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14 Sept 2004 - MiddleEast.Org - MER is Free
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MER - Mid-East Realities - MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 14 Sept: With Iraq exploding, the Americans attacking street crowds in Baghdad with bombs and missiles, and the U.S. military already stretched to the breaking point both in terms of manpower and credibility, Washington's propaganda machine is in overdrive both at home and abroad. Even so, even in long-time American ally Egypt, Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda are considerably more popular than George W. Bush and the U.S.

Analysis: Bin Laden more popular than Bush

By Claude Salhani
UPI International Editor

CAIRO, Sept. 11 (UPI - 12 Sept) -- On the third anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a new poll shows that mastermind terrorist Osama bin Laden is more popular that President George W. Bush in Egypt, a staunch U.S. ally and recipient of billions of U.S. dollars in financial aid.

Despite being mostly ruled by autocracies and theocracies, the same anti-American feelings are widely reflected around much of the Arab and Islamic world. In many instances, as in Egypt, this sentiment is encouraged by the government in order to avoid having the people focus on internal issues.

Three years after 19 Islamist terrorists slammed passenger jets into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, shocking America and the world, the war to eradicate terrorism is far from being won.

After the initial shock passed, the Bush administration reacted to 09/11 by invading Afghanistan and then Iraq. Both wars are far from being contained and bin Laden remains at large, while President George W. Bush says the world is now a safer place.

It's true that there has not been a terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11, although intelligence sources say we came close to it. Thanks to the vigilance of British intelligence, a group of terrorists planning to detonate a 'dirty bomb' and other explosives in New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., were apprehended before their deeds could be put into motion.

A good number of Americans agree with the president, but the rest of the world differs greatly with his belief that the world is now safer. While the Taliban was removed and a bloodthirsty tyrant in Iraq deposed, there is hardly ever a mention of the 11,000 to 13,800 Iraqi civilians who according to were killed since the U.S. invasion.

In fact, since the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, there have been a slew of horrendous attacks against a number of countries, including those supporting the U.S. war on terrorism. In a slip of the tongue the president admitted in a television interview that the war on terrorism could not be won. However, he later retracted his statement.

Despite setbacks and a number of key operatives killed and jailed in the three years since 9/11, al-Qaida and its affiliates are still operational, carrying out attacks across large swaths of the globe.

Only this week Jemaah Islamiah, a group believed to have close ties to al-Qaida, struck in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital. A massive bomb, possibly carried out by a suicide bomber, exploded outside the Australian Embassy, killing 9 people and injuring more than 100.

A week earlier terrorists took over a school in the southern Russian town of Beslan, killing more than 330 people, half of them children. A few days earlier, two Russian passenger jets were simultaneously blown out of the sky, it is presumed by Chechen terrorists, killing all aboard.

Shortly after, another bomb exploded outside a Moscow subway station. In March bombs on board packed morning commuter trains exploded as they entered crowded Madrid stations, killing close to 200 people. Before that, bombs exploded in Istanbul, causing multiple casualties. The list goes on.

And while the hunt for bin Laden continues, his deputy, Egyptian Ayman Al-Zawahri, appearing on a videotape delivered to the Qatar-based al-Jazeera satellite channel, boasted that the United States was on the brink of defeat in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

'The defeat of America in Iraq and Afghanistan has become a matter of time, with God's help. The Americans in both countries are between two fires. If they continue they bleed to death, and if they withdraw they lose everything.'

In Iraq, the number of American military casualties passed the symbolic count of 1,000 dead.

In Saudi Arabia, supposedly another staunch U.S. ally which President Bush's father, President George H.W. Bush protected from Saddam Hussein during the 1990-91 Gulf War, it is hard to find anyone -- in any level of society --speak positively of the current President Bush.

In a country where Americans were once viewed as the best of friends, U.S. citizens have become targets of a pro-Islamist insurgency and are warned to keep a low profile and remain vigilant.

At a dinner with about 25 prominent Saudi businessmen in Riyadh earlier this week -- most of whom have earned their degrees in American universities -- criticism of Bush was widespread.

'Everything is good about America, except its politics,' said one of the men during a traditional get-together as guests sat on the floor sipping tea, eating dates, rice and mutton. 'I have not met a single person who has been to the United States and not like it,' he said. 'But America's foreign policy is terrible; it's a disaster,' chimed in another of the guests.

Others offered their opinions: 'Bush has caused more harm to America's image than can be imagined,' one said. 'We all obtained our degrees in the United States, we felt at home there. But now, the way they are treating Arabs in general and Saudis in particular, we are sending our children to British, Canadian and other colleges. In the long run it is America that will suffer,' he said.

His thoughts were echoed by other guests, most of whom said they loved America, but had negatives things to say about the American president. And these are moderate, educated Saudis; millionaires, doctors, presidents of technology companies and leaders in their society. They are far from being fundamentalist fanatics.

In the last three years the image of the United States in the rest of the world has greatly suffered. Even as the Bush administration tries to win hearts and minds, it faces severe setbacks.

A survey conducted by the Arab Advisory Group and published in the Arab News shows that the Qatari-based satellite television channel al-Jazeera has a much larger following that the U.S.-funded al-Hurra (the free one). The survey puts al-Hurra's credibility 'far lower than al-Jazeera or the Dubai-based al-Arabiya.'

The poll surveyed all channels viewed in Saudi Arabia, where an astounding 90 percent of households have satellite television. The sample included 134 households and has a margin of error of about 9 percent.

Saudis favored al-Jazeera by 82 percent followed closely by al-Arabiya with 75 percent. Al-Hurra trailed far behind with 12 percent.

Seventy percent found al-Arabiya very trustworthy, while 69 percent said al-Jazeera was very trustworthy. Only 17 percent said the U.S.-funded al-Hurra was very trustworthy. Twenty percent of respondents found al-Hurra was untrustworthy.

The Arab Advisory Group poll placing al-Jazeera ahead of al-Hurra is somewhat a mirror of the way the Arab and Islamic world favors bin Laden over George Bush. And that is the dilemma facing a number of Arab countries today. Pressured by the United States to move towards greater democracy, they fear that free elections would greatly benefit pro-al-Qaida factions. Many analysts believe that if Syria or Saudi Arabia, for example, were to hold elections today, the Muslim Brotherhood would come out ahead. It is not an envious position to be in.

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September 2004


Iran and Syria now Targeted
(September 30, 2004)
Now the Americans and Israelis have Iran and Syria in their sights.

MER Warned About Jewish Neocons and Israeli Lobby Years Ago
(September 30, 2004)
Think back now to the days before the Bush/Cheney regime took power in Washington, before the term 'neocon' and the policy of 'pre-emption' were in wide use, and to before 9/11 was even imagined by all but a very few. MER was already long ago raising the warning flags, explaining what was really happening in Washington as well as in the Middle East, previewing what has since come to be; all while so many others were proclaiming the 'peace process is irreversible' and Yasser Arafat was the most frequent foreign guest at the American White House!

MER Articles - Sept 1998
(September 30, 2004)

Intifada II Enters Year Five
(September 28, 2004)
The figures for the Intifada are brutal. Adjusted for the size of the U.S. population, that is if the Israeli occupation were taking place in the U.S., over 300,000 Americans would have been killed in just the past 4 years alone, well over a million seriously injured, many millions imprisoned and tortured, plus considerable land confiscated, homes destroyed, and occupying Jewish 'settlers' taking over.

MER Articles - September 1997
(September 28, 2004)
These MER Articles were published in September 1997. The perspective they offer on events since is crucial.

Maps tell the Real Story 'on the ground' where it counts
(September 26, 2004)
The Israelis now control all Palestinian areas through hundreds of military Checkpoints, No-go zones, By-pass 'Jews only' Roads, Settlements, Outposts, and in recent years Fences, Walls, and Electronic Monitoring systems throughout the West Bank similar to what was done in the past to Gaza. In addition all Palestinians must even receive Israeli military permission to travel from one city and village. The situation is today far worse than Apartheid was in South Africa. As a result, no real, contiguous, and even minimally sovereign Palestinian State is possible any longer in the area that was Palestine in 1947.

Anglican group calls for Israel sanctions
(September 24, 2004)
A few months ago the American Presbyterians officially took the first major Church steps to sanction Israel, recalling how South Africa was treated in the days of Apartheid not that long ago. Now an influential Anglican group is pushing for a combination of boycott and divestment from Israel when their senior Church leaders next meet.

(September 24, 2004)
"Over the last three years, practicing a philosophy of deliberate deception, fear-mongering and abuse of authority, the Bush administration has done more to undermine the republic of Lincoln and Jefferson than the cells of al-Qaida. It has willfully ignored our fundamental laws and squandered the nation's wealth in bloody, open-ended pursuits.... We have arrived at a moment of national crisis."

Sy Hersh - Readers' Comments
(September 23, 2004)
Important articles and exclusive insights like this would not be easily available, or oftentimes available at all, but for MER. These Readers' Comments this week concern the recent MER article about Washington journalist Seymour Hersh and his recent interviews and talks about his new book Chain of Command:

(September 22, 2004)
The real message to the tough-minded politicos in Washington is this: There's nothing to worry about from Arab Americans...working overtime they can only mobilize quite few in numbers...they are not even protesting against the upcoming agreement itself likely to be soon signed across the street...they know nothing about the power of civil disobedience...they have no powerful or even significant allies...their leadership is naive and oftentimes foolish...and the Arab organizations we work with can be counted on to keep them under control come what may.

IRAN - The U.S. and Israel Prepare to Attack
(September 22, 2004)
The new massive arms sale of 'bunker busting' bombs to Israel has two major purposes at this point in addition to furthering the Bush/Cheney election campaign -- to prepare for real war with Iran sooner rather than later, while at the same time attempting to further intimidate one more time those in Tehran to 'comply, resistance is futile'.

About MER - Please Read and Contribute Today
(September 21, 2004)
Reorganizing and overcoming all the obstacles has come at a considerable price in time, effort, and funds. We have to appeal now for your substantial financial support; for a truly independent and hard-hitting organization must have truly independent funding or it cannot continue and have impact. Please contribute today to make MER possible and of growing impact. Thank you!

Sy Hersh - Israeli Disinformation and Cover-Up?
(September 21, 2004)
In fact, the more one thinks about this, the more one reaches the possible conclusion that while Hersh is on target (though incomplete) when it comes to the torture scandal, when it comes to the geostrategic, especially when it comes to matters relating to Israel, Hersh may well be being used for disinformation and continually engages in a kind of self-censorship and cover-up.

Journalists and Professors With Chilling Warnings
(September 20, 2004)
"Every generation has its test of principle in which people of good faith can no longer remain silent in the face of authoritarian ambition. If we cannot join together to fight the abomination of American camps, we have already lost what we are defending."

The 'Fucking' Crazy and Stupid Washington Neocons
(September 19, 2004)
Of course they only talk this way when they've really had it and when they think the befuddled largely ignorant general public won't hear. But the reality is these two top American Generals who have been saluting to power their whole lives, and who themselves are very much a part of the terrible corrupted system, are known to feel the senior neocons empowered by Bush and Cheney are out of control and sometimes a little fucking out of their minds!

Feith of Israel
(September 18, 2004)
MER 'Washington Scene'EXCLUSIVE: Click to Listen to Douglas Feith at an Israeli lobby White House rally while Bill Clinton was still President, Feith was not yet back in government, and more than a year before 9/11 was to happen. For some time in Washington Feith 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 clips of Feith - 202 362-5266 and press@MiddleEast.Org

Crude Politics: How Bush's Oil Cronies Hijacked the War on Terrorism
(September 17, 2004)
But, when writing about the situation in Washington and the linkages between persons and groups that brought about the Iraqi invasion/occupation, Sperry makes significant contributions in his book Crude Policies that need to be understood.

Washington's Pathetic Arabist Hustlers - National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations
(September 16, 2004)
But the most tragic reality of all is that in the process of what they have done for themselves this pathetically incestuous Washington cabal of 'Arabists' has squandered crucial decades, all together more than a hundred million dollars, and even now with the Middle East on fire and Washington gripped by policy warfare very very few even want to bother to come and get their free lunch with them.

Iraqi Debacle, Iraqi Disaster
(September 16, 2004)
Most senior US military officers now believe the war on Iraq has turned into a disaster on an unprecedented scale

(September 15, 2004)
On Sunday as the details of this murderous U.S. attack on a Baghdad crowd were first being reported, MER asked an officer on Commanding U.S. General Abizaid's staff how could the U.S. be using attack helicopters to fire on crowds in Baghdad and still think Iraqis wouldn't hate the Americans. He suggested it must have been to protect troops still in the damaged vehicle. A few hours later when told that was not the case, that the troops had already been rescued, he suggested maybe there was a need to destroy the vehicle for 'intelligence' reasons. When told the vehicle was already destroyed and on fire he could only shrug... How telling... This unusually gripping first-hand report from the exploding streets of Baghdad:

Bin Laden More Popular Than Bush in Egypt
(September 14, 2004)
With Iraq exploding, the Americans attacking street crowds in Baghdad with bombs and missiles, and the U.S. military already stretched to the breaking point both in terms of manpower and credibility, Washington's propaganda machine is in overdrive both at home and abroad. Even so, even in long-time American ally Egypt, Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda are considerably more popular than George W. Bush and the U.S.

Iraq Exploding in Rebellion and Death
(September 12, 2004)
At least 37 people were killed in Baghdad alone. Many of them died when a U.S. helicopter fired on a disabled U.S. Bradley fighting vehicle as Iraqis swarmed around it, cheering, throwing stones and waving the black and yellow sunburst banner of Iraq's most-feared terror organization.

'Fucking Crazies' Powell Explodes - Withdraw from Iraq Financial Times Editorializes
(September 12, 2004)
The U.S. policy in the Middle East is already a disaster of historical proportions. In a new book being published in a few days no less an authority than U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell himself is quoted describing the top neo-conservatives in the Bush administration as 'fucking crazies' during the build-up to war in Iraq.

9/11 - 'War of the Worlds'
(September 11, 2004)
Immediately when 9/11 occurred the publisher of MER was asked to quickly write about it's meaning and ramifications for the about-to-be-published October issue of a European Edition of Playboy Magazine.

9/11 began a long time ago and for very real reasons
(September 11, 2004)
Those who were reading MER six years ago were giving a prescient foretaste of what has since come, and why. This MER article was originally published on 25 August 1998. Read it now keeping in mind that what has been happening since was being caused and was foreseeable then; just as what is being done now is creating the still bleaker future now ahead if today's course in Washington is not significantly altered...and soon.

Chechnya - Crucible for Hatred and Terrorism
(September 10, 2004)
It is a genocidal war Vladimir Putin is personally responsible for more than any other. But then neither the U.S. nor the European powers nor the U.N. for that matter have had the vision, the determination, and the courage to step in. And thus the fingers of responsibility and blame should be pointing in many simultaneous directions at this time.

Israeli Spying in USA Fox Series Spiked and Covered-Up
(September 10, 2004)
AIPAC and Israel's many official and unofficial lobbyists are now mounting a major campaign to bring the FBI investigation to an end with only minor charges involving 'mishandling' of classified documents. The pressures on everyone in Washington are no doubt intense; especially in this election year. And so what happened in November 2002 should be especially instructive; and in view of the most recent charges and investigations should be resurrected:

Chechnya - Crucible for Hatred and Terrorism
(September 8, 2004)
This look back on the terribly brutal Russian war in Chechnya to prevent Chechnyan independence must be understood to be the crucible in which the horrifying events of recent days were brewed. It is a genocidal war Vladimir Putin is personally responsible for more than any other; but then neither the U.S. nor the European powers nor the U.N. for that matter have had the vision, the determination, and the courage to step in. And thus the fingers of responsibility and blame should be pointing in many simultaneous directions.

Aljazeera Caves Again
(September 8, 2004)
Coerced self-censorship and forcing the media to constantly be wary of offending the powers that be is a long-time hallmark not only in the Middle East, Russia, and China, but also in the West and the United States. The techniques and methods are different, especially when it comes to the American scene, but in many cases the results are similar.

Chechnya, Palestine, Iraq, Kashmir - Occupations All
(September 7, 2004)
Brutal occupations all -- Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq, Kashmir. All examples of when overwhelming military force is used by a major power to put down popular resistance to historical subjugation and injustice.

IsraelGate +
(September 6, 2004)
Major efforts are now underway in Washington to head off, cover up, derail, what we earlier today for the first time called ISRAELGATE. IsraelGate is potentially the most significant scandal to rock relations between the U.S. and Israel ever -- since the Lavon Affair and 1956 war when President Eisenhower faced down the Israelis, then 1967 with the attack on the U.S.S. Liberty, and then the Pollard spy affair nearly twenty years ago now. But now the stakes are much much higher than ever for the following three reasons:

(September 5, 2004)
Now that the new Israeli spy scandal has broken into public view, the top-level connections between the Jewish neocons at the Pentagon and the National Security Council -- among them Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, and Elliott Abrams -- the following and associated stories first published earlier this year deserve much more than a second look. They should in fact be the basis for a full-fledged journalistic investigation into what could yet be called ISRAELGATE.

Israel, Neocons, Lobby, and Spying
(September 4, 2004)
For there are those in Washington and in the media who know very well that it was the Israelis and the Jewish neocons, working in tandem, who worked relentlessly to push the U.S. into the invasion and occupation of Iraq. And there are those who are well aware that the Israelis and the Jewish neocons are now working in tandem to push and cajole the U.S. to take on Iran, Syria, and all who stand in the way of their plans for the U.S. and Israel in partnership to control the Middle East strategically, politically, and economically.

Revered Muslim Cleric Calls On Muslims To Fight The U.S.Occupier
(September 3, 2004)
"Al-Qaradawi was one of 93 prominent Muslim figures who in August called on Muslims around the world to support resistance against US forces in Iraq and its apppointed interim Iraqi government."

Bush Speaks, Eocons (Christian Evangelicals + Jewish Neocons) Rule
(September 2, 2004)
As George W. Bush prepares to outline his 'vision' and 'agenda' to the American nation tonight from besieged New York City he today published the following appeal to American Jews in The Forward newspaper. Ironically, in the same issue of The Forward, the latest Israeli and Jewish Lobby spy scandal gets much play including the additional article below:

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