- The Washington Times - Friday, October 5, 2001

A radiant autumn day

The U.S. ambassador to India has appealed to the Indian public to support the war against terrorism because terrorists target their country as well as the United States.

Ambassador Robert D. Blackwill, writing in India's Hindustan Times, said Sept. 11 will remain in most people's minds as an indelible reminder of the day terrorism reached a new level with the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

"In the short space of a few minutes on a radiant autumn day …, the lives of thousands of innocent people were ended," he wrote. "As a tribute to those who lost their lives, we ask you to join with us to end this abomination.

"The world watched aghast and dumbstruck as a few violent and hate-filled men took more American lives than occurred at Pearl Harbor," he added.

Mr. Blackwill noted that citizens from as many as 80 other nations also died in the attacks, which were unlike earlier acts of terror against the United States.

"The United States treated those previous attacks on its citizens as an internal matter," he said, referring to the bombings of U.S. targets in the Middle East over the past 20 years.

"That type of limited response is no longer adequate," he said. "No citizen of the world can feel as safe now … as before the attack. The threat of terrorism knows no borders. … It is time for freedom-loving nations to decide, to choose and to act.

"The resolve of the United States rises from the rubble of the World Trade Center because today's terrorists do not simply want to kill Americans. They want to kill democratic societies like those in India and the United States."


Mexican solidarity

Leading Mexican legislators yesterday tried to reassure members of Congress that Mexico was committed to the war on terrorism, despite news reports to the contrary.

"We came to express our condolences and cooperation, condolences and solidarity," said Sen. Silvia Hernandez, chairman of the Mexican Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

She told Washington Times correspondent Tom Carter that Mexico, which has suffered a severe downturn in tourism since the attacks, is doing everything it can to tighten border security, while still allowing for trade.

Mrs. Hernandez said Mexico's banking sector is searching for any accounts that might be tied to terrorism.

She said Mexico will participate in every way it can, but recent polls indicate that the Mexican people are against sending troops to fight.

Sen. Hector Osuna Jaime said hundreds of Mexicans are missing and presumed dead in the attack in New York.

He said the perception in some quarters that Mexico is a reluctant partner in the war on terrorism is a misunderstanding. He said the issues between Mexico and the United States remain important, but have a lower priority for now.

"We are here to express our condolences. It is too soon" to be discussing immigration, drugs and trade issues, he said.

The delegation made the same points in meetings with members of Congress. Their visit was scheduled before Mexican President Vicente Fox decided to come to Washington to give similar assurances to President Bush.


Out of the killing fields

Sichan Siv has gone from the "killing fields" of Cambodia to foreign policy circles in Washington and soon may attain the rank of an ambassador to the United Nations.

President Bush this week selected him to serve as ambassador to the U.N. Economic and Social Council, a 54-nation panel that promotes economic and human rights issues.

Mr. Siv, an adviser to the International Republican Institute, escaped in 1976 after serving a year in a force labor camp in Cambodia under the bloodthirsty regime of the Khmer Rouge, accused of killing nearly 2 million people in its four-year reign from 1975 to 1979.

Mr. Siv is also a delegate to the Geneva-based U.N. Commission on Human Rights.

In other diplomatic developments, Mr. Bush selected senior foreign service officer Charles S. Shapiro to serve as ambassador to Venezuela. He is currently director of the State Department's Office of Cuban Affairs.

The Senate, meanwhile, has confirmed Robert Jordan, a Texas lawyer and Bush campaign donor, as ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

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