“There is no need in the American troops here,” – this was the respond from the leaders of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines regarding the recent hints, dropped by George W. Bush, who said the USA did not mind expanding the geographic framework of its “anti-terrorist war.”
Bush said in his speech on December 4 that the American troops “could” make strikes beyond the Afghani territory. According to the newspaper South China Morning Post, it caused protest in the capitals of the countries of South-East Asia. Even the Philippines were against the American military presence, in spite of the fact this country used to be an American colony.
"We do not agree that any foreign troops should join the fight against the Abu Sayyaf," Philippine presidential spokesman Rigoberto Tiglao told Reuters, referring to a Muslim radical group, which the United States has said is linked to al Qaeda.
It stands the reason that Indonesia and Malaysia – the countries, where the Muslim population is predominant – had a more explicit protest. Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Wahid Supriyadi said: "Our position is clear, we are fighting against terrorism, but we will use our own legal framework in doing that."
As far as Malaysia is concerned, the South China Morning Post referred to the sources from the Malaysian Ministry for Defense: “the growing role of the American troops are not in their plans.” Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand are not mentioned in the cited publication of the Hong Kong newspaper, but one can guess their positions without the statements from the governmental officials. Needless to mention Vietnam suffered a lot from the US, but it managed to repulse its aggression with the help of the USSR. Cambodia also suffered from the American bombs and now this country is courageously resisting the organization of the trial on Khmer Rouge under the aegis of the Americans. Thailand has recently refused to let George Soros enter the country, considering him the organizer of the recent financial crisis in Asia.
Thus, we may state: South-East Asia is becoming the area of a strong repulse to the global neo-colonial counteroffensive under the trademark “anti-terrorist operation.”
Andrey Krushinsky PRAVDA.Ru Beijing
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov