Department letter leaked to the paper, resettlementrnof the islands “would significantlyrndegrade the strategic importance ofrna vital military asset unique in the region.”rnThe exiles want to repopulate two islandsrnsome 140 miles from the base, but an assistantrnsecretary of state for political-militaryrnaffairs wrote to his British colleaguesrnto express the United States government’srnserious concern overrnthe inevitable compromise to therncurrent and future strategic valuernof Diego Garcia that would resultrnfrom any move to s e t t l e arnpermanent resident population onrnany of the islands of the Chagosrnarchipelago. In carrying out ourrndefence and security responsibilirnt i e s in the Arabian Gulf, thernMiddle East, south Asia and eastrnAfrica, Diego Garcia representsrnfor us an a l l but indispensablernplatform . . . If a resident populationrnwere established on thernChagos archipelago, that couldrnwell imperil Diego Garcia’s presentrnadvantage as a base fromrnwhich i t is possible to conductrnsensitive military operationsrnthat are important for the securrni t y of both our governments butrnthat, for reasons of security,rncannot be staged from bases nearrnpopulation centres.rnThe door may be closed to Diego Garcians,rnbut—as we learn from the Times ofrnLondon—”Bosnia opens the door to Europernfor Iranian illegal immigrants” (Augustrn31):rnA senior United Nations officialrnwatched another planeload of Iraniansrnfly into Sarajevo airport onrnwhat is becoming an almost dailyrnsmuggling run: “There should be arnsign on the tarmac saying ‘Welcomernto Bosnia-the open backdoor tornFortress Europe’,” he said . . .rnInternational investigators believernup to 10,000 migrants arnmonth are arriving here by air andrnroad and then smuggled throughrnBosnia’s largely unguarded bordersrnon their way to the main Europeanrncapitals.rnThe Times fails to point out that BosnianrnMuslims (and especially their politicalrnclass) desire to help as many of their MiddlernEastern coreligionists as possible settlernin the infidel West. This particular connectionrnwas explored in an article onrnBosnia’s role in the smuggling of illegalsrnpublished in the Middle East Newslinern(September 17):rnIranian fighters who participatedrnin the wars in Bosnia and Kosovornare illegally resettling in WestemrnEurope. Russian diplomatsrnsaid many of the Iranian fightersrntrying to enter Western Europernhave participated in the currentrnwar in Chechnya. NATO said thernIranians have not been trainingrnin Bosnia but sources in the alliancernacknowledge that thernfighters have been traveling withrntheir weapons.rnMany of them will be heading tornBerlin, Stuttgart, or Munich, which mayrnbe why, as the Independent reported onrnNovember 7, “the opposition ChristianrnDemocrats declared that foreigners werernwelcome in the Fatherland, provided theyrnbehaved just like Germans.” That is thernmessage of a policy paper adopted by thernparty’s presidium:rnI t features emotive terms, suchrnas “patriotism,” “the nation,”rnand “the Fatherland” and also thernnew word “Leitkultur” which c r i t ­icsrnsay is an ill-disguised synonymrnfor “assimilation.” . . .rnEconomic think-tanks say therncountry needs up to 250,000 immigrantsrnevery year to keep industrnry going and pay the pensions ofrnthe post-war generation.rnThe millions of Muslim Gastarbeitersrnin Germany may soon be followed by thernveterans of the current intifada in thernMiddle East. Edward Said, a veteranrncritic of U.S. media bias in that conflict,rnwas nevertheless occasionally allowed arnfew column-inches on the subject inrnnational newspapers. After a recentrndiatribe in the Pakistani daily Dawnrn(www. dawn, com/2000/1 l/03/op.htm#l),rnhowever, he is likely to be banished fromrnthe national media:rnThe events . . . in Palestinernhave been a near-total triumphrnfor Zionism in the United Statesrnfor the f i r s t time since the modemrnre-emergence of the Palestinianrnnational movement in thernlate 1960s. Political as well asrnpublic discourse has so definitivelyrntransformed Israel intornthe victim during the recentrnclashes, that even though 140rnPalestinian lives were lost andrnclose to 5000 casualties havernbeen reported, it is s t i l l somethingrncalled “Palestinian violence”rnthat has disrupted thernsmooth and orderly flow of thern”peace process.”rnThis mindset. Said says, is “truly staggeringrnin its recklessness and were it notrnvery much a practical, as well as actualrndistortion of reality one could quite easilyrnbe talking about a form of private mentalrnderangement.”rnThe further peculiarity of AmericanrnZionism, which is a system ofrnantithetical thought and Orwellianrndistortion, is that i t isrnimpermissible to speak of Jewishrnviolence, or Jewish actions whenrni t comes to Israel, even thoughrneverything done by Israel is donernin the name of the Jewish peoplernfor and by a Jewish state.rnSaid ends by complaining that thernAmerican flag can be burned in public, butrnthe systematic continuity of Israel’s 52-rnyear treatment of the Palestinians is “arnnarrative with no permission to appear”:rnThere is simply no people in thernworld today whose killing onrntelevision screens seems to bernconsidered by most American viewersrnto be acceptable as well-deservedrnpunishment. This is therncase with Palestinians whose dailyrnloss of life in the past monthrni s herded under the rubric “thernviolence on both sides,” as ifrnthe stones and slings of youngrnmen thoroughly tired of injusticernand repression were a major offencernrather than the courageousrnresistance to a demeaning faternmeted out to them not just by I s ­raelirnsoldiers armed by America,rnbut by a peace process designedrnto coop them up in Bantustans andrnreservations fit for animals.rnEdward, it was nice knowing you. Yournmight want to talk to Joe Sobran aboutrnstarting your own newsletter, since that’srnthe only way you are likely to get publishedrnfrom now on.rn26/CHRONlCLESrnrnrn