Saudi Future Unstable; More Money to Secretly flow to Palestinians
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Saudi Future Unstable; More Money to Secretly flow to Palestinians



MID-EAST REALITIES - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington, DC - 3/29/2002: What goes on in public and on CNN/Al-Jazeera is one thing. This is political theatre meant for all to see.

But like the proverbial icberg the great bulk of what is going on is beneath the waves and hidden from regular view. And especially these days in a world of CIA intrique and high-technique surveillance and manipulance techniques, paralleling the high-tech new wars of which the Americans and their allies have become so fond, looking below the surface, sometimes very far below the surface, is imperative to understand what is really going on...and what is really coming as the iceberg slowly melts while traveling its journey.

Also remember past MER articles outlining the struggle going on in Saudi Arabia within the Royal Family... that in a very important way there already is King Bandar because of the role the Saudi Ambassador plays in Washington...and that Bandar is the son of Saudi Defense Minister Sultan and is seeking the full title and crown with considerable American and Israeli assistance (with the iceberg analogy even more applicable here as well).


The United States has determined that Saudi Arabia - beset by rising unrest and economic hardship - is no longer a secure oil supplier. A report by the U.S. Energy Department warned that Saudi oil supplies can be blocked by unrest or a war in the Persian Gulf. The scenarios include a possible U.S. war with Iraq or Iran.

"It is a combination of extremely unlikely conditions in 2002," the report said. "In sum, Saudi Arabia has to face a serious deterioration in its finances and its economic situation in 2002 and possibly for several years to come after two years of relative abundance."

The report said revenues are expected to drop to $49.6 billion this year from $58.2 billion in 2001 and nearly $68 billion in 2000. The kingdom's economic growth is not expected to grow in real terms during 2002 after an increase of 1.3 percent in the gross domestic product last year.

"Per capita oil export earnings in constant dollars declined from around $23,820 in 1980 to just $2,563 in 2001 while over the past 20 years, the real growth rate of the Saudi economy has fallen well short of the rate of the population growth," the report said. "This has resulted in a sharp drop in per capita national income and a rise in unemployment."

King shakes up military command

Saudi Arabia has ordered a reshuffle of its military command as part of what has been described as widespread changes in the kingdom's armed forces.

King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz appointed new commanders for the ground forces and navy. The appointments are to take effect on April 14. The military is under the control of Saudi Defense Minister Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz. The king, who has been largely incapacitated over the last two years, is the supreme commander of the military.

The official Saudi Press Agency said on March 21 that Fahd appointed Rear Admiral Fahd Bin Abdullah as commander of the Saudi navy. He replaces Vice Admiral Talal Ibn Salim Al Mufadhy, who will retire. Maj. Gen. Hussein Al Qubeel was named chief of the ground forces. Al Qubeel, who was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general, replaces Gen. Sultan Ibn Adi Al Motairy.

Al Motairy was promoted to the post of deputy chief of staff. The chief of staff remains Gen. Salih Ibn Ali Al Muhaya.

The appointments did not include the National Guard. The guard is controlled by Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, a key rival of Sultan for the throne.

The Saudi-owned A-Sharq Al Awsat daily reported on March 22 that the new appointments are part of what it termed "widespread changes" in the military. The London-based newspaper said the changes were ordered by Sultan.

In an unrelated development, the Council of Ministers issued a ban on senior officials from marrying foreigners without permission of the king. The ban includes officials from the Defense Ministry, National Guard and the security and intelligence services. The new measure warns that any official will be dismissed should he marry a foreigner without permission.


The CIA has completed a classified report that warns of instablity in Saudi Arabia.

U.S. government sources said the report is the first in about five years and reflects the state of the kingdom in the wake of the Sept. 11 suicide attacks on New York and Washington. The sources said the Bush administration has distributed the report to the State Department and other agencies, including Congress. The report is not intended for public release.

The 25-page National Intelligence Estimate by the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence does not break new ground on the Saudis, the sources said. But they said the report reviews the internal and external threats against the kingdom as well as the future of Riyad's ties with Washington.

A key concern raised in the report is the issue of Saudi succession. The sources quoted the report as saying that the regime does not appear to have resolved who will replace the ailing King Fahd. The senior members of the royal family range from ages 75 to 80.

The succession struggle centers on Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz and his half-brother Saudi Defense Minister Prince Sultan. Abdullah has taken over the daily duties of the crown prince and regards Sultan as excessively pro-American and corrupt. Abdullah is said to be pressing for the succession of Riyad governor Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, about 15 years younger than the 75-year-old Sultan and with a wide domestic power base.

Another concern raised by the report is the influence of the clergy on the Saudi regime. The report regards the clergy as the main pillar of legitimacy for the regime, the result of which has been the isolation of the royal family from an increasingly modern Saudi middle class.

"The House of Saud is depicted as `the boy in the bubble,''' a U.S. intelligence source quoted by the Boston Globe said. "What that means is the kingdom is too isolated and too coddled. It has become an entity that requires insulation from the biogens in its environment because if it were exposed to them it would become deathly ill."

The Saudi middle class has been hard hit by the huge Saudi budget deficits that stem from low oil prices. The new class of merchants have also privately complained of endemic corruption by the 30,000-member royal family, headed by 3,000 princes.


Forget the pronouncements on an Arab peace plan with Israel at the Arab summit this week in Beirut. This is the Saudi gesture toward the Bush administration to justify continued U.S. support for the kingdom that has sponsored Al Qaida.

Arab diplomatic sources said the real issue for the summit is the extent of Arab aid to sustain the Palestinian war against the Jewish state. And a driving force behind the unofficial agenda is Iran and the Hizbullah.

For Arab leaders meeting under unprecedented security in Beirut, the choices are clear cut: they can either reach out to Israel with a feasible peace plan, or they can take up a kitty to send hundreds of millions of dollars to escalate the Palestinian war against the Jewish state.

The diplomatic sources doubt the first prospect. What is more likely is that Iraq, Libya and Syria will pressure other Arab League members to increase funding to continue the Palestinian war. They said the Arab agenda drafted by Iran and its Lebanese-based Hizbullah ally is to maintain attacks on Israel until Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government falls. At that point, the Palestinians will declare an independent state without making any concessions to Israel.

Hizbullah will not be represented at the summit. But the movement has clearly set the tone for the discussions. Hizbullah was the first to oppose the hesitant Saudi normalization idea, a move that led to opposition from a range of other Arab states, including Egypt. The result is that Riyad has pledged not to submit the proposal for discussion unless all the Arabs grant prior approval.

How much money could the Palestinians get? The sources said some countries, including Saudi Arabia, are considering proposing an Arab League pledge to grant another $1 billion to the Palestinians.

The message to Arab leaders is that they don't have to directly help the Palestinians. What is required is that such countries as Egypt and Jordan should not stop military help to the Palestinians. So, Jordan is being pressed to release Hizbullah detainees captured trying to smuggle Katyusha rockets to the West Bank. Egypt is being urged to allow suicide bombers to enter the Gaza Strip from the Sinai Peninsula.


By Hussein Dakroub

[BEIRUT, Associated Press - 28 March]: Hamas, one of the militant groups at the vanguard of the Palestinian uprising, on Thursday rejected the Arab peace initiative to Israel and vowed to continue "all kinds of resistance."

"The summit resolutions are below the aspirations and the sacrifices of the Palestinian people. The resolutions ignored a lot of the Palestinian people's demands," Osama Hamdan, Hamas' representative in Lebanon, told The Associated Press.

The Arab League's overture, made at the end of a two-day summit in Beirut, offered Israel peace, recognition and "normal relations" in exchange for an Israeli withdrawal from war-conquered Arab lands, creation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and a "just solution" for Palestinian refugees."

The envisioned refugee "solution" is based on a 1948 U.N. resolution that says Palestinians should be allowed to return to their homes or compensated for their losses.

In Gaza City, Hamas spokesman Abdel Aziz Rantisi said the Arab League summit did not change anything for his group, which is dedicated to Israel's destruction. "As long as there is occupation, there will be a resistance. So we say it clearly: Occupation should be stopped and then there will be something else," Rantisi said.

The suicide bomber who killed 20 people and wounded more than 130 others at a Passover dinner in the Israeli resort town of Netanya on Wednesday was a Hamas member.

But Rantisi denied the bombing was timed to coincide with the Arab summit, which convened about seven hours before the bombing. There was "no relation at all between that operation and the summit," Rantisi said. "The relation is directly with the occupation."

The Palestinian Authority said it "strongly condemned" the Netanya attack. Arafat ordered the arrests of key members of Hamas and two other militant groups, Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, a militia linked to Arafat's own Fatah movement.

In Beirut, Hamdan said that, instead of offering Israel peace, the Arab summit "should have cut all kinds of relations and contacts with the Zionist entity."

"We want a clear commitment to the right of return to the Palestinian refugees," Hamdan said. "The Palestinians want clear resolutions in support of the resistance and the intefadeh (uprising). The Palestinian people want an Arab boycott in the face of Israeli aggression and terrorism against them."

Three of the Arab League's 22 members - Egypt, Jordan and Mauritania - already have full diplomatic relations with Israel. Three others - Arafat's Palestinian Authority, Qatar and Oman - have formal ties at lower levels.

"I believe that the resistance and the intefadeh will continue in all forms," Hamdan said. Asked if "all forms" includes suicide bombings, he replied: "The type of operation is left for Hamas' military wing to decide."

However, despite the hard-line stance on peace with Israel, a Hamas statement released in Beirut Thursday night noted what it called "positive elements" in the summit's final communique. It pointed to the praise and support of the Palestinian uprising, the distinction it made between terrorism and resistance and a "breakthrough" in relations between Iraq and Kuwait.

Comment on these article(s)

March 2002


Saudi Future Unstable; More Money to Secretly flow to Palestinians
(March 29, 2002)
What goes on in public and on CNN/Al-Jazeera is one thing. This is political theatre meant for all to see. But like the proverbial icberg the great bulk of what is going on is beneath the waves and hidden from regular view.

Arafat Surrounded - And A Letter from Bir Zeit University near Ramallah
(March 29, 2002)
"Reports are rampant, breaking news that there is a planned incursion, occupation, total destruction... who knows of Ramallah and so we have to act and act quickly."

Saudis plead, Bin Laden emals, Arafat sits, Jesse offers...US and Israel prepare
(March 28, 2002)
With the #2 summit Saudi suffering a stroke and hospitalized (how appropriately) at the American University in Beirut, the Arab League summit was even more of a circus and disaster than we had predicted.

The "Saudi Peace Plan"...of 20 Years Ago
(March 28, 2002)
In April 1981 Crown Prince Fahd of Saudi Arabia unveiled the "Saudi Plan" which then dominated the Arab League summit held in Fez, Morocco, in November.

Saudis Humiliated, Betrayed, and now "Invited"
(March 28, 2002)
Quite literally as Saudi Royal "Crown Prince" Abdullah was following his script in Beirut no matter what, the U.S. Government was announcing in Washington that he had "accepted" to visit the Bush Presidential Ranch in Texas at the end of next month.

"The summit is heading toward total chaos"
(March 27, 2002)
Today's "Arab Leaders" always seem to manage to bumble themselves from one disaster to another. Then the controlled media and commentators they either own or manipulate in one way or another mostly cover up for them, including such subsidized and sponsored English-language publications as "Middle East International" in the UK and "Washington Report on Middle East Affairs" in the U.S.

Arafat Unheard at Summit - Secret Israel Phone Calls to Cairo and Amman
(March 27, 2002)
How much is factual, how much is disinformation from Mossad, how much is twisted and spun....these are all legitimate questions needing consideration, especially these days. But there's no doubt Irish author Gordon Thomas has considerable connections in the murky world of intelligence and especially with the Israeli Mossad, and he's been on target with quite a few things in the past.

They Call This A Summit?
(March 26, 2002)
Readers of MER won't be nearly as surprised as most may be that journalists are already proclaiming the grand Arab summit in ruins and as the BBC correspondent concluded this evening, "they might as well go home now before it starts".

What a Mess the Arab World is in
(March 26, 2002)
Such a mess. "Arab Leaders" who are mostly inept and corrupt and miserably repressive. An Arab League that is impotent and crippled. Arab media that can't figure out whom to interview about what.

Huge Damascus Demo Screams About Sharon and Warns Arab Summiteers
(March 26, 2002)
History is repeating itself after 20 years, but everything is even worse today for the vast Arab world and its fast growing now over 200+ million.

"Grand Plan" For War On the Palestinians
(March 25, 2002)
As the impotent Arab League run by the corrupt and repressive Arab "client regimes" prepares to meet and do nothing real and serious as usual; the Israelis, with an American wink and much under-the-table help, are preparing even bigger assaults against the Palestinians.

Vital History - Origins of Israel's "Arab Problem"
(March 25, 2002)
In 1947, the then representative of the Zionist Organization in Washington, Nahum Goldman, urged David Ben-Gurion not to declare a "Jewish State" but rather to hold out for finding some way of accomodation with the Palestinians that could lead to a unified "bi-national state" ...

Draft Text of Arab Summit Resolution - More of the Same Sweet Nothings
(March 25, 2002)
Much too weak, fractured, and frightened to actually act in any serious and independent manner -- even in the face of such repeated Israeli and American provocations and humiliations -- the grand "Arab world", meeting in summit in Beirut later this week, is poised to essentially do nothing.

Europeans See Americans Far Better Than Americans See Themselves
(March 23, 2002)
Time magazine was wrong a few months ago, but understandably so under the circumstances and few really expect much more from the mass American media .

Cheney Admits US will attack Iraq 'for Israel's sake'
(March 22, 2002)
While the mostly co-opted and cowardly "Arab leaders" -- the Arab "client regimes" -- fly their lavish private jets into Beirut 20 years after the Israelis besieged the city, destroyed the country, and attempted at great cost to bring Lebanon under their and American domination ...

Threatening With Nukes Could Well Lead to Use of Nukes - Part 1
(March 22, 2002)
One dreadful day they will be used. That likelihood seems now to be growing, especially as irresponsible leaders in both the US and UK keep publicly threatening to do just that rather than insisting that such weapons should never ever be used ...

Marching toward an American Police State - Part II
(March 22, 2002)
The above title was used to headline an article published on Wednesday, the same day we now learn the federal government was raiding Muslim homes and organizations in the Washington DC area.

U.S. Shifting to Large once Secret Qatar Military Base for Regional Control
(March 21, 2002)
The Americans have apparently agreed to let the Saudis off the hook when it comes to Prince Sultan Airbase, the largest and most sophisticated in the region, as long as they are on the hook when it comes to controlling the Arab Summit and fronting politically with "the Saudi Plan".

A Plea to US and Europe: Don't Participate in Killing and Torture of our People
(March 21, 2002)
All of the American "client regimes" in the Middle East -- including the main ones in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan -- use censorship, intimidation, torture, and the omnipresent secret police, to control their societies and prevent popular expression against their policies and corruption.

NewsFlash: Some U.S. Forces Beginning to leave Saudi for Qatar
(March 20, 2002)
Just days after Vice-President Richard Cheney visited Saudi Arabia and other countries in the area there are reports coming from the region that U.S. military forces are beginning to move out of Prince Sultan Air Base, a facility the U.S. is said to have spent tens of billions of dollars to make the most modern command base in the region.

Marching toward an American Police State - "Washington Scene"
(March 20, 2002)
A FOX NEWS cameraman was accosted by Pentagon Police outside the building on Tuesday -- as he was shooting pictures of an arrest being carried out by Virginia State Police on a highway that runs alongside the Pentagon but outside Pentagon property!

Squeezing and Smothering Arafat To Death
(March 20, 2002)
The Israelis, and the Americans of course, have Yasser Arafat right where they want him now. He either does as he is told and paid or he's a way or another.

More Humiliation for the Arabs both in Palestine and at the upcoming Arab Summit
(March 19, 2002)
It's terribly humiliating of course, but the Israelis have now told Arafat, in public, that he can go to the Arab Summit in Beirut if he does as he's told and declares the fighting ended.

(March 18, 2002)
We already know it was a CIA operation back in the late 1980s that resulted in American-created anthrax spors being sent to Iraq and paid for by the U.S. Congress. We've just learned that a secret CIA team has recently gone to Northern Iraq to secretly meet with the Kurds and help prepare the coming war there.

Angry Demonstrators Condemn both Israel and U.S. in Arab world
(March 17, 2002)
For a second straight day, thousands of Arabs took to the streets across the Middle East on Saturday to burn Israeli and American flags and express anger over the rising Palestinian death toll.

Greater CIA Regime Being Thrust on Palestinians
(March 17, 2002)
Now the Israelis ... are proposing to try to save the "Authority" of Yasser Arafat by putting CIA "monitors" in Palestinian cities, offices, and jails; and CIA listening amd "monitoring" devices throughout the Palestinian bantustans and "occupied territories".

Has The U.S. Lost Its Way?
(March 16, 2002)
We comprise slightly less than 5 per cent of the world's population; but we imbibe 27 per cent of the world's annual oil production, create and consume nearly 30 per cent of its Gross World Product and - get this - spend a full 40 per cent of all the world's defence expenditures.

Transfer? Expulsion? Jordan is Palestine? Approaching the End Game
(March 16, 2002)
If the Palestinians are unable to strike further in view of Israel's and the CIA's unprecedented war to crush them into submission Sharon will undoubtedly say his tactics are working.

Massive New Super Bomb Being Built To Kill Saddam and Threaten All
(March 15, 2002)
With its soldiers beginning to even look a bit like the Centurions in the Star Wars saga, the U.S. appears intent on enforcing the new "new world order" through brute force as well as technological marvels and overpowering firepower and information gathering capabilities.

(March 15, 2002)
Like so many words, this one "conspiracy" is overused and misused by many. That makes it all the more important to know whom to trust and rely on, whom to take seriously, whom to discount.

Manger Square has become a wild, blood-drenched place
(March 14, 2002)
After nearly 35 years of increasingly brutal military occupation since the 1967 war, Palestinian society itself has been tortured and disfigured. The Israelis have used informers and all kinds of means to bring the Palestinians to their knees ...

The U.N.'s latest cowardness, impotence, and duplicity
(March 13, 2002)
It should be a Saturday Night Live skit...the U.N. uttering (or is the correct word stuttering) the term "Palestinian State" after the U.S., Europe, Ariel Sharon and nearly everyone else has other than the crazy Israeli racist fundamentalists.

The Latest As Israel's Slaughter of the Palestinians Escalates Still Further
(March 12, 2002)
Israeli forces killed 31 Palestinians on Tuesday in their biggest offensive in the West Bank and Gaza since Israel captured the territories in the 1967 Middle East war.

Journalists Carefully Targeted by Israelis
(March 12, 2002)
Israeli forces fired for 10 to 15 minutes from tank-mounted machine guns on a hotel where journalists were photographing armor targeting the al-Amari refugee camp early Tuesday.

"Nazi Behavior" Charges Arafat As Israelis Crush Palestinians into Submission
(March 12, 2002)
Nothing like this has happened to the Palestinians since the 1967 War. And this time the cowardly "Arab leaders" are simply watching and pretending; while those who claim to be supportive of the Palestinians in the U.S. are, disorganized, inept, impotent, demoralized, and used up.

Two Poems
(March 11, 2002)
These two unpublished poems were written by a 25 year old Israeliwoman at the time of the first Intifada.

Black Friday and Saturday in the once Holy Land
(March 10, 2002)
The war in 1973 was intense and almost lead to a nuclear confrontation -- remember the infamous "Kissinger nuclear alert"? But for most Palestinians alive today there hasn't been such a bloody day in their lives as on Friday at least 44 Palestinians were killed, hundreds injured.

Israelis Kill and Rampage - U.S. Rhetorically Complains but in Reality Helps
(March 9, 2002)
Serious and urgent questions need to be asked: Why have not the governments of Egypt and Jordan at the very least broken political relations with Israel; and why in fact are these governments actually preventing demonstrations against what the Israelis are doing?

The Israeli Spy CoverUp
(March 9, 2002)
In addition to the "spy coverup" there is now a "media coverup". "We stand by the story" said a FOX News spokesman on 20 December. But now "The Story No Longer Exists" and FOX News has covered up the story of what happened, and why.

American Univ in Washington - Second Rate and Third Class
(March 8, 2002)
When it comes to international affairs and matters relating to the Middle East serious and honest people should keep away from American University in Washington, DC.

Now the US Says it was the Iranians and the Palestinians not the Libyans. Right!
(March 8, 2002)
You just gotta love the Americans, no shame at all. All these years they have been repeatedly and loudly insisting it was the Libyans who bombed Pan Am 103 out of the sky over Lockerbie, Scotland - more than a decade of sanctions ensued in fact.

Israeli Spying on US - Spiked Story from FOX News - Who Done It?
(March 7, 2002)
Just who pressured FOX News? Why did FOX News cave in so easily? What now months later when an expanded story is not just coming back to life in foreign publications but appears to be the greatest spy scandal ever involving the Israelis spying on the Americans?

Israeli Spying On The U.S. - Essential Background
(March 6, 2002)
The world of spying, like the world of "black ops", is full of confusion, disinformation, and false leads. Those in the media, even the biggest establishment news outlets, usually lack the means (as well as the will) to penetrate very far into this world on their own.

LeMonde on the Israeli Spy Ring in U.S.
(March 5, 2002)
Tremendous pressure was brought to bear in a coverup in which the U.S. government is now thought to have participated.

Israeli Spy Rings Rolled Up in U.S.
(March 5, 2002)
Israeli spying on the U.S. has long been going on; but it is usually covered up or glossed over by the major American news media.

Arafat in Dog Kennel, Sharon in Twilight Zone, Hosni Lost in Space
(March 5, 2002)
After some 20 years in power Hosni Mubarak, chatting with George Bush II today at the White House, has helped lead his country to nowhere, the Palestinians to disaster, and the Arab world to impotent feebleness. More on Mubarak and his shameless Egypt to come -- for he as well as Saudi Abdullah are Lost in Space.

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