments, saying the military was being stretched too thin.

Many military analysts argue that a significant American military presence is needed around Afghanistan because the interim government does not seem intent on rooting out the remnants of Al Qaeda and Taliban forces, and the British-led peacekeeping forces are clearly counting on American firepower to back them up. But too large or too long-term an American military presence could alarm Russia and China to the north, and anger the Afghans, who often bridle at foreign military activity in their nation.

There is no better symbol of the long-term commitment of the United States military to Afghanistan than the recent arrival of the 101st Airborne Division at Kandahar airport to relieve about 1,500 marines there.

Like the marines, the 101st Airborne is intended for rapid deployment. But unlike the marines, Army troops are typically dispatched to hold territory for long periods months, if not years. Army units tend to establish more permanent bases and more extensive supply systems.

At Kandahar airport, the 101st is likely to set up a semipermanent tent city known as a force provider or, more colloquially, a "city in a box." These portable units include sturdy, pop-up canvas structures to house and feed hundreds of troops. Latrines, water-purifying systems and work facilities are included.

Similar encampments have already been established at Bagram air base north of Kabul and at Khanabad air base in Uzbekistan, where more than 1,000 soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division have been helping to guard and repair runways.

Initial plans call for about 1,000 soldiers from the 101st to secure Kandahar airport, guard hundreds of Al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners and protect the airstrip for cargo planes carrying food, medicine and military supplies. But Pentagon officials said the 101st contingent could easily double in size if the number of prisoners grew sharply, or if American forces were needed to capture terrorists.

What remains to be seen is whether the encampments at Kandahar and Bagram will become as permanent as those in Kosovo, for instance, where the United States has 5,400 troops, or in Bosnia, where there are 3,100 American soldiers.

Two and a half years ago, Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo was little more than a village of tents. Today it is a small, self-contained city with wooden barracks and command centers, helicopter maintenance buildings, a water-treatment plant, a movie theater, gymnasiums and a hospital.

The military is patterning its deployments in Central Asia on that model.

The United States and Uzbekistan announced an accord in October that gave the American military flexibility in operating from bases there in return for Washington's assurance that it would protect Uzbekistan's security.

But the Americans who arrived at Khanabad found a pitted airfield and insufficient runway lighting and traffic-control equipment. Extensive work was needed.

Much focus is now on an allied air base springing up on 37 acres near Manas International Airport, outside of Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Since Dec. 16, about 200 American, French and British troops have been building a tent city to house 2,000 to 3,000 troops by next month, and preparing for air operations by month's end. The tents have floors and are heated.

"We're establishing a mini-air force base from which we can fly a variety of military missions, mainly airlift, aerial refueling and tactical air," Brig. Gen. Christopher A. Kelly, leader of the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing, said in a telephone interview from Kyrgyzstan.

American transport planes from Europe have flown in firetrucks, cargo loaders, tractors and de-icing equipment. General Kelly said the airfield itself was in good condition.

Early plans called for as many as two dozen fighter-bombers at Manas, including F-15E's, FA-18's and perhaps French and Danish strike jets.

But after a more detailed analysis of the taxiways, the 13,000-foot runway and the fuel system, General Kelly said, he recommended a smaller deployment. The final size and mix has not been decided, but cargo and refueling planes could begin arriving within a week or so, military officials said.

Manas would give allied forces increased flexibility: American warplanes would have a northern route into Afghanistan if tensions between India and Pakistan shut down southern air corridors for carrier-based warplanes, and the base could be used to ferry relief supplies.

"The purpose is to be able to use this as a transportation hub, essentially to get closer to Afghanistan so that we can bring large airplanes in and then be able to change their loads into smaller airplanes," General Franks said on Friday.

Unlike the arrangements with many other regional allies, the one- year agreement signed last month with the Kyrgyz government does not limit the type of aircraft or missions that allied forces can fly from Manas. "There are no restrictions," General Kelly said.

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January 2002


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:

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.

(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..."

(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.

(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.

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(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.

(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."

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(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.

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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.

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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)

(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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