- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 23, 2002

Noble: Sen. Dick Lugar of Indiana for introducing legislation that would fight terrorism by extending a non-proliferation project outside of the former Soviet Union.
The bill would authorize $50 million to be spent anywhere in the world to prevent threats posed by weapons of mass destruction and respond to security emergencies. The money would be taken from unobligated funds from the Nunn/Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction fund, which was set up in 1991 to destroy nuclear warheads and other weapons in the former Soviet Union.
Since then, the funds have been used to destroy 5,809 nuclear warheads aimed at the United States, 443 ballistic missiles, 92 bombers and 483 long-range nuclear air-launched cruise missiles, to name just a few. While the amount may seem relatively modest, Mr. Lugar is working to expand America's defense capabilities as needed today and in the future to counter nuclear and terrorist threats.
Mr. Lugar said the problem America faces is the nexus between the threats posed by terrorists and weapons of mass destruction. "There is little doubt that Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda would have used weapons of mass destruction if they had possessed them. It is equally clear that they have made an effort to obtain them," he said.
The funds could be used to counter threats posed by India and Pakistan, Iraq, or any other country that may provide a threat. By asking the Pentagon to be prepared for a nuclear threat anywhere in the world, Mr. Lugar is looking beyond the threats posed by terrorists on airplanes or by proliferation from the former Soviet Union. He is reminding the Defense Department that security is about prevention as well as response.

Knave: Yasser Arafat, who failed to prevent three Palestinian suicide bombings in a row this week. The Palestinian leader only pretended to talk to the United States about peace during the visit of America's Middle East envoy, Anthony Zinni.
The Wednesday bombing killed seven and injured 35 on a bus in northern Israel, and the Thursday bombing in downtown Jerusalem killed three Israelis and injured 87. The Friday suicide bombing took place near an Israeli roadblock in the West Bank and injured an Israeli soldier. All three bombings came as the United States was trying to broker a cease-fire between Mr. Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
Israel had withdrawn from Palestinian-occupied territory to show support for Mr. Zinni's mission to draw up a cease-fire plan and to pull both sides back to the negotiating table. And Israel gave Mr. Arafat grace by not responding to protect its own security after the first attack, or after the second. The terrorists used the lack of military response to attack innocents.
Especially disconcerting is the fact that the Jerusalem attack was claimed by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a splinter group of Mr. Arafat's own Fatah militants. The suicide bomber, Mohammed Hashikeh, had been in the Palestinian Authority's custody just days before. One wonders what excuse Mr. Arafat will give for the bomber being in Jerusalem that day when the Palestinian Authority had arrested him in Tulkarem in the northwestern West Bank just a few days before, and then asked Israel permission to transport him to Ramallah in the south. If this is the way the Palestinian Authority conducts justice against terrorists, neither the United States nor Israel should be interested in Mr. Arafat's pretenses to work toward peace.


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