Asia and the War on Terror
reports that many Asian leaders have a new revelation
to share on the War on Terror:
Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, current chair of the 57-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference, warned that the war on terror was being tainted by anti-Muslim bigotry.
"There is an urgent need to stop tarnishing the Muslim world by unfair stereotypes," Abdullah said. "Most damaging of all is the increasing tendency to attribute linkages between international terrorism and Islam."
Condemning the "prejudices and bigotry" triggered by the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Abdullah said Islam was all too often being associated with violence.
"We need to clear the confusion of linking the problems faced by some Muslim countries with Islam the religion," he said.
Abdullah's remarks echoed those last week of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, a key US ally in the war on terror, who warned the UN General Assembly of an "iron curtain" falling between the Islamic world and the West, with Muslims feeling unjustly treated in international disputes.
And further on:
"Our faith remains firm that the war on terror can be won," said Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirjuda.
"But the global coalition to defeat terrorism ... must address the root causes of terrorism: the grievances and the poignant sense of injustice that drive human beings to such depths of despair, they would carry out the most heinous acts of mass murder and destruction," he said.
Wirjuda also staked Indonesia's claim as the world's most populous Muslim nation to a permanent seat in an expanded UN Security Council.
Proposing a "new kind of peace" for "a new kind of war" being waged by terrorists, Philippines Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo pushed for a global alliance to remove poverty as a "breeding ground" for resentment and conflict.
"Conflicts should be addressed before terrorism can begin to define or exploit the conflict," Romulo said.
China, one of the five permanent UN Security Council members, similarly called for a "new security concept" in tackling both regional disputes and the threat of terrorism.
"Only when the root cause of terrorism is eradicated can people live in peace and tranquility again," said Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing.
The United States has branded at least 10 high-profile groups in the Asian region international terrorist organizations, but is wary of listing others that are seen as having a localised separatist agenda with no global ideological ambitions.
Meanwhile, Stalinist North Korea on Monday devoted its moment in the General Assembly spotlight to blaming US policies for pushing the Korean peninsula towards armed conflict.
"The danger of war is snowballing, owing to extreme US moves to isolate and stifle the DPRK (North Korea) and threats of preemptive strikes against it," Deputy Foreign Minister Choe Su Hon said.
Choe argued that Pyongyang had "no other option" but to possess a nuclear deterrent in the face of what he called US attempts to eliminate North Korea by force and designating it as part of an "axis of evil."
I'll have more to say on this later tonight...
POSTED BY THE GENERAL AT 4:47 PM