War A Step Closergreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
War A Step Closer
Oman Daily Observer (Muscat)
Posted Saturday September 22, 2001 - 12:52:56 PM EDT
Washington - The spectre of war loomed closer yesterday as Washington reiterated its resolve to take "concerted actions in defence of freedom" after Afghanistan's ruling Taleban defied a US ultimatum to surrender terror suspect Osama bin Laden.
"We have resolved to hold to account all of those who are responsible for aiding, financing and otherwise supporting and harbouring terrorists," US Secretary of State Colin Powell said at a meeting of the Organisation of American States in Washington.
"We act in concert with the rest of the civilised world," he said, underlining a determination to take "concerted actions in defence of freedom." Earlier, Afghanistan's ruling Taleban rejected US President George W Bush's demand in a speech on Thursday for the immediate handover of Bin Laden, the chief suspect in the airborne attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
"Without evidence, no," Taleban Ambassador to Pakistan Abdul Salam Zaeef told reporters in Islamabad. "Our position is that if America has evidence and proof, they should produce it," Zaeef said.
The US administration responded swiftly, saying its warning to the Taleban was plain.
"If they harbour terrorists, the president's message is clear: We will defeat you," said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer.
In a tough speech to the US Congress, Bush on Thursday demanded that the Taleban deliver bin Laden and destroy bases of his al-Qaeda terrorist network. Otherwise, he said, they would face the wrath of US forces.
Bush's ultimatum was backed up with mounting deployments of air, sea and land forces in readiness for what the president said would be a protracted war against terrorism.
Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld signalled yesterday that the United States would seek support from opposition forces in northern Afghanistan.
"These folks, they know the lay of the land. They know in some cases some targets that are useful. They have some ideas about how to deal with the Taleban," he said in an interview on Fox television.
Opposition leaders have offered full support to any US attacks against the Taleban and claimed they inflicted heavy losses on the regime this week.
Global support for tough action against the perpetrators of the terror onslaught continued to firm yesterday. "They all expressed their condolences about the attack and their willingness to work with the United States to combat terrorism," Fleischer said.
In the course of the week, British, French and Indonesian leaders as well as top officials from China, Germany, Russia and Saudi Arabia held talks in Washington with Bush and Powell.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan yesterday joined calls for a unity in the battle against terrorism, saying the 11 September attacks "wounded an entire world." "This was an attack on all humanity, and all humanity has a stake in defeating the forces behind it," he said. A number of Islamic nations have offered support, despite mounting concern of a backlash from rebel organisations.
-- Martin Thompson (email@example.com), September 22, 2001
I find it fascinating that, in early September, right after United and American airlines came out with earnings warnings--which should have sent their stock prices down--both, instead, went up.
Could it be that somebody knew what was coming on September 11? I wonder how much extra money the terrorists earned for their war effort with this slick maneuver.
-- Uncle Fred (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 23, 2001.