US Exerts Pressure On Saudis
Vol: 2 Issue: 25 Sunday, November 25, 2001
Since Washington has gone way out on a limb by claiming the Saudis are participating in the war on terror, the Bush administration has started putting pressure on the Saudis to prove it. For the most part, and until now, the pressure has been behind the scenes and intends to obtain Riyad’s approval for the provision of military assets for the United States in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Peninsula as well as the launching of measures against Saudi fugitive Osama Bin Laden and his allies. But Saudi Arabia continues to talk a good war, but put nothing behind its words.
And now that the US is wrapping things up in Afghanistan and preparing to expand the war into other countries, like Iraq, the administration can’t maintain the fiction of Saudi cooperation. It actually wants to see some concrete measures. Riyad has so far done little apart from providing intelligence information, generally long after the US had already obtained the same information from other sources. If the Saudis don’t begin to show some form of legitimate cooperation soon, the US may find itself having to apply pressure somewhat less subtle. Which could upset the delicate balancing act Colin Powell has been putting on for Arab entertainment for the past two months.
Now That We Might Actually Capture Them, Then What?
Until now, the main focus of the war against terror has been to destroy the Taliban and thereby destroy Osama bin-Laden’s al-Qaeda terror network. Now that goal is in sight, and Taliban forces are surrendering in droves. At least some of them are directly involved in attacks against the United States. Although the President has used the term ‘bringing them to justice’ as a euphemism for sending them to Allah, a few aren’t ready to go and the White House can’t very well ignore the survivors.
A report by the U.S. Institute of Peace asserts that the federal court system is the most effective route to prosecute bin Laden and his agents. And it thinks they should be prosecuted in the United States.
“At least for the near future, key options for prosecution of terrorist suspects will be U.S. federal courts — where so many of them already have been indicted for pre-Sept. 11 crimes — and foreign national courts that will certainly play a key role in the investigation and prosecution of terrorist suspects,” writes David Sheffer, author of the report.
He said the administration should not be intimidated by threats of Islamic demonstrations and retributions. Scheffer said Bin Laden and key Taliban officials should not be treated as prisoners of war but as criminals. The White House would prefer not to have to treat them at all. Which is one of the reasons the SpecOps operating in the field have been given the ‘green light’ to take out as many as possible. Reports say special forces have killed hundreds of them in ambushes, taking no prisoners — and without losing a single American soldier.
Europe Tightening Visa Restrictions
The Europeans are tightening visa restrictions against citizens of Islamic states. Arab diplomatic sources said the restrictions have already been felt in Britain and Germany. These two countries have the largest and fastest growing Muslim populations in Europe. The restrictions have alarmed some North African countries, particularly Algeria and Tunisia. These countries regard immigration to Europe as a means to relieve internal pressure and economic hardship.
Top Hamas Terrorist Liquidated
The Israelis killed Mahmoud Abu Hanoud on Friday after having tried and failed on at least two previous occasions. The previous failures cost the lives of three Israeli soldiers. But on Friday night, as Hanoud, the leader of the Izzadin Kassam wing of Hamas, drove down a West Bank roadway, two Israeli gunships ambushed his vehicle. The vehicle was struck by two Israeli rockets. The first scored a bonus, killing Izzadin Kassam’s number two man, Ayman Hashaykah.
Hanoud was responsible for a number of atrocities, including the bombings of the Sbarro Pizzeria [in which half those killed were children] and the Dolphinarium disco in Tel Aviv [in which almost all the deaths were Israeli teens].
Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said his elimination was the most important interception since the intifada began in October, 2000. But Hanound’s death is more a beginning than an end. Fifty thousand Palestinians turned out at his funeral shouting “Revenge will be ours soon, powerfully, and in Tel Aviv,” and chanting, “Sharon, wait, revenge is coming soon.”
Hamas Says Palestinians “Too Soft” on Collaborators
Under Palestinian rule, despite Arafat’s promises of peaceful coexistence, coexisting peacefully with Israelis is a crime punishable by death. In an interview on Al-Jazeera television, Ismail Abu Shanab of Hamas attacked the PA for halting the search for those who collaborate with Israel which it began several months ago. Shanab called on the Palestinians to arrest, try, convict and execute those who ‘collaborate’ with the Israelis.
An interesting situation. If Arafat were to keep the promises he made at the UN, peace might be possible. But that would mean he was “collaborating”, and, as leader of the Palestinians, would be duty bound to sentence himself to a firing squad.
Russia Continues To Arm Terror Nations
For all the talk of peace and cooperation, for all the claims by President Bush that Vladimir Putin is really secretly a born-again Christian, the Kremlin continues to arm the Arab nations to the teeth in advance of the war Ezekiel predicted would take place in the last days. Putin is merely conducting his arms bazaar through an intermediary. Alexander Lukashenko, the pro-Stalinist dictator of the former Soviet Republic of Belarus, recently met with Andrei Belyaninov, head of the Russian arms export giant Rosoboroneksport, and Sergei Batehkin, executive secretary of the Defense Systems Interstate financial/industrial group.
The purpose of the meeting was to conclude $500 million worth of arms contracts with Arab, Palestinian, and Albanian Moslem “extremist” groups. Belarus maintains close contacts with nations associated with terrorist activities including Libya, Iran, Cuba and Syria — all former Soviet client states.
Freedom’s Just Another Word For Nothing Left To Lose
And while maintaining the fiction that Russia is now an open society, Moscow recently decreed that it will exert control over all of Russia’s broadcasting and relay stations handling radio and television signals under a newly created Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network. One of the principle investors in the new network, before he was squeezed out, that is, was CNN founder Ted Turner.
Moscow’s Unblinking Eye in the Sky
The Kremlin continues to build on the intelligence/surveillance network it has created over the past few years using a network of3,500 Russian and 800 foreign ships equipped with special transmitters that send information to satellites. The data is then sent to regional centers in Murmansk and Petropavlovsk Kamchatskiy, where Russia operates major submarine bases. An additional center in Moscow also receives the data.
The system highlights Russia s continuing use of commercial vessels for military and government intelligence gathers, including the monitoring of U.S. strategic nuclear submarines.