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Arafat Again In Exile? Oh No!
MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - January 24, 2002:
MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 24 January 2002: OH NO! Just the thought of Arafat going back into exile, continuing to hold to all the power and money and imagery, and traveling the world again with his sensely slogans, babbling ways, near zero credibility, and terrible record of corruption and ineptitude, is enough to make long-time supporters of the Palestinian struggle for true self-determination and real independence cringe. Such a thought is so bad that it may well be what the ruthless Machiavellian Israelis now have in mind for him in order to still further torture and punish the Palestinian people so saddled for so long with Arafat's patheticaly miserable "leadership"!
Meanwhile, as the Israelis and Americans step up their propaganda machines to justify the even greater bloodletting ahead, a report is circulating today out of the blue that the "evil al Qaida" and moving into Gaza! Remember now, Gaza is essentially a huge prison sealed by the Israeli army with only a few entrances/exits and everywhere surrounded by electrified barbed wire fencing. To get it one either has to go through Israel, or Egypt and then Israel, or the heavily patrolled sea. No way folks. But this report does make sense as preparation for the Israeli justification, with American acquiescence, that they had "no choice" but to move more tanks and troops into Gaza to kill and capture "evil-doers", "the terrorists".
And then we also learn today what the New York politicians including Hilary Clinton are up to; pushed and proded of course by the Israeli/Jewish lobby which is especially powerful in New York, right after Washington. Gee...it was just a few years ago that TIME's "Man of the Year", former Mayor Rudolph Guiliani, heard that Arafat were in town attending a concert at Lincoln Center. Many have forgotten that the brave crusading major, sirens screaming his arrival, immediately rushed himself down to Lincoln Center and forced Arafat and friends to leave Lincoln Center and return to their hotel near U.N. headquarters.
The Americans are really full of themselves these days -- and it hardly started with 911. Down the road there are bound to be days of reckoning for all this craziness and arrogance.
AS HIS PAWNS FALL, ARAFAT FACES CHECKMATE
By Alan Philps in Jerusalem
[The Telegraph, London, 24/01/2002]: MONTHS of increasingly bloody conflict between Israel and the Palestinians have reached the endgame, with Israeli politicians openly discussing how to remove Yasser Arafat from the scene.
Even the doveish foreign minister, Shimon Peres, warned Mr Arafat yesterday that his survival was at stake. "If he doesn't stop the terror, the terror will stop him. That's why we ask Arafat to be a leader," he said yesterday.
Mr Arafat's office in Ramallah looks like a corner of a chess board in the final moves of a game. He is boxed into a few squares, with Israeli tanks inching ever closer.
Diplomats agree that the Palestinian leader is in the direst situation in a career of almost 40 years. He has lost all credibility with Washington and even the Europeans - who have kept his self-rule government afloat - are begging him to change course.
But there is little sign of any change in the offing. "He does not seem to realise how serious his predicament is," said a recent visitor to his office.
Mr Arafat, 74, always interrupts visitors when they tell him he risks losing everything, saying that being besieged by Israeli forces in Beirut in 1982 was worse, and fighting the Jordanian army in 1970 was worse than that.
The Palestinian leader's standing in Washington plummeted after the Israeli navy intercepted a cargo ship full of Iranian arms, apparently destined for the Palestinian territories. Failing any credible explanation for the arms from Mr Arafat, the Israelis have persuaded Washington that he has allowed his subordinates to forge an alliance with Iran. The Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, has his hands free to do what he will. He can send tanks into Palestinian towns, destroy their homes and wipe out wanted suspects without barely a murmur of protest from abroad. Hawks in Israel believe the time has come to finish the long game of chess with Mr Arafat.
"We have no other choice than to put an end to the regime of Yasser Arafat," said Danny Naveh, a Right-wing minister without portfolio.
But there is no chance of Mr Arafat acceding to the wishes of the international community to round up Palestinian militants responsible for attacks on Israeli targets. These men are regarded as heroes by most Palestinians.
They see no reason why Mr Arafat should be Israel's policeman while the Israeli army roams freely through the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Mr Arafat's weakness was amply demonstrated on Tuesday when a crowd stormed the prison in Nablus to demand the release of detained militants, after the Israeli army shot dead four wanted members of Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement.
The Israelis have two choices - to leave Mr Arafat confined to Ramallah or to force him into exile in an Arab capital. The third choice - to assassinate him - could be done, but is not thought to be on the agenda.
The government has not yet taken a decision to send him into exile, but the next major suicide bombing in Israel could force its hand.
To have Mr Arafat back in exile would paradoxically please many Palestinians. While they still see him as the symbol of their struggle, they recognise that his seven-year rule has been incompetent and corrupt, and his conduct of the 16-month uprising disastrous. Mr Arafat might also be pleased: he would be free to travel the world as figurehead of Palestine, while spared the responsibility of ruling three million of his countrymen.
The European Commission said yesterday that Israel had caused £9.5 million worth of damage to Palestinian projects funded by European taxpayers in the past year.
AL QAIDA MOVING TO GAZA?
ANKARA [World Tribune, 24 January] - Western diplomatic sources said Al Qaida insurgents have infiltrated the West Bank and Gaza Strip in an effort to determine whether the movement should make the Palestinian areas into their new home. The sources said Al Qaida appears to prefer the Gaza Strip over more distant locations such as Somalia.
Israeli military sources said Al Qaida agents have been steadily flowing into PA areas. The sources said they have formed close links with senior PA officials, including Mohammed Dahlan, the head of the Preventive Security Apparatus in the Gaza Strip.
Saudi fugitive Osama Bin Laden is said to be considering the Palestinian Authority as the new base for his Al Qaida movement, said a senior official here. "The organization [Al Qaida] has not yet been completely defeated," the official told the Ankara-based Turkish Daily News on Wednesday. "It will continue to cause more headaches for the international community."
The official, regarded as an expert on Afghanistan, said the Palestinian Authority could be the next address of Al Qaida, Middle East Newsline reported. The official said the movement would then join the Palestinian war against Israel.
Such a war, the diplomatic sources said would escalate as Al Qaida insurgents introduce nonconventional weapons. The sources said Al Qaida agents might have already transferred weapons of mass destruction technology to such Islamic insurgency groups as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
U.S. officials said the Al Qaida infrastructure in Afghanistan has been shattered and many insurgents are regrouping in Iran and Pakistan. But the officials said some leaders of the group are believed to have escaped South Asia by sea.
New York moves to ban Palestinian Authority
By Melissa Radler
[Jerusalem Post Online - January, 24 2002]: Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat was declared persona non grata in New York today by state, local, and federal officials.
They called for designating the PA a terrorist organization and ending its presence in New York.
Gathered on the steps of City Hall, not far from where the World Trade Center once stood, officials from New York's city council and state assembly and the US House of Representatives announced plans to introduce resolutions that, if passed, will call for the close of the PA's office to the United Nations and declare both the PA and the PLO terrorist entities.
Meanwhile, in Washington, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) today introduced the "Peace With Security Act" that calls for an end to US aide to the PA.
"The US is committed to routing out terrorism wherever it exists. That commitment should be reflected by a refusal to send any more American taxpayer dollars to Mr. Arafat and his terrorist groups," said Cantor, chairman of the House Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare.
U.S. SUPPORTS ISRAEL'S CONFINEMENT OF ARAFAT
By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer
[WASHINGTON - Associated Press - January 24, 2002]: Saying the Palestinian leader must "demonstrate the leadership to combat terrorism," the White House gave its endorsement Thursday to Israel's confinement of Yasser Arafat to a West Bank compound.
"The president understands the reason that Israel has taken the action that it takes, and it is up to Chairman Arafat to demonstrate the leadership to combat terrorism." spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters at an informal morning briefing. "It is a threat not only to Israel, but to Chairman Arafat," he said. He has been under virtual house arrest for nearly two months. This deprives him of barnstorming the Middle East and Europe in search of support for the Palestinians.
From his office window in Ramallah, Arafat can peer out at Israeli soldiers who are posted just down the street. "The president continues to believe that it is incumbent on Chairman Arafat to do more, take more steps, and show with action that he is committed to eliminating terrorism and combatting it wherever it exists," Fleischer said.
With the Islamic militant group Hamas threatening to unleash "all-out war," Secretary of State Colin Powell telephoned Arafat Wednesday to urge him to curb attacks on Israel.
The fighting has sidetracked mediation efforts by Anthony Zinni, a retired Marine general who has made two unsuccessful attempts to restore a cease-fire and had been expected to try again. Zinni remains on hold in Washington, and State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said there is no change in his situation.
"We haven't seen the sustained and full action that we believe is necessary," Boucher said of Arafat. "We continue to believe he can do more to stop the violence."
Fleischer, meanwhile, affirmed on Wednesday that the United States would remain deeply involved in the Middle East. "The events in the Middle East are unique. They are not like any events anywhere else in the world," he said.
Fleischer said Zinni's mission was derailed when the Palestinians tried to smuggle in weapons, a plot Israeli commandos aborted by seizing the ship in the Red Sea. This, he said, "has immensely complicated the prospects for getting a return to the peace in the Middle East."
PALESTINIAN MILITANTS THREATEN WAR
By Mark Lavie
JERUSALEM (AP - 24 January) - Islamic militants threatened ``all-out war'' Wednesday to avenge the killing of a Hamas commander in the West Bank, and Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority said it can no longer be expected to enforce a truce with Israel.
With tensions and violence rising, the U.S. ambassador to Israel called on Israelis and Palestinians to urge their governments to work for peace.
Palestinian militants and mainstream activists marched together in a funeral procession in Nablus, burying the dead from Israel's raid on a bomb factory a day earlier. Four Hamas activists were killed, including West Bank militant leader Yousef Soragji, 42, mastermind of several suicide bombings.
The Israeli army commander in the West Bank said it was the biggest bomb factory ever uncovered, and the military displayed the range of explosives and timing devices found in the Nablus apartment.
More than 15,000 people marched in the funeral, led by activists from Hamas and the Al Aqsa Brigades, a militia linked toArafat's Fatah movement.
Hamas pledged an ``all-out war'' against Israel in retaliation, and Palestinian Cabinet secretary Ahmed Abdel Rahman said the Palestinian Authority could not enforce a cease-fire under the circumstances.
``The Israeli guns are being pointed to our heads,'' he told The Associated Press. ``We are not able to implement any of ourcommitments.''
On Tuesday, a Palestinian linked to Arafat's Fatah movement opened fire in downtown Jerusalem, killing two women andwounding 14 other people. Abdel Rahman said the Palestinian Authority opposes attacks on civilians, but charged that Israelwas responsible for the deterioration.
A lull of several weeks in the 16 months of violence ended after last week's killing - widely attributed to Israel - of militia leader Raed Karmi in the West Bank town of Tulkarem. Palestinians have carried out a string of retaliatory attacks against Israeli civilians, bringing on more countermeasures.
On Wednesday, Israeli tanks remained parked about 70 yards from Arafat's West Bank headquarters in the town of Ramallah, the most visible of the measures Israel has taken.
Also Wednesday, Israeli bulldozers demolished two Palestinian houses on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Israeli officials said theywere built without permits.
In a public appeal, U.S. Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer called on Israelis and Palestinians to press their governments to work for peace. ``They need to hear from you that you want peace, that you want reconciliation, that you want reasonable compromise,'' Kurtzer said at Givat Haviva, an Israeli institution that sponsors Jewish-Arab programs.
Kurtzer recalled that his generation stormed American university offices to force change. ``I don't recommend that,'' he said,but added that Israelis and Palestinians should take actions that ``will be persuasive to the two governments involved that thepeople have had enough and they want to move forward.''
The resumption of violence appears to have caused the cancellation of a third trip to the region by U.S. envoy Anthony Zinni,who had been expected last week.
In a phone call Wednesday, Arafat asked Secretary of State Colin Powell to send Zinni back to the region. However, StateDepartment spokesman Richard Boucher said there are no such plans. Palestinian officials said it was the first such phone call in 15 days.
In Paris, another effort to restore calm got under way as Israeli Parliament Speaker Avraham Burg met with his Palestiniancounterpart Ahmed Qureia and pledged to travel to Ramallah to address the legislature there at an undetermined date.
Addressing the French parliament, the two raised their clasped hands and earned a standing ovation.
Burg, who is from the moderate Labor Party, charged that Sharon's aim is the ``destruction of the Palestinian Authority andreoccupation of the cities of the West Bank,'' which were handed to the Palestinian Authority in the 1990s.
Sharon has cut off political contacts with Palestinian officials because of the violence, and his government several weeks agotorpedoed an initiative in which Israeli President Moshe Katsav would have addressed the Palestinian legislature.
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Standing Ovation at U Chicago for MER Publisher Mark Bruzonsky Keynote Address. Full text at http://www.MiddleEast.Org/uchicago.htm
(January 31, 2002)
Standing Ovation at University of Chicago for MER Publisher Mark Bruzonsky Keynote Address. Full text at http://www.MiddleEast.Org/uchicago.htm
University of Chicago Speech by MER Publisher Mark Bruzonsky
(January 31, 2002)
Arab Client Regimes Shaking
(January 30, 2002)
The first thing they do is cover your eyes. They make you strip to make sure you're not carrying anything. They replace your clothes with uniforms that are not clothes at all. They chain you by hand and foot. They drag you away and leave you on your own. They interrogate you. They say you are going to die if you won't talk. They feed you - you're not much good to them if you starve to death.
Torture and the Smile of Policeman Agadi
(January 30, 2002)
A few years ago Dr. Eyad Sarraj startled many when he published an article explaining "Why We Are All Suicide Bombers Now". Dr. Sarraj, Ph.D. from Harvard in psychology and a very cultured and secular individual, is Palestinian and lives in Gaza.
Black Voices For Peace - The Good and the Bad
(January 29, 2002)
Black Voices for Peace in Washington put on a good show last Monday, Martin Luther King's Birthday.
For Blacks it was a well put-together and nicely produced program that went on for some 5 hours in a local downtown heart-of-D.C. church.
Arabs Threaten to Threaten; Israelis Act
(January 28, 2002)
The confused, bewildered, impotent, and divided Arab "leaders" -- mostly of course of the "client regimes" -- will be meeting in Beirut in March desperately trying even harder than usual to mask all of these realities.
Pakistan on Brink of Backlash, Chaos, War
(January 28, 2002)
India is likely to strike sooner or later, doing so on behalf of and in coordination with both Israel and the U.S. regardless of what those parties say in public. Whether India will wait for General Musharraf to loose control -- at that could come at any time -- is uncertain to everyone, probably including those in charge in New Delhi.
One War Criminal To Another
(January 27, 2002)
Fearing the possible public explosure of secrets known to very few, it appears one war criminal decided to do in another this week in Lebanon. The cycle of violence begetting violence, revenge leading to still more revenge, has not been broken in the Midldle East.
Zinni Embraces "Daddy Bear" Sharon Condemns "Mafia Godfather" Arafat
(January 27, 2002)
Americans and Israelis are essentially frolicking in bed together, all the more so in the aftermath of 11 September, all the while whispering under the covers about how they have truly screwed everyone else, most especially the gullible, weak, and confused Arabs from Arafat to Mubarak to Abdullah, et. al.
More Bloodshed Now; Possible Armagedon In The Future
(January 27, 2002)
At the moment Israel is Goliath in the Middle East; and American is Hercules in the world. But it will not always be this way; and the seeds of potential cataclysm, indeed of Armagadon, are in fact now growing like weed
U.S. Warns, Squeezes Arafat, Saudis
(January 26, 2002)
By threatening to desert the Arafat Regime the Americans are sending a much larger message to the rulers in the Middle East and especially at this moment to the Saudi Regime. The message: If you dare defy us, if you don't do what you are there to do, if you think you can get along without us support you; well think again.
Arafat Deserted; Region Boiling
(January 25, 2002)
The Arab "leaders" having deserted Yasser Arafat, as well as the Palestinian people. The terrible weakness and divisions of what is known as "the Arab world" are more visible than ever now.
Arafat Again In Exile? Oh No!
(January 24, 2002)
OH NO! Just the thought of Arafat going back into exile, continuing to hold to all the power and money and imagery, and traveling the world again with his sensely slogans, babbling ways, near zero credibility, and terrible record of corruption and ineptitude, is enough to make long-time supporters of the Palestinian struggle for true self-determination and real independence cringe.
Washington Gives Israelis the Wink and the Nod - Plus of course the Means
(January 24, 2002)
While the U.S. and Israeli military, and the CIA and Mossad, forge ever closer ties in the new crusade to remake the entire Middle East in the opening years of the 21st century, just as the Brits and the French did in the opening years of the last century, the Israelis also continue their assassination campaign not only of Palestinians but also of former friends and allies.
PERES, NOT PEACE-MAKER BUT CRIMINAL - Former Aide Charges
(January 23, 2002)
"Your silence and inaction can no longer be justified by
any excuse: Shimon, you are a partner in crime...
You have imprisoned an entire people for over a year
with a degree of cruelty unprecedented in the history
of the Israeli occupation. Your government is
trampling three million people..."
CONGRATULATIONS, AMERICA YOU HAVE MADE BIN LADEN A HAPPY MAN
(January 23, 2002)
"'We are turning ourselves into the kind of deceitful,
ruthless people whom bin Laden imagines us to be"
"Minus the torture, the United States is now doing what
most Arab regimes have been doing for decades:
arresting their brutal "Islamist" enemies, holding them
incommunicado, chained and hooded, while preparing unfair trials."
British Support for Israel and Sharon
(January 23, 2002)
Take the Middle East. When Blair welcomed Yasser Arafat to Downing Street following 11 September, it was widely reported that Britain was backing justice for the Palestinians. Editorialists drew a favourable comparison with the bellicose Bush administration.
SAUDI DENOUNCES U.S. AGENDA BEHIND BOMBING CAMPAIGN
(January 22, 2002)
From down under these two articles from the Sydney Morning Herald today, a newspaper with unusually thoughtful converage of world affairs. In Saudi Arabia there is a trembling now and a rush to try to distance themselves form the Americans one way or another.
Thousands of Al Qaeda and Pakistanis may have "escaped" Afghanistan; Bin Laden possibly among them
(January 21, 2002)
Kashmir remains the flashpoint. "The situation is bloody explosive," a senior Pakistani
diplomat says, suggesting that Musharraf has not been given enough credit by the Indian
government for the "sweeping changes" he's brought to Pakistan.
Thousands demand Arafat's release
(January 20, 2002)
Thousands of Palestinians marched through the Gaza Strip on Sunday protesting at the Israeli blockade of Yasser Arafat's headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah. The Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, has said Mr Arafat is now effectively a prisoner of Israel.
THE RIGHT OF RETURN IS ALIVE AND WELL - ?
(January 20, 2002571570)
What Israel (with continuing U.S. and European help) has done to the Palestinian People "is the largest, most carefully planned and longest ethnic cleansing operation in modern history. The population of 530 towns and villages have been expelled in 1948, removing 85 per cent of the Palestinians in the land that became Israel. Those who did not suffer this fate in the remaining part of Palestine are now in the grip of the most brutal, longest and only occupation in the world."
America grabs for more power and domination, risks future revolution and explosion
(January 16, 2002)
Just as it did in the Middle East in years past, the U.S. is now positioning regimes and its military and economic tentacles to take in the riches of central Asia. That's really what these struggles are really all about in the end, power and wealth. The daily headlines and the various slogans and clashes actually serve to mask and obscure this far deeper and far more important reality.
Hezbollah and Lebanon Next U.S./Israeli Targets
(January 15, 2002566)
The Americans, and Israelis, are out of control now. The rather laughable "Arab League" is in fact scheduled to meet in Beirut in March. They may find themselves facing the wrath and revenge of the Americans who are determined to make the world safe for themselves and the Israelis, and unsafe for all who dare oppose the Empire.
Christian Americans Want Crusade - Was/Is Osama Right?
(January 13, 2002)
George W. Bush let it out of the bag less than a week after 911 when he publicly discussed the new "crusade" upon which American was now engaged. They shut him up quickly...in public anyway. And as for all that American help to the Afghani people... The reality is millions are on the verge of starvation and the country can be lickened to a "slaughterhouse". Someone should ask the Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians, Iraqis...etc. about American humanitarian assistance.
Arab nations leaving Palestinians to face Israel alone
(January 12, 2002)
"The Arab world is unlikely to remain backward and divided forever," says one of the quoted commentators. True enough. But while it does, and while it is saddled with the inept and corrupt "client regimes" who prey on their own people and miserably squander the resources, the culture, and the history, of this once vital region, the whole Middle East is a seething cauldron of still growing hatreds and grievances whose eruptions in the 21st century now well begun are likely to be far greater than all those of the bloody 20th century now past.
Toward a World at War - Syria Fears, Indians Prepare
(January 10, 2002)
While the Syrians, Iraqis and others prepare for the coming American strikes; and while the Indians and Pakistanis prepare for a possible cataclysmic clash; the Israelis are preparing to further manipulate American policies and also preparing to strike out on their own against all who oppose their brutal military subjugation of the Palestinians -- probably to do so when other even bigger fires elsewhere have much of the world's attention.
US Military Heads For Pakistan, Reorganizes to Remain in Region, Prepare the Way for Global American Companies
(January 9, 2002)
The U.S. military is preparing to go much more publicly into Pakistan, and to establish a long-term presence in the region. The American corporations and banks will soon follow. For in the end its really all about great wealth and power on a global scale.
Attack Syria Next Insists Former NATO Commander and White House Chief of Staff
(January 8, 2002)
Target Syria even before Iraq says former NATO Commander and White House Chief of Staff Alexander Haig. American is on the loose, on the rampage, more and more dangerous all the time it seems.
Saudi royal family 'in complete panic' during recent riots
(January 6, 2002)
SUBJUGATING BOTH KASHMIR and PALESTINE
(January 5, 2002)
Both Kashmir and Palestine are bleeding badly. And in the new world of Pax America and the "War on Terrorism" the Israelis are intent on keeping the Palestinians essentially imprisoned on Bantustans while the Indians see this as their moment to undermine the liberation struggle in Kashmir.
The New "New World Order" - Israel and India Gleefully Follow America's Lead
(January 4, 2002)
Both India and Israel are now seizing the moment to enforce their own regional dictate, a la the Americans. Everything is
reduced to "they are terrorists". The "you are either with us or against us" mantra has been gleefully seized upon by those who
rule in Delhi and Jerusalem. The courageous fighters in Kashmir, along with those in Palestine, are ever so simplistically and
erroneous reduced to mini-caricatures of Osama bin Laden. Decades of U.N. resolutions demanding Israeli and Indian
recognition of basic Palestinian and Kashmiri rights are cast to the wind. Any semblance of historical awareness -- not to
mention real justice, freedom, and democracy -- is not only forgotten but even those who raise the issues and remind the world
of the complex historical context, not to mention those who try to help with tangible and financial assistance, now run the risk of
being branded "supporters of terrorism"
CIA, Israel, and Arafat force Palestinian newspaper to close
(January 3, 2002544)
"If you're not with us, you're against us." The CIA, the Mossad, the Shinbet, and the military -- these are the groups now in charge. And that of course is what happens when a regime like that of Yasser Arafat's puts its fate, and indeed its very survival, in the hands of the intelligence agencies and under the table financial and political deals that would never be possible if they were known.
Both India and Kashmiri Fighters Issue New Threats
(January 2, 2002)
Threat and Counter-threat in the Sub-continent while Pakistan is essentially an occupied country at this point. General President Musharraff has allowed U.S. forces into the country, the CIA is building up its presence, and tensions throughout Pakistan are growing. There are rumored "contingency" plans to either destroy or grab Pakistan's nuclear weapons should Musharraf's tenuous grip on power in coordination with the U.S. fail.
Israel and U.S. Get Ready To Finally Topple Iraqi Regime
(January 2, 2002540)
It's the CIA, Mossad, and the military that are in charge now; preparing to enforce a Pax Americana Israelica throughout the Middle East region.
The Terribly Bloody Year In Kashmir
(January 2, 2002)
The Kashmir crisis is at the heart of the clash which may or may not yet erupt into nuclear confrontation on the sub-continent. For additional information about the Kashmir crisis use the new search capabilities and check the MER archives.