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A Little Help From Our Enemies.

Rushing to find allies in the "war on terrorism," America has enlisted the help of some new "friends" who are themselves longtime sponsors of terrorism.

Immediately after the first wave of attacks upon Afghanistan, the Bush administration informed the UN Security Council that military strikes against other countries may be necessary "to prevent and deter further attacks on the United States." This action was supposedly required by Article 51 of the UN Charter, which dictates that all military actions taken in self-defense be conducted under the Security Council's authority. The U.S. Constitution, was not cited by the administration as a source of its authority to wage war.

On the same day that U.S. ambassador to the UN John Negroponte issued his report to the Security Council, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the candidacy of Syria to fill a Security Council seat beginning on January 1st. Seventeen nations voted against the nomination. The United States did not publicly oppose the nomination, despite the fact that Syria is still listed on the State Department's roster of terrorist sponsors.

In his address to Congress on September 20th, President Bush declared that world leaders would have to decide whether "you are with us, or with the terrorists." By that standard, the October 6th vote shows irrefutably that the UN General Assembly stands with the terrorists. So beginning next January, the Bush administration, which is fighting the "war on terrorism" under a UN mandate, rather than in the constitutionally prescribed manner, will be reporting to a Security Council that now includes an acknowledged terrorist regime.

Syria's ambassador to the UN, Mikhail Wehbe, insists that the regime he serves is "very committed ... to preserve the peace and security in the world." A recent report from the House Republican Research Committee's Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, however, describes Syria as a major power in the international network of terrorism and organized crime which is rapidly acquiring the means to develop and use weapons of mass destruction -- that is, chemical, biological, and even nuclear weapons.

Since 1993, according to the Research Committee's report, "high quality counterfeit $100 bills, as well as illegal drugs, originating from Iran, Syria and Lebanon and distributed by organized crime, have become the primary currency for the expanding international system that sustains the growing nuclear trade of the radical states of the Middle East.... This flow of drugs and counterfeit dollars also serves to sustain and finance the build-up of Islamist terrorist networks in Mexico as well as in the northern states of South America for operations in the U.S."

Our "Friends" at Work

Syria's election to the Security Council is a helpful illustration of the UN's true nature. After all, Syria is a client state of two of the five permanent members of the Security Council, Russia and Communist China, both of which can exercise a veto on that body. By choosing to fight a "war on terrorism" through the United Nations, the Bush administration has placed our national defense in the hands of the world's chief institutional sponsor of terrorism. It is as if a group of besieged ranchers were asked to place their trust in a posse run by cattle rustlers.

One immediate consequence of the "war on terrorism" has been an accelerated drive to merge the foreign policies of the U.S. and "post-Soviet" Russia. "Emboldened by their united front against terrorism," reported the October 4th Washington Post, "the Bush and Putin administrations embarked on a course that could fundamentally recast U.S.-Russia relations.... It has opened the possibility of collaboration in other areas that would have seemed impossible only a month ago."

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was among several high-profile Western leaders to visit Moscow in early October, hailed a "new era" in relations with Russia. "When we are battling against something like the issue of international terrorism... we need Russia there as a partner," Blair declared during an October 4th Moscow news conference.

"This is a second chance of the same value as 1991 to change our relations and the way we see each other," observed Mikhail Margelov, a member of Russia's Federation Council (the upper house of their parliament) and a close adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The reference to 1991 refers to the muchheralded "break with the past" that supposedly took place when the Soviet Union was disbanded.

In its policy toward terrorist states, however, Russia's conduct has not differed at all from that of the Soviet Union, which spawned the international terror network. Even as Putin's regime was posturing as a key ally in the "war on terrorism," it was putting the finishing touches on a military accord with Iran that will make that Middle Eastern terrorist state Russia's third-largest arms customer behind India and Communist China. While the Bush administration "strongly opposes" the arms deal, observed the Sydney Morning Herald, it "now finds itself condemning a weapons deal whose seller, Russia, has become a crucial ally, and whose buyer, Iran, is a potentially crucial recruit to the anti-terrorist front." Iran, like Syria, is listed on the State Department's roster of terrorist sponsors.

It is worth noting that Russian President Putin is a former head of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), the renamed KGB. During the late 1990s, Russia's foreign minister was Yevgeny Primakov, a KGB "Arabist" who was one of the chief architects of the international terrorist network. German analyst Hans Graf Huyn points out that "until 1985 Primakov was Director at the Moscow Institute for the Middle East (where he had studied). Together with Lumumba University, this Institute was active in establishing terrorist organizations in Northern Ireland, Libya, and the Near East." Primakov was also instrumental in building intelligence services for Iran and Iraq, which in turn support and control terrorist groups throughout the Middle East and Europe.

In the years following the 1991 "break with the past," both Russia and Communist China greatly expanded their military and strategic partnership with Iran by providing it with the SS-4 rocket technology that is the basis for Teheran's Shahab-3 and Shahab-4 missiles. Beijing provided Iran with sophisticated C-802, Silkworm, and Seersucker anti-ship missiles, and Hegu Fast-attack ships to use as launch platforms. Russia and China are also assisting Iran's nuclear weapons program. Chinese technicians were sent to build a uranium-conversion plant near the ancient city of Esfahan in central Iran and also to build two other 300-megawatt nuclear plants. As part of its new arms deal with Iran, Russia announced that in November it would deliver the first of two reactors for a 1,000-megawatt plant being built by Russian technicians in Bushire, an Iranian port on the Persian Gulf.

The Terror Bloc

Many Establishment commentators find a basis for reconciliation between the U.S. and Iran in the fact that Teheran offered perfunctory words of sympathy following the Black Tuesday attack. Because the Mullahs (Muslim religious leaders) who dominate Iran have some obscure quarrels with Afghanistan's Taliban junta, we are told, we should be governed by the well-worn maxim, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." But Iran has made it clear that it still regards the United States to be the "Great Satan."

The duplicity presently displayed by Iran was foreshadowed during CNN's January 7, 1998, interview of Mohammad Khatami, Iran's "moderate" president. Soft-spoken and conciliatory, Khatami declared that "terrorism should be condemned in all its forms" and assured his American viewers that "if I learn of any instance [sic] to such terrorism, I shall certainly deal with it." Twelve days later, in a less-publicized address delivered at the grave of the Ayatollah Khomeini, Khatami dispensed with his moderate facade and condemned the United States, saying, "We do not need for America to get along with us and help us."

President Khatami's anti-American remarks echoed the line set by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the successor to "Imam" Khomeini, who is constitutionally more powerful than Iran's president. "America and the Zionist regime will be wiped off the face of the earth and even history will not remember them," Khamenei threatened on September 17, 1997. As if delivering an intentional rebuke to those who believe that Iran's anti-American regime has "mellowed," Khamenei added: "People come and go, but the path will be ... the same line traced by the Imam [Khomeini]. Only ignorant, self-interested people think that it has ended and a new one started."

On April 24th of this year, Teheran was the site of a summit of terrorist groups from across the Middle East. Delegates from 35 Islamic nations were drawn to the event, which was organized by Hojatolesalm Ali Akbar Mohtashemi-Pur, an Iranian parliamentarian and former ambassador to Syria who was a key organizer of Iran's terrorist network. The April conference featured representatives from Hizbullah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and an emissary from Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority. This is a pretty good list of targets in any legitimate "war on terrorism" -- but Iran, a duly deputized member of the global anti-terrorism posse, regards them as friends and allies.

But Russia is Iran's most important ally. "Russians have appreciated our revolution much better than the rest of the world," declared Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi during a 1996 forum at New York's Institute for East-West Studies. This flies in the face of the received wisdom that "Fundamentalist" Iran was the enemy of both the atheistic Soviet Union and its Russian successor regime. It is true that cultural and historical antagonisms divide the Russian and Iranian peoples -- and that Russia could be a valuable ally against militant Islam were that nation ever freed from its corrupt ruling elite. But from KGB veteran Putin on down, Russia continues to be dominated by the same Leninist elite that created the international terrorist network.

KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn, whose predictions and analyses of post-Soviet Russia have been uncannily accurate, emphasizes that the phenomenon referred to as "Islamic fundamentalism" was actually created and controlled by Moscow, with Iran acting as its most valuable surrogate. In his 1995 book The Perestroika Deception, Golitsyn wrote that the Soviet strategists who still dominate Russia continue to seek opportunities to "establish and develop economic and political cooperation with the fundamentalists in Iran and elsewhere in the Muslim world."

Despite its promise to destroy international terrorism, the Bush administration has not targetted some of the key players in the Soviet created network. Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, author of the authoritative study Narco-Terrorism, has lamented "the omission of two of the most vocal radical Muslim anti-American terrorist organizations -- Hamas and HizbAllah -- from the presidential order to freeze [terrorist] assets."

Syndicated columnist Debbie Schlussel points to an even more shocking incident. During a 2000 campaign stop in Tampa, Florida, she writes, Mr. Bush and his wife posed for pictures with Dr. Sami Al-Arian, "the U.S. frontman for one of the largest terrorist-group coalitions in the world -- Islamic Jihad." The hijackers who commandeered United Flight 93, which crashed near Pittsburgh, "wore red headbands, customary among Islamic Jihad warriors who take their instruction from Iran."

Just as unsettling is the fact that our Afghan "allies," the Northern Alliance or United Front, have exhibited a tendency to employ terrorist tactics itself. This loosely organized faction, made up of supporters of deposed Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani, "has committed mass executions, rapes, [and] looting," observes Tony Cordesman, a professor of national security studies at Georgetown University.

A report published last June by the Swiss Peace Foundation reports that "Iran is a major supplier of arms and ammunition to the United Front (Northern Alliance) and serves as a base for meetings among the UF's various feuding factions." The same report notes that "Russia also played an important role in selling arms to the northern groups" and that "Afghanistan now plays a central role in Russian policy in the region as the main argument for returning Central Asia to Russian military hegemony." This is a point worthy of consideration if American moves to replace the Taliban with the Northern Alliance.

Target: America

The two most powerful members of the "anti-terror" posse, Russia and Communist China, conducted a series of joint military exercises in which Russian and Chinese forces simulated the use of nuclear weapons on U.S. forces in Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan. The April 30th Washington Times quoted a U.S. intelligence official as saying that "the Asia scenario began with a Chinese military attack on Taiwan that was followed by the use of U.S. ground troops" on the island. "China escalated the conflict by firing tactical nuclear missiles on the U.S. troops in Taiwan, prompting U.S. nuclear strikes on Chinese forces," continued the report. "Russian nuclear forces then threatened to use nuclear missile strikes on U.S. forces in the region, including strikes on troops in South Korea and Japan." In July, a few weeks after this dress rehearsal for a military campaign against the United States, Russia and China signed a treaty of "cooperation and friendship."

Beijing also signed an agreement on December 10, 1999, with Afghanistan's Taliban junta -- the first target in the "war on terrorism." According to a wire service report out of New Delhi, India, "the agreement was not signed between the two governments but between the Taliban military commanders and representatives of China's People's Liberation Army [PLA]." Under the terms of the agreement, the PLA would provide training for Taliban air force and 25,000 militia troops, repair and maintain equipment captured by Taliban forces from their rivals in the ongoing Afghan civil war, and lavish $10 million to improve the infrastructure of the Taliban military.

The Bush administration appears willing to overlook the duplicity and deviousness of our new "allies" in its attempt to build a broad anti-terrorist coalition. The September 24th Washington Post reported that the president "has asked Congress for authority to waive all existing restrictions on U.S. military assistance and weapons exports for the next five years to any country if he determines the aid will help the fight against international terrorism." The Post underscored the fact that the waiver would be of greatest benefit to "nations currently ineligible for U.S. military aid because of their sponsorship of terrorism, such as Syria and Iran," as well as Pakistan (which played a key role in creating the Taliban) and Communist China.

Defenders of the administration might insist: "We're part of a UN-approved posse now, and we have to make sure that our allies have the firepower to do the job." But a sheriff who goes riding with a posse like this is going to find himself on the wrong end of a hangman's noose.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:new friends in the new world order
Author:Grigg, William Norman
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 5, 2001
Previous Article:Behind the Terror Network.

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