|Office of Research||Issue Focus||Foreign Media Reaction|
MAJOR NATO COUNTRIES
Media reiterated two main themes: European Allies must show solidarity with the U.S., while not giving it a "blank check;" and Washington must avoid "precipitous action." Again, the main quarters of unadulterated support for the U.S. were conservative UK, Italian, Belgian, Spanish and Canadian papers. They called on their leaders "not to shirk from any effort to strike hard at the perpetrators" and assured readers that "when American action comes it will be on a massive scale, but there need not be fear that it will be wild or indiscriminate." A larger segment of comment--most prominently, left-leaning and centrist papers from Britain, France, Germany and Spain--while quick to "broadcast loud and clear" that the U.S. is "entitled to...bring to justice" those responsible, stressed that any anti-terrorism response must by broad-based, including political and financial tools. These writers were more skittish about U.S. rhetoric and possible military action, and cautioned against painting the anti-terrorist fight as a "crusade." Perceived inflammatory language invoking "a monumental fight between good and evil" was seen as playing into Islamic extremists' hands, making it more difficult for moderate Muslims to join a Western-led coalition.
OTHER NATO COUNTRIES
Analysts were mixed in their opinions on how the U.S. should respond. The dominant sentiment--prevalent in commentary from Hungary, Iceland, Finland, The Netherlands and Turkey--was caution, with pundits qualifying their support for the U.S. Commentators issued stern warnings against "a desire for revenge" and expressed hope that America's response would involve an international coalition--with many stressing that it should include moderate Muslim states. Indeed, Ankara's English-language Turkish News foresaw a special role for Turkey, whose "firmly secular regime is now more important than ever, not only for the U.S. and Europe, but also for moderate Muslims around the world who believe that modernity and Islam are not mutually exclusive." Unequivocal support for the U.S. and unconditional condemnation of terrorism continued to be found in the more conservative to rightist outlets, especially in Prague and Warsaw. Several media voices in the former Communist Bloc countries saw extreme leftist segments as dangerously fertile ground for anti-Americanism, where sympathy for terrorist movements and a dislike for democracy can be found. A writer in Prague's right-of-center Lidove noviny, asking why do "Czech extremists, at least the ones grouped in the National Social Block...stand up for terrorists," contended that "they simply don't like freedom, a strong-handed government is dearer for them, and they can't find it in the U.S." The most cynical observations appeared in leading Greek dailies and in religious/pro-Islamic papers in Turkey. They asserted that the U.S. has no moral high ground in this instance, and is to be blamed for creating a world that fosters hatred and inequality.
Non-official dailies called on Moscow to side unequivocally with the West and recognize that "neutrality" is not an option in any U.S. operation in Central Asia. After chastising FM Ivanov for his recent statement that "political norms" be respected as "the wrong thing to say now that the world is still reeling," reformist Izvestiya intoned: "The sooner Russia gets its bearings the better.... Russia has a unique chance to prove to the Americans and Europeans that it is a friend, ally and partner." One nationalist paper stood out in attacking possible U.S. "retribution" as "senseless," and further blamed terrorism "in large measure" on U.S. policies.
REST OF EUROPE/EURASIA
Editorialists elsewhere also presented varied assessments. Several commentators in Lithuania, Romania, Switzerland, Bosnia and Kosovo found that terrorism of this ilk is an affront against the entire free world, and that the "war" against "fanaticism" must be won. But others in Austria, Bosnia, Croatia, Ireland, Malta and Sweden echoed those in Europe who called on Washington not to "overreact." Dublin's conservative Irish Independent was typical in admonishing: "The U.S. right to retaliation is not in question. The Americans are not only morally in the right. A strike-back is a necessity, for them and the rest of the democratic world.... But a reply of a nature which would cause further instability in the most volatile part of the planet could have the most calamitous effects. They must proceed with caution and good judgment, as well as resolution." Several opinionmakers dwelled on what impact Tuesday's events might have on their domestic situations or regions. Estonian media worried about possible Russian actions in the Caucasus, while several Irish observers called on Sein Fein to "sever its links to terrorism."
EDITORS: Katherine Starr and Diana McCaffrey
EDITOR'S NOTE: This survey is based on 90 editorials from 30 countries, September 15-17.
Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.
BRITAIN: "The Old War"
From an editorial in the conservative Times (9/17): "With admirable force and in an appropriate tone, Tony Blair announced yesterday that 'we are at war with terrorism.'... Blair is wise to recognize the gravity of the situation and is shrewd to appreciate that it is exactly by standing 'shoulder to shoulder' with the United States that he is best placed to whisper words in the right ears. The popular notion that he will need to restrain a [U.S.] president who would otherwise be inclined to adopt an extravagant plan of aggression and revenge alone is foolish. In the past 72 hours George W. Bush has found his voice and hit his stride.... When American action comes it will be on a massive scale but there need not be fear that it will be wild or indiscriminate. Blair is unlikely to want to withhold support for these deeds in either physical or political terms. The American president has the necessary resources and will at his disposal. He needs now to continue to mount the leadership campaign, both to his public and to the international coalition, which is well under way."
"In The Name Of Freedom"
The liberal Guardian stated (9/17): "Last week's terror attacks in New York and Washington were outrages which demand implacable punishment. These attacks cannot and must not be justified.... Certainly the United States...is fully entitled to hunt down and bring to justice those who planned and those who facilitated the killings. Force is morally and legally justified in that task if there is resistance and blood may be spilled. These things need to be said, and they need to be said clearly and regularly, so there is no misunderstanding the seriousness of what has happened and the necessity to punish and end it. But that is not the absolutely the end of the story. The attacks cannot be justified, but they must be properly understood so that the right response is made.... There are dozens of issues at stake here and they must be taken into account as that response takes shape.... Those who raise these issues in responsible ways...should not be demonized as troublemakers or, even worse, terrorist fellow travelers.... It is ludicrous to pretend that other nations of the world only exist to endorse American decisions. And to call it as we see it does not add up to being anti-American."
FRANCE: "Avoiding The Trap"
Pierre Rouselin commented in right-of-center Le Figaro (9/17): "Preparing public opinion for a drawn-out operation is a good thing. If there is a war, it will not be a war that can be won quickly. President Bush has clearly understood this and he is not as war-crazed as everyone would like to think.... In this battle America needs allies: it has no other choice.... America must show restraint. A hasty response, implemented under the effect of anger would be counter-productive: in the Arab world, anti-Americanism is ready to ignite.... This is the trap that Bin Laden and his followers have set up. Islamic extremists must be isolated, otherwise a united front against the West will be unleashed."
Jacques Amalric opined in left-of-center Liberation (9/17): "Bin Laden has been singled out as the enemy. One understands the need to put a name on the faceless enemy behind the tragedies which have hit New York and Washington. As the dust settles, it helps to have a face against which to direct our hatred and our feelings of revenge. But the truth promises to be
much more complex. And America's leaders know it well.... The men behind these attacks are everywhere, including possibly inside the ranks of para-military or government institutions in such countries as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, officially America's allies.... The task will be daunting for America's forces and its diplomacy. Beyond military operations, there is a need for purifying suspect alliances...for a real Middle Eastern policy, and for intense international collaboration in fighting terrorism and its financial sources."
"A New Role For Europe"
Charles Lambroschini held in right-of-center Le Figaro (9/15): "Solidarity does not mean following blindly... If the Unied States decides to organize a military coalition to fight the hydra of terrorism, the French, the British and the Germans will have to be in the front lines. This will be the best way to educate an America blinded by its own strength and that could lead to terrible consequences, as illustrated by Bush's announcement of 'good against evil.'... Such participation will also give Europe and France a chance to play a role in the new world order...and remind the U.S. that the final goal of declaring war on terrorism is peace."
"Response And The Vicious Circle"
Jean-Claude Maurice held in right-of-center Le Journal du Dimanche (9/16): "As the cloud settles, one can hear here and there in France voices that call for moderation.... Before such blind cynicism, we must broadcast loud and clear that while it is America that has been dealt a deadly blow, all democracies must mourn.... This having been said, we must speak about the U.S. response that is being discussed. America's allies must at once show their solidarity and their sense of responsibility. While we share in the grief, we must not adopt Bush's vocabulary of a 'monumental fight between good and evil.' A response is inevitable...but to offer a religious definition of good and evil means falling into the trap set by the terrorists.... In Europe, Bush's declaration added concern to the disarray.... America's allies must not vacillate in their commitments, but they must remind one and all that apocalypse is not the answer to carnage.... Is George W. Bush up to being the commander-in-chief of a response that must not turn into a crusade?"
GERMANY: "Mission Against An Unknown Enemy"
Josef Joffe commented in front-page editorial in a special edition of center-left weekly Die Zeit of Hamburg (9/17): "The defender against terror must be careful not to heighten that fear by acting like a furious giant.... The United States must act with great care, because even a superpower cannot win this war alone. The coalition has to be stable for a long time. And that is the core of the problem. Today, the United States is riding a wave of sympathy and solidarity in Europe. However, the fear of U.S. hegemony is as deep seated as the anti-American sentiment that bubbled up predictably after Bush came to power. Those who are refraining from 'America bashing' for reasons of piety right now will once again make use of worn-out cliches after the first U.S. bombing raids. Nobody wants to be drawn into a war in which he has nothing to say. Anyone who wants to build the broadest possible coalition will have to take into account the problems and interests of his partners. Bush hardly showed that kind of sensitivity before September 11. He marched ahead without concern and without building up support among his allies. Now, Bush needs his allies.... For the Europeans, the coalition is not only a moral obligation but also a political one. They will be able to influence the angry U.S. giant to the extent to which they offer active support."
"Retaliation As Prevention"
Peter Muench noted in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (9/17): "That is why the attacks from New York and Washington are indeed the much-quoted attack on civilization. This threat requires and justifies a resolute answer. Appeasement will not help. As martial-like as it sounds, the time has come to accept the fight that has been forced upon us. The answer to the attacks, however, must be vigorous--a retaliatory strike must have a deterrent effect and must be carried out for preventive reasons.... A military strike will have an effect--including counter-productive effects. Such a fight against terrorism will harden fronts and promote the radicalization the camp of fundamentalists. But what is the alternative? Capitulation to the hydra of terror? It is not enough to wonder what will happen if the Americans do something. We should also know what will happen if they do not react. But the campaign will be successful only if the military is used with a clear goal and against clear targets and if politics also plays its role."
"A Well-Conceived Reaction"
Center-right General-Anzeiger of Bonn argued (9/17): "With every day that deliberations continue before the United States strikes back, hope for a well-conceived reaction grows and thus the chance of political thinking to play a parallel role to the inevitable military thinking. 'War,' 'campaign,' such rough words cannot make us forget that George Bush is faced with an enormously difficult task. As little as the U.S. superpower should give in to the devastating terrorist attack, as much it must avoid everything which the Islamic world could understand as a declaration of war. If it reacted to these attacks with means which would also result in massive casualties of innocent victims, it would violate its own moral claims and only result in a new spiral of violence."
ITALY: "If The American War Becomes A Crusade"
A front-page commentary by Bernardo Valli in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica read (9/17): "The West must ask itself about the reasons behind the strong anti-American and anti-Western feelings even in the leading moderate Muslim nations.... A 'new war'? But there is a war already, like the one that is underway in Algeria between fundamentalists and reformists; and there are other wars in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and anywhere else fanatic and moderate forces coexist amid problems or ambiguities. Even in Afghanistan there is a guerrilla warfare against religious extremists, the friends of Bin Laden. In order to wipe out terrorism it is necessary to support the right forces taking part in all those wars. And not to risk a conflict with Islam."
"A Difficult, Sad, Necessary And Painful War"
A commentary by deputy managing editor Paolo Guzzanti in pro-government, leading center-right Il Giornale held (9/17): "The largest coalition in world history is shaping up, much larger than the coalition put together during the Gulf War by Bush father.... There will be a war against the rogue states. It will be a difficult, sad, necessary and painful war, like all wars. And like all wars it will be fought with blood, sorrow and American weapons.... ll the others, Italy included, will play secondary roles. And we hope exactly what the Left fears: i.e., that the coalition will carry out the war to the end, both politically (the most important thing) and militarily (the most American thing), destroying the nest of vipers once and for all. And that it may result in the end of all connivance, collaboration, and all ambiguous support of the terrorists. As for the rest--world hunger, north and south, Middle East--it will be taken up in the appropriate forums. Now it is the time to restore the violated principles and to make good triumph over evil."
"Emotion And Reason"
A front-page commentary by prominent foreign affairs commentator Sergio Romano in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera read (9/16): "I wonder how a certain political Left will still be able to talk of materialism, selfishness, or hedonism referring to America. The strength of the United States does not come only from its missiles and its nuclear arsenal. It comes from the extraordinary moral nature of its people. After the mourning, however, it is necessary to return
to normality as quickly as possible.... Returning to normality means remembering that even terrorism, albeit intolerable and condemnable, is a political phenomenon. We must fight it with all the means at our disposal, but we must, at the same time, try to eliminate the reasons that have enabled terrorist leaders to exploit the difficult situation in a few major Islamic crises.... Nobody, in the next few years, will be able to remember the attacks in New York and Washington without feeling rage and indignation. But nobody, we hope, will forget that the best politics is always self-control and keeping a cool head."
"An Ideological War Against The West"
An analysis by Enrico Sassoon in leading business Il Sole-24 Ore held (9/15): "While it is certainly necessary to identify with maximum precision not only the terrorists, but also their supporters, there is no doubt that the recent offensive was not a simple act of terrorism, albeit huge and incredibly violent. We are talking of a real act of war.... For the United States and Europe, it is a matter of defining a strategy of self-defense.... As for Third World countries...they will have to show that they can make consistent choices, rejecting the raving options proposed by Islamic extremists and making a clear step towards international collaboration and peace."
"Middle East Is The Real Problem"
Ugo Tramballi opined in leading business Il Sole-24 Ore (9/16): "If the one that is about to begin is a real war, let's not fool ourselves into thinking that it will begin and end in Afghanistan. If there will indeed be armies, battlefields and real risks for world stability, all of that will take place in an area much more dangerous for us--the Middle East. It is just too easy to believe that it is just Afghanistan.... Once the Talibans have been defeated and Bin Laden eliminated, what they represent and the cancer they have spread would begin to emerge in the Middle East, already full of symptoms of this illness.... The heart of the problem is in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, where members of Bin Laden's international army are already being recruited.... The moderation displayed by the governments of these countries does not fully coincide with the tensions in their societies.... Israel is still an element on the background of this new international emergency. As the West is trying to deal with Islamic terrorism, it has to remember that, sooner or later, it will have to ask Arab governments to take unpopular decisions. Israel is led by one of the most militarist governments of its history."
BELGIUM: "No Blind Revenge"
Foreign editor Carl Pansaerts judged in financial De Financieel-Economische Tijd (9/15): "The Western world cannot but hit back strongly. If the Western democracies fail to do that, they may as well dissolve their armies and security services and surrender to all those who are hostile to them.... The European Allies must show full solidarity and help the United States with advice and deeds. This is not the moment for the Europeans to wonder whether U.S. foreign policy is co-responsible for the attacks.... Without giving Washington a blank check, Europe must help the United States. Not because the United States saved our skins in two world wars, but because it is in Europe's every interest to eradicate terrorism at the root. Europe must not think that it is immune against such terror and hope that the United States will serve as a lightning rod for all the terrorists in the world. In Europe there are enough symbols of political and economic power that may be targets. Washington will resent deeply a hesitating Europe... But, there must be absolute certainty about who is behind the attacks. Blind revenge is a bad adviser, also now."
"America's New War"
Paul De Bruyn maintained in conservative Catholic Gazet van Antwerpen (9/15): "The fact that George Bush is now president does not inspire confidence. He hasn't shown any leadership so far. He lacks intellect, political vision and knowledge of the world that is expected from an American president.... But, there is also a positive evolution: Colin Powell seems to be increasing his grip on (U.S.) foreign policy. He played a key role in the creation of a coalition against Saddam Hussein. He is doing the same thing now.... In exchange for their support, the Russians and Chinese will ask the Americans that they throw their anti-missile shield overboard.... What happened on Tuesday was an attack against our mutual values like freedom, openness and democracy. That is why we must react against this threat--in a well-considered manner, without giving up our freedoms and without demonizing the entire Islam. But, it must be done in a firm manner. If we do not have the courage to defend our freedoms, they are worthless."
"We Must Act"
Yves Desmet commented in independent De Morgen (9/15): "It is gradually becoming clear that the attacks were carried out by fundamentalists from the Arab world.... The Western world, America and its NATO Allies must act and show that this grotesque attack that cost the lives of thousands of people cannot remain unpunished. But, one must know who the enemy is: it is not Islam, but fundamentalism.... In this sense, it is an attack against all the values of Western humanistic democracy: the democratic state, the guarantee of individual rights and freedoms, tolerance and openness. The West cannot tolerate that this way of life--which continues to be the goal of all the refugees and oppressed people in the world as is shown by the daily floods of immigrants--is attacked in its heart. The West must continue to defend it with every means possible."
SPAIN: “Europe Is With U.S.”
Left-of-center El Pais asserted (9/17): “Europe is with the United States.... But European solidarity does not mean giving a blank check to Washington. Europe is not accustomed to seeing the world in black and white. In contrast, the United States is often innocent, nanve, not understanding that it [the U.S.] can have enemies. Still, it solidly unites whenever it encounters one.... At the moment Bush is acting calmly and cautiously. Precipitous action could open a fatal breach in the international coalition he is trying to form."
Conservative La Razon concluded (9/16): "It seems...obvious that the terrorists were also thinking about the next move of those attacked: a raid against Afghanistan. And if so, it seems clear that they also have foreseen an answer to an eventual invasion. It all seems to be planned to lead the United States into a mousetrap--Bin Laden being the cheese. Once the trap is sprung, an Islamic anti-Western union will be provoked. In the light of all this, every step the United States takes has to be very carefully considered, as the failure to control terrorism would be as bad as the failure to control the total war that threatens us today.”
“Without Fissures In The Coalition”
Conservative ABC noted (9/15): “Aggression that aims at the center of Western civilization cannot occur without a unanimous response from those who have signed a military alliance in defense of the free world and an open society. The unity is total, without the smallest fissure, despite the worries of internal dissent within the heart of the [Spanish] government.... From the horrors of Tuesday we must at least learn some lessons about the nature and goals of terrorism. Terrorism is the greatest threat against human rights and against a civilized and free way of life.”
Centrist La Vanguardia observed (9/15): "The solidarity with the United States expressed by NATO members is logical and necessary, but not enough. Without the participation of Russia, China, and the moderate Arab countries, such a coalition would be merely a Western front, which would confirm Samuel Huntington’s theory about a clash of civilizations. Russia and China must support the international coalition, or at least not oppose it. And the United States must take into account the Arab countries, which will not have an easy time making a decision. In the Arab world there is a separation between the feelings of the people and the position of the leaders. Therefore the participation of Arab countries in the anti-terrorist front will not be easy."
CANADA: "Reasonable But Determined"
Mario Roy asked in Montreal's centrist La Presse (9/17): "What can we Canadians do to stop this descent to hell? ... The main avenue opening before us is a three-tiered diplomatic campaign. First, the ChrTtien government...must show firmer support of the United States. It must also plead for cool heads to prevail--something which has been achieved so far thanks largely to the prudent nature of Colin Powell. Second, because of its special ties with Paris and London, Canada must encourage the EU to keep its good resolutions.... Third, the good reputation of the country will be useful to rally to he cause Arab and/or Muslim states.... Canada has many people from those regions, including large Lebanese and Algerian communities, many of whom left their countries to flee violence and religious fanatism. It is for them also that we must make these efforts.... As British Prime Minister Tony Blair said on CNN yesterday: 'It is in our nature to be reasonable, we will thus act with calm" This is not incompatible with acting with great determination.'"
"War Is Here"
Chief editorialist Jean-Robert Sansfaton wrote in liberal, French-language Le Devoir (9/16): "What is the objective of this war for which 50,000 reserves were called up and $20 billions were appropriated? If Afghanistan was the enemy responsible for the terrorist attacks, we would understand that the weakening of that state could constitute a military objective likely to shake the foundations of terrorism. But the terrorists receive support and recruit in so many countries that it is hard to imagine the United States and NATO waging war against all of them. Unless the American objective is of a domestic nature, with new President Bush wanting to take advantage of extraordinary circumstances to prove to his people he has the stuff of a great warrior even if that only postpones the day of real national mourning."
"The Pain That Is To Come"
Lead editorialist David Warren argued in the tabloid-style, nationalist Ottawa Citizen (9/16): "The 11th of September may well go down in history, not merely as a Day of Infamy, but as the day on which we saw the opening salvo of the Third World War. And like the Second, and I think the First, it will prove to have been a necessary war.... Reading the columnists from the United States, I realize that I am not a war-monger. I feel sick at what has happened, at what I think must follow; thinking about the bodies mixed into that rubble, and of the mountains of bodies and rubble to come. We stand in the path of fearful events. For a little while we may have the benefit of calm, before the storm engulfs us. We should use this time to make ourselves ready. We should pray to God for the best result."
"Canada's Hand Of Friendship"
The conservative, English-language Montreal Gazette mused (9/15): "As Canadians waved U.S. flags and sang the 'Star Spangled Banner,' it was time to put our occasional differences
with Americans aside and recall, in the words of Mr. ChrTtein, that we are not just neighbors; we are family. Beyond emotional support, Canada must also stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States in the fight against global terrorism, a grave threat to our way of life. While Canada is limited in the military, logistical and intelligence support it can provide, this country should do whatever it takes to root out terrorist networks with cells operating around the world, including in this country. If U.S. military action is to be credible, it will need broad backing from NATO Allies. That means the United States must talk thing through with its partners before launching a strike. Concerned about calls from Washington for a 'war' against terrorism, several European leaders said yersterday that military action should be "measured," "intelligent," and "targeted." French Prime Minister Jospin said: 'We are not at war against Islam or the Arab-Muslim world. Canada would certainly subscribe to that view. But it should not shirk from any effort to strike hard at the perpetrators of Tuesday's evil."
CZECH REPUBLIC: "You Will Recognize Them By Their Chant"
Right-center MF Dnes ran this commentary by Vladimir Kucera (9/17): "We should paradoxically thank to the attacker against the United States. Besides sorrow, dread and determination, he also brought about knowledge. Thanks to terrorist bestiality, we know exactly who is who.... Yes, we had a foreboding of that. We suspected for example rowdies. Their rivals are the Jews. Rowdies throw bananas at the African players of the Czech soccer supreme league. Here the suspicion grew over into the certainty. But since the moment, when they started to chant 'Long live bin Laden!' in Brno, we know everything.... Therefore the paradoxical thank to the terrorists. But we could have already expressed our thanks like that to Hitler, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin and others. We could have recognized their adherents by their yell and by a color of their 'feathers.' But we nevertheless didn't listen to advice."
Petr Fischer commented in right-of-center Lidove noviny (9/17): "[President W. George] Bush has so far been going along the time-tested diplomatic path. He is trying to make use of military and moral supremacy and to bring to cooperation countries lying close to the suspected Afghanistan.... The first success--the Pakistani ultimatum for extradition of Osama bin Laden and agreement to cooperate in the military field--has already been attained.... The tactics of prudent preparation and patient escalation of pressure has so far been effective. This is the first good news in the new struggle against the insidious terrorism. What is required of people is not to panic and to have firm nerve, better than the enemy does."
"The Fifth Column"
Petruska Sustrova observed in right-of-center Lidove noviny (9/17): "Czech extremists, at least the ones grouped in the National Social Block, even publicly approves of the terrorist attack against the United States on September 11. Millions of TV news watchers could witness it with their own eyes. ...It is an interesting phenomenon: Why do the National Social Block members stand up for terrorists, whose ideological leaders are by no means up to the requirements for clean race, that the Czech extremists so often advocate? I think, they were led to that by a strong anti-Americanism. They simply don't like freedom, a strong hand government is dearer for them, and they can't find it in the United States. And may be, they have other motives for their attitude. When I think about them, Jan Werich's question enters my head: 'Does one do that because of stupidity or because of money?'"
"Under Kandahar Summits"
Tomas Klvana editorialized in leading business daily Hospodarske noviny (9/17): "The symbolic
aspect of the destruction of the World Trade Center is an act of confirmation of war led by extremists against the West, its culture, and the United States as its most visible representative. Bush understands that he must support justice, but that that is not the primary objective.... The primary objective of the United States and its allies is security, not justice. That does not mean that the war against terrorists is not just. It means that the objective is to eliminate them, not to bring them to justice. If Osama bin Laden indeed is behind the many attacks that are attributed to him, he does not deserve a lawyer but a bullet in his front.... President Bush has also realized that although the attacks was led against the West, the response may not be just one of the West. Speculations about a clash of civilizations are not justified; they are even dangerous at this moment. That is why Bush, like his father 11 years ago, tries to compose a broad coalition."
"From Cobblestones To..."
Business Hospodarske noviny ran this commentary by Ivan Langer, Deputy Lower House Speaker and Deputy Chairman of ODS, the leading right wing party in the Czech republic (9/17): "It is impossible to justify ideas supported by methods beyond law. Any act of violence, and limitation of other people's freedom and civil rights equals violation of basic rules of human society. It is not possible to close eyes before these phenomena and say that the idea is good but the methods aren't. Some ideas can only be supported by threats and violence. Therefore, we should remember that international terrorism started with the cobblestones thrown at police officers [during the IMF/World Bank Sessions] in Prague."
"Desert Storm 10 Years Ago.... And Now"
Left-of-center Pravo filed this commentary by Jan Eichler, scientist from Institute of International Relations in Prague (9/17): "The main objective of [dictators] was to get something that would make them equal with the West and its central power. They continued to look for something that would help them tear America's hands. We now know that terrorism, the cruel weapon of fight against unarmed and innocent civilian populations, is such a tool. We do not know when and where it will attack next. We cannot nevertheless rule out that the objective of the cruel attacks against civilian targets in the United States was to hit this superpower as well as its allies in NATO with such a shock that they would resign to any future operations such as the Desert Storm. In September 2001, the world crossed a certain Rubicon. It is very unclear to predict what we should be expecting."
GREECE: “Face Of Satan; Bin Laden, Bush Both Products Of Same System”
Writing in influential, high-circulation, pro-government To Vima (9/16), chief editor Vasilis Moulopoulos said: “The U.S. government has declared war against evil.... It is about the same plan, the same metaphysical ideology that inspired the suicidal team of terrorists. It is exactly what all those who feel American must stand against. Few people realized that we would not have mourned for the 20,000 dead Americans if we had mourned for the 15 million children dying of starvation every year, or for the millions of Africans who die of AIDS because medication is too expensive for them, or for the thousands of dead in the Balkans, the Middle East, Central Asia or the hundreds of areas around the planet where the good fight against the bad.”
“The Irrationality Of War”
Popular, influential and anti-American Eleftherotypia opined (9/15): “The declaration of war--which is a pure insanity, an obvious illegal act according to international law, and an
outspoken barbarity--means that the horror of Tuesday, September 11, will be repeated with multiple victims, as bombs will be fired against ‘the enemy’ by the biggest military power the planet has ever seen.... Through the declaration of ‘sustained’ war the United States is launching a global terrorist attack that will bolster rather than deal with or eradicate terrorism. Revenge will unavoidably trigger counter-revenge. It will lead to a vicious cycle that will prolong terrorist violence.”
HUNGARY: "Cold World Waiting For Us"
Bela Gallo concluded in influential, liberal-leaning Magyar Hirlap (9/15): "The irrational always has its--albeit horrible--rational causes.... In proportion to the degree the global society's unresolved problems accumulate, the risk of the unpredictable local and global--although not necessarily terrorist like--reactions will increase."
Influential, liberal-leaning Magyar Hirlap editorialized (9/15): "Article 5 can only be immediately applicable after a thorough and thoughtful consultation and well-considered analysis, and no member country has to make commitments that would go beyond its possibilities and put the country itself in danger. Secretary Colin Powell...emphasized that his country would probably act alone. They reserve the right to do so, but the Allies' solidarity is worth gold.... It is a fact that the government of Hungary agreed to the application of Article 5--true, due to the obligation of consensus, it hardly had any other alternative--and it should be considered the expression of an opinion."
"Globalization--After The Shock"
Attila Agh commented in independent Nepszava (9/15): "The developed Western world must understand that if they do not want to live under a permanent, desperate siege, they must share the results of global progress with the global world itself, and cannot sink into the self-confidence of 'winner takes all.'"
"Key Words Of The Future"
Influential, liberal-leaning Magyar Hirlap editorialized (9/17): "Everything depends on whether the voice of those advising to use soberness and tolerance will be stronger, or rather of those urging a counter-strike as soon as possible. But a strategy planned for such a short term cannot lead to results. The counter-measure cannot be built on a desire for revenge, but rather, as the pope--and many others--emphasized: only on the interests of fairness and peace. Only these two key words open the world of a livable future: fairness and peace. Blind retaliation and war lead to a different kind of future."
"The New Enemy"
Independent Nepszava held (9/17): "Having lost its positions, [Russia] had to look on as Western assistance flowed into Afghanistan, as the United States was trying to take Russia's position in the region, as the religious fanatics who eventually turned against the entire civilized world were being armed. The West had not much to say when, with Afghan contribution, the southern territories of the former Soviet Union were turning into the arena of the Islamic fanatics' spiritual and military penetration.... In one respect, however, Russian can now rest easy. The United States that, ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union, has been desperately trying to find out who its new enemy is, has now found the real one. And it is not Russia.... The threat of terrorism has lined up on the same side everyone for whom religious fanaticism's absence of inhibitions is alien. This is, so far, the most significant achievement of the 21st century."
ICELAND: "The Search for the Enemy"
Second-largest DV commented (9/17): "The only certain thing known about the terrorists... is that they are Arabs. Connections to known terrorist groups is unclear. Hints have been made that some of them might have been trained in the camp of the villain Osama Bin Laden somewhere in the mountains of Afganistan. This has not been proved. Civilized nations going to war can not base their decisions on guess-work. Certainty has to prevail. But the enemy must be found...nothing is more important."
"Letter from Reykjavik"
Morgunbla=i=, IcelandÝs leading daily, commented (9/16): "After last Tuesday everything has changed. Our sense of safety is gone. Extremists in suicidal euphoria performed a successful attack on the heart of the North-Atlantic region, on two of the greatest cities in the United States of America, the greatest military power in the world, and no defenses could stop them. TodayÝs generation, so oblivious to the Cold WarÝs instability, now suddenly has to face that it is not secure anywhere from the terrible forces behind these attacks."
THE NETHERLANDS: "Noble Eagle"
Influential, liberal De Volkskrant has this editorial (9/17): "It is certain that we will get military actions. That is also what the terrorists want to see. The scale of their attacks had only one goal: evoking a war hoping to get the people of the Arab and Muslim world against the Americans. In order not to get into that trap, the Americans should make sure that the campaign against international terrorism will not only carry a military character but also contain a political component. For history and geography tell us that it will not be easy to eliminate the Taliban regime with military means only. All supply lines will have to be cut off to isolate and eliminate the unwholesome regime of religious fanatics. The assistance of neighboring countries is necessary.... Powell, who also took a cautious course during the Gulf War, now has the essential task of creating international support for campaign Noble Eagle. His first success was getting Pakistan on his side. Now he has to get the support of the Arabs, Russians, and Europeans."
"Terror Against America is Not War"
Maarten van Rossem commented in influential, liberal De Volkskrant (9/17): "Unfortunately, the President and his staff are creating the impression that they see the attack as a threat to U.S. security. For they are speaking in terms of 'an act of war.'... However, there is no war. A war requires an opponent that can be defeated with military means. There is no clear opponent. By not making a distinction between war and attacks, the U.S. is making the problem even bigger.... If the Americans really want to do something constructive, they should try to end this Israeli-Palestinian conflict as soon as possible. That is not simple, but the Americans could start by taking a less partial position. The president has not been very convincing.... It might be possible that he is a great leader when chairing the cabinet meetings, but to the outside world the main character gives the impression of being not much more than a figurante. His speeches were not much and in comparison to the mayor of New York he is only making a very clumsy and mainly irrelevant impression. Let us hope that it is only an impression."
NORWAY: “Adversity Gives U.S. Strength”
Newspaper-of-record Aftenposten ran this by Per A. Christiansen (9/17): "Time after time the United States has shown that in times of adversity its best characteristics prevail. The greatest periods of growth in American history have typically followed in the wake of such resistance....
If Osama bin Laden and his like-minded (coleagues) had a better knowledge of American
history, they would have understood that Americans are most invincible when they and under pressure and forced to act collectively under the conviction that they have morality and right on their side.”
“U.S. Calms Down After Declaration Of War”
In social democratic Dagsavisen (9/17), Foreign Affairs Editor Erik Sagflaat commented: "As the United States prepares for a long lasting and determined fight against terrorism, it has shown up to now that it is willing to put a lot of effort into building up a wide as possible international coalition… The world must win the fight against terrorism. If it doesn’t, what happened in the USA will just be a foretaste of what we can expect in a couple of years, when well-organized terrorists will control nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.”
POLAND: "We Must Defend Our Civilization"
Aleksander Hall wrote in liberal Gazeta Wyborcza (9/16): "Our civilization and the only global superpower as its representative proved to be almost helpless. It was not because of nuclear warheads aimed at it, but because of a determined, ready-for-anything group of fanatics who would not hesitate to sacrifice their lives in the name of their hatred toward the West.... Our civilization will not run short of material and technical means to oppose the threats. They will be of little use, though, if we run short of willpower, courage and resolve to face the opponents and defend our way of life, identity, and common values."
"Right To Justice"
Pawel Lisicki commented in centrist Rzeczpospolita (9/17): "The more time passes since the attack on America, the louder become the voices of those who warn President Bush against 'blind retaliation' and 'revenge on innocent victims.' Such opinions would be no surprise were it not for the fact that the very same persons at the same time condemn terrorism and call for crushing it decisively.... One could believe that the evil can be eradicated without the use of power. Those who believe so, however, ignore the right of the innocent victims buried under the tons of rubble in New York and Washington. They actually deny Americans the right to seek justice, thus giving in to the violence of terrorists."
"The War Of The Worlds"
Tomasz Wolek wrote in right-of-center Zycie (9/17): "The entire civilized world must become united in a war with a newly emerged barbarity. It is not about revenge, but about how to ensure security to the world whose foundations were shaken. This is a real war of the worlds: the civilized world against the world of evil, hatred, and nihilism; the world of life against the world of crime and death. The masterminds and executors of crimes against mankind are not our opponents--they are mortal enemies of humanity, carriers of personified evil."
TURKEY: "The Age Of Fear And Suspicion"
Erdal Atabek opined in intellectual/opinion Cumhuriyet (9/17): "If the United States is looking for its enemy, better look at mirror. And those who are declaring war against United States via terrorism are doomed to fail. They are also the very enemy of their own future. The world can only be saved via common sense with civilized wisdom, not by new warriors or new weapons."
"America Is Being America Again"
M. Emin Kazci commented in religious fundamentalist Akit (9/17): "An attack with that magnitude cannot be made without logistical and information support from the United States.
How come we do not see any mention of American insiders or accomplices among the 19 suspects?... Bush depicted the situation as a war between good and evil. The good one is the
United States and the evil is Afghanistan then. Don't you think this is an odd picture? The whole world is asked to approve the U.S. bombardment of Afghanistan. Well, as a matter of fact, this by itself is an act of terror. It will only help to increase more terror around the globe... It seems the United States is about to begin an irresponsible act which will make the whole world a terror field."
"The Enemy To Fight"
Gunduz Aktan commented in intellectual/opinionmaker Radikal (9/17): "President Bush characterized the situation as a struggle between good and evil forces. This approach reminds me of the 'Armageddon war' belief in Christianity, where the good and evil forces will enter into conflict in the doomsday. Once such an approach is justified, the world might even get worse than it is now... Depicting the struggle as a war between civilizations is also a dangerous approach, which make Muslims uneasy. It is very important to define limits of the events as well as the struggle in a realistic manner."
"One Man's Terrorist Is No Longer Another's Freedom Fighter"
Semih Idiz asserted in the English-language Turkish News (0/19): "Turkey's firmly secular regime is now more important than ever, not only for the United States and Europe, but also for moderate Muslims around the world who believe that modernity and Islam are not mutually exclusive.... This gives Turkey a very special place in a predominantly Christian alliance, making it not just a security spring board but also a bridge between two key civilizations that Samuel Huntington ominously and somewhat provocatively augured would be the two poles that clash after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War."
"Terror And War"
Yusuf Kaplan wrote in pro-Islamic Yeni Safak (9/17): "After the demise of communism, the U.S. adopted a policy to eliminate 'fundamentalism threat.' The recent terrorist act showed that this policy and related strategies were not properly implemented. Therefore the United States is now taking this event as a chance to implement this policy in a more sophisticated and sly way.... The struggle against terrorism is now a pretext for the implementation of the 'conflict of civilizations' plan."
Under this headline, reformist Izvestiya (9/17) carried a commentary by Maksim Yusin on page one: "Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has stated recently, 'Violent actions alone will not solve the problem.... There is also a need for political norms.' What Ivanov says sounds correct, reasonable, neat, and diplomatic. Except that it is very untimely. Those are the wrong things to say now that the world is still reeling from the shock, and the Americans are busy building an international coalition to fight terrorism. Since 'black Tuesday,' the world has changed beyond recognition.... The sooner Russia gets its bearings, the better.... We don't like whatever Washington does or says.... Taliban is a bitter enemy. Does anyone in our government doubt that? If nobody does, why stop those who want to take on our enemy? Now, at this trying moment, Russia has a unique chance to prove to the Americans and Europeans that it is a friend, ally, and partner."
"Enough Is Enough"
Marietta Chudakova demanded in reformist Izvestiya (9/15): "Enough with geopolitical rhetoric and dividing the world into NATO and us, the West and us, America and us, Europe and us! It
is time we started trusting one another and getting together. It is time we realized that there really is a civilized humankind...[that] exists and needs protection."
"Russia Can't Remain Neutral"
Reformist business-oriented Vedomosti (9/17) said on page one in a piece by Zoya Kanka and Leonid Bershidskiy: "Russia must decide how far it is prepared to let itself be drawn into a U.S. operation in Central Asia. If the war drags.... Russia won't be able to remain neutral. So why not join in? In a sense, we may profit from doing so. On the other hand, after gaining access to Russia's sphere of influence in Central Asia, the Americans may linger there."
"U.S. Policy Must Change Or Else..."
Vyacheslav Tetekin said on page one of nationalist opposition Sovetskaya Rossiya (9/15): "NATO's decision on 'strikes of retribution' is just as senseless, since it has no idea about whom it is going to fight.... International terrorism, in large measure, is a product of the United States. Even worse, the United States has revived the cult of violence and the use of force as a decisive factor of world politics. There will be more tragedies, unless the United States radically alters its policy towards the huge world of Asia, the Near and Middle East, Africa and Latin America."
AUSTRIA: " New World System"
Foreign affairs writer Norbert Mayer wrote in mass-circulation Kurier (9/15): "Perhaps this is President Bush's chance to implement his father's vision of a new global policy. The American people trust him and Europe, as well as Russia and China, are not only declaring their solidarity, but are offering actual cooperation in the fight against terrorism. As long as the United States does not limit military operations to plump acts of revenge on already weakened countries, there is a small chance that the fundamental democratic principles to be defended by this new alliance can be upheld."
"No One Wants War"
Chief editor Anreas Unterberger commented in centrist Die Presse (9/17): "No one can want a war--even should the evidence against Afghanistan be beyond doubt. The most powerful argument speaking against a war is that it cannot be won. For the United States, an attack on Afghanistan would, like Vietnam, only result in defeat, exhausting battles without clear frontlines or war objectives, and a sophisticated machinery of war rendered immobile in a fight against a ragged enemy. Simultaneously, the entire Islamic world, from the suburbs of Paris to Indonesia, would unite behind the actual culprits.... No one wants war, but many are contributing their share to eventually making war the only answer."
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: "Retaliation, Or?..."
Independent Oslobodjenje (9/17): "Revenge and retaliation would just increase animosities.... The future development of humanity depends upon the United States' (and Allies') response.... If the orientation for rational response prevails...the world has greater chances in its fight against terrorism."
Top-circulation Dnevni Avaz stressed (9/15): "By his call for praying for the New York and Washington victims in all temples, including mosques, George Bush destroyed hopes of those who thought that America would decorate the terrorism by the name of Islam."
BULGARIA: "The World After Black Tuesday"
Influential weekly Kapital held (9/15-21): "The perception of the invulnerability of the United States as a world superpower has changed. It turned out that no matter how much money is allocated for defense and security, it is not enough when it comes to terrorism. Given the tragedy in New York, the U.S. global missile defense strategy seems both extremely necessary and useless at the same time. The United States is doomed to fail if it fails to secure large scale international support for a global war against terrorism."
"The End Of The Unipolar World Has Come"
Left-leaning, stridently anti-American Monitor put forth this analysis (9/17): "It is clear that terrorism gives birth to terrorism. The United States, however, is a responsible state whose politicians have repeatedly showed that they can make reasonable decisions in critical situations. Apparently a new security system needs to be established and the United States is the country that is most suitable to initiate it."
CROATIA: "The Next Movement's Trap"
Zagreb-based, mass-circulation Jutarnji List featured this commentary by Boris Vlasic (9/17): "Now we are expecting a war, large, unpredictable, dangerous, and cruel. And most probably it will be both retaliation and revenge, much more than just punishment, because wars are not precise, civilized punishment directed exclusively against perpetrators. Wars represent mass destruction, and even defensive ones drag the defenders into the swirl of evil. Anyone who has lived in Croatia in the past ten years could tell that to America. And America is now rushing toward war.... The fight against terrorism is not a question of choice, it is a decision imposed by the very first meeting with the threat. That's why the curse which wishes you life in exciting times is so dreadful."
"Anti-Terrorist Coalition And New International Relations"
Zeljko Hodonj maintained in government-owned Vjesnik (9/15): "A joint plan to overcome the gap between rich and poor, which has grown into a conflict, is needed for a true showdown with terrorism. At the same time, they will have to show a readiness to give up the prevailing globalist tendency of 'imposing' the Western model of lifestyle and the democratic view of life on the states and peoples who do not want to change their models of civilization."
"Did the Passenger Planes Hit American Democracy Too?"
Nino Djula held in Zagreb-based, mass-circulation Jutarnji List (9/15): "In addition to showing that even after this catastrophe, the United States will remain the number-one superpower in the world, it is facing another challenge which is no smaller than the first one. It must, in these difficult moments, restrain revenge and discrimination as well as prevent xenophobia, because all three could ultimately lead it to the abolishment of freedom, the basis of American statehood."
ESTONIA: "Central Asia Preparing For War"
Second-circulatoin, serious Eesti PSevaleht noted (9/17): "The request to turn over Osama bin Laden, that was made by Pakistan under strong pressure from the United States, can be considered a final ultimatum to Afghanistan before staring a war."
"It'sThe Americans' Turn Now"
Second-circulation, serious Eesti PSevaleht also remarked (9/17): "The Russian army has plenty of experience from the war in Afghanistan to be shared with the Americans. But Russians don't want to be involved in a war with no exits. What could be better than to let Americans do the dirty job that the Russians could not handle? Meanwhile Russia can take advantage of the American focus on Central Asia to complete much worse actions in the Caucasus."
FINLAND: "Freedoms Make Market Economy Strong"
Leading, independent Helsingin Sanomat editorialized (9/17): "The market economy's power lies in qualities that are totally alien to modern-day terrorism. The same features that make market economies vulnerable, give them the resilience to withstand even the most shocking blows. Inherent in a market economy is freedom of choice, freedom of movement. If your investment risks losing value, you can move your assets elsewhere: to another country, in another form. Sophisticated technology and an ever-growing abundance of information provide improved opportunities for you to react. Efficient services make it possible to replace a damaged or destroyed centre with another center. In a market economy, the law of eternal competition means that you can always find someone to offer an alternative service. The power of market economy is found in its freedoms and in its flexibility. Although the freedoms, e.g. free trade, have their established centers and symbols, the roots go much wider and deeper. Freedom of information, freedom of movement, freedom of choice and a sense of solidarity always surfacing at a moment of crisis, make market economies strong enough that they cannot be crushed even by the most brutal of terrorists."
"Two Kinds of Sympathies?"
Liberal, Swedish-language Hufvudstadsbladet editorialized (9/16): "Europe, the United States has over the years been criticized for a number of questionable military operations. But not even America's angriest critics in Europe today wish to go so far as to say that the United States now reaps what it has sown. Our sympathies naturally lie with the Americans. But the problem of "who has the right to take revenge against what" remains."
"War Against Terrorism Must Not Turn Into Clash Of Civilizations"
Social Democratic Demari editorial (9/17): "Restraint (in terms of countermeasures) does not mean approval of terrorism to the slightest extent. People who love peace and peaceful solutions have only one option, and that is to go against terrorism. The political leadership of the United States is under difficult pressure. A great part of the nation thirsts for revenge, but it is on the other hand known that military strikes alone do not resolve much. Finnish Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen said on TV on Saturday that the terrorist strikes in the United States prompt the need to intensify international cooperation. He found it important not to create new opposites between the rich and the poor or the Christian and the Moslem worlds. Lipponen emphasizes the need to observe the principles of international law. These principles should indeed have first priority, but undoubtedly the fight against terrorism will create situations,where it is just not possible to observe judicial procedures."
IRELAND: "Ireland Has Not Written A Blank Cheque"
Mark Brennock wrote in the liberal Irish Times held (9/17): "The Taoiseach has made it clear that Ireland, like its EU partners, has not written a blank cheque of support for the US response to last week's terrorist attacks. As Ireland prepares to assume the chair of the UN Security Council, the Taoiseach has very significantly qualified Irish support for any U.S. response to the murderous attacks on New York and Washington. Ireland rushed to show unambiguous solidarity with the United States through Friday's unprecedented public holiday, a move that was noted in US media and resulted in a weekend CNN interview with the Taoiseach. However, the desire to seem as pro-American as possible will come under strain when military strikes are under consideration.... The need to be seen to adhere to traditional military neutrality--as well as the limited capacity of the Defence Forces--rules out actual participation in any military response. The Taoiseach made this clear in his CNN interview on Saturday evening.... While the prospect of NATO powers seeking to overfly Ireland on the way to some as yet unidentified target in the Arab world is uncertain, the notion of having to suggest to the Bush Administration that they take an alternative route would make many Irish diplomats shudder. If military action has a UN mandate, this problem is unlikely to arise, as it can be portrayed as a global act of self-defence, not simply a US strike against an enemy."
"Calm Before The Storm"
The conservative Irish Independent editorialized (9/17): "The U.S. right to retaliation is not in question. The Americans are not only morally in the right. A strike-back is a necessity, for them and the rest of the democratic world. To fail to respond to the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon would equate to an abdication of their leadership. But a reply of a nature which would cause further instability in the most volatile part of the planet could have the most calamitous effects. They must proceed with caution and good judgment, as well as resolution".
"Now That All Is Changed Utterly, Sinn Fein Must Sever Its Links To Terrorism"
The conservative Irish Independent ran this op-ed piece by Maurice Hayes (9/17): "Without going into the moral and ethical basis of either party, (Reference to the debate in the Northern Assembly which produced in the end a unanimous message of symathy, but not without a DUP walkout, as they refused to listen to what they castigated as the hypocrisy of Sinn Fein's expression of outrage) many people will wonder whether Sinn Fein recognised the irony of their own position. Here was the public face of republicanism, the political wing of a movement whose military branch had engaged in a 30-year campaign of terror involving acts of carnage which differ only in scale. The jet plane as bomb is, after, all a development of the car bomb. It may therefore be the appropriate time for Sinn Fein to go political in the fully accepted sense and to sever all connection with military and paramilitary movements and with arms, whether in store or not. Terrorism will be seen as a universal threat with little distinction being made between one group and another. Irish republicans have good enough connections in the USA and sufficient political intelligence to draw the obvious conclusions".
LITHUANIA: "The New American War--Not America's Alone"
Editorialist Rimvydas Valatka observed in leading, independent Lietuvos Rytas (9/17): "[This] is not only America's war. It is a challenge to the entire airspace of Christianity--and Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, even part of Islamic space. It is not a conflict between the poor of this world and the rich, as sometimes imagined. Those who support an organized terrorist army of 35,000 people, are not poor. At least in the material sense.... A gruesomely symbolic image--a small person screaming for help from a burning skyscraper. In an instant, he is consumed by clouds of the falling tower. Is this not the future image of Christianity's space, which is strengthened by another image: People in Palestine celebrating the massacre of people in
America. The tragic lack of communication between branches of civilization has lost its equilibrium."
"The Perfect World Is Helpless Against Perfect Terrorism"
Editorialist Violeta Mickeviciute emphasized in second-largest national Respublika (9/17): "Fear is perhaps the only word according to which a great part of the world is living. It is a fear based
on understanding that nothing-- the security system, the army, influential politicians or even money--can protect from fanatic terrorists.... Unfortunately, perfect terrorists do not recognize negotiations.... The fallen symbols of a peaceful society shows that all that has up until now strengthened the civilized world, together makes up its weak spots."
MALTA: "Keep Cool America, And Keep Control"
The English-language Malta Independent opined (9/17): "The legitimate right of the American authorities to pursue the authors of the bloody attacks, in the framework of international law, must count on the support of allies, NATO, and the United Nations, which in the future will have to stop being a forum of the kind of anti-Westernism and anti-Americanism that fed this terrorist spasm.... There will a new period of reflection on the new foundations of an international order.... 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.... The hurt that all Americans must feel today cannot be underestimated. Two immediate dangers arise. One is wounded, bewildered, and convinced that the world is its enemy, America will draw back into itself.... Likewise, American overreaction, 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."
"United Against Terrorism"
The English-language independent weekly Sunday Times commented (9/17): "And life in America will never be the same again; the fear of terrorism has now been firmly implanted.... But if Tuesday's terrorist onslaught has achieved all this, and more, it has also managed to unite not only all Americans as never before, but the whole civilized world in its determination to stamp out international terrorist. The response must be measured and without, as far as possible, loss of innocent lives. But a response--determined, unequivocal, ideally permanent in its effect--there has to be."
"The Day The World Changed"
The English-language, independent weekly Malta Independent on Sunday commented (9/16): "If there ever was a time when American leadership in the world was needed it is now. A retreat at this point would be a victory for the terrorists. The United States must now forge a huge international coalition to defeat this evil. this attack was not against America alone but part of a battle between terrorism and the free world. And freedom must win."
ROMANIA: "Lunatics At War With The World"
In respected Adevarul, editorialist Lelia Munteanu wrote (9/15): "It is not only incorrect, but also really dangerous to talk about a war between civilizations, least of all about a religious war.... Fundamentalism, fanaticism, terrorism, these monstrous murders have no ethnicity, no religion, no human face. Some lunatics, no matter how many and how well organized, can represent nothing but the Devil himself. They are now at war with the entire world."
"Towers A Symbol Of Free, Daring Soul"
Catalin Popa, the editor-in-chief of business-oriented Curentul asserted on Sept. 15, 2001: "I don't know what kind of war will follow and how the attack on the U.S. will change the balance of power in world politics. I only know that without the 'Twins', a symbol not necessarily of the financial power of America, but rather a symbol of audacity of a free and daring soul to reach the skies, a superb metaphor of a state of mind everyone should look forward to, we would be for some time a race made up of crippled individuals, having to face different people and making the useless gesture of hugging one another. This would no doubt go on until, in the middle of Manhattan, a nation which now is regaining its force within pain, would erect again something - I don't know how high or what it would look like - but certainly another defiance to time and space. It will be, after the world level military retaliation which the United States and its allies are preparing, the American answer that fanatic-religious terrorism can slow down the course of civilization, forcing it to make a small detour, but it cannot stop it completely, no matter how many bin Ladens would be needed in order to fill history's garbage bin."
"Relative NATO Support"
Political analyst Razvan Mitroi opined in pro-government Jurnalul National (9/15): "European analysts are underlining this decision not to participate in a war together with the U.S. and the interpretation of NATO's Article 5, whom the European politicians are aware of, but haven't so far uttered: Helping an ally also means to open air space and to have the participation of mobile military hospitals. Therefore, the 'immediate' NATO support is very relative, and after the emotional stress caused by the attack is gone, it may be possible that Bush will be as alone as he was on Tuesday. The U.S. Army will remain Bush's only ally in the country, as well as outside the country."
SWEDEN: "An Eye For An Eye Not A Good Idea"
Independent, liberal Dagens Nyheter published this article (9/17) by Pierre Schori, Swedish Ambassador to the UN, who held: "The UN has a central role to play in the fight against terrorism. It is important that the image of the United States as a lone, global police ranger does not spread. If that happens, all of us may wind up victims in a world of endless vendettas and spirals of violence."
"War Is The Wrong Prescription"
Conservative Svensks Dagbladet featured this op-ed piece (9/17) by Jan Hjarpe, professor and Islamologist, who opined: "One of the questions that we should ask is how people would become so desperate that they can to these kind of things.... We do want to protect ourselves against terrorism, but the fight against terrorism will be without any prospect of success if we only concentrate on the symptoms, and not on the underlying reasons.... One now is stating that the terrorist attack was a declaration of war, and that therefore we have a state of war. But this would mean that one is making the terrorists, who carried out the action, soldiers. That gives them another victory. They are no longer terrorists who carried out an bestial action, but soldiers who carried out a mission in enemy territory. This is how they regard themselves.... And 'war' would mean the legitimation of bombs and missile attacks against people...who have nothing to do with the matter. Do we really want war? Is it not terrorism that we want to stop?"
"Choosing One's Battles"
Independent, liberal tabloid Expressen's political editor contended (9/16): "Being fellow citizens and democrats we all are now Americans. But this means that we also have a shared responsibility to define what we fight against, and what we defend. Nobody will gain from a political climate that welcomes every attack of retalliation, and every arrest in airports worldwide.... The West that now is standing as one man must make it clear that war against terrorism is something different.... We must uphold the liberal principles that have become clearer in international politics during the 1990s. Individuals, not collectives, should be punished. Innocent people must not be hurt.... The fight against terrorism must constantly be balanced against civil rights. We would have an unbearable society if we would build states that see terrorists everywhere."
SWITZERLAND: "Retaliation Is Not Enough"
Hugo Bntler, foreign editor of the center-right Neue Znrcher Zeitung, Switzerland's most prestigious daily, commented (9/15): "The attacks on New York and Washington go far beyond previous notions regarding the limits of even the most Mephistophelean terrorist actions, especially as far as human losses and material consequences are concerned.... The goal cannot simply be retaliation for its own sake.... Instead, the goal must be to achieve the right political impact in the moral, legal and military battle against terrorism, in order to rein it in permanently. Short-term strikes designed to intimidate terrorists must be supplemented by long-term destruction of the soil from which terrorism draws its nourishment. That requires wise political and social strategies.... Terrorism cannot be overcome without well-orchestrated international cooperation among governments, police forces, intelligence services and the military. The tragedy of New York and Washington has coldly and brutally shown that the hydra of terrorism has grown some new, very ugly heads since the end of the Cold War."
UZBEKISTAN: "Escalation Of Terror And Adequate Measures"
Sergei Ezhkov said in a signed Pravda Vostoka op-ed (9/15): "It [the tragedy] could have been prevented, had the Americans and their special forces had a sober understanding of the danger of terrorism. Not abstract understanding, nor an extrapolation based on other countries and but a fairly clear understanding, applicable to the situation in the United States.... I remember when some foreign media skeptically took the Uzbek President's position towards the problem of international terrorism, perceiving in this his attempts to resolve his narrow nationalist tasks with the help of other countries, involving large and economically developed countries into the fight against Islamic fundamentalism and extremism. There were even voices that the Uzbek leader was distorting and exaggerating the seriousness of the danger'. Despite the fact that the Uzbek leader's initiatives on the creation of an international anti-terrorist center were likely to find the understanding by other nations' leaders, there has not been much progress. There was, to my mind, only one reason: each country, which has yet been affected by terrorism, felt confident that it could deal with this evil on its own. Today, it seems that no one has such confidence bordering on self-sufficiency and imprudence."
YUGOSLAVIA (KOSOVO): "FYROM Albanians Also Donate Blood To America"
Pro-LDK Bota Sot insisted in an editorial (9/17): "With this highly human act of an exceptional solidarity the Albanians of FYROM complete with grandiosity an all-Albanian feeling of friendship and unshaken alliance with America--the savior of the Albanian Nation, Liberator of Kosovo.... This is completely different from the behavior of the separatist and ultra-chauvinist regime of FYROM and its followers who did not show the tiniest sign of respect for the innocent victims that the international terrorism caused to the Great American Nation.... Honor for the human losses of the Friendly Nation and Ally is at the same time an honor for our martyrs, for those tens of thousands who have fallen these years."
Independent weekly Zeri ran this editorial by its publisher Blerim Shala (9/15): "As never before, it is understood that this is a total war against America and its citizens.... This is a total war, which cannot be won only by the most powerful state in the world.... Of course, the
triumph in this new war requires military determination of the United States and the NATO Pact.... But military victory at the moment, by all means achievable, will have short-term effects if they don't create an alliance between America, Europe and Islamic countries in order to marginalize fanatic tendencies. The shock of September 11, the dimensions of which we will learn about yet, left behind a clear message: America and the world cannot choose nor they can seek compromises in this war declared to her. This war must be won."
"Jedal, The Supreme Evil, Attacks.... God Save America!"
Halil Matoshi, editor-in-chief of independent weekly Zeri told readers (9/15): "Jedal is the demon of terror! This attack against the capital of liberty and world democracy, the capital where the realization of ideals of a world with economic welfare, a place that God chose to lead towards the creation of a safer world for the mankind, is...an against human on this earth, who does not carry evil in his being. This attack against America (that is a synonym of hope) particularly offends...Albanians...because Albanians have felt in their skin the great terror caused by Belgrade and Moscow Jedals.... On...September 11, Jedal, which shook America and its foundations...of liberty and the most sublime human principles, [also] wanted to destroy the vision of the enslaved who will be one day be free...the hungry who hope one day to have enough food, and the...oppressed, who hope to have democracy."