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September 12, 2001


Global media gave blanket coverage to terrorist attacks in New York and Washington

Global media gave blanket coverage to terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.  Initial editorial reaction in the European, Asian, African, Canadian and Latin American press was elegiac in tone, reflecting horror, condemnation and shock at “an act of war” perpetrated against "the most potent symbols" of U.S. power.  Many suggested that September 11, 2001 will go down in the annals of history as the day that terrorism emerged as "the primary menace" to global security.  Some, particularly in the Arab world, saw U.S. policy as playing a role in triggering the attacks.  For many, the key question was "how the U.S. will react," as editorials cautioned against a precipitant military response by Washington.  Themes follow: 


EUROPE:  Commentators in major NATO capitals agreed that "the free world," and not just the U.S., was attacked yesterday.  They called for "transnational" solidarity and for European Allies to "stand shoulder to shoulder" with the U.S. in fighting terrorism.  "We are all Americans" headlined an Italian paper.  "From Brussels to Moscow, West closes ranks with U.S.," bannered Paris's centrist La Tribune.  Many likened Bush's challenge to those faced by FDR after Pearl Harbor and JFK during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  British, French, Belgian and Spanish dailies urged caution in America's response, arguing that Washington should avoid both "hasty" military retaliation and the "temptation" to "retreat behind Fortress America."  "Those who committed such a terrible crime must be hunted down and punished--with determination, but also with calm," asserted a Belgian daily.  "Even in its agony, America must stay cool," declared London's liberal Guardian, adding that "unilateralism, even a growing siege mentality, [are] to be avoided at all costs." 


Observers in other NATO and non-NATO countries also expressed their deep sorrow and dismay, remarking on the unprecedented nature of the attacks.  No one believed the U.S. would not--or should not--respond.  There was some divergence in opinion, however, on "how" Washington should go about answering the terrorists.  More conservative outlets in Denmark, Iceland, The Netherlands and Poland were the most strident in emphasizing that "no cause can justify such a deed" and that the world must expect and support a decisive and strong hit against terrorism.  They called on the world--especially European Allies--to "demonstrate solidarity with the U.S."  Several saw in Tuesday's tragedies a vindication of Bush's proposal for missile defense.  Other commentators in Albania, Bulgaria, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Portugal and Slovenia--while equally appalled and convinced that there must be a response--were more intent on urging a cautious U.S. approach.  They hoped that America will "seek to identify the roots of the events"--and, via a "multilateral" approach--respond accordingly.  For these pundits, the horrors yesterday only proved that MD is a system out of step with the real dangers facing America.


MIDEAST:  After expressing horror and sorrow, Israeli editorialists saw their own country's fight with terrorism writ large in yesterday's suicide attacks.  Asserting that "the New York and Washington scenes will now open the eyes of many people," writers contended that "Tuesday's attack was the price that the democratic nations have paid because they accepted terrorism as a legitimate means of warfare."  All hoped that the carnage would spur the free world "to make war, together, on terrorism."  


Arab writers generally condemned the terror and offered their condolences to the victims, but at the same time many writers asserted or implied that America's foreign policy had "made the U.S. a target for terrorist organizations that are...growing inside and outside America."  The Trade Center and Pentagon explosions were repeatedly compared to and contrasted with attacks upon the Palestinian and Iraqi peoples.  While one Jordanian writer declared that "no one can accept that innocent American civilians be the victims of vengeance," another speculated that the terrorists acted "not out of thirst for blood and killing innocent people, but because they want to remind the American people of their own suffering.”  Editorials warned against jumping to conclusions as to the perpetrators' identity and worried that the U.S. would experience anti-Arab or anti-Muslim backlash.    


EAST ASIA:   While acknowledging the scale of yesterday's attacks as "no less than Pearl Harbor," available commentary from China--and Malaysia's Chinese-language Nanyang Siang Pau--nonetheless saw the events as "partially attributable" to the Bush administration's "aggressive foreign policy."  Dailies in Hong Kong S.A.R., Singapore, Taiwan and Kuala Lumpur's English-language Star, in contrast, denounced the "evil infamy" and urged the world to cooperate with the U.S. in combating terrorism.


SOUTH ASIA:  Not surprisingly, editorials from major subcontinent players India and Pakistan differed starkly in their takes on the events.   Some dailies in Pakistan voiced sympathy with "highly desperate," "extremely hopeless" people who are driven to such acts.  Others feared that the U.S., "influenced by the Jewish lobby and extremist circles," might launch an attack against Afghanistan.  In India, while the nationalist Hindustan Times saw Osama bin Laden as "virtually the only suspect," centrist papers were less apt to jump to conclusions, stating simply that "terrorism must be fought wherever it occurs" for the sake of the "survival of mankind."


AFRICA:  Papers across Africa condemned the "sheer madness" of the "ghastly" attacks, and expressed "shared pain" and solidarity with Americans.  In the face of the "unthinkable" horror, dailies in South Africa, Kenya, Cameroon, Malawi, Nigeria and Zambia urged the superpower to exercise restraint in its response.  In South Africa, a centrist daily cautioned that "the decisions President Bush takes in the next hours and days can determine whether the world will be plunged into a war of terrorism or not." 


WEST HEM.:  Writers in Latin America and Canada initially registered widespread disbelief that the U.S. as the world's "greatest military and economic power" was "vulnerable" as never imagined.  Many reasoned that the incident had proven--in the words of Toronto's leading Globe and Mail--that "power can never be absolute."  The prevailing sentiment was that something profoundly inexplicable had happened and most lamented that "the world would never be the same."  Supporters rallied behind the U.S., expressed outrage at the terrorists' "contempt" for life, and braced for an "inevitable" U.S. retaliation.  Solidarity with the U.S., however, was not without some reservations.  A writer for Monterrey's leading El Norte chided, the U.S. should "learn a lesson in humility" from the episode, in that "superiority cannot allow arrogance and unilateral action."  While most agreed that the incident was an act of war that warranted a decisive response, they nevertheless beseeched caution, echoing Santiago's paper-of-record El Mercurio's advice: "It is crucial that the U.S. control its desire for revenge."  Worried that the Bush administration would use the "terrorism phantom" to buttress support for MD, writers in Canada, Argentina and Brazil, regarded such a strategy as a futile deterrent to any determined act of terrorism.


Note:  Commentary from some posts was not available due to Embassy drawdowns. 


EDITORS:  Katherine Starr, Stephen Thibeault, Kathleen Brahney, Diana McCaffrey, Irene Marr

EDITOR'S NOTE:  This survey is based on 109 reports from 50 countries, September 12.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date. 




BRITAIN:  “The Consequences Of Terror”


The independent Financial Times editorialized (9/12):  “The American republic has suffered the most infamous act of aggression since Japanese warplanes bombed Pearl Harbor....  Theirs is nothing less than an act of war....  The broader impact of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. mainland will be to recast the debate about the nature of security.  A handful of suicide bombers brought the world’s sole superpower to a standstill in a few hours.   The effect on the national psyche is hard to exaggerate....  There is no time for point-scoring about the merits of national missile defense.  Mr. Bush insists it is the answer to threats from rogue states.  At the very least, the ease with which this rogue group penetrated U.S. defenses should force a rethink.  Mr. Bush should also review his policy towards the Middle East....  The administration’s hands-off approach and its tolerance of...Sharon’s hardline has encouraged extremists across the region looking for any excuse to demonize Americans.  As commander-in-chief, Mr. Bush should first pause.  He should establish the facts, acting with allies around the world.  He should consider the timing and targets of military action.  He should also recognize that yesterday’s outrages were a calculated effort to force America to withdraw from the world.  This must not happen.  The United States now needs international support and the world needs U.S. engagement.  There must be no retreat behind a Fortress America.”


“Terror For All”


An editorial in the conservative Times judged (9/12):  “The United States, its allies and the civilized world are at war today against an enemy which, while undeclared, is as well organized and as ruthless as any that a modern state has confronted....  The impact on the American mind, on America’s sense of itself and of its duty to others is as yet incalculable.  The new truths of a changed world have yet to be seen.  The American dream itself was the target of yesterday’s coordinated and deadly terrorist attacks on the most potent symbols of Western political, commercial and military power....  George W. Bush finds himself trying out John F. Kennedy's shoes in circumstances that would test the most mature of politicians.  He has fewer obvious courses of action open to him than did that other young and still untried president in 1962, when he was confronted by the Cuban missile crisis.  The question for Mr. Bush is how most effectively to retaliate.  The aim must not merely be to punish but to extinguish the threat.  The that there is not single stroke that will slay these invisible enemies, no one riposte that will 'take out' this threat....  Where there is proof against an individual, group or country, America should take robust military action.  But haste brings dangers not merely of hitting the wrong target but of making the dangers worse.  It is important to avoid doing anything that would make life for any more difficult for moderate Arab governments whose unfeigned horror at what has happened is dictated as much by anxieties about the impact on their own publics as it is by common humanity....


"Bush’s second care is to ensure that this disaster does not turn Americans in on themselves.  Never has there been less good reason; but not for a long time will the temptation have been so great.  This disaster has, in the most appalling and unwanted circumstances of national catastrophe, vindicated Mr. Bush’s longstanding argument that the end of the Cold War has not ended the threats to American security.  It underpins his strategic case for missile defense.  These suicide bombers have proved his point about America’s vulnerability.  They prove, too, however that missile only part of a strategy....  The response cannot be retreat.  This carnage has shown that there can be no retreat that does not add to danger.  This attack was, as Tony Blair says, not against America alone but part of a battle between terrorism and the entire free world which can be met only be standing shoulder to shoulder."


“The Sum Of  All Our Fears”


The liberal Guardian commented (9/12):  “To those many, still unknown numbers of Americans who died yesterday, to those who were injured, and to those who will suffer the consequences of this mass murder for the rest of their lives, we offer our deep sympathy.  To those who carried out these cowardly attacks, we offer only our contempt--and the heartfelt conviction that Britain and the British people...will do all in their power to assist the American government in finding those who are responsible.  The United States, its government, and its people did not deserve this.  For this day of carnage and tears there can be no justification or excuse.  The moment of collapse will be remembered for years to come as the moment when international terrorism became, without question, the primary menace to global security....  Once again, the lesson was clear.  Suicidal terrorism against civilian targets is all but unstoppable… Two immediate dangers arise.  One is that, wounded, bewildered, and convinced that the world is its enemy, America will draw back into itself.  Too often in recent months, the United States has seemed at odds with its friends and partners on a range of issues, big and small.  But an even greater unilateralism, even a growing siege mentality, is to be avoided at all costs.  It would be a victory for the terrorists.  Likewise, American over-reaction, especially of the military variety, must be guarded against.  The temptation right now is to make somebody pay.  And pay...and pay...and pay.  Take a deep breath, America.  Keep cool.  And keep control."


FRANCE:  “The Pearl Harbor Effect”


Jacques Amalric opined in left-of-center Liberation (9/12):  “Today’s only superpower challenged and its military institution hit.…  A U.S. president forced for security reasons to accept the humiliation of not being able to return to Washington....  The horrifying magnitude of the attack is worse than the worst movie scenario.…  Bin Laden was last night one of the major suspects… If this is confirmed, we have a true declaration of war.  A challenge that the United States will undoubtedly take up.…  Yesterday’s drama will, for certain, give a radical twist to Bush's already isolationist policy.  We can expect a Pearl Harbor-type effect.  It can lead to the best or the worst, depending on the modus operandi chosen by President Bush: blind vengeance, before the end of the investigation, which will evidently point a finger at incredible lack of security, or extreme firmness directed at the guilty parties.  The choice will dictate America’s ability to mobilize, or not, transnational solidarity in the fight against terrorism.”


“A New War”


Jean de Belot held in right-of-center Le Figaro (9/12):  “War. Blind terrorist war....  Total, sophisticated and planned war.… In minutes, it demonstrated the mad determination of its instigators and the extraordinary fragility of the world’s number one technological, military and industrial superpower.… This is a new war against the West, a West that tries to impose its materialistic peace model and against which the only possible logical retort could be religious, fanatical and mad.… The enemy has reminded us it is there, ready to hit anywhere....  More proof for those who do not want to see that every Western capital is threatened.  The lesson is terrible and we don’t know whether it totally validates the U.S. president’s stand.  It would appear that the anti-missile shield is a valid weapon against fanatic regimes.  But other more technically simple systems can be implemented, even if they are politically more complicated to set in motion.  This is true for the United States, but also for all the nations called ‘little Satans,’ such as Europe.… Washington must of course retaliate. But how?”


“A Violated Sanctuary”


Philippe Mudry judged in centrist La Tribune (9/12):  “The United States is no longer a sanctuary. The proof lies with yesterday’s diabolical demonstration.  Politically, it changes everything.  It is going to force President Bush to react… What conclusions will he draw regarding his country’s vulnerability? The decisions he will make, the targets he will choose, the reassessment he will make of his foreign and domestic policies will upset the military and diplomatic landscape of this new century.  Everything will change, including on the economic level.… What will be the consequences of President Bush’s decision on global markets?  If developed countries want to rally the support they need across the planet, they will need new radical measures to combat the radicalization of today’s world.  But are they ready?”


ITALY:   “We Are All Americans” 


Managing editor Ferruccio De Bortoli commented on the front page of centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (9/12):  “We will never be able to forget the title chosen by the CNN for the most terrifying tragedy of our era--'America under attack.’  We will limit ourselves to correcting it.  The civilized world in its entirety was under attack....  We are all Americans.  Like George W. Bush, who has been put by unpredictable fate in a position that is even more difficult than the one faced by Roosevelt after Pearl Harbor....  The net of U.S. internal security was sensationally defeated.  The only superpower left discovers itself weak and confused in the era of internet and multimediality created by its own technology.  We are all Americans also as we look with a broken heart and growing anger at the disgraceful street demonstrations by Palestinians rejoicing vis-a-vis the images of the death of innocent civilians.  We are all Americans as we wonder about the real nature of the world we live in--the spectral and bloody world of these tragic hours or that of the longest era of prosperity and peace in history, that today seems to be fading amid the dust, red with blood, of the Towers of Manhattan.”


“The West Struck At Its Heart” 


Managing editor Ezio Mauro commented in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (9/12): “An inconceivable political tragedy that, for the first time, brought an act of war to American soil and fired a permanent hole in the missile defense shield project designed to protect the new isolationism of President George W. Bush.  This is the first act of a history we don’t know, since it sets up an invisible enemy of the West against the sudden vulnerability of the hegemonic world superpower.  What we know for sure is that yesterday’s events will change the course of our era....  What happened yesterday is unprecedented in the history of terrorism and was a real act of war against the United States....  This is a war.  Beginning yesterday, we must acknowledge the fact that terrorism is the new enemy of the West...  This is an anomalous war, so much so that we don’t even know who the enemy is, where he will attack next, which field he will choose for the battle, which weapons, which targets.  We only know that democracy is stronger as long as it remains itself, and that is why we want to defend it.”


“Worse Than Pearl Harbor”


Leading defense analyst Stefano Silvestri comments on the front page of leading business Il Sole-24 Ore (9/12):  “Yesterday’s attacks mark the beginning of the hour of truth for Europe and NATO and, more generally, for all the countries that have a relationship of alliance or friendship with the United States.  From all of them, the United States will not ask just for words of regret or human solidarity, but rather for concrete acts of collaboration.  It will ask them to pay the cost for the solidarity and protection that, for years, it has guaranteed against other enemies and other threats....  The United States yesterday faced, alone, one of the greatest and most cruel attacks in its history.  It must not feel or remain alone in dealing with the consequences and organizing and carrying out a counteroffensive.”


BELGIUM:  "A New Form Of War"


Chief editor Pierre Lefevre opined in left-of-center Le Soir (9/12):  "The world is flabbergasted, horrified and worried.  It is horrified by the appalling, inhuman, and unjustifiable violence of this attack against a big democratic nation.  Our emotion is huge, in keeping with the size of the human catastrophe.  We can only join the vast current of solidarity and of compassion for the American people which expressed itself immediately after the attacks.  Isn't it, beyond the United States, the civilization which we shared with it which is now being challenged?...  The world is worried because it discovers that the American giant...has feet of clay. The most sophisticated antimissile defense projects seem derisive faced with the determination of a few terrorists....  Those who committed such a terrible crime must be hunted down and punished.  With determination, but also with calm....  After yesterday's events, it is urgent to deeply rethink the question of world security --to rethink it together, at the level of democratic countries' alliances, and to rethink it both in political and social terms as well as military ones. This attack on civilization deserves a response worthy of this civilization."


"A War, Unfortunately"


Chief editor Jean-Paul Duchateau editorialized in independent La Libre Belgique (9/12):  "Tuesday, September 11, 2001, will be remembered as the day when previous terrorist attacks were mere skirmish and when terrorism really declared war to the world's biggest country, and when it knocked it down.  It is a new war -- a world war, perhaps, unprecedented because of its players and of its modus operandi -- which has probably begun....  We really hope that we are wrong, but this Tuesday, September 11, 2001, could mean the end of half a century of a new-- chaotic but constant -- new coexistence at the world level... If it were the case, those who, these last months, warned, without really being heard, that the conflict in the Middle East could spread out of the region would be tragically proven right."


"Horror And Disbelief"


Publisher/chief commentator Peter Vandermeersch maintained in independent Catholic De Standaard (9/12):  "Besides the horror there is disbelief.  There is the disbelief that the world's mightiest nation could be hit in its economic, political and military heart.  The most powerful, best-trained and best-equipped armed forces could not avert those attacks.  The most expensive intelligence service in history could not predict the attacks effectively.  The main question now is:  How will the United States react?  It is more than likely that its response will be vigorous, large-scale and without mercy.  The world cannot live under the sword of terrorism.  The perpetrators of these barbaric attacks must be held accountable rapidly.  The danger here is that--before the real perpetrators are known--the whole Arab world, without exception, will be suspected.  The images of dancing Palestinians in the streets will boost those feelings, particularly in the United States.  If Washington wants to avoid entanglement in a senseless spiral of violence, it is in its every interest to keep a cool head and to react in a selective manner."


SPAIN:  "A Blow Against Our Civilization"


Left-of-center El Pais commented (9/12): "It is a time to call for calm and to trust the ability of the world's first power and the allied defense system to deal with this indiscriminate attack....  The terrorist attack goes against the essence of our political civilization and proves the enormous contagious effect of conflicts such as that of Middle East....  The Bush administration must find the guilty parties, as Mr. Bush has promised to do, but the United States must resist the temptation to launch a counterattack unless it is certain about who is guilty or where the attack came from....  Bush will have to prove his leadership ability so that American society regains its self-confidence."


ALBANIA:  "Albanians Stand Next To The U.S."


Centrist, independent Shekulli opined (9/12):  "This is an aggression against world order, peace and democracy.  It is important to clearly demonstrate how different countries in the Western world, not always known for their agreement in the policy arena, now stand in solidarity. On one hand, this solidarity should become commonplace, yet in this instance it should aim at punishing the terrorists, distinguishing between these and the blind crowds who cheered in the middle of Jerusalem."


"Black Tuesday Not Only For America"


Top-circulation Koha Jone observed (9/12):  "After World War II, this Tuesday is the gravest not only for the American people, but also for the whole humanity.  Yesterday--Black Tuesday--marked the declaration of war, a frightful act of terror and a threat to worldwide and human security, which was unprecedented, unsurpassed and unbelievable....  The Talibans and Bin Ladens have as their goal the proclamation of a worldwide religious war, but they are not 'entitled' to this privilege, not only because they are defeated and have failed at their genesis, but also because they do not have the backup of the Arab nations, and Muslims, who like Christians, are directed towards peaceful coexistence, humanism and tolerance."


AUSTRIA:  "Cut To The Bone"


Chief editor Gerfried Sperl commented in liberal Der Standard (9/12):  "The current series of terrorist attacks on major American cities and on the United States' national sovereignty is the brutal reality of the 21st century.  And it is a terrible example that reveals the actual frontlines and the real weaknesses of an alleged superpower."




Chief editor Andreas Unterberger asserted in centrist Die Presse (9/12):  "In all probability, the United States is now going to focus on the Middle East with renewed attention. And they will not do that with heightened compassion and understanding, to put it mildly....  If the world fails to unite in its fight against terrorism now, if Pakistan--to name but one country--does not put a radical stop to Taliban logistics, if Europe returns too quickly to profiteering and business as usual, the stage is already set for the next round of attacks."


BULGARIA:  "America, Smash Them!"


Second-largest circulation 24 Chassa held (9/12):  "No matter who is the author of the biggest terrorist attack in human history he has to be severely punished without any delay. Demolishing the WTC is an act of the Satan. The whole world community has to condemn and punish those who are responsible. There should be no pardon for the inspirers of the bloodiest attack in human history. They are not people."


"Now The Major Question Is What America's Response Will Be"


Center-right Dnevnik commented (9/12): "Yesterday's tragedy showed that America is truly the country most endangered by terrorism in the world. America was not just wounded, it was hit in its heart. That's why the major question now is what America's response will be and hopefully it won't lose its reason after the tragedy."


DENMARK:  "Target U.S.A."


Left-wing Information judged (9/12):  "No missile shield could have safeguarded Bush against such a massive and inhuman attack....  It seems almost like a movie, but this was far from make believe--as CNN put it:  'This was the day that the America's luck ran out.'...  Current U.S. foreign policy can in no way justify the attack on Manhattan." 


"Attack On Freedom"


Center-right Jyllands-Posten stated (9/12):  "This was an open attack on the free world.  The attacks hit at the very heart of the free world....  We must demonstrate solidarity with the United

States....  The west must learn to defend itself.  If we do not, we will effectively be guilty of undermining democracy.  If freedom is not defended, it is worthless.  It would be fitting if Europe, that has so far expressed skepticism regarding MD, acknowledges this fact."


ESTONIA:  "A War Against People"


An editorial in the leading Postimees commented (9/12):  "Leaving beside the human tragedy, we can believe that the catastrophe in the United States will change the world more than any other international event in latest decades....  The U.S. missile defense plan may come under question--because it leaves hundreds of thousands people in the heart of the super-nation defenseless against terrorist attacks....  Certainly the Estonian prospects for getting into NATO are weaker, because U.S. foreign policy will be more isolated, and the world will be more nervous and more unstable.  Because the United States will deal with its own problems, Russia will get a freer hand in Europe and in Chechnya--Russia is always talking about fighting international terrorism there, in that context."


FINLAND:  "War On Terrorism Becoming Global"


Leading Helsingin Sanomat's lead editorial said (9/12):  "The most terrifying feature of the chain of events is its unprecedented combination of blind hatred, cool consideration, and organizational and technical skills.  Probably, these same reasons make it easier to solve the crimes.  Only a very few organizations could have done this, and the preparations must have left trace marks.  The United States will continue to hunt down the perpetrators until it feels it has evened the score.  But the United States should also seek to identify the roots of the events.  It should be remembered that no one should be incriminated on the basis of their religion or nationality, even if they are the same as those who turn out to have staged one of the worst terrorist acts in history."


GREECE:  "The Day After"


The lead editorial in independent, influential Kathimerini said (9/12):  "This time, reality went way beyond Hollywood's imagination.  The WTC twin towers, symbol of the U.S. economic strength and capitalism, collapsed.  Even more impressive was the strike against the U.S. Pentagon, the incomparable U.S. military headquarters.  The number of victims is expected to rise to unprecedented levels.  The image of the omnipotent and invulnerable superpower collapsed.  There is no doubt that the shock will not bend the Americans.  The United States is not only to launch a crusade against terrorism; it will proceed to strong retaliation against those who will be considered as instigators.  The United States will also attempt to restore its reputation through a crusade against terrorism.  A large number of democratic governments expressed their will to cooperate more actively in the fight against terrorism.  The day after is probably bringing a dramatic change in the global scene as it was until yesterday.  To what direction, we'll see."


"The Only Response To Terrorism"


In its lead editorial, (pro-government, anti-American) Eleftherotypia said (9/12):  "The unprecedented multiple terrorist attack against the United States shocked the entire word.  The global condemnation of such acts comes without hesitation, along with the pain for the thousands of victims.  The world is in agony after the multiple attack, as there is a fine line between insanity and arrogance.  The crucial question is how the U.S. leadership will react....  The United States leadership must realize that the best reaction is that of democratization of the world order, respect for international law, abandonment of arbitrary behavior or the law of the sheriff.  The answer to terrorism is always more democracy for all the peoples of the planet."


HUNGARY:  "Apocalypse Now"


Influential, liberal-leaning Magyar Hirlap's editorial stated (9/12):  "Obviously motivated by the shock of the moment, those views seem to have been proved that have said from the beginning, that there is only one possible behavior against terrorism:  to strike at it with full force.  However, a state of law and order can only judge in a way as befits law and order.  But just in the defense of the law, it cannot have any mercy."


ICELAND:  "Far-Reaching Act Of Cruelty"


Conservative Morgunbladid commented (9/12):  "The thoughts of people from all over the world are with the American people because of the horrible acts of terror committed yesterday....  No cause can justify such a deed, no matter how holy its followers believe the act to be....  Not only in the United States but also in other open and democratic societies who are vulnerable to attacks like this.  The threat that faces democratic nations because of terrorism is closer and more tangible then ever before....  The events in the United States will have a profound effect on how Western democracies define and defend their security....  It is possible that the horrible events yesterday will lead to louder demands in the United States for the Bush administration to revaluate their Middle East policies....   The United States is, because of their economic and military strength, in a key position to promote peace in the Middle-East and yesterdayÝs horrible events may not cause them to stop using that position.  It is rather a call for an increased effort by everybody to establish peace.          


IRELAND:  "Attack On America"


The liberal Irish Times observed (9/12):  "Ireland, like every other democratic state, feels the direct effects of this tragedy.  The deep and intimate relations built up  over many years with the US were eloquently made plain by  the Taoiseach, Mr Ahern and the President, Mrs McAleese,  in Dublin yesterday.  There will be great international sympathy and solidarity with the US government as it deals with the crisis....  To see such potent  symbols of American power attacked so boldly, openly and effectively is to realize how vulnerable modern societies are to  such terrorist assaults....   It is an extraordinary test of President George W. Bush's leadership qualities....  There are many questions to be asked about how these attacks could have happened, but Mr. Bush will have great  goodwill as he and his colleagues decide how to respond.  It is critically important that the Administration adopts a cooperative attitude, drawing fully on this international  goodwill, rather than rely only on their own immense military resources. That will mean working with allies and with the United Nations in pursuit of those responsible for yesterday's tragic deaths and in elaborating multilateral plans to tackle it on a global basis.  Such a choice would affirm the United States' leadership role by retrieving some of the goodwill eroded in the administration's recent unilateralist approaches  to environment and security issues. This is a highly sensitive issue, which will need careful handling by its friends and allies."




Conservative De Telegraaf  has this editorial (9/12):  "A cowardly terrorist attack at totally innocent people that asks for tough revenge and that will be avenged....  No country can accept that the symbol of its power, the Pentagon, and the symbols of its prosperity, the World Trade Center, be attacked so mercilessly and without a warning by unscrupulous people.  America became a different country after such a harsh attack.  Once an open country that took in immigrants and refugees from all over, that stood by the world in wars against barbarians, the United States now threatens to turn inwards.  That is another reason why the world has the duty to show the United States and the Americans that they have many friends who are standing by them during these dreadful times."


"The New Enemy"


Influential, liberal De Volkskrant opined (9/12):  "The European governments showed little understanding for American brainstorming about new enemies.  They did not participate in that brainstorming and only as a formality supported the U.S. preoccupation with potential global risks.  But after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Europeans have also stopped laughing....  A U.S. response seems not only inevitable but also justified."


POLAND:   "America Will Defend Democracy"


Rafal Ziemkiewicz commented in centrist Rzeczpospolita (9/12): "I believe in America. It is certain to defend its democracy and remain the paragon of a free country to the world, even though it may be at the cost of some restrictions to its democracy."


"This War is Against All of Us"


Pawel Fafara opined in right-of-center Zycie (9/12):  "This is not an attack on the United States.  The attacks on the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, and other American icons are, in fact, an attack on the whole civilized world--its standards, habits, and ethical code."


"Priceless Values"


Wojciech Pielecki wrote in leftist Trybuna (9/12): "It is very important that the civilized world is showing so much solidarity with America which has been hit so painfully. This solidarity may yield an efficient defense of the most cherished value--life in peace. And this is priceless."


PORTUGAL:  "Crime Against Humanity"


A back-page editorial in top-circulation, Porto-based, center-left Jornal de Notfcia held (9/12):  "There is no effort we can make that will allow us to understand what happened yesterday in the United States.  Suicide attacks, or a pact among extremist nations, have perpetrated a true crime against humanity....  It wasn't even America that was attacked, but all of Western civilization that, having the United States as its leading edge--and so often, unfortunately, as world cop--found itself hit at a fulcral point:  security, in the end, doesn't exist.  Without question, the future of humanity hangs upon the response to this act....  The reactions of American society and, in part, the voices of its European allies, will be responsible for defining the kind of response the United States adopts. Today, the civilized world is still stupefied by what happened.  And awaits what it will be told the New World will be.  Upon politicians with global responsibilities falls the obligation--ethical and civilizational--to review the fragile content of economic and social policies that fill up the trenches of misery, create extremist desperation, violence, hatred, and appeals for vengeance from those who feel marginalized by inadequate policies."


"Invisible Enemies"


Deputy editor-in-chief Nuno Pacheco editorialized in influential, center-left Público (9/12):  "This proves that the United States, if it wants to survive in this new world of wars waged on the battlefields of the purest terror, not only must better understand the real weight of the conflicts with which it is dealing (the Middle East in particular), but also agree to cooperation with the other democracies in order to restore a minimum of human dignity in a world where barbarism threatens to rule....  The truth is that...the world will never be the same.  And none of us will have any reason in the future to be proud of that."


SLOVENIA:  "A Day Unlike Any Other"


Left-of-center Delo held in a front page editorial (9/12):  "There has not been a day in the history  of the United States like today....  The Americans know that they are a prestigious target for all those who dream about retaliation and revenge in their cellars and bunkers throughout the world. It is prestigious also because it is such a well-protected country, so secure and far away from the origin of attacks.  Until today, official America was afraid of rockets.  The Bush administration risked domestic disputes and a crisis in its relations with the allies in order to [introduce the Missile Defense system] which would protect the country from phantom flying weapons which would come from distant countries.  As it is, innocent civilian aircraft flying on domestic flights were transformed into weapons.  The Americans will have to think again about what danger is and how to defend themselves."


SWEDEN:  "Solidarity With America"


Conservative Svenska Dagbladet editorialized (9/12):  "The America haters around the world gloated on Tuesday.  Now all apprehensions of terrorist attacks, which have been ridiculed in the public debate as unrealistic fantasies, particularly from Leftist quarters, now have come true.  But this reality now has come.  On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, world history took a leap into an uncertain void....  Those of us who are not American haters now shall give our thoughts to the Americans who have suffered a heavy loss....  The attack on them is an attack also on us.  The outrage is aimed against open societies worldwide, and seldom ever since WWII, the word solidarity is so proper and so suitable to use as it is today....  For a short while the terrorists can rejoice over the damage that they have caused to the world, but soon enough they will find that it is much more difficult to kill the ideas of freedom that constitute the American society."


"An Attack Against The Free World"


Liberal tabloid Expressen editorialized (9/12):  "Disregarding who will in the end be found guilty, the democracies of the world should regard this outrage aimed also against them. The attack did not only hit the USA, but also some of the symbols of the free world; world trade and the U.S. defense forces.  Today we are all Americans, not only in the role as shocked TV viewers, but also as democrats."




ISRAEL:  "Terror Without Borders"


Independent Ha'aretz commented (9/12): "The terrible terrorist attack that was unleashed on the U.S. Tuesday was not directed against the U.S. Administration, nor against its policies in this or that part of the world. It was an attack planned by people who want to destroy a whole system of values, in effect all that the civilization of 'the West' represents--liberty, democracy, economic power, and military capability....  The price America has paid and pays for its determination [to fight terrorism] is done in the name of all freedom-loving countries, including Israel, which are not ready to bow their heads before extremists who enlist God to justify their murderous activities....  The citizens of the U.S., in any case, are not alone on this terrible day.   Those who believe in its values stand by their side to strengthen America in this uncompromising war against terrorism."


"The New Nazis"


Chief economic editor Sever Plotker wrote in mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (9/12):  "For almost one year, Israel has withstood a cruel terrorist offensive on its own.  Israel's sometimes excessive responses have been greatly criticized in the world and have been met by a good deal of misunderstanding and a lack of empathy.  The New York and Washington scenes will now open the eyes of many people....  The U.S., Britain, France and other Western countries will now do their moral stocktaking as to what they did or did not do to eliminate terrorism and to contain it....  We, the Israelis, will tell them sorrowfully and with a feeling of a shared fate: 'We told you so.  We told you that the answer to terrorism is not conciliating with it, resigning oneself to it, nor attempting to understand it--but uniting fronts in the relentless fight to eliminate it.  There can be no peace with terrorism."


"America's Yom Kippur"


Senior columnist Yoel Marcus wrote in a page one commentary in Ha'aretz (9/12):  "This day will be remembered as America's Yom Kippur, its Black September....  It seemed last night that the source of the attack was Islamic fundamentalism that has turned suicide into an infectious disease.  After yesterday, every last American will understand the meaning of Israel's ongoing battle against terrorism, against suicide-bombers, and against those who send them out on their missions of mayhem.  Tuesday's attack was the price that the democratic nations have paid because they accepted terrorism as a legitimate means of warfare.  Perhaps it will spur them now to make war, together, on terrorism.  Tuesday it was a passenger plane.  Tomorrow it might be a nuclear bomb."


"This Far And No Further"


Senior columnist Nahum Barnea wrote in Yediot Aharonot (9/12): "Irrespective of the question of who is responsible for these terrorist attacks, their horrific results oblige the West to begin an all-out war against terrorism, including a war against any country or political entity aiding terrorism.  That is the message Israel will bring to the world.  It appears that this time the world will listen."


"The New Evil Empire"


Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (9/12):  "As we look with horror at the devastating attacks on the U.S., the hearts of all Israelis are with the American people.  Even we Israelis, who have been battling a wave of terrorism for almost a year, have trouble fathoming what has befallen tens of thousands of innocent people in America.  We are sickened, once again, by scenes of Palestinians dancing in the streets, this time celebrating the deaths of Americans.  We [Israelis] have trouble fathoming the hatred directed at us, so we can only imagine the bafflement and pain of Americans attempting to contemplate the baseless hatred directed at them....  There is a new 'evil empire'--the empire of terror....  The U.S. should demand that the [UN] Security Council use the strongest measures in its arsenal--mandatory 'Chapter 7' sanctions--against any nation that supports international terrorism....  Terrorism is a global scourge that must be fought globally.  Until now, the democracies have fiddled with and indulged the states where terrorism has been cultivated and grown.  America's goal should be, one way or another, to defeat or remove the regimes that have declared war against her.  If the democracies do not unite to defend themselves, our world will become as tragically unrecognizable as the New York skyline."


"A New World"


Editor Gonen Ginat wrote in a page one article in nationalist Hatzofe (9/12):  "This morning we are waking up to a new world, different from the one we knew.  A world at war.  Many things will no longer be as they were....  On Tuesday, the free world suffered the worst blow it ever received, but it could also be a new beginning.  The determination that has not been seen thus far in the war against fundamentalist terrorism will now be activated.  Simply because there is no other choice.  What happened yesterday is unlike any terrorism we have been through.  Tuesday's death toll of the terror attacks will probably rise higher than the number of all the fallen soldiers in all of Israel’s wars since the establishment of the state.  It is true we are a smaller nation, but this immense scale is significant.  It is different.  And despite this, terrorism unites us all. On Tuesday, all of us, the free world, became the family of terrorism.  And as of this morning the entire western world, all of us, have to be

 a fighting family."


WEST BANK:  Media Treatment


Palestinian dailies dedicated their frontpages and many of the inside pages on the attacks with wire stories, analyses and pictures of the destruction.  The Palestinian press highlighted Chairman Arafat’s condemnation of the attacks and quoted him as saying that “what happened in American was a crime against humanity.” The dailies also spotlighted the Palestinian leadership statement condemning the “criminal incident.” Also highlighted on the front pages was the condemnation and denying of any involvement by the Palestinian factions. The papers published excerpts of the factions’ statements of condemnation, including those issued by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PFLP, DFLP, and Fateh.  




Independent, moderate Al-Quds editorialized (9/12):  “What happened in the cities of New York and Washington yesterday is considered a disaster by all measures.  There are major losses in lives and property, which will no doubt have negative impact on the U.S. economy.  But away from all of the emotional implications, these human losses, as well as all the other losses, add to the anguish even more because America is a blend of many nationalities.  Millions of Arabs, Muslims, and Palestinians live in the U.S.  They work hard to earn their living and to live a peaceful life.  Such violent incidents touch them in the core because of the preconceptions, prejudgments and unjustified accusations against them with or without any proof of involvement.  There is no doubt that there are some parties who want to exploit the regretful bombings to cause more splits between U.S. citizens and the Palestinian, Arab and Islamic communities there....


“Even with the major differences in positions and viewpoints between the U.S. the Arab and Islamic world, especially in relation to the Palestinian cause, matters should never reach to the point of targeting civilians to such a blind violence....  At a time when the entire world is condemning these attacks, the U.S. government and the American people are expected, especially at this time of crisis, to show maximum self-restraint and patience and to avoid all preconceptions and prejudgments and wait to see the outcome of the investigations."


JORDAN:  “Condolences To The American People”


Mohammad Subeihi wrote in independent, mass-appeal Al-Arab Al-Yawm (9/12):  “Whatever injustice was suffered by people at the hands of the U.S. foreign policy and whoever was responsible for the attacks against the American institutions, no one can accept that innocent American civilians be the victims of vengeance.  As we, Arabs and Muslims, had raised our voices against Israeli terrorism directed at the Palestinian people, we also denounce the fact that the American people be the victims of terrorism.  We also realize that the American people, now fallen to grief, will find the chance to review its administrations’ policy that has made the U.S. a target for terrorist organizations that are increasingly growing inside and outside America.”


“The Malicious Instigation Against Arabs And Muslims”


Center-left, influential Al-Dustour (9/12) editorialized:  “We are shocked at the horrific events witnessed in a number of American states.  However, we realize that some parties are already pointing the finger at Arabs and Muslims, with no evidence whatsoever, holding them responsible for the attacks for which no one declared responsibility yet....    We strongly denounce the attacks against civilians and innocent people.  We offer our condolences to the families of the victims.  We also warn against any attempt to take advantage of this tragic situation to put the blame on the Arabs and the Muslims.”


“The Horrific Incident And The Zionist Media”


Columnist George Haddad declared in center-left, influential Al-Dustour (9/12):  “The horror of this disaster does not justify in any way whatsoever the fact that Zionist-controlled media have already started to point fingers of accusations.  In every crime situation, there are targets and motives and in this case, everything is possible....   This does not mean that the Arabs and Muslims are above suspicion.  There might have been among them those who would have desired to be the perpetrators of these attacks, not out of thirst for blood and killing innocent people, but because they want to remind the American people of their own suffering at the hands of the Zionist politicians.”


SYRIA:  Media Treatment


Syrian government-owned Al-Ba'th and Al-Thawra, the only newspapers to appear (9/12) reported in full detail the terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington, and carried pictures of all explosions.  Al-Ba'th described yesterday as "a black Tuesday in the U.S." and described the explosions as "unprecedented in modern history."  Both newspapers carried a statement by an authoritative Syrian media source that condemned the assaults and expressed Syria's sympathy with the American people and families of the victims....  Syrian newspapers also reported statements of condemnation and condolences issued by Arab and foreign heads of states.


Selected headlines (9/12): government-owned Al-Ba'th - "Syria denounces the destructive assaults and expresses sympathy with the American people";   "World states condemn the assaults and extend condolences to the American people and the families of the victims" government-owned Al-Thawra - "A black Tuesday in the U.S.   Civilian planes demolish vital centers in New York and Washington. Huge losses are reported.  A high state of alert is declared.  America is isolated from the world"


BAHRAIN:  "No Justifying Killing Thousands Of Innocent People"


A front-page editorial in semi-official Al-Ayam stated (9/12):  "No reason can justify such horrifying actions and the killing of thousands of innocent people.  No goal can justify the hell and destruction which America faced yesterday....  However, the shock should not lead to distributing accusations here and there.  There are many suspected organizations and we must not forget what radical rightists in the United States did in Oklahoma....  While we condemn this mad violence, we remind everyone of the importance of reaching an international understanding to combat terrorism so that peace prevail in all parts of the world."


"A Greater Tragedy Than The American Attacks On Iraq"


Ali Saleh declared in semi-independent Akhbar Al-Khalij (9/12):  "No matter how deeply involved in local issues we are, we, the journalists, cannot neglect the horrible incident that happened in America....  What happened yesterday was a tragedy that is greater than the tragedies resulting from the continuous raids by American fighters against Iraq...the attacks on Libya...the F-16s bombarding Palestinian houses and American-made Apache helicopters hunting Palestinian leaders.  It is a horrible tragedy for which I have to express my sadness and sorrow and give my warmest condolences to President Bush and the American people hoping that they learn something from what happened."


"America Eats The Bread She Baked"


Hafedh Al-Shaikh argued in semi-independent Akhbar Al-Khalij (9/12):  "The U.S. now is eating a little piece from the bread which she baked and fed to the world for many decades, thinking that God has given her the History [immunity] forever and that this situation will never change until the [day of resurrection.]"


LEBANON:  "Regrettable"


Faisal Salman observed in Arab nationalist As-Safir (9/12):  "The nature of these attacks cannot hide the feelings of animosity that led to this disaster....  This kind of hostility...reflects the level of hatred and despair towards the U.S.  The identity of those responsible will not be known quickly because the enemies of the U.S. form a long list....  Regrettably, Americans will quickly classify those responsible as follows: Arabs, Radicals, Muslims, then others....  The real problem is: what if those responsible for these attacks are really Arab Muslim radicals?"


"Has World War III Begun?"


Aouni Al-Kaaki editorialized in pro-Syria Ash-Sharq (9/12):  "America could have expected this tragedy if it had only realized that there is no area in the world that had not suffered as a result of its policies and lethal weapons....  America tasted suffering yesterday...after it had forced many nations to enter hell....  The mere fact that Muslims and Arabs are being accused of the attacks means that there is someone who would benefit from accusing Arabs and Muslims....  Who has the capability to reach the Pentagon, the Congress, and the State Department?  Why weren't the American defense systems activated around the Pentagon?  Is it possible that the CIA had no idea about those plans?  What about the local mafia in the U.S.?"


"Tragedy Might Make For Opportunity"


The English language Daily Star editorialized (9/12):  "It can be difficult for Arabs to see past U.S. policy and appreciate America's qualities.  But on Tuesday they were the centerpiece of a sad but proud display.  Apart from measures taken to ensure the security of the country's senior leadership, the tragedy was handled with admirable openness and surprisingly little venom.  If the pundits were right and Osama bin Laden or someone like him is responsible, that person should not be allowed to hijack U.S. policy vis-a-vis the Middle East.  On the contrary, it should prompt a renewed American resolve to understand the region and to help redress the inequities that prevail here....  In the long run, this could actually help America and all parties in the Middle East by causing them to see that they in fact have a common interest in achieving a fair and comprehensive peace that portends a better life for Arabs and Israelis alike....  America has been made to know the suffering that so many other countries understand all too well."


SAUDI ARABIA:  "It Is Terrorism"


Abha-based moderate Al-Watan stated (9/12):  "Terrorism knows no time, no place, no title, no direction.  It strikes everywhere, and it is always innocent people who pay the price.... Terrorism must be condemned, whatever its source and whatever its goal. Terrorism is terrorism whether it is with bombs, explosives, planes, cars, cannons, or missiles. Terrorism from the religious and human point of view clashes with all principles and thoughts, which control our world, whether those who are behind it are organizations, individuals, or states.... The global community must stand together to stop all kinds of terrorism and must secure innocent civilians and nations from its danger. This demands preserving justice for everybody.  This is the only way we can fight terrorism."


"A Heinous Crime"


Pro-government, English language Saudi Gazette noted (9/12):  "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, as well as all Arab and Muslim countries, including the Palestinian Authority, have strongly condemned the terrorist attacks on vital centers inside the U.S.--branding such attacks as contrary to all religious values and civilized human norms.... The 'mastermind' behind this cowardly murderous devastation and sad loss of innocent human life has yet to be identified.... There is fear that some people will quickly jump to conclusions....  The main thing is not to hysterically single out any ethnic group without waiting for official word as to the identity of the perpetrators.... Tuesday's attacks on major American landmarks should awaken the world to join hands and fight all terrorists who thrive on their hatred of their fellow human beings....  Finally, we extend our sincere condolences to the families of all of the victims of these barbaric attacks."


"Terror In U.S."


The largest, English-language Arab News editorialized (9/12):  "It is too early to say who is to blame for these crimes against humanity...although many have linked them to Osama bin Laden....  But it is difficult to believe that bigger forces were not involved.  This seems too well organized to be purely the action of a group, no matter how well funded....  Once the finger of blame is pointed in whatever direction by the U.S., the consequences are going to be even more dreadful than the attacks.  The assaults were war against the U.S. and war will be the result....  Everyone knows that the Arab world is locked in a struggle with Washington over its support of Israel and its arrogant attitude toward Arabs and Muslims....  So it would be easy and tempting, at a public level, to jump to the conclusion that there is a Middle East connection....  But with all of that, if there is a Middle East connection, one can only hang one's head in despair.  Whatever the resentments, this has to have been an insane--and ultimately doomed--way to combat Washington."


TUNISIA:  "The U.S. In Shock"


Editor-in-chief, Chokri Baccouche wrote in independent French-language Le Quotidien  (9/12):  "This tragedy shows clearly that the U.S. itself is not protected from such attacks that could happen any time in any place.  Despite its military power and its anti-missile program, America stays vulnerable whenever the danger comes from the inside.  It is no doubt that these acts of terrorism should be condemned, whatever the aim and objectives of terrorism are, it is always considered as a strongly condemnable act.  At the same time, we should admit that the U.S., through its double standard policy, which is illustrated for example in Iraq and Palestine, tended to make enemies all over the world including some Western countries.  The U.S. has in someway contributed in gathering hate and injustice...among the oppressed people.  One should expect such a result. Hence, the U.S. is called to revise its policy and its relationship with the rest of the countries...because using force has never guaranteed security."


"With No Rancor"


Co-editor-in-chief Fatma Karray commented in independent Ash-Shourouq  (9/12):  "With no rancor.  Our history, civilization and tragedies could only make us look with sadness on the tragedy that happened yesterday in America....  We've seen the terror in the American civilian innocent eyes, while witnessing death and destruction around them....  What we've seen in Washington and in New York reminded us, Arabs, of what happened in the night of 16 and the 17 of January 1991 in Baghdad....  It also reminded as of the Palestinian tragedy....  It is with no rancor, only God knows our sympathy to yesterday's victims....  The call for blood donation reminds us of the one happening in Baghdad since 1991, which is continuing till now without deliverance....  Whoever stands behind this tragedy, it is considered a hard lesson for America.   We say that all houses are made of  glass...and no one is protected."




CHINA:  "A Tragedy No Less Than The Pearl Harbor Incident"


[Note: the strikes against the NY World Trade Center and Pentagon took place late in the evening, Beijing time,  therefore many newspapers had no time to write commentaries on the subject.  More comment is expected tomorrow.]  Hu Shuli stated in the Financial Daily (Caijing Shibao, 9/12): "'The World Trade Center event, a tragedy no less than the Pearl Harbor incident, will inevitably shake the world pattern, and will have a far-reaching influence on the American political, diplomatic and security strategies,' said Zhao Quansheng, an expert on Sino-U.S. relations at the American University in Washington, D.C....  'The tragedy is a challenge to America’s leadership in the world.  Politically, the U.S. leadership in the Middle East peace process is now doubtful.  Militarily, the tragedy has proven that the MD system is full of loopholes.'...  Zhao added that in the future global fight against terrorism, the United States and Western countries will definitely need China's cooperation."


"U.S. Pays Price For Its Double-Standard"


The Financial Daily (Caijing Shibao) also carried this item (9/12):  "The New York World Trade Center event shows that 'the United States is paying the price for its double-standard in handling global affairs,' said Jin Canrong, director of the economic research center of the American Studies Institute under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.... The U.S. government should review its foreign policy.  Since he came to power, President Bush's aggressive moves have further aggravated the already tense relationship with other countries.  The World Trade Center tragedy can be partially attributed to his aggressive foreign policy....  The tragedy also highlights the irony of the MD system, indicating that the MD system can in no way guarantee the safety of the American people.  Experts say the negative effect of this tragedy has far exceeded that of the Pearl Harbor incident, and will create a huge psychological impact on the Americans."


CHINA/HONG KONG S.A.R.:  "Dark Dawn"


An editorial in the independent South China Morning Post stressed (9/12):  "The devastating attacks against the United States have left the world in a state of number disbelief.  The vulnerability of the world's mightiest superpower to attacks from shadowy groups has made us conscious of how vulnerable we all are to this form of attack.  We ask ourselves, will the world ever be the same again?...  It is starkly clear that the greatest threat facing world peace is...the threat of disaffected groups venting their anger against established regimes....  These [types of] raids prove that missile defense systems are irrelevant....  Above all, the terror raids also prove that no city anywhere is exempt from attack by angry groups with murderous intent.  There no longer are dafe havens."  


TAIWAN:  Media Treatment


The series of deadly terrorist attacks in New York and Washington have drawn considerable media coverage in Taiwan (9/12).  Almost all newspapers covered the tragic news on their front page.  A China Times editorial comments on the "significance" revealed by these attacks, saying they are a shocking wake-up call for the bigger powers in the world.   A Liberty Times article notes that the United States, after these incidents, will definitely review and adjust its national security strategies, which will, in a way, indirectly affect its military deployment overseas and its Asia-Pacific policy in the future.  Editorials of other major newspapers in Taipei, including the United Daily News, Economic Daily News and Taiwan Daily, all condemned terrorism and violence.  An English-language Taiwan News editorial also urged the United Nations to cooperate closely with the United States in taking necessary actions in order to find and punish those terrorists. 


"A Historical Incident That Changes Post-Cold War Strategic Climate"


Centrist/pro-status quo China Times commented in its editorial (9/12):  "In order to maintain the so-called 'new international order' and accomplish the 'Pax Americana', the United States never hesitated to sacrifice the justice of those deprived races in attempt to attain the grand, imperial style of peace....  Yesterday's major attacks served as a new footnote for the history of the thousands years of feud between Christian and Islamic civilization.  For the United States, the bombings at the World Trade Center...the Pentagon...are of great symbolic significance.  They are also the biggest humiliation that the United States has ever faced...a move equivalent to a declaration of war.  Washington will definitely take fierce revenge [for the attacks].  The question is, where to find those people for revenge.  One cannot use weapons of mass destruction to kill those innocent people....  International relations are no longer focused on the relations between sovereign countries.  There are many minor entities, marginal races and individual organizations in the international community that have been ignored or oppressed for a long time.  These groups have been living in an unjust environment for a long time and have now found a simple and effective vengeful means, which is also of great psychological effect.  Should the big powers in the world take these incidents as a warning sign?"


"No Leniency For Terrorists"


The pro-independence, English-language Taiwan News' editorial intoned (9/12):  "We condemn those terrorists involved in such attacks.  They can never justify whatever goal they wish to attain.  We ask the UN to closely cooperate with the United States in taking necessary actions in order to find and punish those terrorists and whoever may be responsible for those attacks, according to the law.  We would also like to call on leaders of the world, especially U.S. President Bush, to heighten their vigilance against further terrorist activities.  Our war against terrorism has just started."


MALAYSIA:  "Terror Over American Cities"


The government-influenced, English language Star ran this commentary (9/12):  "Terrorism knows no civilized bounds:  It can strike anywhere at any time, wreaking a terrible toll in human lives and destruction.  And because this universal scourge also knows no national frontiers, its reach is global....  Attacks on these two cities are not just symbolic but also substantive, on the body politic as much as on the psyche of the world's sole superpower.  The United States itself has been most active and vocal against terrorist groups, even as its own foreign policies attract the widest controversies.  If indeed the tragedies in New York and Washington were part of an elaborate terrorist plan, they [will] not be the first of such attacks on U.S. nationals and property....  The perpetrators of what increasingly look like premeditated mass murders are bloody-minded psychopaths.  No cause can justify such evil infamy.  Rather than win international sympathy, the yet-to-be-identified terrorists and their struggle will earn only the just opprobrium of the world."


"America Must Control Itself"


Government-influenced, Chinese-language Nanyang Siang Pau stressed (9/12):  "The attacks should be a lesson to the Americans who have been wallowing in the glory of being the only superpower in the world. Terrorist organizations have made numerous attacks on U.S. targets before, but the Tuesday ones have shaken the whole nation.  The terrorists have also proven they are capable of anything by choosing the Pentagon and the WTC, both sensitive institutions. The United States is certain to retaliate but an overreaction will cause more turmoil and confrontation.  Because of this, the United States should stay calm in weighing its options."


SINGAPORE:  "Atrocious Acts"


Pro-government Lianhe Zaobao featured this editorial (9/12):  "We were greatly saddened by the horror scenes which appeared on television.  These are the most unbelievable, most inhuman acts ever committed during peacetime.   While the real motive behind what happened has yet to be known, signs are pointing to an unknown terrorist group trying to deal a lethal blow to the United States.  Such cruel acts should be universally condemned and not be tolerated by civilized societies....  The world must stand firm and join hands in taking stern action against such terrorists."




INDIA:  "Target: Humanity"


A front-page story in the centrist Times of India declared (9/12):  "The biggest and most concerted terrorist attack in history...could be described as an assault...on the very concept of civilization itself....  It would be only too blame terrorist groups inspired by so called 'Islamic fundamentalism.'...  It would not be entirely in the realm of thriller fiction...if these attacks did not have clandestine drug connections, besides the obvious political and terrorist angles....  Even as it recovers from the massive body blow it has received, the U.S. political and defense establishments must work in closer concert with their counterparts elsewhere.... What has been grievously wounded today is not just one nation, but the very heart of humanity itself."


"The Usual Suspect: Osama Bin Laden"


Associate editor Pramit Pal Chaudhuri stated in the nationalist Hindustan Times (9/12):  "This was the world's most fearsome terrorist attack.  No surprise that the world's most feared terrorist virtually the only suspect. Almost every finger of blame and needle of suspicion is pointed towards Osama bin Laden....  First is resources and planning....  Second is symbolism....  Third, there is almost no one else [capable of doing this.]...  Fourth, bin Laden had said he would do this....  Several plots against the United States have been uncovered in the past year or two.  It was a matter of time, perhaps, before one succeeded."


"Afraid In America"


The centrist Indian Express editorialized (9/12):  "Terrorism has to be fought where ever it exists. There is no room for complacency for what is at stake is the very survival of mankind and all that it considers precious and sacred."


PAKISTAN:  "Do Keep Your Eyes On Facts From U.S. History"


Sohail Danish wrote in popular Din (9/12):  "Very soon we will know who the cowards behind this frightening terrorism were.  But whatever has happened, has shaken the entire world.  The complete system of the United States--the inventor of the latest technology--has failed.  The comprehensive U.S. intelligence system has also failed.  Whosoever was behind the incidents was armed with the latest technology and carried out this heinous crime successfully.  The perpetrators of this crime are enemies of humanity."


"Using Death As A Weapon"


An op-ed by Hamid Mir in popular, Islamabad-based Ausaf (9/12):  "On the night of September 11, one of his (Osama bin Laden) representatives contacted me....  He had brought a written statement in which Osama bin Laden said that he was not involved in the blasts in New York and Washington, however, he fully supported these blasts....  I told Osama's envoy that, it is correct that the U.S. government supports tyrants, but what about those innocent people who were killed in New York and Washington?  In response he asked me a question: who is responsible for the deaths of the innocent people in Palestine, Chechnya and Kashmir?  In any case, the danger of a U.S. attack against Afghanistan and an Israeli attack against Palestine is imminent.  CNN and BBC correspondents are rushing toward Islamabad.  This indicates that preparations are underway to launch an attack against Afghanistan....  There is still time for the United States, instead of using the language of might and power, to begin a process of dialogue."


"U.S. Attack On Afghanistan Likely To Double Pressure On Pakistan"


Saleh Zafir stated in mass-circulation Jang (9/12):  "Commentators believe that if Afghanistan comes under U.S. attack, Pakistan would be doubly under pressure....  U.S. Central Command vessels are present 100 kilometers off the Makran Coast.  The presence of U.S. troops at places bordering Afghanistan has been confirmed."


"Influenced By Jewish Lobby, Bush Can Order Attack On Afghanistan, Palestine"


Ashraf Azeem asserted in sensationalist Khabrain (9/12):  "The destruction caused by four jetliners in New York and Washington has shaken the entire world....  It is worth mentioning here that President Bush could have diverted the U.S. anger (against these acts of terrorism) toward Afghanistan.  Yet, he kept his calm despite his immense sorrow at the tragedy and only said that 'we will respond to this attack and hunt down the perpetrators.' However, there is a possibility that, influenced by the Jewish lobby and extremist circles, President Bush might launch a sudden strike against Afghanistan and Palestine.  Such a situation would prove devastating for world peace."


"Minor Doomsday In America"


Peshawar-based Sahaar editorialized (9/12):  "No one claimed responsibility for the attacks so far, but there are two strong possibilities: a reaction to the Jewish brutalities in Palestine and a result of internal social problems in the United States, although the strong suspicion is that this could be an act of revenge by the oppressed Palestinian youth.  Obviously no civilized human being can justify such terrorism, but when someone is forced, he will fight.  Looking at what has happened must convince the rulers in Washington that they need to review their foreign policy and replace the use of force with understanding and mutual respect."


"Repercussions For Muslim World"


Imtiaz Alam commented in the centrist, national News (9/12):  "In at least one attempt, the terrorists have shown how vulnerable even the United States is to retaliation by highly desperate and the extremely hopeless and the most frustrated among discriminated and radicalized sections in the Muslim world.  What the alleged revenge seekers among the most detested militant elements ignored is the fact that, if they are really involved, they have in fact provoked the mightiest superpower in human history to go berserk.  Expert after expert in the U.S. media left no ambiguity in implicating 'Islamic terrorists', especially Osama bin Laden, and the need for 'integrated action' against the perpetrators and backers of terrorism."




SOUTH AFRICA:  "The Day That Shook The World"


The liberal, independent Cape Times concluded (9/12):  "New words will have to be found to capture the full meaning of this unprecedented, unbridled, coordinated, brutal, targeted terror...  The truth is that the intentional targeting of civilians on this scale catapults the world into unknown political territory.  The events unfolding in North America are, at this stage inexplicable and profoundly unpredictable....  We have to resist speculation and blame-apportion.  We have to stand together as one community for a moment, and not succumb to hysteria.  There will be more than enough time to try to understand.  Today we are called upon, simply, not to do any harm to our fellow citizens."


"Democracy Can Suffer Much More Than This"


The business oriented, independent Business Day held (9/12):  "There is little doubt that yesterday marks a watershed in U.S. history and, by proxy, in the history of the modern world....  We can be sure that the scale of the disaster is unthinkable, and that the sea change in American life that is about to follow will match that of the Vietnam era...  The U.S. president may be tempted to take succor in ordering a military response.  That would be understandable but we trust that Bush, and his advisers will take a much colder view.  Retaliation leads to escalation, and escalation leads to disaster."


"Sheer Bloody Madness"


The conservative Citizen underscored (9/12):  "Madness, sheer bloody madness.  That's the only way to describe the outrageous wave of terror which engulfed the United States yesterday.  There is no political or religious cause on earth which can justify the mass murder and destruction wreaked upon the American people....  We have no doubt the attacks are directly linked to the US support for Israel, which must include the walkout by both delegations in Durban.  Unable to impose their zealot views in civilized forums, they resort to barbarism....  In doing so the terrorist have change the world forever....  Everywhere, restrictions will be tighter and life will be more tense.  What happened yesterday, and its repercussions, will overshadow all our lives for a long time."


"U.S. Needs To Keep A Cool Head"


The centrist Pretoria News emphasized (9/12):  "We shudder to think what will follow or how the United States--growing increasingly unpopular in recent times--will react.  We hope they do not do anything reckless just to satisfy the desire of outraged citizens to avenge the tragic loss of life and limb.  The world simply cannot afford an escalation of hostilities that could reach a global scale.  The cost to humanity could be too ghastly to contemplate."




Afrikaans-language, centrist Beeld judged (9/12):  "The unthinkable has happened.  The illusion that mankind was moving steadily towards a greater world peace driven by the rationality of an all-embracing international trade and globalization, is in tatters....  Whoever is behind the attack was obviously organized.  Mankind is today holding its breath to see what the backlash will be to the gruesome act.  Twenty years ago such an attack would undoubtedly have resulted in a Third World War....  The decisions [President Bush] takes in the next hours and days can determine whether the world will be plunged into a terrorism war or not."


CAMEROON:  "Who Must Have Done This?"


Editorialist Richard Nyamboli opined in the Yaounde-based, bilingual, government-run Cameroon Tribune (9/12):  "The United States of America, by virtue of its unique position in contemporary history as the world's remaining superpower and global policeman, by choice or by default, is prone to have people and communities within and without who loathe and oppose some of the ideas for which that country stands just as passionately as some others cherish and can even die defending them....  There seems to be a global terrorist conspiracy against the United States of America and all it stands for.  The magnitude, the viciousness and the professionalism with which the latest bombings were carried out lead to just such a conclusion.  Violence of this magnitude is unjustified and should be condemned absolutely.  Speculation is rife....  What happened in New York and Washington is evil at its most banal because it involved indiscriminate killing of innocent citizens.  It is an affront on the human conscience; a crime beyond pardon.  But as America counts its casualties and searches for the perpetrators of these devilish acts, it should also reflect on the finality of its global power and economic might."


"America Hit At The Heart"


Columnist Patrice Etoundi Mballa observed in the Yaounde-based, government-run, bilingual Cameroon Tribune (9/12):  "These (attacks) mark the beginning of an era of hyper-terrorism, with its horrors and its apocalypse-like destructions."


KENYA:  "This Terrorism Demands New Counter-Offensive"


According to an editorial in the centrist Daily Nation (9/12):  "There can be no justification whatsoever for visiting naked terrorism on innocent people.  Few nations will understand America's grief as deeply as the Kenyan nation, which has yet to fully recover from the 1998 terrorist bomb attack on the U.S. Embassy.  Though a superpower, it should dawn on the United States that, no matter how awesome your military array and the million-eyed optics that protect it, this is no longer a security guarantee.  What those terrorists achieved yesterday shows that the global policeman must begin to police the world more with brain than, as heretofore, with brawn."


"Kenya Flights Are Stopped"


Commentary in the centrist East African Standard noted (9/12):  "Kenyans with raw memories of a 1998 U.S. Embassy blast gave mixed reactions to attacks on U.S. targets, offering sympathy but also urging Americans to understand why U.S. Middle East policy makes them targets."


MALAWI:  "Terror Attack A Blow To The Free World"


The daily Nation contended (9/12):  "A shocked world learned yesterday that suspected terrorists struck at the heart of the American establishment....  It may have been a symbolic body blow to American capitalism and military might, but no one in the free world can feel entirely safe now.  This was a horrifying attack on democracy and its champions....  It is quite possible, in fact quite tempting, for the Americans to strike back in retaliation.  However, that may not be the best course of action for in the retaliatory strike, many innocent people--just like those who have perished in the U.S. attacks--may lose their lives....  While we share the pain and shock of the American people, we believe they have the need to be absolutely certain they have the right culprit before they begin to mete out any punishment.  We are sure the rest of the world will come to America's assistance in the hunt for the perpetrators of yesterday's attacks."


NIGERIA:  "The Lord Is My Shepherd"


The Ibadan-based, independent Nigerian Tribune carried this note (9/12):   "World's most powerful nation, the United States, and indeed the whole world were dazed with terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.  Those who regard the United States as their protector should now realize the need to go for the Biblical quote:  'The Lord is my Shepherd.'"


ZAMBIA:  "Horrendous Crime Against Humanity"


The government-owned Zambia Daily Mail observed (9/12):  "Civilized humanity may never coin a single set of words that could sum up the condemnation of the horrendous crime against humanity committed by terrorists that have bombed the United States....  The bombings, of grotesque proportions, are a representation of the depravity of the minds behind this heinous act.  We join the rest of the peace loving international community in condemning the attacks in the most strongest terms imaginable.  There are no reasons--whatever the case--that can justify this scale of violence, even against the enemy....  No one, including  the attackers, should underestimate the United States ability to hit back with devastating force.  Their stockpiled weaponry of mass destruction at their disposal is a source of worry.  This is why we

ask the United States authorities to exercise restraint in responding to this tragedy.  The country is in the middle of a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions and so, extreme caution must be taken if the George Bush Jr. administration is to work out [a] rational response....  The international community should join the Americans in condemning this abominable violence and in sparing no effort to bring the heartless killers to justice."


ZIMBABWE:  Media Coverage, "U.S. Attacked, Thousands Feared Dead"


The terror attacks in the United States received blanket coverage in both the print and electronic media.  The state-funded national broadcasting television station, ZTV 1, suspended normal programming yesterday  afternoon when cable news network started airing footage of the breaking news.  All four state-funded radio stations followed suit by broadcasting, at intervals, either British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) or Voice of America (VOA) reports about the attacks.  The attacks dominated the ZTV's main news bulletin at 2000 hours.  Wire service reports about the attacks dominated all September 12 editions of the independent Daily News and two government-controlled dailies, The Herald and the Chronicle.   The Zimbabwe media have not yet offered editorial comment on the attacks. 




CANADA:  "Let Loose The War On Global Terrorism"


An editorial in the leading Globe and Mail asserted (9/12):  "This much we can say, as inadequate as it is. Our hearts and thoughts and prayers are with the victims, for their families, and for the United States.  We mourn also for a world profoundly changed.  Because changed we surely are, in ways that will be seen both immediately and gradually.  Such an unpredictable attack alters all understanding of safety and national security.  It will shake the confidence of many Americans who believed they lived in the greatest, strongest and most powerful nation on Earth.  Power, as it turns out, can never be absolute.  Even the best military weapons are useless against a determined act of terrorism, because no sort of missile defense shield or nuclear arsenal can be employed against the simple, suicidal, act of flying an airplane into a crowded building.... These attacks build their particular terror from the fact that they come when least expected, as ordinary people do ordinary tasks on the most ordinary of days.  As such, terrorism of this sort is difficult to prevent at the moment of action, which could be any moment, any place....  Thus, the world community must unite as never before to make any support for terrorism an act that ensures complete international isolation.  No longer can nations carry on normal relationships with other nations while harboring terrorists. Isolation should extend through every political, diplomatic, cultural, sporting or economic field....  But despite the pressure, we believe it would be overly hasty and even risky to drop random bombs on suspect nations.  The United States should not be drawn into a cycle of attack that will either target civilians or imperil them by proximity.  This would be as indefensible as the original act....  The world's response must be to grow adamant that terrorism cannot triumph.  It is every nation's duty to strike back by joining an anti-terrorism campaign beyond anything previously mounted.  All countries must join, and all must condemn those who do not.  With yesterday's act of horror, terrorists have cemented their demise."


ARGENTINA:  "After The Horror"


An editorial in daily-of-record La Nacion read (9/12):  "In fact, it seems inevitable that the United States will carry out retaliatory actions as serious as the atrocious action of violence they experienced. On the other hand, and unfortunately, it does not seem sensible either to suppose that this terrorism, with its overwhelming levels of organization and efficacy--and also of fanatic decision --will abstain from repeating its criminal actions....  Undoubtedly, an intelligent repressive action executed with full energy would identify and suppress--in an exemplary manner--the authors of this atrocious massacre, but nobody can assure that the sources feeding this monstrous fundamentalism will be definitely destroyed."


"A Day Of Infamy"


An editorial in liberal, English-language Buenos Aires Herald asserted (9/12): "If anybody doubted that the United States is the first victim as well as the man beneficiary of globalization, those doubts should have been brutally removed yesterday. Terrorism is a global threat which must be globally resisted -- Pearl Harbor was followed by conventional warfare, but how do we react to this? It is not a question of the U.S. guessing whether Afghanistan or Iraq or Libya or whoever is the most likely culprit and sending out Air Force jets in that direction -- the priority must be response, not revenge. And nor is it a question of 'star wars' anti-missile systems dotting the world with satellite bases when the enemy can so easily strike from within--all our notions of security and theories of conflict can never be the same again after yesterday.  Yesterday's horror was a declaration of war against everybody from nobody and all countries in the world must join forces without rest until the forces of darkness have been driven out into the light."


BRAZIL:  "Action Questions Republican Doctrine"


International commentator Jaime Spitzkovsky said in liberal Folha de Sao Paulo (9/12):  "The attacks showed the only superpower's vulnerability, and represented a low blow against the Bush Administration's national security strategy.  The 21st century terrorists used commercial planes without the glamour of intercontinental missiles feared by the White House.  Bush will not give up the system to intercept and destroy enemy missiles in the air. Supported by yesterday's tragedy, he will use the terrorism phantom as one of the major threats against the U.S. hegemony.  But the White House will have to give up its 'theological obsession' of using the anti-missile shield as the central point of its defense policy, and agree with a more flexible approach to include resources aimed at improving, for example, the U.S. counter-intelligence service."


"The U.S. Will Retaliate With Or Without The World"


Liberal Folha de Sao Paulo columnist Elio Gaspari commented (9/12):  "On September 11, 2001, a date that will remain in the history of infamy, someone changed the U.S. history.  One can only speculate about some factors that will determine the face with which America will emerge from the New York dust. The first is simple.  Any hypocritical demonstration of anti-Americanism will correspond to an opposite violent and resented reaction. Sympathy towards terrorists' charm will have a price.  The U.S. will search for the terrorists who have attacked it with or without the world. The same world that took back the U.S. seat at the UN Human Rights Committee, to allow Sudan to occupy it... The United States will no longer be as it was before yesterday morning."


 "A Global State Of War"


Journalist Gaudencio Torquato wrote in center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo's op-ed page (9/12): "We are now living in a state of global war.  War is everywhere, crossing borders, killing, hurting nations' pride.  A huge structure commanded by an invisible power of urban guerrillas is winning the battles of diplomacy and peace. The bipolar world of the Cold War has given way to ethnic-cultural tension not only in the Middle East but across the globe.  There is a holy war carried out by sabotage and suicide operations in the name of a sacred cause. Some world leaders lack the quality of past great leaders: greatness. The radical posture of President Bush has not helped facilitate paths to peace.  What can happen now, after these attacks on the U.S.?  Retaliation will mean more bloodshed, but the American people will demand a strong response, which could aggravate world conflicts.  This is one of the gravest moments of contemporary geopolitics.  Neither the world, nor the United States, will ever be the same."


"War Zone"


Columnist Janio de Freitas commented in liberal Folha de Sao Paulo (9/12): "What hurt America's power and pride is much more than terrorism.  It's a new form of war, something that military might does not practice and does not know how to defend.  One of the targets was the Pentagon, military terror of the world, fortress of the greatest military power, suddenly attacked with precision.  In an operation so meticulously planned and well executed, the choice of targets was not random.  The White House could have been hit too.  Why wasn't it?  Could it have been a warning, or some sort of provocation of America's political power, by showing the military's ineffectiveness?  Whether the attack came from domestic or foreign sources, it created unknowable elements on the international scene which will exert strong pressure on U.S. and European public opinion."


MEXICO: "Uncertain Future"


A front page editorial in nationalist El Universal asserted (9/12): "The most serious and catastrophic terrorist action was carried out against the United States. However, it is also directed against world peace and its consequences could not be measured.  We reject these terrible attempts in New York and in Washington as if they had taken place in our own territory.... We also recognize the legitimate U.S. concern to prevent any such insane attacks in the future, but at the same time we also hope that the U.S. decisions would be dictated by reason, and intelligence.... The best service that the United States could do for the whole world is the preservation of peace.... We are certain that the United States  will be able to overcome this situation.  We hope that the United States will not fall to xenophobic hatred and that it would not hold an adverse feeling against immigrants from all over the world-millions of Mexicans among them-who have contributed to American greatness."


"Day Of Rage"


A commentary in leading El Norte by Gabriela de la Paz, professor at Monterrey Tech (ITESM) held (9/12):   "The United States should learn a lesson in humility that shows that even the most powerful country is vulnerable to terrorism.  Superiority can not allow arrogance and unilateral action, since there is no small enemy. This event underlines the serious need for study of terrorism and the need to develop more national security resources that will prevent this type of crisis with faster and more efficient action."


"Human Proportion"


Felipe Diaz de la Garza used the massive flooding in Nuevo Leon which occured the night before the attack as a comparison in a leading El Norte commentary (9/12): "It is dangerous to forget our condition and consider ourselves God, God's messenger, or God's protTgT. It is more certain to remember that we can drown in a glass of water, such as the rain that fell last night in Monterrey. It is safer to remember that we're fragile, that our condition and lives are fragile, as fragile as a small family, like mine or yours, threatened by the storm or by the highest buildings in the world completely destroyed by dehumanized human beings, whom we have not been able to identify yet. Let's not lose our sense of proportion. Our measure is a local river that floods and will drown us. Let's cry for New Yorkers, but not forget that they were killed by a person who did not know how to deal with 12 hours of rain and who forgot his condition."


CHILE: "Terror Attack"


An editorial in daily-of-record El Mercurio stressed (9/12):  "The greatest military and economic power of our era has revealed itself to be much more vulnerable than ever even suspected.  The simultaneous hijacking of at least four commercial aircraft, despite all the security measures implemented during the past three decades, defies description.  The terrorist attack is being compared to Pearl Harbor...but clearly it signifies a totally different phenomenon.  Whereas the former took place in the middle of a world war, with this event  there is no war going on the explain  an act of such dimensions....  The reaction [of the U.S. government] must demonstrate the country's greatness and its respect for the liberties and right of due process for its citizens and the rest of the world.  It is crucial that the U.S. control its desire for revenge....  We all assume that the immediate response of the U.S. and of all those nations that have been victims of terrorism will be to take measures to prevent something like this from happening again.    Unfortunately, this will lead to the restriction of civil liberties... It wouldn't be the first time that frightened societies demand their leader to limit their own liberties, but this is severely damaging for Western societies which have accomplished an outstanding democratic modus vivendi.   This is why all those nations that share a civil behavior must immediately establish a cooperation mechanism to exchange information as a way to efficiently  fight indiscriminate terrorism."


"Attack On The Heart Of The Empire"


Pablo Soto González and Daniela González Diez commented in daily-of-record El Mercurio (9/12):  "Not in dreams nor in movies nor in the wildest imagination.  Until now, no one would ever have suspected that what the United States experienced yesterday could ever have happened.  This attack on the heart of the empire has shakened the American people, used to seeing only from afar terrorist attacks that are so common in places like Spain or the Middle East....  What happened yesterday attacked the most important and sacred this that U.S. authorities can offer its people: its internal security, a pride that today is beginning to crumble, and whose reconstruction represents a monumental challenge....  No one can understand how a country that spends billions on security could be so vulnerable."




Conservative El Caribe held (9/12): "This is a war, and a tough one for the enemy is not easily identifiable and at times, not even traceable, and commercial private planes, full of fuel and innocent passengers, are turned into mortal bombs.  Nothing justifies that thousands of Dominicans suffer days of anguish and uncertainty and that several fellow countrymen have died, . . . by the simple fact of arriving early to their jobs in New York.  No to Terrorism!"


"Economic Terrorism"


Conservative El Caribe's editorial stressed (9/12): "We hope that this political crisis and human tragedy are quickly solved and that the inevitable acts of retaliation do not accentuate them."


GUATEMALA: "Terrorism"


Highest-circulation Nuestro Diario lead editorial said (9/12):  "Terrorism is lamentable in any of its manifestations, for which reason we hope that this case, unprecedented in American history, will result in punishment for those responsible.  Certainly President Bush and the Americans can count on the solidarity of most of the peoples of the world."


"What Will Change Before the Magnitude of Yesterday's Terrorism?"


Conservative, business-oriented Siglo Veintiuno asserted in its lead editorial (9/12): "The terrorist aggressions of yesterday were of monstrous dimensions.  All the elements and circumstances surrounding them were particularly cruel: the total contempt for the lives of the people on board the airplanes...and the employees of the airlines, totally on the margins of ideological or political questions; the determination to mow down thousands of people who were also remote from the 'cause' of the terrorists; the willingness to lose their own lives and to wound, damage, and kill so many defenseless and innocent human beings. To all this must be added the grotesque dimension of the material damages that were caused.  As various people in public life in the United States have said, neither its leaders nor its people, nor those of the other nations of the western world, are willing to renounce their style and system of living, which would bring with it necessarily a response, a reaction of different dimensions from those that have been known in the past...for every action there is a reaction, and what we will be seeing will probably be certain changes in the rules of the game that make it possible to prevent and repress, beyond traditional notions of national sovereignty, acts of barbarism of the dimensions of those committed yesterday, which were certainly not just another act of blind and execrable terrorism."


TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO:  "Ignorance Is The Handmaiden Of Terrorism"


The Trinidad Express, the Trinidad Newsday and the Trinidad Guardian newspapers all carried editorials on the recent terrorist attacks in the United States (9/12): "Ignorance is the handmaiden of terrorism.  That is why, in Palestine yesterday, some groups celebrated by handing out sweets in the aftermath of the suicide attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and other locations in the United States of America....  So what have these attackers accomplished?  Yes, they have proven that America the mighty is not invulnerable to terrorist action in their own cities.  But this is something both military experts and lay commentators have warned about for years.... What the attackers have mainly accomplished is really very simple: they have murdered thousands of innocent people.  Of course, in the terrorist mind, nobody is innocent.  Terrorists even argue that the children they kill are not innocent, because the children would have grown up to become enemies. Clearly, such persons are beyond rational argument.  Concomitantly, the leaders responsible do not really care about the long-term consequences of their acts.  While they remain safe in hiding, it is ordinary people around the world, but particularly in the Middle East, who will suffer the fallout from yesterday's events."



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