Tags: Koch: | Give | Terrorist | Nations | Ultimatum

Koch: Give Terrorist Nations Ultimatum

Monday, 17 September 2001 12:00 AM

Koch also praised the job President Bush is doing, calling his conduct "magnificent" -- as he criticized some media outlets for sniping at the President.

In an interview with NewsMax.com today, New York City’s leading elder statesman said the United States should say to each of those states, "Here is a list of terrorists that we’ve identified that you have in your country. You either deliver them to us for trial within the next five days, or get ready for us because we will destroy several of your major cities.”

If it comes to that, Koch would say that if the terrorist states refuse the U.S. demand, "then tell your people to get out of those cities because we will be destroying them in the next five days, and we’d like to see the least number of civilian casualties.”

The man who served as the city’s mayor (1977 – 1989) and before that, a congressman (1968-1977) endorsed Vice President Cheney’s statement on NBC’s "Meet The Press” Sunday that the U.S. get back to the recruitment of human spies, an effort that was emasculated during the Clinton presidency.

Koch says the United States will have to pay people to betray their terrorist friends in the fundamentalist Muslim world. You can’t fight that kind of intelligence battle any other way, he cautioned.

"It’s very hard for us to infiltrate a cell made up of Muslims, who converse with one another, not only in Arabic or Farsi — and there are not too many Americans who can do that - but also joining in a cell [with people of that ilk] that they have known for years.”

Some analysts have said effective, credible spies are not found among those whose revulsion goes to the question of "Who wants to get in a sewer with rats?”

If the answer to that question is 'other rats', as Koch clearly believes, then we will have to "pay for the information, pay millions of dollars to people who would be willing to betray their cell members and give us the information - That’s what I think we will ultimately have to do, and to use countries ... to do exactly that.”

While saying he hopes Pakistan keeps its word and cooperates with U.S. efforts to get at the terrorists, he adds, "There are questions about that.”

As far as Koch is concerned, the mid-90s policies of not dealing with unsavory characters or those without a "clean” record on human rights were "stupid.”

"That’s all over with and people [now] realize how stupid that is. Wouldn’t we be better off if we had assassinated bin Laden?”

Speaking of which: The respected New York political veteran advocates rescinding the Ford-era executive order.

"Of course, we should be able to attack terrorists. It’s called preventative action.”

As for those who say there are ways a determined leader can get around that executive order, Koch’s response is, "Why shouldn’t they [simply] rescind the order?”

Those in the media who took cheap shots at President Bush the day of the attacks should be "excoriated,” the three-term mayor believes. Specifically, his ire is directed at those who chided the president for taking a security-mandated circuitous route back to Washington from Florida the day of the attacks.

"I think the president is doing a magnificent job,” he adds, "There are people who say, ‘Oh, he should have come to New York’ when New York was under attack, and there were threats of bombings.

"That’s outrageous. Would it have been helpful to this country to have him assassinated? I believe the people, the security people did the right thing” by heeding Vice President Cheney who told them to "get the president to a safe place” after which he was returned to Washington.

President Bush’s Friday visit with the workers at the site of the destroyed World Trade Center gets nothing but praise from Koch.

In fact, his advice to Bush is to "stay the course, do what you’re doing.” By having "stood up and marshal[led] the military forces of this country” and coordinated support from countries in Europe, Asia and elsewhere, the president has passed the leadership test with flying colors.

Koch believes the talk about the president’s sometimes so-called "inarticulate” speech is totally irrelevant.

"Eisenhower, when he became president was not the most articulate person. The most articulate person was Ronald Reagan. And even there, the critics attacked his intelligence, and it was ridiculous, and I said so at the time.”

Just as Ronald Reagan proved his mettle by being elected and re-elected Governor of California, so too did George W. Bush when he was elected and re-elected as Governor of Texas. And you don’t do that unless "you have the intelligence” required.

A Democrat who has occasionally backed Republicans, but supported Gore in the 2000 campaign, the former mayor takes issue with his fellow party members who snipe at Bush, saying they should realize "the election is over.”

"Now tell the truth,” he said to one woman who disputed the wisdom of rallying around the president in this time of crisis, "You can’t accept the fact that he won the election.”

Koch also gives high marks to New York City’s Mayor Rudy Guiliani, with whom he agrees "substantively,” adding the catastrophe "has brought out not only the leadership qualities, which he always had, but also ... the sensitivity which should have been there the last eight years. It is now there.”

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Koch also praised the job President Bush is doing, calling his conduct magnificent -- as he criticized some media outlets for sniping at the President. In an interview with NewsMax.com today, New York City's leading elder statesman said the United States should say to...
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Monday, 17 September 2001 12:00 AM
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