Musharraf Panders; Arafat Crippled
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Musharraf Panders; Arafat Crippled



You'd have to be really crazy to buy a used car from Shimon Peres, or even to take it for free as in all likelihood the expensive repairs it would require would be more than it was worth. The idea of buying Peres' warmed over doubly-castrated "peace plan" and "Palestinian State" is even more foolish. Yet even so, with the Arafat regime hanging by its fingernails who knows what the imbalanced "old man" and the corrupt cabal of VIP crony multi-millionaires feeding off him will be willing to do as they even more desperately attempt to save and further enrich themselves. After all they are well aware that its not so easy to explain to long-time supporters of the Palestinian struggle that under today's circumstances OPPOSING the "Palestinian State" brewed up by Peres and his terribly misguided European supporters is what needs to be done. Bottom line, as difficult as it is to explain, today's complex and convoluted situation is actually a very crafty plot to continuing stripping away Palestinian rights, further attempt to legitimize the "apartheid peace" approach, and prevent the Palestinian people from ever achieving true independence.

Meanwhile Pakistani dictator General Pervez Musharraf is in Washington playing the pandering game officials here just love.

Washington is now filled with grandeos deceptive institutions masquerading as academic or research centers but which in more and more cases have become holding companies for the State Department or the CIA, not to mention allowing themselves to be subject to yearly Congressional funding designed to make sure they always must do as directed.

Yesterday Musharraf gave his major talk at what is called the Smithsonian Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. This Center is actually run these days not by a scholar at all but by the former Chairman of the International Affairs Committee in the Congress; and it has been used under-the-table for some time now to reward and collect intelligence information from carefully selected foreign scholars and diplomats.

Musharraf's speech was no doubt written by a team of well-paid public relations hacks and designed to get as much money from Congress, as many arms from the Pentagon, and as much backing from the CIA, as General Musharraf can now bring about. He may believe it's his only way at this point to stay in power; but more likely in the longer run it will bring about a further radicalization of his country and a future backlash against the U.S.

In his speech Musharraf barely evn mentioned Kashmir, and never even mentioned Palestine.

What a terrible sell-out of the proud, however poor, people of Pakistan.



JERUSALEM (Associated Press, AP, 12 February 2002) - Foreign Minister Shimon Peres revealed a peace plan Tuesday negotiated with a senior Palestinian lawmaker that calls for a cease-fire followed quickly by the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Long on optimism but short on supporters, the plan was reached between Peres and Palestinian parliament speaker Ahmed Qureia, known as Abu Ala, over several months of unannounced meetings in which they strove to move beyond the daily violence and heated rhetoric.

Meanwhile, Palestinians fired two Qassam-2 rockets at a Jewish settlement in the West Bank on Tuesday, but missed, said a senior Israeli security source, speaking on condition of anonymity. It would be the first such firing in the West Bank.

A homemade rocket, the Qassam-2 has a range of three to five miles, enough to hit Israeli towns from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In the past, the Islamic militant group Hamas has fired several shorter-range Qassam-1 rockets that caused no damage.

Israel's Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer warned Tuesday that he might send troops to retake some Palestinian areas for extended periods if Palestinian militants fire more Qassam-2 rockets.

Two Qassam-2 rockets fired by Hamas from Gaza landed Sunday in open fields in southern Israel, causing no injuries. Israel responded with airstrikes in Gaza City on Sunday and Monday.

"The Qassam is something that crosses all our red lines" because of its range, Ben-Eliezer told reporters during a tour of northern Israel. Tension is rising between Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and West Bank security chief Jibril Rajoub, said a Palestinian official, speaking on condition of anonymity. He said the two had a heated disagreement when Arafat accused Rajoub of failing to prevent the release of militants from Palestinian prisons.

Marwan Barghouti, West Bank leader of Arafat's Fatah movement, told Israel TV that all the militants should be released because "they are resisting the (Israeli) occupation." Barghouti said that the conflict with Israel must be ended. "There has to be a political plan that gives real hope to the Palestinian people," he said.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan appealed to Israel on Tuesday to end the virtual house arrest of Arafat in the West Bank town of Ramallah and urged both sides to stop the deadly spiral of violence and return to the negotiating table.

Annan said the peace process is "in distress" and "the situation on the ground has deteriorated to unprecedented levels," with he said over 1,100 dead and up to 20,000 injured - the overwhelming majority Palestinians.

In their peace efforts, Peres and Qureia appeared to have reached broad agreement on several important points, but it remained far from clear how much support their plan would generate among Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

Peres suggested the plan was also backed by Arafat. "There is a proposal, which is acceptable to Abu Ala and his senders," Peres said on Israel radio, adding that he has shown the plan to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and expects his comments.

Peres may face a tough battle persuading Sharon, who has shot down several of his initiatives. Other members of Sharon's coalition government - including members of Peres' own Labor Party - also are skeptical.

Qureia endorsed the plan Monday, although he gave few details and the Palestinian Authority has been vague about its position. The proposal has been discussed in the media for weeks, but the two negotiators have mostly kept mum. In his first detailed description, Peres said it contains three stages, beginning with a cease-fire - a goal which has proven difficult over the 16 months of bloodshed.

Shortly after a cease-fire is achieved, the plan envisions a mutual recognition of Israeli and Palestinian states.

"We will recognize a Palestinian state, they will recognize the state of Israel," Peres told Israel Radio.

The two sides would then have one year to negotiate final borders and other terms for the Palestinian state, and another year to implement any agreement.

During a White House visit last week, Sharon said he accepted Palestinian statehood in principle, but has cautioned the road to peace is likely to last years, or even a generation.

Peres said the new Palestinian state would initially be on territory already ruled by the Palestinian Authority - about two-thirds of the Gaza Strip and 40 percent of the West Bank.

Palestinians are seeking all of Gaza and the West Bank for a future state, along with a capital in east Jerusalem.

Transport Minister Ephraim Sneh said the Palestinians told him they wanted the Peres-Qureia document to include a letter stating a Palestinian state would be established along the borders existing prior to the 1967 Middle East war, meaning a total Israeli pullout from the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem.

Interviewed by Israel TV, Palestinian Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo said the final borders must be the pre-1967 war lines, but this could be accomplished in stages. He said the final borders must be stated in any agreement.

Relating to the issue, Peres said, "1967 (borders) plus changes, plus a land swap."

But Sharon, who has resisted territorial concessions, opposes such a far-reaching deal. Israel has almost 150 Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; Sharon opposes dismantling them, and this would require keeping much of the territory.

In seven years of peace talks that broke down a year ago amid the fighting, the aim was to work out all outstanding differences, culminating with a Palestinian state.

The Peres-Qureia plan takes a different approach, establishing a Palestinian state quickly, then working out the most contentious details such as borders and the fate of 4 million Palestinian war refugees and descendants.

"The new thing in these ideas is that they clarify the end of the peace process for each side," Qureia said.

Israeli troops raid Palestinian towns; 5 killed

By IBRAHIM BARZAK, Associated Press

BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip (February 13, 2002 10:02 a.m. EST) - Israeli troops raided three Palestinian towns and a refugee camp on Wednesday in reprisal for Palestinian rocket fire. The raids comprised the most extensive military operation in the Gaza Strip in 16 months of fighting.

Four armed Palestinians and a civilian were killed.

Tanks withdrew from two towns and the refugee camp after several hours, but troops set up positions in the third town, Beit Hanoun, pitching tents in a girls' high school and the town square. In house-to-house searches, troops arrested at least 27 suspected Islamic militants.

Ali Shabat, 41, a farmer, said he witnessed the arrest of two neighbors. During a two-hour search of the neighbor's house, women and children were forced to stand in pouring rain, Shabat said.

After daybreak, Palestinian gunmen battled Israeli troops firing tank-mounted machine guns. Several dozen Palestinian youngsters who were throwing stones at the tanks were in the line of fire. One youngster was wounded in the leg.

Israeli Cabinet Minister Ephraim Sneh said soldiers would remain in Palestinian-controlled areas of Gaza for days, until rocket factories had been found, and that the military would carry out more large-scale, long-term raids if rocket fire persists.

"This is a threat we cannot tolerate," Sneh, an ex-general, told Israel Army Radio.

The Israeli incursions responded to the firing of two homemade rockets by the Islamic militant group Hamas at southern Israel on Sunday. The rockets, called the Qassam-2, landed in open fields and caused no injuries. However, Israel is concerned that the Qassam-2, which has a range of three to five miles and is very inaccurate, can reach Israeli population centers.

Palestinian officials warned that the Israeli incursions would lead to further escalation.

"The United States must put an end to this Israeli policy," said Nabil Abu Rdeneh, an adviser to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The Israeli military closed the Gaza Strip to journalists trying to cover the incursions.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian security chief in the West Bank pledged his loyalty to Arafat on Wednesday, a day after witnesses said the Palestinian leader threatened him at gunpoint during a heated argument.

Arafat was shaking at the time and the pistol fell from his hand, said a Palestinian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Arafat's aides declined comment on the incident. But one Palestinian official said on condition of anonymity that Arafat accused Jibril Rajoub of failing to prevent the release of militants from Palestinian prisons.

The Israeli operation began around midnight Tuesday, when dozens of tanks and armored personnel carriers drove into the towns of Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahiya and Deir al-Balah, as well as the Jebalya refugee camp.

In Deir al-Balah, three Palestinian policemen were killed when Israeli tanks shelled their positions, Palestinian security officials said. In Beit Lahiya and the adjacent Jebalya camp, soldiers searched homes and arrested 11 suspected members of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups.

The largest operation was launched against Beit Hanoun, a town of about 20,000 Palestinians in northern Gaza.

A 21-year-old man, Samer Hamad, was wounded by Israeli tank fire while standing in a field near his house, Palestinian doctors said. Hamad was taken to a local clinic, but Israeli troops barred ambulances from transferring him to a hospital in Gaza City, his relatives said. The wounded man eventually was taken by taxi on a side road, but died before reaching the hospital.

The Israeli military said Palestinian paramedics never submitted a request to enter Beit Hanoun.

Army bulldozers knocked down an outer wall of the girls' high school in Beit Hanoun, and soldiers pitched tents in the courtyard and raised an Israeli flag, witnesses said. Soldiers also set up tents in the town's square.

The military said Beit Hanoun was a Hamas stronghold where many attacks against Israel had been planned, including mortar fire on nearby Jewish settlements.

Israeli troops have repeatedly entered Palestinian areas since fighting erupted in September 2000. Israeli troops last raided Beit Hanoun in December. However, Wednesday's operation was the most extensive in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli raids came as the European Union launched a new diplomatic initiative.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw met Wednesday with Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and was to meet later with Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Arafat. German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer was to arrive Thursday.

On Tuesday, European foreign ministers meeting with their counterparts from the Islamic world in Istanbul, Turkey, outlined a Mideast peace plan, calling for the immediate recognition of a Palestinian state.

But on Wednesday, the sides disagreed on whether to condemn Israeli strikes on Palestinian targets in a final statement. Islamic nations were insisting on a strong condemnation, an EU diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

Comment on these article(s)

February 2002


(February 28, 2002)
The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, precisely what the U.S. now insists is the main reason for its expansion of its "war on terrorism" far beyond the what happened and who did it of 9/11, didn't begin with the Arab and Muslim countries, it actually began with American's main ally, Israel.

Thousands of Israeli Soldiers Attack Refugee Camps
(February 28, 2002)
Under cover of diplomatic deception the Israelis, and the Americans, are preparing the way not for a Middle East peace, but rather for a major Middle East war that will attempt to recast the politics and alliances of the region for some time to come.

Israel Further Defies U.N. and Arab League
(February 28, 2002)
More Palestinians have died and been shot in the past weeks than in any other comparable period since the major wars in 1948 and 1967. Adjusted for the size of the U.S. population, about 100,000 Palestinians have been killed by the Israelis, with continual American assistance, just since Intifada II began! the Land of the Free
(February 27, 2002)
Since 11 September last year, up to 2,000 people in the U.S. have been detained without trial, or charge, or even legal rights. The fate of most is unknown. Andrew Gumbel investigates a scandal that shames the land of the free.

"Terrorism" For All Seasons and Reasons
(February 27, 2002)
While U.S. Attorney John Ashcroft is busy draping the statue of the Spirit of Justice, and while the White House is busy making excuses for getting rid of the Israeli-centric speechwriter, David Frum, the USG is using the "terrorism excuse" not only to get ready for "regime change" in Iraq but to keep "undesireables" from even speaking up through all kinds of new intimidation and repression techniques.

Diplomatic Deceptions Amidst War and Plunder Plans
(February 26, 2002)
There are so many things going on these days it's not easy to put all the pieces together. But among the things that should be causing people truly concerned about a just and viable Middle East much pause is this: ...

The Real George Bush Junior
(February 25, 2002)
The Bush White House is a little spooked, not quite sure what the public will make of all this For this "wholesome" President who has brought "dignity back to the White House", this video documentary about to debut could be the near-equivalent to Bill Clinton's public denials -- and all those senior officials he enlisted on his behalf -- followed by Monica Lewinsky's now-infamous semen-stained little "blue dress".

Blair and Bush to Plot War on Iraq at White House Summit
(February 25, 2002)
After Vice-President Cheney -- former Pentagon chief and former oil company executive -- makes an unprecedented visit to a dozen countries in the Middle East and central Asia that surround Iraq or that will be involved in one way or another in the coming "regime change" war, British PM Tony Blair and Pres George Bush II will hold a war council at the White House.

Pearl Was Israeli
(February 23, 2002)
We now learn that Daniel Pearl, the kidnapped and killed Wall Street Journal reporter, was an Israeli citizen. What more may we learn next?

Sharon Up Against The Wall - Time of Greatest Danger
(February 23, 2002)
Bulls and Tyrants are most dangerous when wounded. And this is now the case with Ariel Sharon and the powerful Israeli military/intelligence/occupation authorities he now commands.

Uncle Sam, Uncle Tom, and Uncle Ben
(February 22, 2002)
We all know who Uncle Sam is. And there are many who think of Colin Powell as Uncle Tom, thought admittedly he usually plays his role so well in public. The Israelis and Sharon have Shimon Peres. And the Americans and Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld have Colin Powell. But...Uncle Ben?

Israelis Proceed With Long-Term Plans
(February 22, 2002)
The current Israeli Prime Minister probably had plans to do just what he is now doing long ago. Since become PM he's just been manuevering to get things in place to do so. Even at the Wye River talks after he became Israeli Foreign Minister Sharon refused to even shake Yasser Arafat's hand.

Palestinians Under Occupation Fight Bravely While Those in Exile Fail Miserably
(February 21, 2002)
As courageous and in some ways remarkable as the Palestinian struggle is against an occupation army with high-tech weapons supplied by the world's only superpower, the Palestinians now face a potentially even more catastrophic fate.

"Where Is The World?" "A Future Not Worth Living"
(February 20, 2002)
The following eye-witness news comes from Dr. Mona El-Farra of the Union of Health Work Committees in Gaza.

More Strikes Ahead; Or More Justification For the New Crusades?
(February 20, 2002)
In a predawn raid Wednesday, Israeli army F-16 warplanes, Apache helicopters and naval boats attacked Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's beachside Gaza City headquarters, killing at least five Palestinians and wounding 10, Palestinian witnesses said.

The New Pentagon "Office of Strategic Influence" - Media Missiles Ahead
(February 19, 2002)
The big "defense" and "entertainment" corporations have bought up the major American media in the past few decades. Now the Pentagon and the State Department are diversifying into the news business in order to still further manipulate the foreign media and international public opinion.

Modern-Day Saudi Arabia - Crimes, Lashes, and Cover-ups
(February 18, 2002)
It's not a crime in Saudi Arabia to stash away hundreds of millions in totally unearned kick-back commissions in secret foreign bank accounts -- oops it's actually billions now with the total of all "Royal" foreign accounts now estimated to be approaching a trillion!

U.S. Truly Becoming the Star Wars Empire
(February 18, 2002)
The American President is in Asia, touring one past and potential future battlefield in Korea. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is in India touring another. And the Vice-President is preparing for an unprecedented trip that will take him, along with senior military and CIA operatives, to nearly a dozen countries that just happen to surround Iraq.

Saudis To Propose Deal With Israel
(February 17, 2002)
are many ways to do things; and the Saudis have specialized in doing things in the wrong ways for the wrong reasons for a very long time now.

King Bandar of Saudi Arabia
(February 17, 2002)
Is it cowardice or ignorance that lies behind the rule of Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia -- the man effectively in charge of the oil and petrodollar "Kingdom" at this crucial historic time?

To Damn or to Applaud "Speaker Burg"
(February 15, 2002)
The very notion these days of simply "trusting" anyone associated with the Israeli political establishment or more specifically in this case Israel's Labor Party is pretty difficult -- there's such a long history of deceit and mistrust, and such good reasons.

WAR! U.S. and Israel Will Take On Both Iraq and Iran
(February 14, 2002)
Flushed with their "victory" against the primitive Muslim "Taliban" (students) of Afghanistan, the new name of the game for the new Washington -- run more than ever now by the oil companies, the Pentagon/CIA, and the military-industrial-banking complex -- is "regime change".

Arafat Screams "Israeli spy! CIA agent!" at Rajoub
(February 13, 2002)
Jibril Rajoub is not just an "Arafat aide". He's actually the main guy in charge of the West Bank for the "Palestinian Authority", groomed for some time now by both the Americans and the Israelis to possibly take over for Arafat and to help force his people into submission with his thuggish bruttish ways.

Musharraf Panders; Arafat Crippled
(February 13, 2002)
You'd have to be really crazy to buy a used car from Shimon Peres, or even to take it for free as in all likelihood the expensive repairs it would require would be more than it was worth. The idea of buying Peres' warmed over doubly-castrated "peace plan" and "Palestinian State" is even more foolish.

Arafat Slaps and Whips Out His Gun
(February 13, 2002)
The new Intifada, and then the events of 911, have spawned a variety of new press and Internet outlets of various kinds. The aim of many is to try to maintain some control of the information flow to certain constituencies, to "spin" the news in the direction of their sponsors, and to push their own analysts and "experts" onto radio and TV programs.

TV Arabs: Fouad, James, and Clovis - MER FlashBack
(February 12, 2002)
Why have things gotten so depressingly miserable when it comes to mass media coverage of the Middle East, especially in the United States? There is no single answer, no magic bullet solution. The answer is quite complex and multi-faceted in fact.

Kashmir - More Killed and Tortured than in Palestine
(February 12, 2002)
Just like in the once Holy Land, the politically cancerous situation in Kashmir has been left unresolved by the international community and has now become dangerously life-threatening.

911 Was Really 'Massive Blown Back'
(February 11, 2002)
"The course that Sharon, Bush and his British cheerleader, Tony Blair seem set upon will probably in the long run destabilize the Arab moderates, to the delight of the reactionary regimes in Syria, Iraq and Iran and the only true beneficiaries will once again be the extremists and the terrorists."

Standing Ovation for Mark Bruzonsky at University of Chicago
(February 9, 2002)
In Chicago the evening of 31 January 2002 Mark Bruzonsky, Publisher of MER, gave the keynote address at the University of Chicago Model United Nations. For the first time in the history of the keynote talks at this annual event the speaker received a prolonged standing ovation.

Jordanian King Takes Desperate Gamble To Retain Power
(February 8, 2002)
Trying to save the final Hashemite throne, the Royal regime in Jordan has decided to get even more in bed with the U.S. and Israel than ever before. It may work and the final Hashemite regime in power after enthronment by the British and the CIA in the last century may survive for the time being.

Washington Scene - Arab and Muslim "Client Orgs" Totally Lacking in Credibility
(February 8, 2002)
Ariel Sharon is on his fourth visit to Washington since both he and George Bush II took power. It is a War Council, coming at a time of unprecedented danger (Sharon clearly sees opportunity), coming at a time when he finally has Yasser Arafat, now the titular figurehead of the Palestinian people, under a newfangled form of town arrest in Ramallah with tanks pointing in his direction just a stone throw away.

"Transfer" the Palestinians Say Many Israelis
(February 7, 2002)
The Moledet party's media blitz for the mass expulsion of Palestinians is gaining momentum.

Triumphant Sharon
(February 7, 2002)
Ariel Sharon has arrived in Washington triumphant as many never believed could or would happen in their worst political nightmares. He may well be the single man who has had more influence on the Arab-Israeli conflict, and on the history of the entire region, than any other.

King Prostrates Jordan for More U.S. Money and "Support"
(February 6, 2002)
King Abdullah II, born of a British mother, Anglo-American educated including at the Jesuit Center of Georgetown University, and essentially enthroned with the help of the CIA (aided by Princeton grad daughter of the former head of Pan American Airlines, Lisa Halaby, reincarnated as Queen Noor), has been ever so helpful to the Americans as now since he was enthrowed as the former long-time Crown Prince was overthrown.

(February 6, 2002)

Lie To Them And They Will Come
(February 5, 2002)
For the holidaymaker in search of a sun-soaked Mediterranean beach away from the crowds, Gush Katif sounds ideal. Or so thinks Israel's hardline tourism minister, Binyamin Elon.

Killing and Refusing
(February 5, 2002)
There is a great deal of moral twisting and turning and cover-up going on among the Israelis; and oh so necessary however late in the day. This article in today's Ha'aretz gives the impression that torturing and shooting to death many Palestinians in cold-blood is something new or rare.

King Bandar of Arabia
(February 16, 2002)

Israel sets up Iran as next target for the US
(February 8, 2002)

"Americans Can Be A BloodThirsty Lot"
(February 4, 2002)

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