MER FLASHBACK to 25 June 2001: Months before what is now
as "9/11" MER published these articles indicating that a major
strike by Osama
Bin-Laden against the U.S. was imminent and that the
Israelis were more
determined than ever to subjugate the Palestinians.
We wrote at the time: "In
these conditions any spark can ignite the
blaze; and sometimes such giant fires consume more than was originally
anticipated, sometimes even those who start them."

_______ ____ ______
/ |/ / /___/ / /_ // M I D - E A S T R E A L I T I E S
/ /|_/ / /_/_ / /\\ Making Sense of the Middle East
/_/ /_/ /___/ /_/ \\© http://www.MiddleEast.Org

News, Information, & Analysis That Governments, Interest Groups,
and the Corporate Media Don't Want You To Know!


MID-EAST REALITIES © - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 6/25/2001: Whether those associated with Osama Bin-Laden are capable or not, they've already accomplished a significant part of their goal by forcing their own issues to the top of the international agenda and by sending the Americans out to sea to protect themselves. Creating apprehension and fear is precisely what "terrorism" is all about. Forcing Americans to change their plans and expend great effort, including the mighty American military, is precisely what those who oppose "the great Satan" are trying to accomplish. Closing off Pennsylvania Avenue, barricading the State Department, and turning the city of Washington into more of an armed fortress than ever in its history is indeed a partial and significant victory, whatever the future now holds.
While these Muslim-connected groups are warning worldwide, the heart of their grievance the camaflouged occupation of Arabia by the U.S.; the Israelis appear to be succeeding to further provoke the associated Palestinian groups, including Hamas, in order to provide the excuse they clearly desire to even more brutally force the occupied Palestinian population back into more total submission.
In these conditions any spark can ignite the blaze; and sometimes such giant fires consume more than was originally anticipated, sometimes even those who start them.


GAZA, June 24 (UPI) -- Hundreds of Islamic resistance movement Hamas
supporters and mourners Sunday urged their movement's militants to carry out
more revenge attacks against Israel.

They chanted "revenge ... revenge" while they carried the remains of
Ismail Ma'sawabi, the suicide bomber who blew himself up on Friday, killing
himself and two Israeli soldiers in northern Gaza Strip.

Masked young men wearing white shrouds wearing symbolic explosive belts
led the mourners and carried the bomber's coffin wrapped with a Palestinian

One of the masked men, a member of a Hamas armed wing, said Hamas would
never stop its attacks against Israel, adding that dozens of suicide bombers
are ready to carry out attacks.

He said that Hamas rejects the US-brokered truce that was reached on June
13, adding that Hamas also rejects the security meetings between Israeli and
Palestinian security officials to implement the cease-fire.

A high-ranking Palestinian security official who asked not to be
identified said the Palestinian authority security forces have arrested
several armed members of different military groups including Hamas and
Islamic Jihad -- a key condition for peace set by Israel.

The official said that the Palestinian security forces also confiscated
weapons including mortars and shells, and carried out measures on the ground
to prevent attacks on Israeli soldiers and settlers in the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian authority accused Israel for violating CIA
director George Tenet's cease-fire deal after a Fatah militant was killed in
an explosion into a public telephone box in the West Bank town of Nablus.

"Returning to the policy of assassinations shows that Israel insists to
continue its escalation and military plan to destroy the Palestinian
authority," said Ahmed Abdel Rahman, chief of PA cabinet.

By Michael Theodoulou in Nicosia and Michael Evans

[The Times of London, 25 June}: OSAMA BIN LADEN, the world’s most-wanted terrorist, is planning a big attack on American and Israeli targets within the next two weeks, a London-based Arab satellite television station has claimed.

American armed forces have been on full alert for three days after receiving intelligence reports about potential terrorist action linked to the exiled Saudi dissident, who has lived in Afghanistan since 1996.

Warships in Bahrain, headquarters of the US 5th Fleet, were ordered to sea on Friday and three American amphibious vessels left the Red Sea port of Aqaba on Saturday, cutting short a military exercise in Jordan.

The evidence of a terrorist campaign came from an Islamabad-based correspondent for the Middle East Broadcasting Centre (MBC). Bakri Attrani, the MBC correspondent, said that he had been taken by car across the Pakistan border into Afghanistan, where he met bin Laden.

The terrorist leader, whom the Americans suspect of masterminding the bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, which killed 224 people, did not make any direct statement to Mr Attrani, but the correspondent reported that bin Laden’s supporters had said that in the next two weeks “a severe blow is expected against USA and Israeli interests worldwide”.

A spokesman for MBC in London said the correspondent had reported that bin Laden seemed pleased when his supporters gave the warning.
MBC, which is owned by Waleed al-Ibrahim, whose sister is married to King Fahd of Saudia Arabia, said that bin Laden did not speak himself because of the restrictions imposed on him by Afghanistan’s Taleban rulers.

Mr Attrani said: “There is a major state of mobilisation among the Osama bin Laden forces. It seems that there is a race for who will strike first. Will it be the United States or Osama bin Laden?” However, the Taleban authorities rejected the reports of a terrorist attack. They said that bin Laden’s activities were under control. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said that it was not possible for him to organise action against another country.

Mr Attrani met bin Laden in the desert. He travelled for three hours in a car with blackened windows so that he could not see where he was going.
Among bin Laden’s supporters present were Abu Hatas al-Masri and Ayman al-Zawahiri, leaders of Egypt’s outlawed Jihad group, who have joined forces with the Saudi dissident.

Mr Attrani said that he and his crew were searched before being allowed to see bin Laden. During the meeting, bin Laden’s supporters did not give any details about the planned attacks. The reports received by American Intelligence also referred to a “non-specific but credible threat”.

Last month an American jury convicted four followers of bin Laden of plotting to bomb the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Twelve Americans were among those who were killed in the attacks.

Last week another US court indicted 14 suspects — 13 Saudis and a Lebanese — for the terrorist bombing in 1996 of a US barracks in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 US servicemen.

A videotape emerged last week, which showed bin Laden telling his supporters: “It’s time to penetrate America and Israel and hit them where it hurts most.”

The Taleban authorities claimed that it was a fake. END


_______ ____ ______
/ |/ / /___/ / /_ // M I D - E A S T R E A L I T I E S
/ /|_/ / /_/_ / /\\ Making Sense of the Middle East
/_/ /_/ /___/ /_/ \\© http://www.MiddleEast.Org

News, Information, & Analysis That Governments, Interest Groups,
and the Corporate Media Don't Want You To Know!

Washington Scene:


Fear, Desperation, Preparations..But No Longer Much Hope

MID-EAST REALITIES © - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 6/27/2001: The Middle East region totters now between further repression and oppression, terrorism and war. The outcome in the short term is indeterminate of course. But the winds and directions are clear; however much camaflouged by the politicians and the usually gullible mass media.

The Israelis are more determined than ever to either subjugate or co-opt the Palestinians. They pursue these means of course through brutal repression and military occupation; means that co-optation could further mask and disguise (the real goal) but not really change. They desperately tried the later after the Gulf War and in order to end the first Intifada; but couldn't bring about the result they wanted at Camp David last year; just as many experts had predicted. No matter how much they twisted and bribed the Arafat Regime, it simply lacked the credibility and strength to do what it was ordered to do no matter how internally co-opted and corrupt it has always been.

The Arab regimes, especially the Hashemites and the al-Sauds, more desperately than ever are battling to survive. The Americans -- and to a much lesser extent the Europeans -- are their patrons and protectors; and of course they must pay a considerable price for such. So too the Egyptians; but Egypt is not a royal family it is a clique of personalities centered around a strong Army now coupled with a small business elite that personally benefits from the American connection.

As for the Palestinians, their predicament is grave. While the people more desperately than ever want an end to their bondage, some semblance of justice, and of course real independence; they know that their situation is not one in which they can expect any of these results any time soon. The regime that oppresses them has in fact sold and squandered away many of their rights as well as much of their territory, actually helping create today's apartheid-like predicament. The Palestinian people are today essentially doubly occupied -- their "autonomous population centers" and Gaza practically prisons with the Palestinian "Authority" the first layer of control; the Israeli Army the outer surrounding layer (with the Shinbet and CIA connecting the two)..

As for the Arafat Authority, like the other "clients regimes" of the region it too is primarily interested in its own survival and huge payments. It too is a small, corrupt, self-centered clique whose key members have personally benefited greatly with the money suitcases of PLO days and the V.I.P. rewards that flowed from signing Oslo. The Israelis, as well as the Americans, as well as the above mentioned Arab regimes, have all conspired since the Gulf War and Intifada I to create some kind of self-perpetuating "Palestinian regime" to mirror how the rest of the surrounding Arab populations are held in check.

Secretary of State, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Colin Powell leaves today for the the region, well-briefed yesterday by Prime Minister, former head of the Army, General Ariel Sharon. The region is arming at an escalating pace -- good of course for the American war industries who are by far the largest suppliers of arms to the area -- and preparations for conflict are escalating; even as the politicians play the hypnotizing "peace process" and "even-handedness" tunes that amazingly are still listened to by many.

Powell is not really going to see the Palestinians -- that's just the public facade. His real business is in Cairo, Amman, and Riyadh.

There he will instruct the client regimes how the game is going to be played, what the Israelis are likely to do to the Palestinians as soon as Sharon gets the excuse he so desperately is maneuvering for. Powell will "explain" how the regimes are going to have to play ball by the American rules behind-the-scenes, no matter what might be said in public or what gestures might be made to assuage public opinion. And Powell will "explain" that this is really their only sound choice in the future now ahead as otherwise they too may become victims of the fire that is yet to come.

Oh yes, by way of ps, a few hundred Muslims and a scattered few followers were outside the White House yesterday afternoon holding a noisy and energetic demonstration judged by the past. Their leaders, the "client organizations" sponsored by these very same "client regimes", even managed this time to get themselves very peacefully arrested in a way that appeared all too pre-arranged with the police, or so it seemed. Quite possibly the embarrassments of repeatedly saying they would do so, and then never actually doing so, coupled with growing pressures from the grassroots, caused them this time to actually do it this time; albeit in the most peaceful and compliant of ways.

But the real tests are now to come. Why did only a couple of leaders sit down and then walk calmly to the paddy wagon? Why did they not call on their followers to do the same -- many seemed ready? Why did they not have any allies with them -- there are so many others including Jews and Israelis who would have responded to such a call and that really would have been far more significant?

And most of all, are they in fact going to follow up this largely photo opportunity yesterday -- something they are so well-known for -- by repeating the scene with greater numbers every week as today's historical situation cries out for; are they going to call for Muslims and people of conscience to rise up in peaceful civil disobedience protest around the country as is urgently needed; are they going to call out to those in the Arab world to insist that their own governments break relations with Israel, suspend Israel from the U.N. General Assembly, and defensively arms themselves so that the Israelis will be deterred from doing more of what they have done in the past and are threatening to further escalate?

This is no time to be lulled into believing the even thedeceptive and dishonest "peace process" is back. Indeed it was always a "domination process"; and it was always a desperate gamble by the Israelis and the Americans that they could still contain the forces in the region who are themselves increasingly desperate to throw off the shackles that so terribly repress and imprison them. And not only in the once historic Holy Land of Palestine. END

To receive MER regularly - http://www.MiddleEast.Org/subscribe