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Saudi Amb Bandar Badly Fails, Saudi Royals in Paralysis, US Relations in Doubt

October 19, 2001

"This is a moral crusade. Oh, I suppose we're not supposed to use that word.. This is a moral campaign..." Sir David Frost - on CNN, 10/17

SAUDI AMBASSADOR' BANDAR'S STRATEGY FAILS

Abdullah Will Not Really Be King As Long As Bandar Is On His Washington Throne

"One sign of how things are really going in Arabia will be just how much longer Bandar bin Sultan remains on his own throne in the American capital. For if Bandar is left to work his own will in modern- day Rome then Abdullah will not truly be King."

MID-EAST REALITIES - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 10/19: 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. His goal was quite simple -- by ingratiating himself within these circles; by spreading around much money, influence and favors; Bandar felt he could assure that those who run the big corporations and own the major media, along with those who dominate on Capitol Hill, as well as those in the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government, could be counted on to support, and if necessary defend, the Saudi Royal family come what may.

It is Bandar who has personally acted as intermediary all these years as the U.S. has spent an estimated $300+ billion dollars to build up military infrastructure and stockpile vast quantities of military hardware in "the Kingdom". But all that was before Osama bin Laden and 11 September 2001, before the Royal elders of "the Kingdom" decided that the just completed U.S.regional military command center at Prince Sultan Airbase could not in fact be used as the Americans at first demanded. And from that disguised confrontation decision a counterflow of news leaks, pressures, and threats have started flowing -- including from many of those long courted and essentially paid by Bandar -- which is seriously undermining al-Saud/Wahabi control over Arabia in this new millenium.

Bandar is now the "dean" of the Washington Ambassador corp -- simply meaning he's been representing Saudi Arabia in Washington longer than any other country's ambassador here. Bandar has spent a great deal of money in the past two decades (multi-billions), hired a great many people, been a primary force in creating a network of influence-peddling centers, some of the "client organizations" we have spoken about that are creatures of the "client regimes" -- including the Arab American Institute (AAI - Zogby), ANA, American Muslim Council (ADC - Alamoudi), Washington Report, ADC and the list goes on.

As for "the Kingdom" Bandar so ostentatiously represents, for more than 50 years now Saudi Arabia has served as a kind of oil cow for the U.S.; and for the fast few decades a petrodollar recycling and arms buying megacenter as well. The real need for Saudi Arabia's Royal family has not been just oil supplies which are actually plentifully available in many places, but rather controlling OPEC on behalf of Western countries thus assuring plentiful amounts of very cheap Middle Eastern oil -- as well as a recycling of all those petrodollars into U.S. and Western banks and corporations. Even today one can purchase a gallon of oil that started life in the deserts of Arabia, was transported halfway around the world, then refined, then shipped, then pumped, for about the same price as a gallon of locally bottled water at the neighborhood grocery store -- this while so many in the Middle East region itself remain destitute and impoverished. The United States especially has floated its modern prosperous economy on very cheap very plentiful foreign oil, with the Saudis playing the central role in this whole historic arrangements.

But in the process, the al-Saud's have wasted and squandered so many mega-billions, leaving not only the Arab world fractured and impoverished but creating a generation of resentment within their own midst -- religious "radicals" on the right and western-educated "modernists" on the left, but having in common their awareness of how miserably the Royal family has handled their history and their future.

It is for a combination of all of these reasons that there is such great tension in "the Kingdom" today, especially as the expanding young population realizes how badly the corrupt and profligate Royal family has been, not to mention the whispered awareness of how much "the Kingdom" has mortgaged both its policies and even its land area to the American military and CIA. And of course the further awareness that the rather small and natural resourceless country of Israel continues to trample on the Palestinians and humble all of Arabdom and Islam tremendously exaccerbates this already volcanic situation.

And thus September 11, 2001, may well have marked a turning point not only for the United States but also for Saudi Arabia and its now high-profile embarrassing Washington Ambassador, Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

At the moment an internal political existential royal battle is underway back in "the Kingdom" centered around long-time Crown Prince Abdullah and long-time Defense Minister Sultan (Bandar's father). The former playboy, King Fahd, is largely disfunctional; a team of more than 20 foreign doctors doing all they can to simply keep him from expiring. Of course it is this intra-Royal situation which further contributes to all the uncertainty and paralysis in "the Kingdom" today, with everyone aware that unless something happens to Abdullah he will finally become King and be in a position to much more forcefully assert his will, if he dares.

One sign of how things are really going in Arabia will be just how much longer Bandar bin Sultan remains on his own throne in the American capital. For if Bandar is left to work his own will in modern-day Rome then Abdullah will not truly be King and maybe Sultan, with Bandar himself waiting in the wings, will still be somewhere in line, the Americans still hoping to more fully do their will with the Saudi Monarchy as they have done with what remains of the once mighty Hashemite Dynasty still lingering and still important in Amman.

SAUDI ROYAL FAMILY SHOWS SIGNS OF PARALYSIS

[MiddleEast NewsLine - Washington - 17 October]: The Saudi ruling family find themselves caught in a conflict of epic proportions between their traditional alliance with the United States and their multiple financial and cultural ties with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

Western diplomatic sources said members of the Saudi royal family have reduced their public appearances, particularly to Westerners. The sources said this includes such figures as Saudi King Fahd, Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz and Saudi Defense Minister Prince Sultan.

The royal family, the sources said, has not refused a U.S. request to participate in the war against terrorism. But they said Riyad has not taken any steps requested by the United States and agreed to by other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

This includes freezing assets of Saudi fugitive Osama Bin Laden.

"The Saudis have always been secretive," a Western diplomat said. "But now there isn't really anybody to talk to who can give a straight answer."

The sources said King Fahd has been incapacitated by ill health, which has led to dissension and uncertainty within the royal family. Abdullah has refused to agree to measures against Bin Laden.

"I don't have to please people [in] downtown Washington," Saudi ambassador to the United States Prince Bandar said. "But I must always take into account Saudi people."

U.S. officials said Bin Laden has received millions of dollars in aid from Saudi businessman connected to the royal family. Washington announced that is seizing the assets of Yasin Al Qadi, who heads the Saudi Arabia-based Muwafaq Foundation, which has funneled money to Bin Laden.

In addition, a leading Saudi cleric has refused to end his criticism of the U.S. attack on Afghanistan.

Western analysts said Riyad could remain in turmoil for some time to come. They urged Western allies of Saudi Arabia to closely monitor the kingdom.

"A great deal has been said since September 11 about the lack of human intelligence in the war against terror, and the West would be well served by the development of HUMINT in Saudi Arabia as well," Saudi expert Joshua Teitelbaum wrote in a report by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

HOW THE SAUDI ROYALS CREATED A JIHAD MONSTER

The Saudi royal family has been thrown into panic. It is facing the most serious threat to its rule since the 1990 Iraqi occupation of Kuwait. The difference is that the Iraqi threat was external. This time, the House of Saud faces an internal threat. What happened? In short, the Saudis have created a monster. It began in 1979 when the Shah of Iran was overthrown by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The Saudi kingdom was in panic. The kingdom had a large Shi'ite minority and the new Islamic regime in Iran was openly questioning the legitimacy of Saudi sovereignty over Mecca, the birthplace of the Muslim prophet Mohammed.

From that moment, the Saudis decided to play tit for tat. Riyad would export fanatic Sunni zealotry to combat Iran's Shi'ite militancy. The first test was in Afghanistan, invaded by the Soviets months after the Iranian revolution. Riyad helped recruit thousands of Saudis and other nationals to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan, Iran's neighbor.

From the start, the Taliban movement supported by Riyad was anti- Iranian. For the practical-minded Saudi leadership, the fight in Afghanistan was a muted warning to Iran to stay out of Saudi affairs. A key player in the Saudi effort was Osama Bin Laden.

The Saudis were ecstatic when the Taliban helped expel Soviet troops from Afghanistan. But by that time Bin Laden and thousands of Saudi and Egyptian nationals fighting in Afghanistan saw their mission as just beginning. Riyad was never the target. Instead, it would be Egypt, Algeria and Jordan - in other words secular Arab regimes.

Today, the Saudi leadership has been torn by what to do with Bin Laden. The problem is not that of one man: It is that of thousands of Saudis sponsored by their families and leading princes in the kingdom as part of the Wahabi commitment to Islamic zealotry. The feeling is that any move to limit, let alone stop, the Sunni Islamic drive would break up the kingdom - whether from within or without. Wahabi tradition is the only glue that keeps the desert Bedouin loyal to the billionaires princes.

The dispute has pitted Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz against Saudi Defense Minister Prince Sultan. Both are vying to be the next king of Saudi Arabia. Abdullah has staked out his claim as head of Saudi tradition. Sultan wants to pursue a modernist direction. The result could be chaos as militants in Saudi Arabia will use terrorism in an effort to decide the succession struggle.

'SAUDI CONNECTION' PUTS NEW STRAIN ON ALLIANCE

By Rupert Cornwell in Washington

[The Independent - 18 October 2001]: Investigators are concentrating on a "Saudi connection" to the 11 September terrorist attacks on America, suggesting that part of the conspiracy was hatched there - to the intense disquiet of Saudi Arabia's ruling monarchy.

Relations were already queasy between America and the world's largest oil exporter - which happens to be both Washington's most important ally in the Gulf and the birthplace of Osama bin Laden.

American investigators soon discovered that up to 12 of the 19 hijackers of the four aircraft used that day entered America with Saudi passports or with visas issued by US consulates in that country. Since then more than 700 people have been questioned or detained by the authorities in America in connection with the attacks -among them an unspecified number of Saudi citizens.

Neither the Saudi embassy nor the Justice Department will say how many of the suspects are Saudi: indeed, so little has been divulged, and so minor are some of the charges on which the detainees are being held that American civil rights groups are asking whether their constitutional rights have been violated.

According to lawyers, two members of Saudi Arabia's ruling family were detained for more than 20 days after being picked up at Denver airport. They were released last week, but will still have to answer for minor infringements of immigration laws.

The Saudi embassy has retained lawyers for all the suspects, The Wall Street Journal reported this week, after personal instructions to counsel from Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the veteran Saudi ambassador in Washington, that "each and every one of them is to be helped as if you have no other cases and nothing else to do". This vigorous stance may be an admirable example of a country helping its citizens who find themselves in difficulty on foreign soil. But it is bound to raise fears in America that, as with the investigation into the deadly 1996 attack on US barracks at Khobar, Saudi Arabia, the kingdom might prove less than fully co-operative with US investigators into a terrorist incident with which it is linked.

In the case of the 11 September attacks, pointers to such connections continue to grow.

American investigators believe that several of the hijackers were recruited by al-Qa'ida cells operating in Saudi Arabia itself. The inquiry is focusing on the town of Abha in the south west of the country, where four hijackers are believed to have originated. People from this region have also been linked with the attack on the USS Cole in Aden last October, in which 17American sailors died.

These allegations, and others that Saudi-based charities and companies have channelled finance to Mr bin Laden and his network, have placed the kingdom on the defensive, and increased resentment of America in Saudi Arabia -the very outcome that the Bush administration is seeking to avoid.

In a television interview last month, Prince Bin Sultan, who has been ambassador since 1983 and is very well connected to the White House, acknowledged that some people in Saudi Arabia supported Mr bin Laden, but said their numbers were few. "When you say 'so many' you have to put it relatively," he told his questioner. "Relative to what? Are there sixteen, twenty, one hundred?

"Bin Laden - what he represents, and people who preach like him or support him - yes, they don't like my government. Yes, they don't like my political system. But they don't like it for the wrong reasons, not for the right reasons you think of. They want us to go back 1,000 years. We want to move forward."

But these arguments have not stilled public criticism. A recent editorial in The New York Times declared that the "deeply cynical and cold-blooded bargain" at the heart of the Saudi-US relationship - Saudi oil in exchange for American military protection -was in urgent need of updating. "Decades of equivocation and Hobbesian calculations have left US-Saudi relations in an untenable and unreliable state," the paper said. "These deformities must be addressed before they do further damage to both nations."

MUSLIM ALLIES BREAK RANKS WITH U.S.

By Matthew Engel in Washington

[The Guardian - Tuesday October 16, 2001]: Relations between the US and two of its core allies in the war against terrorism, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, approached crisis point yesterday after the Saudi interior minister, Prince Naif, attacked the assault on Afghanistan while Pakistan pressed Washington to ensure that its bombing campaign would be short-lived.

In the latest and most public of a series of disagreements that have evidently taken the US by surprise in the five weeks since the September 11 attacks, Prince Naif told the official Saudi Press Agency that the kingdom wanted the US to flush out the terrorists without bombing. "This is killing innocent people. The situation does not please us at all."

Officially, the state department in Washington remains "very satisfied" with the Saudi approach to the crisis, but this masks increasing alarm not merely about the governmental response but about potential insurrection that could endanger theSaudi regime.

Prince Naif's comments add to the diplomatic pressure being felt by the US in its attempts to maintain support in the region for its policies.

The secretary of state, Colin Powell, who holds talks with General Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad today, took further steps yesterday to bolster Pakistan's support for the war, promising military-to-military contacts.

The sanctions imposed after Pakistan's nuclear test in 1998 still prevent the US selling the country any weaponry or equipment, but by moving towards direct military relations Mr Powell was clearly holding out the prospect of future rewards if the Musharraf regime continued to play ball.

But with strikes ordered across the country by Islamist groups in protest at Mr Powell's visit, Mr Musharraf is aware that his support for the US action can go only so far. "The prolongation of the campaign will be a source of concern to us," the Pakistani foreign ministry said last night.

Further underlining the tension that now racks the region, Indian troops broke a 10-month ceasefire with Pakistan last night when they fired shells into disputed territory in Kashmir, killing a woman and wounding 25.

A clearly worried President George Bush upbraided the two nuclear powers when he said: "I think it is very important that India and Pakistan stand down during our activities in Afghanistan and, for that matter, for ever."

In the most extreme language to emerge from Tehran since September 11, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, said that the US air strikes were "dragging the world into a war".

The warning was in stark contrast to a New York Times report today which revealed that Iran sent a secret message to the Bush administration on October 8 agreeing to rescue any US military personnel in distress in its territory.

At the top of Washington's in-tray of anxieties relating to its coalition partners, analysts now believe that Saudi Arabia - where few western journalists are allowed - may be turning into the gravest challenge.

"It's unbelievable how the feeling here has changed from sympathy to anger in such a short time," a Riyadh-based westerner quoted by Reuters said yesterday. Another resident compared the mood there to that of Iran before the overthrow of the Shah.

Since September 11, Riyadh has refused to allow attacks on Afghanistan from its bases; Prince Abdullah, the country's crown prince and day-to-day ruler, has avoided meeting President Bush; Muslim clerics within the once-monolithic country have issued fatwas against the Americans; and, beneath the bland assurances of amity, there has been growing US frustration about the extent of Saudi cooperation with this investigation too.

US feeling was expressed in a powerful editorial in Sunday's New York Times, which described Saudi behaviour as "malignant" and said the "deeply cynical" bargain between the countries, which for decades had offered American protection for the regime in return for an uninterrupted flow of oil, was now "untenable".

David Wurmser, director of Middle East studies at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, said yesterday: "The US's entire foreign policy structure in the region has been anchored in the strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia. If everything we're hearing is true, then we're facing a total meltdown.

"The whole war as currently conceived would have to be reconsidered, because Pakistan won't hold if Saudi support starts collapsing.

"You can't really separate Bin Laden from the Saudi establishment," Mr Wurmser said. "There are conflicting forces there, and part of the establishment has been working with the Bin Laden faction to embarrass the other half."

However, the state department spokesman, Philip Reeker, yesterday repeated the "very satisfied" mantra that his colleagues have been using for some time. He noted that Prince Naif had said the situation did not please the Saudis.

"I think that quite reflects the attitudes we've been expressing for five weeks now. This situation, clearly, doesn't please us. We would certainly rather be able to focus on other things in our foreign and defence policy."



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October 2001


Magazine






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.

WHY AMERICA MUST STOP THE WAR NOW
(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.

"PALESTINIAN STATE" a la WASHINGTON and LONDON
(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"

FAR RIGHT-WING ISRAELI MINISTER ASSASSINATED THIS MORNING
(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 that...no 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.

UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTHS FOR AMERICANS TO PONDER
(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)?"

MER EDITORIAL: POSSIBLE WAY OUT!
(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.

CANADIAN PROFESSOR TAKES ON THE U.S.A
(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."

THE CIA, ISI, PAKISTAN, AFGHANISTAN - A LITTLE HISTORY
(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.

NEWSFLASH: LAST MOMENT ARAB COLD FEET - RUMSFELD RUSHES TO THE REGION
(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.

WHERE DID THE TALIBAN COME FROM?
(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.

BOTH SAUDIS AND PAKISTANIS CONTINUE TO ACTUALLY SAY NO
(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.

U.S. PREPARES FOR CRUSADER WAR - "OPEN-ENDED WAR WITHOUT CONSTRAINT"
(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."

READYING THE CRUSADE - ARMIES, PRESS, PUBLIC
(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.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT SAYS POWELL - "PALESTINIAN STATE"
(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.

ARMY WANTS TO KILL ARAFAT SAYS PERES!
(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.

DAMASCAS GATHERING OF PALESTINIANS
(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.

CHOMSKY ANSWERS
(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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