(CNSNews.com) - President Bush's labeling of Iraq, Iran and North Korea as the "axis of evil" continues to generate much controversy in the United States and with America's allies and adversaries around the world. But former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger thinks Bush was right on the mark.
"I don't know that if I had written the speech I would have used those exact words," but "President Bush raised a correct issue," he said.
Kissinger pointed to countries that use "weapons of mass destruction against their own people and against their neighbors," as well as countries that use assassinations, terrorism, and practice hostage taking. "And then they get into weapons of mass destruction and have no domestic institutions to restrain them," he added.
"Can you then wait until something has happened or should we take some pre-emptive or preventive action," Kissinger asked during a question and answer session with members of Washington's National Press Club Tuesday.
"I think this is an important question. And the reaction of some of our allies has been psychiatric. They keep analyzing our motives and they don't answer the question, and that question must be dealt with," he said.
"If biological warfare or chemical warfare," Kissinger believes, "or crude nuclear warfare is permitted to spread, we have a problem of international proportions."
Kissinger joked about a lengthy opinion piece he wrote about the "axis of evil" in Tuesday's Washington Post. "I know what makes my articles exciting is that you may not know until the last sentence what the point is," he said.
Bush made the "axis of evil" comment during a recent State of the Union speech.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called Bush's comments "a big mistake."
"First of all they (Iran, Iraq and North Korea) are very different from each other," Albright said in an interview with BBC Radio.
North Korea's Central News Agency said the United States had become a terrorist target because of Bush.
The foreign ministry spokesman said the Sept. 11 attacks and scandals such as the collapse of the U.S. energy giant Enron were "entirely attributable to the unilateral and self-opinionated foreign policy, political immaturity and moral leprosy of the Bush administration."
See Earlier Story:
Kissinger Says China Not a Communist Country (March 5, 2002)
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