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Re: US wants pilgrims home from Mecca by 17 Feb.!

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  • thekoba@aztec.asu.edu
    Interesting how the government that promotes itself as the champion of world freedom, particularly freedom of religion, presumes to dictate when the Hajj
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 4, 2003
      Interesting how the government that promotes itself
      as the champion of world freedom, particularly
      freedom of religion, presumes to dictate when the
      Hajj pilgrims come home :-)

      >Dear Kevin,
      >First, here is a very short but rather alarming item
      >that appeared on the front page of the Beirut
      >newspaper "as-Safir" for Wednesday, 5 February 2003.
      >The climax of the Hajj ceremonies this year is on 10
      >February (where the Hajj pilgrims hear a sermon
      >outside on the mountain `Arafat, near Mecca). The
      >conclusion of Hajj activities is set for 13 February.
      >Right now there are about two million pilgrims
      >gathering around the Islamic holy sites near Mecca.
      >If this report is accurate, it appears that the US
      >wants all the pilgrims disbursed (and out of the air)
      >by about 17 February . . . for some reason.
      >Below that report from Wednesday is a report from the
      >Saudi English-language paper "Arab News" of 4
      >February, which provides related information -- as
      >well as the usual American propaganda crapola.
      >as-Safir, Beirut, Wednesday, 5 February 2003
      >Washington rushes the return of Hajj pilgrims.
      >Diplomatic sources say that a number of Islamic
      >countries have recieved American "instructions" asking
      >them to bring their Hajj pilgrims back within no more
      >than four days after they complete the rites of the
      >Hajj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca and its
      >environs. The sources say that various airlines are
      >preparing to implement the most extensive civil
      >"evacuation" in history!
      >War two weeks after Haj: Pentagon source
      >By Barbara Ferguson, Arab News Correspondent
      >WASHINGTON, 4 February 2003 � The US will go to war
      >against Iraq two weeks after Haj, which is scheduled
      >to end Feb. 13, a former deputy secretary at the US
      >Defense Department told Arab News yesterday.
      >�During this massive air attack, the last thing you
      >want is cluttered airspace,� a former deputy secretary
      >at the Defense Department told Arab News.
      >The �buzz� at the Pentagon, he said, is that Gulf War
      >II will begin two weeks after Haj, before the end of
      >�The big thing is that you don�t want, right after Eid
      >Al-Adha, hundreds of airplanes flying all over the
      >place, and the Saudis certainly wouldn�t want anyone
      >stranded in the Kingdom,� he said.
      >Gulf War II will begin with 3,000-guided missiles
      >ripping apart Iraqi military and leadership targets
      >within the first 48 hours, aimed at facilitating a
      >two-pronged ground attack, it was reported yesterday.
      >Defense officials also revealed that US warships and
      >aircraft bombers would fire an estimated 700 Tomahawk
      >cruise missiles during the first two days of high-tech
      >strikes. This means that the attack will be 10 times
      >more powerful than the opening days of 1991 Gulf war.
      >If the US makes the decision to go to war, Pentagon
      >officials continued in their briefing, the air
      >campaign will be carried out by 600 Air Force and Navy
      >radar-jamming, attack and support planes flying from
      >bases in the Gulf region and elsewhere, and from four
      >or five US aircraft carriers and a British carrier.
      >The US Army�s 3rd Infantry Division and a sizable
      >contingent of Marines would be assigned to attack
      >north from Kuwait, while a force spearheaded by the
      >4th Infantry Division would move south from Turkey,
      >Pentagon military and civilian officials told
      >journalists yesterday.
      >Military observers see the steady leaking of details
      >about the US war plan as part of a last ditch strategy
      >by the US to pressure Saddam Hussein to choose exile
      >to pave the way for disarmament and the establishment
      >of a democratic government in Baghdad.
      >�I think the Bush administration was set on war as
      >their foreign policy as soon as they were elected,�
      >said Simona Sharoni, professor of peace and conflict
      >studies and Middle East politics at the Evergreen
      >State College in Washington State.
      >�These military operations will rebuild the US
      >military, and provide a huge allocation for more money
      >for the military budget. The US agreed to let the
      >weapon inspection teams return to Iraq in order to
      >create an ultimatum, because they realized it would
      >not be good for them to act unilaterally.� They were
      >looking for a �smoking gun� to justify an attack, she
      >The �smoking gun� may well be the release of US
      >obtained transcripts of Iraqi officials gloating over
      >their success in deceiving UN inspectors, which
      >Secretary of State Colin Powell will make public when
      >he addresses the UN Security Council tomorrow.
      >US officials said the conversations on the tapes,
      >obtained by American electronic interceptions, reveals
      >the Iraqis saying �Move that�, �Don�t be reporting
      >that�, and �Ha! Can you believe they missed that?�
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