*Khalid Shaikh Muhammad was planning further terrorist attacks on the US. These would include, according to Newsweek, hijacking petroleum fuel trucks and smashing them into buildings, and destroying bridges in Washington, DC. He was trained in the US as an engineer. I was wrong yesterday about his being a Palestinian–his family is from Baluchistan in Pakistan. It is heartening to see al-Qaeda lose one of its most imaginative strategists. He is now likely to spill the beans on everything–safe houses, sources of funding, whereabouts of major leaders–everything. This is a major victory for our side.
*The Arab League is falling apart. The meeting a couple of days ago in Sharm al-Sheikh featured a shouting match between Libyan strongman Muammar al-Qadhafi and Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, each implying that the other was a lackey of the Americans. The proceedings are usually full of pleasantries and saying it like it is has not been a strong tradition. Meanwhile, Kuwaiti relations with Lebanon and Syria are in the dumpster because of the actions of the former at another recent meeting. The disunity and lack of decorum at the Arab League deprive it of the little dignity it had left as an organization.
*Ariel Sharon has announced that his new government has turned its back on previous promises and now opposes the creation of a Palestinian state. Since it has been clear for some time that Sharon intended to annex much of the West Bank for Zionist settlers the only surprising thing about his statement is that he finally just came out and said it. Since Bush has promised the Arabs a viable Palestinian state, Sharon has more or less cut his legs off from underneath him. There will be trouble about all this. Sharon’s plans imply further displacement of the Palestinian population. Meanwhile, Israeli troops killed a 9 year old child yesterday in Gaza. Innocent civilians seem to be being shot on a daily basis. This is what the Arab world can expect from the Bush administration? The sense of betrayal is palpable.