If you don't get MER, you just don't
get it! 15 August
2004 MER is
News, Views, & Analysis Governments,
Lobbies, & the
Corporate Media Don't Want You To Know
AMERICANS ORDER REPORTERS FROM NAJAF - THREATEN ARRESTS, CAMERA SEIZURES
Realities - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - 15 August 2004:
This is what police-states do; this is what dictators do; this is what
the Israelis sometimes do; and now this is what the American
'democracy' does in the extraordinarily duplicitous name of 'freedom
and democracy for Iraq.
Now it becomes more undebateably clear what the Americans always had in
mind all along when they orchestrated the transformation of their
'Governing Council' into the 'interim Government'; pushed
unsuccessfully for more troops from NATO and Muslim countries; and then
last week orchestrated the departure of Ayatollah Sistani to London and
threw Aljazeera out of Iraq.
The American assault on Najaf is a tremendous risk for the Americans --
a country that uses brute power and overwhelming military force to get
its way when its various other means of covert actions, sanctions,
bribery, and massive propaganda fail. The historical ramifications of
these actions are sure to be substantial in the months and years ahead.
Iraq Evicts Reporters From Najaf
Sunday August 15, 2004 6:01 PM
Iraq (AP) - Iraqi police ordered all journalists to leave the holy city
of Najaf on Sunday, just as a new U.S. offensive against militants
hiding out in a revered shrine there began.
police cars surrounded a hotel in the city where journalists were
staying and presented the order signed by Najaf's police chief, Brig.
order did not spell out a punishment for those who did not comply, the
police who delivered it said any reporters remaining would be arrested,
according to journalists at the hotel. The police said any cameras and
cellular phones they saw would be confiscated. In response to the
threat, many journalists left the city.
would mean that the only news coverage of the ongoing violence in
Najaf, one of the most revered cities to Shiite Muslims, would be
provided by reporters embedded with the U.S. military.
The U.S. military had no immediate comment.
The order also said that all cars coming into the city would be searched and all protesters must leave the city.
Sunday, police had advised reporters to leave Najaf, saying there was
rumor of a potential car bombing targeting journalists. When most
reporters stayed, the police returned with the order to leave.
about the interim government's commitment to freedom of the press were
sparked Aug. 7 when officials order the Baghdad office of the pan-Arab
television station Al-Jazeera closed.
constitution endorsed by the members of Iraq's now disbanded Governing
Council in March includes protections for freedom of speech.
The cleric at first welcomed the US but now sees it as an enemy
Najaf assault turns allies against US
US ally and president of the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC), Muhammad
Bahr al-Ulum, has lost faith in the US-led occupation.
the US wanted a Shia cleric to strengthen the credibility of the IGC,
it turned to Bahr al-Ulum, whose family had lost many members for
opposing Saddam Hussein.
But watching his hometown of Najaf come under US
bombardment to crush Muqtada al-Sadr and his supporters, Bahr al-Ulum
has lost faith in US intentions towards Iraq, and says millions of
moderates like him, who welcomed last year's invasion, now regard
Washington as an enemy.
"The Americans have turned the holy city into a ghost
town. They are now seen as full of hatred against Najaf and the Shia.
Nothing I know of will change this," the former president of the now
defunct council said on Friday.
"I do not understand why America craves crisis. A
peaceful solution to the confrontation with Muqtada could have been
reached. We were hoping that Prime Minister Iyad Allawi would lead the
way, but he sided with oppression."
Bahr al-Ulum has been one of the most outspoken
critics of violence fuelled by al-Sadr and his supporters, who have
challenged the authority of elder clerics such as Ayatollah Ali
al-Sistani and Bahr al-Ulum himself.
Bahr al-Ulum says al-Sadr (R) should have been given a voice
The established clerical class has
come under mounting criticism from ordinary Shia for remaining silent
over the US offensive, especially al-Sistani, who expressed sorrow at
the events in Najaf, but did not condemn the US offensive.
Al-Sistani travelled to London as US
forces launched their offensive on Najaf last week, to seek treatment
for a heart condition. His aides say the problem is not
Al-Sadr's supporters see Iranian-born
and Iranian passport holder al-Sistani as a foreign cleric who staffed
the Najaf seminaries with his followers at the expense of Iraqi
Al-Sadr's father, Ayatollah Muhammad
Sadiq al-Sadr, challenged al-Sistani's authority as well as that of
Saddam. He was killed in 1999. Iranians and Iraqis exchanged
accusations blaming each other for the killing.
Bahr al-Ulum, who acknowledges
al-Sistani as the supreme living Shia religious figure, suggested that
he would have condemned the US offensive if he had full knowledge of it.
"Sayyid (Shia title) al-Sistani is
ill. I do not think he has knowledge of the destruction being wreaked
in Najaf. He might have a vague idea of clashes, but not killings and
oppression," he said.
It remains to be seen whether the US
offensive on Najaf will undermine al-Sistani in the long term, and how
much influence he will retain among Iraq's Shia.
Plight of the poor
Like his father, al-Sadr made the
theme of dispossession a basis for his political platform and raised
the plight of the poor, saying living conditions have not improved
since the US toppled Saddam.
Although the young al-Sadr lacked
political maturity, dealing with him through force only bolstered his
support especially among the poor and unemployed, Bahr al-Ulum said.
"The government has lost the support
of the Middle Euphrates region and the south, even if it manages to
calm down these areas temporarily using brute force," he said,
referring to clashes in central and southern Iraq.
He said al-Sadr should have been given
a political voice in government to avert violent confrontation. "There
is no wisdom to what the Americans and Allawi are doing," he said.
"The consequences are unthinkable." Aljazeera, Friday 13 August 2004, 17:58 Makka Time, 14:58 GMT
MER Exclusive - Listen to Douglas Feith about Israel and the Middle East (August 30, 2004)
MER EXCLUSIVE - Listen to Douglas Feith while Bill Clinton was still President and a year before 9/11 even happened. For some time in Washington Feith himself has been a prominent member of the extended Israeli-Jewish lobby speaking at times as harshly and unrelentingly as any Israeli propagandist. Persons in the media should contact MER for more extensive information and additional audio and video comments by Feith - 202 362-5266 and press@MiddleEast.Org
Pointing the fingers at Douglas Feith (August 29, 2004)
Feith has been mentioned in most of the major media stories this weekend in Washington -- but not nearly with the emphasis he should have been. For Feith has played a central role in just about every scandal that has beset the Bush Administration -- from the faulty 'intelligence', to the mistaken 'assumptions', to the prison torture scandals, and now the latest Israeli/Jewish lobby spy scandal right in his own office.
Sharon's Wars, Israel's Future (August 28, 2004)
This major New York Times feature about Ariel Sharon could have, and should have, been far more harsh. But Ariel Sharon is at the top of his game now. And though the future he may have molded more than any other may be bleak and potentially catastrophic, now is his time and few in the Jewish world -- and in an oblique way that includes not only the New York Times but much of the contemporary American media -- dare to take him on directly.
Israeli Spy Scandal Erupting in Washington (August 28, 2004)
Many, most no doubt, of these kinds of things relating to Israel never get out into the public domain; they are buried and sucked up into official Washington where so many have so many reasons for always wanting to hush such things up. But there should be no doubt that the Israelis have infiltrated at many levels and greatly influenced in many ways U.S. policies in the Middle East, especially of late the decision to invade and occupy Iraq.
The following quick list of past Israeli spy scandals all of which were covered up or sucked in one way or another include:
* Israeli Attack on U.S.S. Liberty - 1967
* Steve Bryent Israeli Spying Scandal - 1982
* Jonathan Pollard Arrested outside Israeli Embassy - 1985
* AIPAC infiltration scandal, President forced to resign - 1991
* Mossad bugging of Clinton and Monica - 1997
* Martin Indyk's Security Clearances 'temporarily' suspended - 2000
America's 'Iraqi Police' and the now impending Iraqi Elections (August 27, 2004)
And it's clear that if it's a competiton between Negroponte and Allawi, against al-Sistani and al-Sadr, the Americans and their regime are in big trouble. Just how the U.S. occupation is going to attempt to either further delay the election or not-too-blantantly manipulate and control it now looms ahead -- just as soon as the American election is behind us all.
(August 26, 2004)
U.S. and Regime Bombing and Killing throughout Iraq (August 26, 2004)
Chaos, confusion, death, and destruction -- that's the description of American occupied Iraq as the country virtually rebels and explodes. Even as Ayatollah al-Sistani heads back to Najaf protected by British occupation troops American occupation troops are ferociously attacking Najaf, Fallujah, Sadr City as never before and American armed and paid Iraqi mercenary troops are massacreing their own.
Sistani Returns and March on Najaf Looms (August 25, 2004)
Now on this very day in history there is another Ayatollah in and at the heart of the Middle East at a crucial moment in time. The very term 'Ayatollah' was hardly known in the West before the Iranian revolution just 25 years ago now. But in the immediate days ahead it now appears Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is to have his and maybe modern on-its-knees Iraq's 'rendevous with history'. And then what this is really all about now is the future rather than the past, especially with Iraqi 'elections' supposed to take place just 5 months from now. What will the American Empire with its arsenal of planes, tanks, and shock troops now do to deter, deflect, or stop him? What will the U.S.-installed and protected Allawi regime in Baghdad now do to attempt to co-opt or twist him?
Crusades II - Iraqi Cities Bombed and Tanked (August 24, 2004)
Bush's views and ongoing rhetoric -- and then came top Pentagon General Boykin telling the world that 'my god is bigger than their god' -- may come to define this period in 'modern' history.
Imperial America (August 23, 2004)
Provocative thinking and writing from one of Great Britain's most prolific, most outspoken, most humanistic, and most insightful 'activist' journalists writing this cover article in the current issue of the New Statesman. It's too hard and probably wrong in fact to agree that 'Bush may be the lesser evil'. But it is very important to understand how and why John Pilger is speaking out in this way.
Palestinian Struggle Fully Justified (August 22, 2004)
Because of the huge propaganda war in which the U.S. and Israel also have overwhelming firepower at their disposal, what leading Professors like Charles Black and now Ted Honderich have to say is in fact of critical importance.
Weekend Reading: Iran, the U.S., and Israel (August 21, 2004)
These four articles from the past few days, especially the first commentary by UPI Senior Analyst Martin Sieff, help put things in perspective and set the stage for what is now to come. Unpleasant and frightening weekend reading, we know...but necessary.
What the Americans have Really Done in and to Iraq (August 20, 2004)
This is a brief but very important outline of what the Americans have really done in recent years in and to Iraq. All this has little to do with 'freedom' and 'democracy' -- those are the simplistic and deceptive front-words. What's really involved is an increasingly desperate and ruthless master plan to turn Iraq -- a country at the center of both the Arab and the Muslim worlds -- into an appendage of the American military, political, and economic machine trying to more totally control the Middle East region and continue to drain it of its wealth, resources, and heritage. It's the imperialism of old considerably reconstituted for the brave new world of worldwide television, the internet, and high-tech 'Star Wars' weaponry.
Iran Warns of Preemptive Strike Against U.S. and Israel (August 19, 2004)
"We will consider any strike against our nuclear installations as an attack on Iran as a whole, and we will retaliate with all our strength. Where Israel is concerned, we have no doubt that it
is an evil entity, and it will not be able to launch any military operation without an American green light. You cannot separate the two."
Iranian Defense Minister
The World on Fire (August 19, 2004)
Now in 2004 as a result of what the Bush/Cheney/Israeli regime insisted on doing the world is dangerously on fire -- passions, hatreds, and fears all now enraged and engaged in an escalating "clash of civilizations" full of crusading rhetoric essentially pitting the U.S., U.K., and Israel against Arab and Muslim countries and peoples everywhere.
U.S. Allawi Regime Should Go (August 18, 2004)
here's a bottom line here and at a time of such major historic developments it should be said clearly. The American-installed, financed, armed, and protected Allawi regime has already totally disgraced and discredited itself. It cannot succeed in authoritatively and democratically governing Iraq. It should be ended immediately before it does even more historic harm to Iraq, to the Middle East, to the Arab and Muslims worlds, and to the whole fabric of international justice and order.
Al-Sadr and Allawi - The Struggle for the Middle East (August 18, 2004)
Here then are two such voices speaking out, crying out, at this critical time. The first an American who was Director of The Islamic Center in Washington, the very venue in fact President Bush choose to visit soon after 9/11. The second is a Canadian who is President of the Canadian Islamic Congress. -MER
Sharon the 'Bulldozer', Sharon the 'Butcher' (August 17, 2004)
These BBC and Guardian articles today look at how the Israelis are even now continuing to expand settlements in the occupied territories, as well as at the current situation in and around Gaza -- realities 'on the ground' that Ariel Sharon is more responsible for than any other single individual on any side of the barricades. MiddleEast.org
"They are cheating us, laughing at us" - MER FlashBack 7 Years (August 17, 2004)
"In the end, so long as the U.S. continues to back Israeli occupation with ever greater amounts of money, guns, and political protection, little will change and the "peace process" will remain a grand deception breeding resistance, hatred, and yes, more terrorism."
U.S. Iraqi Troops Fire on Reporters (August 16, 2004)
History is being made in these bitter bleeding days, in these very hours, and the world will have to live with the aftermath for some time to come. This report just published by the Daily Telegraph in the U.K. is the best so far to outline how the Americans are attempting to blind the world and mute the protests by threatening the few courageous journalists still in and able to report from Najaf. As for pictures of what is happening, cameras are now illegal and being confiscated by the Americans and their agents.
Iraq Exploding! The historic confrontation at the Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf (August 16, 2004)
Unless the Americans can find some way to get Muqtada Sadr and his forces out of the historic Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf without a firefight and without a massacre they themselves could become the victims of their own killing machine if the extraordinary rage and hatred in Iraq, Iran, and the Arab and Muslim worlds overall should erupt still further against them.
Americans Order Journalists, Cameras From Najaf (August 15, 2004)
This is what police-states do; this is what dictators do; this is what the Israelis sometimes do; and now this is what the American 'democracy' does in the extraordinarily duplicitous name of 'freedom and democracy for Iraq.
Israel 'On The Eve of Destruction'? (August 15, 2004)
His father long headed the National Religious Party. He himself has been the head of the world Zionist movement as well as the Speaker of the Knesset. And yet -- even as the Israelis appear to be victorious with the Palestinians everywhere surrounded, subjugated, dispossessed and controlled -- Avraham Burg dares to speak out loudly about how perverted Zionism has become and that all the militarism, racism, and arrogance could in reality have put Israel 'on the eve of destruction'.
Please tell friends and family about MER (August 14, 2004)
Mid-East Realties (MER) commentary and analysis is exclusive, hard-hitting, and always directly to the point. The consistent incisiveness, expertise, and depth of coverage is not to be found anywhere else -- as these comments from readers around the world attest. Below is a summary with quick links to recent exclusive MER articles and FlashBacks. Please forward this summary complete to your friends and relatives encouraging them to also get MER just as you do. It's never been easier to subscribe to MER; and it's never been more timely and important to do so.
Occupied Iraq - Threats, resignations, killings, chaos all escalating (August 13, 2004)
Reports from Iraq this morning indicate that Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr may have been injured today while meeting with supporters, and what's to happen next has everyone on edge as rarely before. Other reports from Iraq are of a wave of protest resignations against the American occupation and puppet government, with increased threats against the U.S. and its regime now coming in public even from other Iraqi officials approved by the Americans.
Nader vs. Israel (August 12, 2004)
"The days when the chief Israeli puppeteer comes to the United States and meets with the puppet in the White House and then proceeds to Capitol Hill, where he meets with hundreds of other puppets, should be replaced."
Najaf 2004 (August 12, 2004)
"From Iran's perspective, there is little question what happens in Najaf is its business. Any damage there cannot leave a single Iranian ruler the option of remaining neutral, regardless of whether they are among moderates or hard-liners. The Shiite religious heritage is a shared one between Iraq and Iran."
Hidden History of the "Peace Process" (August 11, 2004)
"It's not inordinate Chinese money and influence in American politics the Congress should be investigating, it's how Israel manipulates American politics with the help of some key Americans (most of them Jewish), who are in fact, however distasteful it is to say it, 'dually loyal'."
Jewish Washington Neocons Responsible for War (August 11, 2004)
As the Iraq war escalates and creates still more disgust and hatred around the world, it is also threatening to expand. And a month or two from now if the Bush/Cheney/neocon regime is lagging in the polls no telling what kinds of political or military 'surprises' might come from Washington sooner rather than later.
Stumbling, Bumbling 'Arabist' Ambassadors Play to the Cameras (August 10, 2004)
After all these now wasted years, and after all this now-squandered money -- and even with all that has happened including 9/11, the Iraqi war, and the Palestinian Intifada -- the 'Arabist' Ambassadors in Washington are weaker and more incestuous, less influential and less credible, then when they started. Yet oh how they continue to pretend otherwise so tragically continuing to mislead so many well-meaning naive people who simply don't know better the real details of what has been and what is now the real situation in today's Washington.
Neocons All (August 9, 2004)
He sure didn't write this way when he worked for the old gray Zionist lady the New York Times. With language like 'neo-con vampires' he sounds a bit this time like MER in its regular tell-it-like-it-really-is mode... Maybe for his next installment Mr. Ibrahim will have more to say ...about his old colleagues at the New York Times starting with Tom Friedman, et. al.
Both Israel and Saudis working to elect Bush/Cheney (August 8, 2004)
Now of course neither is going to admit it in front of the cameras, and of course it's also politically confusing for many, but both the Israelis and the Saudis are working hard now to help the election of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld and the right-wing neocons.
U.S. and puppet regime boot Aljazeera from Iraq (August 7, 2004)
Oh yes, the headline..."U.S. boots Aljazeera..." Let's not get confused by all the technical details and propaganda tricks. The regime in Baghdad was selected by the Americans and empowered by the Americans. It is financed by the Americans and the American military and CIA keep it in power. What it does is what the Americans want it to do. And the responsibility for what it does is American as well.
Target Pakistan (August 7, 2004)
As tensions and fighting in Iraq and Palestine continue, and with new sanctions and attacks on Syria, Iran, and Lebanon quite publicly threatened, the situation in the greater Middle East could become far more tense and the 'crucial countries' of both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia could indeed 'fall' from the American grip setting off even more dangerous and unpredictable political and military explosions.
Target IRAN con't (August 6, 2004)
"Exploiting the November US presidential elections and the European concerns, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon could order a strike at Iran's nuclear facilities, similar to the ones Israelis executed in 1981 against Iraq's nuclear weapons program", the diplomats were quoted by the London-based newspaper Al Hayat on Wednesday, August 4.
'Revolution' in Iraq; No U.N. or Muslim Troops To Help Americans (August 5, 2004)
Indeed, the Americans and the Israrelis have now created their own joint vicious geopolitical stew in the Middle East; and they are very much in danger of gradually boiling away in it regardless of all the tough talk and military onslaughts.
Kerry, Israel, Jews, and the Middle East (August 4, 2004)
John Kerry's Middle East policies have already been heavily mortgaged, if not downright sold, to those who have the greatest interest and power in controlling what the U.S. does in the crucial Middle East region and in determining where American arms, monies, and covert actions flow in the future -- powerful American Jews closely associated with Israel.
10 YEARS and 1 MILLION+ DEAD and COUNTING - MER FlashBack (August 3, 2004)
"Here we are in the middle of the millennium year and we are responsible for genocide in Iraq. All of us that live in the silent democracies are responsible for sustained genocide in Iraq."
Former Assistant Secretary General
of the United Nations Denis Haliday
America Vs America (August 1, 2004)
"The Bush Administration cannot be trusted...
George W. Bush and his administration have taken normal mendacity to a startling new level far beyond lies of convenience... They traffic in big lies, indulge in any number of symptomatic
small lies, and ultimately, have come to embody dishonesty itself. They are a lie. And people, finally, have started catching on."