| Email this article | Print this article | Link to this Article|
ARREST WAVE Preceeds Upcoming War and 'REGION CHANGE'
The signs are all there. A historic war for regional control can be expected early in the new year now. Massive amounts of military equipment and large numbers of US and UK troops are on the way to the region. The international framework is being set in place, thanks to much help from the U.N. even as various parties there claim they are 'resisting' the American juggernaut. The propaganda machine is working in overdrive. The Palestinian resistance is also being targeted and set up, Israeli instructions. And now a rolling wave of pre-war arrests have begun and is likely to escalate further if public and legal opposition proves manageable as expected by the White House, Ashcroft's 'Justice' Department, and the militarists who are increasingly in control of Washington.
Hundreds of Muslim Immigrants Rounded Up in Calif.
By Jill Serjeant
LOS ANGELES (Reuters - 19 Dec) - Hundreds of Iranian and other Middle East citizens were in southern California jails on Wednesday after coming forward to comply with a new rule to register with immigration authorities only to wind up handcuffed and behind bars.
Shocked and frustrated Islamic and immigrant groups estimate that more than 500 people have been arrested in Los Angeles, neighboring Orange County and San Diego in the past three days under a new nationwide anti-terrorism program. Some unconfirmed reports put the figure as high as 1,000.
The arrests sparked a demonstration by hundreds of Iranians outside a Los Angeles immigration office. The protesters carried banners saying "What's next? Concentration camps?" and "What happened to liberty and justice?."
A spokesman for the Immigration and Naturalization Service said no numbers of people arrested would be made public. A Justice Department spokesman could not be reached for comment.
The head of the southern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union compared the arrests to the internment of Japanese Americans in camps during the Second World War.
"I think it is shocking what is happening. It is reminiscent of what happened in the past with the internment of Japanese Americans. We are getting a lot of telephone calls from people. We are hearing that people went down wanting to cooperate and then they were detained," said Ramona Ripston, the ACLU's executive director.
One activist said local jails were so overcrowded that the immigrants could be sent to Arizona, where they could face weeks or months in prisons awaiting hearings before immigration judges or deportation.
"It is a shock. You don't expect this to happen. It is really putting fright and apprehension in the community. People who come from these countries -- this is what they expect from their government. Not from America," said Sabiha Khan of the Southern California chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations.
The arrests were part of a post Sept. 11 program that requires all males over 16 from a list of 20 Arab or Middle East countries, who do not have permanent resident status in the United States, to register with U.S. immigration authorities.
Monday was the deadline for men from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Sudan. News of the mass arrests came first in southern California, which is home to more than 600,000 Iranian exiles and their families.
Officials declined to give figures for those arrested or for the numbers of people who turned up to register, be fingerprinted and have their photographs taken.
"We are not releasing any numbers," said Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) spokesman Francisco Arcaute.
CALLS FOR HELP
Islamic groups and the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said they had been swamped with calls for help.
INS spokesman Arcaute said those arrested had violated immigration laws, overstayed their visas, or were wanted for crimes. The program was prompted by concern about the lack of records on tourists, students and other visitors to the United States after the Sept. 11 hijack plane attacks on New York and Washington.
Islamic community leaders said many of the detainees had been living, working and paying taxes in the United States for five or 10 years, and had families here.
"Terrorists most likely wouldn't come to the INS to register. It is really a bad way to go about it. They are being treated as criminals and that really goes against American ideals of fairness, and justice and democracy," Khan said.
The Iranian protesters said many of those detained were victims of official delays in processing visa and green card requests.
"My father, they just took him in," one young man told reporters. "They've been treating him like an animal. They put him in a room with, like, 50 other people and no bed or anything."
Khan said one of those in jail was a doctor, who was being sponsored for U.S. citizenship when his sponsor died.
One Syrian man said he went to register in Orange County with a dozen friends. He was the only one to come out of the INS office. "All my friends are inside right now," M.M. Trapici, 45, told reporters. "I have to visit the family for each one today. Most of them have small kids."
Pentagon plans defense against Mideast missiles
By Bill Gertz
THE WASHINGTON TIMES - December 19, 2002: The Pentagon is planning to build a second missile-defense interceptor system near the East Coast or in Europe to counter missile threats from the Middle East, Bush administration officials said yesterday.
President Bush announced Tuesday that the Pentagon will build a limited missile-defense system by 2004, situated in the West and primarily aimed at defending the United States against long-range missile attacks from North Korea or China.
The plans call for deploying a single system with 16 interceptor missiles at Fort Greeley, Alaska, and four interceptors at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California by 2005.
Administration officials familiar with detailed plans for a broader defense system say the plans call for another interceptor site in Maine, oriented toward missile threats from Europe and the Middle East.
Additionally, interceptors could be set up in Britain, Hungary or Poland, NATO allies whose governments privately have indicated they would be willing to cooperate with and provide bases for a missile-defense system.
Deploying interceptors in Europe is likely to further upset Russia, which yesterday criticized the already-announced U.S. missile-defense plans.
Moscow's Foreign Ministry said in a statement made public yesterday that the missile-defense plans, including the use of space for components, have entered "a destabilizing new phase."
The statement said that abandoning the principles of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty "may lead only to a weakening of strategic stability, to a senseless new arms race in the world."
Russia expects the United States to focus on making strategic arms cuts and combating terrorism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction, the statement said.
"Moscow counts on the United States to pay priority attention to the realization of precisely this strategic partnership program agreed upon at the highest level and to enlist its friends and partners in it, not in a destabilizing race in strategic defensive arms, including in space," the statement said.
China's government has not responded publicly to Mr. Bush's deployment decision. In the past, China has opposed U.S. missile-defense programs as upsetting international stability, and Beijing fears the neutralization of its arsenal of about 20 intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Lt. Col. Rick Lehner, a spokesman for the Missile Defense Agency, said the initial missile-defense system of interceptors in Alaska and California could be expanded with additional interceptor sites.
"Anything is possible, but there are no firm plans beyond 2005," Col. Lehner said. "After 2005, it may be necessary for adding ground-based interceptors or sea-based missiles or [airborne laser]. But it's just too early to know. All our focus is going to be on this initial capability."
The CIA estimates that Iran, Iraq, Libya and Syria could emerge as long-range missile threats and that the initial West Coast system will be unable to knock out missiles from those countries, the officials said.
More interceptor sites therefore will be needed and could be built in the 2010-2015 time frame, the officials said.
Iran has the Shahab-3 medium-range missile that can reach Europe, but not the United States. U.S. intelligence agencies believe the Iranians also are working on an intercontinental-range missile, which the Tehran government has denied.
Defense officials said the West Coast system to be deployed by 2005 could protect most of the United States, with the exception of southern Florida, from missiles launched from East Asia.
The Pentagon announced yesterday that it plans to deploy the first six interceptors in Alaska and four at Vandenberg by 2004. An additional 10 interceptors would then be deployed in Alaska in 2005.
The plans also call for deploying three warships equipped with the Aegis battle management system and SM-3 interceptor missiles, although such missiles will be less effective than the ground-based interceptors against long-range missiles
Comment on these article(s)
'The Push to War'
(December 29, 2002)
WAR LOOMS - Israel, the US, and Britain Prepare
(December 22, 2002)
The U.S. and Israel are moving in tandem now to take control of the entire Middle East region as never before in modern history. In effect it is a neo-crusade designed to force the entire region into submission and 'remake' it to further serve Western and Israeli desires. A look at the map of the region shows in fact that nearly every country -- with the exceptions of Lebanon, Syria, and Iran -- now has US forces and US bases. Not since the breakup of the Ottoman Empire at the time of World War I, 'Lawrence of Arabia', and the Paris 'Peace to end all Peace' Conference have there been such dramatic and far-reaching geo-political changes forced on the Arab people of the Middle East.
Academics Squeak Up
(December 20, 2002)
Academics are often late to the party; as they surely are in these historically important times and with this particularly half-baked half-hearted statement. And even when they get there too many "political correct" academics end up talking a lot while actually not doing very much -- especially when they get together collectively and especially in the contemporary US of A these days. Such is clearly the case here with this latest statement from an ensemble of American academics coming mildly and meekly together capitalizing on the opportunity to indicate that they are doing so in support of their "courageous" Israeli colleagues. 'Courage' is not a word that should however be applied to their own very inadequate statement.
(December 20, 2002)
Academics Squeak Up...
(December 20, 2002)
American Academics back 'courageous' Israeli academics, while lacking their own courage and hiding behind the 'I Gave At the Office' Excuse.
ARREST WAVE Preceeds Upcoming War and 'REGION CHANGE'
(December 19, 2002)
Israel Faces 'Catastrophe' Ahead
(December 18, 2002)
Potential catastrophe awaits Israel within a few years. This warning from none other than Shimon Peres himself.
'The Push for War' - Truly Must Reading to Understand Contemporary Washington
(December 16, 2002)
To put it simply, this is an immensely insightful and extraordinarly provocative article by an author who will be new to most but who should be quickly elevated to importance. Anatol Lieven's look at contemporary Washington is something only a once outsider now insider relatively free of entangling alliances could come up; and only something that could be published abroad from American shores, as it was last October in the London Review of Books.
Threatening With Nukes and Star Wars-Type Weapons
(December 16, 2002)
So far this month the American President has threatened to use nuclear weapons against Iraq. The Israelis have threatened to use their considerable nuclear arsenal against Islam itself, as well as Iran in addition to Iraq. And the Sunday Express in London has just front-paged a grand story that Osama and Al-Qaeda have 20 'Backpack Nukes' from the old Soviet Empire days. Whether this 'Suitcase Nukes' was a leaked story designed to create more fear and build more support for the US/Israeli war, or whether it may be true...there's really no way for most of us to know for sure at the moment. The placing and timing sure is suspicious, coming in fact right after the US and Israeli nuclear threats got some worldwide attention. And the fact that the story was featured only in this sensationalistic headline-grabbing London newspaper, and at the same time that the Iraqi exiles are meeting in London at the US-sponsored conference...all this adds to the confusion and uncertainty and suspicions. After all, both the American CIA and the Israeli Mossad have a long history of such kinds of deceptions...dare we call it a kind of 'journalistic terrorism' in fact? And at least the CIA, at least in years past, was prohibited from 'disinformation' leaks to American media outlets...hence the dateline London story takes on even more doubters.
It's all about 'Regional Change'...not simple 'Regime Change'
(December 14, 2002)
Indeed, the US/Israeli "New World Order" is nothing less than a historic neo-imperialistic power grab the world has not seen for quite some time. As this Canadian columnist writes: "Senior [U.S.] administration officials openly speak of invading Iran, Syria, Libya and Lebanon. Influential neo-conservative think-tanks in Washington have deployed a small army of "experts" on TV, urging the U.S. to remove governments deemed unfriendly to the U.S. and Israel. Washington's most powerful lobbies - for oil and Israel - are urging the U.S. to seize Mideast oil and crush any regional states that might one day challenge Israel's nuclear monopoly or regional dominance. The radical transformation of the Mideast being considered by the Bush administration is potentially the biggest political change since the notorious 1916 Sykes-Picot Treaty in which victorious Britain and France carved up the Ottoman-ruled region."
Israel/Palestine - How to End the War of 1948
(December 14, 2002)
Another Nobel Tragedy and Travesty
(December 10, 2002)
However well-meaning Jimmy Carter may have been then and now; judged by his actions, misrepresentations, and political cowardice, rather than by his apparently heartfelt rhetoric, Carter's involvement in matters Middle Eastern was tragic, at best. Indeed, to award such a 'peace prize' to Carter in the midst of the terrible circumstances faced by the Palestinians, the upcoming American/Israeli war for regional control, and the simmering 'Clash of Civilizations' is a historical travesty, at best.
Hollywood Celebs Tell Bush 'No War'
(December 9, 2002)
Anti-War Movement growing, Hollywood Celebs Send Washington a Peace Letter, new peaceful civil-disobedience movement launched.
Jordanian Realities...as King Abdullah II Proclaims Himself 'The True Voice of Islam'
(December 7, 2002)
In the pages of the Empire's hometown newspaper The Washington Post King Abdullah II proclaims himself 'The True Voice of Islam' hoping against hope that his Kingdom will remain under American protection after the upcoming great war in which it is really the Israelis who will decide whether Jordan becomes 'The Palestinian State' For much more historical background into the reality of 'The Hashemite Kingdon of Jordan' see -- http://www.MiddleEast.Org/archives/jordan.htm
The Tremendous and Escalating Cost of US and Israeli Policies
(December 6, 2002)
In the worst case, a war with Iraq could cost the United States almost as much as the government spent in the last budget year - nearly $2 trillion, according to new projections in a major report from the Committee on International Security Studies of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The New MER HOMEPAGE and WORLDPAGE - CHAT today with Mark Bruzonsky
(December 5, 2002)
The 'Big War' Ahead - Israelis Prepare for Killing and Expulsion
(December 4, 2002)
The BIG WAR with devastating historical results is now coming. It may focus on Iraq; but it will have possibly even more lasting repercussions in the once 'Holy Land' of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim Bibles. When it finally happens no one will be able to say this time that they didn't know, they weren't aware, how could it happen... And there will be so much blame to be distributed starting of course with the Israelis but extending quickly and fairly to the United States, American Jews, the United Nations, et. al.