MER : US Blackmails World


Richard Moore

To: "MER" <•••@••.•••>
From: "Mid-East Realities" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: US Blackmails World as US Military Command Readies Move to Qatar!
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2002 15:01:38 -0400

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              Home of 'Al-Jazeera' About to be 'Invaded'
MID-EAST REALITIES - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org -
Washington - 9/11/2002:

Anyone who thinks this is just a big military
'exercise' just doesn't understand how things are done
these days.  Once in 'Command and Control' from
Qatar, the US is not only now positioned to launch a
massive Iraq war, but also to further 'control' the
regime in Saudi Arabia, and down the road 'if need be'
to use the American military to take control of the
main Saudi oil fields (which just happen to be in that
region).   Oh yes, at the same time that this
'Command and Control ' move to Qatar is taking place
the somewhat stealthy build-up of US/UK troops in the
region will be reaching 200,000+ and the bulk of the
huge US 'pre-positioned' war supplies are being sent to
Israel (just in case there are revolutions in any of
the Arab countries), with lesser amounts going to
Kuwait, Saudi, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan and Bahrain.

Moreover, the timing of this little military leak is
hardly mysterious.   Bush and team clearly wanted
this headline on the very day the American President
went before the United Nations and essentially told
world society "you do as we tell you or we will do
whatever we want", the latest variant of the "you are
either with us or against us" mantra.    There was
no mention of course that the US alone has vetoed more
Security Council Resolutions than all other nations
combined; no mention that the American regional
strongman, Israel, has defied for more years more
Security Council resolutions than all other nations
combined; no mention of the vast arsenal of weapons of
mass destruction possessed by the US and Israel, far
more in fact than all other nations of the world
combined. The stench of hypocrisy and imperialism is
indeed overwhelming; and thus now the real burden for
the United Nations is to retain what independence and
integrity it still has after so many years of allowing
itself to be manipulated and sullied...precisely by the
host country, the USA.

                     Troops to Test New Headquarters 
                               By Vernon Loeb

[Washington Post - Thursday, September 12,
2002]:     The U.S. military command responsible
for operations in Central Asia and the Persian Gulf
will send 600 personnel from its base in Tampa to a
multibillion-dollar air base in Qatar in November to
test a headquarters that could be used to oversee a war
against Iraq, defense officials said yesterday.

Although officials billed the move as part of a
one-week biennial exercise, they said it will be led by
Army Gen. Tommy R. Franks, the chief of Central
Command, and acknowledged that shifting at least some
operations and personnel from Florida to Qatar on a
permanent basis was under consideration.

The decision, which comes as the Bush administration is
stepping up plans for a possible war aimed at toppling
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, illustrates the
emergence of Qatar as a key strategic U.S. ally in the
Gulf. It comes in a period in which relations with
Saudi Arabia, where the United States already has a
modern military command center, have been under severe

The headquarters will be established at Al Udeid Air
Base near Doha, the capital of Qatar, where the U.S.
military presence has been rapidly expanding in recent
months. The base has a 15,000-foot runway, long enough
for the heaviest U.S. cargo aircraft and bombers to
take off fully loaded, and the Pentagon has begun
construction of a sophisticated air operations center
at the site that could supplant or replace an existing
facility at Prince Sultan Air Base outside Riyadh,
Saudi Arabia.

Since the war on terrorism began last fall, U.S.
authorities have been installing computer monitors,
communications gear, intelligence equipment and other
assets at the base. In recent months, the number of
U.S. warplanes and personnel at the base has swelled,
with about 2,000 troops now populating a large military
tent city in the desert, according to one official.

The November deployment to Qatar, which could involve
an additional 400 support personnel, bringing the total
number of U.S. forces involved to about 1,000, follows
controversy regarding a decision by Franks and Defense
Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to keep Central Command
headquarters in Tampa during the war in Afghanistan.
Franks decided to remain in Tampa, defense officials
said, because he and Rumsfeld thought a move would be
disruptive during the opening stages of the war and
believed that Saudi Arabia would have objected to
stationing the headquarters at Prince Sultan.

But many Air Force and Army commanders involved in
Afghanistan complained about the arrangement and
indicated that they thought Franks should have moved to
the region so the Central Command staff would have been
in roughly the same time zone as military commanders in
Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Central Asian republics.
They noted that an earlier Central Command leader, Gen.
Norman Schwarzkopf, moved from Tampa to a headquarters
in Riyadh shortly after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in
August 1990. Schwarzkopf commanded the 1991 Persian
Gulf War from the Riyadh headquarters.

The Central Command's announcement came as Qatar's
foreign minister, Hamad Bin Jasim Thani, is in
Washington meeting with administration officials and
members of Congress. Hamad is scheduled to testify in
closed session today before the House International
Relations Committee and will meet with Pentagon
officials on Friday.

Earlier this year, the Qataris made it clear that they
would not place restrictions on the use of facilities
by U.S. commanders prosecuting the war on terrorism,
one senior defense official said.

While Saudi Arabia allowed the United States to use its
operations center at Prince Sultan Air Base during the
war in Afghanistan, relations between the two countries
have frayed since last Sept. 11, when 15 of the 19
hijackers who committed the terrorist attacks in New
York and Washington were of Saudi origin. Saudi Arabia
has since expressed doubt about the administration's
desire to take military action against Iraq, and Saudi
officials have said privately they think it is unlikely
that Saudi military facilities, including Prince
Sultan, would be made available for an attack against
Iraq. Publicly, they have challenged the
administration's handling of the conflict between
Israel and the Palestinians.

Defense officials and senior officers said no decision
has been made on whether to leave the Central Command
personnel in place in Qatar or to permanently move
Franks to the base. Lt. Cmdr. Nick Balice, a Central
Command spokesman, said only that Franks "travels
frequently, and it's not unusual when an exercise is
conducted for him to participate in the exercise."

A senior Pentagon official, however, said that
stationing Franks in Qatar at some point after the
exercise is a possibility.

In the event of war against Iraq, there is still no
certainty that Franks would use Qatar as his regional
headquarters, according to one general officer, who
said military planners continue to hold open the
possibility of running the war out of Saudi Arabia.
"Using Qatar as a headquarters is still plan B," the
officer said. "The preference is still to try to work
with the Saudis rather than cut ties and leave."

One Republican House staff member said the exercise in
Qatar takes on added importance with the Bush
administration contemplating military action against
Iraq. "If there's a war, they're going to have to send
a headquarters element forward," the staffer said. "So
they should exercise it -- it makes sense to me."

The staffer, who recently returned from the Middle
East, said Qatar is becoming an increasingly important
U.S. ally in the Gulf and could ultimately replace
Saudi Arabia as the most important host for U.S. air
operations, particularly now that the Air Force is
constructing another Combined Air Operations Center at
Al Udeid Air Base.

The Air Force completed work in the summer of 2001 on
its first operations center in the region at Prince
Sultan in Saudi Arabia but began replicating the
massive computer center this year in Qatar. The move
came as a hedge against an attack on the facility in
Saudi Arabia or any attempt by Saudi authorities to
deny the United States access to it, officials said.

"I think there are more American forces on the ground
in Qatar than there are in Saudi Arabia -- if not, then
it's close," the GOP aide said. "Qatar has a very small
population, principally expatriates, and it's a little
fragile. But so are a lot of other places around there.
We really like them, as far as I can tell, and they
seem to like us. And they're doing all the right

One Democratic staff member who follows military issues
said he hoped the Central Command deployment to Qatar
was not the first step toward moving the entire Central
Command headquarters to the Gulf. "I don't think they'd
be doing anything that provocative the day before
[President] Bush addresses the United Nations, but you
never know with this crowd," the staffer said.

In another development, a Marine official said the
Marines plan later this month to send a specialized
unit that detects nuclear, chemical and biological
attacks to Kuwait. The move reflects the concern of
military planners that the most vulnerable point of any
campaign against Hussein would be the initial assembly
of U.S. troops along Iraq's borders.

Staff writers Bradley Graham and Thomas E. Ricks
contributed to this report.

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