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Tuesday, 16 October, 2001, 11:57 GMT 12:57 UK
Keeping the coalition together: How easy is this?
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Tony Blair has just returned from talks with Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in Delhi. He thanked India for its support for the international coalition against terrorism.

On Friday, he met with Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf, who reiterated his country's support for the coalition's efforts to track down Osama Bin Laden.

Russian President Vladimir Putin met Blair in Moscow and vowed to work more closely with Nato and the European Union to further the American-led coalition.

Has a new world order been created out of the tragedy of September 11 with former enemies working together against terrorism? Or will this coalition be hard to keep together if there are casualties of any one race or religion?

We took your calls on this issue live on Talking Point ON AIR, the phone-in programme of the BBC World Service and BBC News Online. Use the form at the bottom of the page to add to the debate.


  • Your comments since the programme
  • Your comments during the programme
  • Your comments before the programme

    Your comments since the programme

    We're losing perspective

    Bern, Coleman, Canada
    We're losing perspective. The very fact that we are able to freely express our viewpoints came from necessary military action. For all of us who live in a 'free' society we have but one choice - fight as hard and as quickly as possible to ensure we are able to maintain our free way of living.
    Bern, Coleman, Canada

    The strikes against Afghanistan are those of a coordinated action to respond to terrorism which has widespread tentacles and support from various countries. Bin Laden could have not acted alone during his treacherous acts of terrorism without the covert support of some governments.
    Telesforo, New Delhi, India

    The so-called "NEW WORLD ORDER" is a myth created by the Western media. It does not exist. The USA will carry on as before bullying weaker nations to do its bidding or die. We live in the age of the American empire and like all evil empires, it exists to serve itself only and will one day surely crumble.
    Akbar, UK

    The Northern Alliance supports the Americans because they will get into power when the Taleban are overthrown.

    Eric Hall, Brussels, Belgium
    The Northern Alliance supports the Americans because they will get into power when the Taleban are overthrown. The Russians support the Americans because once the Americans destroy any fighting opposition, they can just move back in and roll up anyone left alive and fighting, and occupy the country. And there'll be no-one left to drive them out. Pakistan supports the Americans because it had half the American Pacific fleet and half a dozen British submarines just outside its territorial waters. Who would have said "no", in a similar position? What I find so surprising is that our politicians are so naive as to have not realised this, or so stupid to think that the general public hasn't realised this!
    Eric Hall, Brussels, Belgium

    It will be interesting to see once this is all over what the Americans stance will be regarding global warming. It is obvious to them now that global problems need a global solution. Will they be willing to join the Kyoto coalition and help stop something that in the long term could be much worst than the fate we face at the moment?
    Will, UK

    America; you are not fit enough to lead the world

    Reza, Iran
    The negative propaganda against Iran has led the world to turn a deaf ear on the Iranian voice. But listen and listen very carefully, every time Iran made a comment it later turned out to be very logical. In Afghanistan, Iran for the past years has been saying that the country is made of a multi-ethnic population and all the groups should have a share in running the country and then what we see is US supporting Pakistan which itself a poor nation to help the Taleban with arms and intelligence. The result: Osama Bin Laden strikes America! Now Iran is saying that UN should lead the fight against terrorism and no one is listening. Result: more anger amongst the Muslim nations, which could lead in to a split between nations.

    What is the purpose of having a United Nation then? America; you are not fit enough to lead the world as we saw how your CIA failed to uncover such an easy task under your pillow that was happening! I strongly suggest very soon before is too late swallow your pride and join the rest of the world in fighting the terrorism which we all trying to help you anyway because you are the main target!
    Reza, Iran

    Looking at American films in the aftermath of Sept 11 could anyone be surprised at what might happen to a country that thinks of such extreme violence as a form of entertainment. And the answer I give to John of Chicago is that America only thinks it is the most dominant country in the world and it is their extreme arrogance combined with incredible insularity that makes them think they are so wonderful. In my opinion a new world order would be better served with less of the extremes of American life which we get stuffed down our throats all the time through the media. How about a little more restraint and less consumerism and showiness? They just do what they like, even the way they use the English language. I love many aspects of the US but I do feel strongly that they do themselves no favours at times.
    CH, Cyprus

    How ironic it is to see Vladimir Putin walking through the corridors of NATO?

    Sid, UK
    How ironic it is to see Vladimir Putin walking through the corridors of NATO? The organisation, which was set up to blow his country to bits, is now welcoming him with open arms.

    Furthermore, having pumped billions of dollars in to fighting against Russia when they invaded Afghanistan, the West is now asking for its assistance to bomb the same country. Yesterday's enemy is today's friend and yesterday's friend is today's enemy; who is going to be who tomorrow no one knows. Makes you think doesn't it?
    Sid, UK

    Coalition? More bullying American tactics. What about coalition when Bush was asked to sign the Kyoto treaty? Responsible for a quarter of the world's CO2 emissions, but apparently Kyoto would be bad for US business? If he doesn't succeed in bombing the world, he'll obviously succeed in choking us all.
    Gill, UK

    Am very concerned that America is continuing to ignore world opinion on this issue. They still suppose that being the world super power that they must be correct in all their actions. They refuse to see - as do many of us - that their foreign policy is, to a large extent, what has led the world into this current predicament. They suppose they are totally in the right, which of course no one ever is.
    Josie, Australia

    It would be easier to fill a basket with water.
    Layi Egbeyemi, UK

    The fact is that the vast majority of British people are totally in favour of decisive military action against the Taleban and Bin Laden. As we speak, thank God, the bombs are falling where they deserve to fall.
    Matthew, St. Jean de Vedas, France

    St. George and Uncle Sam are fighting for nothing less than civilization against barbarism

    Adam, Indiana, USA
    I think that the coalition will survive, and I believe that its success is in large part due to the efforts of Mr. Blair. St. George and Uncle Sam are fighting for nothing less than civilization against barbarism. I hope that when the fight is over, we can provide assistance for Afghanistan. The Lord acts in mysterious ways, and I think that world will be a more humane place if we learn from the pain that we feel now.
    Adam, Indiana, USA

    This so-called GLOBAL COALITION is just but also a means to gain international nod for attacks on a single person and not on TERRORISM. We Indians have been suffering from terrorism for the past decade. Americans have bore the brunt of only one attack last month and now they are attacking Afghanistan. Are American lives superior to those of INDIANS?
    Amit, India

    This coalition will split the world into Muslims and the Non-Muslims and nothing else. Of course it will create a mess rather than solving problems.
    Kiran, Pakistan

    New world order? NO! More like excuses for U.S imperialist aggression and annexing weaker nations economically.
    Ray Craigen, Australia

    This is a manifestation of neo-colonialism. You either do what the colonialist wants or you loose out. It seems to me that in this world there are some peoples lives that are more important than others.
    Zuleikha Hassan, Africa

    This "new world order" looks so very much like the old world order

    Edwin Bish, USA
    This "new world order" looks so very much like the old world order. This understanding is based on the same old adage "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" just at it was in the 80's when then President Reagan with then Vice President Bush at his side praised the Taliban fighting the Soviets and compared them to the "Founding Fathers of America" and authorised the CIA to train people including Bin Laden and handed out US-made Stinger missiles like candy at Halloween.
    Edwin Bish, Oakland, CA, USA

    Is there really a coalition against terrorism? The present situation appears to be made possible by economic and military might dictating terms and asking smaller nations to co-operate. Even before evidence could be gathered sentences were passed.
    Jyotsna, Delhi, India

    Your comments during the programme

    This is a real opportunity for unity, albeit fragile and conditional. The weary fatalists that are disavowing any sort of success for this important chance are missing the point. This IS a global community and the EU and other countries are quite capable of affecting US policy and behaviour (as has already been demonstrated on the financial front). The point of this coalition is a front against senseless and escalating violence, including nuclear and biological/chemical weaponry. This affects YOU, regardless of who "created" the problem. The fine points of moral superiority and future behaviour should follow decisive action against radical and massive killing.
    Julie, Austin, USA

    We now have a chance to act in unity. However, this will only work if we are able to discard our bias - national, religious and economic - and define what we, as a whole, hope to accomplish. If we fail to do this, the idea of coalition is doomed.
    Bruce, Glen Gardner, USA

    I don't see how anything positive will come out of this exercise

    Abrar, Kuwait
    I don't see how anything positive will come out of this exercise. The so-called new world order is responsible for all this terrorism. You can only put an end to the terrorism by justice, not by force.
    Abrar, Kuwait

    Many countries are joining this coalition because of threats from the USA, 'Join us or face us'. So if we are gathering countries by force, I think it will eventually prove to be a fragile foundation for a long campaign.
    Temoor, UK

    I really don't know if the coalition is going to stick together or not. All I can say is may the Lord help us all if it doesn't.
    Eva, Barcelona, Spain

    Most of the nations have their own agenda in this coalition

    Atif Hussain, Cardiff, Wales
    It is unlikely that such a coalition exists to genuinely stamp out terrorism. Most of the nations have their own agenda in this coalition. The United States was the terrorists' target and the war is really between them. Bin Laden has not stated that he is at war with any other Western country. It is highly unlikely that the UK is a target for similar acts of terrorism considering that it shelters a significant number of Middle Eastern dissidents with similar views to Bin laden but reserving them mainly against their own countries rather than the US.
    Atif Hussain, Cardiff, Wales

    How are the Special Forces, SAS etc going to distinguish between a terrorist and an Afghan who is naturally protecting his land and family?
    Sikander, UK

    My greatest concern about a war against terrorism is actually in the definition of the word 'terrorist'. It is instructive perhaps that the IRA does not appear on the State Department's list of terrorist organisations. The reason, apparently, is that it does not threaten US security.
    Chris Forse, Hong Kong

    Your comments before we went ON AIR

    Those of you who offer criticism should offer viable alternative solutions

    Mark Davenport, Va Beach, VA, USA
    Having travelled extensively and lived in Asia for years, I have been aware that there are obvious "dislikes" towards Americans. I only have one comment. While we have made some mistakes, at least we have "stepped up to the plate" while most of the rest failed to take action other than criticise the USA. The UK is the only one who's been there. Those of you who offer criticism should offer viable alternative solutions to what is ultimately going to affect all of us. Otherwise, keep to your status quo of "taking no action, getting no results".
    Mark Davenport, Va Beach, VA, USA

    Warmonger or hero? People should consider just what a miraculous job Tony Blair is doing. It takes an extraordinary man and a great leader to bolster international support from Russia to Pakistan to India in situations like this.
    Michael (UK in Italy), Milan, Italy

    There's no new coalition here - it's the same old political back scratching over money that went on before. Tony Blair being such an idiot over this whole thing it's embarrassing! Talk about puppet show. Bush sits back and lets his lapdog do the business...
    Mike Hunt, Newcaste, UK

    The problem with the so-called coalition is that there is a tension between its utopian ends and its realist means. It professes to stand against terror and, at the extreme as outlined by Tony Blair, solve the problems of the world. However, to achieve these laudable goals it includes regimes that, if one were being objective, should be our enemies not our allies. At the moment this tension is hidden behind the wave of verbal and emotional support for the USA. However, once action occurs, I fear that the tensions will come to the fore, making the alliance unwieldy at best, and unworkable at worst.
    Mathew Davies, London

    This coalition is basically weak as it involves countries which themselves support terrorism

    Mritunjay, Lucknow
    This coalition is basically weak as it involves countries which themselves support terrorism, some overtly and some covertly. Disappointingly America itself has supported these countries in abetting terrorism. Further, America has the habit of acting arbitrarily making it difficult for other counties to go along. Last but not the least, America is acting in vengeance not with any real motive of fighting terrorism or it would not have ignored our Kashmir for so long.
    Mritunjay, Lucknow

    Last time, this so-called coalition of civilized nations left Saddam Hussein's regime in place in Baghdad to ensure that US and UK troops stayed in the Gulf. I heard the Gulf's oil reserves will be exhausted within the next 30 years. It is astonishing to note that the world's next largest oil reserves are in Central Asia, and Afghanistan happens to be the place where a US puppet regime may allow control of the region by stationing US or UK troops.
    Ahmed Riaz, Quetta, Pakistan

    Mr Putin has asked for a free hand with the Chechnyans in return for Russia helping in the fight against the Osama Bin Laden movement. The Right Hon Tony Blair must be told that one set of people must not be sacrificed as a means as a means of getting help to fight against another.
    Mary O, UK

    It is time for America to look at its alliance and see which of its newfound 'friends' don't really match

    Atul Khetarpal, Reading, UK
    It is a real shame that the Western world is talking about fighting a long-term strategic war, and yet making short-term tactical alliances, which will prove more dangerous in the long-run than the enemy it is trying to tackle. America first supplied Saddam Hussein with weapons for their immediate objective of contending with Iran, only to have to fight against those same weapons later. America first armed and trained the militia in Afghanistan, possibly including Osama bin Laden's aides, for its immediate objective of contending with USSR, and now those militia are the biggest threat to America. When is America going to learn? It is time for America to look at its alliance and see which of its newfound 'friends' don't really match America's principles, beliefs, and long-term interests.
    Atul Khetarpal, Reading, UK

    A new world order is needed. Let it include an international court of justice which will try international criminals, including terrorists. Let the nations contribute necessary police resources to this end, including intelligence and guns, as needed. But let us avoid ad hoc vigilantism managed by the most powerful actor on the scene. That wouldn't serve my village, even less the global village.
    Frank Mitchell, Metchosin, BC, Canada

    The campaign to uproot terrorism will never be successful unless every nation gives up its individual interests

    Rajan Kafle, Kathmandu, Nepal
    Almost every country has expressed its support for the American campaign against terrorism. Although this move is highly praiseworthy, this doesn't ascertain their true commitment of uniting together against terrorism. Russia wants no objection to it's military objectives in Chechnya. India wants to silence the West on the Kashmir issue. Pakistan doesn't want to see America form closer ties with India. The Arab world seeks a change in the American attitude towards them and so on. Thus support for the US is harmonised due to the individual interests of supporting nations. If their interests are hindered, they will withdraw their support. The campaign to uproot terrorism will never be successful unless every nation gives up its individual interests for the sake of peace and stability in the whole world.
    Rajan Kafle, Kathmandu, Nepal

    The recent coalition of "Globalisation" split the world into the corporate and the poor. I hope this new coalition does not split the world into Islamic and the rest. If nothing else worth mentioning, the British have at least given one day for almost every country to celebrate. "Independence Day". Now, the irony is they themselves are enslaved by American ideologies. Mr Blair seems to be vigorously supporting anything coming out of the US. The UK needs first to liberate itself and start thinking and acting independently.
    Imran Farooqui, Indian in Saudi Arabia

    This coalition is dangerous and self-serving and will only lead to further war and instability

    Alison, UK/South Korea
    I despise Blair and view American values and foreign policy with deep distaste. The coalition will not hold as it is based on what all foreign policy is based on - self-interest. As an illustration of flawed American foreign policy, here's a highly possible future scenario. The Afghanistan crisis is over and no longer makes news. Instead it has been replaced by a Pakistan crisis. Due to meddling by the US, the Pakistani people revolt and a new anti-west fundamental Muslim leader takes the chance to seize control. The new regime denounces the US and sets about creating a pure Islamic state. In addition to having bombed Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, the US will now bomb the new enemy - Pakistan. This coalition is dangerous and self-serving and will only lead to further war and instability - which is great for arms sales all round.
    Alison, UK/South Korea

    American diplomacy is strange. It makes no distinction between an enemy and a friend. Pakistan was a renegade state, and is now appointed the judge and jury to decide the future of world terrorism. America has suddenly placed all the rules of the game aside in its euphoria to build a coalition even in the face of being deceived by the mother of all terrorists, Musharraf. Bram
    Bramh D Mishra, Sugar Land, US

    America does not need the coalition - it should go ahead and win this war its own

    Alan Travers, Liverpool
    The coalition exists to fight terrorism. What use is it if it falls apart as soon as military action is suggested? The coalition is just a talking shop that is proving a distraction in the war against terrorism. America does not need the coalition - it should go ahead and win this war its own if need be and if that upsets a few over-sensitive Middle East states so be it.
    Alan Travers, Liverpool

    The coalition led by America will keep together only if US troops capture Osama Bin Laden and overthrow the Taleban regime shortly after the military action against Afghan is launched. If America cannot achieve such a target in two months, the fragile coalition will collapse gradually.
    Bing Chen, UK

    The term "new world order" is concerning, not least because the so-called conspiracy theorists have been warning of this for some considerable time. For world leaders to use the term openly is unfortunate to say the least. I doubt much will change long-term. The West will look after itself while fundamentalists of all flavours will continue to blow things up.
    John B, UK

    The global community is doing as well as could possibly be expected

    Neill B, Seattle, USA
    It would be nice to think that if the USA turned the other cheek and endured the sting of some 6000 dead for its history of atrociously self-serving foreign policy that it would neatly put an end to Bin Laden's jihad against it. Sorry but that won't happen any time soon so the best we can hope for is that the USA will finally learn from its mistakes while working with whomever will cooperate to minimize future threat. Of course it is hypocritical to ignore the IRA and a host of others, and of course it is only too embarrassingly evident that it took the death and demolition of our own to get us to care. All true, but unfortunately the party is just starting and I think the global community is doing as well as could possibly be expected. Not only does the opportunity for the impossible exist, indeed some of it has already happened, i.e. Russia chatting with Nato, Pakistan hosting the defence secretary of the USA, etc.
    Neill B, Seattle, USA

    I don't see how this shiny New World Order can succeed in the long term. It may be paved with good intentions, but currently it's built on bullying, bribery and faustian deals. For every immediate problem solved there seem to be two future ones lurking in the shadows - Osama Bin Laden may well be bombed out of existence, but the ethical price is high. The West would potentially become a willing accessory to Russia's appalling actions in Chechnya, turn a blind eye to the coup that put Musharraf in charge of Pakistan and continue to prop up a number of corrupt Arab monarchies, giving the terrorists yet more popular support in the Middle East. And now some politicians talk of installing a king in post-Taleban Afghanistan, presumably because an Afghan democracy might not be pro-West? It's very odd to hear politicians in the USA, the world's largest democracy, talking about installing a (pliant, pro-USA?) monarchy somewhere else, and it does rather undercut their moral high ground.
    J White, Coventry, UK

    I've read a good selection of the comments here, and as I understand it, the cynics' message can be summarised as: (a) the terrorism is all our own fault because we should have sorted out other people's quarrels a bit better and (b) since the problem is complex and we are imperfect, we shouldn't try to fix it.

    Well, call me old fashioned but I think democracy has done the world more good, and still has a lot more to offer, than the malevolent brand of Islamic fundamentalism on offer from Mr Bin Laden. If you disagree, consider life in a society where religious and political freedoms are non-existent, where women are denied basic human rights, and where the state will cheerfully maim or kill you for stealing food or even preaching Christianity. On that basis, it suddenly seems well worth making some small effort to preserve democracy, wouldn't you say?
    Paul Hicks, UK

    Paul Hicks has misunderstood the critics of this war. More bombs will only intensify the hatred already felt towards the US and the West in general. The US did not cause all forms of terrorism, but in this specific case, they vigorously supported fanatical groups in Afghanistan during the cold war, and no question was asked of the tactics used - indeed they were "freedom fighters" not terrorists. The injustices suffered by many in the Arab world, either directly or indirectly as a result of US/UK foreign policy will inevitably polarise opinion against them. Roughly 1m babies in Iraq have died as a result of the ongoing sanctions, and when the then secretary of state was questioned regarding its morality, her reply was "it's worth it". Can we be surprised that many Arabs have deep-seated hatred towards the US? I believe the coalition should concentrate more on remedying the injustices so that the 1.5billion can then disagree with Bin Laden's cause.
    Ibrahim, London, UK

    Governments are still overzealous of the term "nation-state".

    Vincent E. Ciliberti, Malta
    I find the first part of the question rather strange! A new world order? What are we talking about here? Is this how new world orders are created? In my opinion America has been the only superpower since the collapse of the former Soviet Union, a status it still enjoys irrespective of the September 11th tragic incidents.

    It would have been more appropriate if contributors were to be asked whether because of recent developments America will have to share its role of a super-power. I believe that each and every country has it's own national interest to safeguard, be it military, economic, political, or otherwise, and the very fact that there seems to be a consensus in forming a coalition against terrorism, does not necessarily imply that a new world order has been created.

    I do agree that a front against terrorism must be somehow set up, much as I believe that eventually this coalition will disintegrate. No country would wish to experience what the USA has recently gone through, and the effects are there for us all to see. Yet, I firmly believe that once, the "enemy" is put to rest, countries in the coalition will seek to enhance relations amongst themselves, but surely not to the level that some of the contributors on line are "suggesting", that is of a "world government". Governments are still overzealous of the term "nation-state".
    Vincent E. Ciliberti, Malta

    The power of Bin Laden and the Taleban is over estimated. They will collapse like Humpty Dumpty.

    Thiruvengadam Ramakrishnan, New Orleans, USA
    During this period of "phony" or "cold war" every one will be on board. If the strikes against Bin Laden and the Taleban go well, and both capitulate or are removed, every one will claim victory. If on the other hand the military action stalls, or has unintended consequences, those who have a vested interest in this war (US, UK, India, Russia, Israel) would continue their support or even redouble it. But those who are in the periphery of the war (some European countries, Far East, etc.) would put themselves at some distance.

    Countries with non-representative governments and strong militant Islamic movements, like Pakistan and Persian Gulf monarchies might backtrack or begin to unravel. My own feeling is that the power of Bin Laden and the Taleban is over estimated. These are fringe movements with a very small following. In the anarchy that followed the collapse of the Afghan Communist regime, this small coterie of disciplined men took control with the help of Pakistani army. They were never popular, and most fighters are foreign. They will collapse like Humpty Dumpty.
    Thiruvengadam Ramakrishnan, New Orleans, USA

    No coalition is needed for U.S. military action. There are enough special forces, choppers, jetfighters, bombers and cruises prepositioned near the potential theater of operations for such a task. Ah, and thousands of tons of food staples as well.
    Mirek Kondracki, Alexandria, U.S.

    Why is this new world order also a western dominated one? Where is the scope for other regions and nations in other parts of the world? I wonder if people think just because Russia is on board, you have an inclusive perspective? I am appalled by the way the word 'civilised' is used. Are we implying that the west is civilised and the others are not?
    Vidhura, USA

    Britons who find the USA ignorant, inept, stupid and venal, just answer one question; how did the USA achieve world dominance?

    John, Chicago USA
    Much of the coalition will stay together, for the simple reason that it was together beforehand. The "odd bedfellows" will take their 20 pieces of silver and go back to what they have always done, foment mischief to the detriment of their populations.

    I see India and Russia as enduring coalition members because their people's ambitions have moved towards the Western ways. To those Britons who find the USA ignorant, inept, stupid and venal, just answer one question; how did the USA achieve world dominance? Then you might ask yourselves; if these morons are dominant, what does that say about us Europeans?
    John, Chicago USA

    According to John in Chicago, might is right and all the other countries that do not dominate the world are therefore wrong. I am sorry, I do not agree.
    Muhsin, UK

    Looking at Sam's comments, it is funny to notice that the comments made by foreign nationals in the UK are all against taking action against terrorists. This doesn't look like a good sign for the UK's future.
    Erik Poyhonen, Detroit, MI, USA

    Looking at these comments, it is funny to notice that the support for Blair's speech comes mostly from the US, not the UK, which is not a good sign.
    Sam, Egypt/UK

    I see Americans more united than in any of my 40 years.

    Joe, Denver, USA
    I am sorry that so many here seem to be critical of us Americans. Funny to see what country was/is the largest provider of aid to the Afghans; yes, the good ole USA.

    Let's wait and see what Bush and Blair do before we judge. All I know is that killing innocent people to get your point/religion whatever solved is not the way to get the results from Americans. I see Americans more united than in any of my 40 years.
    Joe, Denver, USA

    Is it going to be Tony Blair witch project? No results at the end after so much of hype?
    Lucky Hora, USA

    This is certainly a loaded topic, with people sounding off on all of their pet issues, from American imperialism to the conflict in Northern Ireland. As a New Yorker who walks past the ruins of the WTC on the way to work every day I just want thank the British and everyone else who have expressed support for us.

    Bringing up the IRA (I note none of those people mentioned the UDA/UVF) and third world poverty is ridiculous; those are complex issues, which have little to absolutely nothing to do with what happened on September 11. Americans and the American government are no more perfect than anyone else, but I believe we have sound values and are trying promote them as best we can. But we'll always be the scapegoat of the world. We're damned if we take action and we're damned if we don't. Perhaps some of the critics should look at themselves first, when trying to understand the roots of their own problems. Peace.
    Patrick, New York, USA

    What if a country chooses not to be with Americans nor with the terrorists, does these situation puts them on a list of terrorist country even though they don't sponsor it or harbor them? What is the United states policy towards such countries.

    Perhaps Americans might want to look at themselves first.

    Bert, Australia
    New Yorkers have supported Israel and the IRA for years. The USA is threatening to destroy the Taleban for supporting terrorists. Perhaps Americans might want to look at themselves first.
    Bert, Australia

    The US has been the world's babysitter for a good deal of the twentieth century and surely well into this one. There is not a week that goes by without some country pulling on our shirttails for something. For the most part The US has done a damn good job helping the world in one way or another. As every politician knows, not everyone can be satisfied all the time. But the US still prevails in one way or another.

    The world must stand behind the US in one shape or form. The attack on the World Trade Center can either be one terrible moment in history or the beginning of things to come. The US is taking up this fight no matter what. It will be a lot quicker and maybe a lot less painful if the civilized world gets our backs on this one.
    Jeff, USA

    When Bush outlaws fundraising for Irish terrorism is when I start believing in this coalition.
    Ken, London, UK

    A true coalition is what we see now in the European Community

    Alan, Warsaw, Poland
    A true coalition is what we see now in the European Community. This is bound by legality and proper laws and soon with monetary union. All the other "coalitions" are not worth the paper they are written on. The NATO coalition forces did not really work in Kosovo and all that rhetoric about damage done by high-flying aircraft was proved to be baloney. Even now I see the US news media lauding it up about smart bombs again - this lot will enter caves it seems! The mind just boggles with all this claptrap.

    Just see after the first few dead soldiers are returned home how strong this latest "coalition" will be. My guess it will collapse pretty quickly. It was lucky that Milosovic blinked first in Kosovo because had it had gone to a ground war we would still be there today trying to beat the Serbs. Talk is cheap Mr Blair, and I guess the US thanks you for your support. But ask the families of those killed in the Gulf war by so-called friendly fire what they think about all this and I imagine they would send a completely different message to the US.
    Alan, Warsaw, Poland

    I only hope that coalition stays together for the sake of humanity. I am very delighted that the West has put this coalition together to get rid of the terrorism menace. I am also convinced that the West can put a coalition together to solve the world's thorniest political and economic problems. It should address the genuine grievances of Palestinians, Kashmiris and Chechnyans; and poverty in Africa and Asia. If that is done, I think Coalition will not only survive but will expand.
    Naveed Khan, San Jose, USA

    I believe the coalition will hold together during military strikes. However, once that is over, I doubt it will hold together. Frankly, I think we (the US) are teetering on the slippery slope of nation building by working with the opposition groups to oust the Taleban. Our mission should be narrow - capture or kill Bin Laden, destroy and disrupt his terror network, capture or kill his cronies. If Taleban forces stand in the way, they can't say they haven't been warned. But, as far as the government of Afghanistan is concerned, they should be left alone.
    Daryl N, Des Moines, USA

    I think it is extremely sad that countries have only started speaking to each other because of terrorists

    Kris, Dundee,Scotland
    I think it is extremely sad that countries have only started speaking to each other because of terrorists. It seems the only time we can get along with each other is when we are at war. Why can't the countries of this world join together to solve the ever-increasing rate of poverty caused by the West's obsession with global capitalism? Bush Senior and Thatcher could both have finished Saddam Hussein's regime, but it was far more beneficial for them to leave him in power. Now the West uses their troops in the area as leverage to keep oil prices down. Yes, a New World Order is forming but it's the same power and money obsessed idiots who are behind it.
    Kris, Dundee,Scotland

    I think it will be a lot easier to keep the parts of it involving Russia in the coalition, following today's explosion of the Russian airliner. Following the September 11th attack my wife said, "This is World War III." She did not mean a nuclear holocaust; she meant a massive global war with everyone choosing sides. I agree with her.
    peter nelson, Boston, MA

    If aliens landed on Earth tomorrow you would expect the leaders of the civilised world to stand up and represent the world as a united entity, with common interests and wide-ranging diversity. To those of you who mock Blair and Bush for saying that a new world order exists, I say that at least this is one step further away from the disunity that existed during the Cold War, and one step closer to true unity, even if it is only for show. If countries are at least prepared to be seen acting as one, who says that in the not too far off distance, they won't actually be acting as one? And to those of you who doubt Tony Blair's leadership and say that his stance is na´ve: let's just be thankful we haven't got the likes of Mr Major running the show.
    Matt, London, England

    I find it hard to believe that a coalition for war is a good thing. There are billions of people on this planet, the huge majority of whom have no wish for war or violence. Why is it the tiny minority of people like Bush and Blair seem to think military action will magically solve everything? There was talk of a New World Order 10 years ago in the Gulf War, but nothing came of it. The war ended, thousands of people died, millions became refugees, Saddam went on to brutalize the Kurdish people after the war, and the USA went happily back to not caring and "blissful" ignorance.
    Gunther Hanna, London, UK

    A window of opportunity has been opened to the world, and we can work together to make great things happen

    Chris Daniel, USA
    As much as I'd like to see this New World Order succeed, if I judge by the comments I see here, it doesn't have a chance. The time for real change has come. Who could've imagined a world in which Iran or Pakistan would work this closely with the West, or where Russia would offer support for NATO? Out of this tragedy, a window of opportunity has been opened to the world, and we can work together to make great things happen. Rather than being met with enthusiasm and hope, it seems to have been met with cynicism and a defeatist attitude. If so many expect this to fail before it even starts, then what chance does it have?
    Chris Daniel, USA

    In response to John Pires. Many in the UK feel that Mr Blair is all talk and no action. We should be proud that he has the guts to go after terrorism? In the last few years he has released known terrorists from prison (who surprise, surprise then went on to commit more crimes and are now back behind bars) and negotiated with terrorists. He has done nothing to halt the IRA attacks that happen in England or the rioting and in-fighting that is going on, as we speak, in Northern Ireland. He is not a great man, just a good orator. He never keeps his word and is always hypocritical.

    Why are people acting like this idea of a new world order is new?

    Carole K, UK
    Secondly, why are people acting like this idea of a new world order is new? Does no one know about the history of the United Nations, its concept and agenda? It was created precisely to be a coalition of different governments to help promote peace around the world. There is a governing body that works tirelessly to make this world a better place and branches such as the IMF and WHO do exactly that. Tony Blair is only trying to whip up an emotional frenzy to get glory for something that already exists but is itself hindered by individual nations' political agendas (namely the USA and UK).
    Carole K, UK

    All nations will have their differences. That is to be expected. But, on such a major issue as terrorism there will be few differences of opinion. And, that is the truth that the world is not going to tolerate terrorism anymore. Our world has gotten small enough that we cannot afford to do that. We live in a global community. The security of one nation affects all nations. Will this lead to an alienation of the West from the Middle Eastern countries? Definitely not! As long as petroleum is in demand the Middle Eastern states will prosper. Oil has made them rich. Eliminate that commodity from the list of important things and you will have very little business for that region of the world. What is now a land of opportunity will cease to be if terrorism is allowed to destroy what good there is in our world.
    Dave Adams, Chicago/USA

    What changes the situation is that the Taleban is willing to extradite Laden to an international tribunal (see today's Daily Telegraph, page 9, but not widely reported otherwise). It was probably the US who told Pakistan to cease negotiations. There is therefore no necessity for military action.
    Cedric Knight, London, UK

    I am a Bangladeshi. I am sure a new world order can not be created by war. I want to tell Clown-Blair and Cowboy-Bush to think about their foreign police. Maybe this is the reason that more than 6000 lives were ended.
    AMK Chowdhury, Mito, Japan

    Prime Minister Blair is writing cheques (making promises) his butt cannot cash. American citizens have never and will never support a world government.
    Noel Richards, Boulder, CO, USA

    I for one love capitalism

    Matt, USA
    I for one love capitalism. I'm all for working hard and being rewarded for it. I'm not out to change the world democracies to socialism or communism. We are strong and rich because we work hard to invent and improvise. The poorer third world countries spend their time killing and plotting to kill. The coalition will hold because capitalist nations are built on a principle of fair play and hard work. The countries of the world that are built on hatred and evil will once again get the short end of the big stick! I've noticed it is very easy for people who live in first world countries to complain about everything they take for granted. Why is this? It makes absolutely no sense.
    Matt, USA

    Effective peace-keeping, and its necessary correlate effective peace enforcement ultimately require that an overwhelmingly powerful military force be exerted against any group or nation that is responsible for aggressor attacks against any civilian population. If the United Nations is to achieve that role of managing peace-keeping and peace enforcement, as it ought to be doing, then a coalition responsive to that need becomes necessary. NATO might provide the necessary structure and capabilities to provide the UN with a sufficient military arm so as to provide peace-keeping and enforcement, inclusive of anti-terrorist activities that include United States involvement but remain a truly international goal and actions rather than a sectarian or national response. I think it is very important that an international, democratic, body, representative of the world's nations, and not simply a few of its states, be decisive in peace keeping and peace enforcement. Any coalition ought best to be tied to that kind of decision, rather than to one nation's efforts, though any nation might act to defend itself when attacked and call upon its allies, as the USA has done. In the long term more emphasis has to be placed on an international body being decisive rather than one or few national bodies.
    Robert Morpheal, Canada

    The alliance that Bush and Blair are leading is not going to solve every "ism" in the world

    Peter C Kohler, Washington DC, USA
    Let's focus. We are fighting the terrorists that murdered 6,000 people. The same ones that are prepared to murder tens of thousands more. The alliance that Bush and Blair are leading is not going to solve every "ism" in the world nor should it. I'm amazed at some of these comments: hate the west, hate capitalism and democracy but expect it to solve the world's problems. Terrorism is not a social disease, it's evil, pure and simple.
    Peter C Kohler, Washington DC, USA

    Britain will never be taken seriously as long as we are seen as a puppet government for American interests and foreign policy. It is time for Britain to gain independence rather than act like a dog on a lead!
    Peter Goddard, UK

    We've got the usual confused America bashing comments flying around in here, based, I imagine, on a typical British inferiority complex. On the one hand America is accused of isolationism, but on the other hand it is accused of trying to reshape the world in its own image. Well which is it to be? It can't be doing both. You could very well accuse the US of being unilateralist but for heaven's sake, if we want our criticisms to be constructive, let's think about them before we blurt them out. How on earth can anyone claim that the US economy is based on the exploitation of the third world? The US economy is virtually closed. The value of US foreign trade is less than 10 percent of its GDP and the vast majority of this trade is with Mexico and the developed world. Trade with the third world is utterly insignificant to the progress of the US economy. And before people start shouting about oil prices, they should spend a bit of time looking at how much less sensitive the US economy is to the oil price than it was back in the 1970s.
    Alastair Alexander, UK/USA

    Alastair Alexander seems to be missing the point about the US economy being based on exploitation of the third (or majority) world. Foreign trade has little to do with it, but in a global market it is painfully naive to think of any economy as closed. The main form of exploitation is through using cheap labour in the third world to produce US goods such as trainers, clothes, coffee and chocolate. The companies make enormous profits for these goods in their domestic markets and in exports. The US is not alone in this practice, to the shame of all of us in the west, but it seems that perhaps its people know least about it.
    Paul R, Wales

    It will be very difficult to maintain any sort of coalition once the military strikes begin

    Ibi, London, UK
    At the end of the day, countries will pursue policies that bring them benefits militarily, economically and politically. Unfortunately, morality does not come into the consideration, and is only used and abused to vilify the enemy. It will be very difficult to maintain any sort of coalition once the military strikes begin. When the first pictures of civilian casualties, known as collateral damage, are broadcast, public sentiment will quickly reverse direction against the war, and governments will have a difficult time maintaining public support. This will be especially true of Arab/Muslim countries, where the only independent news channels are already causing headaches to the US administration.
    Ibi, London, UK

    After reading here what some people in the UK are saying, I am sick. Aren't you guys glad Americans don't feel this way toward you? We consider the UK our friends, and have great respect for you. People in the US aren't out to rule the world and have never been. Our government will never rule the world simply because the people wouldn't allow it. If my history is right, it was Great Britain that at one time ruled the world. Not the USA. We fought for our freedom, and we will do it today if we have to. Thanks for your support.
    Scott, Gulfport, USA

    The new world order is the old world order but now nations under threat are closing ranks against those who pose the threat. It is not an option. There is no choice. It may have been New York and Washington DC this time but it could be London or Paris next time. So often the world looks to the USA to police the globe. Yes we all hear the complaints about the US telling everyone what to do but the US is still expected to provide world order in crises along with the UK as our number one partner. As was the case in WW2, it's time for nations that think together to work together.
    K Jackson, Washington DC, USA

    Unfortunately, I don't think there will be a new world order. At the moment most of the world is rightly united but I fear that as soon as the Taleban is defeated, this unity will end. It is difficult in a situation like this to raise any arguments as US correspondents to this site will accuse us of being non-supportive and forgetting "how the US rescued Europe in two world wars". The war against terrorism has been fought for decades in Europe and now the US has joined it only after they were attacked. Please, when this war has been fought and won, could you people in the US prove me wrong and defend freedom and democracy when others are attacked and not just when your own interests are involved? My sympathies are with those who died but also with those who have died at the hands of the IRA over the last few decades.
    Andrew Carter, UK

    Andrew Carter should ask his questions when and if freedom and democracy are demanded in the third world instead of expressing a "foreigners and infidels out" attitude. When he was out of power Deng Xiaoping was clever enough to quote Thomas Jefferson. When Deng took power he acted like he never heard of Jefferson.
    TJ Cassidy, USA

    However hard it may be, the coalition has to survive and it must be shown by Blair and Bush that it will. If the ignoramuses that perpetrated these acts get wind that the Western alliance is weak, it will only strengthen their resolve to cause bloodshed and misery throughout the civilised world. If countries like Russia, and even Cuba who condemned the attacks, can show their support for the US, then the solidarity must be genuine. People like bin Laden will be well aware that 20 years ago, the USSR had visions of doing what he is trying to do now, and if he opens his eyes he will see that Russia is now onside with the rest of the civilised world. If he thinks he can do better than they did, then he and his fanatical supporters have got more than a few bombs and bullets to expect.
    Matt, London, UK

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    Kevin Jackson, Washington DC, USA
    "We have to take action"
    Ashraf Moftah, Cairo, Egypt
    "A rare moment of universal unanimity"
    Daryl Northrop, Des Moines, USA
    "The coalition will only hold together during military strikes"
    Usman Jalloh, Belgium
    "America is the root of the problem"
    Ajaoh Ghosh, Thanet, UK
    "There is a hidden agenda"
    Adnan Siddiqui, London
    "They're in for the long haul"
    David Ghalevance, Brussels, Belgium
    "We should try to understand these areas"
    Faruque Ahmed, Sydney, Australia
    "None of us are looking at the real causes"
    Andrew Hunt, Manchester, UK
    "We need to remove the poverty that causes terrorism"
    Sanjay Mahat, Saudi Arabia
    "Osama Bin Laden has many links"
    See also:

    03 Oct 01 | Europe
    Russia backs war on terror
    02 Oct 01 | Africa
    Blair promises to stand by Africa

    Links to more Talking Point stories