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The Unfolding War on Terrorism. (The Last Word).

On the surface at least, the war on terrorism appears to be progressing well. As we go to press, the Taliban have abandoned Kabul and other population centers in Afghanistan, and Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda terrorists are reportedly on the run. Yet, as the Bush administration has made clear, eliminating the Taliban regime is just the opening phase in what will be a long, drawn-out war extending beyond Afghanistan.

"This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion," President George W. Bush warned in his September 20th speech to a joint session of Congress. "It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat. Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success."

On November 18th, after the Taliban had lost control of most of Afghanistan, Secretary of State Colin Powell sounded a cautionary note on Fox News Sunday: "So let's not see this as all suddenly coming to an end. A long-term campaign against terrorism will take years, and we'll stick with it." The next phase of the campaign may entail military assaults against the al-Qaeda terrorists in one or more of the dozens of countries where they are located. It may include renewed military actions against Iraq. It may also include a greater concentration of power in Washington -- on top of the new powers it has already acquired through the post-September 11th anti-terrorism and airport-security legislation. Yet the war on terrorism, as it is presently being waged, will not result in victory no matter how long it lasts.

How could it be otherwise when the Bush administration not only refuses to identify the true nature of the enemy but even welcomes him into the new anti-terrorism coalition? In his September 20th speech, Bush described the terrorists thusly: "They are the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions -- by abandoning every value except the will to power -- they follow in the path of fascism, and Nazism, and totalitarianism."

Bush did not mention Communism, the most murderous ideology of the 20th century. That's quite an omission, particularly considering that Russian Communism not only spawned the international terrorist network but continues to provide it with vital support today. How can the terrorist network be eliminated when Russian sponsorship of that network is ignored, and when Russia is made our ally in the fight against terrorism?

When Bush welcomed Vladimir Putin to the White House on November 13th, he stated that "Russia is fundamentally a different place than it was during the Soviet era." How so? Putin was the head of Russia's Federal Security Service, the renamed KGB. Does Bush honestly believe that this unrepentant veteran of the Soviet police-state apparatus can be trusted? Apparently so, when it comes to reducing our stockpile of nuclear missiles. "I looked the man in the eye and shook his hand, and if we need to write it down on a piece of paper, I'll be glad to do that," Bush said.

Another head of state Bush recently looked in the eye is Chinese president Jiang Zemin. Bush met Jiang in October in Shanghai, where the two agreed to work together in the fight against terrorism. China is, of course, still openly a Communist country, which helps explain why Bush does not utter the "C" word when he condemns "the murderous ideologies of the 20th century" and their connection to the terrorist network. China has been a longtime sponsor of terrorist regimes and groups, including the Taliban. Recently, China's state-controlled media outlets have even put out videos lauding the September 11th terrorist attack against America (see the December 3rd issue of TNA, page five).

The anti-terrorism coalition is being organized under the aegis of the United Nations. In addition to China and Russia, other state sponsors of terrorism we are now aligning ourselves with in the fight against terrorism include Pakistan, Iran, and Syria. Syria has just been given a central role by being voted into the UN Security Council. The Bush administration did not oppose this incredible move, in spite of the fact that Syria -- unlike Russia, China, or Pakistan -- is officially listed by our State Department as a sponsor of international terrorism.

Put simply, the administration is waging a selective war, deciding which terrorist states or groups to wage war against and which to embrace. With "friends" such as these, alliances will no doubt shift. As Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld admitted in his op-ed piece in the September 27th New York Times: "This war will not be waged by a grand alliance united for the single purpose of defeating an axis of hostile powers. Instead, it will involve floating coalitions of countries, which may change and evolve."

In a news conference on October 11th, Bush characterized the unfolding conflict as "a war against all those who seek to export terror, and a war against those governments that support or shelter them." But that is not the kind of war the Bush administration is fighting.
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Title Annotation:the United States
Author:Benoit, Gary
Publication:The New American
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 17, 2001
Previous Article:World-Class Scapegoating.
Next Article:Forest Mismanagement. (Letters to the Editor).

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