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Red Cross Bombed in Kabul Before Presidential Red Cross Visit in Washington

October 16, 2001



"Israel will pay a very heavy price for this act...We will definitely respond very painfully.'' Senior Hamas Spokesman

MID-EAST REALITIES - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 10/16: You gotta love the chutzpa of the Americans. Today the President went a few blocks from the White House to the Headquarters of the American Red Cross -- a little photo op designed to further enlist "the children of America" in his recently announced effort to help the children of Afghanistan. But just as President Bush was getting ready to do his Red Cross pictures reports came in from Afghanistan that the major Red Cross center in Kabul, complete with large Red Cross emblem on its roof, was destroyed by American bombs. The $90.000 so far sent in by America's kids aren't going to even begin to make up for the destruction.

But then it's all really about propaganda and nationalistic fervor anyway, isn't it.

As for the Israelis, they have returned to their policy of assassinating Palestinian fighters penned up under their control by their military occupation army, thus guaranteeing further "terrorist" attacks against "innocent" Israelis which Shimon Peres will then pronounce fully justifies his now publicly announced policy to "kill and annihilate" all Palestinian opposition. At the same time the Israelis are now spray-painting Stars of David onto Palestinian buildings before "withdrawing" and photographing themselves with mutilated Palestinian trophy bodies. This while British Prime Minister Tony Blair stages his own photo ops with Yasser Arafat, who has made a political career of announcing a Palestinian state for a few decades now. All this while Secretary of State Colin Powell, busy with his own photo ops in the subcontinent, has just announced that the USA is going to help Pakistan "educate" its young people in new and different ways, apparently less Koran and more American TV sitcoms will do the trick. Looks like the Americans have found the problem that's created all that hatred that the President is so "amazed" to find out about -- it's not U.S. policies at all but rather an inadequate presentation of them.

But then it's all really about propaganda and nationalistic fervor anyway, isn't it.


[The Associated Press - Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2001 - KABUL, Afghanistan]: -- The compound of the International Committee of the Red Cross was struck Tuesday by a U.S. bomb which destroyed wheat and other humanitarian supplies, committee officials and witnesses said. One Afghan security guard was injured.

"Two depots of the Red Cross were destroyed," ICRC security chief Mullah Rohani said as he stood before the smoking compound in northern Kabul. "We are very sad because these things belong to the people."

Afghan staff of the ICRC tried to salvage some of the goods stored in one warehouse. They covered their faces with cloth and rushed into the cloud of billowing black smoke, emerging later with blankets, medicines and tents.

A second warehouse that housed wheat was burning from the same attack.

In Islamabad, Pakistan, ICRC spokesman Mario Musa confirmed that the compound was hit Tuesday afternoon and that one security guard outside the second warehouse was injured.

He said the roof of the building was marked with the Red Cross symbol.

Also Tuesday, three farmers in the Badam Bagh area of Kabul were injured when bombs fell nearby, according to a neighborhood shopkeeper, who did not give his name.


By Inigo Gilmore in Jerusalem

[The Telegraph, London, 16 October]: The Israeli Army is investigating reports that its soldiers are circulating "trophy" photographs of themselves posing next to dead and sometimes mutilated Palestinians.

The revelation was followed by the discovery yesterday of a member of the militant Islamic group Hamas shot dead at his home in the West Bank town of Qalqilya in what Palestinian security sources said was an Israeli assassination.

They said Abdel Rahman Hamad, 35, had been found with bullet wounds to his head and was killed by Israeli forces as he stood on the roof of his house.

Israel Radio, citing Palestinian sources, said Mr Hamad was a member of the military wing of Hamas and may have been killed by snipers.

Also at the weekend, Israel announced it would ease a year-long blockade on Palestinian areas, and Washington pressed both sides to end their conflict so it could bolster Muslim and Arab support for its anti-terror war.

Israeli authorities said the decision to start lifting the blockade, allowing thousands of Palestinian workers into Israel, was the result of a "decrease" in violence, though sporadic gun battles have erupted in the West Bank and Gaza.

The Israeli Defence Force said it was investigating the report of soldiers taking photographs of Palestinians, but dismissed suggestions that "the phenomenon" was widespread.

"The IDF is aware of only a few singular incidents that were the initiative of individual soldiers," it said in a statement. "The IDF educates its soldiers and commanders according to the IDF spirit and in the keeping of human dignity. This is not acceptable, and has to be dealt with by punishment and through education."

The revelation, made by a group of Israeli soldiers this month, has heightened fears that young army recruits are inured to the violence they face routinely as the Palestinian uprising drags on into its second year.

The group told a Jerusalem weekly newspaper that they and their fellow soldiers often took pocket cameras on military missions and posed for pictures next to corpses of Palestinians.

It is not the first time that soldiers have taken pictures of their dead opponents. United States troops photographed the bodies of enemy soldiers during the Vietnam War. The Israeli soldiers said many of the photographs were widely distributed in military units, and appearing in such pictures had become a ritualistic "badge of honour".

A unit of the Golani brigade, serving in the Gaza Strip, privately printed a book with stories about its soldiers. The front cover showed the body of a Palestinian, killed five months ago after he infiltrated a Jewish settlement. The caption read: "Thus shall we do to the man who messes with Company B."

In another incident in the Gaza Strip, soldiers photographed a Palestinian who had infiltrated a settlement and was shot dead. A post-mortem examination showed his body had been shot at close range after death.

Yoram, 20, an armoured corps soldier, said he had seen 40 to 50 photographs of soldiers posing next to dead Palestinians.

"I remember one terrible photo of the soldiers smiling like children as they stood on the bodies with their boots, really enjoying the moment."


By Robert Fisk

Slaughter of the innocent bolsters view that this is war against Islam

[The Independent, UK, 15 October 2001]: In Baghdad we had the bunker where our missile fried more than 300 people to death. In Kosovo we had a refugee column torn to pieces by our bombs. Now in Afghanistan, a village called Karam is our latest massacre.

Of course it's time for that tame old word "regret". We regretted the Baghdad bunker. We were really very sorry for the refugee slaughter in Kosovo. Now we are regretting the bomb that went astray in Kabul on Friday night; the missile that killed the four UN mine clearers last Monday; and whatever hit Karam.

It's always the same story. We start shooting with "smart" weapons after our journalists and generals have told us of their sophistication. Their press conferences produce monochrome snapshots of bloodless airbase runways with little holes sprinkled across the apron. "A successful night," they used to say, after bombing Serbia.

They said that again last week and no one - until of course we splatter civilians - suggests going to war involves killing innocent people. It does. That is why the military invented that repulsive and morally shameful phrase "collateral damage". And they are always ready to smear the reporters on the ground.

At first, Nato claimed its aircraft had not butchered the refugee convoy in April 1999. Once we found the bomb parts, with US markings, they changed their tune.

The new tune went like this: "If we killed the innocent we regret it, but why don't the reporters 'break free' of their Serb minders and see what else is going on in Kosovo?" We might be asked the same again, now we are involved in what, historically, is for us in Britain the Fourth Afghan War. What are we journalists doing giving succour to Mr bin Laden and his thugs?

There is one big difference this time round. In 1991, we had a real Muslim coalition on our side. In 1999, we so bestialised the Serbs that the death of their innocent civilians could be laid at the hands of Slobodan Milosevic, and anyway - in theory at least - we were trying to save the Albanian Muslims.

No doubt some idiot general will tell us this time round that Karam is Mr bin Laden's fault - idiot, because this is not going to wash with the hundreds of thousands of Muslims who are outraged at our air strikes on Afghanistan.

And here's the rub. In every Middle Eastern country, even tolerant Lebanon, suspicion is growing that this is a war against Islam.

That is why the Arab leaders are mostly silent and why the Saudis don't want to help us. That is why crowds tried yesterday to storm a Pakistani airbase used by the American forces.

It reveals a dislocation of thought among Arabs about the crimes against humanity in New York and Washington, a disturbing disconnection that allows them to condemn the atrocities in America without reference to America's response - and condemn the response without reflecting on the carnage on the other side of the Atlantic.

The Muslim world now sees innocent Muslims who have died in Western air strikes on Afghanistan. If Karam turns out to be as terrible as the Taliban claims, all of Mr Blair's lectures and denials that this is a religious war will be in vain.

The Prime Minister can now only reflect upon the irony that an obscurantist sect that smashes television sets and hangs videotapes from trees is now using television and videotape for its own propaganda.


By Michele Gershberg

JERUSALEM (Reuters - 14 October ) - Israeli forces killed an Islamic militant Sunday, dealing a blow to Washington's drive to get Israel and the Palestinians to end a year-long conflict that threatens regional support for its anti-terror war.

Israel renewed an internationally condemned track-and-kill policy to shoot dead Abdel Rahman Hamad, a member of the Hamas group, whom it said was involved in a suicide bombing at a Tel Aviv disco in June in which 21 people were killed.

Hamas threatened retaliation for the killing, which Palestinians branded an assassination.

Palestinian security sources said Hamad, 35, was killed by Israeli forces as he stood on the roof of his house in the city of Qaqilya, near Israel's border with the West Bank.

The killing was carried out only hours before Israel was expected to announce the easing of a military blockade of Palestinian areas after citing a ``decrease'' in violence since a cease-fire was reaffirmed on September 26.

The United States and other major world players have urged a revival of Middle East peacemaking to bolster Muslim and Arab support for the anti-terror war that President Bush launched after the September 11 suicide plane attacks on New York and Washington.

``Israel will pay a very heavy price for this act,'' a senior Hamas official, Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, told Reuters after Hamad was killed.

``We will definitely respond very painfully.''

Palestinian cabinet minister Saeb Erekat said the killing ''reflects the determination of the Israeli Prime Minister (Ariel Sharon) to sabotage every effort that is being exerted'' by the Palestinians to uphold a cease-fire.

Israeli security sources confirmed Israeli forces killed Hamad. ``Israel asked the Palestinian Authority to arrest him and he wasn't, even though his name was on a list of wanted men,'' one security source said.

Israel has tracked and killed dozens of Palestinian militants it says took part in attacks against Israel. It calls the policy self-defense but has faced worldwide condemnation.

Late last month, Israel pledged to stop such killings as the two sides tried to give new impetus to a U.S.-backed truce-to-talks plan. But after Palestinian gunmen killed two Israelis at a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip on October 2, Israel's security cabinet gave the armed forces a green light to take ``all necessary action'' to thwart attacks.

At least 625 Palestinians and 175 Israelis have been killed since a Palestinian uprising against occupation erupted in September 2000 after peace talks stalled.

Saturday, Israel said it would ease its blockade of Palestinian areas and allow thousands of Palestinian workers back into the Jewish state.

Tens of thousands of Palestinian laborers worked in Israel before the Intifada, or uprising began. The closure dealt a near death blow to the already fragile Palestinian economy and has been branded by Palestinians as collective punishment.

Sharon's spokesman Raanan Gissin said Israel had agreed to ease the blockade to ``move...negotiations forward.'' An announcement would be made Sunday, Gissin said.

Israel says the travel restrictions were needed to prevent bombers and other attackers from entering its territory.

An Israeli source said the government would also consider pulling troops out of a Palestinian neighborhood in Hebron that they reoccupied on October 4 following a shooting attack on Jewish worshippers at a shrine in the West Bank city.

A withdrawal would depend on Palestinian guarantees to end gunfire at Israeli targets in Hebron, divided into Palestinian and Israeli zones under an interim peace deal in 1997, the source said.

Sporadic gunfights have flared up through the West Bank and Gaza Strip despite cease-fire efforts.

``If we see no measures are taken against these terrorists and there are casualties...we will exercise our right to self-defense just as the United States is doing in Afghanistan,'' Gissin said.

Israel has invoked the term self-defense to cover track-and-kill operations and incursions into Palestinian-controlled areas.

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat will meet British Prime Minister Tony Blair in London Monday to discuss the stricken Middle East peace process.

Thursday, President Bush, who until last month's suicide attacks was reluctant to become embroiled in the Middle East conflict, expressed support for a Palestinian state.


By Wafa Amr

GAZA (Reuters - 12 October) - The Palestinian Authority kept a tight lid on unrest against the bombing of Afghanistan on Friday, and the United States and Britain prepared to revive stalled Middle East peacemaking.

Palestinian police briefly detained three foreign reporters covering a rally in the Gaza Strip in support of Saudi-born dissident Osama bin Laden, Washington's prime suspect in the Sept. 11 suicide-hijack attacks on the United States.

Palestinian officials said the United States and Britain -- trying to woo Arab and Islamic support for their global anti-terror coalition -- would soon begin a new initiative to end more than a year of Israeli-Palestinian fighting.

Some Arabs and Muslims say terrorism can only be wiped out when the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ends. Bin Laden has said Americans will not know peace until the Palestinians do.

The officials said Palestinian President Yasser Arafat would hold talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair in London in the coming days about a new Middle East peace bid.

``Both the United Kingdom and the U.S. are working together to draft a position paper which would include ideas to revive the peace process and solve the final status issues,'' a senior Palestinian official said.

In London, a spokesman for Blair said it was vital to kick-start the peace process, which stalled shortly before the Palestinian revolt against Israeli occupation erupted.

``It is clear ... there is a need to reinvigorate the peace process,'' the spokesman said upon Blair's return from a three-day diplomatic tour of the region aimed at bolstering Arab and Islamic support for the alliance.

But in Washington, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the United States did not have a plan or peace proposals, other than a return to the Mitchell committee recommendations of April.

The committee, led by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, called for a cease-fire, a cooling-off period and confidence-building measures leading to new peace talks.

``I don't know why people are looking for peace proposals from the United States. Clearly, we have been working on a strategy all along. ... But we're not at the point of putting forward peace proposals or anything like that,'' he said.

On Thursday, President Bush issued his strongest endorsement so far of a Palestinian state and said he would be ready to meet the parties if it would be useful.

Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Friday and to Arafat on Wednesday and Thursday, Boucher said. He gave no details.

Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Friday that Washington had shown a new initiative to moderate Arab states but had not informed Israel of the details of the proposal.

Palestinian Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo said the White House was preparing a new initiative before the Sept. 11 attacks and Palestinian officials believed it was still working on that proposal.

A spokesman for Israel's foreign ministry said Israel had no knowledge of any new U.S. peace proposals.

Security was tight as thousands of Palestinian militants marched at anti-U.S. rallies in the Gaza Strip, where Palestinian police shot dead two Palestinians earlier in the week during demonstrations in support of bin Laden.

The Palestinian Authority has tried to suppress media coverage of pro-bin Laden sentiment. It barred foreign journalists from the Gaza Strip for several days this week after clashes between protesters and police.

Reporters were allowed to attend two West Bank rallies on Friday, where demonstrators chanted pro-Afghanistan slogans but did not burn Israeli and American flags.

Palestinian officials called for Bush to back up words with deeds after he said on Thursday there ought to be a Palestinian state, as long as it recognized Israel's right to exist.

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, who reaffirmed a truce in a meeting with Arafat on Sept. 26, met senior Palestinian officials Ahmed Korei and Saeb Erekat on Friday to discuss the cease-fire, which has not fully stopped the violence.

``We told him (Peres) we need deeds not words,'' Erekat told Reuters. He said Peres promised that Israel would start easing its blockade of the Palestinian territories and carrying out other measures in the next few days under the cease-fire deal.

Palestinian police detained Ala' al-Saftawi, a political leader of the Islamic Jihad and editor of a weekly newspaper, on Friday for an editorial criticizing them, his wife said.

Meanwhile, a Palestinian security source said Israeli troops thrust some 400 meters into the Palestinian-ruled town of Deir al-Balah in Gaza, where they took over a mosque.

The Israeli army said troops mistakenly entered a building while pursuing a gunman but left the premises as soon as they realized it was a mosque.

Comment on these article(s)

October 2001


Bio and Nuclear Threats Escalate As Purposeful Leaks Proliferate to Mass Media
(October 26, 2001)
The timing of newsstories like this in the major Western media should be suspect now more than ever. For more than ever in fact governments and intelligence agencies are using the mass media by leaking things at times of convenience and more importantly with their own twists and turns.

"Stop Israel!" Pleads Israeli Professor
(October 26, 2001)
One Israeli, not invited by the naive and misguided American Jewish "liberals" to the USA, speaks up from Israel with tremendous courage and conviction. Her name is Tanya Reinhart and she deserves to be taken very seriously -- though far too many don't even know about her.

"Palestinian Statehood" - Another Grotesque Deception Unfolds
(October 25, 2001)
The political smokescreens are lifting a bit as the pressures build to go beyond mere words, yet at the same time a purposeful distorting haze is taking over. Bottom line: the kind of "Palestinian State" Yasser Arafat has maneuvered his people toward and is being cornered into implementing is a grotesque distortion of their aspirations and of what use to be meant by the term "Palestinian State."

"A Pen Bought And Sold" - A Saudi Poem Revisited - MER FlashBack
(October 21, 2001)
Change comes in the Middle East, as elsewhere, in complex ways. There is the regular daily news of course; and in the region especially it is inextricably intertwined with an ever-more-sophisticated and propagandistic journalistic establishment.

(October 24, 2001)
Both of the Georges are oh so full of themselves cocky -- just the personality type so many American's truly love. One is (to the amazement of many who wonder how in the world the U.S. chooses such persons to lead it) the President of the United States.

Massacres and Devastation Escalate Further In Palestine
(October 24, 2001)
The Palestinians are essentially defenseless with their backs up against the wall, the firing wall. Their "leadership" has been so corrupted and infiltrated that the Arafat regime has hardly any credibility with its own, not to mention anyone else.

Torture Now Coming to USA?
(October 22, 2001)
Adopting the tactics (as well as the goals) of the Israelis, and the methods long taught by the CIA in Latin America as well as the Middle East, the brave new world post 11 September is changing the face of the American homeland in ways nearly all Americans would have seriously resisted just a few long weeks ago.

Millions Likely To Die in Afghanistan U.N. Warns
(October 21, 2001)
As for Afghanistan, the American CIA worked behind the scenes to bring on the Soviet invasion of 1979, then engaged the Soviet Empire in a way that brought about the near-total devastation of Afghanistan and a huge uncounted death toll.

It's "New Imperialism" says leading British MP
(October 21, 2001)
Much pressure is building at the United Nations to not open itself to still more charges of being complicitous in "genocide", not to mention to do something to stop being seen as "an extension of the American State Department" (the actual private words of a senior U.N. official).

"Comply! Resistance Is Futile!"
(October 20, 2001)
British MP (Member of Parliament) George Galloway calls it the "new imperialism" (his article coming later today). On the whole the Anglo-British press is working up quite a frenzy (with notable exceptions like The Guardian and The Independent in the UK, sometimes The Nation in the U.S.).

The "Arafat Era" Collapsing or About To Be Reborn?
(October 20, 2001)
Yasser Arafat is losing both his grip on power (extended to him by the Israelis and the Americans for the past decade since the Gulf War) and his credibility (with his own people) at the same time.

The Coming Arab Crash
(October 19, 2001)
The west's most important friends in the Arab Middle East - Fahd of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah of Jordan, Mubarak of Egypt and the PLO's Yasser Arafat - are probably the world's most vulnerable political quartet.

Saudi Amb Bandar Badly Fails, Saudi Royals in Paralysis, US Relations in Doubt
(October 19, 2001)
Prince Bandar bin Sultan's 20+ year strategy has now substantially failed. Years ago, very much behind-the-scenes of course, the very controversial and in some circles much despised Saudi Ambassador in Washington began a relationship with the some of the most conservative and militant circles in Washington, very much including those associated with the powerful Israeli/Jewish lobby.

Worse Than Worthless Wartime "Promises"
(October 18, 2001)
The list of broken and disingenuous "promises" made to the Arabs by Western political leaders is something befitting a "Saturday Night Live" parody skit -- if only they would dare!

"New Era" Says Sharon Reacting In Character to "Gandhi" Assassination
(October 17, 2001)
He had called the Palestinians "lice" and "vermin" and "cancer", and he had urged their "transfer" or "extermination". Just Monday he has tendered his resignation as Minister of Tourism, insisting that Ariel Sharon was being too moderate and too compromising.

(October 17, 2001)
As for the British, what's going on in both Palestine and Kashmir, the two most likely potential nuclear flashpoints in our world today, can be traced back directly to what the British did in these areas when they were the "Empire"

(October 17, 2001)
For some time now Palestinians have been warning that because of Israel's assassination of Palestinian leaders, "crossing the red line" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they would respond.

Red Cross Bombed in Kabul Before Presidential Red Cross Visit in Washington
(October 16, 2001)
You gotta love the chutzpa of the Americans. Today the President went a few blocks from the White House to the Headquarters of the American Red Cross -- a little photo op designed to further enlist "the children of America" in his recently announced effort to help the children of Afghanistan. But just as President Bush was getting ready to do his Red Cross pictures reports came in from Afghanistan that the major Red Cross center in Kabul, complete with large Red Cross emblem on its roof, was destroyed by American bombs.

Saudi/U.S. "Meltdown"? And Neutralizing Al Jazeera With A Firm Embrace
(October 16, 2001)
While American and British officials rush to make one TV appearance after another with continual reassurances everything is going "as planned", that's not quite the reality of the situation as this article in today's Guardian makes quite evident.

What Can We Do About Terrorism? by Lt. Col Robert M. Bowman (ret)
(October 15, 2001)
"Mr. President, you did not tell the American people the truth about why we are the targets of terrorism. You said that we are the target because we stand for democracy, freedom, and human rights in the world. Baloney! We are the target of terrorists because we stand for dictatorship, bondage, and human exploitation in the world."

Pentagon Far More Confused and Uncertain Than Americans Realize
(October 15, 2001)
The Bush administration is growing increasingly alarmed by the direction of the military campaign in Afghanistan after a week of almost continuous bombing has failed to dislodge either Osama bin Laden or the Taliban leadership.

Al-Qaeda Weekend Statement
(October 15, 2001)
This isn't really about "secret messages". Anyone with a $300 satellite dish can watch the statements in full, in Arabic, on al Jazeera; and the text is widely available on the Internet, in this case from London and the BBC!

Hundreds Dead in Nigeria
(October 14, 2001)
Hundreds of people have been killed in religious clashes after anti-U.S. protests turned violent, sources have told CNN. The demonstrations against the U.S.-led missile strikes on Afghanistan began peacefully on Friday but spiralled into a killing spree during Saturday, CNN's Lagos bureau chief Jeff Koinange said.

akistan's Benazir Opens Campaign in Washington as Pakistan Trembles Anarchy
(October 14, 2001)
Benazir Bhutto came to Washington this week to open her campaign for a third term as Prime Minister of the world's second largest, and only nuclear armed, Muslim State -- her first two terms she was overthrown, political and financial corruption was rampant, and her arranged husband remains in a Karachi prison.

Iraq Likely To Be Next "Phase"
(October 14, 2001)
A powerful coalition of "hawkish" government officials, lobbyists (especially those connected with the Israelis and the arms corporations), conservative press publications and columnists, many of the national Jewish organizations, as well as millions of Christian fundamentalists associated with Pat Robertson and his daily TV "700 Club" program, is mobilized to make sure that "America's new war" does not end with Afghanistan and al-Qaeda.

Saudi Royals Bugged, Embarrassed, Unstable
(October 13, 2001)
The following information is about to come out in THE NEW YORKER MAGAZINE on Monday and is being leaked in Washington this weekend to stir up interest and try to get publicity for the magazine and author on the Sunday talk shows tomorrow.

Attacks and Demonstrations Escalating in Arab and Muslim Countries
(October 13, 2001)
Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in various cities in the Middle East to protest the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan. Many more thronged to mosques for Friday prayers throughout the region and heard anti-American sermons.

Western Commando Forces Getting Ready
(October 13, 2001)
This article in The Telegraph today is a good outline of what now seems likely to be immediately ahead in Afghanistan, pushed forward by weather considerations as well as by current expectations that American-sponsored key governments in Pakistan, Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan, as well as the Arafat Regime, will all be able to weather the political storms with much expanded and mostly covert continual help from the western governments and intelligence services.

"War of the Worlds" by Mark Bruzonsky
(October 11, 2001)
In the case of America's new war, the full might of the USA is being mobilized not against the armies of other nation states, but against the fanatical descendants of a puritanical militant Islam whose calling has become relentless opposition to American hegemony and passionate assertion of their own quaintly medieval religious constructs.

Arafat Begs Israelis To Save Him
(October 10, 2001)
It's a most complicated political dance than ever at this historical crossroads. But bottom line Yasser Arafat and his regime have now, even more than before, thrown their future to the Israelis and the now omnipresent CIA...

Uri Avneri - Fronting for Arafat and for a Castrated "Palestinian State"
(October 10, 2001)
The Israeli writer and activist Uri Avneri is "on tour" in the USA on his way to Washington. It shouldn't come as a surprise that a few naive or on- the-take "peace groups" -- Jewish and otherwise -- have invited him to speak.

After Afghanistan, U.S. has Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine in its Sights
(October 10, 2001)
In this case there should be no one saying down the road that they didn't know what was being planned. The Americans have said publicly and in many different ways right from the start of this "new war" that it wasn't going to end with Osama bin Laden, with the Taliban government, or with Afghanistan.

The "Palestinian State" Charade
(October 9, 2001)
Most of the Arab regimes, including that of Yasser Arafat, have proved themselves so co-opted and so gullible over the years that you can't blame the Americans for continuing to try their little tricks and deceptions -- just look how well, at least from their point-of-view, such things have worked in the past..

Anthrax Terrorism Now Likely
(October 9, 2001)
Federal officials suspect foul play rather than an environmental source is at the root of two Florida anthrax cases that have left one man dead and hundreds of co-workers lining up for medical tests.

Biological Attack? Inept or Demonstration?
(October 9, 2001)
Is someone sending a message that they can do it, a kind of primative, and deadly, deterrence attempt to try to protect themselves? Might this be an "inept attack" as today's TIMES in London suggests in its headline? As the third case of Anthrax in Florida is reported this morning, something seems to be up as the following reports indicate.

Bush versus bin Laden - Syria Elected to Security Council
(October 8, 2001)
It's all quite amazing really, President George W. Bush versus Osama bin Laden. On the one hand you have the most powerful man in the world commanding the full might of not only the world's only superpower but a whole entourage of Western European allies, the new Russia, and to a considerable extent at least behind-the-scenes many Arab and Muslim "client regimes".

Arafat's Army Opens Fire On Its Own - More Anthrax in Florida?
(October 8, 2001)
The Palestinian leadership rushed to distance itself Monday from Osama bin Laden while its police forces opened fire on university students protesting the U.S.-led military strikes on Afghanistan.

FBI Knocked...He's Not Home But You Can Find Him at the White House
(October 8, 2001)
Now the world will become much more confusing and dangerous, and the opponents of the American Empire will obviously be forced even deeper underground -- both literally and figuratively -- becoming even more insular and isolated among themselves leading to who knows what kind of future blowback.

US Journalist Warns: "Do not try to change the government in Afghanistan!"
(October 7, 2001)
Late friday evening one of the leading American journalists who is an expert on the Middle East and Islamic affairs was asked a question on CNN to which she immediately briefly answered...and that was more was asked or answered.

"Our Friends are Killers, Crooks and Torturers"
(October 7, 2001)
Surely the British Prime Minister should know better than to try to simplify such a complex world we live in to that understandable by a third-grader. If not we have a little weekend reading Mr. Blair should be doing, starting in one of his own newspapers which we surely hope, especially now, he can find a few moments to read on a regular basis, The Independent.

History Corrected - U.S. Wanted Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan
(October 6, 2001)
The world believes that there was an invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union on 24 December 1979 and then, in response, the U.S. and Muslim countries rallied to help Afghanistan repel the invaders. Wrong...just as so much of the widely accepted history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the actual realities of U.S. involvements in the Middle East are wrong because of the manipulation of history by various governments and intelligence agencies -- most especially the U.S. and Israel, the CIA and the Mossad.

(October 6, 2001)
"Could it be that the stygian anger that led to the attacks has its taproot not in American freedom and democracy, but in the US government's record of commitment and support to exactly the opposite things - to military and economic terrorism, insurgency, military dictatorship, religious bigotry and unimaginable genocide (outside America)?"

(October 5, 2001)
The government in Afghanistan, popularly known as The Taliban, has finally taken what could be a significant step. Just hours ago through its official representative in Pakistan the Afghan government has publicly offered to turn Osama bin Laden over...not to the United States, but to another Islamic country.

(October 5, 2001)
"The women in the audience -- academics, union members, mental health workers and advocates for female inmates, embraced her anti-American rhetoric, repeatedly interrupting her with cheers and standing ovations."

(October 5, 2001)
Now we know that a few years ago, when President Bill Clinton was meeting privately one-on-one with the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, the U.S. "hired" the agents of the infamous Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) to assassinate Osama bin Laden.

(October 3, 2001)
The United States and Britain yesterday called off military strikes against terrorist targets in Afghanistan at the last minute. Washington officials say today that a severe attack of last-minute cold feet by some key Arab members of the coalition caused President Bush to postpone the operation.

(October 3, 2001)
Osama bin Laden, arch nemesis of America today, is blowback from recent history -- the Gulf war, the permanent stationing of American forces in Arabia, and other American policies in the region, including the deceptive "peace process" fronting for Israel's brutal subjugation of the Palestinians.

(October 3, 2001)
The American Secretary of Defense is rushing to the Middle East, goal #1 to try one more time to "convince" the Saudis that Prince Sultan Airbase and its super-modern regional control center -- just completed in fact during the summer at a cost of many billions -- is needed for the new war.

(October 2, 2001)
"Drafted with a small coterie of loyal aides, mainly civilian political appointees at the Pentagon, the plans argue for open-ended war without constraint either of time or geography and potentially engulfing the entire Middle East and central Asia... The plans put before the President during the past few days involve expanding the war beyond Afghanistan to include similar incursions by special ops forces - followed by air strikes by the bombers they would guide - into Iraq, Syria and the Beqaa Valley area of Lebanon, where the Syrian-backed Hizbollah (Party of God) fighters that harass Israel are based."

(October 2, 2001)
Anyone with an ear tuned to Washington's politicians, lobbyists, and opinion molders can hear it quite loudly and clearly at this point. After taking down Osama bin Laden's al Queda network (said to be in some 50+ countries), after changing the government in Afghanistan, the American-led crusade (now more politely known by Colin Powell's term "campaign") will attempt to march on through the Middle East, next stop Baghdad.

(October 2, 2001)
It took them who intially talked of "crusade" nearly three weeks to figure out that all the "coalition building" wasn't going nearly as well as they keep saying in public and that doing something about all the Israeli oppression and "terrorism" against the essentially imprisoned Palestinian population would be a good idea in the post 11 September world and before the bombs start falling on Muslims here and there.

(October 1, 2001)
The situation is now so tense in Israel in dealing with the "Palestinian Authority" -- which it should be remembered the Israelis themselves created just a few years ago -- that Shimon Peres is getting more and more desperate.

(October 1, 2001)
The Palestinian opposition is usually very weak and confused. Had that not been the case for some time now Yasser Arafat would never have been able to do the things he has done for so long now, especially since the Gulf War; nor would Arafat have have been able to retain power these past few traumatic years, however weakened himself at this point.

(October 1, 2001)
Yes, it will be very interesting to see if and how Noam Chomsky answers the at first blush surprising attacks from Christopher Hitchens, who has now not only endorsed the new war but also at least parts of the "New World Order" that underpins it.

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