The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]
News supplement, 9-15/9/01 It takes two minutes thought to recognise that the outrage felt at one day of murder and destruction in New York and Washington might resemble the outrage felt at years of subjection to overwhelming force, terror, murder, destruction and humiliation at the receiving end of US weaponry in other parts of the world. A handful of the writers who follow are capable of that two minutes¹ thought. They seem to be in a minority. * Saddam Says 'Evil' U.S. Policy to Blame for Attacks * The value of pre-emptive force (This is most probably the logic that led S.Hussein to engage in the Iran/Iraq war) * Beyond the numbers: The aroused giant must act (The Jerusalem Post urges a final solution to the Arab question) * Don't fight fire with fire (Simon Jenkins on the ineffectiveness of revenge) * A time to kill (Jerusalem Post again. Arabs are inferior beings and should be crushed mercilessly, like the Germans and the Japs, for their own good) * America has become sacrificial lamb for terrorists (America is the passive suffering, innocent victim of hordes of sneaky, cowardly Arabs) * They can run and they can hide. Suicide bombers are here to stay (Robert Fisk. Excellent article on the difficulties of dealing with suicide bombers) * Arab states torn on coalition against Bin Laden (The limits of their possibilities given the power of public opinion which of course we, in principle, as democrats, support. Don¹t we?) * For Bush's Veteran Team, What Lessons to Apply? (Extracts. Quite a thoughtful account of the practical problems facing the Pentagon planners. For example, on Afghanistan: ŒIt is not a target rich environment¹) * America ready for Armageddon (A view from India) * Carter urges caution in assault on terrorism (Carter warns that the attack was Œan attempt to incite a holy war between Arabs and Americans¹. As such, it looks likely to succeed.) * Ex-CIA chief sees Iraqi fingerprints (James Woolsey. The article refers to a piece by Laurie Mylroie in the Wall Street Journal which supposedly gives evidence, but I was unable to access it). * Russian Secret Services: Masterminds Of Attacks On U.S. Same As Those Of Moscow And Volgodonsk Blasts 2 Years Ago * Hussein says Americans can learn from Iraqis (S.Hussein¹s second, rather more dignified and statesmanlike statement) * Arabs pay lip service (The New York Post doing its bit to stir up anti-Arab feeling) * Turkey Nervously Awaits US Response AMERICA¹S REVENGE http://us.news2.yimg.com/f/42/31/7m/dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010912/wl/att ack_iraq_saddam_dc_2.html * SADDAM SAYS 'EVIL' U.S. POLICY TO BLAME FOR ATTACKS Yahoo, 12th September BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said on Wednesday that devastating attacks on the Pentagon in Washington and the World Trade Center in New York were the harvest of the ``evil policy'' of the United States. ``Regardless of...human feelings on what happened yesterday, America is reaping thorns sown by its rulers in the world,'' the Iraqi News Agency (INA) quoted Saddam as saying in his first directly reported comment on the attacks. ``He who does not want to reap evil should not sow evil,'' Saddam said at a meeting with the minister of military industrialization, Abdul Tawab Mullah Hwaish, and a group of engineers. [.....] The United States is exporting evil, corruption and crime, not only through its armies deployed in various parts of the world, but also through its movies, Saddam said. He also referred to ``current criminal acts, backed by criminal, racist Zionism, against our Palestinian people.'' Saddam did not rule out that Tuesday's attacks were carried out by American nationals. ``If what happened to America is an internal affair, the Americans are best placed to diagnose the ailment,'' he said Iraqi state television on Tuesday hailed the attacks as the ''operation of the century'' which the United States deserved for its ``crimes against humanity.'' [.....] http://globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/article.html?id=010913001382&query =iraq * THE VALUE OF PRE-EMPTIVE FORCE by Jeffrey Gedmin Financial Times, 13th September It will take weeks,and perhaps months, for the US to sift through the details and establish clear and compelling evidence of culpability for this week's murderous terrorist attacks. President George W. Bush has promised a severe reply for the perpetrators. Colin Powell, US secretary of state, has pledged to bring "those responsible to justice". It is politically convenient to concentrate on apprehending individual terrorists - this is an important part of the problem. But terrorism has long ceased to be merely a criminal justice problem. What of the state that makes the terror possible? In the US, the debate about justice and retaliation is almost certain to give way to a fuller debate about pre-emptive strikes. It will be controversial, not least with many of our closest allies. If pursued properly, however, the pre-emptive use of force offers the best assurance that vicious terrorist attacks are less likely to occur in future. Consider the case of Osama bin Laden, the wealthy Saudi national whose network, at least initially, has emerged as a prime suspect in the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. Mr bin Laden has been wanted for questioning about alleged links to the bombing of US military bases in Saudi Arabia. Ramzi Yousef, the apparent mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was said to have had Mr bin Laden's address in his pocket when he was arrested in Pakistan last year. The US State Department describes him as "one of the most significant financial sponsors of Islamic extremist activities in the world". There are indications that groups tied to Mr bin Laden were responsible for US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. If Mr bin Laden's fingerprints are on the most recent acts of terror, the US can be expected to intensify its search for him and his accomplices. Mr Bush has indicated, moreover, that the US will make no distinction between the terrorists and those who harbour them. This has given rise to the assumption that the US will strike the Taliban regime of Afghanistan, which has provided Mr bin Laden with aid and protection. But what if the evidence in this instance is unobtainable or inconclusive? Even in these circumstances, it would be wrong for the US to rule out such attacks, because, put simply, they are likely to diminish the possibility of future acts of violence. The issue of states sponsoring terrorism is hardly a new one. Consider the Pan Am bombing. A Scottish court in the Netherlands found a Libyan intelligence agent guilty of planting the bomb that brought down Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, murdering 270 people in 1988. To an extent, some justice has at last been done. Libya even co-operated in the end in turning suspects over to the court. But it remains a paradoxical justice. There is little doubt in intelligence circles that the order for the attack came from the Libyan government itself. Similarly, for many years the Syrian government has sponsored terrorism and provided terrorists with a base from which to train and to operate. And the Iranians, even in the era of reform, have continued to finance and to nurture Hezbollah and Hamas, terrorist groups. In fact, it is hard to conceive of many of the world's leading terrorist groups flourishing without the protection and assistance of governments. How much more difficult and costly would it be for the likes of Mr bin Laden if he knew that a country such as Afghanistan were not at his disposal for territorial protection, training facilities and perhaps even logistical assistance? It is true that pre-emptive strikes raise difficult legal and political questions. In 1981, when Israel attacked a nuclear reactor outside Baghdad, Menachem Begin, then Israeli prime minister, argued that the strike was defensive in character. The United Nations General Assembly disagreed and roundly condemned Israel. Even the Reagan administration felt compelled to criticise Israel. However, the CIA argued at the time that Iraq was indeed planning to build nuclear weapons. King Hussein watched Israeli planes fly over Jordanian airspace without phoning his Arab brother Saddam Hussein to warn him. And a decade later came Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and much fuller knowledge about Iraq's intentions and capabilities. History suggests that Israel was right. When President Ronald Reagan attacked Libya in 1986, the action was planned as retaliation and to raise the cost of terrorism to Muammer Gadaffi, the Libyan dictator. Although Mr Gadaffi escaped injury, the blow to his family seems to have had an extraordinary effect. The wave of terrorism he had promoted suddenly subsided until Lockerbie. Of course, pre-emptive strikes are not foolproof. No set of measures - certainly none that a democracy will ever contemplate - will bring us close to invulnerability. A combination of methods will be necessary in any event. And discretion and selection of targets will always be sensitive. Still, if the US insists on focusing on the retaliation for the most recent acts, and hunting down the criminals currently involved, it will dodge the most serious responsibility of all: reducing the probability of such barbaric attacks in the future. The writer is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington and executive director of the New Atlantic Initiative. http://www.jpost.com/Editions/2001/09/13/Columns/Columns.34765.html * Beyond The Numbers: The Aroused Giant Must Act by Ron Dermer Jeruslaem Post, 13th September Today, the forces of freedom are mourning. From London to Paris, from Tokyo to Taipei, from Rome to Jerusalem, the democratic nations of the world, devastated by the horrific slaughter they have witnessed with their own eyes, are grieving for the thousands of victims. Today, the forces of evil are rejoicing. From Beirut to Baghdad, from Kabul to Cairo, from Gaza to Teheran, Islamic fundamentalists, reveling in the powerful blow they have struck deep into the heart of liberty, are celebrating in the streets. The abominable terror that was unleashed against America was an attack against the American spirit itself. Thousands of people lay buried beneath a mountain of ash and rubble not because of who they were as individuals, but rather because of the torch of freedom which their nation so proudly carries. The men, women and children who were murdered this week died for the same cause for which their fathers and grandfathers died on the shores of Normandy and the sands of Iwo Jima. They died for the liberty whose price, the author of their nation's Declaration of Independence once said, is eternal vigilance. The life, liberty and happiness that America has championed for 225 years has made it both beloved by those who share its values and a Great Satan in the eyes of those who don't. On Tuesday, the latest chapter in the long struggle between freedom and tyranny began to unfold. In truth, it began unfolding years ago, but few took notice. The butcher of Baghdad, the ayatollahs of Iran, the Osama Bin Ladens, the Yasser Arafats, the fundamentalist sheikhs and the fanatical clerics each spoke loud and clear of their intentions - only we didn't want to listen. Like a child who places his hands over his eyes and believes that no one can see him, the democratic world retreated into its cocoon, hoping that these angels of death would somehow pass over them. Even a few years ago, after a similar attempt to collapse the Twin Towers and wreak havoc throughout New York City failed, the United States government refused to face reality. The most powerful country the world has ever known spent its time and resources in the courts of Manhattan instead of the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan. Coining fancy terms such as "dual containment" and launching feckless cruise missile strikes were seemingly all the courage the free world could muster against the threat of a cancerous Islamic fundamentalism whose destructive potential was multiplying with each passing day. The colossal failure of the leaders of the democratic world to recognize the threat facing it and their refusal to take decisive action against that threat is something for historians to ponder. Now there is a far more important question at hand. What will America do in response to a vicious attack launched on its soil against the entire free world? Will it merely bring the "perpetrators to justice," effectively trading the lives of tens of thousands of Americans for the coffins of a few fanatics? Will its leaders continue to bury their heads in the sand, focusing their resources only on defensive measures while shying away from taking the offensive actions that are necessary? Or will it make no distinction, as President George Bush said in his speech on Tuesday, between terrorists and the regimes that harbor them? Will it crush the regimes in Baghdad and Teheran before they develop weapons of mass destruction? Will it support its allies in their unrestrained efforts to eradicate terror? Will it indeed not rest, as British Prime Minister Tony Blair pledged, until this evil is driven from the world? AMERICA HAS long understood its mission in the world, but has long shied away from it. The very reluctance throughout its history to assume the mantle of leadership on the world's stage is testament to its great respect for liberty. But now it must realize that its historic mission demands immediate action. It must be willing to use all the force that is necessary to protect its citizens and the world. It must be willing to send its sons into battle today so that its daughters are not held hostage to terror tomorrow. And it must understand that if it fails to do so, our entire civilization will be jeopardized. The silver lining in the dark cloud of smoke that billowed opposite the Statue of Liberty this week is the knowledge that Islamic fundamentalists have launched their inevitable first strike against the free world prematurely. If anything positive can come out of this senseless tragedy, it will be that in their impatient bloodlust, the forces of evil have roused a sleeping giant that has the power to utterly defeat them. That giant must use that power now, without hesitation, for the sake of all of us. There is no time to wait. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,248-2001314680,00.html * DON'T FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE by Simon Jenkins The Times, 12th September First the horror. The attacks on the World Trade Centre and Washington yesterday before a horrified world were the most vivid display of terror that I can recall. The heart of darkness had come to the heart of light and wreaked havoc. New York is a city I love. It is bond-brother of London and cultural capital of a nation that has entered the new millennium as master of the world. That made it a natural target of envy and hatred. Those who question America's frequent global interventions in the cause of democracy do so always from a position of respect. Leadership demands a price. When that price is paid in such symbolic centres of the nation as New York and Washington, Americans deserve every sympathy. Words may try to explain such events. None can justify them. After the horror comes the response. The wise general always keeps in mind his enemy's objective. As with other recent attacks on Americans at home and abroad, the objective here cannot be the traditional one of those who wage violent war. It is not to defeat America, to undermine its economic power or military strength, nor even to damage its political stability. Such goals are unachievable. That is why comparisons with Pearl Harbor are silly. The objective is to publicise a cause, humiliate America and goad her into a violent response. To achieve this goal requires more than a big bang. It requires that bang to be publicised and for the reaction to it to be equally violent. Its effectiveness lies not in the death toll - a toll repeated daily on the roads - but in the loudness of the echo through the world's media. It lies in the action replay, the humanising of the tragedy, the publicity for those responsible. It lies in the aftermath. There is no military defence against attacks such as these. Indeed there is no realistic defence at all. America will doubtless redouble its efforts to penetrate and contain the groups responsible. But they will not be defeated by main force. Any plane can be hijacked. Any building is vulnerable. People can be protected individually but not in the mass. A community can always be gassed or poisoned. The paradox of new technology is that it makes developed states more vulnerable to random assault. In the war of the weak against the strong, the weak can wield weapons more potent than ever before. Globalisation may render the rich richer and the poor poorer. But it offers the self-appointed champions of the poor devastating means of forcing their attention on the world. Faced with horrors such as these, "anti-missile" defence systems seem suddenly obsolete. No rogue state needs an intercontinental ballistic missile to assault America when a boy with a suitcase or a suicide hijacker can walk through any shield. A trillion dollars hurled into outer space cannot stop the blast of a civilian jet loaded with fuel out of Boston airport. Fylingdales may detect a menace from outer space, but not a virus in a handbag or a madman in Club Class. To protect every American building is clearly impossible. To attempt to protect city centres against suicide attack plays the attacker's game. It awards him the attention he craves, the apotheosis of fame. The constant search for security becomes a ghostly re-enactment of the outrage, a reminder and a challenge to next time. That surely is why the World Trade Centre was targeted for a second time. It added an eerie echo to the "ripple" of the terror. Its power lies in the memory of blood-stained bodies and sobbing women, of shattered buildings and a world turned upside down. If yesterday's acts were committed under the sponsorship of a foreign state, retaliation might be understandable. But punitive action requires a collective entity that can be held responsible. Here there are only shadowy groups, moving from country to country, terrifying their hosts as much as the rest of the world. In 1993 the World Trade Centre was the victim of a massive car bomb. It appeared to be the work of Arab fundamentalists with ties to Afghanistan and Sudan. No conceivable response to the attack made any sense, except to track down the individuals concerned. They appear to have struck again. Nor did any good come from putting states such as Syria, Iraq, Libya, Iran and Sudan on a list of countries "responsible for sponsoring state terrorism". Trade sanctions were imposed on destitute peoples with primitive political economies. Sanctions entrenched and often enriched those already in power. To sponsor anti-Americanism has long been a guarantee of dictatorial longevity, witness Assad of Syria, Castro of Cuba, Gaddafi of Libya and Saddam Hussein of Iraq. The ardent non-interventionist might argue that incidents such as these can be avoided. They would plead with America not to intervene everywhere and thus render its territory a target to all whom its government has offended abroad. This argument must be met since many enemies of America will cite it. They will point out that the scenes on television yesterday were different only in degree from those experienced by civilian victims of American bombing in Yugoslavia and Iraq. Those critical of Nato bombing might offer America more sympathy if Nato had offered sympathy for the hundreds of civilian deaths from its missiles and cluster bombs far from home. US generals openly demanded the bombing of civilian targets in Belgrade and Baghdad, to "break the will" of local people. Is that not what the perpetrators of yesterday's outrage might say? Here we tread warily. Sponsoring the state of Israel led America into a prolonged and senseless hostility to the cause of the dispossessed Palestinians. The financing of anti-Soviet warlords in Afghanistan in the 1980s armed and galvanised terrorist groups, including Osama bin Laden and others behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Centre. The criminalisation by the Americans of the trade in heroin and cocaine, of which America is the major consumer, ensures that crime triumphs in states throughout Asia and South America. The continuance of the Kuwaiti policing operation into weekly bombing of Iraq has made Saddam a regional hero and America an object of regional hatred. These were not wise policies. The true policeman does not just project his awesome authority across the globe, he thinks through the consquences of his policy. But that is an issue distinct from yesterda''s events. The new Anglo-American "moral imperium" may be no less imperial than the old one, but I do not believe it to be cynical. The bombing of the Serbs and Iraqis was undertaken in the cause of peace. It was without self-interest on Nato's part. America and its allies have "taken up the white man's burden" with honest intent. They have done so aware of Kipling's feared reward, "the blame of those ye better,/ The hate of those ye guard". The wrong turns of Western policy in the Middle East may help to explain yesterday's slaughter. They in no way excuse it. Nobody should want to see America terrorised into isolationism. To seek revenge would be senseless. America showed after attacks on its East African embassies in 1998 that it regards revenge as a legitimate weapon in its geopolitical arsenal. The bombing of Afghanistan was ineffective. That of Sudan was illegal and militarily indefensible. Revenge is not the response of a sophisticated political community. America above all should know Thomas Paine's plea, to "lay the axe to the root and teach governments humanity . . . sanguinary punishments corrupt mankind". To react to an atrocity by abandoning the customary self-control of democracy is to help the terrorist to do his work. He wants America to behave as the regional bully of local demonology. To extend further America's Middle East economic santions, isolation and military aggression offers succour to the terrorist. These policies have not hastened the spread of democracy or stability through the region. They have, if anything, done the reverse. They should be replaced with policies of engagement, trade, friendship and contact. The message of yesterday's incident is that, for all its horror, it does not and must not be allowed to matter. It is a human disaster, an outrage, an atrocity, an unleashing of the madness of which the world will never be rid. But it is not politically significant. It does not tilt the balance of world power one inch. It is not an act of war. America's leadership of the West is not diminished by it. The cause of democracy is not damaged, unless we choose to let it be damaged. Maturity lies in learning to live, and sometimes die, with the madmen. http://www.jpost.com/Editions/2001/09/13/Columns/Columns.34766.html * A TIME TO KILL by Amotz Asa-El Jerusalem Post, 13th September America, noted historian Daniel Boorstin (in The Americans: The Democratic Experience), has built skyscrapers not only in its major metropolises, but also in relatively remote towns where there is no shortage of real estate. In fact, the glass-and-steel towers that became hallmarks of human enterprise and US skylines expressed "a latter-day American boosterism, a determination to compete with Mother Nature herself, to win over the limitations of matter, and space and seasons." Consequently, when a US warplane accidentally crashed into the Empire State Building in 1945, thoughts were focused on the wisdom of that Tower-of-Babel urge to scrape the sky, on the limits of technological achievement, and on the irony of mankind's two major gravity defying creations - the aircraft and the tower - ramming each other like a multi-headed Frankenstein turning on itself. Yet this week's catastrophe is neither about inventions turning on inventors nor about Mother Nature turning on humanity. It's about peaceful people being attacked by bad people Ð the type who can be confronted with no form of compromise, appeasement or dialogue. Like the Nazis and Fascists in the 1940s, they - the leaders, sponsors and beneficiaries of Arab terror and tyranny - must be met with the one language they understand: violence. The assault perpetrated on America this week is the most ominous in its history. It has taken more lives than the Pearl Harbor attack and was waged not in a remote military theater, but in America's commercial, cultural and governmental solar plexus. Sadly, as Middle Israelis have been arguing in the face of repeated suicide bomb attacks, the war has now proven to be not about land, creed or faith, but about civilization. It is the Armageddon of tyranny on freedom, the war of the sons of darkness against the sons of light, who dared make Islamic fundamentalists and Arab tyrants suffer from an inferiority complex they would neither treat nor contain. It was but a few centuries ago that Christendom was inferior to the civilization of the Moslem astronomers, mathematicians, doctors, architects, bankers and soldiers who gave English the words admiral, traffic and cheque, and conquered Byzantium, Greece, Hungary and Spain. Then, as Christians circumnavigated the globe, settled new continents and launched the industrial revolution, the Arab world stayed behind. Infidels invented the printing press, steamboat, motorcar, locomotive and airplane, then fast-fed mankind, electrified, computerized and telecommunicated the globe, and finally landed with a spaceship on the crescent itself. It is this loss of historical prominence that feeds what Princeton scholar Bernard Lewis has called "Moslem rage." Yet the misery of the Arab peoples - which remain disproportionately illiterate, jobless and destitute - is not the fault of any Westerner, but the doing of their own unelected leaders who have squandered the vast mineral riches with which their lands have been blessed, spending one-in-three petrodollars on weapons and investing much of the remainder abroad as private individuals rather than at home as governments bent on promoting progress and prosperity. It is the fusion of these cultures of political robbery and religious frustration that bred this week's attack. And the first ones to acknowledge this are its protagonists; that is why Muammar Gaddafi and Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, to mention but a few, so cowardly and hurriedly came out "condemning" the attack. Having spent years creating a Newspeak in which the murder of innocent and defenseless people became not only a legitimate act of war, but a moral value and an educational goal, they - along with Iran's mullahs, Syria's generalisimos and Iraq's thugs - must now be legitimate targets in the free world's war for its soul. For years, democrats elsewhere, particularly in Europe, dismissed the thesis that our own conflict is about freedom. For years, and particularly over the past year, the Jewish state has been under a massive, brazen and state-inspired terror attack. Throughout it all we were pretty much abandoned to our neighbors' devices by cynics who often preferred to accuse the victim and delude themselves that the enemy's agenda is really about real estate (which Israel had agreed to relinquish), or "occupation" (which Israel had been phasing out of), or "human rights" (which Israeli courts are famous for upholding) - all Western values that the Arab world's regimes habitually disparage, abuse and trample in broad daylight. Now all that should finally change. This week's towering infernos should etch 2001 in human memory as a watershed year on the scale of 1492, 1789 and 1939. For now, '01 is the year that opened the Third Millennium with a totalitarian bang that sets back freedom's emergence from the previous millennium as the Cold War's shining victor. Yet '01 can end up as the year in which the free world waged the ultimate war on tyranny. What has been repeated in recent days ad nauseam Ð that the enemy remains "unknown" Ð is nonsense. Yes, the perpetrators of the specific attacks have yet to be tracked down, but the ones who hosted, defended and legitimized terror are well known. They range from Damascus to Teheran and from Baghdad to Tripoli. It is time that those who abuse power at home and threaten stability abroad were called to task. Tragically, while the enemy is a set of regimes like some of our neighbors', the targets might also end up including their subjects. The inhabitants of Dresden and Tokyo never danced in the streets when Americans were killed, and yet they were carpet-bombed. That was what their governments concocted for them, and it was only traumas on the scales of those handed them by the Allies that ultimately made them understand their own leaders' moral bankruptcy, and the enemy's resolve to eradicate it. http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1002,158%257E145783,00.html * AMERICA HAS BECOME SACRIFICIAL LAMB FOR TERRORISTS by Mike Bond Denver Post, 13th September As we weep and rage for friends killed and missing in this horror, I try to understand why it happened and how we must respond. In America's history never has there been so brazen, vicious, and cowardly an attack, yet it reminds me of so many other attacks we have tolerated in the past. And it is precisely our lack of significant retaliation that has led us to this agonizing blow. One morning in 1983, I was standing at the mirror shaving in my apartment in Beirut when the floor shuddered and the windows shattered with a terrible roar. Beyond the windows a pillar of gray and orange smoke blazed into the sky. An Islamic suicide bomber had driven a truck through the front gates of the U.S. Marines barracks, killing more than 350. For months I waited for President Reagan to order retaliation. But except for a few ineffective and tragic naval bombardments, no response ever came. The terrorists came to believe the U.S. was a paper tiger. When Libyan terrorists bombed a Pan Am plane, it took two decades to begin to bring one terrorist to justice. An attack on the U.S. embassy in Nairobi killed 224 people, with no significant retaliation. Nor have we retaliated for the 1996 attack on the U.S. barracks in Saudi Arabia, or for attacks on American and European tourists in Egypt, or for last October's bombing of the USS Cole. When a fanatic Egypt Air pilot crashes his plane from New York into the Atlantic, we tell weeping relatives that Egypt is a U.S. ally and we must not embarrass them by too close an examination of the facts. Islamic radicals pass death sentences on western writers and we do nothing. Former President George Bush, Dick Cheney and Colin Powell had Saddam Hussein cornered in Baghdad and let him off the hook. Nor was there response when Somali crowds killed American helicopter pilots and dragged their bodies through the streets of Mogadishu - the same crowds we had dispatched our soldiers to protect. As the years have gone by the Islamic fundamentalists have laughed not only at how easy it is to attack us, but how safely they can get away with it. We pretend it's Osama bin Laden, but that's like blaming a single pickup truck for world climate change. In the Middle East, hatred of the United States has been bred over a generation into millions of people, and along with it the mistaken assumption that we are responsible for the narrowness and misery of their lives. Hatred of our country, and of the western way of life, spews from newspapers, radios, mosque speakers and Muslim religious teachers not just in Palestine and Iraq but also in Syria, Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Algeria, Yemen, Pakistan and other Muslim countries. Young men are urged into terrorist groups with promises of eternal life. "The ungodly and unbelievers," says the Koran, "God shall render unto Hell When ye encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads." On television, joyous crowds in Palestine and Iran and Iraq exult while American firefighters die trying to rescue our fellow citizens from burning buildings and families weep for the thousands dead and missing. In my own experience in the Middle East, both as a journalist and in other capacities, I learned that nothing incites fundamentalists more than a lack of retaliation. They may be vicious, but they are cowards. In the Six Days' War in the Sinai, I watched Egyptian troops rabid with desire to attack Israel, only to run in terror at the first sight of Israelis soldiers. "Oh prophet," says the Koran, "stir up the faithful to war." That is their raison d'etre: How much longer are we going to be their sacrificial lamb? A resident of Littleton, Mike Bond was in the Sinai during the 1967 Six Days' War, lived in Lebanon during the Battle of Beirut, and has published a novel and many articles on his experiences. Guest commentary submissions of 650 words may be sent to The Post editorial page. http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=93798 * THEY CAN RUN AND THEY CAN HIDE. SUICIDE BOMBERS ARE HERE TO STAY by Robert Fisk Independent, 13th September Not long before the Second World War, Stanley Baldwin, who was Britain's Prime Minister, warned that "the bomber will always get through". Today, we can argue that the suicide bomber will always get through. Maybe not all of them. We may never know how many other hijackers failed to board domestic flights in the United States on Tuesday morning, but enough to produce carnage on an awesome, incomprehensive scale. Yet still we have not begun to address this phenomenon. The suicide bomber is here to stay. It is an exclusive weapon that belongs to "them" not us, and no military power appears able to deal with this phenomenon. Partly because of the suicide bomber, the Israelis fled Lebanon. Specifically because of a suicide bomber, the Americans fled Lebanon 17 years earlier. I still remember Vice-President George Bush, now George Bush Senior, visibly moved amid the ruins of the US Marine base in Beirut, where 241 American servicemen had just been slaughtered. "We are not going to let a bunch of insidious terrorist cowards, shake the foreign policy of the United States," he told us. "Foreign policy is not going to be dictated or changed by terror." A few months later, the Marines upped sticks and ran away from Lebanon, "redeployed" to their ships offshore. Not long ago, I was chatting to an Indian soldier, a veteran of Delhi's involvement in the Sri Lanka war now serving with the UN in southern Lebanon. How did the Tamil suicide bombers compare those of the Lebanese Hizbollah I asked him? The soldier raised his eyebrows. "The Hizbollah has nothing on those guys," he said. "Just think, they all carry a suicide capsule. I told my soldiers to drive at 100 miles an hour on the roads of Sri Lanka in case one of them hurled himself into the jeep." The Hizbollah may take their inspiration from the martyrdom of the prophet Hussain, and the Palestinian suicide bombers may take theirs from the Hizbollah. But there is no military answer to this. As long as "our" side will risk but not give its lives (cost-free war, after all, was partly an American invention) the suicide bomber is the other side's nuclear weapon. That desperate, pitiful phone call from the passenger on her way to her doom in the Boeing 767 crash on the Pentagon told her husband that the hijackers held knives and box-cutters. Knives and box-cutters; that's all you need now to inflict a crashing physical defeat on a superpower. That and a plane with a heavy fuel load. But the suicide bomber does not conform to a set of identical characteristics. Many of the callow Palestinian youths blowing themselves to bits, with, more often than not, the most innocent of Israelis, have little or no formal education. They have poor knowledge of the Koran but a powerful sense of fury, despair and self-righteousness to propel them. The Hizbollah suicide bombers were more deeply versed in the Koran, older, often with years of imprisonment to steel them in the hours before their immolation. Tuesday's suicide bombers created a precedent. If there were at least four on each aircraft, this means 16 men decided to kill themselves at the same time. Did they all know each other? Unlikely. Or did one of them know all the rest? For sure, they were educated. If the Boeing which hit the Pentagon was being flown by men with knives (presumably, the other three aircraft were too) then these were suicide bombers with a good working knowledge of the fly-by-wire instrument panel of one of the world's most sophisticated aircraft. I found it oddly revealing when, a few hours later, an American reporter quizzed me about my conviction that these men must have made "dummy runs", must have travelled the same American Airlines and United Airlines scheduled flights many times. They would have to do that at least to check the X-ray security apparatus at airports. How many crew, the average passenger manifest, the average delays on departure times. They needed to see if the cabin crew locked the flight deck door. In my experience on US domestic flights this is rare. Savage, cruel these men were, but also, it seems, educated. Like so many of our politicians who provide us with the same tired old promises about hunting down the guilty and, Mr Blair's contribution yesterday, "dismantle the machine of terror". But this misses the point. If the machinery is composed of knives and box-cutters, Mr Blair is after the wrong target. Just as President Ronald Reagan was in the hours before he ordered the bombing of Libya in 1986. "He can run, but he can't hide," he said of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. But Colonel Gaddafi could hide, and he is still with us. Instead of searching for more rogue states, President George W Bush's reference to those who stand behind the bombers opens the way for more cruise missiles aimed at Iraq or Afghanistan, or wherever he thinks the "godfathers of terrorism may be". The Americans might do better to find out who taught these vicious men to fly a Boeing 767. Which Middle East airlines train their pilots for this aircraft? Indeed which nations are generous in their pilot-training schemes for Third World countries? I recall one of Iran's best post-revolutionary helicopter pilots telling me he was given a full course on the Bell Augusta (the Vietnam-era gunship) by the Pakistan air force, which itself paid retired American pilots to teach them. And if Osama bin Laden is behind the New York massacre, it's worth remembering one of his aims: not just to evict the US from the Middle East but to overthrow the Arab regimes loyal to Washington. Saudi Arabia was top of the list when I last spoke to him, but President Hosni Mubarak's Egypt and Jordan, ruled by King Abdullah II, were among his other enemies. He would keep talking about how the Muslims of these nations would rise up against their corrupt rulers. A slaughter by the US in retaliation for the New York and Washington bloodbaths might just move the Arab masses from stubborn docility to the point of detonation. Within the region, the suicide bomber is now admired. Not because he is a mass killer but because something invincible, something untouchable, something that has always dictated the rules without taking responsibility for the results, has now proved vulnerable. It was the same when the first suicide bombers struck in Lebanon. The Lebanese could scarcely believe that Israeli soldiers could die on this scale. The Israeli army of song and legend had been brought low. So, too, the reaction when the symbols of America's pride and power were struck. The vile, if small, Palestinian "celebrations" were a symptom of this, albeit unrepresentative. They matched the "bomb Baghdad into the Dark Ages" rhetoric we heard from the American public a decade ago. In the Middle East, Arabs now fear America will strike them without waiting for proof, or act on the most flimsy of evidence. For it is as well to remember how the US responded to the 1983 Marine bombings. The battleship USS New Jersey fired its automobile-sized shells into the Chouf Mountains, killing a couple of Syrian soldiers and erasing half a village. The arrival of US naval craft off the American East Coast yesterday was a ghostly replay of this impotent event. But to this day, the Americans have never discovered the identity of the man who drove a truck-load of explosives into the Beirut Marine compound. That was in another country, in another time. Today's suicide bombers are a different breed. Nurtured in whatever despair or misery or perhaps even privilege, in 2001, the suicide bomber came of age. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_ID=971882057 * ARAB STATES TORN ON COALITION AGAINST BIN LADEN Times of India, 14th September CAIRO (Reuters): Arab leaders condemned the attacks on the United States, but will they join a U.S.-led war on terror? Arab states from Africa to the Gulf -- with the notable exception of Iraq -- expressed sympathy for losses in this week's deadly attacks against the World Trade Center's twin towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington. But translating these sympathies into support for reprisals from governments concerned for their own safety will be hard if the United States seeks to strike against its leading suspect: the Saudi-born Islamic militant Osama bin Laden, who is in Afghanistan as a "guest" of the ruling Taliban. The Taliban said on Thursday that bin Laden had confirmed he had no role in the terror attacks, but Washington and other Western governments have made clear he is in their sights. While there have been no claims of responsibility, suspicions centre on bin Laden and Arab associates. The last time Washington pulled together an international coalition, including most Arab states, was to expel Iraqi troops from Kuwait in 1991. But President George W. Bush grapples with a far more complex scenario today than his father, the architect of the Gulf War alliance, faced 10 years ago. Arab states, many victims of terror attacks themselves, confront the dilemma of wanting to punish the attackers and proving they are not soft on terrorism, while fearing domestic opposition or an extremist backlash at home. At the same time, they cannot rule out possible retaliation from Afghanistan, bin Laden or sympathisers abroad. "The Arabs have a big problem. They are being pulled by two forces," said Mustafa Alani, Middle East consultant at the London-based Royal Institute for Defence Studies. "On the one hand, they want to prove to U.S. public opinion that they are against terrorism. But there is also the situation inside the Arab countries, and Arab states need to beware of the reaction of their own fundamentalists." Analysts say the crucial difference between assembling the coalition today and during the Gulf War is the complexity and divisive nature of the issues involved. In the 1990-1991 crisis, alliance members felt the enemy was undisputed. Iraq had invaded Kuwait, and the partners thought it was threatening other Gulf states as well as world oil supplies. Today, the enemy "hides in shadows", as Bush said on Wednesday. Some Arabs believe U.S. foreign policy was partly to blame for the hatred behind the deadly attacks. In addition, the United States has alienated most Arab states with its perceived pro-Israel bias during the current Palestinian uprising. It has also made enemies by launching military strikes against countries like Iraq, Sudan and Libya. As Washington seeks backing for retaliation today, it faces an Arab world divided into its allies, sceptics and foes, all wary of an attack against targets in Afghanistan. Analysts note a vital distinction between seeking Arab support for, and participation in, a retaliatory strike. They say many Arab governments will support reprisal, but few will participate, and others will seek something in between. While Washington does not need the Arab world to add military might to its agenda, the backing of regional states would lend vital moral support to any reprisal. "Most Arab states would probably cooperate with the U.S. in such an effort, but cooperation would be limited to providing bases for the U.S. to launch an attack. It would be in terms of intelligence. It would be logistical," said Walid Kazziha, a political science professor at the American University in Cairo. "None of the Arabs are in a position where they could actively participate in an operation against a state which is practically across the border," he said. Tahseen Basheer, the former spokesman for the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, said Arabs would only back a reprisal if the evidence against the target was rock solid, eliminating any sense that Washington was merely seeking a scapegoat. Anoush Ehteshami, director of the Institute for Middle East and Islamic Studies at the University of Durham in England, said that even Washington's Arab allies would be split. Egypt and Jordan would probably lend some logistical or political support, but some Gulf states were hamstrung. "I don't think you'll find Saudi Arabia, for instance, (openly) supporting a campaign against the Taliban or bin Laden because Saudi Arabia can't be seen to be supporting a Western-led campaign against what is still very much within the Muslim domain," he said. The United States used Saudi Arabia as the launchpad for its Gulf War offensive, and still retains thousands of troops in the kingdom and elsewhere in the Gulf. As the main Gulf War beneficiary, some analysts said Kuwait might be the only Arab state that could volunteer troops. Kuwait last night welcomed the U.S. proposal to form an alliance against terrorism. Some experts said Arab states fearing Afghan influence on their own radical groups would be most likely to back a strike. "...Most Arab regimes have some of their radical opposition activists hiding in Afghanistan's military bases...They'd be happy to see a U.S.-led coalition dismantle these bases," Moroccan writer and political analyst Abdelkader Chaoui said. Ehteshami noted that Washington might get the greatest support from a long-time nemesis. "Oddly enough, one place which -- while not so much supporting a military campaign -- would want to see the Taliban isolated, is Iran. The U.S. and Iran have very similar views on the Taliban, and the Iranians would like to see the back of the Taliban, just like they wanted to see the weakening of Iraq." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A34064-2001Sep14.html * FOR BUSH'S VETERAN TEAM, WHAT LESSONS TO APPLY? by Steven Mufson Washington Post, 15th September President Bush boasts one of the most experienced foreign policy teams ever, but the experiences of recent American conflicts might not apply to America's newest war. For Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, who has vowed never to repeat the mistakes of the Vietnam War, America's war against terrorists and their patrons could take U.S. forces to Afghanistan, the inhospitable site of "Russia's Vietnam" during the 1980s. Unlike the war over Kosovo in 1999, this one won't be fought by American pilots firing from the safety of several thousand feet. Ground forces or special forces are expected to be needed. Nor will this war, like the Persian Gulf War, fit neatly into the Powell Doctrine, forged during the former general's two Army tours in Vietnam. That doctrine holds that the United States should only commit U.S. soldiers when it can apply overwhelming force, define clear military objectives and marshal public support. Indeed, President Bush turned the doctrine on its head this week, virtually commiting the nation's armed forces to war before any of Powell's conditions were met. Retaliation against the terrorist networks linked to Tuesday's attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon will probably take place in distant places, difficult to reach with overwhelming force, and far from U.S. or other friendly bases. The military targets will be elusive, and spread throughout dozens of countries in small groups. And there will probably be no clear end to the war, whose success could be measured by an absence of action rather than a victorious event. [.....] Bush, now faced with an unprecedented foreign policy crisis, is likely to look to the experience of his father, who a decade ago took four months to mobilize the coalition that defeated Iraq. Bush spoke with his father this week, and sat with him at yesterday's memorial service. Bush also is depending on Vice President Cheney, his father's defense secretary during the Persian Gulf War. But a war against terrorism poses different problems. The ground war portion of Desert Storm lasted just 100 hours and had the clear goal of ousting Iraq from Kuwait. A battle against terrorism could cross many borders and would be waged against a shadowy network rather than easily identifiable ground forces. "Many of the Powell criteria just don't apply here," said Jonathan Pollack, director for strategic research at the Naval War College. "Powell was looking back in time, whereas a terrorist threat against the American homeland entails a radically different type of military preparation and effort. It's just not the same battlefield." Eliot Cohen, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, notes that this war "won't necessarily entail the employment of Desert Storm-style forces." Nor, as in Kosovo, will it be an "immaculate war" without American casualties. This war -- which is likely to involve air attacks, special operations actions, police actions and financial measures -- will probably mean American casualties, raising the stakes for Bush. Though it remains unclear exactly how the administration will choose to retaliate, top officials are likely to debate a number of key issues. "You have to design a campaign plan that goes after that kind of enemy, and it isn't always blunt-force military, although that is certainly an option," Powell said yesterday. "It may well be that the diplomatic efforts, political efforts, legal, financial [and] other efforts may be just as effective against that kind of an enemy" as military force would be. [.....] Other policymakers want to strike at the ruling Taliban militia in Afghanistan, which has let accused terrorist Osama bin Laden use its country as a haven. "It's been our policy to hold individual terrorists accountable rather than the governments who support them," said Richard Perle, chairman of the advisory Defense Policy Board. "That policy has failed, and we must now begin to hold governments responsible." But former Clinton administration officials note that such a policy has two problems. First, it could destabilize neighboring Pakistan and several countries in the Middle East by stirring angry reactions among Muslims. Second, the United States cannot do a lot more damage to Afghanistan, which suffered enormous destruction during the 1979-1989 Soviet occupation. "Afghanistan is about a quarter-inch off the ground," one former senior official said. "It is a desperately poor country in the midst of a famine, a primitive country with no World Trade Centers, no ministries of defense like in Baghdad. It is not a target-rich environment." Other people close to the administration favor a focused response, such as a special forces operation designed to seize bin Laden. "I assume that if we really worked on it we could find out where bin Laden was and snatch him," said Brent Scowcroft, who served as national security adviser to former President George Bush. "That would avoid the awkwardness of other solutions." In a speech on Thursday, Bush's father stressed the need for working with other countries -- providing a contrast to the unilateral leanings of his son's administration, at least until Tuesday's attacks. "Just as Pearl Harbor awakened this country from the notion that we could somehow avoid the call to duty and defend freedom in Europe and Asia in World War II, so too should this most recent surprise attack erase the concept in some quarters that America can somehow go it alone in the fight against terrorism," the former president said, "or in anything else for that matter." http://www.economictimes.com/today/15poli01.htm * AMERICA READY FOR ARMAGEDDON Economic Times (India), 15th September NEW DELHI : ISRAEL¹S national security advisor and its security experts have told the Indian policy and security establishment that Iraq could have recruited the Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden and his gang to carry out the attack on the United States. The Israeli experts, who ruled out the hand of Palestinain groups in the carnage, said it was ³too large² for any Palestinian group as they do not have the necessary wherewithal for such a massive terror campaign. The Israeli team, which left New Delhi yesterday, had met Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, home minister L K Advani and external affairs minister Jaswant Singh. The Israelis, according to sources, were of the view that an Islamic country, particularly Iraq, could have sponsored the terror campaign against the US. It may be noted that the Baghdad regime has long maintained an alliance with bin Laden and other Islamic fundamentalist groups. According to agency reports, in Baghdad, the Iraqi state television appeared to welcome the Tuesday bombings. The television said the spate of attacks demonstrated the vulnerability of the United States. ³The massive explosions in the centres of power in America, notably the Pentagon, is a painful slap in the face of US politicians to stop their illegitimate hegemony and attempts to impose custodianship on people,¹¹ the state-run TV said. Sources in the Vajpayee government here said the Israelis was of the view that the US might launch an attack against Afghanistan and Iraq over the coming days. The government here is keeping its fingers crossed over the timing and the nature of the attack. Prime Ministerial aides are not forthcoming on the extent to which India can go if the US were to ask for its support in retaliatory strikes against the Taliban. New Delhi will like to satisfy itself that the evidence collected by the US is compelling before committing itself to any joint venture with America. The precaution is justified because India will not like to alienate the Islamic nations, which may not favour any immediate US military campaign. In fact, the thinking is that India will be better off if the US achieves its end with the help of Cruise missiles, without New Delhi coming into the picture. http://starnews.com/print/articles/habitat16.html * CARTER URGES CAUTION IN ASSAULT ON TERRORISM by James A. Gillaspy Indianapolis Star, 16th September Former President Jimmy Carter said Saturday that he expects a global alliance to rise up against Osama bin Laden to eradicate terrorism after the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Carter, in Indianapolis to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Habitat for Humanity International, said it was important, however, that President Bush continue to avoid any course of retaliation that might result in a slaughter of innocent civilians. Carter said such indiscriminate killing is at the heart of the recent terrorist tactics, which he described as an attempt to incite a holy war between Arabs and Americans. So far, Carter said, Bush has reacted with "perfect" resolve and restraint, demonstrating his intent to smite those responsible for terrorism while ignoring those who would have him attack without regard for people who aren't responsible. He called for "a slow, methodical, thorough building of an alliance" to root out and destroy terrorist enclaves in Afghanistan. The nation's 39th president cited three reasons for bin Laden's terrorism against the United States: past deployments of U.S. troops on Arab soil; the perception of a U.S. bias toward Israel and an uncaring attitude toward the plight of Palestinians; and a view that America fights its wars with disregard for innocent victims. Carter, whose presidency supported Afghans and a coalition of "freedom fighters" in a war to repel the Soviet Union, said that subsequent civil war destroyed the country he knew. [.....] http://www.washtimes.com/upi-breaking/default-200191491830.htm * EX-CIA CHIEF SEES IRAQI FINGERPRINTS by Lou Marano Washington Times, 15th September WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- A former CIA chief sees the hand of Iraq behind Tuesday's attacks, and he warned the White House not to shirk the hard realities of possible state sponsorship. "First of all we have to find out who did this thing," R. James Woolsey told United Press International in a phone interview Thursday. But he said the Bush administration must "undo the mistakes of the Clinton administration and not just look at loose associations of terrorists or a terrorist group" such as that of Osama bin Laden's al Qaida, but also at the serious ramifications of possible state involvement. Woolsey served as director of central intelligence in the first Clinton administration from Feb. 5, 1993 to Jan. 10, 1995. He and Clinton were not close. In 1996 the hawkish Democrat endorsed GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole. The Washington power lawyer told UPI that he is not sure that Iraq is involved in the attacks, but added: "What we don't want to do is what the Clinton administration did and put blinders on about state involvement by focusing just on a terrorist group." To do so, he said, is to risk falling into a trap laid by bin Laden and Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. "Why else would (bin Laden) issue fatwas (Islamic edicts) and put out videotapes and chant poems and have all his subordinates come up on networks where they know they're being listened to and all talk about how they're carrying out terrorist operations?" Woolsey asked. He suggested that Saddam Hussein could be "sitting there grinning with bin Laden, saying: 'This is good for both of us. I don't get blamed, and you get the credit you want.'" In criticizing the Clinton administration, Woolsey referred to a series of plots in New York City in the early 1990s, notably the initial bombing of the World Trade Center on Feb. 26, 1993. Two factors were at work, he said. The first was the facts of the various bomb plots were unclear but that prosecutors had blurred the distinctions for their own purposes. "It was easier for the prosecution to get convictions of all of the people who might have been involved in any of these plots in New York if they folded all the charges together under the Seditious Conspiracy Law and said it was all one conspiracy," Woolsey told UPI. "If it's all one conspiracy inspired by the blind sheikh," he said, referring to so-call mastermind Omar Abd Al-Rahman - "that is, the World Trade Center, and the effort to blow up the Holland Tunnel, the Lincoln Tunnel and the U.N., etc. - it confuses things for a jury to come in and say, 'And by the way, the Iraqi government was also involved.'" The second important factor, Woolsey said, was that the Clinton administration "was less than enthusiastic about having confrontations with Saddam" in which American casualties might be incurred. "So I think there is a real chance that Iraqi government sponsorship was overlooked." Woolsey commended Laurie Mylroie's opinion essay "Bin Laden Isn't Only One to Blame," which appeared in Thursday's editions of the Wall Street Journal, as well as "Getting Serious," the newspaper's accompanying editorial. He said that his essay "The Iraqi Connection: Blood Baath," which appeared latter Thursday on the New Republic Online, "takes off from some of Laurie's work on the '93 bombing of the World Trade Center, and suggests that the U.S. government now should go back and look hard at the possibility that there was Iraqi government involvement in that. "And if the Iraqis were involved in '93 and have gotten away with it for eight years, and then launched another attack that has some real similarities both in target and in methodology to previous attacks against the World Trade Center and trying to blow up an airliner in the Pacific, we may have a modus operandi." Woolsey said that Mylroie endorses the thesis of Jim Fox, who handled the FBI's investigation of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing for the first year and a half. Fox died in 1997. Fox's theory, Woolsey told UPI, is "Ramzi Yousef is not just a random person we don't know, but is in fact an Iraqi government asset." In 1998 Yousef was sentenced to life plus 240 years for the 1993 bombing. Woolsey expanded on the Fox-Mylroie theory in his New Republic essay. According to this view, Ramzi Yousef was not the alias of a Pakistani named Abdul Basit, as it had been believed. Rather, Yousef was an Iraqi agent who had assumed Basit's identity when occupying Iraqi intelligence officers doctored police files in Kuwait, where the real Abdul Basit had lived in 1990. Woolsey noted that Abdul Basit and his family disappeared during the occupation and have never been seen again. To be found through http://english.pravda.ru * RUSSIAN SECRET SERVICES: MASTERMINDS OF ATTACKS ON U.S. SAME AS THOSE OF MOSCOW AND VOLGODONSK BLASTS 2 YEARS AGO Pravda website, 14th September Experts of Russia¹ Federal Security Service voiced today their version of who may be behind the terrorist attacks on the USA. In their view, it may have been the fundamental Islamic organization "Jamaat Islamia." The experts are sure that the "Jamaat Islamia" commands vast financial resources sufficient for preparation and perpetration of large-scale and well coordinated acts of terrorism in any part of the globe, according to the RIA Novosti news agency. The headquarters of this radical group is located in Afghanistan. It also has branches in UAE, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The experts also say that it was this group that, in all likelihood, had masterminded and "sponsored" the explosions that demolished residential blocks in Moscow and the town of Volgodonsk (southern Russia) two years ago. Comparing details of the terrorist attacks in Moscow and the USA, FSB experts pointed out that the terrorists in both cases attempted to intimidate the state and population to achieve their political goals. Initially, the idea of perpetrating such acts from the air was voiced in 1996 by Movladi Udugov, the Vakhabist ideologist in Chechnya. He, in public, threatened Moscow that Chechen separatists would use a civilian airliner with komikazes onboard and direct it to the Kremlin. As for exploding residential buildings in Moscow and Volgodonsk, it has been found that those terrorist acts were organized by Vakhabite Achimez Gochiyayev guided by Arab terrorists Hattab and Abu Umar. Arab mercenary Abu Umar has been eliminated by federal forces in Chechnya. Gochiyayev is believed to still hiding in the Pankiss Gorge in the Republic of Georgia. http://www.globeandmail.ca/servlet/RTGAMArticleHTMLTemplate/C/20010915/wiraq i?hub=homeBN&tf=tgam/realtime/fullstory.html&cf=tgam/realtime/config neutral&vg=BigAdVariableGenerator&slug=wiraqi&date=20010915&archive=RTGAM&si te=Front&ad_page_name=breakingnews * HUSSEIN SAYS AMERICANS CAN LEARN FROM IRAQIS Globe and Mail (Canada), 15th September Baghdad (Associated Press): Grief-stricken Americans should not wage a "new Crusade" against Muslims, but rather learn from the pain that Iraqis and Palestinians have been suffering at the hands of the United States and Israel, Saddam Hussein said on Saturday. "Just as your beautiful skyscrapers were destroyed and caused your grief, beautiful buildings and precious homes crumbled over their owners in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq because of American weapons used by the Zionists," Saddam said in an open letter addressed to the American people, citizens of the West and their governments. The Iraqi leader warned of a "new Crusade" by the United States and its supporters against "an Islamic country." He was apparently referring to Afghanistan, ruled by the radical Taliban. The United States accuses the Taliban of harbouring the prime suspect in Tuesday's terror attacks, Saudi Arabian exile Osama bin Laden. "If you rulers (from the United States and the West) respect and cherish the blood of your people, why do you find it easy to shed the blood of others including the blood of Arabs and Muslims?" said Saddam's statement, which was read on Iraqi television. It was followed by footage of U.S. warplanes bombing Iraq during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and Israeli soldiers shooting at Palestinian stone throwers. "Americans should feel the pain which they have inflicted on other peoples so that when they suffer they will know the best way to treat it (the pain)," Saddam's statement said. Ten years after the Persian Gulf War, Iraq is still shackled by U.S.-supported UN sanctions, which Saddam claims have caused the death of 11Ž2 million Iraqis. Saddam questioned those countries that have rushed to condemn the terrorist strikes on New York and Washington, asking if they would respond in the same way if the attacks had been carried out against Arab or Islamic countries by forces from the West. He said international security could be achieved if the United States "became rational ... and disengages itself from its evil alliance with Zionism," referring to the movement to establish and maintain a Jewish state. Iraq, like other Arab countries, believes that the United States is biased toward Israel in its conflict against the Palestinians. In Cairo, Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammed Mehdi Saleh denied any Iraqi involvement in Tuesday's attacks, adding that the "destruction inflicted on Iraq by U.S. and British warplanes far exceeds the destruction in New York and Washington." U.S. and British planes patrolling no-fly zones in northern and southern Iraq regularly attack Iraqi military and radar installations. Iraq says the strikes often hit civilian facilities. http://www.nypost.com/news/worldnews/2148.htm * ARABS PAY LIP SERVICE New York Post, 15th September JERUSALEM (Associated Press) - The imam began by denouncing attacks against innocents, and everyone in the mosque knew he was speaking of the thousands killed in the terror strikes on the distant shores of America. To wantonly kill like this, he declared, was an abomination - a coward's cry. But by the time he finished his sermon to thousands of Muslim faithful at a West Bank mosque, the paramount message had become the plight of Palestinians. "America's terrorism is greater than any terrorism in the world," Sheik Hamed Betawi thundered to an overflow crowd at the old stone mosque in the cobblestone center of Nablus. "The U.S. administration is criminal - injustice always leads to injustice." In mosques all across the Mideast yesterday, the most important prayer day of the Muslim week, there was a measure of sympathy for an America wounded by the suicide attacks that brought down the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon. Some worshippers even expressed quiet sorrow over the carnage. "What happened was terrible - I look at it from a human perspective only," said Palestinian construction worker Jamal Abu Eid, who attended prayers at the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem's walled Old City. But the day's sermons, traditionally an important indicator of national sentiments, were a passionate reminder of the hatreds and hardships that fuel the region's conflicts. In mosques from Baghdad to Beirut, from Tehran to Gaza City, the attacks against America were portrayed as an inevitable consequence of U.S. support for Israel, and as retribution for American policies seen as bullying and unfair to Arabs and Muslims. The combustible nature of religious leaders' roles was underscored yesterday when Israeli police briefly detained the top Islamic cleric, or mufti, in Jerusalem. Ikrema Sabri said afterward his interrogators had accused him, among other things, of incitement from the pulpit. At yesterday's prayers across the region, perhaps the most strident rhetoric came in Iraq, which has been locked in years of confrontation with successive American administrations. Iraq blames America for the deaths of thousands due to malnutrition and disease under U.N. sanctions imposed after Saddam Hussein's soldiers occupied Kuwait in 1990. At Al-Shawi, an unassuming neighborhood mosque in Baghdad, worshippers listened as the imam characterized the attacks as "heavenly punishment" for American wrongs. A nationally televised sermon from Baghdad's Al-Azam mosque urged that no tears be shed for "tyrants whose hands are stained with the blood of our people." In a region where the car bomb and the suicide strike have long been the weapons of choice, the sheer scale of the slaughter in the United States - and its indiscriminate nature - left some uneasy. At Egypt's oldest and most venerable Islamic institution, the attacks were criticized, though in indirect terms. "He who kills a person without necessity . . . will never go to heaven," Sheik Mohammed Sayed Tantawi told worshippers at Cairo's Al-Azhar mosque. "It's not courage in any way to kill an innocent person, or to kill thousands of people, including men and women and children." Perceived messages of moderation like this one, though, drew an angry response from some listeners. "The attacks in the United States are the right thing to do. If anyone had asked me to do this myself, I would have done it," said Ahmed Adel, a 20-year-old engineering student. http://www.baghdad.com/?action=display&article=9280955&template=baghdad/inde xsearch.txt&index=recent * TURKEY NERVOUSLY AWAITS US RESPONSE The Associated Press, Sat 15 Sep 2001 ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) ‹ Turkey's army stood at alert as NATO's only Muslim member worried that U.S. military retaliation for this week's terrorist attacks could target its neighbors and place further strain on its threadbare economy. Turkey serves as a base for U.S. and British planes patrolling the skies over neighboring Iraq, and also shares borders with Iran and Syria ‹ all fingered by the United States as supporters of terrorism. Financial markets have tumbled amid fears about Turkey's likely role in any military conflict in the region, threatening to deepen an economic crisis that has already destabilized this key U.S. ally. Istanbul shares are down 15 percent since trading resumed Thursday after a day's recess following the attacks. More than half a million Turks who have lost their jobs in the crisis now see recovery slipping away, as uncertainty over the military situation drives markets down. Turkey's armed forces could be involved in a NATO attack or its bases could be used. An attack on Afghanistan ‹ believed to harbor Osama bin Laden, the chief suspect for Tuesday's attacks ‹ ``wouldn't be much of a problem for Turkey,'' wrote Sami Kohen, a commentator for Milliyet, a daily newspaper. But if Iraq turns out to have been involved in Tuesday's attacks ‹ or if it is targeted for past actions ‹ then Turkey's role could be crucial, forcing the government to answer awkward strategic questions. ``I suspect ... that in the corridors of the Foreign Ministry they were virtually praying yesterday that Baghdad isn't the target,'' columnist Fatih Cekirge wrote Friday in the daily newspaper Star. ``Because if Baghdad is the target for a NATO or U.S. attack, it could mean the destruction of the Baghdad administration, and a new map of Iraq.'' That would reopen an issue the Turkish government hoped was closed after the 1991 Persian Gulf War ‹ the possibility of a Kurdish state in northern Iraq. Already local leaders in the north enjoy broad autonomy from Baghdad, and Washington has long seen the Kurds as central to any anti-Saddam coalition. Turkey argued against a ground attack on Iraq during the Gulf War, fearing that rebellious Kurds, perhaps with U.S. backing, would seize the opportunity to establish an independent Kurdish state in the north that would offer an example for Turkey's estimated 12 million Kurds. Turkey fought a 15-year war against autonomy-seeking Kurdish rebels that cost some 37,000 lives, and continues to bar Kurdish-language broadcasting and education. No matter what happens militarily, Turkey's battered economy is likely to suffer further blows. Turkey had aimed to increase earnings from tourism and exports as a way out of the crisis. Fears about the Middle East conflict and a global economic downturn after Tuesday's attacks could cut those revenues. On Friday, the World Bank signed an agreement with Turkey for a $500 million loan to ease the effects of the crisis on low-income Turks. But Turkey's plans to ask for more cash from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank ‹ on top of $15.7 billion in recovery loans already promised ‹ are now in doubt. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.