U.S. President George W. Bush singled out Iran, Iraq and North Korea as "an axis of evil," directly warning these three states that they could soon become targets in the US-led war against global terror.
Bush told a joint session of Congress in his first State of the Union address, that the United States is prepared to act, alone if it has to, against these states should they threaten their people, their neighbors or others.
"States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world," Bush said. "By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger," he declared. "They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. "They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic. "All nations should know: America will do what is necessary to ensure our nation's security," he said.
"We will be deliberate, yet time is not on our side. I will not wait on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer. "The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons," Bush added.
"Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom," he conveyed, in an apparent reference to Iran's alleged involvement in a foiled Palestinian arms smuggling operation.
However, according to AFP, the U.S. President saved his harshest comments for Iraq. "Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror," he said. "The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade," Bush said, demanding that Saddam Hussein allow UN weapons inspectors back into his country.
"This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens -- leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children. This is a regime that agreed to international inspections -- then kicked out the inspectors.
"This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world." (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )