|Office of Research||Issue Focus||Foreign Media Reaction|
SOUTH ASIA: Pakistani headlines about planned countrywide demonstrations in "Solidarity With Afghanistan" and against "Attacks By The U.S." reflected a tense national mood. The second-largest Urdu daily, referring to a fatwa, bannered: "Allowing Non-Muslims Opposing Muslims On Our Soil Is Against Shariah." Editorialists agonized over whether Pakistan can protect its national interests while causing "minimal harm...to the Muslim world" and not bringing "any shame upon us." To shield Islamabad from blame, writers yearned for a Muslim stamp of approval for a U.S. anti-terror initiative. The center-right, national Nation asserted that "the U.S. badly needs Muslim nations now just as it did during the Gulf War in 1991." With Pakistan certainly in mind, the paper added "More than the Americans, it is the Muslim nations who will feel the initial fallout of any military action against any Muslim country." Indian observers debated whether U.S. relations with the sub-continent were a "zero sum game," in which Washington-Islamabad anti-terror cooperation would necessarily weaken U.S.-Indian ties. Centrist papers generally depicted Pakistan as paying "a stiff price" for entering the U.S. coalition, being "compelled to give up two decades of political and emotional investment in Afghanistan." The nationalist Hindustan Times saw, instead, an arch-rival trying to "extract concessions" from the U.S. to further "its own despicable terrorist maneuvers."
MIDEAST: Against the backdrop of the Arab media's tight focus on U.S. preparations for a military response to the September 11 attacks and any anti-Arab/Muslim backlash in the U.S., President Bush's visit to the Islamic Center in Washington was the lead story on Qatar-based Al Jazeera satellite TV and in other Arab media. Al Jazeera captioned: "Islam is the religion of peace;" "Muslim Americans are making a great contribution to the U.S.;" and "Bush calls on Americans to treat Muslims with respect." Some news outlets, however, juxtaposed their coverage of the visit with reports of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim incidents in the U.S. Meanwhile, the Arab editorial take on a U.S.-led anti-terrorism coalition continued negative. Many noted the pressure on Arab leaders to "choose between coalition or isolation." Some foresaw that accession to a coalition would exacerbate the gap between "weak" Arab governments and the Arab street. Some held that military action would only antagonize Arabs and Muslims and push them toward extremism. An Iraqi editorial, in rare agreement with Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti commentaries, argued that the terrorist attacks were a direct outgrowth of U.S. foreign policy. Most writers advocated that, as a first step towards regaining the trust and cooperation of Arab countries, the U.S. must distinguish between terrorism and "legitimate resistance."
EAST ASIA: Australian, Japanese and Singaporean editorials continued to support a resolute U.S. response to the attacks on the twin towers and the Pentagon. Aussie papers were "reassured that the U.S. has been measured in its actions" and applauded Secretary Powell's "wide and genuine" consultation effort. Two flagship Tokyo dailies urged that "Japan should join the war against terrorism," by moving beyond thankless checkbook diplomacy to allow "Japan's Self Defense Forces to give rear-area support to the U.S. military in launching strikes against terrorists." Singapore's pro-government Straits Times declared that the U.S. was categorically not involved in a "conflict between the West and Islam", but in "a battle between humanity and hateful, vicious, evil bigotry." Indonesian, Malaysian and Thai commentators advised, variously, that a thorough investigation, due process and reflection upon American policies might serve the U.S. better than a "reckless war against terrorism."
LATIN AMERICA: Observers were apprehensive about their governments' being called to support U.S. military action but, at the end of the day, a majority decided that the U.S. "now needs the rest of the world" and agreed that "solidarity is the best weapon against terrorism." Most also pondered the possible consequences of a U.S. retaliation. A primary worry was, as Buenos Aires's leading Clarin's put it, that "an indiscriminate attack on some Islamic territory could spark irrepressible retaliation." From Santo Domingo to Santiago, a majority struggled with the ethical and moral dilemmas of taking "innocent lives" and wondered if the U.S. was "stooping to the level of the terrorists," in the words of a Bogota daily. While urging caution, a majority of outlets in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Bolivia and Peru raised the most supportive voices. A Chilean writer consoled readers with: "We mustn't forget the desire of America's leaders and its people to show their ability to perform in the face of adversity, and to recover." There was a shift from earlier commentary in the Brazilian press, where center-right and conservative papers rebuked the previous, "specious" arguments which had suggested that the U.S. was getting a taste of its own medicine. While allowing that the U.S. "deserves criticism," center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo insisted that "none of its mistakes serves as an alibi for one of the most horrid acts of terrorism mankind has ever watched." A largely critical Mexican press refused to back U.S. "belligerence," and some echoed independent Reforma's concern that "whatever military actions are implemented, it is clear that they would not eliminate the threat of terrorism."
AFRICA: Press reaction moved from horror over the tragedy to examination of the "reasons" behind the attacks. The desire for swift and terrible retribution continued to be coupled with appeals for "a change in the way the U.S. government views the world." The consensus was that the U.S. must abandon its "go-it-alone" philosophy if it hopes to win the war on terrorism. This, in the view of some, meant helping "fragile democracies"--thus denying breeding grounds to terrorists--and supporting the UN. According to South Africa's independent Business Day: "If Bush and his successors want to rid the world of terrorism they will need much more than the help of an ad hoc coalition. They will need the help of many more diverse nations willing to take on greater and even [more] dangerous responsibilities than what his father required...to win the 1990-91 war against Iraq."
EDITORS: Gail Burke, Stephen Thibeault and Irene Marr
EDITOR'S NOTE: This survey is based on 148 editorials from 37 countries, September 16-18.
Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.
EGYPT: "American War Against Terrorism Should Not Divide World"
Aggressive, pro-government Al-Akhbar opined (9/18): "The anticipated American war against terrorism should not divide the world, should not lead to religious polarization, or become a mad war differentiating between no one. This is the voice of reason to which the American administration should listen amidst calls for revenge. President Mubarak did well when he explained that to the American media. If the United States is serious about forming an effective international alliance to fight terrorism, it should include Islamic and Arab nations foremost. This alliance should find the real reasons for terrorism and seek to solve the problem at its roots. In our view real terrorism is the continued Israeli occupation of Arab territories, and Islamic and Christian sites in Jerusalem. The Arab and Islamic world see injustice and double standards as fertile soil for the rise of terrorism. If Washington wants truly to fight terrorism, it should eradicate this terrorist spot, Israel, from our region."
"Who Is Declaring War?"
Leading, pro-government Al Ahram's contributor Laila Takla, a senior social figure wrote (9/18): "Five notes: 1. A country such as the United States should have adopted deterrence and prevention, instead of reaction to the catastrophe; Egypt realized the danger of terrorism long ago and Mubarak's message is to hold an international conference to cooperate to fight terrorism...but the American regime thought terrorism could not reach it. 2. The United States has extremists from Asia and the Arab World who follow false Islamic teachings. The American government embraced these elements, trained them and gave them entry visas and nationality. Those elements committed crimes in the Middle East and Egypt and it is unfair to accuse their countries of origin (of terrorism). 3. It is truly regrettable that the American media implicated Arabs and Moslems in the first instance and interfered with the course of justice. 4. Whatever the results of the investigations, American national security authorities should pay a high price for their failure to predict such events. The terrorist attack in Luxor raised world anger about an Egyptian security failure and led to propaganda to the effect that Egypt is not safe. 5. Relief and rejoicing of some elements in the Third World is the result of the strike at America's solitary might and power, and not about the killing of innocent people, the destruction or the recession of the global economy.... Has the clash of cultures really begun?"
BAHRAIN: "What America Wants To Do In Afghanistan Is A Type Of Genocide"
Semi-independent Arabic daily Akhbar Al-Khalij ran this comment (9/18) by Sayed Zahrah: "What America wants to do (in Afghanistan) is a type of genocide. Therefore, it will be a dangerous precedent if Arab and Muslim countries agree to participate in a comprehensive war against an Islamic country.... In addition, the Arabs should realize that when America talks about a long war against terrorism it does not mean against Afghanistan only. It means a destructive war against every country which it considers to be harboring or helping terrorism.... In short, the enemy which America tries to establish a coalition against is us, the Arabs and Muslims, our countries and our civilization."
"Looking Not To Arab Leaders But To The Arab Street"
Semi-independent Arabic Akhbar Al-Khalij comment (9/18) by Hafedh Al-Shaikh: "What we are counting on now is not the weak official Arab regimes but the national Arab and Islamic forces (NGOs.) They should rush to keep our crucial issue, the struggle against the Zionist movement and its state (Israel), at the top of our list. They must not allow the American clamor to divert our attention from the Palestinian issue...The public demonstrations in Pakistan over the last two days, aimed at preventing the Pakistani government from agreeing to the American agenda, represent options worth exploring by the Arabs."
"We Support U.S., But Where Is Support For Martyrs In Palestine?"
Semi-independent Akhbar Al-Khalij ran this comment (9/16) by Sayed Zahrah: "We, the Arabs, have been the people who have suffered most from terrorism. Thousands of our (Palestinian) people have fallen victims to the most ugly terrorism in the world--Zionist terrorism. Therefore, we who condemn America for doing nothing to stop the Zionist terrorism, should, with greater reasons, not hesitate in condemning the attacks against America. Justifying those attacks and the killing of innocent people would mean giving the world an opportunity to justify the killing of innocent Arab people. However, watching the whole world rushing to help America carries out its revenge makes us ask the following questions: Why doesn't the blood of our martyrs in Palestine gain the sympathy of the world? Why didn't the world and America move to protect our unarmed people? Why does America justify Israeli terrorism and participate in it? Why does America besiege entire Arab nations in Iraq, Libya and Sudan, why does it find the death of thousands of those peoples acceptable? Our condemnation of what happened to America is one thing and what America wants from the Arabs now--to participate in a strike against Afghanistan--is something else."
IRAQ: "The Catastrophe And The Requirements of Wisdom"
Salah al-Abd wrote in Baghdad's government-owned Al-Jumhuriyah (9/17): "We strongly condemn all forms of international terrorism and its use as a form of pressure in relations and transactions among countries. We condemn it for causing the death of many innocent people in contravention of the most basic values and humanitarian and moral principles. Nevertheless, we must remind the U.S. administration that it was involved for many years in acts of state terrorism when it provoked, directly or indirectly, domestic and regional conflicts and war in this region. It also intervened blatantly in other countries' domestic affairs. We wish to remind it that it must abandon this policy that is an affliction to its citizens at home and the nations of the world. This policy is a blatant violation of the principles of human rights and the rules of international legitimacy.... The failure and frustration that the U.S. is facing today must make it realize its difficult position, that is, if it really wishes to make changes in its domestic and foreign policies. Otherwise it will face more failure and extreme political, social, and economic losses that will have terrible consequences just like the recent suicide attacks on its vital installations and economic interests."
JORDAN: “Unifying The Arab Stand is An Urgent Necessity”
Center-left, influential Al-Dustour opined (9/18): “It is certain that the Arabs, those who condemned all forms of terrorism and declared their solidarity with the American people in their crisis, fear the possible repercussions of an American vengeful retaliation that would swipe Arab interests with it and bring them more harm and defamation, particularly since the American media has focused its campaign against the Arabs and Muslims. We renew the urgent call for coordinating Arab stances to confront the horrible dangers that could affect this part of the world, particularly since Israel has been trying to invest American reactions against Arabs and Muslims and settle its score with the Palestinian people… Needless to say, the experience of the Arab alliance with America during the Gulf War explicitly shows that the United States usually has objectives not seen by anyone, that the United States usually overcomes what it says and promises to its allies. This is what happened ten years ago when it became clear that America had objectives beyond the issue of liberating Kuwait. It wanted to target Iraq, being a regional power that can threaten Israel. We urgently call for coordinating Arab stances towards these serious developments that threaten the present and future of the Arab nation. We truly when will the Arab Nation come together if not at this crucial time.”
"Every Black Cloud Has A Silver Lining!”
Daily columnist Fahd Fanek wrote on the back page of semi-official, influential Arabic-language Al-Ra’i (9/18): “Why did it take a disaster of the scale of the attacks against New York and Washington for America to wake up and realize that its intelligence is a failure, that its security measure are not enough, and that there are those in this world who hate America to the point that they are willing to sacrifice their own lives to inflict harm upon it? The upshot of such a tragedy is that it will open blind eyes and clogged minds towards a reconsideration of everything. The ‘everything’ that will be reconsidered includes institutions, work measures, laws and procedures and all that needs to and does not need to be reconsidered. It might even include U.S. policies that brought upon it hatred and hostility. Is it in America’s interest and security to continue the siege against the people of Iraq for the eleventh year? Is it in America’s interest to indefinitely keep its armed forces in the heart of the Arab Peninsula? Is it fair for the America to impose sanctions on countries, most of which are Arab and Muslim countries, like Libya, Sudan, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan? Is it wise that Arab and Muslim countries are placed on the State Department’s list of countries harboring terrorism, and then reaches out to these same countries asking for help in its war against terrorism? If the result of what happened in New York and Washington is a reconsideration of all these policies, then it is very likely that terrorism will lose its foothold and American interests in the world will be in a better shape.”
"The Required Rationality”
Center-left, influential Al-Dustour held (9/16), “There is no government is world that has not declared its solidarity with the American people in their crisis. Almost all countries expressed their support for every effort aimed at combating and eliminating terrorism... We had hoped that this world solidarity with the United States would rationalize the American reaction and would set Washington’s potential measures of vengeance on the right track. Yet, the United States, overtaken with vengeance and feelings of power, is intent on preparing the scene for wide-scale war operations. This leads us to believe that the Bush Administration is intent on undertaking a large-scale war effort, which will eliminate tens of thousands of innocent civilians, also victims of a vengeful act that will in fact fail to eliminate terrorism."
KUWAIT: "Looking For A Mirage"
Wael Al-Hassawi wrote in independent Al-Rai Al-A'am (9/18): "Is the United States capable of overthrowing the Taliban movement without causing bloodshed of innocent people? The answer is no because the strike will require land and air attacks on Afghanistan. In return, Afghanis will defend their country. The sedition will also spread to Pakistan, which rejects the presence of American troops on its territories. Transferring the war of terrorism to the another part of the world would also be a complicated issue especially due to the double standards which the United States practices in the Arab world."
"Your Friend Is One Who Is Honest With You"
Independent Al-Qabas opined (9/18): "At these difficult times, we say to our friends: 'your friend is one who is honest with you.' Your friend is the one who tell you the whole truth and present all the facts before you. The fact that you have left so many hot issues unsolved has caused disappointment and led those people to go toward terrorism. Punishing the people who were responsible for these events is a must, but the real solution to terrorism is to solve issues like Palestine, Kosovo and Kashmir. The real solution is also to put a political end to the suffering of people which will result in the giant regaining his position on top of the world."
"Radicals And Terrorists In America"
Abdel-Salam Maqboul wrote in independent Al-Anba' (9/18): "We fear that the American response against the Arab and Muslim communities in the United States is in the wrong place. These communities consist of innocent people who have nothing to do with terrorist groups. They have melted in the American society and became part of it. We fear the reaction of revenge by some American radicals who still believe that all Arabs are terrorists."
Mohammad Musaid Al-Saleh wrote in independent Al-Qabas (9/18), "America's reaction to last Tuesday's attack is still unclear. It has declared war against Bin Laden who is still a suspect. Even Europe is now not so eager to declare war against a nation just to finish off Bin Laden. It seems that Israel is the sole beneficiary of the situation as it is continues to kill our Palestinian brothers. Meanwhile Arab leaders are not demanding Washington stop Israel's killing as a price for standing with the United States against Bin Laden."
LEBANON: "'Crusade'...A Lapse Or A Decision?"
Walid Husseini commented in pro-Syrian tabloid Al-Kifah Al-Arabi (9/18): "American President Bush declared a 'crusade to rid the world of evildoers.' As if he were ignoring (the fact) that Europe spent centuries forgetting this shameful act that was an offense to human history. He did not specify what he is expecting from this crusade--imperialistic objectives, or religious means...? We hope that Bush's call for 'crusade' results from shallowness and improvisation, and is not an expression of the thinking of the American establishment. We hope this call remains in the framework of a lapse, not a decision, because such a slogan...will make moderate people in the region disappear; and wisdom and fear will not succeed in preventing them from moving, because of wisdom and fear, towards extremism...maybe to the extreme of Afghanistan... We are moving rapidly now from limited terrorism to global terrorism."
"The Arabs And Terrorism"
Sahar Bassiri wrote in moderate, anti-Syria An-Nahar (9/18): "America has given a single title to this phase, namely, eradicating terrorism--and we see it moving with frantic diplomacy to organize almost all the countries of the world, foremost among them the Arab countries, in a coalition that aims practically at eradicating all that it calls terrorist from the earth.... We see Arabs cautious about this coalition and insisting on a political approach to dealing with the roots of terrorism, ...as expressed by President Hosni Mubarak when he called for an international conference to combat terrorism; and by Arab League Secretary General Amre Moussa when he called upon America to consult with the Arabs about the coalition, in order for them to decide their position on it... The American tendency clearly gives priority to a security solution...and the Arab tendency gives priority to a political solution, and between both tendencies there is a great danger of Arabs becoming mere followers or subordinates in this forthcoming coalition, considering the way Washington handled this issue with the Arab ambassadors, ...the offer made to them that they cannot refuse: coalition or isolation... A marriage of both the security and the political solutions is possible. It requires that the Arabs move beyond traditional positions and act effectively and that America not limit its fight against terrorism to the security viewpoint, transcend itself, at least once, and address the Arabs with a new language capable of convincing all of them, not only their leaders, that the enemy that it wants to fight is also their enemy."
MOROCCO: Broadcast Media Treatment
Medi-1 Radio (audience about 20 million) carried on its French and Arabic newscasts a detailed, positive commentary on President Bush's visit to the Islamic Council in Washington, D.C. and his comments, both on the need to distinguish between Islam and terrorism, and on the many contributions of Muslims and Arabs to America. Qatar-based Al-Jazeera satellite TV carried a report from its correspondent in Rabat on the memorial service at the Cathedral St. Pierre, noting Morocco's tolerance and solidarity with the American people.
"A Nice People"
A front-page editorial in government coalition Bayane Al Youm argued (9/18): "The American people are nice people, a people who produce resources and technology and do not care about ideologies.... They are also tolerant towards their leaders to the extent that it is dubbed naive because of its kindness, they deserve at least from its political leadership a change in their policy.... A policy of repression and injustice is the fertile soil for the flourishing of all aspects of terrorism, violence and chaos."
"War Is Not The Solution"
Government coalition Al Alam editorialized (9/18): "The United States won't achieve any military or political result from a war it is determined to wage but will lose. Besides the loss in life and resources, waging a war will undermine America's reputation and world sympathy and will stir the passion of groups America calls 'terrorists groups' and lead them to carry out operations which would damage its military, political and economic power."
"U.S. Determination And Arab Hesitation"
Independent, French-language, business-oriented L'Economiste commented (9/18): "Arab and Muslim leaders are hesitating between two fires: Either to join the allies camp or condemn raids against Afghanistan at the risk of being accused of supporting terrorism. A difficult choice which should be taken quickly."
OMAN: "When American Is Afraid"
Abdullah Al-Emadi, Qatari national reporter, wrote in semi-independent Arabic-language Al-Watan, (9/12), "What we most fear now is American rashness in pinpointing Arabs and Muslims, which would mean chaos, disturbance and unusual pressure on Arabs and Muslims, especially those resident...the West.... It is not possible to rule out Israel from what happened, either directly or indirectly. The Mossad might be involved to connect Palestinians and Arabs to the events and create pressure from the public opinion against anything Arab or Islamic. It is also possible that other entities within the U.S. are behind the events, especially many criminal organizations who worship money.... These organizations may exist outside of the U.S., retaliating against American positions on many international issues. It is too early for us to know."
"What is Washington going to do?
Sami Hammed, an Egyptian national reporter works in semi-independent Arabic daily Al-Watan, asked (9/16), "Is military confrontation the only choice given in Washington or are there other solutions and alternatives? Military confrontations are logical if they take place is between two countries, but using it to confront terror will not be more than a way to retaliate. There is no victory or defeat in this because terrorism will remain and may increase, as we know that it increases with every retaliatory action. So, the American administration should put the military alternative aside and review its policies for they might be the tool of feeding terrorism."
QATAR: "Bush Visit To Islamic Center Lead Story On Al Jazeera"
President's visit to the Islamic Center in Washington was the lead story on the 8:30 morning newscast of Al Jazeera satellite TV. Captions: "Islam is the religion of peace;" "Muslim Americans are making a great contribution to the United States;" and "Bush calls on Americans to treat Muslims with respect." Repeated throughout the day. Second lead story was Secretary's Powell interview which was aired in full. Caption: "Powell says Israeli forces will not be used in the war against terrorism." Repeated throughout the day. Third lead story: Taliban issues proclamation: If the United States attacks us, we will declare a jihad on America. Religious leaders announced that they will postpone their meeting about deciding Bin Laden's fate until Wednesday 9/19.
SYRIA: "Israel And Terrorism"
Ahmad Dhawa, commentator in government-owned Al-Thawra, wrote (9/18): "Certainly the terrorist attacks that shocked the American people and the whole world, are ethically and politically denounced and internationally rejected. They were heavily condemned by Arab and Islamic states, which have often called for an international conference to define terrorism and to combat all its forms. These states call on the world community not to ignore the state terrorism practiced by the Israeli government. Usually it makes use of the atmosphere created by crises such as those that happened in Washington and New York, to cover up for its terrorism against Palestinians and Arabs by blaming innocents. Arabs were the first to condemn the terrorist operations against the U.S. They hope to hear condemnation from the U.S. and the West of the Israeli terrorism. Arabs and Moslems, who are the victim of Zionist terrorism, greatly appreciated the French Ambassador to Israel who refused to compare the terrorist attacks against the U.S. with the Palestinian resistance operations against Israel which are a natural response to occupation and are allowed under international law."
"In The Dark"
Yahia Aridi, Director of Channel 2, Syrian TV, commented (9/18): "Israel has been hunting in murky waters in the past few days. This has been at the expense of the U.S. tragedy. Israel considered itself the only party condemning the terrible acts in New York and Washington, and very quickly rushed to settle accounts with people who are only trying to defend themselves against Israeli occupation and terrorism. This kind of behaviour immediately attracted world attention. Even U.S. officials asked Israeli officials, probably indirectly, not to exploit the American tragedy by carrying out revengeful policies while world attention is focused on the American events and away from what Israel might be doing in the dark. During these past few days Israel has done two things: It has inflamed feelings against Arabs and Islam; and it has perpetrated crimes against Palestinians while the orld eyes are firmly focused elsewhere. These are not noble acts."
SAUDI ARABIA: "We Reject Terrorists Even if They Belong to Us"
Moderate Jeddah-based, Okaz held (9/18): "The Kingdom reiterates that principles can not be compromised, and nobody is above the law of God.... The Kingdom rejects anyone who is involved in terrorism.... Terrorism, with its ugly face, knows no identity, no color.... Terrorism is a world phenomenon that all countries must share the responsibility to control."
"Who Is Benefiting From The American Investigations?"
Riyadh-based, moderate Al-Jazira held (9/18): "Everyday since the New York/Washington events, the news has revealed the limited vision of the FBI....in spite of the information that points a finger toward other groups, especially the Jews. The news reported that 4000 Israelis did not go to work last Tuesday at the World Trade Center in New York because of a warning from their government. What is obvious is that the investigations are clearly insufficient and that there is an intent to focus the accusations on Arabs and Muslims rather than those that all of the leads point to."
TUNISIA: "Best Protection Against Terrorism Lies In Just Approach To Mideast"
Inside page editorial signed by director Boubker Jamai in independent French-language-political weekly Le Journal (Le Journal Hebdomadaire held (9/18), "U.S. foreign policy's cynicism has had a boomerang effect. We don't mean that the U.S. has received what they deserve because what happened last Tuesday September 11 is a human tragedy, not just a U.S. tragedy. Those who carried out those atrocities are barbarians and have put themselves outside the human community.... However, all security measures and punitive actions of the U.S. army won't annihilate the risk that those attacks would be repeated one day. The best protection lies in a more just approach towards the Middle East and towards democratic movements strangled by regimes supported by the United States."
Front-page daily column by director Abdelkrim Ghallab of government coalition Istiqlal Party, Arabic-language Al Alam (9/18), "The American people's problem is that it is not politicized and knows the fever of politics only every four years during presidential elections.... Now that they are facing a hard test, U.S. intellectuals, academics, scientists, businessmen and think-tankers should move to make their
country understand what has happened, its causes, its implications and consequences and should make proposals for a new policy based on reason which would bring America to a new future."
"U.S. Determination And Arab Hesitation"
Independent, French-language, business-oriented L'Economiste held (9/18), "Arab and Muslim leaders are hesitating between two fires: Either to join the allies camp or condemn raids against Afghanistan at the risk that they would be accused of supporting terrorism. A difficult choice which should be made quickly."
AUSTRALIA: "Howard's Blank Check For U.S. May Come With A Hefty Surcharge"
Foreign editor Hamish McDonald cautioned in the liberal Sydney Morning Herald (9/18) cautioned: "It may be well after the Federal election that Washington cashes in the blank cheque the PM has given it for the military response to last week's terror attacks in the U.S.... Quite possibly the U.S. reaction will be more considered and patient than the initial, understandable urge for vengeance suggests, once the feedback comes in from what seems to be a wide and genuine effort of consultation by the Secretary of State, Colin Powell. But Howard may have signed us up for a campaign that will be heavy in casualties and attrition of defense assets, and bring an aftermath of hatred that includes us. There is of course a strong argument for Australia to support and participate in well thought-out actions against terrorism or even states that are a continual threat to peace and their own citizens. But what the U.S. most clearly needs at this point is not extra muscle or more flags, but sound intelligence and policy assessments."
"War On Terror Requires Time, Resolve And Sacrifice"
The national, conservative Australian stated (9/18): "We should be reassured that the U.S. has been measured in its actions and will remain so. Washington knows the danger of hitting the wrong targets is more than simple embarrassment of the kind suffered in 1998, when it tried to strike Osama bin Laden's camps in Afghanistan; failure to hit the mark this time would embolden a newly confident enemy and awaken some of its sleeping cells in 36 nations. Everything will be rethought in reducing the risks of a repeat attack.... [PM Howard] has rightly invoked the ANZUS treaty to pledge our military backing. It is the first time in the 50-year history of the alliance that the call has been made--and answered. We have more directly at stake now than during the Iraq or Vietnam conflicts because, like so many others, we remain a potential target thanks to our respect for American values."
JAPAN: "Japan Should Get Rid of 'Gulf War Syndrome'"
Liberal Asahi editorialized (9/18): "As a U.S. ally, Japan needs to cooperate as much as possible with the U.S. in launching retaliatory strikes against those responsible for Tuesday's terrorist attacks in the U.S. This does not mean, however, that Japan needs to join U.S. military action. PM Koizumi called for a study of new legislation enabling JSDF units to give rear-area support to the U.S. military. Such a new law may be one of Japan's options of helping the U.S. deal resolutely with terrorism.... Given few appreciative reactions to Japan's massive financial contributions made to the U.S.-led multinational force during the Gulf War, the GOJ is eager to make a more visible contribution this time around to imminent retaliatory strikes against Taliban guerrillas asociated with Osama bin Laden. Japan's aid should not be limited to the military area. Japan, which has close ties with the Arab world, could help locate the financial sources of those terrorists and also give aid to refugees."
"Japan Should Join The War Against Terrorism"
Top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri observed (9/18): "Japan, as a major member of the international community, and a close U.S. ally, must play an active role in the war against terrorism to help preserve world peace and order. If this nation fails to join this war, it will lose all international credibility. It is only natural that Japan should come to the aid of the U.S. in its time of need. Doing so would further cement the U.S.-Japan alliance. Japan must lose no time in taking the steps necessary to help the U.S. prepare for an imminent campaign against those responsible for the terrorist attacks in the U.S. In addition to giving supplies and financial assistance, Japan needs to give more tangible assistance to the U.S. Japan needs to enact 'emergency legislation' that could enable JSDF units to give rear-area support to the U.S. military in launching strikes against terrorists in Afghanistan. Japan will be the odd man out in the international community if it refuses to play a responsible role in the on-going crisis."
CHINA (HONG KONG SAR): "U.S. Economy Will Hinge On Scale Of Strike-Back"
The independent vernacular Ming Pao had this editorial comment (9/18): "Four days after the U.S. stock market closed, it re-opened yesterday. Wall Street has filled with a patriotic atmosphere. When the national economy is clouded by sadness, spiritual encouragement can boost morale. In the first three hours after the market reopened, there was no sharp fall. However, a free market cannot rely forever on spiritual encouragement. The long-term trend of the market will depend on fundamental economic performance. Hence, no matter how many points the market dropped, it can only be treated as a short-term reference."
"Should Not Talk About Nuclear War So Easily"
The PRC-owned vernacular Hong Kong Commercial Daily wrote in its editorial (9/18): "After the U.S. encountered the unprecedented terrorist attacks, the whole world condemned terrorist activities. They mourned the deaths of innocent people. They also indicated that they would make an effort to strengthen international cooperation in combating terrorists, and would fully support the U.S. in hunting down the perpetrators. However, it is believed that most countries are unwilling to see and are resolutely against the U.S. using nuclear weapons. Terrorist activities should be given a heavy blow. However, one should not employ nuclear weapons casually."
"Greenspan's Plan Can Alleviate Economic Shock"
The independent vernacular Apple Daily News had this editorial comment (9/18): "The Federal Reserve is prepared for support. Such an attitude is timely and powerful. Although the support is not enough entirely to divert pessimism, it can alleviate the burden of enterprises and consumers and it is conducive to strengthening confidence among businesses and consumers. In addition, the U.S. administration is ready to allocate $40 billion for reconstruction and compensation. With the help of financial and currency policies, even though the U.S. economy will slow due to the terrorist attacks and panic, it will not develop into a long-term recession."
"Save The U.S. Stock Market"
The independent vernacular Hong Kong Economic Journal had this editorial comment (9/18): "To maintain its military superiority, the U.S. must maintain its economic superiority. Wall Street reopens, the American people rebuild their confidence and the economy stabilizes. All these are the most powerful 'logistic support' for military action. In other words, the U.S. stock market is now full of patriotic securities firms working together to save the market. This has a strong political function. Since the rise in the stock market can secure people's confidence, the Federal Reserve has a responsibility to cut interest rates. The U.S. administration will also take all sorts of measures to boost the stock market."
The independent Hong Kong iMail remarked in its editorial (9/17): "Now is the time for courage, determination, and cool heads. It is also a time when Israel must tone down its rhetoric and cease its attacks on the Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's decision to cancel a meeting between the Israeli government and the Palestinians is unwise. His description of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat as 'our own bin Laden' is extremely foolish. If the United States is to have a chance of building a coalition with Arab nations to fight terrorism, Israel must be taken out of the equation. That will require discipline and restraint on the part of Mr. Sharon's government, something he has so far not shown. We are entering an increasingly dangerous phase. This has the potential to turn into an international conflict of epic proportions. But it should not. Bin Laden can be defeated and the world must be united in its effort to win this war."
"No Quick Fix"
The independent Hong Kong South China Morning Post commented in its editorial (9/17): "The drums of war are beating in America but, fortunately, they are beating slowly.... However, the Bush administration has rejected angry calls for immediate strikes just for the sake of action. It is moving methodically and, it insists, with a clear understanding of the complexities involved. It warns repeatedly that there can be no quick and easy victory, that no single action can possibly wipe out international terrorism and those who practice it. This is a conflict without battlefields or beachheads...the conflict will not be easy... the course to victory may be long.... Whether this campaign can succeed is beyond knowing. The enemy is elusive, well-financed and able to turn the tools of the modern world against itself. It operates everywhere and nowhere; last week's attacks seem to have been organized inside America itself. If the United States can maintain the patience needed to pursue this deliberate strategy, its successes could be substantial. But there is no quick fix."
MALAYSIA: "Afghanistan Becomes The Next Iraq"
Zin Mahmud wrote in government-influenced Utusan Malaysia (9/18): "At one point when the mujahidin fighters were battling Russia, the U.S. provided support [to the Taliban] so that there would not be a spread of communism. Iraq once received such support, but as the U.S., several Arab nations and Israel did not want a too powerful Iraq, it was allowed only a limited growth but just enough to keep Iran in check.... The Taliban was earlier not seen as a threat but more as a small extremist movement that would die out. However if the U.S. should attack Afghanistan, sympathetic Muslims will give support to their Muslim brethren and the Taliban will get their recognition."
"Current Evidence Not Enough For The World"
Badrul Azhar Rahman opined in government influenced Utusan Malaysia (9/18): "The evidence that the U.S. investigators have about the terrorists is too simple to be believed. Such a plot would have required much skill and planning, it is doubtful that the culprits would leave so much evidence to be discovered by authorities. We understand the outrage of (President) Bush and American citizens and the whole world condemns the attacks. However if the U.S. chooses to retaliate with force on countries sheltering Osama bin Laden, this may cause a long war and more lives to be lost. The U.S., in its anger, is forcing countries to take sides, and breaking up ties in a world already divided.... Americans have said that they have woken up from their slumber and are more aware of their countries weaknesses and the perception other countries have of America. Who would have known that such a powerful country would be brought to its knees by terrorists. These terrorists not only have hit America but have also struck fear in people all over the world."
"Bush Must Find Out Why America Is The Target"
Government-influenced Berita Harian stated (9/17): "Attacks will only provoke more violence, and in the end there will be no resolution. This will not ensure that America and its citizens are 100 per cent free from the threat posed by terrorists.... America needs wisdom and not aggression in its actions. Washington's approach to the problem should be for the long term. All reasons for the attack should be considered, including the country's foreign policy, which has caused many to regard America as a 'bully' nation.... It is unfortunate that America does not want to see the link between its 'diplomatic' actions as a reason for the violence towards Washington. America does not want to admit its mistake, but would rather choose a way out that does not detract it from its biased foreign policies. America seems to prefer blaming others so that it does not have to admit that it may be the cause of its own problems."
Government-influenced, Chinese language Nanyang Siang Pau opined (9/17): "In a rare show of unity, Americans and the US Congress have given their backing to President Bush to declare war on terrorists. With this, there is now moral justification for the U.S. to launch attacks on the terrorists. It is only a matter of time for the war to begin.... However, it must no overdo it."
Independent weekly newsmagazine Tempo (9/16-23) commented: "Criticisms of Washington's double-standard policy are admittedly worth considering. U.S. leaders need to be reminded that the spirit to fight terrorism should not turn them into terrorists. For, in the eyes of those who could easily pull a trigger, the difference between a terrorist and a fighter lies in whether he/she is on the winning or losing side. This is obviously an incorrect opinion. For the most important difference of whether a community is civilized or not lies in its adherence to the legal system. Even in a state of war, the conventions and rules of war prevail. Therefore, resolving the terrorism issue should also be based on a civilized order. Within the context of the WTC attack, this means that all the parties should uphold the principles of justice. The presumption of innocence, the due process of law and equality of human beings should be upheld. In addition, we should also self-reflect as to why there are groups of people fully [obsessed] with hatred. So much so that they are willing to commit these senseless acts."
"The Trojan Horse"
Legal-oriented weekly magazine Forum Keadilan asked (9/16-23): "Why did the terrorists commit these acts from within the United States? The answer is simple: The United States is too strong.... Therefore, the enemies of the United States have changed their attack paradigms. If they are not able to attack from outside, why not do so from inside using domestic elements as much as possible. Besides minimizing suspicion and alertness, such an attack is usually carried out manually or conventionally. And that is apparently what has been done. Although in the aftermath, the people behind the actions, from inside or outside the United States, may be traced, found, and even 'punished' sooner or later."
"Straightening Out Perceptions"
Independent Media Indonesia judged (9/18): "A generalization that Islam is identical to terrorism and violence is a blunder. Such a generalization would incite new problems, an anti-Islam sentiment that would bring disaster to world peace. If cornered, Muslims would certainly consolidate their own solidarity. If this happens, it would pose bitter irony and paradox as the world would again be heated with new conflicts.... President Megawati should be able to provide insights that a reckless war against terrorism, without the selection of [accurate targets], would be disastrous to the United States. Therefore, the [United States] must be convinced that it should not deal recklessly with the psychopaths, the terrorists."
"Megawati's Visit To U.S., UN"
Christian-oriented Sinar Harapan expressed this view (9/17): "Both Indonesia and the Untied States condemn terrorism and terrorist acts. Terrorists are infiltrating the two countries. The talks between the two heads of state regarding the methods and actions to deal with terrorism should find peaceful and non-violent alternatives with minimum amounts of victims."
"Although The U.S. Has Not Attacked, Afghan People Have Already Suffered"
Leading, independent Kompas intoned (9/18): "The Afghans have already felt the bitter suffering, although the U.S. military troops have not yet attacked.... Thing are getting even more worrisome now because the Taliban government does not seem to be afraid to face the United States and continues to consolidate its strength.... If all diplomatic efforts come to a dead end, a disastrous war will break out and the impact will be extensive.... It does not seem fair that the Afghan people should become victims and suffer because of a person named Osama.... If the United States really proceeds with the attacks, the human tragedy faced by the Afghan people will be no smaller than the tragedy that took thousands of lives in New York and Washington."
SINGAPORE: "To Root Out Evil"
The pro-government Straits Times declared (9/18): "The world must act, on a broad and concerted front, to defend itself against such terror. This is not just a battle between the U.S. and anti-American groups; it is categorically not a conflict between the West and Islam, as Secretary of State Colin Powell has stated unequivocally; it is a battle between humanity and hateful, vicious, evil bigotry. The U.S. has the civilized world on its side.... Military force should be used against the most dangerous of the groups.... Once it is established that Osama is responsible, and there is credible intelligence on his whereabouts, the U.S. can move against him.... To be really effective, the anti-terrorist coalition has to use ground troops--not a huge Gulf War-style army, but special forces to get the culprits.... The coalition should provide key Middle Eastern players, including the Palestinian Authority, with an incentive to wind up terrorist networks within their territories.... The war against terror can be won only if both its causes and symptoms are fought. If the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is resolved, half the battle will be won....
"Nobody should be left in any doubt that the way ahead is fraught with dangers and risks. Putting too much pressure on Pakistan, for instance, can be destabilizing, for it is deeply divided. Using force in Afghanistan may be unavoidable, but war is never neat. There will be casualties, innocent bystanders will die, fuelling more resentment on the ground. These risks can be minimized, however, if the emerging anti-terrorist coalition exercises caution, using diplomatic and political means to keep the world focused on the key issue. This is not a battle against any race or religion; it is a battle against inhumanity, waged on behalf of all humanity."
SOUTH KOREA: "Anti-Terrorism War And ROK Choice"
Independent Joong-Ang Ilbo editorialized (9/18): "President Kim Dae-jung yesterday sent a message to U.S. President George W. Bush saying that the ROK will support all efforts made by the U.S. to eradicate terrorism.... President Kim's message can be interpreted as an expression of the ROK's willingness to cooperate with U.S. military measures to punish terrorism on the basis of the Mutual Defense Treaty, just as NATO is treating the recent act of terrorism as an attack on a member state of the military alliance.... The recent terrorist attacks are inhumane acts of barbarity that cannot be tolerated under any justification or rationale. As a member nation of the civilized world, the ROK should participate in efforts to root out and punish terrorism. Despite our concerns about a rash U.S. war inviting a vicious cycle of retaliations, we cannot object to punishment of terrorist groups."
"Retaliatory War And Bush's Leadership"
Editorial Writer Kim Soo-jong opined in moderate Hankook Ilbo (9/18): "With President Bush's declaration of the 'first war in the 21st century,' international attention is being focused on imminent U.S. retaliatory war, rather than on the blasted sites in New York and Washington... The stars and stripes waving across the U.S., opinion survey results that show strong support for a U.S. war on terrorism, and President Bush's high approval rating of around 80 percent are all driving the U.S. into war.... However, if the intended U.S. war becomes prolonged, only bringing on heavy casualties and creating an explosion of anti-American sentiment in the Islamic world, the international community will not unite to fight terrorism but rather become split and go out of control.... War can resolve problems, but it can also cause many problems. That is why President Bush should show leadership not only in political terms but also in historical terms."
"Need To Be Cautious In Supporting Retaliatory U.S. Attacks"
Pro-government Hankyoreh Shinmun editorialized (9/18): "The U.S. is persuading its allies and friends to participate in the imminent military actions in a bid to increase its justification for retaliatory strikes. Even though voicing opposition to terrorism, the international community, with the exception of a few countries including Australia, is showing signs of hesitation in providing direct military support to the U.S. In this regard, it is highly likely that the United States will step up pressure on its Allies.... Despite our understanding of the ROK position as a close U.S. ally, we cannot help but raise questions about whether President Kim's recent decision pledging full support for U.S. military actions might have been made in a hasty manner, given that suspicions of Osama bin Laden as the prime suspect have yet to be internationally confirmed and retaliatory U.S. military actions can invite a vicious cycle of retaliation."
"Is There Any Way To Preclude A U.S.-Afghanistan War?"
Conservative Segye Ilbo editorialized (9/18): "With the U.S. declaration of an all-out and prolonged war on terrorism, the countdown has already begun for U.S. military strikes on Afghanistan.... Even if the military actions start with limited strikes on bin Laden's terrorist bases, sacrifice of innocent citizens will be inevitable. If retaliatory U.S. strikes to root out terrorism cause the same tragedy as the recent terror attacks, they will not contribute to world peace, but rather make an enemy of the whole Islamic world. We urge the United States and Afghanistan to negotiate to the end in order to avoid a major catastrophe for the global community. In particular, we hope that the United States, with enormous military capabilities compared to Afghanistan, will exert patient diplomatic efforts to defuse this crisis."
THAILAND: “Need To Focus On The Real Target”
The lead editorial in the top-circulation, moderately conservative, English-language Bangkok Post opined (9/18): “Why do the media of so many countries, Thailand included, continue to print and broadcast items constantly describe terrorists as Muslim? Clearly, there is a twin question of ignorance and insensitivity. Leaders owe it to their people to clear up such problems quickly.... The United States has a large Muslim population.... By making it clear that they will tolerate no anti-Muslim acts in their own countries, leaders like Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair can help to assure millions of skeptical Muslims worldwide. The enemy of the anti-terror campaign is not, and will not be, racial or religious. Rightly or wrongly, millions of people and dozens of nations wonder if America and its allies are declaring war on terrorism, or war on Islam. They will support the former. The latter is intolerable.”
“Tough Stand Must Be Made”
The lead editorial of the independent, English-language Nation concluded (9/18): “Once the United States starts its military campaign, most likely against Osama bin Laden, whom it has named as the prime suspect, or Afghanistan, which has been providing him with sanctuary, Thailand will be caught in a further global political dilemma. So it is important that the Thaksin government weighs its stance carefully before coming up with coordinated foreign, security, military and economic policies."
Witaya Tantasut commented in elite, pro-opposition, Thai-language Naew Na (9/18): “The attacks on the World Trade Center twin towers have turned Osama bin Laden and Afghanistan into criminals. By slaughtering Afghan civilians, the United States will be branded likewise.”
The lead editorial of elite, Thai-language Matichon argued (9/18): “Both the United States and the Taleban regime should realize that war is not a permanent solution..... The true solution is for bin Laden to be brought to and tried by a UN tribunal.... If the United States adopts this path and the Taleban rejects it, the United States will be justified in using force.”
“Stepping Into A Bog”
The lead editorial of elite, business-oriented Krungthep Turakij expressed this view (9/18): “Whether the hasty announcement by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to give the United States all-out support in combating terrorists will subsequently drag Thailand into the quagmire of future political uncertainties will demand accountability on the part of the government. Whereas several countries, including ASEAN’s Islamic nations, are adopting the wait-and-see stance, Thailand is recklessly several steps ahead. Besides being indebted to the IMF which has reduced Thailand to playing the subservient underling to the Big Brother, Prime Minister Thaksin’s loose-tongued syndrome, which has already caused quite a number of ill consequences, is a matter for close scrutiny.”
PAKISTAN: "Critical Time, Sensitive Region And Difficult Decisions"
Mass-circulation, Urdu-language Jang (9/18): "Unfortunately, due to the U.S. attitude towards Pakistan during the last decade, some Pakistani circles have reservations about new relations between the two countries which are not altogether unfounded. For that America will have to restore its confidence in the eyes of the Pakistani nation."
"Implications Of Cooperation With America"
Second-largest Urdu daily Nawa-e-Waqt (9/18): "After Japan and Iraq, the U.S. is bent upon destroying Afghanistan, and instead of informing the world about the U.S. designs Pakistan has decided to cooperate with it. We would know the ramifications of the cooperation only when we would be badly trapped in the quicksand. May God have mercy on Pakistan and give it the capacity to take the right decisions."
"Pak Delegation's Afghanistan Visit"
Pro-Muslim League Pakistan opined (9/18): "The conflict has to be resolved. One solution could be the handing over of Usama bin Laden to an international forum acceptable to America and Taliban. Taliban should keep in mind that Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) teachings tell us to preserve our capability. Afghanistan should not give the U.S. a pretext to use destructive weapons. Pakistan too should move with utmost care. God forbid, in the event of imbalance in our actions the internal results would be very dreadful."
"The Possibility of War And The Requirement of National Interests"
Sensationalist Khabrain stated (9/18): "The nation understands the pressure on President Musharraf and wants that even if the situation forces him to accept U.S. demands, he should take a decision that causes minimal harm to Pakistan and the Muslim world and does not bring any shame upon us. In the present circumstances Pakistan must try to play a role that does not affect our dignity and which we can bear with pride, despite our many compulsions. Obviously, such a role demands that we neither abandon brother Muslim state Afghanistan nor compromise on national interests. Let us hope that decisions are not imposed on us, and that we are in a position to get some of our demands met also."
"The New Terrorism Scenario"
Nadir Shah Adil wrote in sensationalist Khabrain (9/18): "Within moments, plans are being made to kill human beings; an international encirclement [around Afghanistan] is increasing. Clouds of an inevitable war are hovering over it. Pakistan stands at the most decisive point of its history.... One destruction took place in New York and Washington, the threads of another devastation are being woven near our country.... Will we see scenes of war, destruction and fire or would history give us a chance to change the fate of this region?"
"What Will the U.S Give Us"
An op-ed by Hameed Akhtar argued in popular Din (9/18): "We should foster friendships and alliances only so long as they are in our national interest. Feelings and emotions should have no role in diplomacy."
"Crisis of Pakistan"
Ghazi Salahuddin declared in the centrist, national News (9/18): "The painful suspense of how the U.S. would wage its first war of the twenty-first century is perhaps not as crucial for us as the domestic antagonisms that it could breed.... It is all right to accuse the U.S. of sowing the seeds of Islamic militancy with its active support to the Afghan resistance against Soviet occupation. But Pakistan must bear its own responsibility for what it did.... A significant point to be made at this time is that the road that the present regime has chosen with its resolve to join the international alliance against terrorism was always there and we did not take it.... And we should have known that the consequences of this default would be disastrous."
Mushahid Hussain observed in the center-right, national Nation (9/18): "What is clear is that the new coalition cannot be functional without major Muslim representation. The U.S. badly needs Muslim nations now just as it did during the Gulf War in 1991. Muslim leaders, generally lacking in political spine, need to muster up the courage and the will and vision to look beyond their own political survival so that the much talked about 'clash of civilizations' does not become a self-fulfilling prophecy. In any case, the Muslim partners in the coalition should first insist on a diplomatic solution before the military option is deemed necessary. More than the Americans, it is the Muslim nations who will feel the initial fallout of any military action against any Muslim country."
INDIA: MEDIA TREATMENT
The Indian media continued with its extensive reportage on the terrorist attack on the United States. This morning's front pages scotched rumors that Pakistan has made demands of the United States in exchange for its cooperation. Editorials continued to urge India to exercise caution in its support to the U.S. campaign to get its prime suspect, Osama bin Laden. Various opposition parties also urged the government of India to be cautious over support to the United States. Papers also asserted that India must make it clear that will not silently suffer the Bush administration's expediency to give in to Islamabad's current bargain. The centrist Hindu was the most positive. It noted that President Bush's "significant" phone call to Prime Minister Vajpayee has set the stage for a qualitative dialogue between New Delhi and Washington on ways to launch a genuine international drive against terrorism. The centrist Indian Express cautioned that Washington's relations with India and Pakistan should not return to the old frustrating zero sum game.
"An Evolving Anti-Terror Agenda"
An editorial in the centrist Hindu stressed (9/18): "With the U.S. President, Mr. George W. Bush, making a significant telephonic call to the prime minister...the stage is set for a qualitative dialogue between New Delhi and Washington on ways to launch a genuine international drive against terrorism.... New Delhi's direct stake in the planned international agenda of extinguishing terrorism is in a large measure related to India's Kashmir-centric worries and Pakistan's ability to stoke them in a sustained manner.... Now, the Bush administration has certainly characterized Pakistan as a 'friend' at this stage, but Washington has also let it be known that Islamabad's immediate value is that of a friend and patron of the Taliban, which harbors Osama bin Laden.... New Delhi, on the other hand, is being viewed by the United States for a qualitatively different reason--India's status as an emerging power.... So, the Vajpayee administration will be erring if it were to see these realities entirely through its prism of Pakistan-related concerns."
"Altar Of Retribution"
The centrist Indian Express' editorial contended (9/18): "Indians are beginning to experience a re-run of old anxieties about Kashmir as the tone of relations between Pakistan and the United States improves. All this is probably quite unnecessary.... Washington's relations with India and Pakistan should not return to the old frustrating zero sum game.... Now is the time for India to press upon the United States the importance of standing firm on the issue of Kashmir and to reiterate its own intention of finding a bilateral solution to the tensions there."
"U-Turn In Islamabad"
The nationalist Hindustan Times maintained (9/18): "Pakistan's willingness to return to the warmth of American embrace is understandable. But the volte-face on Afghanistan and the conditions it has specified as a basis for supporting America, including one on Kashmir, underline such crass cynicism that Pakistan may never quite be taken seriously in future.... Clearly, it is not the menace of terrorism which is of any concern to Pakistan. Instead, it wants to use this opportunity provided by a world traumatized by the horrifying events of September 11 to extract concessions relating to its own despicable terrorist maneuvers.... Having played the jehadi game in Kashmir, Chechnya and elsewhere, however, Pakistan has no option. The irony is that these gestures to the militants will not mitigate their wrath against Islamabad, which has betrayed their cause for a pot of gold."
"Scapegoats And Victims"
According to the centrist Times Of India (9/18): "From the White House down, the American leadership has reacted to the terrible events in a language which is liable to rouse the worst passions. From the Manichean rhetoric of good and evil to blanket invocations of `Islamic terrorism'...official America has actively stoked the fires of popular prejudice in the wake of Tuesday's terrorist strikes.... The dangers of demonizing a whole community, even assuming that there exists a monolithic Islamic community, for the crimes of its fanatical fringe are too frightful to contemplate... It is time President Bush displayed the same resolve in combating the anti-Muslim feelings amongst his people that he has so far proclaimed in America's imminent fight against global terrorism."
"Pak Swallows Bitter Afghan Pill"
The centrist Hindu featured this analysis (9/18) by strategic affairs editor C. Raja Mohan. "Even as it seeks to exploit its unique geopolitical position in the current American war against international terrorism, Pakistan has no choice but to swallow the bitter pill on Afghanistan. Pakistan certainly stands to gain by joining the new U.S.-led coalition against terrorism. But the entry price has been stiff. It has been compelled to give up two decades of political and emotional investment in Afghanistan.... As Pakistan passes through a difficult moment in its national life, India should do all it can to let Pakistan evolve, from this crisis, towards a moderate and modernizing Islamic state that is at peace with itself and its neighbors. It has now fallen upon the Pakistani military establishment to facilitate the destruction of one its most valued creations! India expects the ouster of the Taliban would be followed by a comprehensive dismantlement of the infrastructure for terrorism that has taken root in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the last two decades. As America seeks to eliminate international terrorism, Washington surely appreciates the fact that no surgical operation against cancer will succeed by excising only half the tumor."
IRAN: "Dumping The Taliban"
The pro-Khatami English-language Tehran Iran Daily asserted (9/18): "Bush and his colleagues have been trying to win popular support for military retribution by arousing Americans' sentiments and spreading patriotism throughout the nation. Although the global community--especially US' European allies--originally voiced support for any US reprisal, they now seem to have second thoughts.... Meanwhile, the Taliban militia and Osama bin Laden are believed by some to have been hired by the U.S. to serve its purposes in the region. Their most important mission has been to give Iran a hard time and to block Moscow, Tehran, Delhi and Beijing from forming a strong alliance. But they eventually turned unruly and refractory for the Big Boss. And last week's attacks gave Americans the excuse to try and wipe out enemies who were once counted as friends. What is surprising is that the Pakistanis who have made no secret of their support for the Taliban militia are now turning their back on them. Is Pakistan trying to become a close US ally in the region? Is General Musharraf seeking to legitimize his coup government by winning American favour? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Any such action would gravely enrage neighbours and exclude Islamabad from regional decision- makings. Pakistani officials should keep alert instead of falling into the U.S. trap."
"Journalists' Association Says U.S. Security Involved In Attacks"
Tehran's official IRNA reported (9/18): "The Tehran-based Association of Muslim Journalists (AMJ) expressed sympathy with the bereaved families of the last week's terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. The AMJ in a statement offered condolences to the families of American victims of what it called the 'inhumane actions' against New Yorkers and the Washington citizens who lost their lives in the last Tuesday terrorist attacks. The statement said in the meantime that what happened in the U.S. was the consequence of Washington's double standard in international affairs and the hypocritical policy of U.S. statesmen on terrorism. The AMJ said that there is firm evidence proving that the the attacks in the U.S. could not have been designed outside of the U.S. security system and without aid from individuals inside that system."
NEPAL: "A Word Of Caution"
The centrist Kathmandu Post noted (9/18): "President Bush has not elaborated on how he is going to bring the 'prime suspect' to justice.... It is likely that the U.S. will strike militarily even if thousands of innocent civilians are killed. This will be another human catastrophe.... Attacking Afghanistan will certainly displace thousands of innocent people. Afghanistan...under civil war...has been reeling under poverty. The Taliban...has not been able to restore peace due to UN sanctions. And any U.S. attack against the Taliban will cripple that country more than the Taliban regime.... It [U.S.] has come up with no hard evidence that the Saudi born millionaire was also involved. As things stand, any military strike against Afghanistan will serve to tear that country apart further. Such a strike may backlash in the long run."
"U.S. Must Not Create Counter-Terrorism"
Leftist Dristhi editorialized (9/18): "The U.S...has not yet been able to gather evidence and accurately pinpoint the culprits. It has put all the blame on its traditional enemy Bin Laden.... If the U.S. is for civilization and fair play, it should first arrest Bin Laden and the seeming attackers. It has no right to play with lives of the innocent people of Afghanistan and other countries in capturing Bin Laden. The sympathy expressed by the international community is over the sorrow of the American people, not over the American administration and its policies. If the U.S. attacks innocent Afghans, the world community will express its hatred over America's counter-terrorism, just as it condemned the attacks on the U.S."
Leftist Yug Sambad commented (9/18): "There is no doubt that terrorism is a curse against human civilization and terrorists are the strong opponents of humanity. If terrorists are not punished, there can be many future incidents, which will blight history. This is the main reason why the U.S. is getting worldwide support against terrorism now."
ARGENTINA: "U.S. Mobilizes Troops, But Fears War Will Be A 'Nightmare'"
Ana Baron, leading Clarin's Washington-based correspondent, filed (9/18): "Currently President Bush has at least three options on his desk: an air attack, a land invasion, and the use of special forces for clandestine operations and/or a combination of the three.... The Taliban militia's great advantage is that most of its members were trained by the CIA in guerrilla methods to confront a regular army.... The difficulties in launching a massive land attack are so numerous as the difficulties posed by an air raid... Besides, a land invasion would bring a high political cost for moderate countries. While the governments of countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia support the United States one hundred percent, if there is an invasion they will be likely to face large opposition in their respective societies, where there are already very well organized Islamic extremist groups. It is not advisable for the U.S. to fail in Afghanistan like it failed in Vietnam, and, bearing in mind what happened to the USSR during the occupation, the likelihood of a negative result is too high. Lastly, there is the possibility of performing raids with special forces, which--if not simple--seems in principle more reasonable than the other two choices. They are 'surgical' operations that are clandestine, with very concrete targets and not always clean methods."
"The (Argentine) Government Will Decide Alone Again"
Joaquin Morales Sola, daily-of-record La Nacion's political columnist, emphasized (9/18): "Once again, president De la Rua is more supported by Peronists... than by his own party, the Radical Party.... The two positions are: The Radical Party believes that the Argentine Government must accompany the U.S. through diplomatic gestures and some concrete acts, like the exchange of intelligence information.... Instead, the Peronist Party (or its most important leaders) considers that Argentina cannot isolate itself in the new international order like it did during the Second World War. They hold that it should show a position of close alignment with Washington's positions, which was Menem's policy. The De la Rua administration is not Menem's. Therefore, one should dismiss the sending of troops--no matter how symbolic it might be--without the support of certain regional and world context. Menem sent troops to the Persian Gulf without notifying either the Argentine Congress or the countries of the region... The president's problem is that the Radical Party will not accompany him and that the Peronist Party, that basically agrees with him, will privilege its disagreement with the official party in election times.... Anyway, it should be concluded that neither the Argentine president nor his foreign minister are willing to contradict Argentina's close relationship with Washington which was established during the Menem administration and continued under a different style with De la Rua. It will be apparent again that there is insolvable disagreement between De laRua's political thought and the one of the leaders of his party."
"Argentina And The World Conflict"
Business-financial El Cronista carried an opinion piece by political analyst Rosendo Fraga (9/18): "On September 12.... I held that Argentina is the Latin American country most involved in this conflict due to three reasons: it is the only country of the region that suffered two serious criminal assaults inflicted by fundamentalist terrorism; it is the country having the most important Jewish community in Latin America and one of the three largest Jewish communities out of Israel; and, in addition, it is the only U.S. non-NATO ally in the region. These three conditions determine that Argentina is part of the conflict. To be or not to be part of the conflict is not a consequence of a political decision but is a 'de facto' situation.... It is in its character of non-NATO ally that Argentina is compelled to play a role in this international conflict. Lastly, these facts will make Argentina re-think the role of its Armed Forces.... Regarding the participation of Argentine troops in an international coalition...popular opposition is quite logical. But an Argentine military participation would only require some hundreds of men and would have a symbolic value, like in the Persian Gulf. If the Argentine Government establishes that only Armed Forces' volunteers would participate in this sort of mission, most popular reticence will vanish."
"No Region Is An Island"
Michael Soltys, liberal, English-language Buenos Aires Herald's executive editor, commented (9/18): "Tuesday's kamikaze hijackers...probably thought themselves to be striking a blow against the rich and powerful on behalf of the wretched of the earth. Yet if any terrorists imagined that the blood of 5,000 people could in any way help the world's impoverished masses...they could not have been more wrong.... It is the poor who will suffer most from the world recession that last Tuesday's insanity will very likely precipitate. And this is especially true of Latin America, which depends heavily on the U.S. for capital inflows while even down in the Southern Cone the U.S. is among the two leading trade partners for every country. The real damage will be long-term but the impact was immediate last week.... The main brake on the Latin American contribution to international anti-terrorist action is Brazil, which wants to restrict all decisions to the UN--since its Mercosur partners are proposing the bloc solidarity, this could be the excuse for a lukewarm response from the entire Southern Cone."
"Building From Here On"
An editorial in liberal, English-language Buenos Aires Herald read (9/18): "Given the redirection of U.S. attention now, the support received by the Argentine economy three weeks ago and the measures taken would have been impossible after last Tuesday.... The tragedy is undeniable, but life and work and markets have to go on. The sobering shake that Argentina has received, as has the rest of the world, in the last week is best used to build from here on, and put potential fear of potential failing aside."
"The Combat Against Terrorism"
An editorial in leading Clarin held (9/18): "The USG has presented an extremely simplified scenario, divided between good and evil, between civilization and barbarism, and it has explicitly admitted the possibility of using dirty war methods. While allies and even some historic adversaries have emphatically condemned the attacks on the U.S...., there has been international disagreement regarding the polarization presented by the USG.... Several governments, as well as U.S. politicians and analysts, have pointed out the danger implied in launching an offensive on any target, without strong certainty on the enemy's identity. It has also been warned...that an indiscriminate attack on some Islamic territory could spark irrepressible retaliation. It is imperative to assess how to answer to the attack and how to combat terrorism without overlooking the building of a world order based on shared responsibilities and guided by the principles of co-existence and progress, and not by the logic of war.... It is clear that neither the retreat in international organizations nor the building of a space shield to protect the U.S. territory will be satisfactory tools...to deactivate the threat posed by international terrorism... This certainty immediately leads us to two different prospects. One is the deepening of the arms escalation... The second is a great diplomatic deployment, an international offensive acting with full legitimacy, and, in the domestic field, a great intelligence effort to strengthen security without affecting freedom and equity, which have been the main principles of U.S. democracy."
BRAZIL: "Alliance Against Terrorism"
Lead editorial in center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo said (9/18): "The concern that the U.S. would react irrationally to the terrorist attacks were strongly exaggerated. Kabul has not been bombed yet in any act of thoughtless revenge that many observers had predicted and even wished. On the contrary, what we are seeing is the methodic building by the USG of a great alliance of nations against terrorism. The U.S. is getting ready for the possibility of intervening militarily in the nations that protect and support terrorist organizations.... The U.S. will exercise its right of legitimate defense, by using military means to punish the terrorists and initiate the process of eradicate this plague.... Not all democracies will be able to contribute to the U.S. military effort. But all can and are expected to join in condemning the dictatorships that are the sources of terrorism and other aberrations."
"Reason And Emotion"
Editorial in liberal Folha de Sao Paulo noted (9/17): "As the days go by the risk of the U.S. reacting emotionally to the terrorist attacks diminishes. President Bush continues to use tough rhetoric. But statements by U.S. officials about a long and different type of war are gaining importance. The U.S. seems to be aware of the lessons of history and will not become involved in a war of occupation. It is very likely, however, that U.S. public opinion will demand some type of military action. If Bush yields to such pressure, he will place the United States in an even more delicate situation.... The fact that the United States has not reacted hastily to the attacks is good news, but the path ahead is full of unknowns and traps."
"Antidote Against Terror"
Independent Jornal da Tarde columnist Jose Neumanne commented (9/17): "It is still difficult to think about the drastic changes that the terrorist attacks in NYC and Washington will certainly produce in the world. But maybe it is already possible to state that the devilish brain who conceived and planned the tragedy has made a serious miscalculation. Fortunately, President Bush has never spoken of revenge, but always promised to bring those responsible for the aggression to trial. The world is still frightened because it knows that the U.S. may have been the first, but will not be the only victim of the insidious terrorist poison."
"Allies Hesitate About Counter-Attacking"
Center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo's Paris correspondent Giles Lapouge commented (9/18): "The Americans haven't done anything to create solidarity: the U.S. is meditating alone on its decision in Camp David. Europe just waits. As time goes by, the situation becomes more confusing vis-a-vis the risks and the complexity of what has happened... Obviously, Osama bin Laden is just the pilot of a terrible machine whose ramifications are present in Europe, North America and most of Asia."
"Isolationist Administration Realizes It Needs Friends and Allies"
Center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo Washington correspondent Paulo Sotero noted (9/17): "President Bush's first foreign policy decisions left in many world capitals the impression that the U.S. had decided to be distant from the rest of the world and to assert its international leadership based only on its enormous economic and military power. The devastating terrorist attacks have imposed an almost instantaneous transformation on Bush's foreign policy. From an almost isolationist posture, the administration found out in hours that it needs the rest of the world and will only succeed in the war against terrorism if it transform it into an international cause.... The change has certainly been well received in many capitals.... Although Bush's declaration of war against terrorism has received the support of practically all nations, many governments do not hide their apprehension vis-a-vis the possibility of the USG reacting in a disproportional way, guided only by indignation and pressure from U.S. public opinion."
"War Against Whom?"
Journalist and author Moacir Werneck de Castro wrote in liberal Folha de Sao Paulo (9/17): "The worst result of the terrorist attacks in the U.S. is that it generates other absurd consequences in a progressive scale. How to respond to an act of war? War, but war against whom? The Empire wants to retaliate in an alliance. This is not a new film. Entire cities were destroyed--Guernica, Dresden, Berlin, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, just to mention a few. The massacre of innocents tends to produce more massacres of innocents. The worst thing this new threat could cause is the already evident worsening of racism. It is another Western and Christian crusade against Arabs and Muslims. In view of this, all other negative consequences of the attacks lose importance."
Liberal Folha de Sao Paulo columnist Janio de Freitas commented (9/17) that "the efficiency of U.S. detectives needed only three days to present the names and bio data of those responsible for highjacking the planes. But it is from this same efficiency that another mystery of this amazing story emerges. It would be strange if the terrorists used their true names and documents. It is explainable that the detectives soon focused the search on Arab names - we all know why. But it is not explainable that everyone, especially the media, is satisfied with the findings. This is increasing the climate of hysteria being used by Bush to improve the image of himself as an incompetent president."
"A Long War"
Rio's conservative O Globo's editorialized (9/18): "That the United States is reaping what it has sowed is gaining in momentum; that in the eagerness to construct its own prosperity, it turned its back on the degrading misery of large part of Mankind. These are specious arguments. They simply ignore that no great power is immune to this type of vice. They also forget that many times the U.S. was the real champion of democracy.... Does it (the U.S.) deserve criticism? Certainly it does. But none of its mistakes serve as an alibi for one of the most horrid acts of terrorism Mankind has ever watched. No previous sin of any greater power soothes what took place. That's why...inside and outside of the U.S., one should expect that the crusade against terror to be fast, efficient--and of course--selective in its target."
"Eye For An Eye"
Rio's independent Jornal do Brasil editorialized (9/18): "It will be hard to separate terrorists from Islam: "There are not many people in the West who don't associate the image of the Taliban and terrorists with the Islamic religion --a religion of peace. The fight against terrorism is not simple, but the arrogance of some religious leaders is not simple either. The policy of provocation on the other side causes a policy of retaliation on this side, inspired by the Bible of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. The truth is that the U.S., the only world superpower remaining from Cold War, has never suffered such a powerful attack since the British forces burned Washington in 1814. The globalization of terror creates its own ghosts."
A byline by Luis Fernando Verissimo in Rio's conservative O Globo commented (9/18): "It's surprising to all of us here the fact that most of the suicidal terrorists were living in the United States for some time, and even so never abandoned their fervor for retribution, as if simple coexistence with American amenities would disarm their fanaticism. But, depending on where they were, they would have been exposed to some type of fundamentalist rhetoric. Bonhomie and Big Macs also invite hate. If quotidian America served to increase their fervor, no one knows. Fortunately, most Americans don't understand fundamentalism, nor do they know what American power and its imposition represent in the world and--despite the current emotional mobilization for some type of revenge against Arabs, any sort of Arabs--they want to live in peace in their shopping malls, preferably with no bombs. Yesterday the New York stock market re-opened, which for many persons was considered a moving ceremony: it was the old, good fundamentalism of business, above all reestablishing its primacy."
"Terrorism Is Unjustifiable"
A byline by psychoanalyst Daniel Superman in Rio's independent Jornal do Brasil argued (9/18): "In sum, any justification, intentional or not, of the attack on the U.S. is unjustifiable in light of the Western world's vision.... To state, however, that terrorist acts are unjustifiable doesn't mean one rejects their existence, but that one can't understand them...mainly when the other party does not acknowledge our right to exist."
MEXICO: "Voices Of Reason"
An editorial in left-of-center La Jornada stated (9/17): "President Bush has made it a point to feed an environment of hysteria against an unidentified enemy with the destruction, pain and panic caused by the criminals attempts of last Tuesday in the United States,. Nevertheless, the U.S. establishment and the media had given the enemy a face: that of Osama Bin Laden.... Washington should act with a great deal of cautiousness and prudence, and not to undertake hasty belligerent actions that could be immoral and also counterproductive."
"From The Media Shock To Fomenting Hate"
Jenaro Villamil wrote in left-of-center La Jornada (9/17): "The great deal of uninterrupted media coverage given--particularly U.S. TV networks--to the terrorist attacks demonstrates that the terrorists achieved their goal: to broadcast the U.S.' vulnerability all over the world.... The U.S. should react with calm. The least thing the U.S. needs is a new spark of belligerent xenophobia.... As the Israelis know too well, to make martyrs out of your enemies only sparks the existence of additional martyrs."
The chairman of Mexico's National Human Rights Commission, Jose Luis Soberanes, stated in left-of-center La Jornada (9/17): "I am concerned about what follows the tragedy of Tuesday, September 11.... I am deeply concerned about the belligerent tone that is spreading.... It is imperative to further a global pact that would consolidate a new humanitarian project all over the world. This project is not a mere illusion, it is badly required. We cannot continue to live in unfair societies where hatred and ideological differences displace justice and law.... I believe that Mexico has to support the United States in all that contributes to world peace, and the worldwide respect for the rights of nations, peoples and individuals."
"Lackeys Or Solidarious?"
Carlos Fazio asserted in left-of-center La Jornada (9/17): "After the atrocious terrorist attacks against the twin towers, the inhabitants of the imperial superpower that has carried out a criminal and genocide imperialism all over the world, have realized they are vulnerable.... The cries for revenge and war are echoing. World tension is mounting. Everything seems to indicate that we will hear about consummated facts--as it happened in Kosovo or in the invasion of Panama.... However this is not our war. Mexico should not side with Washington's belligerence. We should stop the lackeys at the Mexican Foreign Relations Secretariat. Let us express our solidarity towards the victims. No to war. Let's side with peace now."
Alfredo Jalife-Rahme stated in business-oriented El Financiero (9/17): "With all humility I feel that I hold the right hypothesis by stating that the Bush administration requires a war economy to come out of the recession... The U.S. came out of the Great Depression thanks to Pearl Harbor a tragedy that forced the nation to enter into the Second World War.... It would be irresponsible to state that the Bush dynasty would be behind the attacks, despite what happened previously with the Maine and the suspicions surrounding Pearl Harbor. However, the recent developments were the perfect and sublime alibi to save the unipolar globalization order that had been set in place by 'daddy' Bush, and which was melting in 'baby' Bush's hands."
"Critical Solidarity With The U.S."
Manuel Villa wrote in business-oriented El Financiero (9/17): "During the 20th century the U.S. was the flagship of the policy of power, and it still continues to be so. However, the U.S. has implemented policy in two ways: by promoting respect for the individual and the rule of law within U.S. territory, and by acting abroad against those who the U.S. might be threatened by.... The U.S. can name terrorism as its worst enemy, and it could claim the leadership in fighting against it all over the world.... This is the reason why it is regrettable for Mexico's Foreign Relations Secretary Jorge Castaneda to support anything the U.S. could carry out in its doubtful right for reprisal."
"Not Necessarily Incapable"
Rafael Fernandez de Castro reflected in independent Reforma (9/17): "Let's face it, President George W. Bush does not have the experience or preparation in national security matters to face the greatest national security crisis the U.S. has faced in last week's terrorist attacks.... He showed himself hesitant, and did not contradict the Secret Service in returning to Washington immediately.... However, Bush has an experienced and well-versed national security team. Dick Cheney and Colin Powell's preeminence gave foot to speculations about a division in Bush's national security team..., but the tragedy has brought the team back together.... Mexico will have to do its share to support the U.S. It is in our best interest to have a neighbor that stands on its own two feet. Fortunately, the bilateral relationship is mature enough so that neither (President) Fox nor (Foreign Relations Secretary) Castaneda are afraid of being labeled as pro-Americans. They understand the importance of expressing solidarity during such an extraordinary and painful situation in the U.S."
Sergio Sarmiento stated in independent Reforma (9/17): "President Bush has spoken about the first war of the 21st century.... Whatever military actions are implemented, it is clear that they would not eliminate the threat of terrorism. Quite the contrary, a too-hard blow against Afghanistan could promote years of terrorist actions. It is true that a nation like Afghanistan cannot win a war against the greatest superpower, but it could generate a lethal international guerrilla warfare too hard to eliminate."
Jesus Silva-Herzog Marquez asserted in independent Reforma (9/17): "The terrorists do not represent civilization, they actually act against civilization. Their attacks of last week were simply that - a blow against civilization.... The U.S. had not been threatened within its own territory, but globalization has ended this traditional tranquility. Geography no longer works to guarantee the American people peace. The war that the U.S. has declared is against a military group that has been established outside governmental institutions."
"Justice, The Key Factor"
An editorial in nationalist El Universal stated (9/17): "It is imperative for the U.S. government to think thoroughly about the response it intends to deliver to the terrorists. Such a response should be ruled by justice, which means judges and courts both domestically and abroad. For the time being it is good that in the face of the understandable toughness from major U.S. authorities, prudence has prevailed at the White House."
Esteban Moctezuma states in nationalist El Universal (9/17): "In the course of history there have been several guerrillas who have been at one time or another supported by the U.S. against common enemies. However, later on they become enemies of the U.S. The U.S. supported the guerrillas in Vietnam to fight against Japan, and later these guerillas fought against the U.S. In Afghanistan, the U.S. supported Osama Bin Laden against the Soviet Union, and he is now the main suspect in the terrorist attacks.... As a result of profound reflection, the famous saying that 'the U.S. has no friends but only interests' should perhaps be changed to 'friendly nations are the real interest of the U.S.' The maturity shown so far by the U.S. government and people after Tuesday's attacks gives us hope that they will get the best of themselves to build a better shared future."
An op-ed by local channel City-TV Director Juan Lozano in top national El Tiempo stated (9/17): “The Colombians are numb, under anesthesia, or perhaps are feeling skeptical, apathetic, disheartened towards terrorism and have gotten used to it.... Proportionally in percentage and size of the municipalities and nation, violence in Colombia has been more destructive than the dramatic balance reached after Black Tuesday in United States. Colombia ought to pursue seeking a solution to its internal conflict through peace talks... but it must not hesitate to make certain adjustments to the peace process and to take a harder stand on terrorism.... In that same vein, Colombia’s foreign policy against terrorism ought to be explicit and in absolute solidarity with U.S. people and Government. But, reassuring that this support doesn’t imply indiscriminate use of force by United States in foreign territories.”
In an op-ed in top national El Tiempo, computer expert Guillermo Santos argued (9/17): “The United States suffered terrorist attacks similar--although on a different scale--to the ones Colombians suffer every day. It’s a shame how leaders from NGO’s, the majority sympathizing with the miserable actions of narco-criminals, appear on TV saying they hope the U.S. views terrorism in Colombia as acts of insurgency, rather then calling them what they are. Fortunately their fox costumes are starting to show beneath their sheep costumes.”
"Better Security Than Police"
Sociologis,t exiled in Spain, Alfredo Molano submitted this op-ed in Bogota's weekly El Espectador (9/16): “What’s next? The American pride demands blood in order to find relief to its pain, and Bush is feeling tempted to please them in name of the ‘good empire.’ The hawks are furious, they puff, and sharpen their claws, and they want to cover up their series of errors by launching another holocaust.... The logic of the horrific counter-terrorism is based on the question Who did it? But, the world, soon to suffer the consequences of U.S. reaction, would be so different if instead, the question was Why?”
"No More Barbarism"
Senator (Independent) Rafael Orduz said in an op-ed in Bogota’s weekly El Espectador (9/16): Barbarism cannot be treated with more barbarism. The government of the United States must act with intelligence, without stooping to the level of the terrorists.”
"The Caguan Isn't The Same Anymore"
The lead editorial in top national El Tiempo stressed (9/16): “The perception of terrorism has radically changed and it’s important that the Colombian national government and the illegally armed groups understand this.... The U.S. State Department and the international community could begin to consider the Caguan as a hide-out sanctuary for terrorists, instead of a zone for holding peace-talks.”
"The Logic Of Terror"
An op-ed by co-director Enrique Santos in top national El Tiempo judged (9/16): “If General Colin Powell’s promise is serious, in the sense of first going after the Bin Laden network and then against terrorism in general, the kidnappers and murderers of U.S. citizens--the FARC -- had better be prepared.”
“The OAS And Conspiracy”
In an op-ed in top national El Tiempo, former Vice President Carlos Lemos made the point (9/17): “The recently approved Inter American Democratic Charter in Lima is more evidence of the usual silence and indifference that surrounds the decisions of the OAS Permanent Council and the OAS General Assembly... There’s nothing in the new instrument that could be used in the recent, horrific events in the U.S. However OAS members’ solidarity against risk free and no-reason-for attacks from one State-member to another State-member is included in the Inter American Mutual Assistance Treaty of Rio de Janeiro, which by the way, Mexico wants to call off. It’s not the right time to do so.”
BOLIVIA: “When The Empire Counterattacks”
Manuel Suarez commented in centrist La Prensa (9/16): ”U.S. Ambassador Rocha accurately spoke of the two American reactions to the attack: on the one hand, he condemned it from the perspective of ethical humanism, and on the other, he warned that the U.S. will respond. Bravo for both positions but let me clarify: they are weak.... Ambassador Rocha is right when he says that Bolivia is part of Western rationality. With that, he is saying that Bolivia, as the U.S., lives under the ethics of humanism. Myself, the ambassador and others are horrified and, to be blunt, pissed off because, according to our ethics, this type of violence is not allowed.... Our fury, our just indignation, our legitimate horror all have, more than an ethical base, an emotional one: we have been touched. Some foreign, fanatical SOBs have killed us. Have wounded thousands of us.... The ethical perspective from which to see the attack is fragile. What is left? War is left. And here I understand the second part of Ambassador Rocha’s statement. The USA will respond. But I will go further: I say that Americans must make war and must make it in order to win their own security. Security, not universal justice. And thus, it is not a saintly war, but one of a kind of revenge, also with a lesson. One that will raise fallen pride and prevent terror…. The attack is not a debate between good and evil; it is a tough battle between weakness and strength. This is political realism.”
“The American Planet”
Centrist La Prensa ran commentary by Sergio Molina (9/16): "Although it might seem frivolous, to overcome the loss of thousands of lives and to re-build the buildings in the destroyed cities, will be a minor problem. Not so the invulnerability that has been questioned, the paranoia regarding the other, the political naivetT or the uncontainable anguish. Terrorism made them loose the sensation of living in an earthly paradise.... And that, aside from the political and military measures that will be taken in the short term, has changed the course of history in our century. From now on, the 'Paz Americana' will have another meaning. A friend wrote to me from Germany: ‘I am angry. Free reign has been given to racism. Paranoia and the sensation of being a second-class citizen overcome me. I refuse to believe that the end of the world has been seen in New York.’ I subscribe to those words and I also refuse.”
"Woe To The Great City!”
Carlos Mesa expressed in centrist La Prensa (9/16): ”The new war has other frontiers, precisely because the old ones have disappeared, because the model of the globalized world has also globalized the logic of terrorism and non-discriminate destruction, really, on the contrary, perfectly discriminated.… Again, it is proved that not all human beings accept the same values, that not all cultures believe, as one might think so, firmly in the supreme value of life and liberty such as is conceived in the West. The idea of civilization can be different for a simple reason. A human being whose life expectancy is 45 years, whose annual income is less than 300 U.S. dollars, whose life conditions are comparable to hell, will hardly understand and fight for the idea of liberty and life which western citizens have in their developed countries. The worst enemy is the one who does not have anything to loose, even though he who represents him might be an Arab multimillionaire who says he is making a saintly war against the American Satan. If the U.S. government thinks that a violent attack against a nation which protects terrorists is the response, I am afraid it is wrong. The cost in this case would be once more that of innocent lives.”
Father Jose Gramunt concluded in centrist La Razon (9/16): ”What happened affects us all. The Western democracies are forced to take coordinated action in face of a challenge that is common. This response will hasten the recovery of the sense of trust of American society and of the whole world, which today feels scared by a threat still without a face and a name, but can reach us all. The role of the UN must be re-defined in favor of peace. It is imperative to dissuade the terrorists with efficacy, but also to deal with the situations of historical injustice and social inequity that feed the bonfire of hatred. Force and reason are, still, on our side.”
“The Revenge Of The Gods”
Agustin Echalar opined in centrist La Prensa (9/16): "On the one hand the fury of the gods has been unleashed. The offensive can be brutal. They (the United States) have the means and enough reason. Only that when they talk of retaliation, they are also talking of the deaths of civilians, eventually of people as innocent as the victims of the World Trade Center.… Drug trafficking is ‘peanuts’ compared to terrorism. At first sight, we could say that this will not affect us, but it will. More over, the fall of this symbol of South Manhattan probably means the end of an era of great liberty. The terrorists of this black September have not only destroyed the heart of the globalized financial system, but have destroyed the trust, and have turned all human beings, civilized or not, into suspects, and that is how we will be seen. What is ironic and perverse is that we will only feel safe if we are treated in that way. I shiver thinking of the beginning of police states, mainly because I know how capable we are to copy the worst of the civilized world. And because globalization will now show its worst face: that of repression.”
"The Horrendous Presence Of Terror"
Also in La Razon a commentary by Ramiro Velasco held (9/15): "Many lessons can be learned from this terrorist attack. For the first time the United States cannot give itself the luxury of self-sufficient isolationism. Up until now, the world needed them, now it is they who need the world. Terrorism is international and its links are part of a globalized chain. The United States refuses to comply with the Kyoto Protocol and doesn’t want an International Tribunal for war crimes. The tenants of the White House are arrogant, not reflective and bossy. Only the UN, if it can recover its authority, prestige and strength after years of weakening by the U.S. and NATO, can achieve peace in the Middle East. It is already proven that the unilateral leadership of the United States is insufficient to face the gigantic problems of the extremely complex human picture that characterizes the new century. After the atrocities committed, the resulting panic from an unprepared and poorly protected society, and the demonstrable dangers of terrorism, the only thing left is the practice of a genuine interdependency and one empire--that of international law.”
CHILE: "Sometimes Crises Are Opportunities"
Government-owned, editorially independent La Nacion held (9/17): "It's likely that the terrorist attacks in the United States will bring a fairly long period of instability to international markets.... But sometimes crises are also opportunities. We mustn't forget the desire of America's leaders and its people to show their ability to perform in the face of adversity, and to recover, which could speed up economic activity in that country and the rest of the world."
"Nothing More Difficult Than To Overcome Injustice With Caution"
Government-owned, editorially independent La Nacion ran an op-ed piece by sociologist and regular columnist Sergio Micco (9/17): "There is nothing easier than to let yourself be driven by revenge ... There is nothing more difficult than to overcome injustice with caution... And that is what U.S. leaders are being asked to do.... Fair punishment must not be confused with punishment out of anger. The justice of the powerful, when wise, must be based on that which Bush himself underscored: the moral and religious foundations of a great people, who have made it their vocation to pursue justice for all."
"When Counterterrorism Cannot Be Differentiated From Terrorism"
Government-owned, editorially independent La Nacion had this op-ed piece by columnist Sergio Muñoz (9/17): "The United States has the right to defend itself, but its answer to aggression must be...directed to military and not civilian objectives ... One thing remains clear: when counterterrorism cannot be differentiated from terrorism, everything becomes relative."
"Any Position Chile Takes Will Be Multilateral"
La Nacion also asserted (9/16): "Although it is yet not clear what position Chile will take in a possible war... everything seems to indicate that Chile would give the U.S. its full support. Foreign Minister Soledad Alvear said that any position Chile takes in this regard will be multilateral. In other words, Chile's response will depend on a joint set of actions. '...We are trying to create consensus in the Rio Group and, additionally, the OAS has its own mechanisms for multilateral actions... President Lagos is a well known leader in Latin America, and Chile is secretary pro tempore of the Rio Group. This puts us in a very good position to achieve a political consensus among nations,' said Alvear."
"The Government Will Support The U.S."
In the view of conservative El Metropolitano (9/15): "The government will support the United States when that country exerts its 'right' to retaliate... 'The U.S. considers it has the right to retaliate against those responsible, and we believe that it's within its rights to do that,' said Minister of Interior Jose Miguel Insulza. 'We would never oppose punishing those guilty and in this regard we won't be neutral,' he added. However, continued Insulza, 'as important as it is to take the weapons from terrorists, it's also important to resolve the many circumstances that exist worldwide that feed terrorism.'"
Leading-circulation, popular, independent La Tercera editorialized (9/15): "Technology permitted the inhabitants of the entire world to become direct witnesses to the most brutal terrorist attack ever perpetrated against the United States. Thus, the terrorists got what they wanted: to cause fear througout the entire world... But just as these images 'served' terrorism, they also led to a strong international opposition to this kind of action. So even in this bitter context, there is something positive. Today there is greater awareness as to the scope of the threat of terrorism."
"We Don't Want War"
Conservative El Metropolitano (9/16): "A war with the United States as a protagonist would increase even more the price of oil and all the goods reaching our country... For the world and for Chile, a war will only delay the economic recovery we've been expecting for so long."
"The U.S. Before The Eyes Of The World"
Government-owned, editorially independent La Nacion noted (9/16): "Beyond any political, ideological, or religious considerations, millions of people in all continents have felt the pain of the American people and have expressed their solidarity. We hope these sentiments are not let down by a mistaken decision of the leaders of that country. It would be a very positive thing if the desire for respect is not based exclusively on the use of force."
"Time To Be Cautious"
Daily-of-record El Mercurio judged (9/15): "Now is the time to be cautious. Massive retaliation, which involves innocent civilians, does not seem wise, because it could bring worse consequences than the events it wishes to punish. The response will have to be firm but restrained, and based on the support of the entire international community so that in time the U.S. is not blamed for conducting a disproportionate response."
Columnist and sociologist Fernando Villegas reflected leading-circulation, popular, independent La Tercera (9/16): "The image of an innocent free and democratic western world attacked by savages out of hell is a caricature.... We are preparing to sow more seeds of evil. We are preparing for another crusade... There is the illusion that it's possible to resolve this with weapons. Once more, we forget that it is not possible to kill hatred by killing those that hate... (If) We remove the weeds by sowing full-handed millions of poisoned seeds. This will only lead us to harvest fear."
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: "The New 'Bush Doctrine'"
Establishment Listin Diario editorialized (9/17): "The tragedy in the United States will produce a great overturn in the history of humanity. For the first time a global battle against terrorism is being articulated. That struggle will mark the essence of new security doctrine in the United States. 'The Bush Doctrine.' It is to make a decisive turn in what has been until now internal and foreign policies not only in the U.S. but also in the rest of their allies, the great powers. The new doctrine is very specific: it forces the United States to persecute and eliminate terrorists wherever they might be, regardless of their causes or the country in which they operate.... We will be involved in a bloody and sustained but necessary struggle. Humanity struggles for peace and prosperity; it cannot tolerate the killing and the establishment of terror of a few evildoers as they please just because they are anti-Americans, anti-Jews, anti-Christians or anti-anything."
"Only The Strongest Hate Can Overcome Horror Of Destroying Works So Beautiful"
Centrist El Siglo editorialized (9/17): "Only the strongest hate could overcome the horror of destroying works so beautiful, so costly and so useful to so many human beings. Secretary Colin Powell said that Osama Bin Laden is the prime suspect.... We think that to commit such a crime, one must be motivated by the rancor of vengeance. It was the President's Bush's father who declared war in the Persian Gulf; Colin Powell was Chairman Chief of Staff when Desert Storm operation was launched. Various officials of the present administration took part in those actions. If it's a matter of conjecture, Bin laden shouldn't be the only suspect; we would have to look at Iraq as well."
"Our Hope Is That The Payback Not Be Arrogantly Disproportionate"
Jacinto Gimbernard Pellerano commented in left-of-center Hoy (9/17)t: “The U.S., which is the modern Imperial Rome, must take into account Caesar Augustus’ advice: ‘One must only embark on a war or start a battle if one stands to win more with victory, than one stands to lose.’. . An American reply to such offense to its dignity and power cannot be avoided. Our hope lays in [the fact] that the revenge, the vengeance, the payback--called in English ‘retaliation’ after the Talon’s law--is not arrogantly disproportionate."
ECUADOR: "A Human Tragedy"
An opinion column by Jose Mario Ruiz in leading center-right El Universo held (9/17): "Solidarity is the best weapon against terrorism. I agree with the statement by the Andean Parliament, 'Solidarity is a reality if the big countries grant access and fair prices to poor countries and use technology to increase jobs.'... May God give us humility and sanity."
"Between War And Solidarity"
Leading center-right El Universo also ran this an opinion column (9/17) by Rene Yandun: "The declaration of war against terrorism by the United States poses many risks, dangers and consequences to U.S. stability and world peace.... Ecuador must keep itself at bay. The solidarity we feel with the U.S. people over the catastrophe they lived through is one thing, but direct participation in a war that is not ours is something else. The (Ecuadorian) government must not intervene because there is no motive or reason for Ecuador to adopt a position in the face of this conflict, besides, we already face various types of terrorism: the application of Plan Colombia, poverty, and above all, corruption. For all these, the government must be alert and increase security along the northern border because we live under a constant threat by armed groups of irregulars from Colombia."
"A Littlle Of Everything"
Edmundo Ribadeneira opined in Quito's leading, centrist El Comercio (9/16): "For many years, the historical and ethnic relations between the countries of the Arab world and Western world, with the United States as its leader, have deteriorated. At times there has been a stubborn tug-of-war on both sides with terrible results such as the infamous Gulf War. Perhaps the determining cause of this tragic rupture lies in the conflict affecting Israel and Palestine, which until now lacks a fair arbiter able to weigh the interests of both parties. Needless to say, the world is in serious danger. Let's hope the macabre attack on the United States fosters sincere and humane reflections in those (the Bush administration) who manage the destinies of such a world power. Let's hope they do not engage in a deadly revenge seeking to restore their symbols of economic and military power, mortally ruined by the stupid hand of insanity and absurdity."
"Revive The UN"
An opinion column by Mauricio Gandara in Quito's leading, centrist El Comercio stressed (9/17): "With good judgment, amidst its infinite pain and rage, the United States is concerting actions with the governments of the main powers to fight together against terrorism. All the governments from civilized countries must participate in this fight, as well as all of us--men and women--from all latitudes. Such actions are necessary because peace and security are essential to human life. A threat against one country is a threat to all, which is what the UN charter states. Let's hope this terrible tragedy makes the United States more accessible and makes it listen to the opinion not only of the big countries, but of the weak and small ones that long to be heard on issues that affect them. For example, our opinion on Plan Colombia should be heard. That the fight against drug trafficking and its partner, terrorism, would not be approached under one sole vision, fought in only one scenario without risking anything other than money. That the responsibility be shared between producing countries and consumers. That the fight against those evils include our cooperation, respect our perceptions and, above all, our sovereignty."
GUATEMALA: "Lessons For Western Youth"
Moderate, leading Prensa Libre said in its lead editorial (9/17): "The attack on New York and Washington last Tuesday constitutes the most important historical episode of the new millennium... because it opens a new era that will affect the level and style of life of all democracies. Governments of First and Second World countries...will have to explain...that the World War that almost surely began Sept. 11 will nto be between superpowers with great armies or fleets, satellites and intercontinental missiles. It will be between ways of life, religious ideas, and its principal objective will be demoralization. Everything seems to indicate that the West will have as its principal adversaries small groups of people, extremely difficult to identify and to penetrate, highly motivated by fanaticism and willing to immolate themselves. But it will be a war and therefore it will not be possible to fight it without the death on both sides of thousands of people, most of them innocent, as it has always been in history.... It is essential to understand that last Tuesday's terrorist attack is not an isolated incident and will not be the last, because it is the result of the interpretation of a religious fundamentalist idea. Therefore the enemy, evil, is not a country, but rather an entire way of life.... The main goal of Western regimes is to have their youth understand the peril their societies face after what happened in Manhattan. It is impossible to fight a war, especially one which has no precedents, without public support. And this comes from the understanding of what one supports and why."
"First Moves In The New Chess Game"
Editorial board member Mario Antonio Sandoval writes in a column for moderate, leading Prensa Libre (9/17): "No one in his right mind can support blind retaliation directed against any country. It would be the same thing (the terrorists did). But it is important to understand the paradigm of different cultures, depending on their values. Not in vain is the expression 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,' which comes from that part of the world. An important criterion for action must be how, in that part of the world, retaliation or not taking immediate action may be perceived by allies and enemies alike.... The non-extremist Arab countries...have a serious problem. Their political systems do not stand up to analysis under Western criteria. They know the strategic importance of petroleum and they understand the problem of losing the support of their masses because they consider (the governments) traitors to the Muslim religion. ..they should close ranks against terrorism, of which they can also be victims. They know furthermore the human tendency to make imperfect generalizations, for which reason all Arabs would be considered potential terrorists. And on this side of the world, the hard-right sectors have found in Tuesday's events a full justification for hardening their positions. It is a new kind of chess and for that reason moves produced by a new class of strategy are needed.... The plan in destroying the twin towers was to symbolize the destruction of the way of life in the West. In addition to not having achieved this, it had an unexpected effect for the terrorists: Terrorism is starting to perish, as is blind radicalism by bad Muslims."
Columnist Sergio Fernando Morales wrote in moderate, leading Prensa Libre (9/17): "The Government of the United States and its allies have declared a war on terrorism, and must trust their actions will not exceed the limits that have been accordingly planned. Unfortunately, a spiral of violence, rather than containing itself, could grow and deadly attacks could be more heartless. The victims deserve justice; those responsible must be fully identified, processed and punished according to the magnitude of their crimes. If one > lesson should be learned from these attacks against the United States, it > is that the world rejects all forms of terrorism. It is comforting that the U.S. employs precise and highly responsible methods of investigation, and this must be considered as positive and will prevent any trouble for > the innocent."
PANAMA: "Forgiveness And Justice"
Anthropologist Brittmarie Janson Perez reflected in conservative El Panama America (9/17): "I remember Christ's words when being crucified, 'Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do'.... However, I see that the overwhelming feeling among the U.S. leaders, is one of revenge. The drums of war are playing.... Bush also does not know what he is doing. What is the outcome of revenge? Only more violence.... We need to protect ourselves. But there is no security in this world and has never been. This we have to understand and accept.... If the intellectual authors were indeed Arabs, instead of putting pressure on in the Middle East countries to accept a U.S. military incursion against Osama Bin Laden, I would pressure the Arab countries for them to capture Bin Laden and make justice themselves."
Former President Jorge Illueca said in conservative El Panama America (9/17): "It is necessary for us to be vigilant because this sickness [disease] seems to be deep in the heart of our times in which two elements form the detonating wick: disorientation and technological power. We are all worried and wait for the initiatives and actions to be taken by Latin American and Caribbean leaders."
"Administration Acting Correctly To Generate Confidence"
Conservative El Panama America editorialized (9/17): "The real economic impact resulting from the terrorist acts will not be measured by the physical harm caused...but by the psychological consequences that investors and consumers will inevitably have, and especially in the United States.... The future lies in the confidence, not only of investors, but also of consumers. The administration is acting correctly to generate confidence."
"Too Late To Fight Terrorism?"
Independent El Universal (9/17) also carried an oped piece by political commentator Mario Rognoni: "The problem the U.S. confronts today is not only their's, it is also a problem of civilized society, facing groups of different nations. Terrorists...have created financially backed organizations for themselves with the latest technology, resources, planning and strategies. President Bush has announced that he will attack those who perpetrated the attack and those who support these, but will he really be able to end with terrorism, or at least one of the terrorist groups? The Bin Laden branch has more than 3 to 5 thousand armed men in the highlands of Afghanistan, where Russia was not able to defeat irregular Afghan forces... is there a possibility to end terrorism today? Perhaps it is too late, the world did not do it when it should have. Today the only option to solve this problem of the 21st century is through conversations."
PERU: “Congress Gives Carte Blanche To President Bush”
Center-left La Republica editorialized (9/17): "The world’s most powerful country’s war machinery is moving on to respond the fierce terrorist attack.... The Congressional resolution is broad...in order to ‘prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the U.S.,’ which means not only to take revenge on the perpetrators, but to...eliminate the tentacles of...the Muslim fundamentalism threat, which is not only present in Afghanistan but in many other countries.… President Bush has received from Congress the greatest carte blanche that has ever been authorized.… It is natural that the U.S. receive the world’s solidarity… and that NATO and the vast majority of the world’s democracies support its efforts to build an international coalition against terrorism.... But …we are not facing a confrontation between the Western Hemisphere and millions of Muslims… The real enemy is the fundamentalist fanatic terrorism...and therefore, the U.S. retaliation must be concrete and well thought out.”
Reliable business Gestion reflected (9/17): "Before the terrorist attacks, the U.S. economy was in the process of restoring its dynamism.... Had the attacks not occurred, a moderate rise would have been expected for the last quarter of this year. The material damages caused by the attacks do not actually represent a significant loss of the U.S. wealth.… However, the effects on the people’s expectations and confidence are the ones that would determine the impact of the attacks over the U.S. economy and its repercussions worldwide. U.S. economists say that...in spite of the fact that this event has no precedent, there would be no strong justification for a lasting deterioration of confidence.… Therefore, the economic recovery could only fall behind for a short time...if there is no aggravation of the crisis.”
Center-right opposition Expreso held (9/17): "Leaders, intellectuals, analysts, businessmen and opinion makers all over the world are thinking on how to reformulate their economic strategies in order to prevent, or assimilate, the consequences of the U.S. economic recession. Like his father… President George W. Bush will have to face a two-fold conflict: military and economic. George Bush (father) won the Persian Gulf War but the economic recession affected him politically. Currently, his son George W. Bush and his economic team have based their hopes...in a consumption increase supported by tax reduction measures. But the impact of the attacks might end with their last hopes to attain an economic recovery during the third quarter. If so, the U.S. will enter into recession with an immediate economic impact over the rest of the world.”
SOUTH AFRICA: "Voices Of Dissent Must Not Be Silenced By U.S. Tragedy"
In the business-oriented, independent Business Day Greta Steyn wrote (9/18): "Do the anti-globalization protestors have a point?... Yet peaceful protest should and must continue. However, there is a danger that peaceful protesters will find it extremely difficult to be heard as the United States is likely to have little patience for anyone opposing 'our way of life'.... It would be a great pity if last week's horror encourages those who want to suppress debate and dissent about economic policy. Already, the shock has polarized the debate. Ideologues are reaching for hyperbole.... Crucially, unfettered free markets don't exist anywhere in the world--not even in the United States--nor should they. Indeed, the U.S. response to the disaster is likely to accord a bigger role to government in the economy. How does that square with the notion that the free market will emerge victorious from the attack?"
"A Conflict Unlike Any Other"
In the business-oriented, independent Business Day head of International relations at the University of the Witwatersrand, Professor John Stremlau commented (9/18): "Thank God for the meeting in Washington this week between Indonesia President Megawati Sukarnoputri and President Bush.... Megawati offers a sharp contrast [to Islamic fundamentalists].... The United States is about to enter a civil war between Islamic extremists and moderates. Megawati's visit is a reminder that it must proceed with care, skillfully choosing its sides so as not to play into the hands of extremists who threaten fledgling democracies such as Indonesia and to foreclose prospects for reform in Egypt, Algeria and many other countries. A war of antiterrorism will have a grammar and logic unlike any other strife in history, and must be waged on a global scale. There are, however, lessons the United States should recall from its finest hour of international leadership more than half a century ago, as it decides how to proceed.... A key element in this comprehensive prevention strategy was the creation of regional and international institutions, notably the United Nations, the World Bank and International Monetary fund. Most democratic nations believe that the international structures created in the 1940s have badly needed reform for a long time, but Washington has lacked the strategic imperative and political will to engage in such efforts. Last Tuesday's catastrophe may have changed that, for if Bush and his successors want to rid the world of terrorism they will need much more than the help of an ad hoc coalition. They will need the help of many more diverse nations willing to take on greater and even dangerous responsibilities than what his father required in order to win the 1990-91 war against Iraq.... Showing once more the need for greater international support for fragile democracies if the terrorists' breeding grounds are to be eliminated."
MALAWI: "The USA's Role In Terrorist Attacks--Was it Self-Inflicted?"
The independent weekly Chronicle edition (9/17-23) carried an opinion piece by Chris Makaniki, the pen name of the paper's editor: "Most nations expressed their condemnations of the attacks and those who helped carry them out, but not all agreed that the United States did not deserve it. Throughout the Middle East and Southern Asia many people expressed--with regret--that the United States was reaping what it have sown. Over the past few decades the United States has been accused of an increasingly arrogant foreign policy which has shown little respect for the internal affairs of other states. Since the Vietnamese War the USA has been seen as putting their nose in situations which do not require their intervention.... The point is that the USA with its rough and clumsy methods of intervention has often only listened to the voices which it wishes to hear. Usually the same voices that coincidentally concur with U.S. foreign policy. The result of this selective sense of hearing the United States has developed over the last few decades is, unfortunately, the loss of the World Trade Center in New York.... There have been rumors that Osama Bin-Laden was one of these CIA trained militants fighting as a 'mujihadin' against the Soviets in Afghanistan... Many people throughout the Islamic world have not called for a war against terrorism, nor a swift and terrible retribution but a change in the way the U.S. government views the world..... Throughout their support to Israel the USA has kept the Arabic nations cowed for many years... How can a country force a region into submission for decades and not expect retaliation?.... The USA should change its self-centered outlook on the world and start telling its people the truth. They (USA) can start a war against terrorism that it has no hope of winning--as their enemy is effectively invisible--or it can sit back and re-think its foreign policies before acting. Now that the United States' mantle of world dominion and the security of their population hangs in the balance, the choice shouldn't be too difficult."