- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 26, 2001

Don't underestimate Kyrgyzstan's support for U.S.

The Sept. 18 report "Afghans flee nation to avoid U.S. attack" noted that Kyrgyzstan "expressed condolences to the United States and called for stronger action against international terrorism. Officials have made no commitment to assist the United States." This analysis is precipitous and poorly informed.

Our nation shares the profound grief and sorrow of the people of the United States in response to the unspeakable acts of Sept. 11. The fact that our nation has for years been a target of terrorism by the same organizations implicated in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon makes our commiseration greater and our resolve to stand beside the United States in this time of global crisis more firm. In his address last Thursday, President Bush referred specifically to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a group of principally ethnic Uzbek terrorists directly connected to Osama bin Laden. This group has been waging a campaign of terror in southern Kyrgyzstan for three years, resulting in serious casualties among the civilian population and Kyrgyz defense forces. Military engagement of these forces has been the principal function of our nation's armed forces for years. In this effort, Kyrgyzstan has found no more important ally and friend than the United States, a fact we are hardly likely to forget at this important juncture.

In his televised address to the nation on Sept. 12, Kyrgyzstan President Askar Akayev stated, "As president of a nation which has itself repeatedly felt the consequences of attacks of international terrorists over three years, I would like to express our nation's strong support for the United States and the international community in the effort to extirpate this evil of the 21st century." Kyrgyz Minister of Defense Esen Topoev wrote to U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, "I would like to make you aware that the Armed Forces of the Kyrgyz Republic are determined to support the efforts of the United States of America and other nations of the world community to extirpate any appearances of terrorism."

The exact modalities of our cooperation with the United States are not a proper subject for discussion at this time or in this forum. As for your comment that Kyrgyzstan will stand on the sidelines in this conflict, however, I can only say: Prepare to be surprised.


BAKTYBEK ABDRISAEV

Ambassador

Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic

Washington

Dropping sanctions on Pakistan is short-sighted

The U.S. administration's overnight flip-flop on the sanctions imposed on Pakistan creates doubts about President Bush's commitment to the goal of "Infinite Justice." By lifting sanctions on Pakistan, the United States has set a dangerous precedent by rewarding a rogue state.

The State Department's own report on terrorism cites Pakistani support of anti-U.S. terrorist groups such as Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammed. Until Sept. 11, Pakistan was on the State Department's watch list. On Sunday, however, Mr. Bush decided to look the other way.

As in the past, the U.S. administration is looking for short-term gains, not realizing the long-term repercussions of such reward-the-culprit policies.

The United States supported Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran and the Afghan "Arabs" in their war against the former Soviet Union. Both of these entities turned around to bite their benefactor. Pakistan has a similarly dubious legacy. It hosts dozens of terrorist groups and tens of thousands of madrassas. It has used its nuclear prowess to deter India from attacking its terrorist centers for more than a decade.

Given this history, it would be suicidal for the United States to ignore terrorist activities being carried out from Pakistani soil and to reward Pakistan by lifting the sanctions.

This unholy union between the world's greatest democracy and a country ruled by a tinpot dictator and jihad-sponsoring generals is a recipe for long-term disaster.


SUBODH ATAL

Columbia, Md.

Muslim group's condemnation of attacks rings hollow

The Sept. 12 article "Muslim groups decry attacks" reported that the American Muslim Council (AMC) condemned the mass terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

That "condemnation" rings hollow in the face of the AMC's long record of praising and defending terrorist groups. For example, at a rally in Lafayette Park in Washington on Oct. 28, 2000, AMC leader Abdulrahman Alamoudi said: "I have been labeled by the media in New York to be a supporter of Hamas. We are all supporter of Hamas. I wish they added that I am also a supporter of Hezbollah."

Both Hezbollah and Hamas are on the official U.S. list of terrorist organizations. Hezbollah was responsible for the 1983 attack on U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon that killed 241 servicemen as well as many other attacks. Hamas has murdered more than 300 Israelis since the signing of the 1993 Oslo accords as well as at least 12 of the 20 Americans who have been murdered in Israel since 1993.


MORTON A. KLEIN

National President

Zionist Organization of America

New York

Attacks no excuse to drill in ANWR

Your Sept. 18 article "Tragedy loudens call for Alaskan drilling" points out that some environmental groups are keeping a low profile in the wake of the tragic terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon so that they do not appear politically divisive or undermine their own efforts.

But those who wish to change their opposition to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) have entirely missed the point: Now, more than ever, the fate of the world-class refuge hangs in the balance. The administration and supportive legislators are renewing their commitment to the issue. President Bush and others will stress that in order to preserve our national security, we should open ANWR to drilling.

Opening the refuge will not remedy the problem caused by any impending U.S. actions in the Middle East.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the coastal plain area may provide only 3.2 billion barrels of recoverable oil or a half a year's supply for America. It would take more than 10 years for this oil to reach the American market and it would never meet more than 2 percent of U.S. demand at one time. Certainly, this would not replace the 60 percent of American demand currently satisfied by Middle Eastern imports.

Environmental and animal groups should know that taking a stand against drilling in ANWR is in no way bashing Mr. Bush and his administration or undermining his attempt to unify our nation and protect its interests. Opposing arctic drilling is merely acting to preserve the integrity of a unique wilderness that the United States should cherish, not foolishly destroy.


CHARLES CHAMBERS JR.

Correspondent

Friends of Animals

Darien, Conn.

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