October 9: Analysis
PARIS (AP) - It's a basic rule of foreign policy: Nations will act in their own interest.
So as President Bush tries to marshal global support for his campaign against terror, he's finding that many countries will, somewhere along the road, want something in return.
For some, it's economic help; for others, diplomatic favors. For still others, the price for cooperation may be Washington's overlooking behavior it has earlier criticized, such as human rights violations.
Will the price ultimately be too high? That depends on the results.
``At some point, the bill will be presented,'' says Chris Brown, specialist in international relations at the London School of Economics. ``But if you're a satisfied customer, you don't mind paying.''
In some cases, bills have been paid in advance. Pakistan, a key ally for the United States since the Sept. 11 attacks, has already seen the lifting of U.S. economic sanctions imposed in 1998 over its nuclear tests. It has also received economic aid.
Russia, too, has reaped an immediate dividend. Moscow is providing important intelligence, has allowed use of its airspace for U.S. deliveries of humanitarian aid, and has lobbied Central Asian nations for their support.
In return, Washington, which has been critical of the Russian army's actions in Chechnya, has lightened its tone. It recently demanded that rebels in the region sever links with ``international terrorist groups'' - language Moscow has wanted to hear for a long time.
Russia may also reap some diplomatic benefit, such as better relations with NATO.
``There is an iron rule in international relations which mustn't be violated,'' Sergei Rogov, a respected Russian political analyst, told the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper. ``Even if you do something in your own interests, you must charge a price from your ally.''
Also likely to present a diplomatic bill: the Europeans.
Europe has united in force behind Bush and his hunt for Osama bin Laden, offering military cooperation, intelligence, freezing assets believed linked to terror groups, and cracking down on suspected terrorist networks.
Among the wealthiest of America's allies, the Europeans still want something from Washington: an end to its go-it-alone foreign policy on issues ranging from global warming to missile defense.
In the Middle East, moderate Arab states like Egypt and Jordan have pledged their help. In return, the Bush administration has exerted pressure on Israel to get back to negotiations with the Palestinians. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon doesn't like it. Last week he likened U.S. policy to the West trying to appease Hitler before World War II. Washington called the remarks ``unacceptable.''
Much less friendly states like Syria, Iran and Sudan are a question mark: their payoff will depend on how much they contribute. One dividend would be better relations with the United States. ``It's an opportunity for any country, really, to get off the Bad List,'' says Gideon Rose of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.
Syria on Monday easily won a seat on the U.N. Security Council, despite being on the U.S. list of countries that sponsor terrorism. The United States, which managed to block Sudan a year ago for the same reason, didn't oppose it.
Syria's accession was unopposed by the Bush administration even before Sept. 11, but the post-attacks climate made it even more important for Washington that Syria become part of the international community.
Sudan, which harbored bin Laden for several years until 1996, has rounded up as many as 30 foreign extremists since Sept. 11, according to a U.S. official in Washington. Last month the Security Council, with a green light from the United States, lifted 5-year-old sanctions against the African country.
In some cases, human rights concerns will have to take a back seat to political expediency - at least for now. An example is Uzbekistan, which borders Afghanistan and has offered an air base to U.S. forces. Its people have been jailed for simple physical expressions of their Islamic faith, such as wearing a beard or a traditional headscarf.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Some of the filmmakers who craft tales of violence and terrorism for Hollywood are helping the U.S. Army prepare for possible future terrorist attacks.
The group was assembled through the Institute for Creative Technologies, a University of Southern California think tank that works on virtual training programs for the Army.
"In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, the Army and USC's ICT have worked together to coordinate ongoing panel discussions with some of Hollywood's top talent," the center said in a statement Tuesday.
The group will brainstorm possible terrorist plots against American targets.
The Army declined to provide specifics about the work or to name members of the group. The trade paper Daily Variety said it included Steven E. De Souza, who co-wrote the 1988 hit "Die Hard," in which terrorists commandeered a Los Angeles office building.
De Souza, speaking through the Writers Guild of America, declined to answer questions.
The military has a long history of working with filmmakers, said Michael Macedonia, chief scientist for the Army's Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Command, based in Orlando, Fla.
"You're talking (about) screenwriters and producers, that's one of the things that they're paid to do every day - speculate," he said. "These are very brilliant, creative people. They can come up with fascinating insights very quickly."
And, he added, "They are some of the biggest patriots I've met."
The Army doesn't know if the terrorism scenarios will prove useful, because it normally takes "several months to over a year" for such projects to be completed, Macedonia said.
Some of those involved worked on earlier Army projects, he added.
The Institute for Creative Technologies was founded in 1999 with a $45 million Army grant. The research and development operation creates virtual reality and simulation technologies for training troops.
"Part of this program involves creating scenarios that soldiers might
face in combat," USC said in a statement. "Terrorism is obviously
something that Army personnel must confront."
© 2001 Associated Press.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A Senate attempt to quickly pass President Bush's anti-terrorism legislation failed Tuesday after a Democratic senator refused to let the bill go through without debate or amendment.
"I can't quite understand why we can't have just a few hours of debate," said Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., who wants to limit some of the police powers in the Senate legislation.
The House and Senate last week came up with anti-terrorism bills based on an outline offered by Attorney General John Ashcroft, who has been urging Congress to quickly pass the bill.
Senate and House leadership both have said they would try to get the bill passed this week, and when Senate negotiations on an airline security bill stalled, Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle, D-S.D., asked senators to unanimously agree to move on to the anti-terrorism bill.
Under Daschle's plan, the Senate would have voted on final passage of the bill Wednesday evening and senators would not be allowed to offer amendments. But Feingold refused to go along with it, saying he wanted to add four amendments that would limit some of its police powers.
Feingold wants to eliminate a provision in the bill that would allow police to search suspects' home secretly, narrow a provision that allows federal officials to wiretap telephones, keep the FBI from being able to access Americans' personal records and clarify the federal government's ability to wiretap computers.
"It is crucial that civil liberties in this country be preserved, he said. "Otherwise the terrorists will win the battle against American values without firing another shot."
The anti-terrorism bill now will have to wait until senators finish the aviation bill, and that worries some senators. "There is a danger that the aviation bill will tangle up the rest of this week, and we won't be able to get to it until next week," said Senate Republican leader Trent Lott, R-Miss.
The House, meanwhile, is expected to move on an anti-terrorism bill before
the end of the week.
However, House aides say administration officials are pressuring House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., to take the Senate bill instead of the bill approved by the House Judiciary Committee.
The Bush administration prefers the Senate bill to the House bill, which eliminates most of the bill's police power in 2004. The House bill also does not have money-laundering provisions requested by the White House.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said regardless of what is in either bill, it will be changed in negotiations between the House and Senate. The House-Senate conference committee bill "will be the final package," Leahy said.