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America Under Attack: Washington Seeks Support For Response Attack

Aired September 13, 2001 - 04:39   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RALITSA VASSILEVA, CNN ANCHOR: The Tuesday's devastating attacks came against the wealthiest, best defended country in the world only added to the shock and amazement. Though the United States blazes its own trail in international diplomacy, Washington is now courting support for any possible response against the perpetrators.

Andrea Koppel reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With much of the nation focused on the tragedy at home, Secretary of State Colin Powell set his sights overseas, talking the helm in U.S. diplomatic efforts to build international support against terrorism.

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: We're building a strong coalition to go after these perpetrators but more broadly, to go after terrorism wherever we find it in the world. It's a scourge not only against the United States but against civilization and it must be brought to an end.

KOPPEL: Ten years ago as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War, then General Powell helped build the coalition against Iraq, but this time the victim is the United States and the enemy still unknown.

Nevertheless, Powell has already begun to lay the groundwork for an eventual military retaliation in phone calls with leaders in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Russia. Powell also reached out to the European Union as well as the Arab League, United Nations and the NATO Military Alliance, which, for the first time in its history Wednesday, invoked a clause in the NATO charter obligating all members to assist if one is attacked.

RICHARD HOLBROOKE, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: It's like dropping a stone in the middle of a pond and you have ripples rippling out and we start with ourselves, then we go to our closest allies in Europe through NATO and we show the world that this time there are none of the usual divisions between us and the Europeans in regard to this region.

KOPPEL: Secretary Powell also sent stern warnings to Pakistan, a neighbor and supporter of Afghanistan's Taliban militia, accused of harboring suspected terrorist Osama bin-Laden. The message: The U.S. expects complete cooperation in finding those responsible for Tuesday's attacks.

(on camera): Next week, Powell plans to send his deputy to Moscow for a special meeting with Russian officials on Afghanistan. Secretary Powell working every possible diplomatic angle, telling the international community, in the words of one aide, "you're either with us or against us."

Andrea Koppel, CNN, at the State Department.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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