“World, Meet Arafat. Arafat, World.”

“World, Meet Arafat. Arafat, World.”
Vol: 8 Issue: 31 Friday, May 31, 2002

That the Palestinian people are an oppressed people is a matter of reality. That they are suffering is beyond dispute. Decades of oppression are cited as justifications for suicide bombings, and nobody is exaggerating the oppression or the hopelessness that would drive a sixteen-year old to blow himself up, rather than continuing to live under oppression.

Since Israel captured the West Bank in 1967, global attention [and the global hammer] has fallen on the Israelis to no avail. The Arab attacks continued without respite through the years, as did the Israeli responses.

No matter what the world demanded and no matter what Israel did, even after Oslo, the Palestinians remained an oppressed people.

Surrounded by the relative wealth and luxury of Israel, the Palestinians grew even poorer, more frustrated, more angry, more bitter.

For fifty years, entire families languished in refugee camps set up by the UN inside Greater Israel and by the Arab regimes in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

Palestine’s Oppressor

Polls conducted among Palestinians indicate most Palestinians [more than 80% in past polls] support the continuation of the suicide bombing campaigns. A majority are prepared for a war to the death with their oppressors.

But while Arafat was under siege in his compound, the Palestinians [and the rest of the world] were able to step back, take a deep breath, and take a long, hard look at the oppressor of the Palestinians.

His name is Yasser Arafat.

Signs Framework for Constitution

Yesterday, Arafat signed a package of laws granting basic rights to his people and regulating his government, just before world diplomats began arriving to press him for reforms.

Nobody is hailing him for his bold, innovative step. Instead, they are questioning why he took so long to grant the basic freedoms he claims he is attempting to wrest away from the Israelis.

Except that the Israelis have been pushing for a Palestinian constitution and basic rights for Palestinians since Oslo.

Arafat, on the other hand, has steadfastly refused, to this point, to sign the Basic Law, which has been sitting on his desk for five years.

The Basic Law is designed to answer some of the complaints of corruption, nepotism and inefficiency of Arafat s regime.

The Palestinian Legislative Council passed the measure in 1997, but Arafat never signed it, setting off years of complaints by frustrated lawmakers.

What’s Wrong With the Basic Law?

Why would Arafat deny his people basic human rights guarantees years after it was within his power to do so? Here s a hint.

Among its main points are regular elections for president, a ban on censorship or intimidation of news media, an independent judicial system and a separation of powers among the executive, legislative and judicial branches.

While complaining of Israeli oppression Arafat wields absolute, iron-fisted power. He regularly ignores laws passed by the legislature, convenes security courts that sometimes try, convict and sentence Palestinians in a single day. Some Palestinians accused of helping Israeli forces were executed within hours of a one-day trial.

In some cases, trials took less than an hour, in others, executions followed summary judgment without the benefit of trial.

He Had The Power, All Along

Meet the real oppressor. He was elected president of the Palestinian Authority in 1996 in the only election held since the regime was created in 1994. It was part of the framework of interim peace accords with Israel.

Last week a commission appointed to arrange new elections resigned in protest at Arafat’s refusal to set a date.

Arafat’s Cabinet then said that elections were “possible” in December. Then he said no. Then maybe. What is the problem with elections?

First, Arafat knows he ll lose.

Second, [and more importantly] he knows that, once out of power, he is going to be required to answer for why he got richer while his people got poorer.

It has been within Arafat s power to provide his people with self-government, complete autonomy, eventual statehood and a level of peace and prosperity unmatched by any other Arab government.

Had Arafat embraced the Israeli offer of peace, had he worked diligently to create a state that would live side by side in peace with Israel, is there anyone who doubts that Israel would have warmly embraced them in return?

Or that Israel would have welcomed the opportunity to convert the Arab state that risked the most and developed the closest ties to Israel into the most peaceful and prosperous Arab state possible?

What better way to show the Arab world the value of peace with Israel than to prosper the Arabs who did?

Assessment:

Arafat fought for four decades to achieve basic Palestinian rights for all Palestinians and the whole world supported his quest. Who could be against Palestinian rights? Or rights for any people?

There are those cynical few [like this correspondent] who have been asking for years what Arafat was talking about when he blamed Israel for the oppression of his people after Israel gave him the power to do something about it.

When peace was within his grasp, Arafat shunned it.

Peace would mean the end for Abu Amar, the Great Warrior for the Palestinian cause. Warriors are unnecessary without a war and Arafat would lose the grip on power he s held for four decades.

The hundreds, thousands of lives sacrificed by the Palestinian people weren’t to liberate Palestine, they were to keep Abu Amar [Arafat’s non de guerre] in power. Period.

Suddenly, years after it was obvious to anybody who could see past the fact Israel is Jewish, leaders the world over are looking up sharply, narrowing their eyes, and exclaiming, Heeyyy, I think this guy s been putting us on! Duh.

If Israel wanted to lift the so-called oppression it imposed on the Palestinian people right now, how would they go about it? Give that some thought. What could Israel do that would improve their lot? End incursions? Would it end the bombing?

Give up their settlements? How would that improve the life of the average Palestinian family in Hebron, Nablus or Jericho?

Evidently somebody, somewhere in the halls of government must have muttered something about this out loud where somebody else could hear him, who repeated it until Somebody Important exclaimed, Hey! How come nobody told me this before?

Instead of blaming Israel for the fact that Arafat has built brutal Arab dictatorship under the noses of, and with the full support of the Western democracies, they are beginning to ask Arafat why he doesn t want elections.

In hindsight, it is as plain as the nose on Arafat s face. Why didn t anybody notice before?

Because Arafat is locked in a death struggle with Jews over the Holy Land. The Jews base their claim on the Promise of God as written in the Bible.

Accepting that claim as written comes too close to accepting the Author Who wrote it.

The world would prefer to accept a claim based, not on history or even logic, but instead embracing a claim that, in the final analysis, boiled down to a single question.

Who would the world rather see in possession of the Holy Land? The Jews? Or anybody else, no matter how weak the claim or deplorable the methods employed to enforce it.

The world was secretly hoping that Arafat would do the world a favor and rid it of a Jewish state.

But now the secret s out, and the global community is rising in righteous indignation.

“For shame, Yasser! How could you do such a thing?”

The hypocrisy is staggering.

India, Pakistan and al Qaeda

India, Pakistan and al Qaeda
Vol: 8 Issue: 30 Thursday, May 30, 2002

A force of Islamic terrorists attacked a police base in Indian administered Kashmir early today in which at least three Indian officers were killed.

The attack comes amid high tension between Pakistan and India and just two weeks after three men India says were Pakistani-based Islamic militants attacked an army camp in Kashmir, killing 31 soldiers and their families.

India and Pakistan have now amassed a million men between them along their border, backed by missile batteries, tanks and fighter planes.

Totally Responsible Elements

US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the Indian and Pakistani leaders could find themselves in a situation in which “irresponsible elements” could spark a conflict.

Just once it would be nice if a Cabinet level spokesman were permitted to actually say something.

How many ways can one read the phrase irresponsible elements ? It would appear that elements that can provoke a war could hardly be responsible for that war and irresponsible at the same time.

Who are the elements and why didn t Boucher just name them? It isn t like he doesn t know. Or like it s a secret from anyone paying attention.

The elements are the al-Qaeda and Taleban [dubbed the TAQ by British commandos] terrorists who freely roam Pakistan, taking their orders, ultimately, it appears, from Baghdad.

Saddam Hussein Again or Always?

There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that Saddam Hussein has been secretly using agent provocateurs for decades, taking advantage of existing ethnic conflicts, providing logistics, intelligence and training, helping to build the al-Qaeda [ the Base ] network into the global terrorist army it is today.

He had fertile fields in which to sow dissention in many ways, the conflict on the sub-continent mirrors the conflict in the Middle East. Both are ethnic. Both are largely religious. Both are intractable.

India and Pakistan have gone to war three times over Kashmir, in 1947, 1965 and 1989.

In all three wars, Pakistani insurgencies within Indian administered regions sparked the conflicts.

Israel and the Arab world fought wars in 1948-49, 1956, 1967 and 1973. In between, there has been an ongoing war of Arab insurgencies within Israel administered regions

Nebuchadnezzar II?

During the Persian Gulf War and in the years after, Iraq had only two friends in the Arab world, Yasser Arafat, whose support for Saddam resulted in the deportation of a half-million Palestinian expatriates to Jordan from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

And the Pakistani-backed TAQ.[Taleban/alQaeda]. They had just chased the Soviets out of Afghanistan and were fighting for control of Afghanistan.

The hero of the Russo-Afghanistan war was Osama bin-Laden, who then returned his attention to ousting the royal family from Saudi Arabia.

[Which was exactly what Saddam had planned as soon as he finished mopping up Kuwait].

Without Operation Desert Storm, Osama bin-Laden could well be the leader of Saudi Arabia today.

Saddam has had a Nebuchadnezzar complex since beginning the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88. During that war, he had a coin struck with his profile in bas-relief over a profile of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. He was at that time in the process of rebuilding Nebuchadnezzar s summer palace for his own use.

Saddam wanted to right what he saw as two historical wrongs and restore Iraq to what it had been under Nebuchadnezzar. In Daniel s image of the four world empires, it was Babylon [Iraq] that was the head of gold all subsequent kingdoms were inferior.

Saddam wanted to be the first Arab leader to defeat the Israelis on the battlefield since Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem in 586 BC. And he wanted to revenge Babylon s defeat at the hands of the Persians fifty years later.

He wasn t able to exact full historical revenge against the Persians, but by the time the Iran-Iraq war ended in 1988, both sides were throwing school-boys and old men into the field of battle, sometimes unarmed. Those who didn t run toward the enemy were cut down by their own troops in the rear.

In a way, Saddam could claim victory. Iran was utterly decimated by the conflict; Iraq emerged as the world s fifth most powerful military force.

Iran lost an entire generation; Saddam withheld his best troops, the Republican Guards. He still had another historical wrong to right. And he would have righted it then, if not for America.

Enter al Qaeda The Base

Saddam s fingerprints are all over the most heinous al-Qaeda attacks, from the Israeli Embassy in Argentina to the US embassy bombings in Africa.

It is significant to note that, of all the nations in the Middle East with the will, the way, the hatred for both Israel and America; that not a single Iraqi national has been a member of any al-Qaeda operation against either state.

Lots of back-channel meetings like those between Mohammed Atta and Iraqi agents in Prague, but nothing direct.

Saddam and Osama both want to topple the House of Saud. That was his ultimate plan when he invaded Kuwait. Osama shares that goal.

Most of the members of the 9/11 hijacking team were Saudis, but the brains of each operation were Egyptian. Not an Iraqi to be found.

Assessment:

Saddam s fingerprints are all over the place in the West, but it appears they can be found in Kashmir as well. Boucher couched his irresponsible elements phraseology carefully for a reason.

Nothing would serve Saddam s interests quite as much as a nuclear war on the Indian subcontinent. It would serve as the perfect cover for another attempt to recreate Nebuchadnezzar s victory.

It took the US six months to mobilize Operation Desert Shield, with Saudi cooperation.

Thanks to years of careful planning and excellent intelligence work, the Saudi option is now closed to Washington. The US military is scattered in a dozen theatres of operation around the world, focusing on pockets of Islamic terrorism here and there.

The Indian subcontinent is on the brink of nuclear destruction; Israel is weakened and in political and military disarray, bloodied by constant terror attacks and with a formidable insurgent population in its midst.

Washington has stopped talking about Iraq and about Saddam altogether. That which does get leaked to the press hints at postponing any strike on Iraq until after the rest of the fires get stamped out.

That is precisely what Saddam has planned. Muhammed Ali called the strategy rope a dope and its been working well so far.

Washington s reticence to discuss Iraq of late means one of two things.

Either its working, and Washington doesn t see it.

Or we re coming. And we don t want him to know until we get there.

The Bible says that Babylon has a destiny that has yet to be fulfilled.

Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations. [Jeremiah 25:9]

Babylon the Empire was destroyed. Babylon the geographic city remains. Using the ruins as foundation, Iraqi archeologists rebuilt the palace complex on President Saddam Hussein’s orders between 1982 and 1989 with similar baked mud bricks. Some of the ancient bricks are stamped with the name of Nebuchadnezzar, who died in 562 B.C.; the new ones have Saddam’s name.

Babylon hasn t yet been made an astonishment a hissing and perpetual desolations .

Not yet. But it’s coming.

Disappointing an Understatement

Disappointing an Understatement
Vol: 8 Issue: 29 Wednesday, May 29, 2002

America s ambassador to Israel explained to the Jerusalem Post why CIA Director George Tenet deferred his visit to the region. It wasn t that he stayed home because there was no point, Daniel Kurzter explained. He said that it was just that he wouldn t come until he thinks it makes sense to do so. Gee, that clears things up, doesn t it?

Kurzter was asked if he was as disappointed with Arafat as President Bush was.

Kurzter immediately dropped the traditional diplomatic double-speak . “Disappointing sounds like too weak a word… It has been abysmal in terms of using the resources at his disposal the PA’s police, security forces, and intelligence apparatus to stop this kind of activity,” he said.

“There are going to be some cases where that capability has probably been diminished over this past period, but that does not excuse the absence of performance in places where the capability has not been diminished.

“There is no excusing this. It is only a reason to intensify efforts to get them to do what they have to do.

Kurzter was unusually blunt in his criticism for an ambassador. Maybe it was his frustration with the situation. While denying Tenet wasn t coming because he saw no hope of success, he admitted Tenet was at a loss to figure out how you get the Palestinians to do what they are supposed to do which is for their own purposes.”

Pendulum Swinging Away From Palestinian Statehood

Kurzter also let slip an important clue regarding the redeveloping US policy concerning a future Palestinian state.

Buried inside all the US talking points about continuing to deal with Arafat because he is the legally elected representative and so forth, Kurzter said, “Arafat has pushed the date of independence off, rather than move it forward.

Arafat s Reform Plan

We reported some weeks ago that President Bush and Ariel Sharon worked out an agreement whereby Arafat might be side-stepped by the creation of a prime minister, allowing Arafat to continue as a figurehead. Of course, that was the Bush/Sharon best case scenario.

The London daily al-Hayat outlined Arafat s best case scenario.

Yasser Arafat will retain control of the key post of Interior minister in charge of Palestinian security services.

The Deputy interior minister would be Muhamad Dahlan, who currently runs Palestinian terrorist operations in the Gaza Strip,

Four new organizations would be established:

Internal security: Under Rashid Abu Shbak, Dahlan s deputy and senior terrorist.

The two preventive security services in Gaza and the West Bank will be united under Shbak and Dahlan.

External Security: Amin al Hindi. He was a bone tossed in the hope of distracting the Israelis and Washington. He had been previously stripped of real authority in the course of the Intifada because he was regarded as too pro-American.

[External Security is irrelevant anyway, since Arafat would directly control his mechanism through other interlocking directorates.]

Police: Hajj Ismail, current West bank General Security chief, who is completely under the thumb of Arafat and Dahlan.

General Security: This would be equivalent to a Palestinian army. The Oslo Peace Accords expressly forbid a Palestinian army. Oslo only recognizes an eventual demilitarized Palestinian state. Arafat is trying to sneak this violation through in the guise of reforms .

The infamous Force 17, a key element of the Palestinian terror machine, will absorb Arafat s two other private terrorist groups the Fatah suicide killers arm known as the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and the Tanzim militia.

That way, Arafat bypasses the demand to dismantle al Aqsa Brigades, who have claimed responsibility for the unrelenting and ongoing wave of terror.

Tawfiq Tirawi is currently the commander of the al Aqsa Brigades and super-controller of Fatah suicide killers. According to al Hayat, Tirawi is slated to command the new consolidated security organization.

Assessment:

It is unlikely that the Israelis will be taken in by the token moderates in Arafat s reformed Palestinian Authority. Neither will Washington. Not that it really matters. Arafat s proposed official operational government will simply move underground and operate behind the scenes anyway.

The only way to stop them is to eliminate them. That means continuing Operation Defensive Shield in the West Bank until Israel finally cuts the head off the snake.

The world s attention is distracted at the moment by events in South Asia, but not enough for Israel to engineer Arafat s exit from this mortal plane. But unless and until that is accomplished, reform is just another word that loses something in the translation.

The Last Drop of Blood

The Last Drop of Blood
Vol: 8 Issue: 28 Tuesday, May 28, 2002

Pakistan s President Musharraf gave a televised speech to his country with a few comments for the world in general that probably was intended to be conciliatory — but wasn t.

The closest one could get to finding a conciliatory note in the entire speech was a promise not to strike first. Musharraf said Pakistan would not fire the first shot, ”but if war is thrust upon us, every Muslim is bound to respond in kind” and would ”fight to the last drop of blood.” That is pretty much what it would come to — the last drop of blood.

Pushing the Envelope

At almost the same time that Musharraf was promising no first strike, Pakistan conducted yet a third missile test. On Saturday, they tested their long-range Ghauri, capable of penetrating a thousand miles into India.

Sunday s fireworks display included the Ghaznavi, a missile capable of delivering warheads accurately about 200 miles.

On Monday, as he promised no first strike, Musharraf tested a third missile, the Abdali. This one, a short range surface to surface missile, was one they developed and built themselves. All three are capable of delivering a nuclear payload.

All three Pakistani missiles are named after Muslim conquerors of Hindus on the subcontinent over the past nine centuries.

The conclusion of the test coincided with a visit to Islamabad by British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, attempting to reduce tension in the region.

India s Options Narrowing

India’s defense minister has said that following the missile tests and ‘harsh words from Pakistan’ India’s options are narrowing.

“This is highly irresponsible behavior and displays the political and military brinkmanship of the Pakistani leadership,” a spokesman told CNN.

Nirupama Rao, an Indian Foreign Affairs spokeswoman, said her government “heard the speech carefully” and it “needs to be analyzed fully” in the context of Musharraf’s recent statements.

Global Nervous Breakdown

Musharraf s speech did nothing to soothe the rattled nerves of the leaders of other nations in the region. Australia’s Foreign Minister Alexander said Tuesday Australia remained deeply concerned about the security situation.

He called Musharraf s pledge not to strike first reassuring , but said, “We need to see more signs of progress than just one speech from the president.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi is running back and forth between New Delhi and Islamabad, urging both nations to restrain themselves.

There s a lot of hand-wringing going on, but not much of substance taking place.

Where s the United Nations?

One would expect that the United Nations would be buzzing around everywhere, with UN envoys in Islamabad making speeches, UN envoys in Kashmir making speeches, more envoys making speeches from New Delhi. . . but the UN is nowhere to be found.

Even Kofi Annan, the Grand Poobah of the global body that was formed expressly to prevent nuclear war, has been strangely silent.

Odd, considering the circumstances.

When it comes to the Middle East, you can t get them to shut up.

But the United Nations seems content to allow a sixth of the planet to vaporize itself in a nuclear holocaust without comment.

Assessment:

The war over Kashmir, like the Middle East conflict, has been simmering since 1948, boiling over occasionally into open war. Although as dangerous as the Middle East, it doesn t get nearly as much attention. Few people in the West really know what it s all about. There is much about both conflicts that are similar.

Religion and Politics

First and foremost, there s the spiritual element; it s about Islam and the Other Guys. In this case, Islam vs. the Hindus, mostly, then Christians, Buddhists, etc.

Add to that the fact that Pakistan is an Islamic dictatorship, whereas India is a representative democracy. So the Islamic nature of the conflict means it will only be solved with the conversion of 1.2 billion Indians to Islam. Or their annihilation.

On the political level, the United Nations tried to solve the conflict back in 1948 the same way it tried to solve it in the Middle East. It issued a series of mandates [all of which favored Islamic Pakistan] that India ignored then and ignores still.

Pakistan was created out of the Muslim majority of East Bengal in what had been colonial India. Its founding father was Mohammad Ali Jinnah who authored a two-state theory that all the Muslim-majority states of imperial India belonged in Pakistan.

Kashmir, as the Muslims see it, was stolen from them by India.

Kashmir is the Pakistani nation’s righteous cause; the “poor Kashmiris” are the Muslims who must be rescued from the tyranny of the Hindu infidel.

During the past 50 years, Kashmir has been the one cause that has brought Pakistanis together. And Pakistani leaders forsake the cause at their peril.

President Bill Clinton pressured Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister, into ordering Pakistani troops back from Kashmir in the summer of 1999 to defuse the Kargil crisis.

From then on, Sharif was a marked man. His government lasted until October, when Musharraf took power in a military coup.

Musharraf has tried to be tough on sectarian terrorism, and had few qualms about ditching the Taliban. But the Kashmir struggle is his badge of honor.

Musharraf is himself an immigrant to Pakistan from India, his patriotism is open to doubt; loyalty to Kashmir is the infallible way to demonstrate it.

Reading backwards through the politics, we find ourselves where we started, with Islam.

If Musharraf backs down from India, he loses power. Musharraf heads an Islamic state and there are only two kinds of Islamic leaders. Those in power — and the dead ones.

If he goes the distance, the worst that can happen to him personally is he ll die gloriously in an Islamic jihad.

Even if he takes millions of his countrymen with him, he won t be any deader than he would be if he retires from office.

The possibility of a global holocaust increases on a daily basis.

If it isn t the Islamic/Hindu conflict in South Asia, it s the Islamic jihad against America and the American declaration of war against Islamic terror.

If global war doesn t break out as a consequence of the inevitable US attacks on Islamic terrorist states like Iraq, Iran, or Syria, it might break out over the Islamic jihad against Israel.

America and Israel have little in common with India, apart from a representative democratic political system, and virtually nothing in common spiritually, but all share a common enemy in Islam.

At this moment in history, Islam represents the single greatest threat to the continued survival of the planet the world has ever seen.

In the West, nobody seems to have grabbed hold of that reality yet, almost as if they had blinders on.

As we approach the end of the age, the spiritual war that has been going on all around us has begun to spill over into the here-and-now in preparation for the Last Battle. All the signs continue to point in that direction.

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Scientists Present South Asia Nuke Scenario

Scientists Present South Asia Nuke Scenario
Vol: 8 Issue: 27 Monday, May 27, 2002

A group of environmental scientists have developed a probable scenario for a limited nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan.

The calculations are based on what would happen if 10 explosions took place, similar in size to the one over Hiroshima in Japan in 1945, over some of India’s and Pakistan’s most populated cities.

The Institute for Science and International Security in Washington suggests that India has about 65 warheads made from 310 kilograms of plutonium.

Pakistan has around 40 made from 690 kilograms of uranium. Each warhead is believed to be roughly equivalent to Fat Man and Little Boy the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II.

The London Sunday Times reported that Pakistan may have a larger arsenal than is estimated by Washington, which would make the environmental scientists estimate a best case scenario.

M.V. Ramana of Princeton University in New Jersey estimated that if only a tenth of the nuclear weapons of two countries were exploded above 10 of their largest cities, 2.6 million people would die or be injured in India and 1.8 million in Pakistan. Radioactive dust, if the bombs exploded on the ground, would kill people across hundreds of square miles.

This scenario is based on a limited nuclear war, not an all out nuclear war. If either side unleashed their entire arsenal, the destruction and death would increase exponentially, rendering Pakistan extinct and India a third of her former self.

The war zone would be uninhabitable for decades, if not centuries. Nuclear fallout would be carried into the upper atmosphere and deposited world-wide.

Pakistan s two missile tests over the weekend were matched by an order for India s nuclear forces to begin taking its warheads out of storage and fitting them to delivery systems. The London Times reports Pakistan has done the same.

Over the past half-century the world has been on the brink many times; the Berlin Airlift; the Cuban missile crisis; the Middle East and most recently, the Persian Gulf War. At the last minute, somebody blinked, and everybody ordered their nuclear forces to stand down.

We ve grown accustomed to it, like seeing a scary movie when you ve already heard how it ends. It s still scary, but less so. We expect this to end with a sigh of relief.

It might. But it looks increasingly like this time, both sides might go the distance despite the fact it means national suicide for Pakistan.

Musharraf is operating on the principle that an Indian nuclear strike would be limited New Delhi is, as well. The problem is, either side can escalate the conflict. In war, once it s begun, the rules are to win.

Assessment:

Since it means national extinction, is President Musharraf crazy enough to continue provoking its much larger and better armed neighbor? The evidence says yes.

President Bush confirmed during a press conference on Sunday from France that he indeed asked Pakistani President Musharraf not to conduct the provocative missile tests of Pakistan s Ghauri and Ghaznavi missiles over the weekend.

He s crazy enough to stick his thumb in Bush s eye over the missile tests. That s a clue.

He has continued to support, train and arm Islamic terrorists willing to go after India, just as he supported, trained and armed the Taliban and al-Qaeda before September 11 changed his world.

Here’s another clue. Indian intelligence has been directed by Prime Minister Vajpayee himself to scour the Middle East and the Persian Gulf for every scrap of information linking Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein with the Pakistani president, and Iraqi military intelligence with Pakistan s Inter-Services-Intelligence agency.

Egyptians and Saudis captured in Kashmir have confessed during interrogation by Indian intelligence officers that they had received their orders, destinations, money, weapons and ammunition from former Afghanistan desk officers of the Pakistani SIS.

If it turns out Musharraf is still playing footsie with al-Qaeda to advance his war plans against India, then its more than a clue. If he’s crazy enough to risk that, then the sky’s the limit.

India and Pakistan together represent slightly more than one sixth of humanity. China shares a common border with both.

A number of prominent Bible prophecy teachers are advancing the theory of a false Armageddon that so numbs the world that it voluntarily begins to surrender power to the center, forming the four spheres of global power that exist in the last days.

A nuclear war in South Asia would accomplish that in short order. It is hard to imagine Europe sitting by idly after witnessing the carnage of an Indo-Pakistani nuclear war without forcefully putting an end to the growing nuclear threat in its own back yard in the Middle East.

But that is speculation. What we know is this. We ve just emerged from the Roaring 90 s a time of peace and prosperity unmatched in modern history.

It was kicked off by the imaginary peace dividend reaped by standing down our military forces, closing foreign and domestic military bases and reducing our military budget.

The 90 s represented a pax Americana during which the world was more or less at peace. Those who stepped out of line, like Milosevic or Saddam, were soundly spanked like recalcitrant children and send to their rooms to sulk.

It all began to unravel, almost in tune with the calendar change. The miracle bull market began to stumble. The threat of an American spanking didn t faze al-Qaeda, it just made them mad.

September 11 happened, and we discovered that the pax Americana of the 1990 s was an illusion. While America [and those under our protection] celebrated peace and safety, our enemies [including some of those under our protection] plotted our destruction.

The Middle East is about to explode into open war, with the attending threat of the use of chemical, biological or even nuclear weapons.

Another sixth of humanity is a heartbeat away from nuclear extinction in South Asia. And the words of the Apostle Paul take on new relevance.

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. [1Thessalonians 5:1-3]

Fresh Warnings of New Terror

Fresh Warnings of New Terror
Vol: 8 Issue: 26 Sunday, May 26, 2002

The FBI issued a fresh warning Saturday that terrorists may be interested in using small planes to carry out suicide attacks.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association said on its Web site the alert was issued because the FBI “has received information indicating that terrorists may still be interested in using small general aviation aircraft for suicide attacks in the United States.”

“Pilots are strongly encouraged to remain alert for suspicious activities anytime they are flying, or at an airport just before or after a flight,” the association said. “Individuals observing anything suspicious should report it to the local FBI or law enforcement officials.”

Assessment:

In just the past week, Americans have been pelted with warnings about the possibility of suicide bombers, terrorist scuba divers, subway and railroad attacks, suicide attacks using small planes, seaport sabotage, use of weapons of mass destruction and assaults on nuclear plants and landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.

The government is stung by charges it failed to do all it could to prevent 9/11. While there is no evidence pointing to the White House, as some have charged, there is considerable evidence that those making the charges have much to answer for, since oversight of federal law enforcement is a Congressional responsibility.

But the White House is making sure there will be no charges down the road that it failed to tell the public what it knew about attacks that do come to pass.

The problem is what it has always been and will continue to be. Guesswork is an imprecise art at best made even more difficult by the hamstringing effect of political correctness in all its forms.

Since federal officials can t use profiling to reduce the number of leads, there are threats to just about everything. But any law enforcement officer who decides to investigate someone solely because they are of Middle Eastern descent is risking his career.

Three Middle Eastern men were arrested last week in Kentucky as they were videotaping a water reservoir. When it turned out they weren t terrorists, there was a media hue and cry about profiling .

When I was in the Marine Corps, part of the preparatory training for deployment to Vietnam included a class entitled Know Your Enemy in which the enemy was profiled; what he liked to eat, where he liked to sleep, what his tactics were, what he was taught about you, and what he looked like.

All those things were believed relevant to survival, since the enemy was not just the North Vietnamese Army, but also the gigantic guerilla force called the Viet Cong.

We are in a war against Islamic terrorists, who, like the Viet Cong, wear no uniform and attempt to blend into the civilian population.

A friend, Jim Simmers, emailed me a quiz — 12 multiple choice questions about who our enemy is.

It s a bit lengthy, but it makes a powerful point.

Profiling

To ensure that we Americans never offend anyone – particularly fanatics intent on killing us – airport screeners will not be allowed to profile people. They will continue random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, Secret Service agents who are members of the President’s security detail, 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winning former governors.

Let’s take the following test.

1. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by:

(a) Olga Korbut

(b) Sitting Bull

(c) Arnold Schwarzenegger

(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

2. In 1979, the U.S. embassy in Iran was taken over by:

(a) Lost Norwegians

(b) Elvis

(c) A tour bus full of 80-year-old women

(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

3. During the 1980’s a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:

(a) John Dillinger

(b) The King of Sweden

(c) The Boy Scouts

(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

4. In 1983, the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:

(a) A pizza delivery boy

(b) Pee Wee Herman

(c) Geraldo Rivera

(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

5. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked, and a 70 year

old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard by:

(a) The Smurfs

(b) Davy Jones

(c) The Little Mermaid

d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

6. In 1985, TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a U.S. Navy

diver was murdered by:

(a) Captain Kidd

(b) Charles Lindbergh

(c) Mother Teresa

(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

7. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:

(a) Scooby Doo

(b) The Tooth Fairy

(c) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

8. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:

(a) Richard Simmons

(b) Grandma Moses

(c) Michael Jordan

(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

9. In 1998, the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:

(a) Mr. Rogers

(b) Hillary, to distract attention from Wild Bill’s women problems

(c) The World Wrestling Federation to promote its next villain:

“Mustapha the Merciless”

(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

10. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked and destroyed and

thousands of people were killed by:

(a) Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote, Daffy Duck, and Elmer Fudd

(b) The Supreme Court of Florida

(c) The Rolling Stones

(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

11. In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:

(a) Enron

(b) The Lutheran Church

(c) The NFL

(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

12. In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:

(a) Bonnie and Clyde

(b) Captain Kangaroo

(c) Billy Graham

(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

The correct answer is “D”

Our enemy is Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40. Maybe we should start looking there?

Political Correctness and 9/11

Political Correctness and 9/11
Vol: 8 Issue: 25 Saturday, May 25, 2002

America is slowing coming to the realization, however unwilling, that the catastrophic failure of the intelligence system on 9/11 was in part the consequence of political correctness and decades of liberal re-education.

The evidence was all there; the FBI failed to pull it together, the CIA failed to take into account what the FBI didn t know, those charged with briefing the president failed to take into account what nobody told them and then it was time to find somebody to blame.

A weak partisan effort to blame the administration failed when it became obvious there was more than enough blame to go around.

It is the Congress charged with the oversight of the intelligence community, not the administration.

The failure was real. But it failed long before Mr. Bush went to Washington.

Assessment:

One of the reasons the FBI failed so abysmally to connect the dots regarding all the memos about Middle Eastern men taking flight training was the FBI s self-imposed and rigidly practiced polices against racial profiling.

This caveat: Being against racial profiling is not the equivalent to blind political correctness. It was born out of good intentions, and to address genuine wrongs.

As a young police officer in Texas I personally witnessed the dark side of racial profiling and its consequences in the black American community.

We view racism as an evil in any form, whether directed against black or white, Jew or Arab.

But common sense must play a role. The FBI refused to profile Middle Eastern men taking flight lessons. Not because they couldn t, but because that would create a database profiled by race.

It isn t like we didn t know about al-Qaeda, bin-Laden or Islamic terror against US targets prior to 9/11.

The refusal to profile potential terrorists by race has been cited indirectly by virtually every DoJ apologist as one of the failures that led up to 9/11.

The policy continues into the New Normal, but more people are beginning to question the wisdom of things like random checks at airports in the New Normal.

Like the one involving 87 year-old Joe Foss, famous WWII aviator, Medal of Honor winner and former governor of South Dakota.

Foss was sent to secondary inspection while others fitting the profile of an Islamic terrorist, [young men of Middle Eastern descent], boarded unchallenged.

Racial profiling can be ugly; there were a few instances following 9/11 in which men fitting the profile were refused boarding passes simply because of their race.

But being blown to pieces in an airplane is uglier.

Having a policy of inspecting those who fit the profile of a Middle Eastern terrorist would be inconvenient.

One would think that Americans of Middle Eastern descent are no less eager to board an aircraft with a terrorist than would Americans of any other background.

The same applies to allowing the FBI and other intelligence and anti-terror organizations to compile investigative databases using the profile that fits the threat.

It would be an inconvenience to those being profiled, a waste of hours and manpower that would inevitably be expended barking up the wrong tree, but it might have cross-referenced Zacaraias Mousaoui with the other 19 hijackers who were also learning how to fly jumbo jets, but not necessarily how to take off or land them.

There are a lot of ‘what-ifs’ and any kind of racial profiling would be a policy fraught with dangers to civil liberties.

But somewhere in the mix there has to be some measure of common sense and a recognition of the reality of war.

You can apologize to the inconvenienced or the embarrassed, but you can t apologize to the dead.

The Treaty of Moscow

The Treaty of Moscow
Vol: 8 Issue: 24 Friday, May 24, 2002

Don t worry about it if you never heard of it. Neither had anybody else until about an hour ago. At 4:58 a.m. this morning, President George Bush and President Vladimir Putin signed their names to an agreement by which the United States and Russia have ended a long chapter of confrontation, according to Bush.

Both nations agreed formally to reduce their nuclear weapons arsenals from six thousand to about two thousand. Consequently, instead of being capable of destroying all life on earth ten times over, we can only destroy it thrice.

So, according to the administration, the treaty liquidates the Cold War legacy of nuclear confrontation and opens an entirely new future of cooperation. Somehow.

Something for Everybody

In his speech, Bush listed a long laundry list of impediments to improving US-Russian relations, like removing Russia from the list of nations covered by the Jackson-Vanik Amendment.

Jackson-Vanik imposes strict trade penalties against nations that restrict voluntary emigration. Jackson-Vanik was originally enacted to counter Soviet refusal to allow Jewish emigration to Israel. It has since been expanded to cover a host of countries and a range of issued.

Bush also tacitly gave Putin the green light in his war in Chechnya, which has morphed from a Russian effort to take back its breakaway republic of Chechnya to seize its rich oil reserves, which was how the Clinton administration styled it in 1993.

Today, Chechnya is a war against terrorism and President Bush promised Putin full US cooperation in the war on terror. I m not disputing that the war in Chechnya is a war against terror. But it was a war against terror in 1993 as well.

The fact is, all wars of insurrection are, by definition, terrorist, if you are the party in power. What was the French Resistance to the Allies in World War II was, from the German perspective, a gang of French terrorists.

What makes the terrorists in Chechnya our common enemy is not the fact that they are terrorists, but the fact they are Islamic terrorists.

The words of the administration say we are not at war with Islam, but the deeds of the administration say the opposite.

A Man Called Pootie-Poot

Bush and Putin have formed a close friendship, according to the press. Bush s fondness for nicknames reportedly spawned a friendship between Dubya and Pootie-Poot .

“I said I looked into his eyes and was able to glimpse into his soul,” Mr. Bush reminded European reporters on the eve of his first trip to Germany. “See, and I’ve been proven right. I do trust him.”

Who is the man called Pootie Poot? Vladimir Putin, the shadowy Grey Cardinal of the KGB, skyrocketed to power during the second administration of President Yeltsin.

Putin was a mid-level KGB officer when the Soviet Union collapsed.

Putin s resume reads like a spy s resume. There s something a bit eerie about it. It s only about six lines long.

Between The Lines

When his career with the KGB expired with the USSR, Putin got a job as an advisor to the chairman of the Leningrad City Council.

By 1994, Putin had an impressively long title, Chairman of the Committee For Foreign Relations of the St. Petersburg Mayor s Office. (Hmmm. He must have had a lot of free time on that one).

By 1996, he was first deputy chairman of city government.

It was about this time that Putin caught the attention of Boris Yeltsin, who appointed him first deputy presidential business manager in 1996.

In 1997, he became head of the President s Main Audit Directorate, and shortly after that presidential deputy chief of staff.

(It was about this time, that news first surfaced of a kickback scandal involving millions of dollars, a Swiss construction company named Mabetex and Yeltsin s two daughters.)

In mid-1998, the Grey Cardinal returned to the reborn KGB as director of the Russian Federal Security Service. While there, Putin expanded his power, combining his office with the Security Council. He was appointed first vice-prime minister August 9, 1999.

Later that same day, as news of the Yeltsin business scandal erupted, he was appointed Acting Prime Minister.

Assessment:

Putin s stint as head of the President s Main Audit Directorate seems relevant to his meteoric rise to power. He was the guy cooking the books when Yeltsin was padding his pension.

When Yeltsin got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, he turned to Putin and cut himself a sweetheart deal.

He d make Putin acting president, and in return, Putin would give him immunity and let him keep his booty.

The man called Pootie-Poot — from obscurity to the Moscow Treaty in five years.

Waves of Bombers

Waves of suicide bombers are waiting in the wings to carry out attacks, Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer warned yesterday following the aborted effort to blow up Israel s largest fuel dump between Tel Aviv and Herzliya yesterday.

We are facing waves of suicide bombers, men and women, and believe me that when I say waves I know what I’m talking about,” Ben-Eliezer said.

For several weeks, security sources have been talking about attempts by Palestinian terrorist organizations, led by Fatah, to carry out a showpiece attack of massive proportion.

Last week, IDF raids in Tulkarm uncovered a plot to use a ton of explosives to blow up a skyscraper, such as the Azrieli Towers in Tel Aviv, and plans to carry out seven simultaneous attacks along the Mediterranean coast.

Arafat Behind Nativity Standoff

Palestinian documents seized by Israel show that Yasser Arafat financially supported the leader of a clan that controlled the Church of the Nativity during the standoff with Israeli troops.

Arafat reportedly authorized payments to Atef Abayat at the same time he was promising the Israelis he would arrest him for conducting terrorist acts against Israel.

Abayat himself was eventually killed by the Israelis last October when it became clear Arafat was not going to honor his promise.

It was members of the Abayat family who seized the Church of the Nativity and were among those exiled to Europe or Gaza when the siege ended.

A one-page document dated July 9, 2001 contained Arafat s handwritten confirmation of a payment to the families of “brother commander martyrs” killed fighting Israel.

Topping the list is Atef Abayat, who had at the same time been publicly lionized as a “great martyr” in a speech by Arafat.

The Palestinians dismissed the documents as forgeries , in spite of Arafat s distinctive signature scrawled across the lower left portion of the payment request.

The Abayat family is known throughout the biblical city of Bethlehem for terrorizing residents by demanding “protection money” from Palestinian Christians who sell souvenirs to tourists.

When the siege ended, nine of the 13 “most wanted” gunmen exiled by Israel to Europe were members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.

The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade is part of al-Fatah, the political party founded and headed by Yasser Arafat.

The Bethlehem branch of the Martyr s Brigade was controlled by the Abayat clan.

Al Fatah means armed struggle .

South Asia s Looming Holocaust

South Asia s Looming Holocaust
Vol: 8 Issue: 23 Thursday, May 23, 2002

International fears of an imminent all-out war between India and Pakistan are well grounded as Indian Prime Minister Atal Vaypayee wraps up the last day of his visit to Indian controlled Kashmir.

It was from Kashmir on Tuesday that Vaypayee promised his troops they would soon be engaged in a decisive battle .

Four people have been killed in cross border fighting on Thursday, as villagers flee the border areas in large numbers.

European Affairs Commissioner Chris Patten said yesterday that the coming conflict is unlike the three previous Indo-Pakistani wars.

Both sides launched an all-out arms race to get the Bomb for just such an emergency.

Such is the hatred between the sides that if they hadn t both achieved their goal at the same time, we would now be speaking of at least one of them today in the past tense.

Patten said that now that both are nuclear, there is cause for very, very substantial concern. I don t think anybody is exaggerating how serious this is.

How Serious?

In the West we tend to think of India and Pakistan in abstract terms; we know they are there, and there s lots of em, but it doesn t really make a picture. Try this.

India is home to about a billion people. Make a picture in your mind of a turnstile, like in a subway or an amusement park.

Now imagine people in an endless line, going through the turnstile, one per second, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It would take twelve days at that rate, for a million people to go through the turnstile.

To process the population of India at that rate would take a bit under thirty-two YEARS.

Pakistan is home to a quarter-billion more people.

America, the most powerful nation, culture and people the world has ever seen, is approximately equal in population to Pakistan. This is not a minor flare-up between Third World Nations.

XXX

The map in the html version of this report [if you receive the text-only version, go to this link http://www.omegaletter.com/briefings.asp%5D gives a good idea of the proximity of the war zone to both Russia and China.

Russia and China sponsored India s and Pakistan s nuclear programs, respectively. As a result, both were sure to limit their client s ability to use those weapons against their patrons.

That limitation on missile technology makes a nuclear exchange survivable, at least partially, for India. That upsets doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction that kept the US and Soviets from annihilating the world during the Cold War.

And that makes a nuclear war and a Pakistani first strike, inevitable in the event both sides step over the brink and into all out war.

Assessment:

The proximity of China to Pakistan makes the potential conflict even more dangerous if that could be possible. India and Pakistan represent about a sixth of the world s population. China represents another sixth.

Thanks to US involvement in the war on terror, its alliances with both warring sides, its enmity with Beijing over Taiwan and Washington s security commitments throughout the region, it is more than probable a South Asia conflagration could draw Anerica s five percent of the global population into the fray as well.

You d Think Somebody Would Notice

Here s the sitrep in a nutshell; the world is an eyeblink away from a nuclear war that could involve roughly a third of the global population, and yesterday s headlines were all about Chandra Levy. That isn t to minimize the Levy tragedy, but one would suppose a potential tragedy that could render a significant percentage of the global population extinct might merit some public attention in the West.

The seal, bowl and trumpet judgments of the Tribulation Period ultimately claim the lives of three-fourths of the world s population. The Bible makes reference to four spheres of global power in those days; the government of antichrist, the Kings of the South, the Gog-Magog Factor and the Kings of the East.

What About America?

As previously noted, India and China, with their enormous populations, could emerge diminished, but still viable, from a nuclear conflagration on their soil. Pakistan would be, to all extents and purposes, extinct.

But if America is drawn into a nuclear conflict, it s a different story. Our power and our wealth are derived from technology. Like the Biblical Samson, without it, we would be rendered globally insignificant.

America is under no threat from either India or Pakistan. China s nuclear ICBM is insignificant compared to that of other nuclear nations. Beijing has about twenty nuclear ICBM s. How many cities would we trade for India, Pakistan or Taiwan?

The Bible doesn t have much to say about the Kings of the East, apart from their westward march during the Tribulation period. But it does mention them.

This isn t the Tribulation Period, yet. But as we get closer, we see the main players taking the stage.

The Bible doesn t say whether war comes to South Asia during or before the Tribulation period.

It also doesn t indicate a role for America during that time, either.

What it does say is this. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. [1 Thessalonians 5:3]

While the Bible doesn t address America s role in the Tribulation, it does address the role the Church plays. Five verses later, Paul writes, For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. [1Thessalonians 5:8]

The hour of tribulation is almost upon the world.

We believe the Rapture of the Church comes first. Are you ready? Do you know Christ?

More importantly, does He know you?

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. [1 Thessalonians 4:15-18]

Score One For the Terrorists

Score One For the Terrorists
Vol: 8 Issue: 22 Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Score One For the Terrorists

Terrorists the world over breathed a sigh of relief when the Transportation Safety Board forbade pilots from carrying weapons in the cockpit of commercial airliners. The measure would have allowed pilots to arm themselves against a possible cockpit invasion by terrorists.

The pilots assumed that since they are already trusted with taking off, flying and landing the aircraft safely [every single time] that there would also be the assumption that their judgement in emergencies would be at least as good as a neighborhood street cop.

Not so. The NTSB evidently feels as Cokie Roberts did — that having a gun in the cockpit would be too strong a temptation for a pilot to resist.

‘Maybe one of them might start fiddling with it, it goes off accidently, then where would you be?’ goes the thinking!!

Assessment:

Ever seen the cockpit of a commercial airliner? It is unlikely in the extreme that a pilot would have the time or the inclination to ‘play’ with anything. There are plenty of gadgets to play with already.

Arming pilots is no more dangerous than arming police, who mistakenly kill hundreds of innocents every year in the armed performance of their duty. Arming pilots would provide a two-fold benefit.

First it would have given them a fighting chance at life — for themselves and for their passengers. In the New Normal, a pilot who reports a cockpit intrusion has five minutes or less to live before being shot down by a US fighter.

An armed pilot against an armed cockpit intruder can only save the passengers and crew. Nothing he can do with a handgun at 35,000 feet is more dangerous than what the intercepting fighter has planned.

But it is the second benefit that makes the NTSB decision so baffling.

Terrorists armed only with box knives would have stood no chance against an armed crew. It is safe to assume they wouldn’t have even tried.

If the pilots had been armed on September 11, last year would not have been the deadliest year for terrorism in human history.

Patterns of Global Terrorism

The newly-released “Patterns of Global Terrorism” issued annually by the State Deparment said the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks inflated 2001’s casualty figures nine times above the previous record of 409 in 2000. Worldwide, terrorists struck targets 346 times last year.

While the report includes terrorist attacks in the Middle East in its overall calculations, the State Department splits attacks against Israel into different categories.

Some attacks are ‘terror attacks’ whereas others are viewed as military attacks by Palestinian ‘freedom fighters’ so only a portion of the Middle East violence is included.

More than half of the recorded terror attacks that made State’s list took place in our own hemisphere in Colombia. The report says that apart from US losses, September 11 was still the worst international terrorist incident ever. Citizens of 78 countries were killed in New York’s World Trade Center.

“Patterns of Global Terrorism” made no changes to the US list of “rogue states,” designating Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria as sponsors of terrorism, while noting some improvement in the behavior of Khartoum and Tripoli.

“Sudan and Libya seem closest to understanding what they must do to get out of the terrorism business and each has taken measures pointing it in the right direction,” it said while noting that both countries needed to do more.

Iran Not Involved in 9/11

And while it also noted that Iran and Libya appeared to be taking slight steps away from supporting terrorist groups, it said Tehran continued to be “the most active state sponsor of terrorism” in 2001, mainly for its backing for anti-Israeli groups.

The report also draws the surprising conclusion that Iran was not involved in the September 11 attacks. It cited as evidence of that fact that Iran offered assistance to the United States in case US warplanes involved in the campaign against terrorism in Afghanistan were shot down.

Assessment:

It seems odd to me that Tehran, having been directly involved in exporting terror to the US for decades would get so much mileage out of a bogus offer of aid. Iran denied the allies use of their airspace for the war on terror.

Pilots not in their airspace are unlikely to be shot down over their territory. And apart from that single, bogus offer, Iran has continued to serve as a terrorist underground railway, safe haven and sponsor of al-Qaeda since the Afghan war started October 7.

Other Conclusions

– North Korea was guilty of a “troublesome” and “disappointing” effort to combat terrorism after initial signs of willingness to cooperate in the campaign, including its refusal to hand over four Japanese Red Army members who hijacked a Japan Airlines flight to North Korea in 1970, it said.

– In early May, the State Department said Damascus and Tripoli were trying to obtain chemical and biological weapons in violation of international conventions and accused Havana of furnishing them biological equipment and technology.

– Tuesday’s report says that Cuban leader Fidel Castro has “vacillated over the war on terrorism” since September 11, noting he had not objected to housing al-Qaeda prisoners at Guantanamo Bay but that Havana continued to provide haven to some 20 members of the Basque separatist group ETA and Colombian leftists.

– Syria was criticised for its continued support for anti-Israel groups.

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation offered support for the US war against terrorism following the September attacks, but the report said it had taken only “limited action” and had been “slow to acknowledge terrorism problems at home.”

– In South Asia, Pakistan drew moderate praise for its crackdown on terrorism in conjunction with US-led operations in neighboring Afghanistan, but the report raised questions over Islamabad’s ability to curtail extremism that has raised tensions with nuclear rival India.

– The State Department also expressed concern about Hezbollah and Hamas activists in Latin America as well as reports that Basque and Northern Irish militants had infiltrated Colombia.

– According to the report, Hezbollah is present in the triborder area of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, in northern Chile, in Colombia near the border with Venezuela, on Venezuela’s Margarita Island, and in Panama’s Colon Free Trade Zone.

– The Patterns of Global Terrorism report glossed over the Arab-Israeli conflict, in the main. The report noted that Palestinian terror attacks remained a severe threat to Israel and called for the Palestinian leadership to take ‘more steps’ to stop such violence.

Assessment:

The combination of the euphoria of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the relaxed moral standards of the previous administration, the runaway bull market and the anything goes attitude of the Roaring ’90’s conspired together to allow global terrorism to take root, organize and spread, virtually without interference.

It was like we had all been together on a decade long bender. The never ending and endlessly fascinating scandals of the Clinton era kept us glued to our television sets.

Well, not all of us. While we were learning about Monica Lewinsky, China was downloading the hard drives of our nuclear laboratories.

While we were learning about Whitewater, Osama bin-Laden’s terror cells were setting up shop across America.

Plenty of people have been sounding warnings. All through the nineties, Congress heard testimony about missing nuclear weapons, chemical and biological weapons production, increasing terrorist activity, the solemn pronouncements about the ‘inevitability’ of another attack . . . and when it came, it was a total shock.

The events of 9/11 shocked us out of our lethargy and we shook off the last vestiges of the Clinton Hangover.

The ‘Patterns of Global Terror’ Report is the price tag for the party.