This is a known issue. The mechanism for the detection which patches to apply is broken. Try using "make build" instead of "make".
Better solution: Upgrade to iptables-1.1.2 or later
Internal structures in iptables have changed. Upgrade to iptables >= 1.1.1
Please use a recent iptables release.
Most likely you are experiencing compile problems with a function called
If you are using iptables <= 1.2.2, you NEED to apply the `dropped-table' and `ftp-fixes' patches.
If you are using iptables > 1.2.2 or recent SVN, please don't apply the 'dropped-table', as it is incompatible with BALANCE, NETMAP, irc-nat, SAME and talk-nat.
The netfilter core team bases development on Linus' kernel tree, so using the -ac series is on your own risk.
I bet you are trying to run something like :
# ./runme pending KERNEL_DIR=/usr/src/linux-2.4.19
But bash/sh is not like make, and a variable cannot be passed as a parameter. You have to set the variable before you run the runme script :
# KERNEL_DIR=/usr/src/linux-2.4.19 ./runme pending