|Office of Research||Issue Focus||Foreign Media Reaction|
MAJOR NATO COUNTRIES
Amid pledges of official backing for what many saw as an "inevitable military response" by the U.S., editorialists debated the appropriate parameters of European support. There appeared to be a deepening fault line between those pressing for "caution" and arguing against "blind vengeance," and others who saw unalloyed Allied solidarity as a "moral obligation" and a "matter of defending humanity as a whole." In the first group--a majority, found mainly in centrist/left-leaning papers--many urged Europe to send the message to Washington that "all non-military methods be fully explored" and to "reinforce the case for proceeding carefully." In the latter camp--principally conservative UK and Canadian media, but also several right/center-right papers in France, Germany and Italy--most analysts were rankled by what one termed "a spirit of Munich" shown by some political and media elite under the "polite" guise of "having reservations," and by "finger-wagging" against the U.S. for some of its policies. Noting that the Bush administration has thus far shown itself to be circumspect, they found common cause with a leading Ottawa daily, which argued that however "one may feel about particular policies of the U.S...there can be no doubt that it is essentially a force for good in the world," and deserves support.
OTHER NATO COUNTRIES
Sentiment continued to swing broadly. Commentators urging caution were the most numerous, appearing in the press in Hungary, Norway and Poland. Budapest's influential, liberal-leaning Magyar Hirlap warned: "Before something irrevocable happens, possibilities will have to be analyzed carefully, things to do discussed thoroughly, and instead of sudden anger, the voice of reason listened to." But many other observers in Hungary, the Netherlands, Portugal, Turkey, and--notably, a leading broadsheet in Greece--were firm in their calls for the world to stand united with the U.S. in the difficult fight against terrorism. Athens's independent, influential Kathimerini observed: "Prime Minister Simitis was extremely decisive and categorical when he said yesterday: 'Our response is absolute: no compromise, no interaction with [terrorists].... The recent attacks cannot remain unanswered.... Greece will participate in future initiatives.'... Greece's position could not have and should not have been any different." The minority view--expressed in most Greek and some Norwegian, Portugese and Turkish dailies--expressed alarm at the prospects of a war being mounted in response to the September 11 attacks. Their criticism of the U.S. and its policies was a prominent theme. While contending that a war against Afghanistan would not eradicate terrorism and only harm more innocents, they did not offer alternative solutions beyond vague suggestions that the world must "rely on long-term countermoves." cont. ...
RUSSIA AND EURASIA
From Russia, several non-official papers continued to advise Moscow to "make the hard choice" and side with the U.S., seeing it as, among other things, a way for Moscow to exert its "influence on the U.S. operation" and not be marginalized in the "war-to-be" along its southern border. This opinion was voiced most forcefully and consistently in reformist Izvestiya, which featured commentaries calling on Moscow to ally itself with Washington "at least on the issue of Afghanistan." Others, including official Parlamentskaya Gazeta, were deeply skeptical about Russia joining forces with the U.S., worrying that Moscow could be pulled into a dangerous war. Available editorial comment from Central Asian countries revealed deep concern about a war possibly being launched in their neighborhood. Kyrgyzstani papers, contending that "bombing is not a solution," worried that a flow of refugees from Afghanistan "could swamp Kyrgystan." Independent Advokat asked, "Is it really worth increasing the number of deaths, putting the planet near the ‘last line that leads nowhere’? Will those who lost relatives and close friends really feel better if a third world war becomes the price for vengeance?” In Moldova, rightist papers focused on a trail of weapons--allegedly produced in Transnistria--wending its way through "Bulgaria, Israel, Iraq, Iran and other Arab states." Literatura si Arta warned: "If the U.S. and other states have decided to start fighting terrorists, they should start at the same time fighting those who arm the terrorists. The...plants that produce weapons in Transnistria work day and night to supply with sophisticated weapons all those who need them." A daily in Turkmenistan, in stating firmly that terrorism must be defeated, agreed with its country's leader who advocated an international anti-terrorist coalition--perhaps led by the UN.
REST OF EUROPE
Opinion was mixed. The most vocal advocates for a strong response against terrorism were found in most Romanian and some Irish papers, and in media in Muslim-dominated Albania and Kosovo. Tirana's medium-circulation, centrist Dita, for example, stressed that "millions of people throughout the world are Americans in their spirit and mind.... Albanians have been and still are part of this support. We have our own special reasons to be such. We are a grateful people and we cannot forget that the decisive support of the U.S. has been near us in the most decisive moments of our existence." Another Tirana daily warned the Albanian government that it must be sure that potential Arab terrorists are not being given shelter in the country. Other opinionmakers in Austria, Bosnia, Croatia, Finland and Sweden dwelled more on the need for the U.S. to be cautious in its response to the terrorist attacks, with several noting that the world had suddenly changed and that a need for greater international cooperation has been born.
EDITORS: Katherine Starr and Diana McCaffrey
EDITOR'S NOTE: This survey is based on 141 editorials from 30 countries, September 17-20.
Countries are as follows: Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Canada, Russia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Turkey, Kyrgyszstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Albania, Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland and Yugoslavia.
Extensive excerpts are available upon request.
MAJOR NATO COUNTRIES
BRITAIN: "Long War"
An editorial in the conservative Times read (9/20): "Whatever action America and its allies take against Bin Laden's Afghan lairs, that will be a foretaste only of a vastly more ambitious campaign, waged the world over.... In this campaign classic war-fighting may have an occasional role only; terrorism's underground forces will be fought where they operate and with methods that are anything but conventional. And it will be a long war.... The U.S. will judge countries by their willingness to stay the same long course with it. First and most uncomfortably in the frame is Pakistan.... But Washington is clearly well aware that it would be wise not to rely on Pakistan alone as its regional ally in this first, but in political terms critical, test of strength against the terrorist Hydra. And, with the likely exception of Uzbekistan, the Central Asian republics will be reluctant to co-operate militarily if Russia is against it.... Paranoia about its 'near abroad' could inhibit Moscow from acting accordingly. The next task for diplomatic advocacy it to convince even the ever-cautious Kremlin that the world is utterly changed."
"Other Ways Of Winning"
An editorial in the liberal Guardian made this observation regarding this weekend's EU special anti-terrorism summit (9/20): "The message for Mr. Bush is that all non-military methods must be fully explored, too, if long-term success is to be assured and unpredictable, mutually destructive consequences avoided. Europe is not alone in this. In Russia, in the Arab world, and in Asia, a largely identical refrain may be heard.... Japan and South Korea, the overriding preference in Muslim Asia is for proactive diplomacy, for cooperative action via the UN, and for joint investigatory, economic and financial measures. The Bush administration (or at least, influential parts of it) seems to be listening.... The non-military way forward begins with a combined diplomatic offensive of the kind now underway. But to be effective, yet more flexibility is required of the United States--such as agreement for enhanced United Nations involvement.... When it comes to legal process, the UN has the machinery for convening an impartial tribunal along the lines of, or linked to the Hague court.... And if all else fails, it is the UN's explicit authorization that must be sought for any military action against Afghanistan itself. Other non-lethal weapons include the tracking and seizure of terrorist funds.... Robust responses need not be measured only in rockets."
"The Voice Of Europe"
From an editorial in the independent Financial Times (9/20): "A military response is inevitable. But the timing, the targets and, above all, the objectives in the new war on terrorism remain unclear.... Mr. Bush's Wyatt Earp rhetoric gives the impression of a trigger-happy president.... In practice, the White House seems more circumspect.... Europe's leaders should reinforce the case for proceeding carefully--but not to the point of ruling out any action that could risk civilian casualties. The issue should not be whether the retaliation should be proportionate, but whether it is precise if it comes to commando strikes against Mr. Bin Laden's camps in Afghanistan. This will be the first phase of the war on terrorism. The second will be a wider onslaught on the regimes which support terrorism as well as their financial networks.... Europe will want to have a say in this second phase; but EU leaders must realize that their influence will depend on their commitment to the first military phase of the war.... If European countries break rank they cannot expect a fair hearing in Washington."
“There Will Be No Talking To Taliban While U.S. Seeks Vengeance”
An editorial in the centrist Independent read (9/19): “That it has not rushed to premature and merely symbolic vengeance is to the credit of Bush and his security team. But by designating the attack an act of war and declaring the United States now to be at war against terrorism, the administration is able to cloak the reasoning behind any future military retaliation beneath that
all-purpose cover: ‘intelligence considerations.'... Perhaps, indeed, Osama Bin Laden could be given up to the “Great Satan” of America in return for recognition and food aid that would help fend off imminent chaos in Afghanistan. But the United States, and specifically American public opinion, is not in a bargaining mood; it is after vengeance. For the Bush administration even to contemplate recognition for the Taliban, let alone to grant food aid, would be seen as a shameful betrayal of the 5,000 or more dead Americans.... The United States may one day have to negotiate with terrorists...but the week after so heinous an attack is not the time for talking. Nor would the mooted offers come anywhere near meeting the U.S. requirement of rooting out the terrorist threat. It is reasonable to question the tone of some of President Bush’s language. It is reasonable, too, to advise extreme caution in the use of military force, especially in so volatile a part of the world. But it is not realistic to hope for a peaceful resolution at so disadvantageous a price."
“A Perilous Proposition”
The liberal Guardian opined (9/19): “In response to last week’s attacks, the Pentagon is planning sustained military action on a wide range of fronts. Mr. Rusmfeld also seems to have no qualms about ground warfare in Afghanistan or elsewhere.... Paul Wolfowitz is equally gung-ho.… As the current crisis appears to move inexorably towards military conflict, these senior leaders’ words commit the United States and its allies to an open-ended, unlimited warfare; they suggest the battle will be prosecuted by all conventional means, including ground invasion; they imply that the surrender of Bin Laden by the Taliban to the U.S., UN, or a neutral country, even if it could be negotiated, would not be enough to halt the coming offensive. And they state plainly that any country deemed to be supportive of any terrorists in any way is not only a legitimate target; its government is also subject to overthrow. These are the sweeping parameters of Mr. Bush’s ‘war on terrorism.’ Yet when it comes to defining the specific military options that may be chosen to attain these ends, Mr. Rumsfeld and his imitators fall silent.... The U.S. military’s hard options in Afghanistan, as opposed to politician’s aspirations, range from the deeply dangerous to the downright foolhardy.... Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic should not misread opinion polls showing broad public backing. Military action may be unavoidable. But they have no blanket brief to place our troops, and blameless civilians, at unending, uncalculated risk. Whatever their expectations, whatever their prior pledges, promises, and rhetorical flourishes, they have no mandate to send our soldiers on missions that lack clear short and long-term objectives, achievable targets, and workable exit strategies.”
FRANCE: "The Risks Of Isolation"
Michel Schifres opined in right-of-center Le Figaro (9/20): "There is a whiff of what was once called the 'spirit of Munich' coming from part of our political elite: it is the temptation to give in to comfort. This attitude is politely being called 'having reservations.'... Everyone knows that America has made mistakes, that Bush has sometimes gone too far, that no one is going to help the United States with its eyes closed. There is no need to insist on the obvious. To do so means that we hesitate to help the United States.... Solidarity with the United States is not (only) a moral obligation.... There is another more prosaic reason why we need to help. If today the United States is the master of the world, albeit a vulnerable one, abandoning it would only exacerbate the situation: [it] would be more vulnerable but also become more of a master. To let it act unilaterally will re-enforce its hold on the world. Europe must stand alongside the United States...to impose certain demands."
"Anti-Americanism And Imperialism"
Jacques Julliard opined in left-of-center weekly Le Nouvel Observateur (9/20): "I believe I have sufficiently denounced anti-Americanism to end with this note: what is weighing on the world today, what is truly a handicap for freedom, is not America's imperialism. It is rather America's inept diplomacy as well as the schizophrenia that juxtaposes idealism, which is for domestic use, and the cynicism of its foreign policy. After all, it is the United States who created Pinochet, Batista, the UCK, the Taleban, Bin Laden and others.... The time has come for the United States to learn to live and to compromise with the rest of the world."
"A Glimmer Of Peace"
Left-of-center Le Monde argued (9/20): "Bush needs the support of moderate Arab nations. He will get it only if he manages to move ahead on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.... This 'window of opportunity' must be taken advantage of.... Because Bush needs to have moderate Arab public opinion on his side, he must press upon Sharon to engage in a positive approach. There is nothing as urgent as getting that dialogue back on track."
"The Worst Is Not Certain"
Alain-Gerard Slama judged in right-of-center Le Figaro (9/19): "While the Foreign Ministry is sending out cries of alarm about the prospects of a response from Washington, President Bush, his administration and the American people are demonstrating a solidarity and determination which should inspire Europe. There are indeed risks involved in a military operation.... It may be that, under the weight of strong feelings, President Bush wrongly used the word 'crusade.' But he was right to point out that siding with the aggressors was siding with fanaticism and against reason.... The worst is not certain, if democracies remain firm and show unfailing solidarity."
Gerard Dupuy held in left-of-center Liberation (9/19): "We must get used to living with a new uncertainty: what is this new war the United States claims to be preparing for? The capture of Bin Laden, dead or alive, will not be enough.... As its prepares for this new type of war, the United States has for the time being the popular support of Allied populations.... The United States which is in a position of legitimate self-defense, is lucky to have at its disposal the choice of weapons. That choice will determine what the future will look like."
GERMANY: "Trapped By Terror"
Josef Joffe noted in a front-page editorial in center-left weekly Die Zeit of Hamburg (9/20): "Those responsible for the massacre are hoping for an apocalyptic answer that would turn the entire Islamic world from Algiers to Jarkata into their ally and thus set off a 'clash of cultures.' That is the political trap, and the strategic one is just as obvious.... Kabul is already destroyed. Additional bombs could do no additional damage. Penalize Saudi Arabia for paying protection money to terrorists? In that case, the most important oil sources would become inaccessible. Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya? They all have blood on their hands, but even a superpower does not have enough missiles for all of them. The attack on the United States was as horrific as the options available are few. The smartest thing would be to rein in just anger, forge coalitions, and bring the troops into position. And especially to investigate patiently until those responsible are identified and can be held accountable--without additional thousands of innocent people having to die in a retaliatory attack."
"The Sources Of Global Terrorism"
Jochen Siemens noted in an editorial in left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau (9/20): "Many measures are now necessary to get Islamic terrorism under control. One essential measure is achieve just peace in the Middle East. It will not convert fanatics, but it can avert a clash of cultures and help find allies in the Islamic world in the fight against terrorism. A fight which the West alone will hardly win."
"Guilt And Chance"
Wolfgang Koydl stated in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (9/20): "It is certainly right that George W. Bush will try to do everything to capture Usama bin Laden and call him to account. He will try to destroy his organization, but what will he have won in the long run? Ever day, thousands of Muslim children are born, and every child can carry the flag of black terror--as long as the Middle East conflict can be used as a political and religious instrument by zealots such as bin Laden.... The United States must accept realities [in the Middle East] which it has ignored thus far.... People in the region consider the United States to be unfair and an instrument of suppression. Unfair, because the United States is deaf to arguments and seems to support Israel blindly, and an instrument of suppression, because it keeps a protective hand over the repressive regimes in the region as long as they are considered partners.... If the United States wants security, it must address the concerns of the people, must help resolve the Palestinian conflict."
"America As An Excuse"
Christoph von Marschall argued in an editorial in centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin (9/20): "We may only look at the preparatory time for the attack on America, for instance, the period for the training as a pilot, in order to realize that the terrorist attacks cannot only be a reaction to the failure of the Camp David talks last summer and the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa intifada."
"Islam As The Imagined Enemy"
Sabine Rosenbladt judged in a front-page editorial in center-left weekly Die Woche of Hamburg (9/20): "The harder the U.S. military strike turns out to be and the more innocent people die in it, the better it is in the eyes of the Islamic terrorist network.... Do we have to move from the Cold War straight into a new era of crusades just because a handful fanatical mass murderers are eager to commit additional massacres?"
"Trial Deserves Consideration"
Juergen Kramer commented on regional radio station Westdeutscher Rundfunk of Cologne (9/18): "The demand to try Osama bin Laden in a neutral country deserves serious consideration.... If Schroeder's phrase is right that the terrorist attacks on the United States were a declaration of war on the entire civilized world, than this also means that the civilized world should apply its norms if possible. International law points to a civilized and effective answer beyond war: the International [War Crimes] Tribunal.... It would be obvious to establish a tribunal for the people responsible for terrorism…. The Americans should not be worried that bin Laden and Co. would be treated mildly before such a court. The Hague is evidence of this. If the United States were satisfied with retaliation, it should not inevitably be carried out through a war.... A criminal tribunal provides retaliation, too. In addition, an international tribunal would demonstrate that the entire world stands behind the prosecution of terrorism. It would be a triumph for the civilized world to see terrorism stand before such a trial. This triumph would be greater than every kind of bloody revenge."
"Bush Must Act With Circumspection"
National radio station DeutschlandRadio of Berlin (9/18) aired the following commentary by Horst Klaeuser: "Bush must act with circumspection.... But carpet bombing, burnt corpses in an Afghan nursery--and the United States will be considered a murderer, and the end of this coalition will come soon.... In this war today, it is not a confrontation between states, and the decisions which the United States has to make must reflect this new situation... If the United States recognizes this chance, subordinates its hegemonic claim to the willingness for consultations with new partners, seizes the opportunity and wonders why some parts of the world have been developed such abysmal hatred against the United States, then some of the saddest moments of history could turn into a historic moment for global peace."
"A Peculiar Argument"
Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger noted in a front-page editorial in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (9/19): "Those who caution the Bush administration against a retaliatory strike, because it would hit innocent people and lead to...a rise in fanaticism in the Muslim and Arab worlds are trying to prevent retaliation by means of a peculiar argument: the mass murder was not really nice, but now Washington should not commit further injustice. As if that were the U.S. plan. It does not appear that the U.S. government has limited the war against Islamic terrorism to military means alone. This war will be fought in many places and with many weapons. Those who confine themselves to righteous indignation will have to decide whether they want to help fight this war or whether they--in intentional or unconscious solidarity with groups like the Taliban--want to help perpetrators pass themselves off as victims."
"The Detested Friend"
Stefan Kornelius judged in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (9/18): "Everywhere we can now hear minimizing, explaining theories [for the terrorist attacks]: that the Islamic world considers the deployment of U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia an occupation of the holy land and that U.S. protection of Israel does not take Palestinian rights into consideration. And this is enough to set off...blame toward another nation: America is preparing a boundless war, America acts without restraint, blindly addicted to hatred. This kind of arguing has two effects. It minimizes and it apologizes at the same time. But there is little to minimize in view of the monstrosity of the crime that has taken place beyond all political, cultural, or religious logic.... This simplification has its origin in an anti-American instinct which ignores the complexity of U.S. involvement in the world. For instance, those who point to the fact that the presence of the United States in Saudi Arabia is a religious offense, ignore the wish of the Saudi ruling family for safety from the outside and for a pillar of domestic stability which helps the country protect itself from the attacks of a person such as Saddam Hussein and from the implications of Islamic fundamentalism. And it ignores the strategic significance of a region, which is rich in resources of oil."
ITALY: “The Trap Of Proof”
An editorial in elite, classical liberal Il Foglio read (9/20): “Bush has obtained the international solidarity he wanted; a large coalition has shaped up; stock markets are holding despite everything, security measures in the airports have been taken, there is a truce in Palestine. And so, for God’s sake [people say], why should we spoil everything by deploying troops, missiles, planes, ships, with the risk of causing new tensions in day-to-day life and a clash of civilizations. Why don’t we start an investigation, why don’t we find the evidence against Bin Laden and ask for a regular extradition from the Afghanistan government? We need the proof, that is what we hear so often. But this is a trap.”
“Why We Should Choose A ‘Stars And Stripes’ Italy”
An analysis by Mario Caccavale in Rome's center-right Il Tempo observed (9/20): “The war declared by Bush is not only against Bin Laden, but against the entire obscure part of the world, against those states and powers that use terrorist or criminal organizations in order to settle accounts that would otherwise remain open.... Bush’s America has realized that, if we want to build a new international order, we must reduce the space occupied by this obscure world, by wiping out its financial and military networks and, and the same time, by organizing more efficient defense systems. No industrialized nations, and even less so Italy, should hesitate vis-a-vis a mandatory choice. This is not a matter of being reserve Marines, or to selfishly defend our own economic interests, but it is a matter of defending humanity as a whole.”
“The Anger Of All”
A commentary by Cesare De Carlo in La Nazione/Il Resto del Carlino/Il Giorno conservative newspaper syndicate judged (9/20): “Tolerance, pluralism, freedom. These are exactly the values that Islamic fundamentalism intends to bury under the ruins of its devastation and sink in the blood of so many innocent people. The United States of America is the most reliable interpreter of these values.... These considerations help us understand why the rage of America has become the rage of all of us.”
“Bush: ‘We Will Not Let Them Terrorize Us’”
Alberto Pasolini Zanelli filed from Washington in leading, pro-government, center-right Il Giornale (9/19): "The most significant details are those we do not see.... Things are, indeed, taking place outside the Rose Garden in the White House.... America is not embarking upon a ‘police operation’ but a war.... While they wait for the ‘wide’ strategy taking shape, the emotional pressure of public opinion--which calls for a rapid and visible punishment of the terrorists--will induce the president to authorize a blitz action.”
“The New Western Priorities”
Marcel Dupont commented on the front page of Rome's center-right Il Tempo (9/19): “We hope that this tragedy suggests to the United States that it shows ‘humility.’ Not even the only superpower in the world is able to control the world. In order to punish the Talibans, the White House must pay court to the Russians, the Pakistanis, the Chinese and even the Iranians.... t is very important that American pride does not prevent it from having the exact sense of a reality that is much more complex than America thought before September 11, 2001.”
“It Is A New War, Dirtier Than The Old One”
National Alliance representative Gustavo Selva opined in pro-government, leading center-right Il Giornale (9/19): "If we talk about concrete commitments--that is sending troops, and not just expressing verbal support--this does not mean we are ‘American slaves.’… In New York and Washington the terrorists have begun a new war.... The first act of any war is to define alliances. No discussion about NATO support. Now the key issue is the one concerning the moderate Arab nations. Saying that Islam is terrorism is a logical and political mistake.”
BELGIUM: "Let Us Remain Clear-Headed"
Chief commentator Benoit Degardin editorialized in the Sud Presse group papers--conservative La Meuse/La Lanterne (9/20) and independent La Nouvelle Gazette (9/20): "Does the horror of these attacks prohibit us from thinking, does it force us to blindly rally the Star Spangled Banner? The legitimate support which we can give to the United States--which has been wrongfully and villainously attacked--should not prevent us from pointing out that this country, although a democracy, is also a country where there are several injustices...where death penalty is being frequently used.... [One should not forget] that terrorism would probably not have spread so much and struck so hard if Washington had gotten more involved in the Middle East crisis...that the blockade of Iraq, which Washington stubbornly maintains, principally hurts innocent people...that there is a great likelihood that the same will happen with the Afghan population. We must be thankful to the Americans for what they have done for us last century. And we fully share in the pain of these thousands of families who were hurt by the madness of a few fanatics. But let us remain clear-headed."
"Time For A Nuanced Initiative"
Political analyst Dirk Achten wrote in independent Catholic De Standaard (9/20): "It is very important now to launch a new peace initiative in the Middle East. That initiative must take into account the aspirations of the Palestinians, strengthen the position of Yasser Arafat against the radical extremist movements and curtail the strategy of confrontation of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.... In these times of crisis, it is crucial to send a nuanced signal to one of the world's core areas of conflict - lest every Palestinian or Muslim feels an outcast."
SPAIN: "All Standing At Attention"
Left-of-center El Pais remarked (9/20): "The United States is bringing many governments to attention when in comes to standing against terrorism. The Bush administration is taking firm steps towards the construction of a wide coalition against terrorism and more particularly against Afghanistan's Taliban regime.... The cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians is something else the United States has imposed.... The worsening of the conflict with the Palestinians, given its enormous potential for polluting the political environment, has become a major handicap to bringing together an international alliance against terrorism."
CANADA: "Blaming the U.S., whitewashing terror",
In the conservative "National Post" (9/19): "Sorrow and pity have given way to excuses and equivocations. Some commentators are now explaining the terrorist attack against New York City and Washington with the argument that the United States 'had it coming.' ... At the heart of the propaganda campaign against the United States is a moral equivalence conflating what is evil with what is merely imperfect. ...In 'Macbeth', Shakespeare reserved a special space in Hell for 'an equivocator, that could swear in both the scales against either scale.' That thought provides some consolation as we watch our television screens and see this shameful parade of apologists wagging their fingers at the United States."
"What does he want?"
In the leading "Globe and Mail", under the headline and the subhead "The attack on the World Trade Center may seem like an assault on America. But its real target is in the Muslim world", writer on international affairs Paul Knox wrote (9/19): "[T]he scale of last week's atrocities in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania must not blind us to the sources of Middle East-related terrorism, nor to the true nature of the threat posed by Osama bin Laden and his ilk. ...What kind of political operator fails to claim responsibility for his acts, much less link them to specific demands? There are at least three possible answers. First, the attacks are staged in part to avenge what the planners see as Muslim honour. Second, as propaganda, they are directed primarily at the Muslim world, enhancing their organizers' stature and exposing the United States as a paper tiger. Third, and most misguidedly, they aim to demoralize an America that the perpetrators of terrorism see as vulnerable. ...[F]or Washington, a sustained victory against terrorism requires more than shutting down the bin Ladens or punishing their protectors. It means somehow persuading the Muslim masses that the deafening voices of hate and intolerance surrounding them are wrong, and that America is truly on their side."
"Please don't blame the American victims"
In the leading "Globe and Mail" (9/19): editorialised: "...The Cold War misdeeds of the United States were dwarfed by the crimes of the Soviet Union. There was a good guy and a bad guy in that fight, and the United States wore the white hat. ...However Canadians may feel about particular policies of the United States, from its stand on global warming to its use of the death penalty, there can be no doubt that it is essentially a force for good in the world, both as a beacon of liberty and individual freedom and as a global policeman. It now faces a deadly enemy. The very least we can do at its time of sorrow and need is to refrain from wagging our fingers."
"Canada's help: Who are we kidding?"
Jeffrey Simpson wrote in his regular "The Nation" column in the leading "Globe and Mail" (09/19): "Canadians worried about joining a U.S.-led attack on Afghanistan should relax. ... Te United States perhaps, but not nice, gentle, peace-loving Canada. Last week's events brought one fact home to the government, and to 'garden-variety Canadians' everywhere: Moral equivalence and moral superiority are disastrous guides in the face of premeditated attacks against an ally and neighbour by those with contempt for the values Canadians hold dear and have fought hard to defend."
"It's the U.S. foreign policy, stupid",
In the liberal "Toronto Star", under the headline editorialpage editor emeritus Haroon Siddiqui wrote (9/19): "America is not the target of terrorism because Islamic fundamentalists hate American democratic ideals of freedom, liberty and 'all that we stand for,' as George Bush has claimed. Only if it were so. The problem may be much bigger. ...Rather, it is due to American complicity in injustice, lethal and measurable, on several fronts: The Israeli Palestinian conflict...; The decade-long American-led economic sanctions on Iraq...; The mess in Afghanistan...; American strategic alliances with the military and monarchical dictatorships of Algeria, Turkey and Egypt, as well as the oil-rich Arab states.... [A] broad spectrum of the Canadain middle class...is coming to the view that America needs...a more humane and even-handed approach to the world."
I"Let's hope terror leads to change"
In the liberal "Toronto Star", under the headline , columnist Richard Gwyn writes in his regular "Home and Away" column (9/19): "Ever since the carnage in New York, it's become commonplace to remark that things will never be the same. ...But that same 'things-will-never-be-the-same' rule applies equally to the societies from which the terrorists came. ...[U]ltimately, the people of the Middle East and of Muslim societies can only enter the global mainstream by themselves. If they and above all their leaders start to realize this, things really will never be the same again."
In the conservative "Ottawa Sun", under the headline , the paper editorialised (9/19): "The terrorists who wreaked such devastation in New York and Washington last week are no doubt smiling smugly as they watch the continuing impact of their vile acts. Stock markets have trembled and shaken. ...But don't be bullied out of making your decisions by a group of madmen who think nothing of sending thousands of innocent men, women and children to their deaths simply to promote their own agenda. The Bank of Canada here at home and the Federal Reserve in the U.S. have shown they are willing to lead the way. ...Now it's up to each of us to take up the challenge."
IIn the tabloid-style "Ottawa Citizen" (09/19): "... Canada has diplomatic relations with all seven countries - Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria - on the U.S. State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism. ...Terrorism can't be ended unless we stop doing 'business as usual' with nations that finance, train and harbour terrorists. Canada can act - right now - to cut or curtail diplomatic ties and review its aid to each. ..." B) Under the headline "Dollars and sense on Wall St.", the paper editorialised: "...One sure sign of the resilience of capitalism comes in reports this week of Manhattan street-hawkers selling American flags to grey-suited businessmen - at inflated prices. Though some might find dickering over the price of a flag unseemly at this time, it was merely the law of supply and demand reasserting itself. ...Much better that than the lawlessness the terrorist would inflict."
"The old script is blowin' in the wind"
tabloid-style "Ottawa Citizen" (09/19):Deputy Editorial Pages Editor John Robson wrote: "...A few people got caught with the old script that all Muslims deplore this savage act of just retribution for brutal Yankee imperialism. But Houchang Hassan-Yari of Kingston's Royal Military College spoke for many Canadians: 'Those terrorists are in hell now'. And Khadija Haffajee, co-chair of a Christian-Muslim dialogue group in Ottawa, nailed it: 'We all as citizens condemn the heinous attacks against humanity'. ...Another useless part of the old script is not to respond because violence simply begets violence. They never said that about the mad bombers, because they saw the Third World man as an automaton and only the First World man as having an independent will. That's all over. We know what kind of people these were, so we know they had moreal choices, and made the wrong ones."
"Palestine holds the Coalition key"
Jean-Robert Sansfaton chief editorialist in the liberal French-language daily Le Devoir writes (9/19): " As long as the U.S. does not exert more pressure on its ally Israel and on the Palestinian Authority...as long as Israel occupies the territories won by force in 1967, the Islamist extremists will have no difficulty finding militants to fight Satan in the form of Israeli or American citizens...Until this lasting peace comes to the Middle East, and that peace will come one day, the Americans and their allies must try everything in order to stop, at least temporarily, the violence and resume talks...The Americans no longer have any choice: they must retake the leadership in trying to find an honorable solution to the Palestinian problem. The success of the long fight against terrorism depends on it."
OTHER NATO COUNTRIES
CZECH REPUBLIC: "There Are No Collective Guilts"
The right-of-center daily Lidove noviny notes in Jiri Loewy's column (9/20): "President Bush took of his shoes following the Islam tradition and only in socks entered one of Washington's mosques followed by a crowd of Muslim dignitaries. Into microphones and cameras he then called on all Americans to behave with respect towards their Arabian or other Muslim fellow citizens, because a terror isn't Islam's sign. ...The U.S. authorities showed very energetically that they don't respect collective guilt and won't tolerate any wrong doings in this sense."
"We Should Be Active and Cautious"
The right-center daily MF Dnes writes in an appeal by Cyril Svoboda, Chairman of Christian Democratic Union-Czech People's Party (9/20): "The U.S. threw all its energy into revealing of culprits of the terrorist attacks. ...It is already obvious now, that problem with terrorism will not be solved by military measures definitely and that it will not be a short-term conflict. ...Our human commitment and our participation in different social and political processes in conflict with a crime have to be as intensive as terrorists' keenness. Everybody has to make decision by him (or her) self and not wait that others will decide instead of him (her)."
"Are We in Danger?"
The leading daily MF Dnes's chief commentator Martin Komarek notes (9/20): "When Interior Minister Stanislav Gross says, "Czech intelligence services do not announce any danger of a terrorist attack," this sounds funny. The U.S. secret services had not presented any report about terrorist attacks either. Gross's statement only makes sense if he is sure that the Czech BIS counter-intelligence is much more professional than CIA. ...It is nice from politicians that they do not want to spread alarm and assure the public that nothing awful is being prepared. However, it would be much nicer if the president or other senior elected officials and chairmen of democratic parties made a special statement to the public. It might say: "Everything seems to show that our nation has entered a long and bloody war with terrorism. It is a fair war. It is a necessary war. If we do not uproot terrorism, it will annihilate us. In this war there will be a danger to the civilian population. We will really go to extreme lengths to safeguard your security, but we cannot absolutely guarantee it. ...This is the reality. Immediate danger is really not big. But one cannot rule out that in the course of the war terrorists will hit this country, too. ...Defense measure must not be taken for the short run. The idea that the Temelin nuclear power plant will be watched for a week or two and then we can go back to bed is absolutely wrong. It is now the politicians' task to rebuild the whole security system in the country. ...Let's hope they are working on it. We can only hope so. They have not told us."
GREECE: "The Greek Position"
The lead editorial of independent influential Kathimerini (9/20) said: "PM Simitis was extremely decisive and categorical when he said yesterday: 'We have no trace of tolerance or understanding for terrorists. Our response is absolute: no compromise, no interaction with them... The recent attacks cannot remain unanswered...Greece will participate in future initiatives.' Greece's differentiation from skeptical tendencies that appeared in Europe is related with certain Greek 'peculiarities' such as the 2004 Olympics and the existence of an active terrorist group, 17 November. These two elements dramatically reduce Greece's margins for maneuvering. The need for realism on the part of Greece's foreign policy also triggers from the fact that the Balkans have suffered the consequences of actions by Osama Bin Laden's mercenaries. In light of the above, Greece's position could not have and should not have been any different."
"Time for the UN"
The lead editorial in popular, influential and anti-American Eleftherotypia (9/20) said: "The UN is being activated around the terrorist attacks of September 11, but hesitantly. UN's only raison d'etre is to prevent war operations and maintain peace. The UNSC sent this message to the Taliban: Implement Resolution 1333 immediately and unconditionally. In other words, the UNSC asks Taliban to hand over Bin Laden as a measure of appeasement. The UN must also assume exclusive control of the [recent] terrorist attacks affair, as peace is threatened. The UN should control the relevant negotiations between the U.S and Afghanistan, since all UN members stand against terrorism and want its eradication. UN members want justice, but in a lawful manner and without war operations. Everybody knows that a war against Afghanistan will not eradicate terrorism."
Brussels correspondent Oszkar Fuzes judges in top-circulation Nepszabadsag (9/19): "For the evolvement of, and failure to resolve, the historical and current problems leading to terrorism, the Old Continent is to blame at least as much as the New World. (Or even more.) It is not Europe's merit, but rather its luck that the anger of the Islamic fanatics is aimed at the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. However, if Europe does something good now, it will be to its credit, too, if this anger eventually abates."
"Faith, Lack of Hope, Hatred"
Socialist MP Gyula Hegyi concludes in influential, liberal leaning Magyar Hirlap (9/19): "There are only two alternatives for the wealthier part of mankind to achieve lasting security. Either we move back into the fortress cities of the Middle Ages where the walls were higher than the residential buildings. Or we try again to find a common language for mankind."
"Instead of Weapons, Diplomacy"
Influential, liberal leaning Magyar Hirlap's editorial warns: "Before something irrevocable happens, possibilities will have to be analyzed carefully, things to do to be discussed thoroughly, and instead of sudden anger, the voice of reason to be listened to. The world has it good only as long as its responsible leaders do no forget the experience of the historical past."
"The Catch of Striking Back"
Foreign affairs writer Laszlo Szale opines in influential, liberal leaning Magyar Hirlap (9/19): "The fact that the authorization to do "dirty jobs" was restored to CIA indicates that they see the annihilation of the terrorist as the only useful solution. With that, the threat coming from him would cease. Of course, terrorism would not."
"For Speech to Remain Free"
Socialist MP Gyula Hegyi points out in independent Nepszava (9/19): "If Osama bin Laden or any other terrorist succeeded in forcing democracies to give up their fundamental constitutional principles, they would win an undeserved victory over the free world."
THE NETHERLANDS "Attacks in U.S. Force Europe to Integrate"
Influential liberal De Volkskrant's Brussels-based correspondent Geert Jan Boogaerts comments (9/18): "Suppose there is a fire in the Middle East or in the Balkans. Which firemen should be called? Solana... or do you prefer Powell? ... six months ago, the choice would have been very easy: Powell of course... today, the answer is less clear.... The European standpoint is very clear: tough and mild simultaneously. More international cooperation and larger trade flows should result in a more just spread of wealth in the world - the only way to fight poverty, "the breeding pool for terrorism." The discussion between the Europe and the U.S. about the right approach has hardly begun and the discussion will be intense. The attacks in the U.S. help Europe to discover its own identity. This does not seem to be problematic. Atlanticists, such as Blair, and Continentalists such as Chirac and Schroeder are more or less on one line. It seems as if the terrorist attacks on the U.S. are beginning to show a political impact in Europe.... The EU has lately been working very hard and independently from the U.S. in places such as Macedonia and the Middle East. The U.S. was mainly absent there. Europe has traditionally been an economic giant but a political midget - but this status is changing in those areas. Many diplomats, even from large European countries, dare to say that European foreign policy has become more important now than that of Germany, Great Britain, or France. Only six months ago, this would have been impossible...."
"War of Nerves"
Influential independent NRC Handelsblad has this editorial (9/14): "The anti-terrorist 'campaign' of the Russian army in Chechnya destroyed much... but never led to pacification. . . The years of war by the Russians in Afghanistan was fruitless. Would an action by the U.S. against the Taliban in Afghanistan succeed any better? . . .Old and new terrorists want that the social order which they attack to be "unmasked," but resort to extreme measures. Democratic nations by contrast must continuously weigh how the means employed relate to the fundamental values which they are specifically protecting. The American government is acutely conscious of this. That is very important. It does mean however that the war on terrorism is, to a great degree, a war of nerves."
Influential independent NRC Handelsblad's Marc Chavannes comments (9/15): "President Bush-'I've got a job to do'-has this week grown into his role with astonishing speed. . . .In scarcely four days he has got the contours of a head of state who can bear the national disaster, lead the mourning of a continent, and view the international consequences. [He has changed] from a salesman to a warrior and leader."
"Where Does Such Self - Satisfaction Come From?"
Centrist Het Parool's political writer criticizes Dutch reactions regarding the WTC attacks (9/18): "It began with the first comments of prime minister Wim Kok, shortly after the attacks. He expressed the fervent wish that the American people would be able to react 'in a dignified manner to this humiliation'. That was not the moment for the Binnenhof to advise Americans how to react. It was superfluous and especially inappropriate.... A chaotic debate by sundry talkers, (like Sunday evening's "The Invisible Enemy" of NPS, Vara and VPRO) does not help and only leaves an impression of greater confusion with those who endured the discussion to the end."
NORWAY: "Holy War"
Independent Dagbladet (0919) commentator Peter Norman Waage :..."While Taliban declares war against Americans, the USA and all that it stands for, the American President has stressed that it is not the Muslims who are the enemy. It is Osama Bin Laden and his network of terror, and possibly Taliban. 'Islam is peace,' he declared in a mosque in Washington, after having read from the Koran. These are timely words...the holy war that Taliban calls for, is an indication of the fanatics' deadly belief that they alone are right."
"No World War III"
Independent VG (0919) commentator Jan Christiansen : ... "Systematic "carpet bombing" of assumed bases of terror will most likely only harm civilians, and increase the recruitment of terrorists....Therefore the western world should rely less on quick retaliation - even if it should not be completely discounted - and count more on long-term countermoves."
"The Danger of a Holy War"
Social democratic Dagsavisen (0919) comments: "When the Afghanistan Taliban regime declares holy war, it is a challenge the world must not accept... What will be decisive now is that the Muslim countries are fully involved in the hunt for terror groups and the terrorists who have been directly involved in the assaults against the WTC and Pentagon... The fight against terror will not be easy to win... In order to succeed at all, it is necessary that all countries are involved...."
"Diplomacy and the Fight for World Opinion,"
In its lead edit, newspaper of record Aftenposten (0919) says: "The Taliban regime's declaration of holy war against the USA and its statement that Osama bin Laden will not be delivered if no evidence of his guilt...is presented, is an irresponsible escalation of the international conflict in the wake of the attacks a week ago... Bush gave a message that should (already) be clear for inhabitants of informed democracies, but which unfortunately is not always so for everyone, be they Americans or western Europeans: Muslims as a group or as individuals must never be seen as responsible for the terrorist actions... What Bush now needs in this fight against international terrorism which we all hope succeeds, is the wholehearted support of leaders and people who are generally skeptical to much of what the U.S. stands for...."
POLAND: "With Whom?"
Konstanty Gebert wrote in liberal Gazeta Wyborcza (9/20): "There is much to indicate that a new caliber in international relations is taking shape: a uniform front against all propagators of terror. Ben Laden versus the rest of the world. This impression, however, is wrong. First, the criticism of a planned operation against Afghanistan is justified. Up to date the Americans have presented no hard evidence that Osama bin Laden is really behind the massacre in New York and Washington.... There is a justified concern that in their well-understood yearning for revenge they will not wait for the investigation to end. This, however, would seriously undermine the moral and political credibility of a possible retaliatory action. Finally, common Afghans who live under the terror of the Taliban regime are not responsible for bin Laden. And their lives count as much as the lives of those murdered in the WTC and the Pentagon. Any departure from this principle would mean the triumph of the terrorists."
"Fight With A Shadow"
Konrad Kolodziejski wrote in right of center Zycie (9/20): "In the 20th century, it all seemed much simpler. When conflicts broke out, the parties were known. State terrorism is slowly waning today, and there is no clear enemy like the Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia. The enemy is a concrete person, who, staying in hiding, can terrorize the whole world. A battle with him is like a battle with a shadow. We must all learn the rules of such a battle."
Rafal A. Ziemkiewicz wrote in center-left Zycie Warszawy (9/20): "The anarchists, who recently chose to call themselves anti-globalists, eagerly echo Saddam Hussein saying that 'America got what it deserved.' Truly, America is guilty because instead of consuming its prosperity in peace, it moves into various parts of the world with assistance. America is guilty because it does not suffice to have democracy and freedom at home-it would like other nations to enjoy those values too. It is guilty because it can be ready to send its troops to remote parts of the world to defend people persecuted there."
PORTUGAL: "A Test for Europe"
Commentary by international affairs editor Teresa de Sousa in September 20 influential center-left Público: "Up until now, Europe has done what it has to do. Without hesitations, ambiguities or divisions. ... It was to underlining the impossibility of any middle ground that the European allies in NATO took just three hours to make the decision -- unprecedented in its half century of existence -- to consider the attack on America an attack against all. The European response could not have been otherwise, independent of all the semantic analyses of whether this was an act of terrorism or an act of war.... "This time, it will be difficult to say that Europe failed its first test, when it had to confront possibly the most difficult crisis of the post-Cold War. And it had to confront it at a time when its relations with America were passing through a period of enormous incomprehension. The last few months offered almost daily proofs of the worst fears of the Europeans regarding the Bush administration.... The solidarity demonstrated by Europe this last week could function in the future as one of the most decisive instruments to convince the U.S. of the advantages of new rules of international conduct. As long as Europe is finally ready to unambiguously assume its international responsibilities, along with their inherent costs. But this is the most difficult and longest test, that it has yet to pass.... "The EU will have to engage in the long and complex task of reevaluating its political priorities. The slow efforts to give itself an autonomous military capacity will look pathetic in the light of the worst international scenarios that are brutally emerging from this crisis. The slow steps in the direction of a common foreign policy now appear tragically remote from reality.... When they leave their meeting in Brussels, European leaders will also have to understand that there is a transformed public opinion awaiting them. One that expects some capacity for leadership and some political courage."
"Beyond International Law"
Commentary by Portuguese Attorney General JosT Souto Moura in September 20 Público: "[...] The September 11 attack -- given its presumed aims, the country affected, the casualties, and the methods used -- is unprecedented, and demolished the relatively clear parameters within which we have become accustomed to thinking. On the one hand, the acts committed are difficult to fit within the traditional definition of war or armed international conflict,...mainly because, up to this point, it seems we are dealing with an isolated occurence. On the other hand, the dimension of the catastrophe resists treatment as simply a matter of criminal law, even if it is international. "Whether we are dealing with an act of war that will be responded to in equally warlike terms, or with a terrorist act that provokes or unleashes a war, or even with a crime or crimes to be dealt with under international criminal law, a decisive response is called for. "As to what the response can and should be, there seems to be ample consensus that it should not be led solely by the U.S. In place of leadership 'of,' what is wanted is leadership 'with' other states, as well as to see what the role of the UN Security Council might be in all this. The United States of America now has on its side not just those who could be called its allies in geopolitical terms, but all those who are against international terrorism. By no means a small number. ... "Extirpating terrorism, of whatever kind, demands the unhesitating punishment of those responsible. Because nothing, absolutely nothing, jusitifies a strategy of terror."
"The Worst Ideas"
Column by (opposition Social Democratic Party) European Parliament member JosT Pacheco Pereira in September 20 Público: "A week after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, I am struck by the weak, timorous and hesitant way that many Portuguese political leaders have responded to what has happened. The Prime Minister, as usual, presented a bad example -- more negative than anyone because it came from the top -- in a hypocritical speech, rhetorical in words but frightened in actions, that objectively leaves the U.S. isolated. But he wasn't alone, he had lots of company in the absence of clear voices mobilizing the Portuguese for a fight that is theirs, too. The war that is coming isn't about the Americans, it's about our way of life, culture and civilization, against the intransigent 'spirit of death' as a political instrument, and the interests that manipulate it."
"Our Home-Grown 'Kamikazes'"
''Bread and Roses" column by commentator Ana Sá Lopes in September 20 Público: "[...] Our home-grown 'kamikazis' who want a war, implacable and inevitable, are mysteriously showing greater haste than the unsuspected Colin Powell. Against whom, seems a trifling matter. Against countries that harbor terrorists? Obviously the war, as the Americans and other democrats are already calling it, has to start inside the United States itself, where the 'kamikazis' of the barbarous September 11 were trained. With the invasion of Afghanistan by the cavalry...one obviously expects a continuation of barbarity, the spirit of a crusade, a spiral being prepared to follow with the killing of innocent civilians and that could, if they want, reduce everything to ashes. Obviously the 'kamikazis', the war fundamentalists, seem at this moment not to give a damn. It's part of the 'kamikaze' structure. And now, even though someone said it before, it's worth repeating: the images we saw on television on September 11 were not reminiscent... of Pearl Harbor. They were reminiscent, obviously, of Hiroshima."
"What Kind of NATO is This?"
Daily "Direct Lines" column by senior journalist Lufs Delgado in September 20 respected moderate-left daily Diário de Notfcias: "[...Some] NATO allies, strangely enough, are not as committed as Germany.... This raises the question of what sort of military and defense alliance exists in the West. That is, what kind of NATO is it...that -- faced with new threats like terrorism -- wavers and sags like Chamberlain before Hitler in Munich? What does NATO want, having invoked Article 5 of the Atlantic Treaty last week and now setting out doubts and problems for itself? What kind of NATO is this, then? Could it be that they want to send an emissary to Bin Laden to draw up a peace treaty? There can be no concessions to terrorism, and -- amazingly -- Mr. Laden and others must be shouting with joy over these hesitations. With a NATO like this, God help us."
TURKEY: "How to fight against terror?"
Sami Kohen commented in mass appeal Milliyet (9/20): "Issues like poverty, misery, social and economical inequalities, or disputes like Palestine and Kashmir will continue to be on the world's agenda for many years more. Can we even consider these as reasons to justify violence and terror? ... Certainly both countries individually and the international community should seriously work on resolving the issues. This is a long-term thing. In the short term, terrorism must receive a response. The fight against terrorism is a two-lane road. The right approach is to use both."
"U.S. is reaping what it has sown"
Hikmet Cetinkaya argued in intellectual/opinion maker Cumhuriyet (9/20): "The U.S. is only reaping what it has sown. You can come to this conclusion easily by looking at Afghan refugees or the people in Middle East, where the U.S. has always supported backwards and racist regimes. ... In these countries the poverty has grown immensely and the U.S. has turned into the prime enemy. ... The people of the Middle East will create more bin Ladens unless the Palestine-Israel conflict is resolved. ... Moreover, where were the U.S. or Britain while radical religious movements were expanding in a vast geography; from Iran to Algeria, from Sudan to Egypt, from the Balkans to the Caucasus, and from Central Asia to north Africa?
"The anti-terror formula"
Mehmet Ali Kislali averred in intellectual/opinion maker Radikal (9/20): "The U.S. has been re-editing the low intensity conflict doctrine since 1960. Turkey learned this doctrine in its fight against terrorism. Now the U.S. is to apply low intensity conflict principles in its declared war against terror as well. ... The initial signs coming from the U.S. boost the hopes that in this war, the U.S. will not use any wrong strategies or tactics."
Mass appeal Milliyet's columnist Guneri Civaoglu wrote (9/19): "The FBI and the CIA have failed to stop the terrorist attacks because of the U.S. Administration's changing intelligence policy. Washington's decision to cut the funds allocated for intelligence work and its new strategy to use satellites rather than intelligence agents paved the way for the recent violent attacks. ... The U.S. and Europe should be careful about creating a confrontation between religions. ... Turkey will have an important role in possible NATO operations since it is the only Islamic country in the organization."
RUSSIA: "Russia May Have to Bear the Brunt of War"
Official parliamentary Parlamentskaya Gazeta (9/20) stated in an item by Vladimir Yermakov: "There is no guarantee that after a series of missile attacks--ineffective, as predicted by all military experts--and possibly a few daring raids by U.S. Rambos against the Talibs, the Americans will not wash their hands of it, letting the Russians do most of the fighting."
Mikhail Vinogradov and Aleksandr Sadchikov reported on page one of reformist Izvestiya (9/20): "With the Duma back in session, a new political season officially opened yesterday. The deputies--except several LDPR members--rose to observe a minute of silence to honor the victims of the U.S. tragedy. In the follow-up discussion of world issues, they, still unsure of their final positions, tried to say how they felt about what was going on. An official, referring to Russian politicians, said, 'They don't do what they should do. They do what they can.' Apparently, there is not much our elite can do. Most of it is talk, confusion, and stupidity. The President, vacationing in Sochi, has stated that the main thing now is to 'develop approaches and real mechanisms of cooperation' and he added that he was in touch with world leaders. Putin is no Bush. His people have not been through a tragedy of such a caliber, but he would do well to address the public, setting a 'line' for politicians, the military, lobbyists, and the nation at large."
"State Under Attack"
Maksim Sokolov contended in reformist Izvestiya (9/20): "America has not been picked because it is good or bad. It has been targeted because it is the strongest in the world. To attack the most powerful state successfully and anonymously means to establish the principle of the total uncertainty of power. Coming under attack is the very idea of the state as possessing a monopoly of violence. That makes all states a target, never mind their internal politics or attitude toward America."
"Moscow, Washington are Allies"
Maksim Yusin remarked in reformist Izvestiya (9/20): "The United States' war-to-be against the Talibs and the Islamists' war of many years against moderate regimes in NIS countries (and Russia) make up one and the same conflict. So whether the Americans and we like it or not, from now on Moscow and Washington will objectively have to act as allies. They will at least on the issue of Afghanistan."
"Russia's Hard Choice"
Boris Volkhonskiy said in reformist business-oriented Kommersant (9/20): "Russia faces a hard choice--it will have to support U.S. actions, anyway. So it had better do that soon, while it can still influence the U.S. operation and, in the longer term, the situation in the world, particularly on its southern borders."
"Tragedy May Happen Again"
Sergey Sergiyevskiy pointed out in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (9/20): "Hitting the wrong target will only add to the suffering of innocent people and to the confidence of the true culprits of the American tragedy that they can get away with anything. That promises more tragedies."
"Russia May Become Chief Peacemaker"
According to Alan Kasayev in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (9/20): "By siding with the injured United States, Russia may hope to become the chief peacemaker in Central Asia. Elsewhere, too, its cooperation with Washington would be taken as a signal that Russia is just as good a prop as anyone."
"This Is No Way To Fight Terrorism"
Official parliamentary Parlamentskaya Gazeta ran this commentary (9/19) by Yuriy Babichi: "In a public opinion poll conducted by ABC and the Washington Post, 86 percent voted for an adequate response to terrorists, even if it spells a war. Is this a way to solve the problem of terrorism? Hardly. This problem has objective causes, the principal one being a deep chasm between the well-being of the 'gold billion' and the poverty of most of the rest of the world. If extremism and international terrorism are to be eradicated, the world must change to become fairer. Besides, hasn't the United States practiced state terrorism in relation to countries and regimes it doesn't like? Hasn't the United States, sparing no expense, nurtured people like America's number-one enemy? Hasn't the United States encouraged Albanian separatists in Kosovo and Macedonia? In light of the above, the United States' attempts to impart...a global character to its efforts to save 'American values' do not seem all too promising."
Aleksander Panarin opined on page one of reformist weekly Literaturnaya Gazeta (#38, 9/19): "The world is worried: Its pride wonder, what will the hegemon do now? It is not the fear of terrorists. It is the hear of America's recklessness. Everybody is worried that the United States, which puts its reputation as the hegemon and master of the world ahead of everything else, won't stop at even bearing down on other countries, unleashing a new world war."
"How to Improve the World?"
Yuriy Borev emphasized in reformist weekly Literaturnaya Gazeta (# 38, 9/19): "Under the circumstances, the United States, as a powerful civilized nation, can and must not only severely and mercilessly punish those who are directly responsible for the atrocious terrorist acts but also think up measures to ameliorate the situation in the world. Being less selfish will do it."
"What Role For Others?"
Boris Volkhonsky observed in reformist, business-oriented Kommersant (9/19): "As an act of retribution nears inexorably, ever more countries are wondering about their role in the operation, how their involvement in fighting against countries that offer refuge to terrorists in going to affect them and whether the act of retribution will set a precedent, with the United States feeling free to go it alone, bypassing organizations like the United Nations."
"Which Side Are You On?"
Leonid Gankin stated on page one of reformist business-oriented Kommersant (9/19): "The United States' playing it tough makes it impossible for other countries, Russia included, to be neutral in the imminent conflict, even less so to influence it in any way."
2. “Participation or neutrality in combating terrorism?”
Private daily “Vecherny Bishkek” (circ. 20,000) highlighted an interview with Director of the Center for Social Studies of the Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences Mr. Nurbek Omuraliyev, who said (9/20): “Kyrgyzstan would hardly be able to participate in a big war. However, in principle it can provide a transport corridor via Kyrgyzstan and the Gorno-Badahshan province of Tajikistan for shipments of weapons to the Northern Alliance… Concerning the flood of refugees our citizens worry about, it is doubtful that they will be able to cross the state border, the high-altitude ranges and canyons of the border areas.”
3. Omuraliev further said: “In this case America is following double-standards. On the one hand it tries to observe the canons of civilization and punish the terrorists only. At the same time, it doesn’t exclude a so-called ‘Asian way’, where in response to a murder of relative it is not a sin to retaliate against the whole family. Targeted bombing is that kind of mixture of styles. It is clear that any bombing will hurt peaceful and innocent people… Does it make sense for us to offer independently, like Uzbekistan did, our territory to Americans? I think that we should act against terrorism in coordination with our allies, first of all with Russia. Though for us neutrality is more acceptable.”
“Kyrgyz People Worried about Possible Conflict Between the U.S. and Afghanistan”
This headline opened the evening news program of independent TV NBT (9/18). Comment: “George Bush’s ultimatum about possible bomb strikes against Afghanistan has disturbed the whole world, including Kyrgyzstan. There is only one right decision to save the world from apocalypse. Bombing is not a solution. A flow of refugees could swamp Kyrgyzstan.” After a brief report from the human rights activist Tursunbek Akunov’s press-conference, at which he opposed military actions, the reporter concluded: “Without clear evidence that Taliban supports Osama Bin Laden, the USA shouldn’t punish the whole of Aghanistan.”
“Terrorism in Central Asia. Who is Backing it?”
Independent newspaper “Advokat” (circ. 20,000) introduced this article with the words: “Analysts from our special services think that unprecedented terrorist actions in the U.S. are directly connected with the activation of different kinds of religious movements that propagate ideas of Islamic fundamentalism and religious extremism.” After characterizing extremist Islamic organizations that act in Central Asia the author concludes: “Unfortunately, there is no efficient coordination system between (Kyrgyz) law enforcement organizations and their counterpart organizations in the countries of the region, or, in the light of the terrorist actions in the U.S., elsewhere in the world.”
“Will Armageddon Start in Afghanistan?”
In the same issue of “Advokat” (circ. 20,000) military observer Alexander Kim analyses different scenarios of U.S. military action against Afghanistan, concluding that none is good (9/18): “The U.S. President is powerful enough to stop the war against Afghanistan... The whole world mourns for innocent victims. But is it really worth increasing the number of deaths, putting the planet near the ‘last line that leads nowhere’? Will those who lost relatives and close friends really feel better if a third world war becomes the price for vengeance?”
“American Tragedy: Those who live by the sword will die by the sword”
Under this headline the independent Kyrgyz language “Aalam” (circ. 8,000) combined front-page pictures of New York on September 11, 2001 and Iraq in January-February 1991, and printed commentaries on page 3 (9/18): “The September 11 tragedy that ruined a symbol of the U.S. power and destroyed a part of Pentagon is a warning for the U.S. If it doesn’t stop promoting its policy of force and continues a revenge-inspired “crusade” against the East, New-York and Washington may turn into Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The only difference is that a weapon of mass destruction will not be launched from abroad but from the U.S. itself. Who knows, maybe it’s ready and is just waiting for the right moment?” On the second page the paper presented different opinions of political figures and readers on the event. Most opinions are sympathetic to the U.S.. However, a member of Kyrgyz Parliament (Turdubek Chekiev) states: “What happened is the result of America’s incorrect foreign policy. America has pursued a policy of separation and weakening of Muslim countries.”
MOLDOVA: "Arab Terrorists Load Their Guns In Tiraspol"
Alina Radu writes on the front page of pro-rightist Flux (9/20): "Le Monde" gives quotes from a report of the Public Policy Institute in Chisinau, which includes data about sales of Transnistrian weapons in Bulgaria, Israel, Iraq, Iran and other Arab states. These states bought missile launchers BM 21 RAD, anti-tank weapons SPG-9, and other weapons produced in Tighina and Tiraspol (cities in Transnistria) at "Electromas' and "Electroaparat" plants, as well as at the steel plant in Ribnita, which partially belongs to "Itera" company, a subsidiary of the Russian company "Gazprom."... After the recent events, Transnistria attracts the world's attention as an uncontrolled provider of weapons. Even if Smirnov doesn't have customs stamps at this moment, some unofficial data shows that Transnistrian mercenaries collaborate with some air companies in Moldova which have transported weapons, obtaining the custom stamp right in Chisinau."
"The Argument Of Cudgel"
Nicolae Dabija writes in the pro-rightist Literatura si Arta (9/20): "If the U.S. and other states have decisived to start fighting terrorists, they should start at the same time fighting those who arm the terrorists. The "death plants", the plants that produce weapons in Transistria, work day and night to supply with sophisticated weapons all those who need them and who pay: for several years Transnistrian weapons, accompanied by a Moldovan customs stamp, have been pouring to the Arab side."
TURKMENISTAN: "The Time for Common Values"
The government-owned "Neytralniy Turkmenistan" and "Turkmenistan" (9/17) published a lead article in which they commented on the tragic events in the United States: "Tuesday, the tragic day that brought awful grief to the American people..., divided the world into past and present. In the past was left the fatal confidence in the limits of evil power. The present brought the piercing realization of a global threat. It became clear that international terrorism ... will not stop at anything. It would be a mistake, however, to think that this has come to our attention too late. Hundreds of countries have joined in one voice to condemn the horrible evil deed and spoke out for uniting efforts in an uncompromising fight against evil. "And as always, independent Turkmenistan is using its neutral status as a tool to achieve universal agreement and understanding. It is not by chance that the Turkmen leader was one of the first to support the suggestion of building an international anti-terrorist coalition. Saparmurat Turkmenbashi stated that only an organization acting under the aegis of the UN, armed by clear goals, aims and functions is able to confront world terrorism.... Real security is a global term. An attempt to build one's own welfare, isolated from the rest of the world, is not only a utopian dream, but also antihumanistic. Still at the daybreak of independence, Saparmurat Turkmenbashi stated that in the new world order ... the earth must not bear these aggressors, neither those overt nor those covert. "[In the meeting between the President and U.S. embassy Charge] ... it was also said that neutral Turkmenistan, which gained respect and confidence from the international community through its consistent peacemaking policy, will became a reliable champion of the will of nations against all forms of extremism and intolerance."
ALBANIA: "Why Albania?"
In its front-page editorial entitled medium circulation rightist Republican Party daily "Republika," writes: Quote "The Washington Post, one of the most prestigious American newspapers published yesterday that American Intelligence Services and those of other countries are investigating on "possible links between terrorist attacks in the U.S. and people of Bin Laden in Albania." Due to this news announced even on the "Voice of America," police in the outskirts of Tirana searched some houses rented by Arab people. We do not give rise to panic, because it is obvious that Albania is not a "source of terrorism" nor "endangered by terrorism", but a very good way for all those who want to "transport" this danger to Europe. The most important question that demands an answer is: "Why should Albania be involved in these investigations at a time when the Albanian public was in mourning for the events in the U.S.? It is evident that this is a gift from "the successful governance of these years." While we
have been boasted of the "establishment of public order" and lately of "wiping out terrorist bases", Tirana authorities have allowed suspects to harbor in the country. It is not a matter of days or weeks. It has been years that people with false identity, alleged to have links with the latest attacks in New York and Washington, have been sheltering in Albania. What has our intelligence service done so far? We hear of political legal proceedings, arrests of perpetrators, but never has the intelligence service thought of these hidden people who work under the disguise of "charity" or "religion."
"Why are we Americans?"
is the title of the editorial in medium circulation centrist daily "Dita." The piece holds, quote "Millions of people throughout the world are Americans in their spirit and mind. They are Americans in their pain for the victims of terrorist massacres in New York and Washington. They are Americans in the solidarity with the U.S., the first democratic superpower in human history. We can enumerate thousands of reasons, which point to this unprecedented support of citizens of this world regardless of race, religion and color. This is the most profound condolence for the American people. Albanians have been and still are part of this support. We have our own special reasons to be such. We are a grateful people and we cannot forget that the decisive support of the U.S. has been near us in the most decisive moments of our existence. It is worth recalling President Wilson and his policy towards the protection of small nations, which saved Albania from the chauvinistic acts of neighboring stat
es to wipe the country out of the world map. To continue with President Clinton and his efforts to redeem Kosovo from the bloody regime of Milosevic. It is not only the gratitude, but also many interests of various areas that attach us to the U.S. It is worth mentioning the great American-European project of Corridor 8 that will be finalized in our country. Even if we were lacking such projects, Albania has currently a democratic society, which refers to the U.S. as the bastion of values of freedom and justice. Throughout centuries and up to the 1990s, we have been prone to despotic regimes. We feel twofold the importance of world order of freedoms, whose leaders are the West, Europe and the U.S."
AUSTRIA: "Dead or Alive"
Senior editor Hans Rauscher commented in liberal daily "Der Standard" (09/20): "George Bush is not Teddy Roosevelt, and not Winston Churchill either, but a provincial politician who appears to be completely at sea these days. In the current crisis he has not (yet?) managed to strike the right note or show a consistent line of thought. Words of restraint on one day, a return to cowboy phraseology ("wanted: dead or alive") on the other. All those who, by majority parliamentary decision, have declared their willingness to "take military risks" (like the German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder), will hardly find this reassuring."
Foreign affairs writer Christine Domforth of the centrist daily "Die Presse" wrote (09/20): "Surveillance alone is completely useless anyway. The CIA and the FBI have collected tons of material in the last years - also about Bin Laden and his supporters. In spite of it all, they failed to raise an alarm in time. Just how safe the terrorists must feel becomes clear when we look at the Palestinian Hamas organization, which channeled its financial transactions through Citybank, the biggest bank in the U.S. A comprehensive and complete surveillance of financial transactions worldwide is quite impossible, as it would risk paralyzing the global economy. In that case, however, the terrorists would already have won."
"Much Talk, No Results"
Senior editor Christoph Kotanko stated in mass-circulation daily "Kurier" (09/20): "The unanimity demonstrated by the new alliance against terror still has to prove itself. It is a respectable coalition that has formed here - from the U.S. and the E.U. to Israel, China and Russia, to Saudi Arabia, even. They are all making similar statements now, but what do they actually mean, when they condemn terrorism. (...) The fight against terrorism is necessary - that is the consensus after last week's shocking attacks. War has been declared. But its direction is still not clear."
Sometimes Muslim-leaning Sarajevo daily "Oslobodjenje" (09/20/01) commented: "... The post-traumatic reaction from the White House, besides cries for 'revenge' and 'war', included a request to other countries to stand together with the U.S. in a planetary coalition to fight against terrorism... Will Bush's effort only create a political umbrella for unilateral acts of the U.S. or will this lead to international consensus in the struggle against terrorism? American public opinion is asking for strong revenge as soon as possible. Retaliation targets are, first of all, Bin Laden and Afghanistan, and that is even without presenting any convincing evidence. Anti-Islam and anti-Arab reactions quickly sobered Bush and resulted in firm pressure on Israel in order to stop the conflict. Without showing any honest wish to find a just solution for Palestinians, the U.S. cannot count on real support from Arab and Islamic countries, and without that (support) there can be no effective struggle against terrorism."
BULGARIA: "Killers with Leather Briefcases"
Bulgarian media reaction September 19, 2001 Center-right daily "Dnevnik" (9/19) writes: " Reportedly the disgusting attacks of the kamikaze group were preceded by heartless trading of "bloody" stocks. If it turns out to be true that some fanatic has issued orders to brokers from his bunker as part of his plan to liquidate thousands of innocent people's lives this will shatter our perceptions of how far a mass-killers network can go. The new weapon of the extremists is the same Gold Rush of the "corrupt" West against which they claim they fight, and this makes them even more dangerous. Because behind bin Laden's men with turbans we can see the silhouettes of well dressed brokers with leather briefcases."
Government-owned “Vjesnik” on September 20 carries a commentary by Mihailo Nicota under the headline “Chance for Peace in the Levant.” Nicota writes: “Have those who carried out the attacks against the U.S. unintentionally initiated the end of conflicts in the Levant? The shock provoked by the events in New York and Washington has certainly changed both the Israeli and the Palestinian standpoints. Suddenly, the war against terrorism has imposed itself as a new priority in international relations, and both Sharon and Arafat want to support it. … This time, Arafat wants to be on the winning side, even if it is, maybe, in opposition to the majority Palestinian belief.”
"Palestinians Must Get Their Own State."
Zagreb-based mass-circulation "Jutarnji List" on September 19 carries a commentary by Gordana Grgas under the headline Grgas comments: "The West must start facing the deep causes of the terrorist attacks, and the U.S. will have to take the leading role in it. Washington, forced by the pressing events of the moment, is already showing that it knows the direction it has to follow. It has looked for allies in the Arab world and has transferred the entire weight of the current negotiations to the first and most logical country, Pakistan. ... This means that this cannot and should not be an American 'crusade,' nor can it be a unilateral American action. It is rather a process which will in the end knock out the arguments of those who are now marking America and the entire wealthy West as the target of the attacks, because it is being accused of all their problems and a bad political reality."
"Whose War Against Terrorism Is It?"
Rijeka-based "Novi List" on September 19 carries its daily commentary by Jelena Lovric under the headline Lovric writes: "Certainly, there must be a response to the mass crime committed in New York and Washington. However, without a strategy, certainly without a long-term strategy dealing with the serious resolution of problems of terrorism, the American retaliation will only speed up the spiral of violence. ... Fear of hyper-terrorism, which was scattered a week ago with the attack against America, is slowly turning into the fear of America's reaction and the future moves of a badly wounded superpower."
Zagreb-based mass-circulation "Vecernji List" on September 19 carries a commentary by Visnja Staresina under the headline Staresina comments: "The Western allies should do everything they can so that the war isn't understood as an anti-Moslem war. The Taliban and bin Laden are doing everything they can to portray it as such. In order to be successful, it is crucial to develop and preserve the Islamic countries' trust. The precondition for that would be America finally behaving like a leading ally. And not like a threatening and dictating leader."
"Terror and States."
Split-based "Slobodna Dalmacija" on September 19 carries a commentary by Zlatko Gall under the headline Gall writes: "However, in this global game - as the American liberal circles are saying - international laws shouldn't in any case be turned into legislation which would provide the only remaining musical power an alibi for interventions anywhere where American strategic interests are 'endangered.' Because, it is completely true that international laws must sanction 'terrorist states' ('rogue states'), in other words regimes which, through their support of terrorists, are trying to destabilize or turn down the 'displeasing' administrations. The United States of America, which for over four decades has given refuge, money and know-how to various 'contras,' who, through terrorist activities too, has been trying to reshape the political map of South American and the Caribbean Islands - should not be an exception."
ESTONIA: "Russia's Hard Choice"
The leading serious daily "Postimees" (9/19) reports: " Russia's advice to the U.S. to first find the organizations who committed the terrorist acts, and then, when striking back, trying to avoid civilian victims, seems ridiculous in light of Russia's own reaction to explosions in Moscow two years earlier that was immediately followed by Russia's fierce bombing of villages and towns in Chechnya... In theory, U.S. prompt retaliatory action could greatly benefit Russia. The U.S. would thus weaken the Taleban while Russia itself would continue its arms trade with Iran and Iraq, and in this moral confusion, the U.S. would have less enthusiasm about expanding NATO."
"Estonians Prefer to Remain on the Sidelines of Military Action"
The leading serious daily "Postimees" (9/19) carried an article about a poll on Estonians' opinions about getting involved in military strikes in Afghanistan: "Only one third of Estonians as opposed to one half of the non-Estonian population would support defense forces' participation in U.S. and its allies' military strikes against Afganistan. Aivar Voog, division manager of the Emor polling company wrote, 'Estonians' military and historic background is different from that of Russia; there's almost a total lack of successful military campaigns. Therefore Estonians tend to have a more cautious attitude in these matters.' The support for a peaceful solution of the crisis where the U.S. would demand extradition of terrorists and bring them to justice is almost equally supported by the majority of Estonian and non-Estonian respondents. Voog says: 'This can be explained by memories of Soviet Army's long, bloody and failed Afghanistan war experience.'"
"Half of the Estonian Population Fears an Economic Crisis Starting from the U.S."
According to a poll ordered by the leading serious daily "Postimees" (9/19),:"49% of respondents fear a world economic crises. The fear is more dominant in the age group 35-49 and among Estonians, who are more pessimistic than non-Estonian inhabitants about the future. Indrek Neivelt, Chairman of the Board of Hansabank, says, 'There are no grounds for panic. The world's economic situation is not likely to improve in the near future, but as an optimist, I do not see reason for our people to get too concerned.'"
FINLAND: A New Kind Of War
Finland's leading daily, independent Helsingin Sanomat (editorial 9/20) "Immediately after the terrorist strikes on September 11, President George W. Bush said that it was 'more than terror attacks, it was an act of war'. After the terrifying attack, Bush and Blair made the right choice of words. Their purpose was to signal that now was not the time for judicial restraints and peacetime vacillation. The goal was to get to signal the planners of the terrorist strikes, that they would be stopped, whatever it would take. The laws of war give the enemy a judicial and moral position, which is more protected than what terrorists deserve. Terrorists are not entitled to be treated as POWs. There may be a state or states that protect them, and war can be waged against them. They do not identify themselves with any single state. In a war against terrorists victories can be achieved, but no final victory. Even a shrunken globe is far too large to be freed from the entire phenomenon. A peace treaty, or other agreements, cannot be concluded. The battle against terrorism in the long run has to be attacked constructively as well (such as the war on poverty). Ultimately, Bush chose war rhetoric to point out to the Americans that the task undertaken could take very long and call for heavy material and human sacrifices. He was right in this. However, this is not a war, by the traditional definition."
Arab Leaders Must Take Sides
Independent Aamulehti editorial (9/20): "Events on Black Tuesday force responsible Arab leaders choose sides. The path of mindless violence chosen by fundamentalists leads to destruction."
"War on Bigotry"
Helsingin Sanomat, op-ed by senior international affairs commentator Ollli Kivinen (9/20): "The United States promises a long and multifaceted war against terrorism. It has the strong support of allies, a battle against terrorism serves everybody's interests, although people used to western superiority do not like to see this. However, a war against terrorism is extremely difficult. The fight against terrorism can be compared to another war, which is hard to define and which differs from traditional warfare. It is the war against drugs, in which the West is on the losing side, and which causes it more damage than political terror. In terms of terror, the essential question is simple, 'how can you wage war on terrorism without giving rise to more terrorism'. The worst prospect is the one where the situation gets out of hand and becomes a permanent confrontation between Christians and Moslems, and there are no winners in that battle. The Western world, and especially the United States, need to ask themselves some hard questions. Why are the western countries so bitterly hated in so many corners of the world? The importance of getting to the roots of evil has been referred to many times during the past week. However, blaming globalization is one-sided and misleading, because it has brought good results also to innumerous people in the poor and developing countries. The first and easiest task to carry out to fight fanaticism at both ends by the right policy, Kivinen concludes, quoting Amos Oz who says that Satan is personified in hatred and zealotry."
IRELAND: Irish Reaction to the Attacks
Damian Byrne opines in the Irish Examiner (centrist daily c.64,000) (9/20): "Standing up to be counted in this grave new world." (begin excerpts): Now as George Bush struggles to assemble his global coalition against terrorism to go 'smoke out' those bandits in Afghanistan and bring them back 'dead or alive', shall we see Ireland take a courageous and independent stand in our new role on the UNSC? Or will we simply stand on the sidelines, moralizing, equivocating and posturing, as the world's great repository of empathy? And should the US unleash an act of retaliation upon Afghanistan every bit as devastating in its effects on the horrific attacks on New York and Washington, will our government call another National Day of Mourning?"
Ann Cahill comments from Brussels in the Irish Examiner (centrist daily c.64,000) (9/20) on the EU leaders meeting this week: "European leaders wonder how to calm American outrage." (begin excerpts) "Expressing solidarity with the US...European leaders emphasized the common values they share with the US. Now they will have to define those values...They must also define terrorism since they have all declared war on it. ... It will be the ultimate test of Europe's newfound independence in world affairs - whether they try to forge a campaign for peace or fall in with a more spectacular war.
Independent contributor to The Irish Times (liberal daily c.119,000) (9/20) John Pilger criticizes US harshly: "Islamic peoples are already victims of US military and financial power: US fundamentalism is the root cause of the horror inflicted Washington and New York" (begin excerpts) "Far from being the terrorists of the world, the Islamic peoples have become its victims - principally the victims of US fundamentalism whose power...is the greatest source of terrorism on earth. ... The attacks last week came at the end of a long history of betrayal of Islamic an Arab peoples..." (Note: his list starts with the collapse of the Ottoman empire... and eventually he gets to spots all over the earth, from Diego Garcia to Indonesia 1965-66 to world poverty and he also blames the British for all this too.) (Note: this piece was reported to be first published in zmag.org which we found is today off line due to a virus- it is Washington state based.)
Of special note to you in Media Reaction: Kevin Myers, who writes a daily op-ed column in The Irish Times (liberal daily c.119,000) (9/20) entitled "An Irishman's Diary", pens another very strong statement: (begin excerpts) "Your Irishman's Diary today comes from the underground bunker, deep beneath the White House, where advice to the US from journalists and politicians around the world is processed. Teams of Opinion Catchers sift through the vast babble emanating from everywhere to see if there is a molecule of sense in it. ... In silence, an Opinion Catcher ... read a dispatch from Ireland reporting comments of the prime minister there. ...He passed it to his colleague. 'What do you think of that?' He read it, plucked a few hairs from his head and murmured: 'Chickening out already. And it hasn't even started yet' ..What the Opinion Catcher had read was the account of how the Taoiseach had said, within five days of the worst terrorist atrocity in world history, that he thought it was unlikely there would be any Irish military involvement in the war against terrorism, and that he hoped not too many countries would be drawn into it. ..(the opinion catchers) tried to work out how the prime minister of a country which had three separate (terrorist) organizations...all of them armed, all of them with seasoned killers at their command, would have no military involvement in a war against terrorism. ...Baffled, they tried to work how a leader who professed friendship for the US could in the same breath seem to declare there was no way that he intended to express it. ...They couldn't understand how the elected leader of a democracy hoped that not too many countries would be involved in a war against terrorism, when terrorism, not just the Islamic variety - was a world wide phenomenon afflicting scores of countries, especially his. ... They couldn't understand how Ireland...couldn't recognize that rare coincidence of self-interest and political morality when it so happily occurs.... And by God, they're not the only ones."
In the independent daily, "Independent," political analyst Horia Alexandrescu underlined on September 20, 2001: "It is about time we understand and accept that the whole world is truly in danger, and that this is not just the Americans' war against those who brought so much grief on them. Instead it is, in the end, a fight of all civilized people against world terrorism."
In the independent daily "Evenimentul Zilei," editorialist Cornel Nistorescu wrote on September 20, 2001:
"The most important thing decided yesterday, for the first time in our history, is the participation, side by side with NATO, with the status of an 'ally.' This is a decision that can play an essential part in the process of Romania's final North Atlantic Alliance integration. [...] Somewhere, a war will break out. Theoretically, Romania will take part in it. But the hardest war must be carried on in our own country. It must be a war against prejudice, against a narrow minded and selfish way of understanding things, against a cheap reaction such as: 'what has this have to do with us?'."
In the pro-government daily "Dimineata," political analyst Stefan Mitroi opined on September 20, 2001: "For the first time in human history, civilization finds itself in the weird situation of preserving its future by starting a conflict. A conflict against terrorism and terrorists, i.e. an enemy who although manifests itself concretely, often takes abstract forms. That is exactly why the consequences of a war are unpredictable. But this war, the war against terrorism, is necessary!"
In the independent daily "Libertatea," editorialist Mihai Valentin Neagu said on September 20, 2001: +"If the situation becomes explosive and Romania has to put into practice its commitments, there won't be any way to retract them or to make pessimistic statements. From now on, there is no turning back, unless we want to be left out of the areas of interest of the great international military and economic powers forever."
In the pro-government daily "Cronica Romana," political analyst George Cusnarencu stated on September 20, 2001: +"One thing is unclear to me: If the Taliban are a bunch of primitives, savages, as the Americans are describing them, if Bin Laden is a barbarian fanatic, how did he manage to make all those speculations on the stock market? It means the man is a genius and not only a terrorist. It means that his men are very smart, if they were able to laugh at all the intelligence in the FBI and CIA. And then, if these barbarians have a financial empire, it means they are not stupid, they are not just some primitives who take the goat out to graze in the mountains. And something else: Where is bin Laden's fabulous fortune? In the caves in Afghanistan where he is hiding? As I was saying, something is missing here. This information is intoxicating even more than cheap alcohol."
In the pro-government daily "Cotidianul," editorialist Ileana Malancioiu stated on September 20, 2001: +"The long term war against an unseen enemy is full of traps, and it is not by accident that some NATO member countries, such as Germany and France, want to participate in the eradication of terrorism, but hesitate to send their troops to Afghanistan. For its part, Pakistan's decision could be affected by anti-government demonstrations, and break its promise to the Americans and try to stay neutral, or to switch to the other side. But, whatever happens, George Bush won't be able to ignore the pressure put on him by the population, to punish the terrorists through a war to remember. Even if that involves "collateral damage" of thousands of victims from the civilians and the soldiers fighting the Taliban, who are ready to declare 'the Holy War'. The restrictions imposed on the media by the American President are not good enough to calm us down, because America is also a myth of freedom of expression, which we won't be able to easily give up."
In the opposition daily "Romania Libera," political analyst Petre Mihai Bacanu commented on September 20, 2001: +"The novelty of this war is the coalition of western governments and of Russia against terrorism, an international coalition almost, if we take into account the NATO integration candidate countries. NATO's Article 5 defines aggression, but also the 'one for all and all for one' principle, to punish inhuman actions."
In the independent daily "Adevarul," economic analyst Gheorghe Cercelescu wrote on September 20, 2001" "The world's great bankers managed to stabilize the financial markets and to strengthen the trust of the investors and of the population. Thus, they prevented the recession of the world economy. If a global crisis doesn't occur, no rapid comeback will take place, because the terrorist attacks in the U.S. managed, according to western analysts, to postpone by months any rebound of world economy. The most important issue now is not the impact of the tragedy in the United States, it is the problem of the economic implications of the war against terrorism, which, as President Bush stated, will be long and will affect large areas of the planet."
In the centrist daily "Curierul National," political analyst Cristian Unteanu opined on September 20, 2001: "Today's lone snipers, soldiers of a group generically called 'international terrorism', apply the same principles. It is very obvious now that they want to unite the world they belong to (being motivated by a variety of factors and socio-economic elements, but also by the same kind of fanaticism in faith, religious purity, and values) against a presumed enemy. This is a good logical thought, to the extent it still works, as we have seen so far. Only this time, America is far from being alone. It will attack together with an entire coalition where, besides NATO members, there are also, willingly or not, even states who once shared beliefs opposite those of 'Satanic American imperialism'."
SWEDEN: "A Broader Security Policy,"
1. On September 20, the independent, liberal Stockholm morning daily "Dagens Nyheter" editorialized on stating that, "More than a week has passed after the terrorist attack and the world is awaiting the U.S. reaction. The Americans have the right to self-defense, but in the long term the fight against terrorism also must include a fight against poverty and oppression. Prosperity, freedom and democracy do not guarantee that people will not resort to violence. However, if a majority of the world population would have a reasonable living standard, sympathy for fanatics and perpetrators of outrage likely would disappear... "Let us hope that Western governments realize this. Perhaps the prospect is greater now it so evident that the fight against poverty also is linked to security policy."
"The World is Real,"
2. On September 20, the independent, liberal Stockholm morning daily "Dagens Nyheter" ran an op-ed column by Annika Ahnberg, Chairman of the Swedish Red Cross. It carried headline "and said: "We are at a crossroad. We can choose to let hatred and the wish for retribution lead us. Perhaps this is the road the U.S. will choose. The American tradition is to show strength, to taka a tough line. Perhaps this is a war that demands retalliation. I cannot judge this. But I know that something else is needed, a United States of America that brings itself to stretch out its hand for a global cooperation to fight terrorism, but also to solve global problems... "A more explicit determination to solve the global problems cannot replace a purposeful struggle against, and dissociation from terrorism. But it might reduce the power of attraction, which terrorist organizations apparently have."
"The First Victory of the War,"
3. On September 20, the independet, liberal Stockholm tabloid "Expressen" editorialized on stating that, "The terrorist attack against the U.S. might result in a redrawing of the map in the Middle East...But it is too early to tell what the long-term U.S. Mideast policy will be from the terrorist war. From a rational point of view, the result should be that the U.S. abandons its very pro-Israeli line to secure support among the moderate powers in the Arab world... "The tragedy in the U.S. has opened the possibility for a restart in the Middle East. This is valid for Sharon and Arafat who now in respective home ground can show a willingness to compromise without losing face. And it is also true for the Bush administration that now definitely will have to give up its passive position in the Mideast."
SWITZERLAND: "The Logic Of Madness"
Philipp Löpfe, foreign editor of the center-left Tages-Anzeiger, one of Switzerland's leading German-language dailies, commented (9/19): "The terrorists are counting on the self-fulfilling prophecy of the 'war of the civilizations.' They don't make any demands nor do they send any letter taking responsibility for the attacks. They believe that the attacks will generate a devilish dynamic, in which more innocent people will die in a U.S. counter-attack, an atmosphere of ethnic cleansing vis-a-vis Muslims will develop, and their vague thesis of a "satanic USA" will be confirmed. If this perverse calculation works out, then the cowardly attack will have been worthwhile in the eyes of the terrorists. This logic of madness must be taken into account. Whoever wants to set fire to this world can count on ethnic and religious prejudices. However, if one fights for a civilized coexistence of all cultures, one does not want to win the 'war of the civilizations,' one wants to avoid it."
YUGOSLAVIA (KOSOV): "New World Order 'Again?'"
Independent Zeri had an editorial by its publisher Blerim Shala (9/20): €The vision of the €New World Order,€ carried by George Bush in 1990, meant replacing the law of the jungle with the rule of law. It meant resolving big problems politically and peacefully, it meant collective resistance to military aggressions and equal treatment for every person, regardless of the ethnic, racial of religious background. It was the shortest and the most meaningful political program at the beginning of the last decade of the XX century that resulted from the West€s victory over the communist East in 1989. George Bush has largely followed that program during the first greatest post Cold War crisis € when Iraq occupied Kuwait. Such an American reaction did not happen in Bosnia and the former Yugoslavia until 1995. After that, the idea of the €New World Order€ remained just as a reminder to the Bush€s political career, without any real attempts to make operational that concept, which among others required big changes in the organization, functioning and the mandate of the UNSC, the highest instance of the international security. The horror of September 11 (when 19 people of a terrorist network, inspired by religious fanaticism, attacked America) will seemingly revive the idea of George Bush. His son, George W. Bush will surely create a multi-state, multiracial and multi-religious coalition against terrorism. It is necessary to find a political solution to the Palestinian problem. Yet the international security structure should create a functional mechanism to face such challenges by changing the UNSC radically.€
"A New Phase"
The leading independent Koha Ditore ran a comment by its correspondent to Germany Beqe Cufaj (9/20): € Albanians in the Balkans and especially those of Kosovo, should self-impose a censorship about what was called so far liberation army. The Kosovar KLA transformed into the KPC, the UCPMB has somewhat managed to demilitarize and obtain in return internationalization and the following reforms; and there is NATO in Macedonia after the agreement was reached with the NLA. After all these moves, the Albanian and especially their political parties (but also intellectuals who have influence in the public) should really realize (and talk about it) that there is not much space for any Albanian €liberation armies.€ Every move or sign into that direction would really be a hazardous game with very little room to play in€€ What the western diplomats see now as dangerous un then Balkans are the so-called €chaotic groups€ that release communiquTs and make threats that could one day bear the handwriting of the type seen in New York or Washington. In the end, perhaps I should pass a message to some colleagues in Pristina (who are really eager to discover who stands behind certain, new Albanian armies) from a western diplomat I talked to yesterday. He told me that after the terrorist attacks on America the Albanians, particularly their leaders, cannot get out of trouble, even if they say that they €do not stand behind the armed movements.€ Now you have a chance and that is that, together with NATO in Kosova and Balkans, you fight terrorism and any armed organization € even if it is Albanian one!€