- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 14, 2001

Ex-Soviet general faults U.S. operation
MOSCOW For all its sophisticated weaponry, the U.S.-led military operation in Afghanistan is misguided, fraught with peril and unlikely to wipe out Osama bin Laden and his Taliban supporters, says a Soviet war hero.
Retired Lt. Gen. Ruslan Aushev joined a growing chorus of former Soviet commanders in criticizing the American anti-terrorist effort while backing its aims. Especially worrisome is the prospect the operation could involve ground troops, the generals say, speaking from experience.
"You should fight terrorism in a way that would not create new terrorism," said Gen. Aushev, president of the Russian republic of Ingushetia bordering rebel Chechnya. "There are other methods: financial, political, secret, super-secret. Today, we are using a cannon to scatter sparrows."

Disarmament sought, says Sinn Fein leader
BELFAST Senior republican official Martin McGuinness said yesterday he was working "flat out" to persuade his party's IRA allies to disarm in an effort to save Northern Ireland's shaky home-rule government and peace accord.
"I want to see arms put beyond use. I want to see it this afternoon, tomorrow morning, and I'm working flat out to try and achieve that," Mr. McGuinness, a Sinn Fein leader and education minister, told BBC radio.

Spanish police probe car bomb
MADRID Spanish police yesterday investigated how, despite a tip-off, a car bomb went off undetected in Madrid only yards from where King Juan Carlos had watched a military parade hours before. The bomb, blamed on the Basque separatist group ETA, ripped through an underground parking garage shortly before midnight on Friday, slightly injuring 17.

EU court limits benefits to refugees
LUXEMBOURG European Union countries are not obliged to pay family benefits to refugees or those without nationality who claim such rights under "community law," the European Court of Justice ruled last week. The ruling Thursday upheld a German regulation challenged by several refugees living legally in Germany, but denied family payments.

Weekly notes
British Prime Minister Tony Blair's popularity in the international terrorist crisis matches that of Winston Churchill during World War II, a poll for Friday's edition of the London Guardian revealed. Eighty-eight percent of people quizzed said Mr. Blair had handled the crisis very well or quite well, a rating that outstrips that of former leaders Margaret Thatcher during the Falklands conflict and John Major during the Gulf war. Prince Bernhard, 89, father of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, has returned home after a nine-day stay in a Kenyan hospital owing to respiratory problems. The Dutch royal information service announced Thursday the prince was traveling to Mozambique early this month to see the arrival of about 1,000 elephants from Kruger park in South Africa.

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