Text: ABC's 'This Week'
Sunday, Sept. 23, 2001
Following is the transcript of ABC's "This Week," hosted by Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts with correspondents George Will and George Stephanopoulos, and guests Secretary of State Colin Powell; King Abdullah II of Jordan; and General Richard Hawley, former commander of the Air Combat Command.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BUSH: Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DONALDSON: The battle is joined. Now, preparations are under way to root out and destroy terrorism.
ROBERTS: As the United States musters its allies, we'll speak with Secretary of State Colin Powell, the man spearheading the international campaign, and the Arab leader, Jordan's King Abdullah.
DONALDSON: Plus, how will our military fight this new kind of war?
ANNOUNCER: That's This Week, featuring George Will.
Now, from Washington, Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts. And from New York, George Stephanopoulos.
ROBERTS: Welcome to our program.
First, a little news, the announcement that violinist Isaac Stern died yesterday in New York. Not only was Stern one of the nation's foremost musicians, he's also credited with revitalizing Carnegie Hall. He was 81.
And Pope John Paul II celebrated mass in Kazakhstan today. He used the occasion to call on Christians and Muslims to work together, saying religion must never be used as a reason for conflict. The pope will be in Asia until Thursday.
And now for the latest, we go to our ABC correspondents, starting with Terry Moran at the White House. Terry?
MORAN: Thanks, Cokie. The president is at Camp David once again today, taking action on a variety of fronts, symbolic and concrete, as he continues to lead the country into what he calls this new kind of war.
Symbols. None has been more powerful or ubiquitous over the past 12 days than the flag, and in accordance with the proclamation he signed after the attacks, which fixed last night at sundown as the end of the period when the flag should be flown at half-staff, today the president raises the flag at Camp David in a military ceremony back to full staff.
Concrete steps. Late last night the president signed the airline relief package. He also lifted sanctions on India and Pakistan, and behind the scenes, has asked all the agencies involved to come up with a white paper compiling all the information that has been assembled over the last few years linking Osama bin Laden to terrorist activities.
While ABC News is told that this remains a top secret document, we're also told that it could be used to justify to the world U.S. military action in central Asia.
And for more on the military buildup, here's John McWethy at the Pentagon.
McWETHY: Thanks, Terry.
Here at the Pentagon, we're beginning to see the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. The Russian news agency Interfax is reporting that two C-130 transport planes have landed in Uzbekistan. This is a country that is on the northern border with Afghanistan. Several hundred troops got off, they say.
Sources here in the Pentagon are confirming that, yes, American forces are on the ground in Uzbekistan, and, they say, that is not the only place, but they're not providing details.
We are also seeing B-52 bombers over the last 24 hours taking off for the region. We expect that there will be B-1 bombers beginning their journey to the region later today. There is--5,000 more reservists have been called up. This now stands at about 10,000. These are all for domestic issues. First troops to go overseas on a reserve callup have not been named yet.
We continue to have deployment orders. Another one has been signed. This is the second one. It's providing some additional security for the B... 52 and B-1 bombers and other forces that have already gone overseas.
The timing of all of this, we are told by sources here in the Pentagon that the important pieces of the air campaign will be in place by the midweek deadline that the secretary of defense has set for our forces. They hesitated--they immediately say that does not mean that the U.S. is going to do anything by midweek, but the pieces will be in place.
Now for more on what is going on in the region, my colleague Bob Woodruff in Pakistan.
WOODRUFF: John, there's apparently been some fighting in northern Afghanistan today. The Northern Alliance, which is the Afghan militia that has been fighting a civil war against the Taliban for years, claims they have now taken several key villages in northern Afghanistan and killed up to 80 Taliban soldiers. Now, the Taliban tells us officially they have not had any information about this at all, and with no independent journalists on the ground in that area, it is not possible at this time to confirm it.
The other big news out of Pakistan today, as Terry mentioned, is that the U.S. has lifted nuclear-related sanctions against both Pakistan and India. These were the sanctions that were imposed in 1998 after the successful testing of nuclear weapons by both those countries.
The lifting of sanctions against Pakistan is widely seen as a reward for them cooperating with the U.S., and that it could go a long way to helping the government here sell that cooperation to its own people. It could bring in billions of dollars in new aid, both from the U.S. and from international organizations such as the IMF.
There have been several protests on the streets of Pakistan over the last couple of days, another one this morning in Peshawar, the Pakistan city along the Afghan border. Most of these protests are viewed as relatively small, mostly radical religious parties, and not all that significant.
But there is a fear here that if there are significant civilian casualties in any attack on Afghanistan, many, many more people, perhaps more than a million, could come out on the streets.
ROBERTS: Thanks, Bob Woodruff in Pakistan.
And now, for what's going on in New York, we go to George Stephanopoulos.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks, Cokie.
Here in New York this afternoon, 60,000 will gather under tight security at Yankee Stadium to remember the dead and missing with a ceremony called A Prayer for America. The service will be hosted by Oprah Winfrey and James Earl Jones.
But Mayor Rudy Giuliani says after the prayers, New Yorkers can best honor the victims and fight the terrorists by embracing normal life.
GIULIANI: You know, all these people come up and they ask, How can we help? How can we help? What can we do? There are people with expertise that can do particular things, but the most important things people can do right now is go back to their way of life the way they would lead it, show we're unafraid, show we're just going to move ahead with, you know, the kind of life we have in America. I think that would send the best signal of all.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, but why is that so important? For a lot of people, they might think we still need time to grieve?
GIULIANI: We can do both. We can do both. We can grieve, and we can cry, and we can mourn. And we're going to do that forever. This, the enormity of this attack and tragedy is going to, you know, live forever in American history and live in our hearts.
But now it's important for us, those of us who have survived, to honor the memory of those who have died by going forward and leading our life, make sure America goes forward. This is what these terrorist cowards were trying to stop. We shouldn't let them succeed.
STEPHANOPOULOS: At ground zero, recovery continues with close to 100,000 tons of debris removed so far.
And now for the latest on the investigation, here's ABC's chief investigative correspondent, Brian Ross.
Good morning, Brian.
ROSS: Morning, George.
Yesterday came and went without incident, to the great relief of investigators, who had made a calculated decision to issue a general warning that there could be more terror strikes this weekend.
FBI agents continue to search for as many as two dozen suspects with known ties to the dead hijackers, who also have received flight training. There continues to be concern, however. Crop dusters are banned in 30 major urban areas. There are warnings out to the petrochemical and nuclear industries to be on a heightened state of alert.
Meantime, overseas a series of arrests in London, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France may have thwarted at least two different attacks on U.S. interests there, including the American embassy in Paris. Authorities in those countries are now working very closely with American authorities, something that wasn't always the case, George, before last week's attacks.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks, Brian.
That's it from New York, Sam. Back to Washington.
DONALDSON: Thank you, George.
There are many issues and questions in the minds of all of us now about the new war on terrorism. Within the hour, we talked to Secretary of State Colin Powell about some of them.
Secretary Powell, thanks for being with us.
POWELL: Good morning, Sam.
DONALDSON: Good morning.
The Japanese news agency, quoting Japanese government sources, says the United States has warned of possible new attacks this coming week. What can you tell us about that?
POWELL: I'm not familiar with that particular report, but I think we have to be vigilant during this time of heightened tension. And you can be sure the United States government is doing everything it can to discern whether there are any threats coming our way.
And this is a time for a little bit of heightened additional security. But at the same time, we have to start getting back to normal life in America.
DONALDSON: So here in the United States, what's your message, heightened vigilance but...
POWELL: Heightened vigilance. We will increase security at airports, we will watch our borders more carefully, we will follow up on all the leads we have been given. But at the same time, we need to get back to work. We need to get back to ball games. We need to show the world that America is strong. We can come through this, and we're not going to be hiding under tables.
DONALDSON: Over the weekend, the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan claimed to have downed an airplane of some sort. What sort?
POWELL: Well, I would rather not talk about what might or might not have been downed. We're going to be very careful during this period not to blabber too much about what might or might not happen with respect to military activities or other kinds of activities.
DONALDSON: Mr. Secretary, there's also reports from that area that in Uzbekistan, U.S. planes have landed, and--with U.S. personnel. Can you talk about that?
POWELL: Not to my knowledge. But, of course, we do have repositioning of forces taking place, and we have been satisfied the--with the cooperation that we have received from the nations that have to provide overflight and other sources, access requirements.
And so we're moving right along, but we're not going to go into the specific details of individual countries.
DONALDSON: Well, you say satisfied, but there are widespread reports also this weekend that Saudi Arabia has yet to grant permission for the use of an important base there for the command and control and perhaps staging for U.S. forces.
POWELL: There was a report in the newspaper yesterday that suggested I had placed some requirement on the Saudis that they had not responded to. That's not correct. We have been in touch with the Saudis on a daily basis. They have been very supportive. And they have been providing everything we have asked of them so far.
DONALDSON: Well, you said not responded to, but have they responded fully in the way we want them to?
POWELL: They have responded to all the requests we have asked them to respond to, and I'm sure there'll be more requests coming in the future. But I can assure you the Saudi government, the Saudi leadership, and their representative here in the United States has been responsive to all the requests we have placed on them.
They are a friend in this. They have condemned this attack, and they have offered support in many ways, and we are satisfied with the level of their support and their commitment to this campaign.
DONALDSON: Well, I'm sorry to prolong this, but one more question, because the story that I read suggested if the Saudis did not allow us to do all the things we wanted to do, it could delay an operation against Osama bin Laden for months.
POWELL: I've read that story, and it's not an accurate story. I did not place that kind of a demand on the Saudi leadership because nobody asked me to. There was no requirement to. We have personnel in Saudi Arabia, military and civilian personnel and diplomatic personnel who are in close touch with the Saudi leadership, and we are working through all the issues and all the things that our side would like to see done, and we're working through with the Saudis on a very, very satisfactory basis.
DONALDSON: All right. The sanctions have been lifted against Pakistan, and I suppose to be evenhanded, against India, that were placed on these two nations at the time we were concerned about their nuclear development.
Is lifting the sanctions something that, in the long run, may come back to haunt us?
POWELL: I don't think so. We had been examining the lifting of those sanctions--not all sanctions, just the sanctions that were put in place against India and Pakistan as a result of their nuclear experimentation a couple of years ago. And so, frankly, I had made the judgment to recommend to the president some weeks ago that some of these sanctions be lifted. Not all of them, there are other sanctions that are still in place.
And we consulted with Congress over the past several days. Congress was fully supportive, and in fact, there were even some suggestions from members of Congress that we lift even more of the sanctions that are in place.
But the president made a decision yesterday to lift those specific sanctions that were related to the nuclear tests. I don't think it'll come back to haunt us. I think we have made it clear to both of these countries that we don't want to see a nuclear escalation any further in the region, and I think they both have been acting rather responsibly, especially in this present instance.
DONALDSON: So we are now getting total cooperation from Pakistan.
POWELL: We are getting cooperation from Pakistan in a very, very substantial way. President Musharaff took a risk in joining this crus--this campaign, and he understood that it was an important campaign to be a part of. And so we're very pleased with the support that we're receiving from Pakistan.
DONALDSON: We don't use the word "crusade" again.
POWELL: I don't. Campaign.
DONALDSON: All right.
What is victory against Osama bin Laden?
POWELL: Victory in this campaign against terrorism ultimately is for all of our societies to be safer, to feel that they don't have the same kind of threat from terrorists that may have existed in the past.
And so we hope to bring Osama bin Laden to justice, or bring justice to him, as the president has indicated...
DONALDSON: Does it (inaudible)...
POWELL: ... and not just him but his whole network, al Qaeda, which exists not only in Afghanistan but in countries all around the world. And we have to pull it up. And we're doing that. The campaign has begun. It's begun with the kind of coalitions we have pulled together, with the United Nations, with NATO, with the European Union, with some 40 different organizations coming into it.
The campaign has begun because we have gone after financial transactions, we are being more vigilant on our borders, we are doing everything we can to find out where they are and drying up their sources of support in their havens.
So this campaign has already begun.
DONALDSON: Does it matter which? Would we prefer, in the first instance, to attempt to bring him to justice, and if that is not possible, then to bring justice to him? And we know what we're talking about.
POWELL: What we want to do is to make sure that his activities are stopped and that he is stopped.
DONALDSON: One way or the other.
POWELL: He is under indict--One way or the other. I think the way that we had suggested to the Taliban was that they turn him over to justice, to authorities who could administer justice.
DONALDSON: All right. Let me show you something you said the other day, and just see whether you've changed your view on it, concerning proof. You said, "We are assembling the evidence that will tell us, in a way that the world will fully confer with us--concur with us, who is responsible for this."
Are we going to present before the world evidence of Osama bin Laden's guilt?
POWELL: Yes, and I think his guilt is going to be very obvious to the world. I mean, he has been indicted previously for terror activity against the United States, and so this is a continuing pattern of terrorism, and we are putting all of the information that we have together, the intelligence information, the information being generated by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.
And I think we will put before the world, the American people, a persuasive case that there will be no doubt when that case is presented that it is al Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden, who has been responsible for this terrible tragic (inaudible).
DONALDSON: So you're talking about something beyond simple assertions by U.S. leaders. You're talking about assertions backed up by the evidence.
Are we intending to remove the Taliban leadership, that is, physically remove them from power in Afghanistan?
POWELL: We are interested in getting the al Qaeda network, led by Osama bin Laden. They are very intertwined with the Taliban leadership. We hope the Taliban leadership, the regime, comes to its senses and decides that it is not worth the game to keep him in their country, and they remove him or send him out of the country, where he can be brought to justice.
With respect to the nature of the regime in Afghanistan, that is not uppermost in our minds right now. It wasn't 15 days ago, and it isn't right now, except to the extent that the Taliban regime continues to support Osama bin Laden.
DONALDSON: Not uppermost in our minds, meaning that it's a back burner issue, or meaning, perhaps, it'll go away?
POWELL: We don't know yet. We'll have to see how the Taliban regime decides to deal with this issue as we continue down the road of this campaign.
But right now, I'm not going to say that it has become one of the objectives of the United States government to either remove or put in place a different regime. But this regime clearly is a regime that has not done much for its people. It's repressing its people in incredible ways, unthinkable ways.
But at the same time, we have to keep our focus on the al Qaeda network, terrorism across the board, where it exists throughout the world, and especially the head of the al Qaeda organization, Osama bin Laden.
DONALDSON: OK. Terrorism as it exists throughout the world. President Bush spoke to that, of course...
DONALDSON: ... in his address to the Congress and the American people.
Here are some of the words that he used. "Our war on terror will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated."
Mr. Secretary, the State Department has 31 organizations as foreign terrorist organizations on its list. How many of these have global reach?
POWELL: Well, quite a few of them, and quite a few of them will go after interests in the regions that they're located in and right here at home. And so we have to treat all of them as potentially having the capacity to affect us in a global way, or to affect our friends and our interests in other parts of the world.
For example, there--we have designated three groups in Colombia alone as being terrorist organizations, and we are working with the Colombian government to protect their democracy against the threat provided--or presented by these terrorist organizations.
DONALDSON: Do any of the organizations with whom Yassir Arafat is connected have global reach?
POWELL: I would say that there are organizations in the Middle East, some had a link to Mr. Arafat, some do not. But there are organizations in the Middle East that do have some global reach.
DONALDSON: Then could he potentially be a target?
POWELL: At the moment, he is not a target. At the moment, we are working hard to see if we can get Mr. Arafat and Mr. Peres to have a meeting in the very near future--Mr. Peres, the foreign minister of Israel--so that we can get started on the Mitchell peace plan.
DONALDSON: As you know, the meeting scheduled for today has been called off by Israel because of two mortar barrages. Fortunately no one was hit. But Prime Minister Sharon said, We're not going to do it until at least 48 hours pass with no attacks. Is that reasonable?
POWELL: I spoke to Mr. Sharon this morning, and he reaffirmed to me that he is committed to the process, he is committed to having a meeting. He is committed to finding a way to move forward into the Mitchell peace plan. But he also made it absolutely clear that he needs more quiet, a lower level of violence, before he is able to allow Mr. Peres to have that meeting.
But I still have hopes that the meeting will take place in the near future, and I'm encouraging both sides, and I'm encouraging Mr. Arafat, who I spoke to yesterday, to do everything in their power to get the violence down.
DONALDSON: Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary, and Jesse Helms, the influential Republican on Capitol Hill in foreign affairs, both agree, Iraq, Saddam Hussein, should be struck. Do you agree?
POWELL: The president has examined all the options available to him, and he has decided to focus on the campaign which he described to the American people on Thursday evening, which is to go after the al Qaeda network, to go after the head of it, Osama bin Laden, and to mobilize an international community for that purpose. And I think he has been enormously successful in pulling that coalition together and giving us a singular focus for the moment.
He has not ruled out what we might do in later phases, and all of that remains as options to him. But right now, we're focusing on what he said we were focusing on Thursday night.
DONALDSON: Is this global campaign something called Operation Noble Eagle?
POWELL: The name--I don't know that name.
DONALDSON: A London newspaper used it.
POWELL: Lots of names come along.
DONALDSON: Well, if Iraq is not to be hit now, and you're holding out the possibility that down the road it might, the president also used the phrase--I think you've used the phrase--that continue to support terrorism. So that's an out for countries as well as organizations, isn't it?
POWELL: Not intended as an out. It's intended as a signal that the whole world has now unified against terrorism in all of its many, many forms. And for those nations who thought that there was some political benefit from supporting terrorist organizations, the message that the president gave them the other evening is, If you continue to do that in light of what happened on the 11th of September, in light of the fact that the whole world is coming together now, you have to be prepared to suffer some consequences. They could be economic consequences, they could be other kinds of consequences.
But it's time to stand up and be counted. If you want to be part of a civilized world that is moving forward, these are not the sort of activities you should be participating in, supporting, or the kinds of organizations you should be providing a haven to.
DONALDSON: You're a general. But you don't sound very warlike, compared to other voices in this town, and some within the administration.
POWELL: The only voice that I try to compare myself to and to be consistent with is the president of the United States. All of his cabinet-level security advisers are in agreement with the policy direction he has given us, with the instructions he has given us, and the decisions he has made.
Mr. Cheney, Secretary Rumsfeld, myself, Dr. Rice, the secretary of the Treasury, the FBI, the attorney general, all working together, understand the instructions the president has given us.
DONALDSON: We're just about out of time. But you remember the guns-versus-butter argument in the Vietnam War. Can we, in fact, sustain a national effort, with the American people sustaining this effort, in the war against terrorism over a protracted time, and still get back to routine--almost normal, the president said the other night?
POWELL: I think we can. I think we're a strong people. I think that we're a people that know we have to get on with life and not walk around in a state of fear. I think we can have confidence in our security officials, police officials, our intelligence organizations, which do a good job--they can't find everything that's about to happen or is going to happen, but our intelligence organizations, the CIA and others, do a very good job.
And we just have to get moving forward. We have to get our economy up again. We have to start doing those things which make life normal in America.
Let's remember what we're made of. We're made of strong stuff. We have a backbone of steel. We can get through this, and we will get through this, and we'll get through it in the kind of patriotic, proud way that you have seen demonstrated over the last week and a half.
DONALDSON: Secretary Powell, thanks very much. Come again, won't you?
POWELL: Thank you.
DONALDSON: Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Still ahead, the challenges facing America's military as it embarks on a new kind of war footing.
Plus, Jordan's King Abdullah.
And when we come back, the economic consequences facing the country.
Stay with us.
ROBERTS: What options does the military have? Here to talk about that is retired General Richard Hawley, former commander of the U.S. Air Combat Command, now a consultant for ABC News.
Thanks for being here, General Hawley.
HAWLEY: Great to be here, Cokie.
ROBERTS: We heard the reports from John McWethy of B-52s, B-1s, flying to Uzbekistan, but this war is not going to be in the air, is it? It's going to be Special Forces on the ground fighting at night?
HAWLEY: Well, I think this is going to be a multifaceted campaign. In fact, the military may not be the biggest part of it.
But what is happening now is the military is providing options to the president; getting forces in position, air power, Naval power. I'm sure there's some special forces involved here some place that we haven't seen. But all facets of our military forces will be engaged in this in one way or another, complimented by all the wonderful diplomatic work that's going on, the creation of this coalition isolating the Taliban and Osama bin Laden.
ROBERTS: Well, isolating Osama bin Laden. If we send in special forces into Afghanistan and try to get him, are we opening ourselves up for some difficulty? Our history here hasn't been great. Noriega turned into something humiliating going after Aideed in Somalia; didn't work. This could be bad.
HAWLEY: These are very difficult operations, but I can't think of any military better prepared to do it than ours. We've got some tremendous advantages.
ROBERTS: But they've failed in the past in these kinds of operations.
HAWLEY: Well, this is not the military that we had in the past. This is an all-volunteer force, very well-trained, highly motivated. And our ability to integrate the various elements of combat power--troops on the ground supported by air operations, wonderful intelligence, the emergence of better and more sophisticated ways to find and identify the enemy--all will work to our advantage. And with the right leadership, with a united country behind the military, they will do good work. They won't do it fast. This is going to be a tough, long grind, but they'll do a good job for us.
ROBERTS: You talk about the leadership, and of course, in the last war, the leadership was under General Powell. And he formulated the famous Powell doctrine of an identified enemy; you go in with overwhelming military might; you have an objective and you get out. None of that is the case in this situation.
HAWLEY: This is a different kind of fight, different kind of enemy. And I guess it depends on your definition of overwhelming might. Certainly we're going to overwhelm them, but we're going to overwhelm them in a way that's very different from anything we've been involved in the past. This is not a clash of armies, it's not a clash of air forces or navy forces. This is a clash in the shadows.
And we will use every means at our disposal, and we have a lot of means at our disposal. It will be important that they be well-coordinated, that all the facets of this effort--diplomatic, financial, economic and the military elements--work together in a coordinated way and, most importantly, that, within the military element, they work together better and in a more coordinated way than ever before.
ROBERTS: We're out of time, but just quickly, is the first action going to be an air strike?
HAWLEY: I would not be surprised if that isn't the first action.
ROBERTS: OK. Thank you very much, General Hawley.
Of course the other front that is under attack is the economic front. And ABC's Betsy Stark joins us in New York after a week when the Dow fell 14 percent, the NASDAQ fell 16 percent.
ROBERTS: Still ahead, Jordan's King Abdullah, a crucial ally in the Arab world. We'll find out what he thinks of America's new global campaign, plus the roundtable after this. Stay with us.
STEPHANOPOULOS: On the diplomatic fronts, support from moderate Arab states in the rest of the Muslim world will be crucial to the success of the coalition. For more on that, we're now joined by King Abdullah II of Jordan who joins us from Amman.
Thank you for being with us, your majesty.
ABDULLAH: Thank you, George. Nice to speak to you again.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Your majesty, we heard this morning that American B-52 and B-1 bombers are now heading towards the region, towards Afghanistan. Are you confident that the coalition can hold together if the United States bombs Afghanistan?
ABDULLAH: I believe so. Obviously the Americans are still formulating their objectives, and as the international community we're waiting to see what those objectives are. But I think you've got the commitment from everybody in the world to be able to really see this through to the end.
And we realize that the start is always going to be difficult, the first step is always going to be a burden. But I believe that the steps undertaken by the American armed forces will have the full support of the international community.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Your majesty, the president said in his speech Thursday night that the target was every terrorist group of global reach, and we just heard Secretary of State Powell say there are groups in the Middle East with global reach. Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad have all been involved in terrorist actions in the past. Should they be targets of this coalition?
ABDULLAH: Well I think as we've talking over the past several days, the world has changed dramatically since the 11th of September. And as a result, I think that the new quote is to everybody in the international community, as the Americans have been saying, "Are you with us or are you against us?"
What's happened in the past is in the past, but today we expect everybody in the international community to decide where they're going to stand. No sitting on the fence is going to be accepted by anybody.
And if you've been supporting terrorist activities in the past, it's high time that you make up your mind whether you're going to continue or stop. And if you're going to continue, then you're going to have to face whatever the international community decides is going to be your fate.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you could stay in the coalition if those groups are targets?
ABDULLAH: I'm sorry, could you say that again?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Jordan could stay in the coalition if those groups are targets?
ABDULLAH: Well, again, you know, you have to understand that the Americans are formulating a set of objectives that we're not yet privy to. And I think that you have to understand that, as I said, I think the international community is going to say to terrorist organizations or countries that harbor terrorism, it's your turn to make up your mind which way you're going to go.
Now, Jordan is fully committed to supporting the United States and the international community in whatever is asked of Jordan, and we will continue to do so. I don't think that Jordan and our leadership role over the many years will make a commitment and then back out.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Jordanian intelligence helped uncover a plot to attack Americans during the millennium celebration. Did you have any advance warning at all of this attack?
ABDULLAH: No, sir. The funny thing about this particular incidence, I think all the international intelligence agency had no prior warning and none of us picked anything up on the radar. And obviously, if anybody had, I'm sure that they would have provided the information to the United States right away.
It took everybody by surprise, and I believe that they must have really put this together using methods that obviously made it very difficult to detect.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Many in the Arab world have said they need to see more evidence before they'll be convinced that bin Laden was behind this attack. Have you seen the evidence, and are you satisfied that he was behind it?
ABDULLAH: I believe, as Secretary Powell had mentioned, that Osama bin Laden has been responsible for acts of terror all over the world, in Jordan in particular as well as in North America. The information that most of the intelligence agencies that we talk to lead more and more that, if not Osama bin Laden, his organization has a hand and is responsible for what happened in the United States.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Your majesty, you've said we have to be careful to punish only the real perpetrators and do it in a way that brings justice, not revenge. How can the West and how can this coalition defeat al Qaeda without antagonizing the rest of the Muslim world?
ABDULLAH: Well, again, I think we have to be very, very careful in making the points that this is not a conflict between East and West or between Muslims and Christians. We are dealing with international terrorism and, as was mentioned early on the show, there are groups all over the world.
I believe that we need to be able to work together on many fronts. The military, I think, is going to be a very small component. I think people in the United States that are expecting a drawn-out military campaign, I don't think that's going to happen. I think there will be certain bursts of military activities around the world.
More importantly is the diplomatic, political angle, as we just mentioned; in other words, those that harbor terrorism, those that support terrorism and those terrorist organizations better change the way that they do business.
And even more importantly, then, is the economic side of it, the funding to terrorist organizations all over the world. And this is where they succeed. Most innocent people think that they're giving away to a cause that goes to the needy, and the money is, unfortunately, refunnelled to support terrorist activities.
So I think, as we work through a series of actions to be able to put a stop to international terrorism, if you do it smartly I don't think that you will get a negative reaction anywhere in the world.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Your majesty, thank you very much, and safe travels to the United States this week.
ABDULLAH: Yes, sir. And I look forward to seeing you back in Jordan in the near future, I hope.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you very much.