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.
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.
Wants al Qaeda’s elimination because it also targets Egyptian regime. Bin Laden‘s top lieutenant spent early career plotting its violent overthrow.
Wants to keep Kashmir and wants international acquiescence to nuclear-weapons program. Competing with Pakistan for U.S. affection.
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.
Wants U.S. military might as protection against neighboring powers and Islamic fundamentalists.
Wants Western investment to rebuild shattered economy.
Wants to link fighting terrorism with increased trade. Wants U.S. support for Mexican position in conflict with Zapatistas.
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.
Wants U.S. resources to put down Muslim separatist rebels in southern Mindanao islands.
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.
Wants free-trade agreement with the U.S. to offset economic slump.
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.
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.
Wants no heat on its authoritarian regime from freedom fighters — fundamentalist or otherwise. Expecting millions in aid from Uncle Sam.
Wants to improve world-trade position amid falling exports.
Wants U.S. to rein in Orange County–based terroristsfreedom fighters opposed to regime. U.S. Senate approved trade accord in October.
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.
Wants foreign aid and security “guarantees” as well as U.S. muteness on human-rights violations. Doesn‘t want democracy.