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News supplement, 9-15/9/01

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
*  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
*  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


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

``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

``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


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

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

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

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.

*  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

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

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.,,248-2001314680,00.html

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

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

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

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.

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.,1002,158%257E145783,00.html

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.

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

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,

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.

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

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

Analysts say the crucial difference between assembling the coalition today
and during the Gulf War is the complexity and divisive nature of the issues

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

"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

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

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

"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

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

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.


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

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

Woolsey noted that Abdul Basit and his family disappeared during the
occupation and have never been seen again.

To be found through

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.

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

"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

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.

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

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

"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

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.

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

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.

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