- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 20, 2001

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Oct. 20 (UPI) — U.S.-led forces resumed heavy daylight bombing raids in Afghanistan Saturday as reports spread of a U.S. commando raid in southern Afghanistan, centered on the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar.

More than 100 elite troops, including U.S. Army Rangers from the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk, are reported to have carried out the raid.

The Washington Post Saturday quoted Pentagon officials as saying Army Rangers and other Special Forces swept into southern Afghanistan for only a few hours under the cover of darkness. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The Pentagon said two U.S. military personnel were killed in a helicopter crash in neighboring Pakistan, which has allowed U.S. forces to use three air bases for support missions, such as search and rescue operations.

In a statement issued late Friday, the Pentagon called the crash an accident.

In Shanghai, China, President George W. Bush Saturday said that those who die in the war on terror die for a cause "that is just and right and that we will prevail."

Bush then delivered a speech to the heads of state and foreign ministers of the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, an address that combined a call for expanded trade with a rallying call for unity in the face of a terror attack on the free world.

"We are dismantling the Taliban defenses, the Taliban military," Bush said. The terrorists, "by their cruelty" have "chosen to live on the hunted margins of mankind."

"By their hatred," he continued, "they have divorced themselves from the values that define civilization, itself."

Bush's economic and anti-terrorist themes were tightly interwoven in his speech at what has previously been an event entirely devoted to economic topics. "The terrorists hoped markets would collapse" after the attacks on World Trade Center buildings in the Wall Street area, Bush said. "But markets have proven their resiliency and fundamental strength."

The government leaders applauded Bush when he said the Taliban "starve their people. And that is another reason they must go."

The terrorists, Bush said, were part of a world that needed development through trade and investment. "When nations accept the rules of the modern world they discover the benefits of the modern world," he said. "Wealth driven by markets and trade brings dramatic improvement in human lives."

The nations represented at the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum "share more than a common enemy, they share common goals," Bush said, a world more prosperous because it is more open to trading opportunities. He offered China, the host country, as an example, saying its GDP has grown by 513 percent since 1975.

"The progress of trade and freedom will continue," he said if countries find ways to cut red tape and reduce the cost of doing business across borders. "On every continent and every culture trade enhances opportunity."

The APEC leaders are set to issue a condemnation of terrorism Sunday, including a pledge to deny terrorists sanctuary, funding or even moral support.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide