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The US as a Great Power

Michael Sullivan strongly recommends Ralph Peters' book, When Devils Walk the Earth, telling the US how to deal with terrorists and act like a super power. He says: "Here is his list of 25 do's and don'ts. I found number 20 particularly interesting since many journalists and TV commentators are already speaking of victory. I agree with Peters for what it's worth".

Chapter 3 is entitled "Fighting Terror: Do's and Don'ts for a Superpower, Rule no. 20 is "Never declare victory. Announce successes and milestones. But never give the terrorists a chance to embarrass you after a public pronouncement that the war is over"

The Enron case has pushed the war on terrorists off the headlines. Americans are more interested in the war on scoundrels. Yet the Afghan war continues, but the world press seems more interested in criticizing US treatment of Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo than in the fighting. The US government is following Peters' advice not to apologize, which is an old rule of diplomacy. Contrast that with Pope John Paul II's apologizing to all the other faiths, which have shown no inclination to reciprocate with meas culpas of their own. Diplomacy is a hypocritical business. The representatives of two governments fight ferociously in private, but then appear jointly and make statements oozing with good will. Today Philippine Ambassador to Washington Albert del Rosario appeared on C-Span to discuss terrorism in his country, He made an excellent impression on me until he was asked about US-Philippine relations. He spoke as though there had never be any problems. Ambassadors are sent abroad to lie for their country, but such behavior does not convince. How do you think the US should behave as a superpower?

Ronald Hilton - 1/27/02