US sabre rattling

Making a declaration about US policy after September 11th, President George Bush insinuated on Wednesday that the military actions in Afghanistan were the “first glimpses” of how the USA reacts to international terrorism.

He stated that all countries which harbour terrorist forces within their borders, who will not or are not able to combat them and bring them to account, would be regarded as hostile and “held to account”.

He declared that the world was under threat while there are terrorist groups which try to amass arsenals of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.

Talking of a common “great cause” for the present generation, George Bush emphasised that most of the world today was on the same side, highlighting that the USA is working closely with Russia, Pakistan and India, ands that Germany and Japan are assuming military responsibilities paramount to their level on the world stage. “The vast majority of countries are on the same side,” he said.

Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was more specific about the possible targets for future military strikes by the United States, mentioning “six to eight countries” who are, or have been, involved in terrorist or who harbour terrorist groups. Included in this list are supposedly Iraq, Somalia, the Sudan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Yemen, Colombia and Malaysia.

Mr. Rumsfeld did not advance information on a possible strike in Somalia, where US defence ministry personnel have been meeting friendly militia leaders to discuss how best to attack the Al-Qaeda bases there. Somalia has been in a state of anarchy for the best part of a decade, a country controlled by rival warlords and tribal factions.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell has ended his visit to the United Kingdom for talks with Prime Minister Tony Blair, admitting that there were “differences” in opinion over future policy, possibly on the barely hidden intention of the USA to take up military action against Iraq again.


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