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Friday, Feb 08, 2002
"For the first time, the administration is proposing to cross the line from counternarcotics to counterinsurgency," said Senator Patrick J. Leahy, a Vermont Democrat who is chairman of the foreign operations subcommittee. "This is no longer about stopping drugs, it's about fighting the guerrillas."
"It is clear that they're ordinary criminals, unlike the Taliban, who fought for a cause," said Capt. Harold Cabunoc, commander of the Philippine forces at Basilan's Camp Cabunbata, where about a dozen American Special Operations troops will soon be based (most of the American troops will stay on safer ground off Basilan). "These guys just kidnap for money. They're just common criminals."
"Russian sources report that the US is trying to use the Kurds - who are fighting for their independence in Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran - as its main allies in removing the current regimes in Iraq, Syria, and Iran. Since the break-up of the USSR, Russia has retained quite a good network of secret services in the areas where Kurds live in these countries. According to sources in Russia's military intelligence services, the US has already recruited leaders of the Kurdish communists, and nearly finished financing projects to restore landing strips in these districts. Weapons produced in the Soviet Union and in Russia, familiar to the Kurds, have now been purchased for them."