Arafat Screams "Israeli spy! CIA agent!" at Rajoub
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Arafat Screams "Israeli spy! CIA agent!" at Rajoub



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. In recent months Arafat has had various kinds of confrontations with many of the top officials he himself emplanted in power with the "Oslo Peace Process"; and of late his even worse than usual encounters with the Western media only make the plight of the Palestinian people still more difficult to explain and support for many. Sharon and Peres must be laughing out loud these days as their policies of divide and conquer, kill and repress, continue not only to have their crushingly demoralizing effect on Palestinians but they have more of a free hand than ever thanks to their American and European partners and the continuing cowardice of the U.N. and so much of the "international community"

As for Arafat, long ago he should have resigned, or been forced out by his own people. Now even that may be too late since doing so under todaty's circumcstances would appear to many capitulation to the Israelis rather than a necessary precursor to urgently needed new and independent and principled leadership for the Palestinians. Indeed, there is one distinguished person among them the Palestinian people could and should turn to in their desperate hour; Haidar Abdul Shafi; but time is running out.

Meanwhile, the next big step in creating and enforcing the new "New World Order" by the Americans is the trip now expanded to at least eleven Middle Eastern countries Vice-President Cheney will be taking in a few weeks. It's a trip designed to behind closed doors tell the leaders in these countries what to expect, what they need do, and what will happen to them if they resist the will of the Empire. The ever-compliant press is already very tamed and accomodating in the U.S. -- especially those who traditionally go along on such foreign visits to record the deceptive sound-bites and photograph the parties shaking hands -- but even so Washington rumor has it the VP is sending out trial balloons to see what the reaction will be to telling the media they aren't even going to be invited along this attempt to keep things even more secret and closed door than usual.


By Uri Dan

[New York Post, 13 February 13 2002 - Jerusalem]: Yasser Arafat and his West Bank security chief got into such an angry argument yesterday about the Palestinian uprising that the PLO chairman drew his pistol, sources said.

In a scene out of a Wild West movie, bodyguards of both men also pulled out firearms before security chief Jibril Rajoub was dragged out of Arafat's headquarters, the Palestinian sources said.

The incident reflected the intense anxiety in Ramallah, where Arafat has been confined by Israeli tanks for more than two months under orders from Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Sources said the confrontation began when Rajoub - who has described himself as Arafat's successor - urged Arafat to crack down on terrorism in order to win back some respect from the Bush administration.

The argument soon turned to shouts as Arafat accused Rajoub of insubordination.

Arafat accused Rajoub of letting a Palestinian mob free 60 suspected terrorists from a Hebron jail Monday and of spreading leaflets in the West Bank calling for the dismantling of the "Martyrs Brigade of Al-Aqsa," a terrorist group linked to Arafat's paramilitary that has claimed responsibility for suicide attacks on Israelis.

At one point Arafat shouted at Rajoub: "Israeli spy! CIA agent!"

Israeli state radio said Arafat also slapped Rajoub's face before the security chief was pulled from the room by Arafat's bodyguards.

In other developments:

* Israel's military occupied two Palestinian towns and a refugee camp in Gaza early today, and was preparing to take Palestinian-controlled land in the West Bank.

Troops were ordered into areas where Palestinians fired Qassam rockets on Israeli settlements. The rockets missed their targets when they were fired from Gaza on Sunday and from the West Bank yesterday.

* The chief of the Shin Bet security agency told Israeli legislators yesterday his men were on alert because of nine planned terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings.

Avi Dichter told a Knesset committee that two would-be suicide bombers who accidentally killed themselves Friday were about to carry out an attack with a bomb twice as explosive as the one used in last June's Tel Aviv disco attack, which killed more than 20 people.


By Amos Harel and Ori Nir

[Ha'aretz - 13 Feb 2002]: Large forces of IDF troops and tanks took control of Palestinian towns in the north and central Gaza Strip early Wednesday, in an operation that Army Radio said created "buffer zones" aimed at curbing Palestinian mortar and Kassam rocket fire directed at neighboring areas of southern Israel.

The operation, which followed Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza and an Israeli warning of wider military operations in response, was directed in part at "centers for manufacture, transport, and launching" of Kassam-2 rockets, the radio said. Two of the rockets were fired at unpopulated areas of the Negev Sunday. They are beleived to have a range of more than eight kilometers.

Following an overnight mortar attack against the northern Gaza settlement of Elei Sinai, IDF forces entered Palestinian territory around 1 A.M. (2300 GMT) and surrounded Beit Lahiya, cutting the road to the nearby Jebalya refugee camp next to Gaza City, witnesses said. There were no injuries in the shelling of the settlemment.

Three Palestinian police were later killed in exchanges of fire with the IDF force, Palestinian security officials said Wednesday. There were no reports of Israeli casualties.

IDF tanks also entered the town of Beit Hanoun and took up positions around the partially destroyed house of Salah Shehadeh, a leading Hamas militant said to be high on the Israeli wanted list, Palestinians said. IDF troops knocked down part of the house in an earlier incursion.

Witnesses said bulldozers were in the convoys, indicating that the Israelis planned to tear down structures.

Palestinian security officials said IDF tanks entered the Gaza Strip town of Dir al Balah and opened fire Tuesday night. Palestinian sources also reported large concentrations of IDF troops Tuesday night in other parts of the Strip and in the area of the West Bank town of Nablus.

Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer said Tuesday morning that the Israel Defense Forces would continue operations in what he referred to as a "security zone" in the Palestinian territories, until there was no danger of Kassam-2 rockets being fired at population centers inside Israel.

"As long as there is a danger of Kassam-2 rockets being fired, we will certainly do everything we need - whether that means operating within those territories or by any other means," Ben-Eliezer said during a tour of northern Israel. "Our presence there is not permanent," he added, "We are there in order to ensure the reduction of the dangers posed by the Kassam-2's long-range capabilities."

Also on Tuesday, Hamas said it reserved the right to fire new locally-made Kassam-2 rockets at Israeli cities, in order to counter Israel Air Force attacks on Palestinian areas in the West Bank and Gaza.

Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior Hamas leader, said that while the Kassam-2 missile was a "primitive weapon" that could not be compared to Israeli warplanes and helicopter gunships, it would achieve a balance with what he called "Israeli terror."

Zahar said the rockets, which are capable of hitting Israeli cities if fired from the West Bank, could be used against all Israeli targets, including cities in Israel and settlements in the territories.

Asked if Hamas would use the rockets against Israeli cities as well as settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, he said: "Land occupied in 1948 [when the State of Israel was established] is a colony and land occupied in 1967 is another colony. No difference."


Aides say that although no military action is in the works, the President has decided the Iraqi leader poses too much of a threat.

By Warren P. Strobel and John Walcott

[Philadelphia Inquirer - Washington Bureau - 13 February 2002]: President Bush has decided to oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein from power and ordered the CIA, the Pentagon and other agencies to devise a combination of military, diplomatic and covert steps to achieve that goal, senior U.S. officials said yesterday.

No military strike is imminent, but Bush has concluded that Hussein and his nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs are such a threat to U.S. security that the Iraqi dictator must be removed, even if U.S. allies do not help, said the officials, who all spoke on condition of anonymity. "This is not an argument about whether to get rid of Saddam Hussein. That debate is over. This is . . . how you do it," a senior administration official said in an interview with the Inquirer Washington Bureau.

The President's decision has launched the United States on a course that will have major ramifications for the U.S. military, the Middle East's future political alignment, international oil flows, and Bush's own war on terrorism. Russia and most of America's European allies have expressed alarm about the administration's escalating rhetoric on Iraq.

The course also is fraught with potential military difficulties, with most experts on Iraq warning that a campaign there would not be as swift or virtually free of American casualties as Afghanistan. There, rebels of the Northern Alliance, backed by U.S. commandos and massive U.S. airpower, quickly overthrew the Taliban regime.

Nevertheless, one foreign leader who met Bush recently came away "with the feeling that a decision has been made to strike Iraq, and the 'how' and 'when' are still fluid," added a diplomat who asked not to be further identified.

The CIA, senior officials said, recently presented Bush with a plan to destabilize Hussein's well-entrenched regime in Baghdad. The plan proposed a massive covert action campaign, sabotage, information warfare, and significantly more aggressive bombing of the "no fly" zones over northern and southern Iraq. U.S. and British forces patrol the zones to prevent Iraqi planes from bombing opposition forces.

Bush reportedly was enthusiastic, and although it could not be determined whether he gave final approval for the plan, the CIA has begun assigning officers to the task.

Bush also is dispatching Vice President Cheney next month on a tour of 11 Middle East nations, including many of Iraq's neighbors, whose leaders are leery of a U.S. attack on Baghdad.

While the mission's purpose has been portrayed publicly as sounding out Middle Eastern leaders on Iraq policy, Cheney in fact will tell them that the United States intends to get rid of Hussein and his regime, several top Bush aides said.

"He's not going to beg for support," one senior official said. "He's going to inform them that the President's decision has been made and will be carried out, and if they want some input into how and when it's carried out, now's the time for them to speak up."

In the lead-up to Cheney's trip, however, a sharp debate has erupted within the administration over what role Iraqi opposition groups should play, particularly the main group, the Iraqi National Congress.

Officials in the Near East Division of the CIA's Directorate of Operations, the clandestine service, warn that the INC, a coalition of Hussein opponents, is divided by internal feuds and almost certainly penetrated by both the Iraqi and Iranian intelligence services.

"Where the INC is concerned, no real covert operation is possible," said one U.S. intelligence official with experience in the area. "The INC isn't the Northern Alliance, and the [Iraqi] Republican Guards aren't the Taliban." In fact, one U.S. intelligence official said Iraqi opposition leaders already have been heard talking about the new campaign to oust Hussein.

Hawks in the office of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld are pushing for a major role for the INC. Their position was strengthened last month, when Bush called Iraq part of an "axis of evil." These officials believe the brunt of the fighting can be borne by Iraqi opposition forces - primarily ethnic Kurds in northern Iraq and Shiite Muslims in the south - with assistance from U.S. airpower and CIA and special forces advisers on the ground, following the Afghanistan model.

Uniformed military officials, however, are skeptical of the opposition groups, doubtful that Hussein's military will crumble the way the Taliban did and worried that large numbers of U.S. troops could be called on to rescue opposition forces if they get bogged down or trapped.

The Pentagon's existing contingency plans for an invasion of Iraq call for the use of 200,000 American ground troops, U.S. officials said. A decade after the Persian Gulf war, Iraq is believed to have around 400,000 active-duty troops, one quarter of them in elite units such as the Republican Guard, and some modern weaponry.

However, the United States may not have the extensive use of bases in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere that it enjoyed during the gulf war. While many of Washington's Arab allies may go along in the end, for now they oppose "regime change" in Iraq and worry about its effect on populations already angered by nearly 17 months of Israeli-Palestinian violence.

There are other major uncertainties about a U.S. attack on Iraq that, unlike the gulf war, would be intended to remove its leader. One is whether Hussein, with nothing to lose, would lash out at U.S. forces, Israel or Arab states backing the United States with Scud missiles tipped with chemical or biological weapons.

Another is the lack of U.S. intelligence assets on the ground to work with opposition forces, assess the strength of Hussein's regime and recruit defectors. The CIA this year began to reconstitute a small presence in northern Iraq, working with the INC, an official said.

Finally, an attack could endanger close U.S. allies such as Jordan, which imports all of its oil from Iraq. "Definitely, it's a nightmare scenario for us," an Arab diplomat said yesterday.

Bush should keep the focus on fighting international terrorism, where he has broad international backing, Egyptian Ambassador Nabil Fahmy said. "If you mix two issues together, you will lose this focus," he said in an interview last week.

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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