Mideast developments

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Sep 24 06:46:23 MDT 2001

http://www.MiddleEast.Org/forum http://www.MiddleEast.Org/discussion


MID-EAST REALITIES ) - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington -

There is a strange and growing tension coming from the Middle East
this weekend; and we don't mean from Afghanistan and Pakistan this
time, rather we mean from America's closest allies, Israel, Egypt
and Saudi Arabia.  We're in no position to know for sure just what
is happening.  But in each of these countries very unusual and
potentially historic developments are unfolding.

In Israel today Shimon Peres essentially boycotted the Sunday
Cabinet meeting after being ordered at the last minute by Ariel
Sharon not to meet with Yasser Arafat.  At the same time Sharon
made harsh statements condemning Arafat once again as an arch
unrepentent terrorist, and the Israelis essentially put out an
arrest warrant for the head of the Arafat's Fatah "Tanzim" forces,
Marwan Barghouti.   Yet at the same time Sharon also has mentioned
in public a possible "Palestinian State", possibly dangling this
in front of Arafat under pressures from the Americans, wondering
if Arafat might just grab onto anything at this point to keep him
and his entourage alive.  In this overall context Peres had the
following to say today and there are rumors he might resign tomorrow
if he doesn't get his way, meet with Arafat, and offer him a way
out with a rump disjointed "Palestinian State" that of course would
not be really a State but which the Americans could and would use
for their own purposes of the moment:

"When other countries and the peace of the world were in danger,
the US stood by their side. And now, when the US is in danger,
there is a need to stand together with it. In the 53 years of
Israel's existence, there was not one request we made to the US
that was not answered, and now the US is asking Israel to hold
meetings with the Palestinians to quiet down criticism in the Muslim
and Arab world...  Tthe US is not requesting that Israel make
territorial concessions or give up on its right of self-defense,
but rather an Israeli contribution to changing the atmosphere before
[the US] sends its sons to battle."

Shimon Peres Israeli Foreign Minister

In Egypt the long-time American-sponsored most-of-the-time puppet
leader, Hosni Mubarak, longed joked about by his own people as "the
Laughing Cow", has said more than once now that Egypt is not going
to join the American "coalition" to "save the world from terrorism"
-- even though the Americans keep saying "you are either with or
us against us."  Over the weekend Mubarak is quoted as publicly
warning the Americans as follows:

"If you launch an attack against Afghanistan or another country on
your list of rogue states, you will kill many innocent people, just
as the terrorists killed many of your people.  Don't play the game
of your enemy.  They want your reprisals to bring forth, from the
blood and ruins of your bombing, a new generation of militants who
will cry for revenge against the United States."

Hosni Mubarak President of Egypt

As for what is really going on in Saudi Arabia, that's even more
difficult to fathom right now, but the sketchy and not very clear
reports of a possible Palace Coup, with Crown Prince Abdullah and
the more nationalist and religious circles taking charge and
essentially sending King Fahd into de facto exile using the excuse
that he is went to Europe because he needs to be sure of the best
medical care...  Well...who knows just what to believe at this
point, though it is known that an international team of some 2
dozen doctors has been in Riyahd for some time now keeping Fahd
alive and every conceiveable treatment and facility is available
for the King in Riyadh.  On Saturday the Washington Post did go
with a careful front page story saying the Saudis has indeed refused
to allow the US to use the newly completed best-in-the-region
military Command Center to direct the new war.  Normally we would
be very circumspect regarding the following reports which may be
originating from Israeli intelligence circles and may or may not
have validity.  But under the urgent current circumstances and in
view of other surprising developments taking place we'll pass on
these reports with all the above caveats and then keep an eye on


The United States has delayed the start of its offensive against
Afghanistan and Osama Bin  Laden, in retaliation for the terrorist
strikes in New York and Washington, because of a dramatic turnaround
of Arab support in the Middle East.

Saturday afternoon, it became clear that events in Riyadh had dealt
the final deathblow to the US Secretary of State, Colin Powells
failed efforts to create an Arab front to bolster the Bush
administrations world war on terror.

The reason for King Fahd secret exit from Saudi Arabia, followed
by a large royal party, is believed by our most reliable sources
to be a palace revolution sparked by differences in the royal family
over support for the US offensive against Afghanistan, Osama Bin
Ladens terror network and other rogue targets.  King Fahd and his
Sudeiri faction, including defense minister Sultan, were in favor
of letting the US place assault forces in forward bases on Saudi
soil; the conservative, religious Crown Prince Abdullah, who runs
the kingdom since King Fahd became ill, overruled him, backed by
the religious establishment.

As a result, Saudi Arabia refused to let the US use the kingdoms
new combined air operations command center at Prince Sultan Air
Base near Riyadh, after Air Force Lt. Gen Charles Wald had been
dispatched to the base earlier this week, to take command of US
air forces assigned to the Middle East and Southwest Asia.

His mission was to run the air war from the new, sophisticated air
base opened this summer, a base linked to Al Dhafra in the United
Arab Emirates and Seeb in the Sultanate of Oman. The Saudi base
was also to have been the central command post not only for the
175 aircraft already based in the region for patrolling south Iraqs
no-flight zone, but also for directing attacks from other bases in
the region in the new war offensive.

When General Wald landed in Saudi Arabia with his top aides on
Tuesday, September 18, he was told he had no command base. That
was when the feuding inside the royal house over its role in the
American war against terrorism reached its climax.

The monarchs defeat in the argument inside the palace was apparently
the main reason for his abrupt departure the next day, Wednesday,
September 19.

The Pentagon has since then been casting about for replacement
bases of operation and holding up the onset of the scheduled US
campaign. Military sources believe that one of General Walds options
for his command post is the Bahrain. Some of the fighter craft due
to have been based in Saudi Arabia have been moved to Incerlik,
the big air base in South Turkey, after Anakara made all its bases
available for the American war effort, and the Uzbek military
airport of Tuzel, 15 km. from Tashkent.  Large-scale air and commando
forces also landed Saturday in Tadjikistan, on the border of

The American forces are now laboring to catch up with their schedule
for the operation.

The upset in Riydah also sent the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat
racing to Riydah to meet Crown Prince Abdullah and update his own
strategy with the turn of events in the royal house.

Palestinian experts expect Arafat to turn tail and back out of the
accommodations he broached under US and European pressure including
his commitment to a ceasefire.

According to Washington sources, the Bush administration realizes
it has been let down by the Arab world, chiefly the Saudis and
President Mubarak of Egypt, in its first steps to launch an
international campaign to defeat world terrorism. It will go ahead,
but not forget in a hurry.



King Fahd Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia has been secretly flown
out of the kingdom to his palace in Geneva, Switzerland. The royal
mobile hospital fitted aboard Boeing 757 HZ-HMED landed in the
private VIP section of Geneva airport ednesday  afternoon, September
19. A palace conclave led by Crown Prince Abdullah, who effectively
rules the kingdom, decided to remove the chronically ailing monarch
to safety, fearing he might be stranded in the middle of a military
crisis arising from the impending US offensive in the region.

The royal hospital plane was accompanied by another craft of the
royal flight carrying the kings family and entourage.

The possibility of a major terrorist attack on the royal palaces
being sparked by the outbreak of hostilities was also taken into
account in Riyadh. A group of princes was therefore carried to a
safe place in the additional fleet of 10 royal aircraft that ferried
members of the Saudi royal family to Geneva.  More than a dozen
Mercedes waited on the tarmac of Geneva International Airport to
collect the royal arrivals.

Louis Proyect
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