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Let's speak to Elaine Showalter who
is from New Jersey, living
here now, but you have family in
New York. What went through your
mind seeing those pictures again?
It's been a terrifying day that will live
in infamy. I think the
worst of it was when it was
happening. I was on Oxford Street
and trying to think about how long
it was going to go on. You could
not be sure whether there would be
attacks in Chicago, Seattle, Pittsburgh,
the rest of the country. But I think that
Americans recover from these things
incredibly fast and even by this time
the recovery has begun.
You were contacting family
and friends in New York?
Yes. Mostly by the internet, which is
a big help because all the telephone lines
are tied up. We had e-mail and everybody
called back and forth and messages
are coming in. People are posting
all kinds of messages on the Net of
help and support.
Let's speak to Richard Perle, who was
close to President George Bush Jnr and
was also Assistant Secretary of Defence
under Ronald Reagan. People have
spoken about this as an act of war. Is that
how you see it?
Clearly it is an act of war, both in
terms of its magnitude and its
purpose. Behind these acts of
terror are the states which support
terrorism - the states which provide
the recruitment, the organisation,
the sanctuary, the planning, the
training, the logistics, the money.
not happen without state support
and state sponsorship. The United
States must now do something which
it has been reluctant to do, and that
is hold the states accountable that
permit this kind of terrorism to
Steven Simon, you are a former member
of the US National Security Council.
On the point of how this could happen,
a lot of people have been saying it ought
to be impossible for four planes to be
hijacked simultaneously in the USA?
It obviously is not. Smuggling
weapons on to aeroplanes in the US
is not impossible. There are a huge
number of passengers, they're
shoves through hubs that are extremely
crowded. It's very difficult under these
circumstances for poorly paid
and poorly motivated security
personnel to detect every bit of
contraband that somebody is trying
to smuggle on to an aeroplane.
Would you ever have thought four
simultaneous hijacks would be possible?
I never would have thought anyone would
have attempted it. But clearly you have a
group here that is highly motivated, very
determined to do this, very well organised,
enjoys excellent communications and
probably has some practice.
Ehud Barak is also here, the former Israeli
Prime Minister. What did you think, Mr
Barak, watching those pictures again?
It's a clear act of war. I believe that
Tony Blair put it correctly. It is
a time for action, not for just
interviews, and a time for action by
the whole world community,
co-ordinating a concerted effort in
on the level of diplomatic economy,
but more than anything else,
intelligence and operations to
launch a full-scale struggle
against world terror. It is all our
Western civilisation is now under
attack. No way to ignore it, we
know the names of these rogue
countries, we know the names of the
organisations. The intelligence
community know to tell us where
they are deployed and it is a
time for action, even if it is going
to be a very tough and painful and
maybe struggle that will stretch over
a few years.
Were you surprised it could happen?
I was not surprised by the attempt to
destroy the twin towers - it already
happened. But the combination and
simultaneous effect of different places or
different kind of aeroplanes were
hijacked at the same time in a
co-ordinated way is quite surprising.
James Rubin, former Assistant Secretary
of State, an attack on the centres of power,
military, financial and political?
This was an attack on the United
States, but I think it is important
for us not to lose the larger
picture. This was an attack on
civilisation, the World Trade
Center is the centre of Western
civilisation where all the
countries of the world trade in
finance, industry, in all sorts of
products. They are going to be
Japanese and Italian and Africans
and Asians working in those
buildings or conducting some kind
of commerce who will have been
killed by these terrorists.
It is an attack on American symbols
of power, but more importantly it is
an attack on the civilised world
and now the civilised world has to
get together and say, "who are these
uncivilised people who are prepared to do
this?" and get together and respond.
What will have been the reaction of
people who are in the job that you were
in and other people in similar government
jobs to what has happened?
I think that government jobs
are stressful enough as it is but I
can't begin to imagine the stress
going on right now. I sat through a
lot of stressful times but I think
they pale in comparison to this
kind of attack on the United States
in such a dramatic way and having to
leave all their buildings and get
relocated. But I also believe that
24, 48 hours from now you are going to
see people back in their offices, you're
going to see the normal functioning's
of government, you're going to see
a redouble determination and I think
you're going to see a response from
the American people to the realisation
that the outside world can affect us.
Often, the American people seem to
think they're isolated and it has
been proven beyond doubt forever
that the United States can't stand isolated.
Let's hear from Khaled Hroub, who's a
Middle East expert, who is Palestinian.
We were hearing there a different reactions
among Arabs to what has happened.
How do you read that?
This clearly reflects some degree of
dismay and frustration among the
Palestinians and many Arabs to the
American policy towards the Middle
East, maybe peace process and other
issues, like Iraq and Sudan. But, what
I would like to say, we shouldn't put
this horrific act into a clash of civilisation
perspective. What if the actors of
this act turned out to be from
within Western civilisation, like Oklahoma
City bomber? This is a possibility and
what I can see from all the reporting today
is there is some sort of strong assumption that
those who committed this tragic act
came from outside the Western civilisation,
either from Afghanistan or Middle
Eastern country. We have to wait
and see and not to jump into some
conclusions otherwise we are going
to be in some sort of difficult
situation to understand.
We'll come back to some of that. We are
just getting reports now of
attacks, tracer fire in Kabul
and we will bring you any further
details of that as we get them.
Richard Perle, let me bring you in on
that point before we move on. Reports
of some attacks explosions in Kabul.
Any knowledge of what that might be?
No, I have no knowledge of it, but
if it is retaliation against Osama Bin
Laden it is long overdue and should
be just the beginning of retribution
against the state sponsors of terrorism.
Because it is thought that Osama Bin
Laden, who has been linked to this all
through the day, is somewhere in
Afghanistan and shielded by the
Taliban regime there?
He is, but he works with other
governments as well and until we
come to grips with government
support for terrorism, we will be
vulnerable to attacks even on this
scale. This could not
be done without governments that
assisted in training pilot, in
moving people and resources and
Thank you to all of you.