The Americans should not play the same game of their enemies
Egypt-USA, Politics, 9/22/2001
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has renewed his call on the US not to take any hasty decisions and to carefully consider the consequences of any military attacks that might kill innocent people.
Launching an attack on Afghanistan or any other so-called "Rogue State" could mean killing innocent people, and this would be no much different from what the terrorists did to the Americans, Mubarak said in an interview with Saturday's edition of the French newspaper "Le Figaro".
Mubarak advised the Americans not to play the same game as their enemies, noting that terrorists were lying in wait for US repressive measures so that a new generation would emerge from underneath the rubble to call for vengeance on America.
If the US only punishes the criminals, it will not be opposed or fought by Muslims because Islam forbids terrorism and killings, but "the cure should not be more bitter than the illness," Mubarak said.
"Back in 1995, when the fundamentalists tried to assassinate me in Addis Ababa, my initial response was anger, and, as a military man, my response was expected to involve the use of force, but I quickly realized that killing innocent people was the worst solution, and instead, I opted for investigations...till the perpetrators were found," Mubarak said.
The Americans must have their reasons to accuse Osama Ben Laden of masterminding many attacks on US targets, but so far "I have seen no evidence," Mubarak told Figaro's Editor-in Chief Charles Lambroschini.
On Egypt's stance towards the US's call for building up a coalition to strike at anti-terrorism coalition instead of being the only power striking at Afghanistan, and the reason why it was now different from its approach at the gulf war, Mubarak said Egypt was not enthusiastic about such an alliance this time because it would have first to closely deliberate on the situation.
"Things were clear at the time of the gulf war, an Arab country occupied another, and we took part in the alliance on the basis of a signed joint Arab defence agreement," Mubarak said.
"A limited alliance would pose the risk of partitioning the world into different factions, meaning that each country joining the alliance would be a target for terrorist, "which makes me averse to being a part of such a formula without careful consideration and due insight...that's why I can't tell you yes I will join the alliance," Mubarak explained.
"No Arab country would want to join any alliance with Israel in," Mubarak said.
"When the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is settled, and the situation in the Middle East normalized, there would be no problem," he noted.
Answering a question about Egypt's preconditions for participating in a US-led military intervention, Mubarak said the Arab League does not allow its members to "join military operations outside our territories except to defend our country or help countries bound by defence agreements with the Arab League."
However, Mubarak said Egypt showed full cooperation with the US in hunting down terrorists, and there was an exchange of intelligence between the two countries.
Mubarak sees that the suitable response is to hold a UN-sponsored conference on fighting terrorism that would end with signing an agreement criminalizing terrorism, under which signatories would be committed not to shelter terrorists or allow them to train on their territories, with any country refusing to implement the accord facing the risk of being boycotted.
Asked about asylum, Mubarak said that it is guaranteed by democratic principles but it is impossible that a democracy grants asylum to criminals and thus turning deaf ears to the victim.
A killer is not allowed to demand human rights, said Mubarak. He added that giving asylum to killers of women and children for destabilizing a certain country is a violation of the victims' rights.
Asked whether London has turned into the largest terrorism base in Europe, Mubarak said that he has warned Former British Prime Minister John Major but he paid no heed to our warning.
The President said that he sent a message to British Prime Minister Tony Blair advising him to be cautious.
"Some European countries have turned into terrorist hubs and thus, governments that hosted them should not feel sad when they turn to be their targets," Mubarak added.
On the US hosting of Omar Abdel Rahman for services he rendered to it in Afghanistan, Mubarak said "the Americans harboured Abdel Rahman because he helped them in the face of the Soviet invasion."
Mubarak added that he warned the Americans of trusting such a person and noted that he expected that Abdel Rahman would make the American pay a "costly price" for hosting him.
Asked how plans for such sophisticated attacks can be set in Afghanistan, Mubarak reiterated the need to wait for outcome of investigations that could take weeks.
He added that pilots that attacked the World Trade Centre (WTC) were highly trained and those who attacked the Pentagon were more trained as the defence department requieres flying at a low altitude.
Asked whether flying lessons in Florida were enough to carry out such attacks, Mubarak said that "those who attacked New York and Washington were professionals."
Asked how could they be so professional and sacrifice themselves in suicide attacks, Mubarak described these pilots as extremists who were "brainwashed."
On the absence of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Mubarak said that the Egyptians had provided the Americans with some information after watching a videotape of Osama Ben Laden on June 13 in which he spoke of assassinating US President George W. Bush and others in Rome by a plane full of explosives.
Several discarded possible turning of the crisis into a world war. He added that several networks should be penetrated ahead of stopping all terrorists.
Asked whether Ben Laden is the sole mastermind, Mubarak said that he does not know. He added that Ben Laden did not act on his own, and he needed financial and military support and other networks that should be uncovered ahead of giving a specific answer.
No one can be sure that all kidnappers are Arabs, maybe there were Europeans or even terrorist Americans, said Mubarak replying to a query on the existence of Egyptian terrorists. Asked whether Taliban could hand over Ben Laden, Mubarak said that he could not anticipate what would be the next step.
On claims of Ben Laden that Arab governments, including Egypt, are condemned for violating religious rules, Mubarak said that Egypt is a democratic country and the Egyptian realize that there are some people who seek to deprive them from work and earning their living.
Mubarak highlighted that Egypt emerged victorious from the battle against terrorism thanks to the popular support not the tough police measures alone.
Asked about the reason for hatred of the US, Mubarak said that the main cause is the Israeli Palestinian issue.
"Frankly, the Arab and Islamic world opinion are no longer able to endure the US double-standard policy, as Middle East people sympathize with the Palestinian issue and wish the us would support just solution," said Mubarak.
The American should be aware that their stance, as a superpower, provokes many middle easterners, said the Egyptian President. He added that the Americans, in any diplomatic debate,' hurry to use the veto for the sake of Israel, citing the UN World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) as an example which infuriated people as an example.
Asked whether the bombing of Iraq contributes to these-anti-US sentiments too, Mubarak underlined that the US has been criticized for that as innocent people were killed in the bombing.
Mubarak underlined that the Arabs pity their fellow Palestinians, and no Muslim would ever accept an Israeli sovereignty over Islamic holy sites in Al-Quds.
Asked whether this justifies martyrdom operations against Israeli civilians, Mubarak said that many innocents were victimized in Israel but these operations are inspired by despair.
Mubarak described Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's likening Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat to another Ben Laden,as dump.
He pointed' out that Arafat seeks the liberation of his country while Ben Laden seeks revenge only.
"Arafat has been the Palestinians' Leader for thirty years despite the appearance of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, while Sharon is just a general who still believes that fighting and killing is the solution.
Sharon believes in force only and does no listen to anyone," said Mubarak adding that he does not understand Sharon who swore to him three times that he would change his attitude but he did not live up to his promises.
Muslem legal scholars assert Islam's rejection of terrorism
Tantawi receives Welch
Egyptian officials express conolences at US embassy
Please add a link on your webiste pointing to ArabicNews.com and bookmark ArabicNews.com & subscribe to our daily email news bulletin.
| Advertise on ArabicNews.com. MyFlowers.com sold more than $2700 of flowers in one month advertising on ArabicNews.com! Make your company, and products a success. Special rate for new and small business. Inquire!Advertising Info