- The United States President, George Bush, has reminded
Europeans of the heavy price they have paid for appeasing dictators and
challenged NATO members to join him in confronting Saddam Hussein and fighting
terrorism beyond Europe.
- In a speech to students on the eve of a two-day NATO
summit, Mr Bush compared the challenge of the Iraqi President to the Nazi
invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1938, which led to World War II.
- "Ignoring dangers or excusing aggression may temporarily
avert conflict, but they don't bring true peace," he said.
- Suggesting that terrorism was as dangerous as Hitler
in the 1940s, Mr Bush told the teenagers: "We face perils we've never
thought about, perils we've never seen before. They're just as dangerous
as those perils that your fathers and mothers and grandfathers and grandmothers
- He demanded that Saddam "declare completely and
truthfully his arsenal of terror" and threatened serious consequences
if he failed to meet the December 8 deadline to disclose his weapons of
- "Deception this time will not be tolerated; delay
and defiance will invite the severest of consequences," Mr Bush told
the students ahead of the summit, which began yesterday.
- The debate over Iraq threatens to eclipse the original
purpose of the summit: a vote approving the entry of seven new members,
a step that troubles another important US ally, Russia.
- Mr Bush will visit Russia to soothe any concerns of the
President, Vladimir Putin, who also has reservations about going to war
- Mr Bush admonished NATO members for failing to maintain
strong military capacities, saying: "To meet all of this century's
emerging threats, from terror camps in remote regions to hidden laboratories
of outlaw regimes, NATO must develop new military capabilities.
- "NATO forces must become better able to fight side-by-side.
Those forces must be more mobile and more swiftly deployed."
- He added: "Because many threats to NATO members
come from outside of Europe, NATO forces must be organised to operate outside
of Europe. When forces were needed quickly in Afghanistan, NATO's options
- Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter's national
security adviser, who is in Prague, said Mr Bush might want to temper his
remarks on present threat levels.
- "Terrorism is a very serious menace; nonetheless,
as of now it is still not as grave a threat as a US-Soviet war would have
been. We were talking about 180 million fatalities in a nuclear exchange."
- The Boston Globe Copyright © 2002 The Sydney Morning