- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Polish principles
The president of Poland yesterday endorsed pre-emptive strikes against terrorist targets, but urged the United States not to act alone in the war against terrorism.
President Aleksander Kwasniewski, who meets President Bush in Washington today, said no country disputes that the United States is the world's lone superpower.
"Today's leadership of the U.S. in the world is not questioned, and it should be exercised," he told the National Defense University. "But it should be clearly said that, in order to be effective, it has to be cooperative and based upon the rules acceptable by all the parties.
"If these rules are not applied, then leadership can be perceived as hegemony or domination."
Mr. Kwasniewski, whose country joined NATO in 1999, said the alliance recognizes that the old defense strategies are obsolete because terrorists, whom he called "the most fearsome enemy of civilization," do not defend territory and do not recognize the rules of war.
"Terrorists spread destruction aimed to bring chaos and paralysis to national and social institutions and mechanisms," he said.
Mr. Kwasniewski endorsed a "new philosophy of action" that includes hunting down terrorists and destroying them.
"It is us who have to find the enemy. We must not wait for the enemy to find us," he said. "Once found, the enemy should be neutralized before they grow in strength."
Mr. Kwasniewski said new NATO members recognize they must contribute to the fight and not expect "security guarantees for free."
The decision to expand the alliance to include seven new members expands the zone of stability from the Baltics to the Black Sea.
"But it is not only a geographical dimension that will change," he said. "The political center of gravity will move to the East of Europe as well."
Ten of the 26 NATO members will come from former communist countries.
"All of them are very enthusiastic, full of vigor and faith in NATO," he said.
Philippines terrorism
The United States is pressing the Philippines to adopt stronger laws to prevent the financing of terrorism and expressing concerns about suspected terrorist links of a Muslim rebel group holding peace talks with the government.
The Philippines needs "good financial controls so terrorists cannot use your banking system against you, deposit their kidnapping funds there and move them around and buy their guns using your banks," U.S. Ambassador Francis Ricciardone told foreign reporters in Manila yesterday.
He urged the Philippines Senate to meet a February deadline to adopt tougher money-laundering laws. The Financial Action Task Force, a coalition of industrialized nations that includes the United States, could impose sanctions against the Philippines if it fails to toughen its laws.
Mr. Ricciardone also told the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines that the United States suspects a link between the Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist network and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which is engaged in peace talks with the Philippines government.
"The jury is still out on the MILF," the ambassador said. "We're very concerned, though, about what we understand to be the MILF's ties to other people outside the Philippines."
Jemaah Islamiyah, which operates throughout Southeast Asia, has been linked to the October bombing on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, which killed about 200 people.
The United States includes the group on its blacklist of foreign terrorist organizations, along with the Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf Muslim rebels and the communist New People's Army.
The MILF, with 12,500 rebels, operates on the Philippines island of Mindanao. The Singapore government recently reported that the MILF allowed Jemaah Islamiyah militants to use its training camps in 1997.
Mr. Ricciardone said, "If they're not engaging in these things themselves, then it seems sometimes they're letting these bad people run around in an area where they are the law, and they have not permitted the government of the Philippines to be the law."
Rolio Golez, national security adviser to Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, said the Singapore report is out of date. The Philippines' army now controls the area where those training camps were located, he said at the same forum yesterday.


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