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Jihad against Terrorismı, 16-22/9/01 (2) WORLD OPINION * Druze leader blames Mossad, CIA [Good olı Walid, never misses a trick] * African voices caution US against rash reply [African press less than enthusiastic about US vengeance] * Iran Advises U.S. Against Attacking Afghans * Israel Says It Won't 'Pay Price' of Coalition [Israel nervous about possible US concessions to conciliate Arabs. The problems of the definition of terrorismı start here] * Black Tuesday: the view from Islamabad [Sensible Pakistani viewpoint, arguing that the US must extend its definition of humanity to cover all peoples of the worldı and that Muslims in western countries must cease their refusal to mix with the society around them] * Fears and expectations in Turkey * Japan may change pacifist constitution * US revenge action can never be called war against terrorism [Talk by indian Muslim leader reported in the Iranian press] * US attacks raise mixed feelings in Africa [Contrast between concern for US suffering and lack of concern for African suffering] * US strikes will split Arab world, says Mubarak * Waging war against terrorism [An excellent article from india, published in the Pakistani paper, Dawn. The most genuinely philosophicalı article Iıve yet seen on the subject] * Russian Orthodox Church blesses bombardments [And, by way of contrast, here is Metropolitan Cyril of Smolensk, denounced by the Russian press in 1996 as head of the tobacco smuggling mafia in Russia] * Iran refuses to allow US planes to use airspace * Today we are all Americans' [Benjamin Netanyahu seizes the time] http://www.smh.com.au/news/0109/16/world/world22.html * DRUZE LEADER BLAMES MOSSAD, CIA Sydney Morning Herald (from AFP), 16th September Lebanon's anti-Syrian Druze leader Walid Jumblatt believes the CIA and Israel's secret service Mossad are behind the terrorist attacks in the United States, and that Saudi extremist Osama bin Laden is an "American agent", newspaper reports said today. "There are a number of questions on the authors of the attacks in America. I think they (the attacks) were a great coup carried out by the secret services. The CIA and the Mossad could be behind (the attacks) to provoke a new war and impoverish and occupy the Middle East," Jumblatt was quoted as saying. "Who is bin Laden who has become the number one (enemy) of western civilisations? He is an invention of the American secret services who chose to fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan with US backing," said Jumblatt, who had ties with the Soviet Union until its collapse in 1991. "It is an enormous scandal because in 1994, the CIA pointed the finger at bin Laden as a very dangerous man," Jumblatt said, adding: "It is also surprising that a great state which has a military budget of $US 350 billion, was not able to thwart these attacks." "One should find out whether the American (secret) services are implicated in starting a merciless war between America and the racist West against Arabs and the Muslims," he said. Jumblatt, who defends the Palestinian uprising and their right to an independent state, also expressed concern that the "war against terrorism" could develop into a "huge massacre of Palestinians". "Under the pretext of fighting bin Laden, the Zionists may commit a huge massacre in Palestine to push through an exodus of its Arab residents and give the green-light to (Prime Minister Ariel Sharon) to carry out a huge massacre," Jumblatt said. He also called on Britain to "present its apologies to the Arab and Muslim people for its crime: the creation of Israel". Britain, which in 1920 was granted a mandate over Palestine up until the 1948 creation of the Israeli state, promised to aid the "Jews to create a home in Palestine", during the 1917 Balfour declaration often considered to have led to the establishment of the Jewish state. Jumblatt, who was presiding over a ceremony in the Shouf mountains southeast of Beirut, also called on the audience to observe one minute of silence in memory of the "innocent (people) killed in the World Trade Centre". The silence was also held in memory of the "Arabs killed in Palestine, in south Lebanon, in Syria, Jordan and Iraq in the war against Israel", he said. http://www.iol.co.za/html/frame_news.php?click_id=68&art_id=qw1000732264572B 232 * AFRICAN VOICES CAUTION US AGAINST RASH REPLY Independent (from Reuters), 17th September African newspapers are urging the United States to show restraint in its hunt for those responsible for last Tuesday's terror attacks. "Rest of the world must save US from itself," was the headline for the editorial in South Africa's Sunday Independent. In Nigeria, This Day warned against fanning the flames of racial and religious hatred. "We don't want to look back twenty years from now at a world devastated by racial and religious conflict and wonder if it could have been avoided," it said in its Sunday edition. South Africa's Sunday Independent said scenes of terrified people fleeing through New York last week brought to mind past images of US military strikes against civilian populations. "Their expressions of horror and disbelief are reminiscent of those on the faces of Japanese civilians fleeing the horror of US nuclear bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Vietnamese civilians fleeing US napalm, or Iraqi civilians fleeing US cruise missiles," it said. Newspapers across the world's poorest continent condemned the attacks and most sympathised with ordinary Americans. "It is not only an American tragedy but also a universal tragedy, which defies the natural, the free and the sacred in human life," Gambia's The Independent said on Friday. Mixed with the sympathy, there was widespread condemnation of US foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East. "This is the example, the standards that the United States (has) set for the world - resolving differences by force, getting rid of enemies by superior military weapons," The Post newspaper in Zambia commented. "We sincerely hope that the practices of the United States against Libya, Iraq, Iran, Sudan and Yugoslavia will not be repeated as a result of these barbaric murders by terrorists and mad people," it added. South Africa's Business Day newspaper said the best defence against this form of terrorism was peace in the Middle East. "Securing a just peace in the Middle East is the key to any enduring victory over terrorism and needs to be approached with equal, if not greater, passion than vengeance for last Tuesday," it said in an editorial on Monday. Many African newspapers pleaded with the United States not to target the Islamic world. The United States has vowed retaliation by a "mighty giant" and has fingered Saudi-born Osama bin Laden as the prime suspect behind the devastating attacks on New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington. "Thanks to partisan American and Western press coverage, the popular image of a terrorist as a Muslim, preferably of Arab origin, with fundamentalist persuasion, is being firmly entrenched in the world mind," Nairobi-based East African weekly said. Nairobi was the scene of one of two 1998 bomb attacks on US embassies in East Africa that killed more than 200 people and for which Washington blamed Osama bin Laden. Many African countries have large Muslim populations and share a sense of Third World solidarity with the Arab world. Many African countries are also sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians. South Africa's ruling African National Congress has long regarded the Palestine Liberation Organisation as a comrade-in-arms. http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010917/wl/attack_iran_dc_2.html * IRAN ADVISES U.S. AGAINST ATTACKING AFGHANS Yahoo, 17th September TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Monday condemned deadly attacks in the United States, but said punishing Afghanistan might cause a human catastrophe and could trigger more problems for America. His comments indicate that it is unlikely that Iran, which is hostile to Afghan's Taliban rulers, would join a U.S.-led international coalition in a possible attack on Afghanistan. ``Islam condemns the massacre of defenseless people, whether Muslim or Christian or others, anywhere and by any means,'' Khamenei said in his first public reaction to Tuesday's attacks that killed around 5,000 people in New York and Washington. ``Based on the same principle, Iran condemns a possible attack on Afghanistan which could lead to another human catastrophe,'' Iran's IRNA news agency quoted him as saying. Khamenei, a staunch foe of the United States, has the final say on all state matters in Iran, including foreign policy. ``If America wants to wage war on Afghanistan from bases in Pakistan and expand its influence in the region, it will see its problems mounting,'' Khamenei warned. ``Is the Muslim nation of Afghanistan to suffer another war only because a few people are believed to have had a hand in the recent events?'' he asked. ``The actions of a few Muslims are no authorization to commit repression against Muslims and attack Afghanistan.'' KHATAMI SEEKS UNITED FRONT AGAINST TERRORISM Iranian President Mohammad Khatami Monday called for an urgent meeting of the world's largest Muslim body to discuss fighting terrorism and a possible clash of cultures. ``Given the sensitive situation, there is a need for efforts to mobilize public opinion against violence and intolerance,'' the moderate Khatami said in a letter to Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the leader of Qatar, which currently chairs the 55-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). ``Unfortunately, the recent inhuman acts in the United States have become an excuse for those who see their interests in clashes with the Muslim civilization to provoke anger against Muslims,'' Iran's state-run radio reported him as saying. [..... A UNHCR spokesman said in Pakistan Monday that tens of thousands of Afghans had left several major cities and were heading toward borders with Iran and Pakistan. A new exodus could undermine recent efforts in Iran to repatriate more than two million refugees, mainly Afghans, amid a severe shortage of jobs. [.....] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A46620-2001Sep17.html * ISRAEL SAYS IT WON'T 'PAY PRICE' OF COALITION by Lee Hockstader and Daniel Williams Washington Post, 18th September JERUSALEM, Sept. 17 -- As it ushered Arab countries into a multinational coalition against Iraq a decade ago, the first Bush administration persuaded Israel to stay in the background, even to hold its fire when Iraq launched Scud missiles at Tel Aviv. Israel's current prime minister, Ariel Sharon, has made it clear that times have changed. In a series of pugnacious pronouncements since the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States, he has insisted Israel will not sit quietly as the current Bush administration seeks to build a coalition of Arab and Islamic states against terrorism. "It is inconceivable to grant [Yasser Arafat] legitimacy because someone thinks that might facilitate the inclusion of Arab countries in this coalition," Sharon told the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Aharonoth, referring to the Palestinian leader. "We will not pay the price for the establishment of this coalition." [.....] Foreign Minister Abdul-Illah Khatib of Jordan, for instance, said it will be difficult for the Bush administration to line up Arab support without a commitment to solving the Israeli Palestinian dispute once and for all. "People will need to be convinced that Israel is not taking advantage" of the situation to demonize the Palestinian cause by comparing it to terrorism, Khatib said. President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt said today that the Israeli-Palestinian standoff "may be one of the elements which encouraged" the terrorist attacks. He said President Bush suggested to him in a telephone conversation that the United States will be "very active" in trying to arrange a cease-fire. "But what I'm seeing now is the Israeli government is seizing the opportunity and launching attacks now and then," Mubarak said on "Larry King Live." He added: "This will have terrible repercussions after that." [.....] For Israeli hard-liners, the decision to hold back during the Persian Gulf War in 1991 is a bitter memory. Many, including Sharon, believe that leaving the war to the United States made Israel appear weak. Afterward, the United States pushed a reluctant Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir into peace talks. "Sharon doesn't want to open the door to a repeat situation where Israel will be a passive actor in a coalition," said Gerald Steinberg, head of the program on conflict management and negotiation at Israel's Bar Ilan University. "The Americans don't understand the depth of Israeli views on this." Israelis, who have suffered dozens of casualties from terrorist attacks, were convinced from the first day that they should be charter members of any anti-terrorism coalition. They bristled at suggestions they should help cool the conflict with the Palestinians to help Washington enlist Arab and Islamic allies. "Terrorist actions against Israeli citizens are no different from bin Laden's terrorism against American citizens," Sharon told the Knesset, Israel's parliament, today. "Terrorism is terrorism, and murder is murder." Arafat, meanwhile, has drawn his own lessons from the Gulf War, when he took the side of Iraq, the loser, and risked pariah status. He seems determined not to repeat that choice. After months of tolerating or encouraging terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians, he is eager to show cooperation with the United States and demonstrate that Sharon is the one responsible for unbridled violence. Although Bush has not phoned Arafat, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell has urged Arafat several times to defuse the clashes and resume talks with Sharon's government. According to his close associates, fear is Arafat's prime motivation in wanting to cooperate. If Washington identifies him with the terrorist camp, it may embolden Sharon to launch an offensive to crush the Palestinian Authority. For that reason, Palestinian officials said, Arafat has dropped all preconditions for cease-fire talks with Peres, insisting he is ready to meet "anywhere, anytime." "We can make it through this with the United States. We can't make it if left alone with Sharon," said Ahmed Abdul Rahman, Arafat's cabinet secretary. "We are wise enough not to make war with America." Shortly after news of last Tuesday's attacks reached Gaza, Arafat called an urgent meeting of top political and military advisers to lay out a course of action. He grimly informed the half-dozen officials and the head of his combined security forces that he would immediately announce a pro-American position, said an official who was present. Because Arafat recognized that many Palestinians who are aggrieved by U.S. support for Israel would show little sympathy for the United States, he ordered police and political parties to suppress anti-American demonstrations. Most dramatically, he warned leaders of militant Islamic groups to launch no terror attacks in Israel. If they did, he pledged to fight the groups ruthlessly, no matter how great the risk of internal Palestinian violence. "Arafat's position is desperate," said Marwan Kanafani, an adviser to and spokesman for the Palestinian leader. "He is on a tightrope. His problem is how to avoid to being a victim of all this." http://www.dawn.com/2001/09/18/op.htm#4 * BLACK TUESDAY: THE VIEW FROM ISLAMABAD by Pervez Hoodbhoy 18th September Samuel Huntington's evil desire for a clash between civilizations may well come true after Tuesday's terror attacks. The crack that divided Muslims everywhere from the rest of the world is no longer a crack. It is a gulf that, if not bridged, will surely destroy both. For much of the world, it was the indescribable savagery of seeing jet-loads of innocent human beings piloted into buildings filled with other innocent human beings. It was the sheer horror of watching people jump from the 80th floor of the collapsing World Trade Centre rather than be consumed by the inferno inside. Yes, it is true that many Muslims also saw it exactly this way, and felt the searing agony no less sharply. The heads of states of Muslim countries, Saddam Hussein excepted, condemned the attacks. Leaders of Muslim communities in the US, Canada, Britain, Europe, and Australia have made impassioned denunciations and pleaded for the need to distinguish between ordinary Muslims and extremists. But the pretence that reality goes no further must be abandoned because this merely obfuscates facts and slows down the search for solutions. One would like to dismiss televized images showing Palestinian expressions of joy as unrepresentative, reflective only of the crass political immaturity of a handful. But this may be wishful thinking. Similarly, Pakistan Television, operating under strict control of the government, is attempting to portray a nation united in condemnation of the attack. Here too, the truth lies elsewhere, as I learn from students at my university here in Islamabad, from conversations with people in the streets, and from the Urdu press. A friend tells me that crowds gathered around public TV sets at Islamabad airport had cheered as the WTC came crashing down. It makes one feel sick from inside. A bizarre new world awaits us, where old rules of social and political behaviour have broken down and new ones are yet to be defined. Catapulted into a situation of darkness and horror by the extraordinary force of events, as rational human beings we must urgently formulate a response that is moral, and not based upon considerations of power and practicality. This requires beginning with a clearly defined moral supposition - the fundamental equality of all human beings. It also requires that we must proceed according to a definite sequence of steps, the order of which is not interchangeable. Before all else, Black Tuesday's mass murder must be condemned in the harshest possible terms without qualification or condition, without seeking causes or reasons that may even remotely be used to justify it, and without regard for the national identity of the victims or the perpetrators. The demented, suicidical fury of the attackers led to heinous acts of indiscriminate and wholesale murder that has changed the world for the worse. A moral position must begin with unequivocal condemnation, the absence of which could eliminate even the language by which people can communicate. Analysis comes second, but it is just as essential. No "terrorist" gene is known to exist or is likely to be found. Therefore, surely the attackers, and their supporters, who were all presumably born normal, were afflicted by something that caused their metamorphosis from normal human beings capable of gentleness and affection into desperate, maddened, fiends with nothing but murder in their hearts and minds. What was that? Tragically, CNN and the US media have so far made little attempt to understand this affliction. The cost for this omission, if it is to stay this way, cannot be anything but terrible. What we have seen is probably the first of similar tragedies that may come to define the 21st century as the century of terror. There is much claptrap about "fighting terrorism" and billions are likely to be poured into surveillance, fortifications, and emergency plans, not to mention the ridiculous idea of missile defence systems. But, as a handful of suicide bombers armed with no more than knives and box-cutters have shown with such devastating effect, all this means precisely nothing. Modern nations are far too vulnerable to be protected - a suitcase nuclear device could flatten not just a building or two, but all of Manhattan. Therefore, the simple logic of survival says that the chances of survival are best if one goes to the roots of terror. Only a fool can believe that the services of a suicidical terrorist can be purchased, or that they can be bred at will anywhere. Instead, their breeding grounds are in refugee camps and in other rubbish dumps of humanity, abandoned by civilization and left to rot. A global superpower, indifferent to their plight, and manifestly on the side of their tormentors, has bred boundless hatred for its policies. In supreme arrogance, indifferent to world opinion, the US openly sanctions daily dispossession and torture of the Palestinians by Israeli occupation forces. The deafening silence over the massacres in Qana, Sabra, and Shatila refugee camps, and the video-gamed slaughter by the Pentagon of 70,000 people in Iraq, has brought out the worst that humans are capable of. In the words of Robert Fisk, "those who claim to represent a crushed, humiliated population struck back with the wickedness and awesome cruelty of a doomed people". [.....] Ultimately, the security of the United States lies in its re-engaging with the people of the world, especially with those that it has grievously harmed. As a great country, possessing an admirable constitution that protects the life and liberty of its citizens, it must extend its definition of humanity to cover all peoples of the world. It must respect international treaties such as those on greenhouse gases and biological weapons, stop trying to force a new cold war by pushing through NMD, pay its UN dues, and cease the aggrandizement of wealth in the name of globalization. But it is not only the US that needs to learn new modes of behaviour. There are important lessons for Muslims too, particularly those living in the US, Canada, and Europe. Last year I heard the arch-conservative head of Pakistan's Jamaat-i-Islami, Qazi Husain Ahmad, begin his lecture before an American audience in Washington with high praise for a "pluralist society where I can wear the clothes I like, pray at a mosque, and preach my religion". Certainly, such freedoms do not exist for religious minorities in Pakistan, or in most Muslim countries. One hopes that the misplaced anger against innocent Muslims dissipates soon and such freedoms are not curtailed significantly. Nevertheless, there is a serious question as to whether this pluralism can persist forever, and if it does not, whose responsibility will it be? The problem is that immigrant Muslim communities have, by and large, chosen isolation over integration. In the long run this is a fundamentally unhealthy situation because it creates suspicion and friction, and makes living together ever so much harder. It also raises serious ethical questions about drawing upon the resources of what is perceived to be another society, for which one has hostile feelings. This is not an argument for doing away with one's Muslim identity. But, without closer interaction with the mainstream, pluralism will be threatened. Above all, survival of the community depends upon strongly emphasizing the difference between extremists and ordinary Muslims, and on purging from within jihadist elements committed to violence. Any member of the Muslim community who thinks that ordinary people in the US are fair game because of bad US government policies has no business being there. To echo George W. Bush, "let there be no mistake". But here the mistake will be to let the heart rule the head in the aftermath of utter horror, to bomb a helpless Afghan people into an even earlier period of the Stone Age, or to take similar actions that originate from the spine. Instead, in deference to a billion years of patient evolution, we need to hand over charge to the cerebellum. Else, survival of this particular species is far from guaranteed. The writer is professor of physics at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. http://www.ekathimerini.com/news/content.asp?id=100092 * FEARS AND EXPECTATIONS IN TURKEY by Florence Biedermann International Herald Tribune (?) and Kathimerini (Turkey?), 18th September ANKARA (AFP): Turkey, a close ally of the United States and the only Muslim member of NATO, takes a position of greater strategic importance following last week's terrorist blitz on the USA, analysts said yesterday. And while economists warn that the attacks could aggravate Turkey's economic crisis, the country's leaders are hoping the events could accelerate Ankara's entry into the European Union. Long regarded by NATO as a buffer between three countries to its southeast that support terrorism - Iraq, Iran and Syria - Turkey could be asked to open up its military bases for the "first war of the 21st century." For Hasan Unal, professor of international relations at Bilkent university in Ankara, "the role of Turkey in the region will undoubtedly become greater, because it appears for the moment that the attacks were perpetrated by Islamists." "The only Muslim country in NATO, it is well placed to be used by the United States," he told AFP. Turkish leaders have already pledged full support for likely joint NATO action under the alliance's collective defense clause. However, fears are rife that such action would leave Turkey in a situation similar to the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War: Ankara, which backed the strike against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, estimates its losses at some $35 billion due to a cutback in border trade with its southern neighbor. Economy Minister Kemal Dervis was determined yesterday to put a positive spin on the latest developments and welcomed the new focus on Turkey. "In the current atmosphere, our friends can better understand the rising importance of Turkey and, if this is the case, (Turkey's) integration with the European Union will pick up speed," Dervis told reporters. However, Dervis also said, "We should reject the logic of Turkey demanding the costs of its participation." Economic effect But the effects of last Tuesday's attacks are already being felt in Turkey - by midday yesterday, the Istanbul Stock Exchange had dropped over 25 percent in a week. Economists warned that the threat of war is likely to affect tourism, as well as the internal consumption. Economic growth had been expected to improve slightly by 2002. The Turkish economy plunged into crisis in February when the government floated the lira to contain a liquidity squeeze, causing the currency to drop massively against the dollar. In May, Ankara began implementing a strict program of economic reforms in return for multibillion-dollar aid from the IMF and World Bank. Turkey, meanwhile, hosts a force of some 40 British and US planes in the Incirlik air base in its south, which patrol the no-fly zone imposed on northern Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War to protect the region's Kurdish population. During the Gulf War, Turkey allowed the base to be used in the air campaign against Iraq. Soli Ozel, professor at the University of Bilgi in Istanbul, warned yesterday that if Iraq is implicated and if NATO declares war, "Turkey must receive something really big for its cooperation. It must not repeat the error of 10 years ago, when it emerged empty-handed." http://www.wn.com/?action=display&article=9341586&template=worldnews/search. txt&index=recent * JAPAN MAY CHANGE PACIFIST CONSTITUTION ISN (Reuter's), Tue 18 Sep 2001 Japan's ruling bloc on Tuesday began discussing a new law that would allow logistical support for any U.S. military retaliation for last week's unprecedented air attacks on New York and Washington. The debate comes at a time when Japan, which is home to the U.S. military's biggest presence in Asia, is pondering whether it should make "visible" contributions as its most important strategic ally prepares to fight a global war against terrorism. Japan came under fire from a wide spectrum of the world community when it declined to commit even a token force to the Gulf War in 1991. Instead it extended $13 billion in aid for the U.S.-led multinational forces trying to oust Iraq from Kuwait. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, known for his nationalistic tinge and pro-American stance, has been pushing for a revision to the pacifist constitution to clarify the ambiguous status of the military as well as to allow Japan to take part in collective self-defence by going to the aid of an ally if attacked. Separately, a Japanese official said Japan may lift sanctions on Pakistan and India to help encourage their support for the US drive to track down Osama bin Laden, named by Washington as the prime suspect in the attacks. Tokyo imposed the sanctions after the two countries carried out nuclear tests in 1998. Any move by Japan to boost its military role will arouse controversy in Asia, because of the country's wartime imperialism, and at home because of its pacifist constitution. Japan's US drafted constitution renounces war as a means to settle international disputes and the government has long interpreted that to mean it is banned from going to the aid of allies when they are attacked. http://www.irna.com/newshtm/eng/27180251.htm * US REVENGE ACTION CAN NEVER BE CALLED WAR AGAINST TERRORISM New Delhi, Sept 18, IRNA -- Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Delhi on Tuesday said that the US action of revenge on Afghan innocent people in the name of combating with terrorism could never be called war against terrorism. The Muslims of India are concerned over the US announcement to attack Afghanistan along with its allies as such step would prove disastrous for the whole world, Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari said in a press conference here. Bukhari said Muslims are being targeted in the different parts of the world by US since last fifty years, pulling down of Iran Air passenger aircraft in 1989 with 299 on board by a US missile attack, the terrible and oppressive actions of Israel with open and criminal support of US are also acts of terrorism. Terrorism and Islam are different from each other and the US, Britain and Israel are the prime mover of posing "Islamic Terrorism" in a world where all have subjected Muslims to their tyranny, he said. Bukhari said, " No one can say with confidence what may be called terrorism, and until and unless terrorism and freedom movement are differentiated the war against the terrorism cannot be won." Bukhari said in his opinion the terrorist attacks in the US is a reaction of its oppressive activities on Muslims in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan and if Washington opts to attack Afghanistan, the severe reaction of it will be imminent and natural. The Indian support to US operation against Afghanistan in the name of suppressing terrorism would be proved dangerous to India, Bukhari said adding if foreign power succeeds in shedding blood in this region India too would not be safe from it." He warned that US should keep it in mind that the arrest of Osama Bin Laden or the destruction of Afghanistan is not the solution of the issues rather the only solution lies in the revision of its policies towards Palestine. US should understand that violence creates violence and should be ready to face severe reaction." Regarding the Indian Government's one sided offer to the US for all type of cooperation has no moral right to talk against terrorism as some of the members of the government perpetuated the worst incident of terrorism by demolishing Babri Masjid in India and do not even regret for thousands of Muslim who fell prey to post demolition riots in different parts of the country, he said. If Indian Government is serious against terrorism then it should snap ties with Israel and raise same voice to fix Israel as a terrorist state, he said. Bukhari also condemned Pakistan's decision to provide all cooperation to US as the reaction of almost five million Afghan refugees, living in Pakistan, would be so severe that cannot be controlled by Islamabad and the possibility of disintegration of Pakistan would be enhanced. Bukhari appealed to all Islamic countries to be united because Muslims can foil all attempts against Muslims and Islam only by standing united. http://www.mg.co.za/mg/za/archive/2001sep/features/19sep-africa.html * US ATTACKS RAISE MIXED FEELINGS IN AFRICA by PETER CUNLIFFE-JONES Mail & Guardian (AFP), 19th September 'I t is horror. It is unimaginable,' said Tayo Balogun, a civil servant in Lagos, black Africa's largest city, pouring over the photographs in the daily newspaper the day after three hijacked planes struck targets in two US cities. Then came the twist. "It is not that horror is unimaginable. Just that it would happen there," he said. Africa, for all that happens that is positive on the continent, is home uncontestably to more wars, more death, more horror and more human misery than anywhere else. Yet, most still manage to feel sympathy for victims of violence elsewhere, though this is not always easy. According to the International Rescue Committee, around 2,5-million people have died in little over three years, unmourned and largely even unnoticed by the world, as a result of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Wars or civil unrest are taking place in at least half of more than 50 countries that make up Africa. In Angola, Sudan, Sierra Leone and elsewhere wars have been taking place for years. Millions of people die of diseases for which drugs exist and can be afforded in the West, but which Africans cannot afford. And most of the time, this death and suffering is ignored by the outside world. In the face of this, the reactions of world leaders -- calling isolated horrors such as last weeks events 'the greatest evil of our time' -- have struck some hard. On Monday, worried authorities in Liberia, a country that is yet to recover from seven years of brutal civil war, temporarily shut down a private radio station after it allowed on air what was perceived as an anti-American remark. "What is so much about America? People are dying here and America has not cared to comment," the caller said, sparking the shut down of the station. While African presidents all lined up to condemn last weeks' attacks, and while most ordinary Africans would share that sense, in some mainly Muslim parts of black Africa there were isolated scenes of jubilation. In Kano, the largest city in mainly Muslim northern Nigeria, 31-year-old Saminu Abdullahi said he had celebrated at the news of the attacks. "America is the number one enemy of Islam. It is behind all the killings of Muslims in Bosnia, in Iraq and in Palestine. It supports the killing of Muslims all over the world," he said. But others were more cautious of appearing to antagonise. The authorities in Sudan, who once sheltered the prime suspect Osama Bin Laden and were themselves bombed by Washington in 1998, have in the past week roundly condemned the events in the United States. And many other, ordinary Africans have expressed sympathy. In Kenya, the attacks in the United States raised painful memories of the bomb attacks outside US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in which a total of 212 Africans and 12 Americans died, and thousands more were injured. A leading Christian cleric in Kenya, the Reverend Peter arap Bissem, said Kenyans feel "solidarity with our brothers and sisters in America, victims, like we were, of a terrorist programme." But others were less sympathetic. Scores of thousands of Algerians have died gruesome deaths over the past nine years in an Islamist insurgency which has drawn little reaction from the outside world. "They have reaped what they sowed. Bin Laden is of the Americans' own making and now they're paying for creating him," said an Algiers lawyer who has himself suffered the wrath of the Islamists. "When Algeria cried for help to fight terrorism, the silence from the US was deafening," said a pharmacist, noting that Anwar Haddam, a leader of the now disbanded Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), blamed for much of the violence in Algeria, now lives in conditional liberty in the United States. Between 1996 and 2000, South Africa was hit by a spate of around 190 bomb blasts in and around Cape Town, killing three and injuring some 131, with most blamed on a radical Islamic organisation. But a senior government official who deals with security said the fundamentalist threat in South Africa had been greatly contained and South Africa like other governments has been supportive of Washington. Nevertheless, much of Africa is largely cut off from the world markets, with African accounting for only two per cent of world trade, and this was perhaps why only a handful of Africans were in the World Trade Center when it was attacked. Rwanda's relationship with Washington has been strained by the US role in the Rwandan genocide of 1994 when, as shown only last month by the release of declassified documents, Washington intervened to ensure the withdrawal of UN forces there. Experts believe that if it had been bolstered instead of withdrawn, the UN force could have halted the killings of 800 000 people. http://portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/09/19/wtal219.x ml * US STRIKES WILL SPLIT ARAB WORLD, SAYS MUBARAK by Philip Smucker in Cairo and Patrick Bishop in Amman Daily Telegraph, 19th September PRESIDENT Hosni Mubarak of Egypt sounded a loud cautionary note yesterday, telling America that precipitate military action could alienate the Arab world and spill innocent blood. He also made it clear that he will be spearheading efforts to gain concessions from Washington on the Palestinian question. Mr Mubarak's advisers said he feared that hasty US military action in Afghanistan would split the Arab world in half between "those who support Washington and those who are against". Jordan, another moderate in the region, is equally fearful that strikes against Iraq could produce a furious local reaction which would make it extremely difficult for the country to sign up to a coalition with Washington. Mr Mubarak, while warning against fast action in Afghanistan, is voicing pan-Arab demands for far more US involvement in solving the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. That demand appeared to have been satisfied last night when Israel bowed to American demands and suspended all "offensive operations". In several interviews with US television networks before the Israeli announcement, Mr Mubarak said that in targeting an "individual," or Osama bin Laden, "you are going to kill innocent people". Analysts said the president was manoeuvring to help his Palestinian neighbours and also appease Islamic groups in his country. Some of his views were similar to those of banned fundamentalist groups in Egypt. After several years away from the international limelight, engaged in a brutal struggle against Islamic fundamentalists at home, the Egyptian president appears to have seized on the current international crisis to launch a political comeback. Western officials said that Mr Mubarak has "one ear cocked towards Washington and another towards the concerns of the country's Islamists". They are concerned that his blunt suggestions that the attacks on the US were a likely result of Washington's aloof stance in the Middle East crisis, will be greeted with glee by Islamic fundamentalists in the region and elsewhere. The Egyptian government's view of the current crisis and that of its Islamist adversaries has been close in recent days. Mamoun al-Hodhaibi, a senior official in Egypt's banned Muslim Brotherhood, said: "Mubarak is saying what we believe. Hasty action from Washington may divide the governments of the Muslim world. "The Americans must search, instead, for the reasons why this happened including what is going on in Palestine with Muslims being killed every day by American [manufactured] aircraft." Last night's Israeli announcement of a halt in all attacks on Palestinian targets may help to take the steam out of such accusations. In Jordan, Western officials say there is little sympathy for the Taliban and an American attack on Afghanistan is unlikely to generate antagonism. An assault on Iraq could, however, create huge problems for the kingdom. Fraternal and economic ties are strong with Iraq providing all Jordan's oil at highly favourable rates. During the Gulf war the late King Hussein was forced to be Iraq's only supporter in the region out of deference to strong pro-Baghdad feeling on the streets. His son King Abdullah has condemned last week's attacks and offered support to Washington. Jordan's intelligence service is expected to provide valuable help to America. http://www.dawn.com/2001/09/19/op.htm#1 * WAGING WAR AGAINST TERRORISM by Swami Agnivesh and Rev. Valson Thampu Dawn (Pakistan), 19th September We could respond to the latest and unparalleled outbreak of global terrorism in two ways. The first is that of opportunism. It could be turned to our advantage, say, in reinforcing the case against cross-border terrorism and manoeuvre the US into an anti-Pakistan stance with a beneficial spin-off for our Kashmir agenda. Or we could see escalating international terrorism as a pointer to the pathology of the world order that is being crafted almost exclusively from a Euro-American perspective, with the rest of the world as mere pawns on the chessboard of orchestrated social, cultural and economic expropriation. President Bush is right in terming the terrorist carnage in New York and Washington as 'acts of war'. But the campaign against terrorism needs to be situated in a larger war against the cult and culture of violence in all its myriad forms. Selective targeting of the 'terrorist outfits' inconvenient to oneself can only degenerate into yet another project of terror, no matter in what ideological or rhetorical costume it is draped and displayed. As Indians we are inclined to be sentimental. Sentimentality involves a distortion of sentiments and an avoidance of truth. It constructs a one-sided version of reality, leaving out the disturbing aspect of the situation. Many of us are likely, hence, to feel strongly that this is not the time to take an objective view of terrorism as a global phenomenon. Especially in the wake of the terrible Tuesday, the image of the US as the grand victim of global terrorism haunts our imagination so powerfully that any attempt to see the dialogue of terror objectively could seem blasphemous. The truth must be spoken, nonetheless, lest the colossal human sacrifice witnessed in New York and Washington goes waste. And that would be a tragedy worse than the collapse of the World Trade Centre itself. Our world subscribes to the unwritten dogma that loss of life is more tragic in some contexts and some countries, whereas it is treated as a routine matter in most others. For decades the American foreign policy, especially the war against Communism, has involved the sacrifice of millions of lives in far away lands. Prolonged and poignant suffering has been inflicted on entire nations in order to break down the will of the people. Somehow it was deemed legitimate to sacrifice peoples at a distance to secure the foundations of American hegemony over the world. At the same time, the loss of a single American life has been a matter of hyper-sensitivity. We have all been bought into this specious logic for too long. It is a mark of the greatness of the American society that not every one there subscribes to this hypocritical dogma. Denouncing the barbarity that was rained on New York, Robert Jensen, a professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, writes, "But this act was no more despicable than the massive acts of terrorism, the deliberate killing of civilians for political purposes, that the US government has committed during my lifetime. For more than five decades throughout the Third World, the United States has deliberately targeted civilians or engaged in violence so indiscriminate that there is no other way to understand it except as terrorism." Only think of the hellish sight that the highway from Kuwait to Basrah (Iraq) presented after the liberation of Kuwait. A day after the war had ended, thousands of Iraqi soldiers were retreating, virtually fleeing in fear, from Kuwait commandeering whatever vehicles were available. US B52 bombers rained cluster bombs on them killing thousands all along the highway, clearly after the hostilities had ended. That was not branded terrorism, as the pirate who confronted Alexander would have sneered, only because the US had irresistible firepower. Predictably, Bush has exhorted the democracies of the world to unite in this war against terrorism. Who can dispute that this needs to happen? But who can, at the same time, hope that this would result in the eradication of the cult of violence, as symbolized by this mega terrorism, unless there is an honest understanding of the need to abjure violence as the means to attain one's goals. How can a nation that sits on stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction and is in a position to blackmail and terrorize the world have the moral right to lead a campaign against terrorism? The exclusive right that a few nations claim to use nuclear and hi-tech violence at will is in itself a terrorist idea that needs to be seen for what it is. As long as double standards and injustice continue to plague the global community and vitiate the rhetoric of peace, terrorism will continue to bedevil the human race. Most people are carried away by the magnitude of the havoc that the terrorists have wrought in New York and Washington. Mind-boggling as that really is, what speaks even louder is its carefully choreographed symbolism. This is, by far, the most vicious blow to the American presumption of impregnability at home. The only other comparable event in terms of its symbolic resonance is the sinking of the Titanic that, according to Joseph Conrad, humbled the pride of an entire civilization and burst the bubble of Anglo-Saxon arrogance. The terrible Tuesday has served notice on the nation that American muscle power may not necessarily translate itself into security for Americans either at home or abroad. America needs to combine her awesome firepower with an inspired commitment to justice and compassion for all. And that should include those miserable wretches who are doomed to groan under the 'dictators' that the US detests. That is possible only if this great nation learns to temper its geo-political calculations with a sense of universal responsibility and compassion for all in distress. American pre-eminence must not be founded exclusively on American firepower or economic clout, but also on a global commitment to end poverty, destitution, and injustice of every kind. President Kennedy's stirring words to his countrymen, "Ask not what America can do for you; ask what you can do for America and what we together can do for the world," are far more relevant today than they were then. The symbolism of the event - trade towers collapsing and the nerve centre of the mightiest war machine in history folding up in panic - has not been lost in the torrent of sympathy that people all over the world felt for the victims. The twin towers symbolized a whole civilization that allows wealth to flee from the people at large and accumulate in the hands of a few. Never before in history have mechanisms of affluence left so many destitute as they do in our globalizing world today. Death by starvation, the brooding ferocity of hunger, is the ultimate terror. It is time the Americans came to terms with the irony of their affluence and preeminence in a world of escalating inequalities and explosive grievances. They have must to lose. Consider, in comparison, the Afghans and the Iraqis. How much damage could a few terrorists have inflicted on these countries with a few passenger planes? That is why the idea of an American retaliatory strike against Afghanistan looks so unexciting, even pathetic. Are we about to witness a re-run of North Vietnam? It was the rare resolve bred by poverty that humbled the US there. History is moved by those who have nothing to lose. Marx knew this, and so cried out, "Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose except your chains". Only those who have nothing to lose could have turned themselves into missiles and displayed the suicidal recklessness that portended Doomsday in Washington. The second thing that the people of America need to note is this: the trigger-happy approach of the US to policing the globe bespeaks a crude unconcern for the cost that this exacts from other people. The mastery of electronic warfare that seems to guarantee negligible loss of life to oneself has been the main reason for the cavalier posturings of the US in this respect. One wonders if rockets would have rained on Sudan and Afghanistan in the wake of the attacks on American embassies, and the average American endorsed this effrontery, if the horror of Black Tuesday were anticipated then. The gaping intelligence-and-security lapse writ large over this humiliating event is proof enough that the prospect of a massive terrorist attack in the nerve centre of American finance and defence establishment was never taken seriously by the US. All on a sudden it is as if Vietnam, Iraq, Baghdad, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Chile and Laos have all come home to roost. For a change, the victims are no longer 'the demonized other', but men and women one has seen and known. And that is a different kind of experience from the CNN coverage of hi-tech war at a distance. Ironically, it is the apocalyptic scale of the devastation in this event that makes retaliation both unavoidable and unthinkable. This explains why a subterranean tremor of popular anger is now sweeping through the American people, for all the outward tokens of solidarity they display. To an extent unimaginable a few days ago, more and more Americans are beginning to see an emerging link between American foreign policy, studded with distant proxy wars, and the hell that broke out in their own backyard. Third, the American people need to ensure that the seeds of terror that the enemy has rained over them do not penetrate and sprout in their collective psyche either as fear psychosis or as irrational hatred against all and sundry. Terror's first casualty is the capacity for sound judgment. Panic robs people of their capacity for subtle distinctions. Yet all that we cherish - truth, justice, compassion, love, and beauty - stands on this very foundation. The sporadic outbreak of violence against people of Asian origin, especially mistaking the Sikhs for terrorists, is pathetically ridiculous. Unless this is contained at once, the terrorists will have the last laugh of having infected the mind of America with the virus of terrorism. There is a lesson in this for India as well. Our precipitous haste in boarding the American bandwagon is clearly based on a naive over-exaggeration of the benefits that can be harvested thereby. In this purblind fixation, we seem to become unmindful of the cost that is sure to come in the wake of this misadventure. What is the proof, as yet, of the genuineness of the American resolve to contain and eliminate global terrorism in a dispassionate and consistent fashion? We cannot afford to be carried away by the moment. The truth of life and history is that issues have to be faced and justice upheld, sooner of later. The alternative is to walk an unending trail of death and devastation in the foolish hope that a higher degree of counter violence will bring our adversaries (nee, terrorists) to their knees. While it is true that hardly any terrorist movement has succeeded in attaining its goal, it is also true that very few terrorist movements have been crushed by brute force alone. Look at Sri Lanka, the bleeding island paradise, where sorrow blossoms instead of flowers; no further argument is needed. Those who believe that terror can be treated or targeted selectively, live in a fool's paradise, as the American did till the other day. Black Tuesday was, in that sense, a moment of truth. But a moment of truth need not necessarily become a moment of enlightenment. For that, the truth encountered has to be internalized and upheld in the hard choices that a nation makes. President Bush could get it all wrong if he persuades himself to believe, against his own better sense, that the war to be one is the war against a particular brand of terrorism. The war of this century must be against the rising cult of violence that turned the last century into a cauldron of cruelty and an abyss of human suffering. http://english.pravda.ru/main/2001/09/18/15541.html * RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH BLESSES BOMBARDMENTS Pravda, 18th September ³From the Christian point of view, Americans have religious reasons for a retaliatory strike,² Metropolitan Cyrill, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Department of the Moscow Patriarchy told journalists today at a news conference here in Moscow. Answering questions, the metropolitan stressed that ³US responses, of course, will take place, and they should take place, since, from the Christian point of view, evil should be punished.² Metropolitan Cyrill is also sure that the USA has moral and even religious grounds for a retaliatory strike.² He reminded a well-known phrase: ³One who has lifted his sword, will die by the sword,² according to the RIA Novosti news agency. The high-ranking clergyman does not rule out that damage can be made to innocent people. In this case, American may be accused of ³fighting innocent people.² Metropolitan Cyrill went on to say: ³I do not think that a retaliatory strike will cause inter-confessional enmity,² since the terrorist attacks perpetrated in the USA do not have religious grounds. The Russian Orthodox Churchıs position, voiced by Metropolitan Cyrill, really makes a sensational news story. It is, maybe, for the first time that church hierarchs are directly blessing a war. Typically evangelical peace-loving instructions, e.g. ³if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also² are forgotten. It is not clear why the Russian Church has made up its mind to give appraisals of what the USA is doing or is planning to do. Whether it carry out a retaliatory strike of not it is up to them to decide. The USA is another country populated with people who have different beliefs. So, the Russian Churchıs recent statements affects delicate matters related to the field of law, in the field of inter-ethnic and inter-confessional relationships. One should not forget that Russia is a mutinational and mulitconfessional country. Many Russians profess Islam. What is the world communityı reaction going to be, should Russian Moslems call for support of Afghanistan? They do have right to do so, but they do not do so. Why, then, the Russian Church has decided to speak its mind on the point that evidently has nothing to do with the church? The metropolitanıs certainty that the retaliatory strike will not cause interconfessional enmity is in reality extremely controversial. It is clear by now that the threats alone of bombing Afghanistan have already worsened relations between the Moslem and European worlds, to say nothing of the incidents with mistreating Moslems in the USA. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_ID=394576621 * IRAN REFUSES TO ALLOW US PLANES TO USE AIRSPACE Times of India, 21st September TEHRAN ( AFP ): The Iranian government said Thursday it would refuse to allow the United States to use its airspace for any attack on neighbouring Afghanistan. "The Islamic Republic of Iran will in no way allow the United States to attack Afghanistan using its airspace," said foreign ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi, quoted on state television. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Monday that Tehran, whose ties with Washington were severed two decades ago, "condemns any eventual military action in Afghanistan which would lead to a new human catastrophe." Iran, home to more than one million Afghan refugees, is also concerned over a possible influx of refugees in case of US military strikes on Afghanistan in retaliation for last week's terror attacks in the United States. http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/32770.htm * TODAY WE ARE ALL AMERICANS' by Benjamin Netanyahu New York Post, 21st September WHAT is at stake today is nothing less than the survival of civilization. There may be some who would have thought a week ago that to talk in these apocalyptic terms about the battle against international terrorism was to engage in reckless exaggeration. No longer. Each one of us today understands that we are all targets, that our cities are vulnerable, and that our values are hated with an unmatched fanaticism that seeks to destroy our societies and our way of life. I am certain that I speak on behalf of my entire nation when I say: Today we are all Americans - in grief, as in defiance. In grief, because my people have faced the agonizing horrors of terror for many decades, and we feel an instant kinship with both the victims of this tragedy and the great nation that mourns its fallen brothers and sisters. In defiance, because just as my country continues to fight terrorism in our battle for survival, I know that America will not cower before this challenge. I have absolute confidence that if we, the citizens of the free world, led by President Bush, marshal the enormous reserves of power at our disposal, harness the steely resolve of a free people and mobilize our collective will - we shall eradicate this evil from the face of the earth. But to achieve this goal, we must first however answer several questions: Who is responsible for this terrorist onslaught? Why? What is the motive behind these attacks? And most importantly, what must be done to defeat these evil forces? The first and most crucial thing to understand is this: There is no international terrorism without the support of sovereign states. International terrorism simply cannot be sustained for long without the regimes that aid and abet it. Terrorists are not suspended in mid-air. They train, arm and indoctrinate their killers from within safe havens on territory provided by terrorist states. Often, these regimes provide the terrorists with intelligence, money and operational assistance, dispatching them to serve as deadly proxies to wage a hidden war against more powerful enemies. These regimes mount a worldwide propaganda campaign to legitimize terror, besmirching its victims and exculpating its practitioner - as we witnessed in the farcical spectacle in Durban last month. TAKE away all this state support, and the entire scaffolding of international terrorism will collapse into dust. The international terrorist network is thus based on regimes - Iran, Iraq, Syria, Taliban Afghanistan, Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority and several other Arab regimes such as the Sudan. These regimes are the ones that harbor the terrorist groups: Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, Hezbollah and others in Syrian-controlled Lebanon, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and recently mobilized Fatah and Tanzim factions in the Palestinian territories and sundry other terror organizations in such capitals as Damascus, Baghdad and Khartoum. These terrorist states and terror organizations together form a terror network, whose constituent parts support each other operationally as well as politically. For example, the Palestinian groups cooperate closely with Hezbollah, which in turn links them to Syria, Iran and bin Laden. These offshoots of terror have affiliates in other states that have not yet uprooted their presence, such as Egypt, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. How did this come about? The growth of this terror network is the result of several developments in the last two decades: Chief among them is the Khomeini Revolution and the establishment of a clerical Islamic state in Iran. This created a sovereign spiritual base for fomenting a strident Islamic militancy worldwide - a militancy that was often backed by terror. Equally important was the victory in the Afghan war of the international mujahedin brotherhood. This international band of zealots, whose ranks include Osama bin Laden, saw their victory over the Soviet Union as providential proof of the innate supremecy of faithful Muslims over the weak infidel powers. They believed that even the superior weapons of a superpower could not withstand their superior will. To this should also be added Saddam Hussein's escape from destruction at the end of the Gulf War, his dismissal of U.N. monitors and his growing confidence that he can soon develop unconventional weapons to match those of the West. Finally, the creation of Yasser Arafat's terror enclave gave a safe haven to militant Islamic terrorist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Like their muhajedin cousins, they drew inspiration from Israel's hasty withdrawal from Lebanon, glorified as a great Muslim victory by the Syrian-backed Hezbollah. Under Arafat's rule, these Palestinian Islamic terrorist groups made repeated use of suicide bombing, going so far as to run summer camps in Gaza that teach Palestinian children how to become suicide martyrs. Its adherents, believing in the innate supremacy of Islam, suffered a series of shocks when in the last two centuries that same hated, supposedly inferior West penetrated Islamic realms in North Africa, the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. For them the mission was clear: The West had to be first pushed out of these areas. Pro Western Middle Eastern regimes were toppled in rapid succession, including in Iran. And Israel, the Middle East's only democracy and its purest manifestation of Western progress and freedom, must be wiped off the face of the earth. THUS, the soldiers of militant Islam do not hate the West because of Israel, they hate Israel because of the West. They see it as an island of Western democratic values in a Muslim Arab sea. This is why they call Israel the Little Satan, to distinguish it clearly from the country that has always been and will always be the Great Satan - the United States of America. Nothing better illustrates this better than Osama bin Laden's call for jihad against the United States in 1998. He gave as his primary reason not Israel, not the Palestinians, not the "peace process" - but rather the very presence of the United States "occupying the Land of Islam in the holiest of places." And where is that? "The Arabian peninsula," says bin Laden, where America is "plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers and humiliating its people." Israel, by the way, comes a distant third after "the continuing aggression against the Iraqi people." For the bin Ladens of the world, Israel is merely a sideshow. America is the target. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.