New Names For The Enemies List?

In the war on terror, President George W. Bush repeated last week, other nations are "with us or against us." But not everybody is heeding the warning. Belarus and Iran appear to have moved further into the "against" column.

Washington has issued formal protests to the government of Belarussian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, whose forces have been training Iraqi soldiers in the use of antiaircraft systems--presumably to use against U.S. and British aircraft maintaining the "no-flight zone." There is no firm evidence that Belarus is also selling weapons to Iraq, but "one does imply the other," says a U.S. administration official. Belarus has been warned not to take its involvement further, says a State Department aide.

Iran, meanwhile, has been directly implicated in the effort by the Hizbullah militia and the Palestinian Authority to ship arms into Palestinian territories. Among the 50 tons of weapons seized by Israel: Katyusha rockets and 2.2 tons of explosives that can be used as terrorist weapons. The CIA is now examining its own data to determine whether the approval goes to the top of the Iranian government, either to President Mohammed Khatami or his more powerful counterpart, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

This is no new game to either Iran or Belarus. Iran has been on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism for 22 years, and it vehemently opposes the Middle East peace process. But Iran previously supplied such weapons only to the Hizbullah militia in Lebanon. Lukashenko, meanwhile, has made clear his ambitions to reunite Belarus with Russia and exert more power in the region. As the United States focuses on bin Laden and Al Qaeda, Lukashenko has been lucky to stay out of the cross hairs. Should he continue with this affront to U.S. demands, he might find himself on the U.S. enemies list with Iran and Iraq.

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New Names For The Enemies List? | News