Outside the U.S. and President Bush‘s metaphorical universe, the War on Terrorism is not exactly about good versus evil. The multi-national effort includes both hawkish and lukewarm participants, each pursuing its own national interest — or at least that of the regime in power. Here’s what‘s really in it for some of them.

1. China

Wants war on terrorism to target Muslim Uighur separatists in western Xinjiang region. Also wants to silence U.S. objections to crackdown on Tibetan independence movement.


Wants continued multibillion dollar U.S. aid, which goes to government side in civil war, in the name of fighting drugs and — now especially — terrorism.

3. Egypt

Wants al Qaeda’s elimination because it also targets Egyptian regime. Bin Laden‘s top lieutenant spent early career plotting its violent overthrow.

4. India

Wants to keep Kashmir and wants international acquiescence to nuclear-weapons program. Competing with Pakistan for U.S. affection.

5. Indonesia

Wants continued special-trade preferences. Most populous Muslim nation is guilty of widespread civil rights violations.


Wants lifting of economic sanctions, forgiveness for supporting Palestinian terrorists. U.S. already backs Iran’s effort to throw out federal suit by victims of 1979 U.S. embassy seizure.


Wants to justify crackdown on Palestinians as part of War on Terrorism.


Wants more of same: In late September, Congress approved a US-Jordan free-trade agreement.

9. Kuwait

Wants U.S. military might as protection against neighboring powers and Islamic fundamentalists.

10. Lebanon

Wants Western investment to rebuild shattered economy.

11. Mexico

Wants to link fighting terrorism with increased trade. Wants U.S. support for Mexican position in conflict with Zapatistas.

12. Pakistan

Wants economic assistance, especially relief on $36 billion in foreign debt. Wants U.S. to overlook past support of Taliban, development of nuclear weapons and current backing of anti-India terrorists.

13. Palestinian Authority

Wants U.S. help in pressuring Israel to accept Palestinian state.

14. Philippines

Wants U.S. resources to put down Muslim separatist rebels in southern Mindanao islands.

15. Russia

Wants U.S. acquiescence to bloody repression of Chechnya‘s Islamic separatists, “terrorists” to the Russians. Before 911, U.S. called Chechen revolt a “struggle for autonomy.”

16. Saudi Arabia

Wants U.S. to maintain local status quo, that is, the repressive, undem-ocratic regime stays in power and sells oil.

17. Singapore

Wants free-trade agreement with the U.S. to offset economic slump.

18. Spain

Wants the ETA, the violent Basque separatist organization, to be a target in War on Terrorism.


Wants more of same: U.N. Security Council lifted sanctions and U.S. dropped probe into abuse of non-Muslims — despite regime’s ethnic cleansing and use of chemical weapons against its own citizens. Rulers also hosted bin Laden for five years.

20. Syria

Wants U.S. to tone down criticism for its support of anti-Israeli militants. Wants to exit list of potential bombing targets as a country that supports terrorism.

21. Tajikistan

Wants no heat on its authoritarian regime from freedom fighters — fundamentalist or otherwise. Expecting millions in aid from Uncle Sam.

22. Thailand

Wants to improve world-trade position amid falling exports.

23. Vietnam

Wants U.S. to rein in Orange County–based terroristsfreedom fighters opposed to regime. U.S. Senate approved trade accord in October.

24. Turkey

Wants U.S. silence on its brutal suppression of ethnic minorities seeking regional autonomy.

25. United Arab Emirates

Wants to avoid bombs for its previous diplomatic ties with Taliban.

26. Uzbekistan:

Wants foreign aid and security “guarantees” as well as U.S. muteness on human-rights violations. Doesn‘t want democracy.

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