In Cairo, the newspaper Al-Ahram, an instrument of the government, claimed in its editorial that “It was an instinctive speech and Bush did not learn the lessons of 11th September". It continued: “Bush only instigates terrorism. With this speech, he gives good motives for some to continue with terrorism”.
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, declared that “Bush is trying to take public attention away from the Middle East and is preparing American public opinion to continue to support Israel in its brutal oppression of the Palestinian nation”.
An official in Baghdad accused Washington of state terrorism and denied claims that Iraq was a danger, although President Saddam Hussein has long decided not to comment on statements made by George Bush, deeming them unworthy of being taken into consideration.
The Deputy General Secretary of the Arab League, Said Kamal, is of the personal opinion that “Bush should show signs of greater wisdom. He ignores the calls for prudence launched by the European Union and I cannot believe that he does not know that Israel is on the list of countries which have weapons of mass destruction”.
Israel has around 200 nuclear warheads. These comments prove how badly received were the words of George Bush in the region. Phrases such as “axis of evil”, “we know their true nature” and “the USA is at war” and sentences like “I will not wait on events while dangers gather. I will not stand by as peril draws closer and closer. The United States will not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world’s most dangerous weapons” are no more than hype, sausage-factory remarks designed to whip up hysteria. This they have done at home, but there are good reasons for the hail of criticism from abroad, and not just from Moslem nations.
Speaking inexplicably of an “axis of evil” between Pyongyang, Teheran and, predictably, Baghdad, George Bush launched into a diatribe which became more and more ridiculous by the sentence, so replete was it with barefaced arrogance.
Understandably concentrating on the theme of international terrorism, the September 11th atrocity naturally remaining fresh in the minds of all Americans, George Bush failed to rise above the occasion and present the vision of a world statesman. Even British newspaper editorials derided the speech as being a delusion, never close to reality.
Concentrating his venom on three regimes deemed hostile to the USA, only because they refuse to kow-tow to Washington, and practically limiting his mention of terrorist organisations to Hammas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah, organisations which pose a threat to Israel but not the USA, President Bush made it clear that Washington remains biased and tendentious in its Middle East policy.
While it is right to condemn international terrorism, since attacks such as that on September 11th must never happen again, George Bush failed to mention the right-wing paramilitary organisations perpetrating acts of extreme barbarity in South America, organisations which are covertly supported by Washington, he failed to mention the IRA, which for years was funded by NORAID, based in the USA, he failed to mention the terrorist attacks in Angola by UNITA, armed for many years by the USA and he failed to mention the state terrorism carried out on a daily basis by Israel, against civilians, in the lands which Israel stole from them.
Singling out almost without exception Moslem countries and organisations, this speech was a cheap shot at America’s traditional demons, even if the demonology is an invention of Washington.
The reason Iran is not favourable towards Washington is because the CIA operations to support the regime of the hated Shah Reza Pahlevi, who was totally out of touch with his people, gave the United States a hostile image among the people of this country. Fearing a growth in fundamentalist Islamism in the region, Washington then pumped Iraq, then the good student, full of weaponry to see it through its ten-year war against its neighbour.
Saddam Hussein having been pumped so full of armour that he became a danger, it was then necessary to incite Kuwait to made alterations to its oil policy which were ruinous to the Iraqi economy, forcing Iraq to take action. The massive intrusion in Iraq’s internal affairs over the last decade have naturally turned this country against the USA also.
Finally, it is not beyond the realms of the imagination that Pyongyang is angered at Washington because of the military support it gave to its former enemy, South Korea. Complaining that all three countries have weapons of mass destruction is valid only if these countries are aiming to use these weapons against the USA.
There is no evidence to suggest anything of the sort. The reason why these countries have weapons of mass destruction is to defend themselves against Washington’s permanent interference and after the recent incidents in the Gulf and Yugoslavia, crises created and managed by Washington, who can blame them?
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
Rescuers found the pilot of one of the two Su-34 fighters that had collided in midair in the Far East on January 18