America grabs for more power and domination, risks future revolution and explosion
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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.

Meanwhile, in three or four crucial countries, the U.S. is risking eventual social and political upheaval in order to pursue its crusade of conquest and domination. Musharraf in Pakistan and Arafat in Palestine (aided of course by the Hasehmite and al-Saud dynasties put in place by the Brits and Americans long ago) are both being pushed so far and so hard that a counter-explosion is more possible than ever. And in the key countries of Egypt and Saudi Arabia tensions continue to grow with untold consequences on the future. Always what has happened in Iran (once the fiefdom of the Shah) and Iraq (once America's powerful ally) should be kept in mind.

REACHING THE PARTS OTHER EMPIRES COULD NOT REACH In return for security in the region, the US will snap up central Asia's oil

By Simon Tisdall

[The Guardian, London - Wednesday January 16, 2002]: The United States is engaged in a strategic power grab in central Asia of epic proportions. In previous eras, this sort of expansionism would have been called colonialism or imperialism. It would be portrayed as a dutiful mission to civilise the less fortunate of the world or as a legitimate expression, perhaps, of America's manifest destiny. Now it is simply called the "war against terrorism".

If moral justification were required, there is no need, it seems, to look beyond Ground Zero. Current American certitude of the rightness of its cause is as unshakeable as that of any Victorian missionary society or Palmerstonian gunboat skipper.

Ideologically, the US case appears - to many in the US, at any rate - to be equally unanswerable. Freedom, democracy, security and free trade are the supreme gifts bestowed upon those who acknowledge Washington's tutelage. And are these not the great, universal shibboleths of our time? Proselytising hawks within the Bush administration and Republican party certainly believe so. They see no good reason why any country should be denied such felicity and are determined to extend these benefits to all.

Even if such considerations are set aside, the war in Afghanistan has presented regional political, economic and defence opportunities that the US has long sought and which are now within its grasp. In September 2000, for example, General Tommy Franks - the man who made his name running the Afghan war - was already touring central Asia, waving a military aid chequebook. But on the whole, during the Clinton years, keen US interest in beating a path to central Asia's oil and gas riches remained largely stymied - especially after the 1998 cruise missile strikes on Afghanistan which followed the al-Qaida embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

Only a brief 18 months ago, indeed, the geo-strategic chit-chat was still all about a reassertion of Russian power in former Soviet territories such as Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. Moscow's newly-installed president, Vladimir Putin, was particularly interested in the destabilising impact of Taliban-backed fundamentalists (whom he linked to Chechnya). "The actions of Islamic extremists in central Asia give Russia the chance to strengthen its position in the region," said a memo from the then Russian defence minister, Igor Sergeyev.

China, worried about unrest among its own western Muslim Uighur minority and alive to central Asia's strategic and economic potential, also moved in June last year to extend its regional influence through a new Shanghai pact.

But in the wake of September 11, and as the US-Russian dynamic in particular changed, Putin agreed (against the advice of some senior generals) to allow the US to negotiate the first, limited base and operational facilities with Afghanistan's neighbours. China, too, while objecting in principle to US intervention, in practice recognised the serious consequences of trying to thwart the US. Both countries hoped to benefit in other ways from helping the Americans - and have done so to a limited degree. The US has begun to treat Putin as a partner, even suggesting a closer relationship with Nato. Rows with Beijing over human rights and trade, after last spring's Hainan spy plane fracas, have been avoided. China's WTO membership has gone through without a hitch.

All the same, both countries increasingly have good reasons to regret their accommodating stand. Having pushed, cajoled and bribed its way into their central Asian backyard, the US clearly has no intention of leaving any time soon. Romantics who believe this demonstrates a commitment to rebuilding shattered Afghanistan can dream on.

The US's top priority remains, as ever, the pursuit and destruction of al-Qaida. That focus is now shifting elsewhere, into Pakistan, Somalia, even Iran. What is left behind in Afghanistan is for "coalitions of the willing", such as the under-powered security assistance force led by Britain, or aid agencies, or UN diplomats, or anybody but the Bush administration to deal with. In short, the former can build nations; the US builds empires.

The task of the encircling US bases now shooting up on Afghanistan's periphery is only partly to contain the threat of political regression or Taliban resurgence in Kabul. Their bigger, longer-term role is to project US power and US interests into countries previously beyond its reach.

Thus Uzbekistan now finds itself home to a permanent American base at Khanabad, housing 1,500 personnel; Manas, near Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, is described as a future "transportation hub" housing 3,000 soldiers, warplanes and surveillance aircraft; more airfields are under US control in Tajikistan and Pakistan; and the Pentagon has begun regular replacement and rotation of troops, thereby instit-utionalising what were at the outset temporary, emergency deployments.

The temptations for the host governments are plain enough. Military cooperation typically works both ways. With the bases comes US agreement to provide training and equipment for local forces. Economic aid packages and trade agreements then follow. Thus previously neglected Uzbekistan received $64m in US assistance and $136m in US Export-Import Bank credits in 2001. In 2002, the Bush administration plans to hand over $52m in assistance to Kazakhstan, some partly for military equipment. The US security umbrella provides shelter from other predatory powers and effectively entrenches a group of mostly unpopular incumbent regimes.

According to Human Rights Watch, in its annual report published this week, these deals have been cut despite well-documented concern about authoritarian governance, a chronic lack of democracy and respect for human rights - torture of political prisoners is endemic in Tajikistan, for example - and often non-existent press freedoms across central Asia.

For US empire-builders, like imperialists through history, the answer to such contradictions is that exposure to superior values and standards will have an ultimately positive, uplifting effect. Meanwhile, the potential benefits for the US are enormous: growing military hegemony in one of the few parts of the world not already under Washington's sway, expanded strategic influence at Russia and China's expense, pivotal political clout and - grail of holy grails - access to the fabulous, non-Opec oil and gas wealth of central Asia. If the Afghans behave themselves, they even may get to run the pipeline.

RADICAL PALESTINIAN GROUP ANGRY AT LEADER'S ARREST DAMASCUS, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Radical Palestinian groups said on Wednesday that the arrest of one of their leaders was a dangerous development that put the Palestinian Authority in direct opposition to all Palestinian and Islamist factions.

Palestinian police on Tuesday arrested Ahmed Saadat, the leader of the Damascus-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), who is wanted by Israel for the assassination of cabinet minister Rehavam Zeevi.

"The authority should know that what it did will put it in full confrontation with all the national and Islamist factions without exception," PFLP spokesman Maher al-Taher said in a statement.

Khaled Meshal, head of the politburo of the Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement, said the group would continue its attacks against Israel.

"The resistance will continue in all its forms, including martydrom (suicide) attacks. If the Palestinian Authority continues in this path, it will be digging its own grave," he told reporters.

A month ago Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, under Israeli and U.S. pressure, demanded a halt to armed attacks on Israelis by Palestinian militants.

The PFLP added: "The detention of a top leader of a main Palestinian faction that has continued its struggle for decades has a very dangerous political meaning. It indicates the level of response of the Palestinian Authority to Israeli demands and dictates."

The PFLP said at the time that it had assassinated Zeevi, a former general, to avenge Israel's killing of Saadat's predecessor, PFLP leader Abu Ali Mustafa, in August.

In a separate joint statement, Palestinian national and Islamist factions based in Damascus also condemned Saadat's arrest:

"We cannot find the words to express our rage and condemnation of the arrest. We demand his immediate release and the release of all fighters and leaders languishing in the authority's jails for resisting the Zionist occupation."

The Palestinian Authority, under intense international pressure to rein in the groups behind the suicide attacks, has rounded up dozens of militants in recent months.



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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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